Top Facts to Know About Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors for Insurance Claims

Various insurance carriers require or incentivize policyholders to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes or businesses as these devices could mean a matter of life or death. In some cases, damaged detectors could invalidate a policy or reduce a settlement if a fire were to occur. It’s important adjusters handle claims with smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors as accurately as possible and reiterate to policyholders how vital it is that they work properly. Ensure Your Policyholders Put...

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Regulations Impact How Your Policyholders Replace Appliances

One final voltage surge sends a water heater sizzling to disrepair, leaving the policyholder with a cold shower and a decision on next steps. If the insurance claim assessment recommends replacing the appliance rather than trying to repair it, a policyholder may have to follow federal or state regulations about what to buy. Both federal and local agencies have increased efforts to improve energy efficiency to reduce gas emissions and protect the environment. These endeavors include legislation that requires manufacturers to...

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Top 5 Characteristics of A Great Subject Matter Expert for Electronics Claims

Subject matter experts should know so much about a topic that people look to them as the go-to authority on it. You may be a subject matter expert on claims adjusting and insurance best practices. That doesn’t necessarily make you a specialist on electronics and specialty equipment. It’s important adjusters like you partner with someone who is an expert in assessing these items when they appear in the claims you’re settling. Here are 5 characteristics of a subject matter expert that...

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Adjuster Strategies for Tackling Well Pump Claims

The following article on “Adjuster strategies for tackling well pump claims,” written by Jay Dykstra of HVACi and StrikeCheck, was originally published on Property Casualty 360.

Several factors determine what type of well pump a policyholder requires, but it usually depends on the depth of the water supply and the gallons needed per hour. Pictured here are a submersible pump and tanks.

Your policyholders require a steady water supply inside their...

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How Lightning’s Location and Intensity Can Impact Your Claims

In 2019, 62% of claims assigned to StrikeCheck had lightning as the stated peril, making it the most frequently claimed cause of loss, according to the 2020 StrikeCheck Annual Claims Report. To recognize why lightning might appear so much in property and casualty insurance claims and why it’s important to verify if it occurred at the time of loss, adjusters should understand how lightning forms, different types of lightning, and where it’s most likely to happen. What...

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How to Keep Common Lightning, Surge Damages Out of Claims

The following article on “How to keep common lightning, surge damages out of claims,” written by Jay Dykstra of HVACi and StrikeCheck, was originally published on Property Casualty 360.

Electrically powered equipment is prone to lightning damage if a surge enters the electrical system. Lightning can travel from the utility power line to the electrical panel and through the home’s wiring to the outlets. Anything plugged into or connected to...

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Extreme Weather Most Likely to Impact Future Claims

Extreme weather shifts have been documented in the United States in recent years that have affected insurance policyholders throughout the country. The U.S. Global Change Research Program, a federal program that coordinates funding and research related to factors influencing the global environment, completed a national assessment in 2014 that states these changes have included “excessively high temperatures, heavy downpours, and in some regions, severe floods and droughts.” It’s important insurance personnel take note of how the...

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The Show Must Go On! How to Settle Insurance Claims Related to Home Theater Equipment

The sounds envelop them as the on-screen action plays out, making them feel as though they are living in the moment. Some of your policyholders are looking for that movie theater experience at home with large-screen televisions and surround sound, plus thousands of films and shows to choose from thanks to cable, DVDs, and streaming programs. But the customizable home theater equipment that makes this possible is often included in property claims, which tasks adjusters handling them to...

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Smart Adjusters Use These Tricks to Make Their Policyholders Happy

Filing an insurance claim may be stressful for the policyholder, particularly because it means that person has already had a frustrating incident take place. The claims process is a make or break time for you to demonstrate why your client has made the right choice in selecting an insurance carrier. Here’s how to make them, and keep them, happy while working with you.

Show your policyholders they are important by maintaining open lines of communication. (Photo Credit: “Office” by...

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Shedding Light on Risks Involving Solar Power

The following article on "Shedding light on risks involving solar power," written by Jay Dykstra of HVACi and StrikeCheck, was originally published on Property Casualty 360.

Solar panels comprise multiple photovoltaic cells, which are the foundation for producing solar power. A collection of panels is called an array.

From illuminating traffic signals, lighting up homes and businesses to supplementing the electric grid, the uses and popularity of...

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6 Items Prone to Claims Leakage You Should Watch Out For

After receiving a policyholder’s estimate, thousands of adjusters turned to StrikeCheck’s objective service last year for our assessment of what it would take to return electronics to pre-loss condition. StrikeCheck evaluated nearly 450 different types of electronic and specialty items from more than 2,100 brands in 2019. In some circumstances, our recommendations may have avoided thousands of dollars in potential claims leakage. After analyzing the 2019 data from many thousands of claims, we’ve noticed six items prone to claim leakage.

  1. Electrical...

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Voltage Irregularities Could Strike Out Lightning Claims

All too often claims cross your desk stating electrical equipment was struck by lightning. In fact, according to the StrikeCheck 2020 Annual Claims report, lightning was the most frequently claimed cause of loss in 2019; however, after a thorough investigation, 68 percent of electrical equipment was found to be damaged by an internal or external high voltage surge. Although most of the time electric consumption is steady, voltage irregularities happen more often than people would imagine, and...

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StrikeCheck Releases 2020 Annual Claims Report

Data on 2019 Claim Trends Gives Carriers an Opportunity to Better Understand Risk and Exposure StrikeCheck’s 2020 Annual Claims Report offers valuable insights on claim trends CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, February 26, 2020 – StrikeCheck, the leading provider of electronics damage assessments for Property & Casualty insurance carriers nationwide, announced the release of its 2020 Annual Claims Report today. The report features statistics that can help carriers make data-driven decisions and highlights areas where they can improve claim leakage control. The 2020 Annual...

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HVACi Releases 2020 Annual Claims Report

Carriers Have Opportunity to Uncover Hidden Risks and Potential Claims Leakage to Better Understand Their Business HVACi’s 2020 Annual Claims Report provides carriers with data on thousands of actual claims CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, February 12, 2020 – HVAC Investigators (HVACi), the nation’s leading provider of HVAC Refrigeration damage assessments for Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance carriers, announced the release of its 2020 Annual Claims Report today. The report provides an analysis of actual 2019 claim data and offers carriers compelling insights into...

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Hazardous Energy: Tips for Generator Safety

In 2017, Hurricane Irma left more than 60% of Floridians without power in the days following landfall. The disaster meant more than a loss of power for them, however. The storm destroyed millions of dollars’ worth of property, and people couldn’t even begin to rebuild or return to normal life during the blackout. While every power outage may not be this extreme, even a few hours without electricity can cause disruptions. As a result, generators — both portable and standby...

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The Additional Damages You May See in Failed Water Heater Claims

When a water heater fails, the cost of restoring the insured to pre-loss condition varies wildly. Repairs could cost as little as $50 or a replacement could cost over $1000. The cost of a failed water heater, however, does not end with the water heater itself. Whether the water leaks in a slow dribble or pours out in a sudden burst, the area around it is susceptible to water damage with varying results. Within minutes, the water begins to spread, causing...

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Water Damage to Electrically Powered Items

Water damage can occur year round from a variety sources, and is therefore one of the most frequently claimed property insurance perils. Regardless of the source, 1 in 50 homes files a water damage claim each year (III), and 37% of all homeowners claim to have suffered water damage (Water Smart). Because water damage is so prevalent, it is important for adjusters to...

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4 Things to Know About Power Surge Damage From Hurricane Force Winds

The following article on “4 things to know about power surge damage from hurricane-force winds”, written by Reza Nikrooz of StrikeCheck, was originally published on Property Casualty 360.

Hurricane-force winds can cause significant structural damage and can knock out power lines, potentially causing surge damage in unprotected electronics and appliances when electricity is ultimately restored. With Hurricane Irma having left more than 8 million Florida and Georgia residents in the dark and Hurricane...

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What Causes a Water Heater to Leak or Rupture?

The following article on “What causes a water heater to leak or rupture?”, written by Reza Nikrooz of StrikeCheck, originally appeared in the Technical Notebook Column of Claims Magazine and was also published on Property Casualty 360 As many adjusters know, water heater failure often leads to significant property damage. Water heaters have an average lifespan of 10–20 years, but that can be significantly reduced without proper routine maintenance—substantially increasing the risk of failure. According...

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What Causes Water Heater Failure?

Water heaters are an integral part of any residential or commercial property. The US Department of Energy estimates that there are 103 million residential water heaters in service. With the average lifespan of a residential water heater between 10 and 20 years, more than 25% of the water heaters in service are nearing the end of their useful life at any given point in time. Water heater failure can cause significant damage to the home, particularly if...

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Washer and Dryer Claims 101

Washer and dryer damage claims are often difficult due to their complexity of operation and the myriad of components that they contain. According to the US Census Bureau, over 85% of homes in the United States have a washing machine. The sheer prevalence of the equipment combined with their complexity can add up to a headache for property adjusters nationwide. Because many components in both washers and dryers require regular maintenance, there are many opportunities for these appliances to fail. It...

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Handling Tankless Water Heater Claims

Tankless water heaters are becoming a progressively more popular alternative to traditional tank-style water heaters. According to Research and Markets, the global tankless water heater market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 7% between 2018 and 2022. This is no surprise, as this style of water heater is increasingly attractive to homeowners. Not only are they more energy efficient than their tank-style counterparts, but they also have a longer lifespan, some...

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Surge and Lightning Damage to Electronics

Surge and lightning damage to electronics is a frequent occurrence, particularly in the summer months. A recent analysis of 2016 homeowner’s insurance claims by Insurance Information Institute revealed that over $825 million was paid on more than 100,000 lightning claims. This represents a near 10% increase in the number of lightning claims filed in 2016 over 2015, though it is still below the 10-year average. Perhaps more significant for insurance carriers is the fact that the average cost per...

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Solar Energy Systems

Solar energy is a booming industry in the United States. According to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the solar energy industry has grown more than 60% annually since 2006, in part because of both the decrease in the cost to install solar equipment and the Solar Investment Tax Credit. 2016 was the largest growth year of the solar energy market on record. Currently, more than 42 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity is installed in the United States,...

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Leading Causes of Refrigerator Damage

Hardworking refrigerators are often taken for granted. They run constantly and are arguably the home’s most important appliance. Often, we don’t think about what causes refrigerator damage until it’s too late. As many adjusters know, a damaged refrigerator can quickly become a headache, since damage to this common appliance can require a lot of complex research. You need to know whether or not the refrigerator can be repaired, and you need to establish food-spoilage coverage and estimate total claim costs. Frequency...

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Handling Electrical Wiring Damage Claims

Claims involving damaged electrical wiring can cross an adjuster’s desk for a number of reasons. Whether your insured claims that the wiring was damaged from a high heat event (such as a lightning strike or a fire) or improperly installed electrical wiring led to a fire within the structure, it is important to determine what caused the damage and what steps need to be taken to return the insured to pre-loss condition. However, determining exactly what testing is required to evaluate...

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Handling Standby Generator Claims

The number of power outages in the United States have increased significantly over the past decade due to severe weather, heightened demand on the electrical grid, and outdated electrical infrastructure. This has led many home-and business owners to purchase backup generators to provide power in the case of an outage. In fact, over 18% of single-family homes now own a standby generator, according to the US Census Bureau. The addition of a standby generator can be beneficial to...

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Electrical Panel Claim Information

Electrical panels are an essential part of any property, whether residential or commercial, and claim expenses for electrical panel damage can compound quickly. If a loss occurs and the panel is damaged, insurance carriers may incur additional living expenses or loss of business expenses. Moreover, damages to the electrical service panel or wiring can potentially lead to a fire. Between 2009 and 2011, an estimated 25,900 electrical fires occurred in residential properties and resulted in over $1 billion in property...

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Handling Dishwasher Claims Accurately

While we haven’t made it to the high-tech dishwasher age of The Jetsons, dishwashers are still a common appliance likely to show up in a property claim. Dishwashers are considered more of a luxury appliance than the essential refrigerator and range. Nevertheless, nearly 60% of American homes have a dishwasher (CNN Money), making it important for adjusters to know what to look for when a claim includes a damaged dishwasher. Type of Dishwasher There are four types of dishwashers...

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Smart Home Devices and Insurance – How Loss Prevention and Risk Analysis Come Together

From Amazon’s Echo to Samsung’s smart refrigerators, smart home components are everywhere, and these technological marvels are allowing consumers to gain more control than ever over their home environment. Some industry analysts expect that by 2021, most homes in North America will have at least one type of smart component. Considering this anticipated increase in adoption, insurers need to take a closer look at how this technology affects their business and claims processes. Why Smart Technology Matters to Insurers Smart...

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Power Surge Claims – What All Adjusters Should Know

Power surges – as consumers we all know that it is crucial to protect your computer and entertainment systems from power surges, but how much do you know about what causes them and how to protect your equipment? With the increasing number of electronics that are used in a home or business, knowing what causes this damage and how to prevent becomes more prevalent by the day. High voltage surge damage occurs frequently, and the subsequent claims can keep any adjuster...

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