We are busy submitting corrected proofs of loss for policyholders as the Monday deadline nears. We are finding so many wrongly filed proofs of loss from public adjusters, that I am writing this post as a warning to them and policyholders.
PLEASE CHECK YOUR FLOOD PROOFS OF LOSS AGAIN!
Here are some things to watch for:
- Did you use the authorized form? Many public adjusters are using their own forms rather than the one and only authorized form.
- Did you enclose with the proof of loss all the documentation? It has to be submitted with the form and not separately. A federal flood proof of loss is the authorized form and the documentation.
- Did you send it to the right place? Sending it to the field adjuster with the independent catastrophe claims organization is not the right place. The policy lists the Write Your Own Carrier and the address where it has to be sent. A copy of that, with all the documentation, should also be sent to the field adjuster. Send it overnight with a request for proof of delivery – certified mail can take forever and get lost. Overnight mail to both the insurer and the field adjuster, with both getting all the documentation, is much better.
- Is the documentation complete? Estimates, photos of damage, videos of damage, lists of the contents at RCV and ACV, invoices for real property damage repaired and contents replaced, and any other items you want to have as part of your proof of damage, and amounts owed should be included. But, cases have been lost because there was not an estimate of damage and supporting documentation sent with the proof of loss form.
- Did you complete the proof of loss in its entirety? You cannot put, "to be determined." Many public adjusters incorrectly submit this way as a practice. This can lose your flood case as well. Put dollar figures for each space on the form.
- Is it signed by the policyholder? It has to be signed and not left blank. I have watched many public adjusters look at their file after telling me a proof was filed to find that the proof was not signed and that they had mailed everything to the claims adjuster early on hoping to get a case resolved. They later find that they never went back and formally filed a proof with it signed and with all the backup documentation.
So, please go back and check your files for all unresolved Sandy flood claims to make certain you have done it right. I have lobbied for an extension in Do a Good Friday Pardon-Extend the Flood Proof of Loss Deadline, but it does not appear one is coming.