Contents claims are often overlooked. Some insurance companies, like FedNat, fail to adjust contents claims and only estimate and adjust real property insurance claims until their customer does the good faith work of investigation and evaluation for them.

Chubb Insurance usually does a great job of adjusting the contents losses of their customers. Not only does Chubb have contents experts typically make certain that their customers get paid the full replacement cost of contents for losses right away, but they also have sub-experts for the evaluation of items. For example, I had a couple that had a water loss, and the furs in their closet became wet. Chubb had a “clothier contents expert” who was able to quickly determine which furs could be repaired and which needed to be fully replaced. The expert added sales tax and acquisition costs and came up with a full replacement cost value. In Florida and in many states, contents losses are simply not adjusted by the insurance companies that insure the losses.

Chubb’s action is what good faith contents claims adjustment is all about. Many companies do no adjustment of the contents claim. Instead, they make estimates of the real property and conveniently forget to do anything about the contents. The failure to investigate coverage for contents and evaluate the contents loss is a failure to act in good faith. Unfortunately, many insurance companies intentionally choose not to act in good faith regarding contents claims because it is profitable. FedNat is one of them.

Many insurance companies have failed so miserably at adjusting contents claims that they have no contents adjusters and simply outsource this adjustment to outside vendors such as Enservio. This is what Enservio promises to do for their insurance company clients:

Enservio provides services that help adjusters and claims professionals solve one of the biggest issues in property insurance – quantifying and valuing what’s inside a policyholder’s home. With Enservio you can settle claims quickly and accurately, effectively managing your claims pending and keeping your policyholders happy. From onsite inventory creation and forensic reconstruction of non-restorable contents to transcription, desk appraisal, contents valuation services, payment and replacement – our services simplify and speed the claims settlement process.

Public adjusting firms should not have to be hired to do what the insurance company is required to do in good faith. A number of public adjusting firms have outstanding contents specialists. Why insurance companies do not have the same for their own customers is a mystery until you consider how profitable it may be for them to do nothing and let their policyholder do all the work rather than the insurance company doing it from day one after the loss.

The picture above is from a recent TAPIA convention where insurance claims adjusters from Jansen Adjusters/Adjusters International told me about their immediate and hands-on contents claims adjustment process. No wonder policyholders feel the need to hire public adjusters to help after the loss when insurance companies who take premiums in advance for contents losses do nothing to adjust the contents loss.

In a recent FedNat bad faith claims deposition, I had the field adjuster tell me that he had no standards for the adjustment of contents losses. The policyholder complained of not getting paid contents losses. What did FedNat do regarding the claim and the outstanding contents losses? It closed the claim! It reported to the Florida Department of Financial Services that the claim was paid and closed, knowing that contents were damaged and that the contents losses were neither adjusted nor paid.

Contents claims losses not getting adjusted are a plague. If you have FedNat delayed or underpaid claims, please call me. We are happy to help or share information regarding their wrongful practices. My cell number is 813.695.8733.

If the Florida insurance regulators want to actually do something about this problem rather than cover up the shabby treatment Hurricane Michael policyholders received, they can call my cell number as well, and I will share the information I have. The Florida Department of Financial Services has done nothing about delayed payments of contents claims to hurricane victims. Instead, they have been actively supporting closed claims reports in fraudulent market conduct studies. The public should understand that the Florida DFS is more concerned about placating insurers than holding them accountable for widespread wrong claim practices.

Thought For The Day

FedNat is committed to providing fair, expedient, and personalized claims handling to all of our customers. We have full-time licensed adjusters on staff, an experienced customer service team, and 24 hours a day, 365 days a year claims reporting no matter your location. All of our adjusters and customer service representatives are trained to guide our customers through the claims process and bring their property back to pre-loss condition as quickly and fairly as possible.
—FedNat website