Posts Tagged ‘pennsylvania public adjuster’

Keeping A Claim Diary

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

If you have a small claim, you may not ever really need a claim diary. Good note taking and an organized file can help keep facts straight, document phone calls, hold important correspondence and policy information, and whatever repairs need to be made. However, if you have a large loss, you will want to keep a notebook or diary to help you through the claims process. If you hire a professional such as a Public Adjuster or Contractor, this can also help them in assisting YOU.

Facts surrounding the loss are obvious notes to include in your diary. You will want to have all your information handy and in one spot. Policy numbers, phone numbers for your agent and claims adjuster, fax numbers for submitting documents, email addresses, your declaration page..these are all important to include. A binder is a great option and will help keep you organized.

As you move through the claims process, you may need estimates for repair from more than one contractor. Keep these together along with contact information in your binder so that they are easy to find.

If contents or personal property needs to be addressed, you will be asked for an inventory list. You will want to maintain a section strictly for this purpose and you may want to get yourself a small pocket note pad to keep on you when you are out. Often you will remember items you had while you are out shopping or attending to daily life and it is always best to do it “on the spot” rather than waiting until later. Enlist the help of family and friends who may have photos from holidays and time spent at your home. This can also jog your memory when attempting to create your list. Credit card companies may have statements that can also provide assistance.

If you have been displaced and are staying at a hotel or a friend’s or family member’s home, you need to keep track of your expenses. Food, clothing purchases, toiletries purchased..keep all receipts in your binder and document them!

I have had many clients who have forgotten to get a receipt here and there, or have not documented items properly and it creates a lot more work and costs time to try to catch up later. Don’t overlook the small stuff!

It is easy to become overwhelmed and large losses are stressful, but good record keeping will assist you and, if you hire one, your Public Adjuster to get you to settlement a little more easily.

If you have any questions concerning a claim, you can always reach out to me by phone at 570-730-8607, or by email at michelle@michellemurphypublicadjuster.com. I service Northeastern Pennsylvania which includes Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Poconos, the Slate Belt, Lehigh Valley and areas further south toward Philadelphia.

Find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Michelle-Murphy-Public-Adjuster-186668698043821/

On Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellelmurphy

On Twitter https://twitter.com/ClaimHelp4You

Puffbacks

Monday, December 7th, 2015

A Puffback is a misfire in your furnace that can send soot throughout your home. Puffbacks occur most often in winter and can cause a light coating to a heavy amount of soot throughout your home. Forced air systems “push” the soot causing a more substantial coating.

It is very important to have your system serviced annually in the fall. This proves maintenance should you have an insurance claim due to Puffback. Have your service provider write a report to detail the cause of the misfire and the parts that needed to be replaced. Keep the parts! This is important because failure to provide the parts for inspection can set you up for denial of a claim.

Take a deep breath, Puffbacks can cause a foul odor in your home. Exterior walls may show nail pops more clearly. Ceilings may have visible “stripes”. The coldest parts of your home will show soot more clearly. Check around the returns and registers for soot. You may also see “dark cobwebs”, which aren’t cobwebs at all, they are smoke webs and are black!

Public Adjusters use what is called a “chemical sponge”, also known as a soot smoke eraser sponge, to find soot in your home. Don’t let the name “chemical sponge” scare you! There are no chemicals in the sponge! It is highly porous and captures soot in the sponge when swiped properly over a surface.

Soot is very acidic and damaging, especially to textiles such as upholstered furniture, drapes, clothing, etc. Exposed food will need to be discarded, but be sure to photograph it and document it beforehand. Service professionals may be needed to handle the cleaning if there is heavy soot or if the loss is large. It is very important to handle these types of losses properly so you aren’t breathing in soot and you may need to stay somewhere else temporarily if the Puffback is bad enough.

I hope this information has helped shed some light on what a Puffback is and how to spot soot damage. If you or someone you know has experienced a loss due to Puffback, know that it is your right to talk to and/or hire a Public Adjuster.

July 4th Fires

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Fires are more prevalent during winter months, but around July 4th we see another spike of fire related claims. Summer fires are typically caused by fireworks, lightning strikes, open flame and dry vegetation, but also may occur due to suspicious activity. More fires are reported July 4th than any other day during the year.

Fires from suspicious activity, fireworks, lightning and dry vegetation are pretty self explanatory. Open flame includes fires started by torches, matches, lighters, candles, campfires, bonfires, warning flares, rubbish fires, open trash burners, outdoor fireplaces, hot embers, ashes, and rekindles. This term does not apply to those caused by suspicious activity, cooking, appliances, smoking or children playing with fire.

There are some basic safety tips you can follow to help prevent fires in your home, but for this article I will specifically address indoor and outdoor cooking. First, I’ve said it many times but it bears repeating: You must have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and you must know how to use it!  When you are cooking do not wear loose clothing. You also want to keep kitchen towels, sponges, paper towels and potholders away from your stove.  Other items that could catch fire are food packaging, wooden utensils and curtains. Be sure your stove is plugged directly into the outlet. Never use an extension cord for your appliances. Oils are highly flammable. If you are cooking and your pan catches fire put a lid on it immediately. It is a good idea to keep a lid nearby with an oven mitt just in case. Once the lid is on, turn off the heat and do not uncover until the pan has cooled completely. Likewise if your oven catches fire, turn off the heat and do not open. Let the oven cool down completely before you open it. The most important tip here is to know when to get out of the house. It is always better to be safe and call for help if a fire doesn’t seem manageable. Things can be replaced, people can’t.

If cooking outdoors, take proper precautions to have a water source handy such as a hose in case the fire escapes containment.  You want to keep anything flammable away from hot coals or the grill burners and keep your grill far enough away from your home to prevent melting of siding and/or fire. Also, keep your grill away from fences, sheds, deck railings and out from under eaves. The grill should be on a flat service and always inspected to ensure it is in good working condition. Keep children and pets away from the outdoor cooking area. Do not wear loose clothing while cooking on the grill and never leave the grill unattended. When you have finished cooking, dispose of spent coals properly, but make sure they are cool first. For gas grills, be sure to close the gas tank.

Suffering property loss from a fire can be overwhelming and stressful to say the least. Whether it is a localized fire or a total loss, always remember that there is someone here to help you get through the claims process. My role as a Public Adjuster is to take the burden off you and process the claim on your behalf. We meet with your insurance adjuster, document the scope of the damage, inventory your personal belongings and fight for a settlement that is fair and within the limits of your policy. We’re with you every step of the way to help you so that you can get back to what is important..living your life. If you have any questions about a claim in process or a new claim, reach out to me direct at 570-730-8607 or by email at michelle@michellemurphypublicadjuster.com.

Your Grill Can Ruin Your Day And Your Siding: How a Public Adjuster Can Help!

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Happy Spring everyone! With such lovely temperatures a lot of homeowners are pulling out lawn furniture from storage. The star attraction of any beautiful sunny day is a cookout featuring The Grill. Whether you prefer gas or charcoal, you really want to think about the placement of your grill while in use and during cool-down especially if you have vinyl siding. If you have painted metal siding you also want to be cautious as temperatures and smoke can damage your finish.

Did you know that damaged siding from your grill could be a covered claim? If you have an all risk policy, you are covered for everything unless it is specifically excluded, and that includes melted siding from your grill. However, before you runt o file a claim, you want to know your deductible. You will also want to have the damage assessed. A Public Adjuster can take a look at your damage at no out of pocket cost to you. A Public Adjuster will let you know whether it is a good idea to file a claim or not.  I know most people just read that statement and they’re thinking, “if I have damage, shouldn’t I file a claim?” The answer is maybe. Many factors come into play in a scenario like this. How much siding is affected? Is there scorched decking? Is the siding type available? Is the color available? Are there any “breaks”? Do you have prior claim history? If all this has you scratching your head, you are not alone! A Public Adjuster can answer these questions and give you the information you will need to make an informed decision.

If you find yourself with any claims questions, whether from this type of cause of loss or any other, please remember I am here to help you. I am Michelle Murphy, licensed and bonded Public Adjuster in the State of Pennsylvania. I have been working in this industry for four years in the Pocono, Slate Belt and Lehigh Valley regions. I am pleased to be a part of one of the largest companies in Pennsylvania, Citizens Public Adjusters, and look forward to helping you with your claim. Feel free to call me at 570-730-8607 if you have any questions concerning damage to your home or business.  Come visit me and “Like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michelle-Murphy-Public-Adjuster/186668698043821