Why is my mortgage holder on my claim settlement check?
All losses involving "real property" must include both the named insured as well as a mortgagee. The insurance policy specifically requires the company to protect the interest of the mortgage holder. Contractually the mortgagee has just as much right to be protected as the policyholder. Therefore, it is very important in the event of loss or damage to have the mortgagee endorse the check prior to submission to the bank for payment.
What is “withheld depreciation”?
Most insurance policies that cover the policyholder for full replacement cost have a provision that Preferred Mutual can pay the actual cash value of the loss upon settlement. The actual cash value is the replacement cost less depreciation. Once repairs are made or contents replaced, the depreciated amount may be given back to the policyholder through an additional payment, pursuant to policy conditions. This practice is in place to guarantee that the loss damages are fully repaired or the contents are actually replaced.
What must I do in case of a loss before I am able to contact my agent or company adjuster?
Your insurance policy requires that you make "emergency" repairs to stop any further damages. Permanent repairs should not be made until Preferred Mutual has a chance to view the damages. As an example, if your pipes burst due to freezing, you should make immediate repairs to stop the water flow. If the loss is covered, temporary repair costs will be reimbursed. Keep all damaged parts and receipts for the adjuster to look at. Please note that if damages are fully repaired without Preferred Mutual's inspection, your recovery may be jeopardized.
Does my "all risk" policy actually cover me for any type of loss?
This insurance term can be somewhat confusing. "All risk" means that all causes of loss, except those specifically excluded in the policy, are covered. Examples of specific exclusions are: flooding, earth movement of any kind, off premises power outages, etc. Many of these excluded causes of loss may be added to your policy by purchasing specific endorsements providing such coverages.
What do I do if I have a homeowner or renter claim?
If you have a loss, file a claim as soon as possible in one of the following ways:
What can I expect to happen after I notify Preferred Mutual of my claim?
Preferred Mutual will collect the details of your claim, including your policy number, when you file the claim. Depending on the type of claim and extent of damages, you may be required to complete a report or a claims adjuster may be sent to inspect the damage. Before cleaning up, photograph or record the damages and include this information with your claim. If you make temporary repairs, take photos and save all receipts. Do not begin any permanent or major repairs until after the claim is complete. Feel free to ask your claims rep about next steps and estimated timeframes.
What can I do to get my claim paid quickly?
To get your claim paid as quickly as possible, file your first notice of loss as soon as possible. Submit all information, including photos and policy numbers, with your notice of loss. Be available to talk with your claims rep.
What should I do if I suspect fraud related to an insurance claim?
You can contact the state Department of Insurance. To anonymously report suspected fraud, call the National Insurance Crime Bureau at 800.835.6422.
What’s the difference between first party and third party coverage?
A first party claim is made by a policyholder to his/her own insurance company. A third party claim is made by another person against you for either property damage or bodily injury, where that person is alleging you are responsible.
Will a claim affect my rates?
Filing a claim may affect your rates.
Are my cell phone, CDs, and car stereo covered under my Homeowner policy?
There is coverage, unless the items are in the vehicle and able to run from the vehicle's electrical system.
Should I be concerned if I see ice back-up on my roof and eaves?
Yes. Most seepage losses resulting from the build-up of ice at the eaves are caused by a combination of insufficient attic insulation and insufficient ventilation. If left unattended, ice dams may form, causing serious water damage.
What is a public adjusting company and do I need to hire one if I have a claim?
A public adjusting company or public adjuster is a business that will represent you for a fee in presenting a claim to your insurance company. Your independent insurance agent and Preferred Mutual work very hard to provide excellent service and settle claims fairly. It is not necessary to hire a public adjusting company and pay them a fee that will be deducted from your loss settlement. Preferred Mutual will work with you to make the process as easy as possible.