2016 STORM SEASON IS UPON US!!! (Here are some reminders & tips)

Storm Season 2016

Photo Credit: Rod Mitchell of On-Site Computer Services

I know we are just getting over the surprise storms and heavy rainfall of this past December here in Missouri. Historically, the time of year that brings us powerful winds and damaging hail is March thru June, which is upon us.  I hope you find this information is helpful.

My staff and I are ready. Over the years we have become proficient and awesome advocates for our clients with a claim. It’s what separates us from others and why there is true value in placing your coverage with us. If we were just like all the rest, we would not have the high retention and growth that has clearly made us successful and a trusted choice. There is no such thing as the perfect insurance carrier but, we strive to be the perfect insurance agency. We certainly did not write your coverage and disappear. We are not an employee of the carrier, which means something.

You are welcome to pass this information to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers even if we currently do not handle their coverage.

I find it easier to explain in a question and answer format.

In regards to flood situations you can refer to my posting this past January. You are welcome to send me an e-mail for it as well.

My vehicle was hit by hail. What should I do? 

Most of the time hail does not render your vehicle as unsafe or unable to drive. This means there is no rush. It is a cosmetic situation.  Depending on the damage your vehicle will be repaired by paintless dent removal or body part replacement. Often times it is a combination of both. You do not want to be in a rush. Turn your claim into the carrier directly and wait for their instructions. They may have a drive up facility or direct you to one of their premier shops. Either way, you will be presented a proposal and they will provide an initial check. This is NOT the final. It is normal that that this initial estimate is not perfect and the repair shop you ultimately end up using may have discrepancies. This is Ok and normal. The shop and the carrier will work it out. Your only cost out of pocket is the deductible.

If the shop of your choice says they are a month or two behind that means they are in demand and most likely do good work. I would wait for them. Having your vehicle fixed with a shop that is not busy indicates a problem.  Lastly, stay away from the “pop up” shops that travel in and leave after. They are nothing but trouble. If the carrier directs you to one of their premier shops, you can be sure that is a good choice because that carrier will have accountability with the shop and the shop has been triaged in advance to meet their standards. Most of the reputable shops that do good work are on a carrier’s Premier list.

My property was hit by powerful winds or hail. What should I do? 

This goes down two ways. 1) The damage is obvious and it’s a “no-brainer” that we need to turn in a claim. OR   2) You may have a few shingles missing, maybe a small leak, but you are not totally sure there is enough damage to warrant filing a full blown claim.

Let’s start with number 1…. 

First of all, if your home was devastated and you can’t live / stay in the property safely, then you call me at the office or on my cell immediately, know that I don’t care what time of the day it is. This applies to all types of claims and you should put my cell number in your cell phone.

You can perform any temporary repairs or whatever it takes to secure your home from further damage. Keep receipts, take lots of pictures. Things like removing tree(s) and tarping are completely acceptable. It’s all about preventing further damage. If you or your friends / family are not physically able to do this then you can call the following :

Going Green – Storm, Fire and water.   www.Goinggreenrestoration.net   Rob Waldbueser (314) 973 2420  Jamey Schmidt  (314) 713 0995  

They will be on the ready with crews to get out to your home.  They are prepared for most anything. They will get things secure and prepare to work with your adjuster to get the claim settled and your home back to normal.

If you are able to make the temporary repairs and get things secure, simply call the claim into the carrier or our office. Again, keep your receipts and take pictures. You still may want to reach out to Going Green so they can be your advocate and handle the claim for you.

Here is number 2 ……

Don’t call the claim into the carrier. On the next business day simply give Kelly, Brooke or I a call and we will arrange for Rob or Jaime to come to your home at no charge and make an assessment of the potential damage and determined if there is a claim. On some occasions the damage is minimum and they will just handle it for you.  If a claim needs to be filed, Going Green will notify us and we will get the claim ball rolling for you.

If a claim is filed, you will be assigned an adjuster. That adjuster’s job is to serve you in order to figure out the damage and cost to repair / replace. This is not a perfect science and it’s not uncommon that the initial scoop of work and cost will need amendments. You are not bound by it. Hand it to the contractor and if they have issues they should deal with the adjuster directly, it’s not your concern. Your only expense is the deductible. It’s important you have a contractor that knows and understands how to mitigate property insurance claims.  There should be no reason that you have to go out and get multiple bids. Focus on having a quality contractor that deals in property claims and allow them to handle it. This will be the least stressful route for you.

It is important that I make sure this is not an advertisement for Going Green. I gain nothing by referring them. My motivation is always to provide my client the best possible claims experience with no stress.  While your neighbors with other agents and carriers are pulling their hair out, I want you sitting back with no concerns. I refer Going Green because they make me look good. They do things right. They are honest. They do good work and most importantly, they know and understand how to mitigate a claim with an adjuster. There are many adjusters that when they find out the contractor is Going Green, the adjuster allows them to work up and submit the scoop without more involvement because they can be trusted.  Be aware of storm chasers, even if they claim they are local and present a local address or phone number. If a contractor knocks on your door—- stay away.

I know there are always different circumstances with every claim and this message does not meet all.  That is ok and my staff and I are here to be your advocate. Over the years we have been thru all types of claims and nothing would surprise us.  The important thing to always remember when dealing with a claim is that as long as you are safe and your property is secure there is no reason to be in a hurry. It will get repaired or replaced and things will be put back to normal. That is what insurance is about.

If you have any questions, just ask.

Shawn P. McBride

14567 N. Outer 40 Rd., Suite 125
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Phone: 636-530-0440
Fax:   636-530-1947
Cell:   314-397-6901
Illinois 618-307-2042

Photo Credit to Rod Mitchell of On-Site Computer Services

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