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Sadly, items like toilet backup and overflow or septic tank issues are often only covered if the homeowner had the foresight to add that coverage to the basic policy. Most insurance agents aren’t going to volunteer suggestions for additional coverage. However, when the damage occurs, the homeowner now must absorb hundreds to thousands of dollars unnecessarily because of this.
A homeowner may not know that he has only 14 days from discovering an issue to mitigate damages under his insurance policy. He also may be unaware that unlike auto insurance, where your rates go up from filing a claim is not the case with filing a homeowner claim, as rates are based on his zip code and area, not on filing a property claim.
That is where Nathan Sheppard, founder of The Policyholder Advocacy Group steps in. Like the business name suggests, Nathan is a public adjuster, on the side of the homeowner, fighting for the maximum settlement owed under the policy.
Unlike an insurance adjuster or independent adjuster who have a legal and fiduciary duty to protect the financial interest of the insurance company – the people who come out to home, take photos and submits an estimate of damages to best benefit their bottom line, Nathan works only for the home or business owner. He protects the insured from being denied a fair settlement from damages brought about by unexpected events like water leaks, hurricanes, tornados, fire, smoke damage, wind damage, sinkholes, and mold. He has the legal and fiduciary duty to protect the policyholder’s best interest.
For eleven years in service, his main goal is to analyze the homeowner’s policy, prepare all documentation, estimate the loss, coordinate all inspections and get all the money that the policyholder is entitled to, based on the limits of his policy. Even if a homeowner recently had a claim, he can review if he is owed more.
On average, policyholders who hire public adjusters received 574% more money than those who did not and receive 747% more money on catastrophic-related claims.
Available 24 hours a day, Nathan works on a contingency basis, so there is never a cost unless he is successful in settling the claim.
“My job is to get you all the monies owed to you under your policy to bring you back to your preconditioned loss with like color, kind and quality,” he explained.
Nathan gave an example of a homeowner who received $3700 for removal of a tree and repair to a roof; however, the roofing shingles were 15 years old and no longer made.
“$1500 was for tree removal, $2200 for the repair and he had a $1000 deductible, so the insurance company really only wanted to pay for a band-aid for a repair on his roof with tile that are no longer manufactured and discontinued,” he said. “Using the conditions of like color, kind and quality – if it can’t be matched – then it has to be replaced. That goes for flooring, roofs, countertops, kitchen cabinets, etc. You can’t find a reputable floor or cabinet company that will put in writing that they guarantee 100% that it will be an exact match. Yet the insurance companies often claim they have a person to do the work and it will be an exact match.”
After Nathan’s involvement, the homeowner originally quoted $3700 received $18,569.61.
Where many homeowners make a mistake is waiting to see what the insurance company will offer before reaching out to Nathan.
“The issue with that is the insurance adjuster or independently contracted adjuster does not have the authority to issue a payment or negotiate a settlement with you. They take their estimate and submit to desk examiner, the inside adjuster who makes the coverage decision and who’s never seen your property and is basing his decision on pictures and an estimate. He will either approve it or kick it back to the adjuster to remove specific items that they don’t feel are necessary.”
Many desk examiners have the authority of less than $25,000. If this loss exceeds that amount, it is delayed as it has to be reviewed by someone with higher level authority to approve that loss.
Not only will Nathan be a homeowner’s voice during a calamity, but he will provide a complimentary consultation, a review of a homeowner’s policy to see where gaps in coverage appear and an 11-point inspection. He explains the policy, in depth, pointing out areas of concern. He also guides in his clients in finding reputable contractors.
“Watch out for contractors, roofers or restoration companies that are attempting to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on your behalf. It is considered unlicensed practice of public adjusting and it is a third-degree felony,” said Nathan. ““Give me an opportunity to put my eyes on everything that you think may or may not be a problem. I want to be a resource to people.”
To learn more about Policyholder Advocacy Group, to schedule a consultation with Nathan, visit http://www.policyholderadvocacygroup.com or call (800)-511-2240.