Do I Have to File an Insurance Claim Immediately After an Incident?

When New York homeowners and small businesses experience a disaster, they may hire public appraisers to help with the claims process. An independent appraiser is any person, firm, association or corporation that acts in this state on behalf of an insurer by investigating and adjusting claims that arise under insurance contracts issued by the insurer. Harris recently announced new consumer protections in New York's public appraisers regulation, which will take effect on October 8.These protections help policyholders by clearly defining the obligations of insurers and public appraisers hired by insurers to negotiate the settlement of insurance claims on their behalf. Insurers will analyze your claim history when setting their rates.

Insurers can find homeowner and auto homeowner insurance claims filed over the past seven years in what is called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) database. The more homeowners insurance claims in your history in a CLUE report, the more expensive your home insurance premiums will be. If you have significant damage to your home, you may want to hire a public claims appraiser early in the process. The addition of consumer protection by the DFS to New York's regulation of public appraisers is due to increasingly frequent extreme weather events, including historic storms in New York. In addition, the DFS accelerated the issuance of temporary permits to independent and qualified insurance experts in other states, so that more appraisers are available to process claims and help repair consumer properties and pay claims. If you decide to use a public appraiser to help you resolve your claim, this service could cost you up to 15 percent of the full value of your settlement.

The DFS action further reinforces the obligations of public appraisers and insurers to ensure the fair and prompt resolution of claims. So, are there any restrictions on how long after an incident occurs that you can hire a public adjuster to help you file an insurance claim? The answer is no. You can hire a public adjuster at any time after an incident occurs. However, it is important to note that insurers will analyze your claim history when setting their rates. Therefore, it is best to file your claim as soon as possible after an incident occurs.

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