Most insurance policies (i.e. condominium owners; renters; single family residence) contain certain limits of coverage for personal property. Generally, personal property is referred to furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry or any other items that are not permanently attached to the structure. The personal property limits may be increased based on the amount of valuables that the policyholder has. Additional premium may be charged by the insurance company if increase of personal property coverage limits is requested. For example, some antique jewelry or furniture may need to be specifically listed (scheduled) in the policy to be properly covered in the event of a loss. It is very important to keep a proper inventory list of personal property with additional supporting documents in a safe location (i.e. a safe deposit box). The additional supporting documents may include the receipts, invoices, appraisal documents or any other document that can confirm the value of the specific personal property. Personal property damage can occur due to theft, vandalism, fire, flooding or any other sudden or unexpected event. In the event of a loss, the personal property damage claims may be extremely difficult to process without proper documentation and supporting information.
Some personal property damage that occurred due to flooding or fire may be qualified as salvageable or non-salvageable (depending on the condition of damaged personal property). The personal property damage that occurred due to theft is mainly qualified as non-salvageable assuming that the personal property has not been found. Personal property damage claims mainly occur in homes or personal residences.
If the insured or the insurance company do not agree on the property damage loss amount, an appraisal clause may be invoked under the policy terms and conditions.
“Most standard policies contain an appraisal provision, which can be helpful in the event that you do not agree with your company on the amount of loss. Read your policy to see if it contains one. Under this provision, either of you can demand an appraisal. Each party selects a competent appraiser. The appraisers then select an umpire. If the appraisers cannot agree on the amount of loss, their differences are submitted to the umpire. An amount that any two agree upon is binding. Each party pays its appraiser; the umpire fee is shared.” Source: www.insurance.ca.gov
A public adjuster may assist the policyholder in dealing with their insurance company and any other parties who are involved in the claims process.
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