Insurance Rights of the Consumer.
Insurance Rights of the Consumer
- You may take, and be fully compensated for, the reasonable cost of emergency services to safeguard your property from further damage after a loss. In fact, after a loss, you have the obligation to safeguard your property from further damage. Your insurance company may not be liable for additional expense if you fail to provide such protection. (Refer to lines 90-97 of 165- Line Standard Fire Policy).
- You have the right to have a professional loss control consultant represent your interests, and guide you in the presentation of your claim to the insurance adjusters.
- If you have secured adequate coverage, you are entitled to be paid for the market value of fully restoring your property to its pre-damaged condition. However, you are not insured for the repair of unrelated problems, code deficiencies, or prior damage.
- You are entitled to employ a full-time restoration professional who is licensed, insured, of good reputation, and can demonstrate his capabilities, availability, skill and experience in insurance damage repair.
- The repair contract and its performance are strictly between you and the contractor. Your insurance company does not warrant or guarantee the performance of any firm you hire.
- You are entitled to materials and workmanship fully equivalent to your existing installation in kind and quality. The insurance company has no obligation to improve your existing installation.
- You are NOT required to accept the lowest bidder. Nowhere in your policy do the words cheapest, lowest, or low price appear. However, repair rates should correspond to prevailing standards in your area for work of good quality.
- Before work begins, you are entitled to receive a detailed listing of the scope of repairs and quantities of materials to be provided. Provisions for hidden or latent problems relating to the damage should also be spelled out in as much detail as possible.
- If there is a substantial disagreement between you and the insurance company, which cannot be resolved, you are entitled to request arbitration (appraisal) as described under the terms of the policy. Lines 123 – 137 of the standard policy spell out the procedures for settling differences without resorting to lawsuits.
- The insurance company must pay you within the time specified in the contract. Some state insurance regulations vary. This clause is designed to prevent insurance companies from using delay and personal handicap to compel a lower settlement. However, the policy also has time requirements for you, the policyholder, within which you must prepare and submit your “Proof of Loss”. Know about these in advance, so that you can be in compliance.