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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Public Adjustors, Company Adjustors and Independents - Defined

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Feb 14, 2013 @ 08:52 AM

    Cover your home and learn about public adjustors with homeowners from andrew gordon incWhen you have a claim, an adjuster will help organize and quantify the payment of your claim.  There are different kinds of adjusters though, and it pays to know the difference.

    Once your claim is reported to the insurance company, they may assign their own staff adjusters.  Carriers don’t have incentive programs for adjusters to pay less than what the contract calls for.  They do of course have a supervisor or auditor making sure they are paying market rates, replacing only damaged items; in short, not overpaying.  Their main job is to get contractors paid for repairing your loss and get you reimbursed for your personal property, so they can move on to the next case they’ve been assigned.

    Some companies use independent adjusters.  It is cheaper not to have payroll between storms when things are quiet, so carriers use independents instead of staff, or just when they need to.  Independent adjusters are vetted by the insurance company to make sure they understand what's actually covered by your insurance policy, as well as the building and trades business. They make sure contractors hired to make the repairs are charging a fair market rate for the work done and they are paid a fee by the insurance company for this service.

    After a big weather event with lots of claims, many companies will hire independents to take up the backlog, so a combination approach is common when it's busy.

    Public adjusters serve a different function. They are paid by the customer via a fee calculated off the total amount of the claim. This is good in the sense that their incentive is to collect as much money as possible from the insurance company so you're on the same side of the table.  But you should be cautious when using a public adjuster, too:

    • A public adjuster's fee may run 5%-10% of the gross settlement depending on the claim. If your house sustains $50,000 in damage, 5% will cost you $2,500 and a 10% rate would be $5,000. It can get expensive.  
    • A commonly heard downside is the time it takes to get work done. Inevitably, with a public adjuster there is a lot of negotiation; their job is to push the envelope to get as high a dollar figure as possible to settle your claim. These negotiations inevitably take more time and work may stop with progress toward returning you to your home or car halted.  
    • If you are going to use a pubic adjuster, read the contract carefully before you sign, and never under undue pressure!  Many PA contracts are exclusive to the job, meaning once you sign up they become your only advocate.  Look for a cancellation provision:  many contracts stipulate you can’t fire them until the job is done. If this is the case, there is no accountability mechanism for poor results. 

    Insure your home and learn about indepent or public adjustors with homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc

     

     

      5 Things to Know: Home Insurance  

    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: home, company, insurance, homeowners, public, PA, PAs, adjustors, independent

    The Biggest Insurance Discount: Bundling Your Policies Together

    Posted by Val Feeney

    Wed, Feb 06, 2013 @ 09:04 AM

    Trying to save money on your insurance?

    Bundle your home insurance for discounts with andrew gordon inc
    Bundle your car insurance for discounts with andrew gordon inc
    Bundle your life insurance for discounts with andrew gordon inc

    The best way to lower your insurance costs is by placing both your home & auto policies with the same insurance company. Insurance companies offer “multi-line” discounts of up to 20% to attract the customers who will place more than one policy with them. These discounts allow the insurance company to charge significantly less for your home & auto together than compared to insuring the policies separately at more than one company.   

    Chances are, when you bought your first auto policy, you used the same insurance company as your parents or siblings. You may have since changed it to another insurance company through a savings offer, but have never made a conscious decision to choose one company over another. 

    The same scenario is common among homeowners. When buying a home, the first time buyer often gets insurance through whichever company the bank or broker recommends, or uses the same as their parents or friends.  But rates are different for different kinds of homes.  Since the insurance is often paid through the mortgage after the first year, the new homeowner never shops for better insurance options after the initial purchase.  The insurance market is so dynamic, it's really valuable to have your agent shop your program periodically.  Id if they aren't bundling the home and the auto, you may be leaving money on the table.

    The customer has separate insurance policies, each with a different company, resulting in three separate insurance bills each month. This is a sure fire way to pay the most for insurance. 

    Today insurance companies use multi-tiered rating algorithms with all kinds of separate charges and credits for particular variables to achieve unique rates for every customer.   (For more on the math behind insurance company rating, see our separate blog).

    But for most people the biggest single discount is the "account discount" when the home (or apartment insurance) is bundled with auto insurance.  Credits apply both ways, meaning these credits lower the cost of BOTH the auto insurance and the homeowners insurance.

    One exception to this general rule of thumb is for homes near the coast.  Coastal home insurance carries all kinds of unique challenges (which we are quite familiar with and capable of addressing), but these variables may be the only time when home-plus-auto discounts don't trump everything else.

    Naturally you don't want to miss other discounts either; see our separate articles on auto insurance and homeowners discounts.

    Contact us here at Gordon Insurance, or talk to your own local independent agent today to have your home, auto, and life insurance quoted together with several companies. This will give you the chance to review your options, which will most likely be significantly lower in cost.  Also, if a life altering event takes place and you need to use the insurance, the claim process will be simplified with only one insurance company in the mix.

    If you would like us to shop for policies for you, click the buttons below. Or simply contact us.

    Top 10 Things to Know about Homeowner's Insurance

    Auto Quote Home Quote Life Quote

    Val Feeney

    Tags: home, auto, company, policy, account, bundle, bundling, policies, same, insurance, discounts

    What Do I Need to Know About Insurance? 5 Things

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Sep 10, 2012 @ 04:55 PM

    Insurance can be puzzling- the more you know, the better. As surprising as this may sound, insurance is not entirely about the price. Thus, we’ve created a list of things-to-know about insurance for your convenience.

    Learn everything you need to know about home auto life business insurance andrew gordon inc norwell ma

    1. Amount of coverage

    What do you want to protect? That’s the overall question for deciding the amount of coverage you need.  The best advice we can offer you is for you to think about all the things that could potentially happen. Or consult a professional agent who will ask lots of questions to uncover areas you need to pay special attention.  Although you might want to push these thoughts to the side (i.e. “that could never happen to me!”), someone has to think of these situations. Nobody plans for a car accident or a guest being injured at his/her house, yet these sorts of things happen all the time.  A good way to cover a lot of these is by running down a prepared list such as this checklist for your homeowners insurance.

    2. Risk level

    The amount of risk you take sometimes depends on one aspect of your life: money. If you have available money, then choosing a policy with high deductibles is probably the best option for you. Remember, “Insure only what you can’t afford to lose.”

    Obviously, this part of our list is also going to discuss risk. Some policies cover more than other policies do, so be informed on what risks you can afford to take, as well as what is the cost of transferring that risk (via insurance)? An example of this is would be a dog with a biting history. The only company that will offer coverage after a dog has bitten someone (resulting in an insurance claim) is the Massachusetts Fair Plan (MPIUA). But they might do so with a $25,000 limit of liability for dog bites. So you have to ask, is the dog worth that much to me that if he/she bites someone and it results in a $100,000 claim (we’ve had one here that exceeded that, and not even from a dog ‘on the list’), are you prepared to pony up the next $75,000? Make sure you know what is covered on your policy, and be careful with what chances you take where insurance doesn’t go.

    3. Insurance company

    People often assume that the insurance company will be able to handle anything and everything- you should never assume. If the company goes under, or even if the company stays around but has poor finances, then you won’t get what you need. The best way to make sure that your company will be able to provide for you is to check a credit rating agency. We recommend A.M. Best Company for this. Other credit rating agencies include Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s.

    4. Discounts

    Everybody loves saving money; discounts can be available all around you, and you might not even know it!   For a list of most prevalent auto insurance discounts, click our video and list

    Account discounts, where you have two lines or more (such as home and auto), are often the most compelling.

    Always ask your agent questions, he/she is there is serve YOU.  If they are not helpful, just contact us.

    5. When do I need to look at new insurance?

    Certain life changes will cause you to look at new insurance.  These changes include:

    -Starting a new business

    -Buying an additional home

    -Adding a driver to the auto policy

    -Changing jobs (especially if you leave a rich benefits plan for a bare bones benefits employer)

    -Volunteer work (such as serving on the board of a non-profit organization)

    This list just helps prove a very important point: insurance is not only about the price. For a few extra dollars, you can have all sorts of things protected.   Think back to the dog example- imagine how expensive it would be to defend a bad dog bite without insurance! When it comes to insurance, price is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters.

    If you have any questions about insurance, contact us. For quotes, click here. We are dedicated to getting you the best insurance possible for you and your needs. Learn more about personal insurance here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?  

    Tags: home, commercial, auto, company, risk, life, insurance, coverage, discounts, ratings

    Direct Writer VS Independent Insurance Agent

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Nov 29, 2011 @ 04:32 PM

    Know the difference between direct writers and independent insurance agents when purchasing or filing a claim with Andrew Gordon Inc Norwell MAShould you obtain your insurance from a Direct Writer or Independent Agent?

    First, you need to know the difference in order to choose Direct Writer and Independent Agent.

    What is a Direct Writer?

    A direct writer is an insurance company that doesn’t have independent representatives to write their business. Their employees or contracted sub-contractors the only ones who write and service your policy.  Progressive Insurance and Geico Insurance, for example, are direct writers (although Progressive also offers its products through independent agents in some states). As a customer, you call these companies directly and it is their employees who service your policies.  Unlike independent agents who represent multiple companies, the direct writer can only place your business within their own company.  This is sort of like an ice cream shop selling only vanilla ice cream.

    Why use an Independent agent?

    Most independent agents represent multiple companies and will shop your policy to find the best coverage at the best premium. If there is a problem between you, the policy holder, and the insurance company, the independent agent will assist you. Independent agents can review your policies prior to renewal and can remarket (shop) your policies with other companies that may offer better pricing and coverage. Independent agents also can assist, support and advise you during a claim. Many direct companies have claim adjusters that are salaried employees.  Independent agents form a relationship with their clients and policyholders are usually assigned to one customer service representative or have a staff to  assist you personally.

    There are no fees or additional policy costs to using an independent agent.

    As an independent agency, we at Andrew G. Gordon Insurance are here to assist you and provide you with superior service! Check us out for great insurance resources, or to get a quote today. Learn more about personal insurance here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?  

    Tags: company, policy, insurance, claim, premium, holder, independent agent, direct, writer, progressive, geico

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