Much of Iowa is reeling to recover from the derecho1 that ripped across the state on Monday, which is being considered one of the nation’s worst weather events in 20202. As of today, 25 Iowa counties have received disaster declarations by Governor Reynolds. Public adjusters throughout the state want those struggling through insurance claims to know that help is available.
“Widespread storms like this can severely strain the system and lead to insurance companies falling short of their obligation to provide their customers with prompt and fair claim settlements,” explained Caeden Tinklenberg, CEO of Swift Public Adjusters. “Given this scenario, public adjusters throughout Iowa are stepping-up to meet the needs of those affected by the August 10 windstorm that caused significant damage across a large portion of the state.”
Early estimates suggest that 50,000 insurance claims, 10 million acres of crop damage and billions of dollars in losses can be attributed to the recent derecho. This widespread damage, coupled with damage from hailstorms earlier in the year and a limited workforce due to the effects of COVID-19, is greatly affecting the ability of insurance companies to receive and process claims, assess damage and provide appropriate pay-outs. According to Tinklenberg, this leads to a situation where home and business owners across the state are wondering if their claims will be paid and when.
“Public adjusters represent policyholders to ensure fair and adequate compensation for losses caused by storms and other accidents, like a fire or a pipe burst,” said Tinklenberg. “Public adjusters are licensed, bonded and regulated by the Iowa Insurance Division and are commonly highly trained individuals with backgrounds in construction, estimating or other areas of insurance.”
Although Iowa Administrative Code 191—15.413 regulates how insurance companies must handle claims, catastrophes can flood insurance pipelines and leave homeowners feeling overlooked and overwhelmed. Large-scale storms, like the recent derecho, can also lead to slow or unreturned communications from insurance companies, wrongfully denied or underpaid claims and/or poor claims handling practices, in general.
Handling all aspects of the insurance claim process from filing to settlement, public adjusters charge nothing up front and only collect a fee based on a small percentage of the final settlement. For anyone struggling to file a claim, navigate the red tape and/or receive a fair payout for derecho-related damage, a public adjuster may be able to help.
For more information about public adjusters and the services they can provide, visit the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) at www.napia.com.