Professional Loss Adjusters is licensed in 19 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our storm teams are ready to go as soon as it’s safe to enter an area after a hurricane has struck. The 2017 season brought Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in quick succession. PLA mobilized teams to Texas, Florida and the USVI to help hurricane victims assess the damage to their property, start the claims process and help them work on becoming whole again as soon as possible.
“I’m extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish for our clients,” said Len Theran, PLA’s President and resident Business Interruption expert. “With three teams deployed simultaneously in three locations, PLA was actively working to help people and businesses recover from some of the most devastating storm damage we’ve ever seen.”
Our team in the USVI handled claims on all three islands. We had one group traveling between St. Croix and St. Thomas while another virtually camped out on St. John, living without running water or electricity for months while working side-by-side with residents and business owners to help get them back on their feet.
After a natural disaster strikes, insurance companies often change their coverage on policies. What was once covered may be no longer. It behooves you to review your policies with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage. And, policy changes made within 30 days of a natural disaster will often not be covered. As we enter the 2019 hurricane season, it is important for you to check your policy against current insurance company changes in your geographic area to mitigate your risk. Additionally, deductibles change yearly. Again, check with your insurance agent to ensure you have adequate coverage for your individual needs.
PLA’s Michael Salvi led the Texas storm team after Hurricane Harvey. “What sets us apart from other public adjusting companies is we have our own proprietary process that we’ve used and refined over the years. We also have a great team of experienced people who have done this many times before. We are used to working together. Everyone knows their role, so it’s easy for us to move quickly to help the people whose lives have been upended by these disasters. We have staff and associates dedicated to our purpose. Our building and contents estimators are in-house, so we aren’t waiting for someone else’s schedule to open up to be able to initiate the claim.”
Florida Team Leader Michael Creed noted, “Once our team deploys to an area, we stay there until our estimates are completed. We establish a base of operations and begin the long and tedious adjustment process. In most instances, we are the Insured’s only calming force in what can be a tumultuous process. Multiple insurance adjusters, damage to infrastructure and the general chaos and confusion that comes with a natural disaster can prevent the claims process from moving ahead at full speed. We enable the insured to begin the process of putting their lives and property back together so they can move forward. We deal with getting the adjusters to the property and we help our clients secure their properties from further damage, thus allowing the insured to concentrate on rebuilding.”
Insurance companies are under tremendous pressure to settle storm claims as soon as possible. They employ “Storm Troopers,” also known as Cat (Catastrophe) Adjusters. Each individual is usually assigned 90 claims TO START with per storm. That number quickly increases so that a single Cat Adjuster is often handling hundreds of claims at once. Each adjuster can only write to a specific dollar limit. The name of the game is to get in, write as many claims as possible and get out just as quickly. As the remediation process unfolds, often more damage is revealed. The additional damage will exceed the original adjuster’s authorized limit, resulting in another Cat Adjuster being assigned.
As the property moves from remediation to re-construction, as many as three or four adjusters could be assigned to the same claim, still leaving the Insured without enough money to cover the damages. Bottom line: often the insurance adjuster you first meet after the storm will not ultimately settle your claim. People who hire a public adjuster can be assured of having a single, dedicated professional from beginning to end.
Mike Salvi was a Cat Adjuster for a number of years. “Cat Adjusters do the absolute best they can under extraordinarily difficult working conditions. The problem is they have such a tremendous case load, often unreasonable time restrictions and are further constrained by their authorization limits. I understand what the Cat Adjuster is up against, and we work diligently to request the right adjuster who is capable of handling that claim to ensure the claim goes smoothly for all involved.”