You’ve suffered a severe loss and now face the difficult and time consuming task of proving financial damages to your insurance company who has (or will) assign an adjuster to handle your loss. If an insurance company representative instructed you to “Don’t talk to contractors, restoration services companies or public adjusters”, then you can be certain that your insurance company has a vested interest and wants control of your loss using their own protocols.
Would you go to court without an attorney? Would you go to an IRS audit without a Certified Public Accountant? Then why would anyone ever give control to a company that both writes and interprets its own contract? Does it make any sense for a company holding the check book to pay out on its own contract without having any checks and balances? As the policyholder, you have the opportunity and right to hire professionals to represent your interests before one of the most powerful financial institutions in the nation.
Concordia Claims Managers (CCM), licensed by the California Department of Insurance, are leaders in the complicated world of insurance claims management. Our firm offers a full spectrum of services to the policyholder. We specialize in the determination, measurement, preparation, presentation and agreement of insured losses to buildings, dwellings, business and personal property. We are dedicated to helping the insured obtain the most favorable settlement possible from their insurance company. With our vast resources, broad range of services and our network of experts, you will receive everything to which you are entitled from the insurance contract with your carrier.
We do all this by way of what we call “The Concordia Difference”. These are the things that distinguish our firm from other public adjusting companies. They include services only Concordia Claims Managers provides, as well as things we do differently from our competitors… like our 21-Point Foremost Assurance. Immediately after your loss you were approached by numerous solicitors from various companies, all asking you to hire them for their individual expertise. Many of these solicitors are very good salespeople, saying almost anything you wanted to hear, all in an effort to gain your signature on their contract. Concordia Claims Managers refuses to do that. We're the only Public Adjusting Company or vendor that places (in writing), our commitment to ALL of the many services we offer. Other competitors provide only a verbal promise that they can provide the same services as we do. But a closer look reveals that they simply don’t have the same programs in place. This essential difference is the reason that Concordia Claims Managers has the most comprehensive client recovery program in California.
We start by maintaining a 24/7 hotline for our clients. And while you may not need us at all hours of the day, your need for an answer resonates with our company. This is a most trying time in your life and the focus should be on the recovery of your “normal” life; we want you to resume that as soon as possible. After-hours and early morning calls are routine for us. We'll take your call at any time. Your accessibility to your Sr. Claims Manager is critical and our commitment is there as well.
When you hire us to represent your claim, your Concordia Claims Manager will invite you to our offices for a Client Orientation.
If that’s not convenient for you, we’ll conduct this orientation at a location of your choice, but we would like you to visit our offices and meet the staff who will support you behind the scenes. During this meeting we'll thoroughly explain the claims process: how the Department of Insurance describes it and how it actually works. We’ll explain all the players for both the insurance company and for those you would like to retain and work for you. As in any game, there must be someone who calls the plays – that’s the role of Concordia Claims Managers. We outline your game plan, detailing what do and how we do it on your behalf. If there are coverage issues we'll disclose our plan for protecting your rights within the policy language.
Acting as coach you, the insured, own and run the team. However, actual execution on the field is fluid since conditions can drastically change in a very short time. Managing the field is our role. We begin this role by reviewing any and all contracts that you may have already signed or are about to sign. Although we are NOT legal advisors we’re looking for language that could hold you hostage or cost you money at the end of your recovery process; money which your insurance company may refuse to pay, resulting in out of pocket expenses for you. We end our orientation meeting by equipping our clients with a personalized Client Recovery Kit. This kit will keep you organized throughout your recovery and should be brought to every meeting with your Sr. Claims Manager. Use it as a reference guide, a receipt organizer, communications storage unit, business card holder…it’s your one-in-all place to go to for everything regarding your claim. When you have a winning idea other competitors will copy it. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and even our competitors have recognized the need for a detailed organizational kit... just like the one we’ve developed.
Some companies write their own scope of repairs, just as Concordia Claims Managers does.
However, none of them conduct a systematic review process in which peer review is mandatory before any scope can be submitted to the insurance company. Concordia Claims Managers reviews our proprietary process THREE times before we declare our work product accurate and correct.
Most of our competitors outsource their scopes, primarily to contractors, either because they lack the expertise or because they’re simply unwilling to do the work. They rely on supplements to the scope that are discovered later during the rebuild phase and utilize this practice to underbid and gain control of the loss. This practice takes the control of a crucial document out of their hands, rendering them dependent upon others to do their work and increasing the likelihood of lack of detail or delays.
Many vendors will tell you that they can perform “Total Loss Inventories”. You’ll hear this from public adjusters, restoration companies and even some contractors. There is NO COMPARISON to Concordia Claims Managers when it comes to this task. We’ve been nationally recognized by one of the leading first-party claims attorneys in the country – Chip Merlin, Esq., who said: “If you are not doing total loss contents inventories like Concordia Claims Mangers then you are leaving money on the table.” Our exclusive method for completing your total loss inventories leaves no stone unturned… and only Concordia does it.
We never outsource these responsibilities (as most of our competitors do in order to minimize their costs). Concordia employs our own trained staff to complete all of our client inventories, which must meet our exacting standards.
To our knowledge we are the only public adjusting firm employing our own Asbestos Certified staff capable of completing inventories within an asbestos contaminated environment.
A Personal Property Inventory begins with meticulous sifting and sorting, even using metal detectors to uncover our clients’ personal istproperty.
We then take individual photographs, as each item is placed on one of our branded “story boards”. This board displays the item and prepares it for photographing while identifying the client’s name, claim number, and the room in which the item was found. Our unique process wirelessly links each picture directly to our field laptop computers. After auto-populating a photo into our proprietary software program, our field technicians enter its detailed description next to the matching photograph. This process is far more accurate than a hand-written inventory list completed in the field, for which only vague bulked photos are supplied, as is the practice of many of our competitors. The insurance adjusters reviewing our claims won’t have to play “Where’s Waldo?” when searching a photograph for a single item within a pile of rubble lying on the floor.
In completing your Personal Property Inventory, Concordia Claims Managers adds a unique, personal touch. We keep a constant eye out for items of personal importance, assuring our client that although these may have been lost in the peril, they will remain preserved for sentimental reasons. These items are hand-picked by both you and your Sr. Claims Manager and stored at our main offices in our Controlled Contents Department and are returned to our clients. We also employ very strict protocols for taking control of certain items which could be dangerous or pose additional liability to our clients. These items include weapons, ammunition, medications and alcohol. We segregate other total loss items during our inventory including eye glasses, cell phones and U. S. flags. These items are either recycled, or in the case of flags, are properly retired with the permission of our clients by the Boy Scouts of America. Any materials subject to Federal or State disposal restrictions such as paint, batteries, or petroleum products are disposed of in compliance with the law. Attention to these details provides our clients with peace of mind, knowing that their total loss personal property is being handled properly.
Once a total loss inventory list has been compiled, the Concordia Difference becomes even more apparent. Restoration companies and contractors who claim they can provide complete service must stop here. Any further information added to your inventory by these parties is considered an unauthorized practice of public adjusting. Concordia’s team, however, continues on. They will add URL hyperlinks to websites displaying the current replacement cost of the items you’ve lost, comparing them on the basis of like, kind and quality. We gather this information from a list of merchants you frequent the most and with which you have the most familiarity. We then gain your involvement to price the larger and more unique items in your home.
Concordia will price the vast majority of your inventory, since these are usually household items commonly found in every home. We’ll also ask for your assistance in determining the age of your items along with helping us describe their condition. The age and condition of an item plays a defining role in determining the depreciation that your insurance company will hold back from your initial Actual Cash Value (ACV) payment. Most of our public adjusting competitors merely create the list, add some ages and forward the document on to the insurance company, permitting their staff to complete the work and determine how much they are willing to pay you.
Every insurance company uses their own depreciation schedules as part of their claims handling process. This depreciation schedule has probably never been shown to you, yet you are expected and obligated to agree to it. We don't agree with this philosophy. That’s why we continue the process even further by calculating the depreciation of your total loss personal property using standard IRS depreciation tables. The IRS tables depreciate less aggressively than the schedules used by your insurance company, which favor the carrier.
Concordia Claims Managers is committed to being with you throughout your entire recovery journey. This journey may take anywhere from six months to a year and a half. Most of our public adjusting competitors ignore capturing the Replacement Cost Value (RCV), leaving it for the insured to recover. Their rationale is that it’s just too time consuming and exhaustive. We remain to the end, working with our client to recover every cent to which they are entitled as defined by the terms of their insurance contract. To do this, we’ve developed our unique RCV Recovery Program which every month places in front of our clients the total amount of money remaining to which they are entitled.
This program ensures that everyone is aware of what is required in order to recover these monies within the time frame allotted by your insurance company.
Post-loss, the majority of your time should be focused on your family and their recovery. Yet most of your time will actually be spent filling out paperwork or waiting countless hours on end for someone to gain access to your property. That is... unless you’ve engaged the services of Concordia Claims Managers. Since we know that nothing will be paid until your “Proof of Loss” is filed, we put the insurance company on the defensive: we complete your claim within the Department of Insurance’s timeline!
Another often-overlooked component usually ignored by our competitors (but not by Concordia Claims Managers) is Additional Living Expenses (ALE). We employ a dedicated “Claims Concierge”
who processes all of the expense receipts that you will incur while staying at a hotel and dining out post-peril. Our Concierge tracks each replacement payment made by the insurance company, ensuring that only authorized expenditures are submitted.
Many of our displaced clients are provided a temporary rental residence while their home is being repaired. This is covered under the ALE portion of their policy. With our typical attention to detail, we physically inspect and photograph your temporary housing before and after your rental furniture is delivered / returned. During these inspections we’re looking for any small scratched surfaces or imperfections existing in the home. We inspect the furniture as well, so that vendors cannot charge you for damage to their property while in your use. This program went into effect after a client was charged nearly $10,000 for repairs of damages to their rental home after they left. This is not an insurable expense and we receive no fee for this work. But since this money could potentially come out of your own pocket, we feel that this protocol is in our client’s best interest as protection from unscrupulous vendors and landlords. The client will insist that the damages were there prior to their moving in… but without proper photographs and documentation, it’s one person’s word against another.
Once your “Proof of Loss” has been submitted and your insurance company begins to issue payments, still another nightmare emerges: dealing with your mortgage company and the mountain of paperwork they require to release the insurance funds to your contractor to begin and complete the rebuild.
Each mortgage company has its own required documentation; some require notarized documents, others very detailed documentation from both the contractor and the insurance company for payments or scopes. Such onerous paperwork is a huge undertaking in itself, but when the time comes to communicate with the Loss Draft Department of your mortgage company, be prepared to be placed on hold for quite some time… and don’t expect the same answer twice, even from the same person. Concordia Claims Managers takes the lead in navagating this massive maze of paperwork and people, assuring that money flows to you to pay the contractor, keeping your recovery on track. Most of our competitors elect to have the contractor to do this work for them. This can cause a huge problem: if your contractor handles the mortgage paperwork, they will be the only payee named on all of the checks. When construction problems arise, you will find that you have surrendered control of the only thing that matters to any contractor: the money.
For this reason alone Concordia Claims Managers developed our Contract Management Program which oversees the contract signed by you and your contractor, ensuring that your contractor takes no shortcuts during your rebuild. We know of no competitor offering anything remotely similar to this program. In fact, certain contractors will opt out of involvement with your rebuild when informed that they must agree to the scrutiny of this program. Our objective is to assure our clients that the monies paid by the insurance company will go back into the rebuild and not into the pockets of any contractor as a result of taking shortcuts.
When a Catastrophic Loss such as a forest fire, earthquake or regional flood occurs, Concordia Claims Managers is prepared to be on-site and remain there through the deployment of its Disaster Recovery Command Center.
This unit is a self-contained satellite communications center equipped with state of the art communications equipment, conferencing space and data processing computers. It is also capable of indefinately housing our staff at the disaster location, allowing us to respond immediately to our clients’ needs as they arise. No other public insurance adjuster has this capability.
Concordia Claims Managers also maintains one of the most comprehensive Claims Libraries in the industry. Keeping track of the latest laws and current rulings for insurance claims is critical for success in our business, and we often reference this library for support information in the appropriate filing of your claim. With numerous titles available to our clients, all dedicated to the claims process, you can quickly gain insight that will help you better understand any facet of your claim. Concordia Claims Managers has also reprinted a book entitled “Twice Burned”, written by a former industry “insider”. This book outlines many of the tricks and deceptive tactics that insurance companies use in settling claims, keeping their own pocketbook in mind. This is an excellent resource for helping you avoid pitfalls while returning to wholeness.
Our Senior Claims Manager, Rolf Eidbo,
has authored two White Papers: “Post Crisis Claims Management – Preparing for the Challenges + Top 10 Ways to Exped