How to Make the Most of an Underinsured Loss

ADJUSTERSINTERNATIONAL.COM

...and “Loss of Income” titles. Often there are additional coverages listed within a policy rather than on the declarations page.

The agent or broker will also be able to determine if the policy is a blanket policy. In this case, the amounts the insured may think were sublimits for a particular property are merely values for underwriting purposes, and it is the combined blanket amount that represents the actual policy limit. The agent or broker can also determine if there were any recent changes or amendments to the policy that are not reflected in the insured’s copy of the policy. The agent or broker may also discover that the original application or a subsequent change the insured submitted was improperly processed by the insurance company’s underwriting department. If this is discovered, the agent or broker can contact the underwriting department to make sure the corrected policy is retroactively placed into effect and that the insurance company adjuster knows these changes are applicable to the current claim.

In addition to the above, the agent or broker may be able to provide valuable assistance in a number of ways unique to the particular case.

2. Obtain a Copy of the Insurance Policy

It is a good idea in every claim to send a letter to the insurance company adjuster requesting a certified copy of the entire policy, including all forms and endorsements. It is impossible to perform a proper policy review unless you have a copy of every provision. Additionally, insureds frequently receive notices from their insurance carrier regarding changes to their policies. In most states, any changes to a policy that limit or reduce coverage are not effective unless notice of the change is sent to the insured prior to the loss. Conversely, changes that broaden or increase coverage may be effective regardless of whether the insured received prior notice. Therefore, if after receiving the policy there are some recent changes that limit coverage, check to make sure the insured received notice of these changes prior to the loss.

To be sure that you have a complete copy of the policy, it is best to cross check the forms listed on the declarations page of the policy with the forms in the policy. Generally there is a section on the declarations page titled, “Forms and Endorsements”or some similar language, followed by several letter/number combinations such as CP 00 10. These “form numbers” identify all forms...


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