On November 17, 2022, Wheeler, DiUlio & Barnabei hosted the eleventh installment of their 12-part webinar series, The Perfect Claim. This series aims to discuss the entire claims process from start to finish so viewers can learn how to resolve claims more efficiently. This webinar in particular focused on the post-payment process.

In After the Payment: Tips for Navigating Recoverable Depreciation, Ratings, and More, Partner Anthony DiUlio teaches what your options are after the first payment is made to maximize the claim value and increase claims in the future.

What Is Recoverable Depreciation?

Recoverable depreciation is the difference between the cost of replacement for a damaged object and the actual value of the object. Here are a few key aspects to consider for managing recoverable depreciation:

  • Rather than worrying about the age of the damaged item for calculating recoverable depreciation, focus on rating the condition of the item. The age of the damaged item can mean different things depending on other variables around the homeowner (i.e. pets, cleanliness, etc.). A rating on the condition of the damaged item presents a more valuable depiction of the loss at hand.
  • Many insurance policies will have time limits for filing a claim with added loss such as recoverable depreciation. Do not miss an opportunity to collect for additional losses due to these time frames. Be sure to check your insurance policy for accurate timelines.
  • Not all insurance carriers will cover the cost of depreciation. Some companies may only cover actual cash value or up to a certain amount.
  • Review your insurance policy for statements regarding recoverable depreciation or actual cash value, and check for any conflicting or ambiguous language.

The following describes the process for what to do when faced with a recoverable depreciation issue:

  1. Notify the carrier of the intent to recover in the Letter of Representation.
  2. Read the full policy to understand the terms and conditions of the carrier.
  3. Determine the requirements to get recoverable depreciation and build an outline depending on your policy.
  4. Set your steps and processes to collect recoverable depreciation based on what you have read in the policy.

How to Strategically Handle Supplements

If you have a claim with a supplemental loss, be sure to take the appropriate steps to accurately file the claim. Supplements can be used for a variety of reasons including:

  • Undiscovered damage
  • Repairability issues
  • Code issues

These supplements frequently come up and can be used to your advantage.

The first supplement topic is undiscovered damage. This is when there is no previous knowledge of the damage until a repair has begun (such as damaged insulation or a damaged subfloor). In this scenario, be sure to document the loss through photos and document that the contractor working on the damage is aware of this loss.

The next topic is repairability issues. A repairability issue may include attempting repairs that do not work. This issue is common with smoke claims.

The last topic is code issues such as decking thickness. Code issue supplements are only relevant and paid if there is code coverage or upgrade. There are many caveats with code issues, so be sure you are arguing for these claims in the correct manner.

Company Procedure for Obtaining Reviews

The number one resource for obtaining claims is the clients themselves, and the second resource for obtaining claims is the internet. In this technological era, it is crucial for adjusters to have an online presence, specifically a website that ranks well on search engines. When someone searches for your website, it is also critical to have reviews from clients to support your company.

Unsure of how to obtain reviews? The best way is to identify the clients who like you and send an email with a link to review you online. Google reviews are the most important way to stand out to the public.

Review for Additional Issues

Even after the first payment, it is still important to put the client first as an adjuster. To do so, give the client avenues to resolve items that you the adjuster cannot assist with. For example, help identify the reason behind a client receiving a payment lower than what was sought and follow up on what the client’s next steps should be.

Have any questions about the claims process? Contact our team to learn more from the professionals at Wheeler, DiUlio & Barnabei.