(It's all about the numbers)
Insurance is something we all need today to protect ourselves and our material things.
That’s why insurance should be affordable, available and fair for all us.
We get insurance so we will be covered when we have a loss this is what the insurance companies promise us. However the truth is insurance companies aren’t looking out for your best interests but their own and their shareholders.
An insurance company has an obligation to pay as much as you need, up to the policy’s limit, “to restore an insured to the same financial position after the loss the he or she was in prior to the loss”
That means to make you whole again. It means you don’t get paid more than the actual loss. It also means you shouldn’t get paid less than what it takes to make you whole again.
It is the insurance companies’ duty to pay the full amount you need to be put back in the same position you were in before the loss.
Insurance companies are not looking to give you as much as they can to repair your claim. They are looking for ways to minimize your recovery. And that’s where I come in. - John Giordano Click To Tweet
The insurance company violates this promise by paying you less than the full value of the loss.
It can leave you worse off financially. You pay the insurance company to assume the financial burden of the loss. If you still have to pay for part of the loss yourself, you are worse off.
Insurance companies can delay payment and/or make it harder for you to get the full amount you need to get you back to where you were before the loss.
By also delaying payment it can force you into accepting a quick payment that’s far less than what you need to make you whole. It can also lead to a needless, expensive and time consuming lawsuit as the only way for you to get what you need to fully restore you to what you were before the loss.
Most people who buy insurance know next to nothing about what they are buying and how the claims process works. A public adjuster will help give you some understanding of what you should be getting from your insurance policy when you place an insurance claim.
Here are some reasons to hire a public adjuster to help you with your insurance claim:
• The public insurance adjuster works strictly on your behalf as the homeowner, while the insurance adjuster or independent insurance adjuster works for the insurance company.
• You pay nothing out of pocket when you hire a public adjuster; they get paid only if you do!
Often this means a percentage of your final claim, and that number is nickels compared to the difference in what you’d be receiving from the insurance company.
• A public adjuster saves time because they do this for a living; they know how to get claims filed on a timely basis.
On top of that they handle all negotiations in order for you to receive the largest possible payout.
• They know the accurate value of damages and they won’t overlook any damages that an insurance adjuster might skip past. They also cover the entire property not just certain sections. They will make sure each item is valued properly.
• A public adjuster can also get you the right services; plumbers, electricians, building contractors, restoration specialists (trusted workers) you need to recover quickly after damage.
• Public adjusters are licensed professionals in your state.
The best time to contact a public adjuster is as soon as you suffer the loss. You will want to have the public adjuster ready to talk to the insurance company adjuster or the independent insurance adjuster. Mr. John Giordano
Interviewer: So how long have you been in the business?
John Giordano: Since 1978, 39 years.
Interviewer: How many claims roughly do you think you’ve had over those years?
John Giordano: Oh, thousands of claims, from all levels, from fire, flood, vandalism, automobiles crashing into buildings. Just anything to do with property and property damage, I’ve handled it through the years.
Interviewer: Now, what is a public adjuster? I’ve heard of them. But like most people I don’t know what a public adjuster is.
John Giordano: Public adjuster is a licensed professional from the State Insurance Department that has the ability and the legal authorization from the state to represent the insured party against their insurance company. So when you have a fire loss or damage to your property, the insurance company will send out an insurance adjuster that they employ and you are allowed to have an insurance adjuster that you can retain to represent you.
Interviewer: Well, I have a question about that John. I’m a regular consumer and all the commercials I see, they all say that the insurance company is looking to help me out and I’m in good hands as that one big commercial says. Is that true?
John Giordano: I don’t believe so. I believe that the insurance companies as you saw with the financial crisis, the banks are a huge, huge business and they’re in business to make as much profit as they possibly can.
They do sell a worthwhile product, a product that protects you against losses. But then when you have the loss, they also have their own insurance adjusters that go out and negotiate a settlement with you based on what they feel is going to cost to replace your property.
I find that hard to believe that the insurance companies are sending people out to adjust the loss that they’re going to pay for, telling them, “Look, be as liberal as you can. Make sure we can get this property put back.
We don’t care what it costs. Just get it done.” That’s not what happens in real life.
Interviewer: When you look at a contract from the insurance company, you see things probably different in the way I would see things. Can you give me some examples of that?
John Giordano: Well, the insurance policies stipulate coverage’s and how coverage’s are going to be adjusted and how a recovery is going to be given to the insured as the policy. Most people haven’t ever even looked at their insurance policy.
Interviewer: I’m sure you’re right.
John: And most people don’t realize that what’s in that policy isn’t just black and white. There are a lot of gray areas. There are a lot of additions and endorsements that are added to the policy that changes the language from the terminology that’s in the policy.
When you purchase certain endorsements, (in your insurance) it changes that language and sometimes includes or precludes different coverage’s that you might think that you have. - John Giordano Click To Tweet
So having a public adjuster review the policy before he writes the loss to understand how this insurance policy gets activated for recovery is very important to have when you’re pointing out what is damaged and why it was damaged by a certain loss.
Interviewer: When is the best time to get involved with a public adjuster?
John: I would immediately. When having an insurance claim, you can’t go wrong with hiring a public adjuster. No matter what it is or what the amount is, by having someone that’s going to be on your side looking at the damage as it pertains to the policy that you’ve purchased and make sure that it’s presented in a way that will be covered by that policy.
Interviewer: “Why should I pick you?”
If I have a fire as an example and I’ve got all these people that are all public adjusters that are knocking on my door, looking to give me a business card and say, “You need a public adjuster,” the first thing is I don’t know who you are, never mind what a public adjuster is. You’ve explained some of that and you’ve given some examples of how it’s helpful. So those are really good.
But if I’ve got three of you guys in front of me, why do I pick you over the other guy?
How do I know that you’re a good one versus the guy next to you might be a bad one?
Can you give me some examples on helping me out making that kind of decision? Why you?
John: I would think looking at the person themselves and their personal history of being a public insurance adjuster and their references that they’re willing to produce, so that you could go over and look at the type of work and the people they’ve worked for.
I mean it’s like if you ask me if I was in trouble and there are three attorneys. Which one do I pick? I think I would look to find out which attorneys worked on the biggest cases and what their reputation is in the legal community.
Interviewer: Last time I was here, you were talking about one of your competitors and you said that they have a really bad reputation in the industry. Why?
John Giordano: They’re not trustworthy.
Interviewer: What does that mean?
John Giordano: Well, first of all, they don’t really know the policies that well. They know them enough. It’s not hard.
They try to get the people that they hire try to get the work. They’re hooked in with the builder saying, “Look, I will get you work for green construction. If they get the job, I want a commission.”
So they get their fee from the insured and then they get a fee because the insured might need someone to fix their house or something to help them.
I never did that. I don’t do that. I will recommend contractors that I know that have done a decent job. It ends there.
Interviewer: So you’re an honest guy.
John Giordano: There’s nothing dishonest about bringing in a contractor.
We’re regulated by the State Insurance Department, that we can have no involvement in a cleaning company or reconstruction company. So it stipulates that we can’t do that.
So because of that, I never have. I want to get my work. When I get the work, I want to get them their settlement.
I don’t necessarily want to stay involved to rebuild it, put it back, and I did my job. When I know I got them enough and they’re happy and they have enough money to put it back, they should put the house back.
Now, if they don’t know anyone, there’s United Cleaning and Restoration. They do a good job. Green will do a good job. There’s this guy I’ve recommended him twice, but he has been in business.
He does a fairly good job McGuire. So there are four that I know of through the 39 years that I’ve been around.
Interviewer: You’re comfortable with.
John Giordano: Well, yeah, that they should be able to ask the same questions. These are guys that have been in business a long time. This kind of business and if you meet with them, you should ask them for their references and look I feel comfortable that they’ve been doing it enough that you don’t hear bad things.
Interviewer: So let’s say I married your sister and I’m your brother-in-law. I had a claim in California that you can’t do anything with because you’re not licensed there.
John Giordano: Well, we could. We can send a letter to the insurance department from our insurance department and there are a lot of states that have reciprocity like Rhode Island, New Jersey. I am also licensed through Anthony in Massachusetts and New York.
Interviewer: Let’s say for example there’s a state that said no and because we’re family and you were going to help me because you’ve been in this business a long time, what would you tell me to look out for?
John Giordano: I would tell you to get a public insurance adjuster and to check at their references. But get a public adjuster and to have him work on it because there has to be good people in all states. It’s a good business.
Interviewer: So how could you let me know that I would be making a good decision hiring one guy over another guy besides references?
John Giordano: I would ask for references. I would contact the State Insurance Department to see if they’ve had any problems with anything like that.
Interviewer: Well, what I’m trying to find out John is if I don’t know about you as a public adjuster and I don’t know if that category exists, and I have a claim, flood today, if I didn’t know about you,
What would you tell me as an insured to watch out for from the insurance company?
Is there anything that you would share with me to say, “Make sure you ask them this,” or “Make sure you get this information,” or “Here’s a checklist of stuff that you should find out from them”? Is there any information that you would give me that would help me not get screwed by the insurance company?
John Giordano: Yes. I would tell you that by asking these questions, that should let you know, yourself that now is not the time to try to be handling something that you don’t know anything about and to try to get a checklist of answers on it’s just not the time to want to practice or learn how to handle an insurance claim against an adjuster who’s being sent out by the insurance company that knows he’s going there to settle this claim.
He already knows. He knows more than you.
So I wouldn’t be settling a claim with someone who knows more than I do about what just happened to me and for the lack of not wanting to hire a public adjuster because it might cost me something.
I think that I’m going to save money and be okay by just meeting with the insurance company adjuster and just telling them everything I know about the claim whether it pertains or doesn’t pertain or whether it’s going to hurt me or help me.
I think it would be more advisable to wait a day to do my due diligence and hire a professional because the insurance company has just sent out a professional to look over their interest and that interest is how much they are going to pay you for the damage you just had under their insurance policy.Mr. John Giordano
Interviewer: So in the situations you’ve had before for the 39 years, there’s always something there that you find, right?
John Giordano: Absolutely.
They’re not coming out there to see how much can I pay these people for the damage they just had...
If they went back to their manager and said, look, I’m going to be a real good adjuster for this company and every time there’s a loss and you send me out there, I’m going to make sure I look through it and find every single area that I can pay these people for the damage that they had that I could relate to being caused by the loss that they just had.
So we could pay them the maximum amount of recovery.
They'd fire them!
Interviewer: Yeah, I hear you. When I told you I searched for what people asked, there was one insurance company. I forget the name of it off the top of my head that everybody seems to have a problem with.
John Giordano: Allstate.
Interviewer: Yeah. Why did that come so quick to your mind?
John Giordano: They’re horrible.
John Giordano: Those are the Good Hands people.
Interviewer: Tell me about them.
John Giordano: The Good Hands people?
Allstate. They don’t want to pay anybody. They don’t even pay attention. A very difficult company. They want to review the damage that you’ve had and put it back for the least amount of money they can come up with. - John Giordano Click To Tweet
Interviewer: Yeah, there are reviews.
John Giordano: Horrible, horrible.
Interviewer: So what do you do?
John Giordano: Well, we document where they’re wrong.
You know, they have a policy and that policy, if you have someone that could be proactive for that, and be aggressive and point out all the areas in that policy that the coverage applies to the damage that has just occurred. But then you’re going to have to prove that damage occurred from that specific loss that they’re calling a claim in on.
Interviewer: So these guys are finding reasons not to pay.
John Giordano: Oh, yes! All the time and for years, as long as I’ve been in business 39 years Allstate does not like to pay.
Interviewer: Who else?
John Giordano: I haven’t found anyone that’s out there saying, “Oh, this is our client. We’re here to help,” and I don’t find that. I find some companies that are less aggressive when you point out and present a claim on the client’s behalf as it pertains to their policy.
I find companies that say OK, you pointed that out and it’s there and I agree.
That’s how we increase settlements, by presenting a claim, pointing things out, making the insurance companies see what we’re presenting relates to their insurance policy as a direct result of the loss. - John Giordano Click To Tweet
Interviewer: So what you’re saying is you know the right questions to ask.
John Giordano: Absolutely.
Interviewer: As a first time homeowner who had a first time loss I don’t even know the right questions to ask.
John Giordano: And if someone said, “Well, can’t you just give me a list of questions that I should ask?” it doesn’t work that way. So you ask the question and then don’t come back with an answer to it. Now, what do you do? Oh, wait a second. He only gave me a question. Let me call him back.
Why don’t you just hire the person that knows what they’re doing? The reason why you don’t hire that person is because you think it’s going to cost you money and that’s just not the case when you use me.