What Adjusters Should Expect To See From Storm-Impacted Solar Power Systems

Article

Policyholders most often report lightning, wind, or hail as the cause of loss for solar panels included in claims. Of the three, only one remained as a top cause of loss after a comprehensive damage assessment – wind. Better understand the impacts wind can have on solar panels, and why other weather-related elements are less likely to damage the functionality of this complex equipment. Solar Panels Are Built To Withstand Many Hurricane Winds The components used to convert light into...

Read More

6 Questions That Affect Electronics Claims With Water Losses

Article

We’re all taught early in our lives that electronics and liquid don’t mix. In addition to the many safety concerns, water can render electronics inoperable and lead to claims. Before you settle for an unnecessary replacement, there are six questions you or your equipment expert should be able to answer to ensure your resolution is accurate. Question 1: Did the electronic get fully submerged, or partially wet? The amount of water on or in an electronic can affect the scope of damage....

Read More

Electronics Trends Adjusters Need to Know in 2023

Article

StrikeCheck is monitoring the trends we can expect in the consumer electronics industry in 2023. In general, adjusters should be prepared to see next-generation technology included in claims, as well as a likelihood of higher replacement cost in claim settlements. 1. Consumer electronics will cost more in 2023. This is probably the least surprising trend on this list. Inflation is rising in all sectors, but consumer electronics have a more specific reason for price increases. There’s a global shortage of semiconductor chips...

Read More

Freeze Damage to Pool Equipment

Article

Changing weather patterns are leading to record cold winters in many parts of the country, according to the extended forecast of the Farmers’ Almanac. Freezing temperatures can affect outdoor components that most people don’t think about in the winter: pool equipment. Pool pumps, heaters, and filters are vulnerable to freeze damage, particularly when they haven’t been properly prepared and maintained. Neglecting pool maintenance in winter months can lead to equipment failure from freeze damage. Adjusters should know how pool...

Read More

What Perils to Expect from Washer and Dryer Claims

Article

It’s time to air your policyholders’ dirty laundry. Nearly 30 percent of all washers and dryers included in claims last year were non-damaged at the time of StrikeCheck’s assessment and could have led to unnecessary settlements had adjusters not verified cause of loss. As for the other 70 percent, read on to better understand which laundry equipment may be more susceptible to certain perils and why. Failures to Top Load and Front Load Washers

Front load washers and dryers have...

Read More

High vs. Low Voltage Equipment and Why It Matters in Claims

Article

Appliances represented nearly half of all equipment that adjusters assigned StrikeCheck to evaluate last year, beating out consumer electronics as the items most frequently included in claims. Damages to each category were often caused by high voltage surge, and adjusters should know how surge losses to high and low voltage equipment may impact potential settlements. Why Does Surge Damage Occur? To better understand which components are at risk for high voltage surge losses, it’s critical to know what...

Read More

4 Common Generator Perils

Article

Power outages are a common occurrence during hurricane season and after other storms throughout the year, and many homeowners turn to generators while trying to get back to normal. Though generators can be helpful during times of trouble, their failures can lead to insurance claims. Here are the four common generator perils that adjusters should watch out for. 1. High Voltage Surge A standby generator is connected to the home’s or business’ electrical system through an automatic transfer switch,...

Read More

Finding the Correct Cause of Loss in Hot Tub Claims

Article

Many homes in the United States feature outdoor hot tubs, which are a popular resource for recreation, hydrotherapy, and relaxation. Unfortunately, hot tubs are susceptible to perils, including high voltage surge to their electronics, freeze damage during cold winter months, and other weather-related causes of loss. When a hot tub malfunctions, the policyholder may file a claim for an expensive full replacement. Adjusters should know a little about hot tubs, their components, and their losses, before settling these types of...

Read More

Which Electronic Specialty Items Will Have Wind Losses This Hurricane Season?

Article

Not all electronics are safe from wind impacts, which are covered by most standard homeowners insurance policies. These eight electrically powered specialty items are known to sustain wind losses and are often included in claims.

  1. Electrical Systems

Electrical systems could have wires or electrical power poles disturbed by wind.

Electrical systems have multiple components that transfer electricity from the utility provider to a home or business. Strong winds can cause some equipment, such as the electrical power poles, to become...

Read More

How Surge Protection Can Decrease Losses – But Why It Won’t Eliminate Them

Article

High voltage surges affected half the electronics included in claims that adjusters assigned StrikeCheck to evaluate last year, as shown in the CCG IQ 2021 Annual Report. Policyholders and adjusters alike may be looking for ways to decrease that percentage of losses through various types of surge protection, including those using smart technology. It’s critical to understand what different types of surge protectors exist – and why they won’t prevent all electrical surges. Why Are Surges So Prevalent? ...

Read More

Claims Leakage Reduction Strategy: Susceptible Electronics to Watch Out For

Article

Carriers are continually strategizing how to fight back against the growing difference between what they spent and what they should have spent on a claim. Claims leakage cost carriers more than $30 billion annually and accounted for 5 – 10% of all claims paid, according to a 2019 article by Hyland Software Inc. In the years since, that number may have even gotten worse because of claims related to COVID-19 and extreme weather events.

Property claims settlements...

Read More

How Electronics Trends Could Affect Property Claims in 2022

Article

Insurance professionals and policyholders have likely noticed an increase in technology advancements, the number of people working remotely, and the amount of extreme weather that took place in 2020 and 2021. While policyholders have already felt consequences from these, the impacts specific to electronics claims are likely to continue in the coming year. More Consumer Electronics Use Means More Wear and Tear Nearly 1 in 4 Americans have been working remotely or in a hybrid setting because of the...

Read More

What to Consider Before Settling Smoke and Fire Claims with Consumer Electronics

Article

Nearly 1.3 million fires occurred in the United States in 2019, according to the latest report from the U.S. Fire Administration. More than likely, each resulted in an insurance claim. However, adjusters should take heed that not everything included in a fire and smoke claim will have sustained damage or have damages from a covered loss – and if they do, they do not all need to be replaced. Claimed consumer electronics with reported smoke and fire damages...

Read More

Electrical Service Panel Risks in Property Claims

Article

The following article on “Electrical service panel risks in property claims,” written by Jay Dykstra of HVACi and StrikeCheck, was originally published on Property Casualty 360. Policyholders may be quick to file claims seeking settlements for replacements of faulty electronics or flickering lights, particularly after hurricanes, floods and windstorms. In reality, the problem may be within the electrical service panel. Damages to service panels could have major impacts on your policyholders, including causing business...

Read More

How Desktop Reviews Support Accurate Claims Settlements

Article

Even claims that seem cut and dry with an obvious cause of loss and scope of damage can increase a carrier’s claims leakage. This has negative impacts for insurance companies and policyholders. Desktop review services can reduce this risk and ensure claims that don’t require onsite assessments are settled quickly and accurately. Adjusters find them helpful to verify that any necessary replacements and repairs are of Like Kind and Quality (LKQ) and that the settlement is in line with market values...

Read More

Refrigerator Claims: What Adjusters Should Know

Article

When you were a child, did you ever open the refrigerator super-fast to try to find out if the light always stayed on? Unfortunately, handling residential refrigerator claims is typically a much more difficult mystery to solve and requires a lot more thorough investigation.

Handling refrigerator claims is more complex than determining if the light stays on in the fridge, and it often requires expert help.

The following critical information can help adjusters clear up some misconceptions and know what...

Read More

Even Hot Tubs Don’t Like Cold Weather

Article

The following article on “Even hot tubs don't like cold weather,” written by Jay Dykstra of HVACi and StrikeCheck, was originally published on Property Casualty 360. What do toilet paper, hand sanitizer, lumber and hot tubs all have in common? Hot tubs have been included on the list of sought-after items that have seen shortages during the pandemic. Though your policyholders are hoping to extend their outdoor fun throughout the cooler months,...

Read More

Why the Increase in Heat Waves Could Affect Claims

Article

Heat waves have been causing sweltering temperatures globally, including in major cities in the United States. This extreme weather could initiate perils that impact residential and commercial policyholders’ electrically powered equipment and lead to property claims.

Heat waves can have a variety of consequences, including causing droughts that make wildfires more severe. Photo Credit: “Heat wave” by Christelle Prieur /CC 4.0

Heat Waves Cause Perils That Damage Property Heat waves cause more than unfavorable conditions and heat-related illnesses....

Read More

New energy-efficient standard affects pool pumps, but not policyholders…yet

Article

The following article on “New energy-efficient standard affects pool pumps, but not policyholders...yet,” written by Jay Dykstra of HVACi and StrikeCheck, was originally published on Property Casualty 360. A new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regulation recently went into effect that adds efficiency standards to certain dedicated-purpose pool pump (DPPP) motors manufactured or imported to the United States after July 19, 2021. Many manufacturers and distributors have been spreading the word about whether their...

Read More

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters: What the Difference Means for Claims

Article

Policyholders have any one of a variety of water heater types in their homes or businesses. Water heating accounts for 14–18% of utility bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and the average household uses 64 gallons of water daily. Because of their frequency of use and the complexity of the equipment, water heaters are often included in claims. It is important insurance professionals recognize how perils may affect them depending on if they are tankless...

Read More

Advantages of Smart Technology and IoT As Related To Insurance Claims

Article

Smart technology has launched new ways of doing a variety of everyday tasks through phones and other connected devices – and it’s also impacting insurance claims. Photo Credit: “Smart Home” by Gerd Altmann / CC BY 4.0

Policyholders who have embraced smart technology can walk into their homes, disarm security, and have their lights, thermostat, music, and appliances each already on desired settings – all activated by their voice, phone, or other connected device. The internet of things (IoT), the...

Read More

Top 5 Categories of Electrically Powered Items Prone to Claims Leakage

Article

Any electrically powered item increases a carrier’s risk for indemnity leakage, considering policyholders may have claimed equipment in proper working condition or that was damaged by a non-covered peril. Some electronics and specialty item categories also have large differences between the average repair costs and the full replacement price, making it critical adjusters pay particular attention to these claims. The StrikeCheck team analyzed the data from all the damage assessments that adjusters assigned them over the past year....

Read More

5 Achievable New Year’s Resolutions for Adjusters

Article

The beginning of a new year offers promise of a fresh start and the opportunity to make positive changes in your work and personal life. There’s usually that one about eating healthier – until you find yourself munching on cookies for dinner or giving up mid-February because you haven’t stuck with it. Don't start the new year with seemingly unfeasible expectations – at least not without a plan of action. We’ve created a list of 5 achievable New Year’s resolutions for...

Read More

Bah Humbug: Ways Holiday Decorations Can Be the Cause and Subject of Property Insurance Claims

Article

On the first day of Christmas my insureds gave to me, claims caused by a holiday tree. Those lyrics probably won’t catch on for the classic tune, but it’s a song a lot of adjusters will be able to sing at the end of the year. Holiday decorations increase the risk for new claims from a variety of different damages, some of which are covered by residential and commercial insurance policies. Adjusters can prepare for the influx by knowing which insurance-related perils...

Read More

6 Questions to Ask Before Settling Electronics Claims: A Practical Guide to Accurate Settlements

Article

Claims with electronics and other electrically powered items can be difficult to settle because such a variety of items falls into that category – from appliances to office equipment, generators to pool pumps. Here are some questions adjusters should ask themselves to know if they may need support to ensure these types of claims are settled quickly and accurately. 1. Are You Familiar With How the Equipment Works or What Damages Are Common For It? Policyholders use hundreds of different electronics...

Read More

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

Article

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...

Read More

Regulations Impact How Your Policyholders Replace Appliances

Article

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...

Read More

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

Article

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...

Read More

Adjuster Strategies for Tackling Well Pump Claims

Article

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...

Read More

How Lightning’s Location and Intensity Can Impact Your Claims

Article

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...

Read More

How to Keep Common Lightning, Surge Damages Out of Claims

Article

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...

Read More

Extreme Weather Most Likely to Impact Future Claims

Article

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...

Read More

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

Article

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...

Read More

Smart Adjusters Use These Tricks to Make Their Policyholders Happy

Article

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...

Read More

Shedding Light on Risks Involving Solar Power

Article

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...

Read More

6 Items Prone to Claims Leakage You Should Watch Out For

Article

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...

Read More

Voltage Irregularities Could Strike Out Lightning Claims

Article

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...

Read More

HVACi Releases 2020 Annual Claims Report

Article

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...

Read More

Hazardous Energy: Tips for Generator Safety

Article

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...

Read More

The Additional Damages You May See in Failed Water Heater Claims

Article

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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

Article

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...

Read More

What Causes a Water Heater to Leak or Rupture?

Article

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...

Read More

What Causes Water Heater Failure?

Article

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...

Read More

Washer and Dryer Claims 101

Article

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...

Read More

Handling Tankless Water Heater Claims

Article

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...

Read More

Surge and Lightning Damage to Electronics

Article

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...

Read More

Solar Energy Systems

Article

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,...

Read More

Leading Causes of Refrigerator Damage

Article

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...

Read More

Handling Electrical Wiring Damage Claims

Article

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...

Read More

Back to top