How Do I Read My Insurance Claim Summary?

Do you sit there trying to understand your adjusters report, pulling your hair out, just trying to read and make sense of what stack of documents you read?  We understand, we have all been there. Don’t you worry! We are here to help you. 

Reading an adjuster’s summary of the damage on your home can be confusing, to say the least. Summaries are generally dozens of pages long and involve a lot of figures to consider. Many adjuster’s reports will include a guide on how to read it, and what things might mean, but this blog will go into a little bit further detail so that you can be sure to understand exactly what you’re reading while looking over the report.

This lists out each item on a general adjuster’s report. This one happens to be from Allstate Insurance, but almost all insurance companies will provide a similar summary to help you read your report.

A: Claim Number

The number assigned to your claim. This is necessary to be able to keep track of your loss through insurance and claim adjusters, if you choose to use one.

B: Damage Location

Specifies the area of damage for your home or property (includes sheds, porches, separated garages, and other parts of your property) and details size of area when applicable.

C: Replacement Cost Value

The total cost to repair or restore all parts of the home or property that were damaged.

D: Age/Life

The typical “life” of the item to be replaced. Determined by estimating age/life expectancy data for each item or product.

E: Usage

Usage of the item or product to be replaced. Some items might have heavy wear or usage, in which case they would have a higher depreciation. This affects the coverage by insurance to replace the item or product.

F: Depreciation

Here’s where it gets messy. Depreciation refers to the amount each damaged item has already “depreciated” or decreased in value based on factors like age, life expectancy, wear and tear, whether the item is functionally or economically obsolete. This number will reflect any deductions from the Replacement Cost Value (RCV). Your policy may allow you to recover funds from depreciation deductions after the replacement or restoration of covered damages.

G: Actual Cash Value

This is the RPV minus the Depreciation, so it reflect the amount to be considered for coverage by insurance.

H: Repair or Replace Actions

This section describes the repairs, replacement materials, and actions to be performed to restore your property.

I: Damage Location Totals

The total cost before adding any applicable taxes or overhead and profit.

J: Summary for Involved Coverage

This section details the involved policy coverage for the damaged area.

K: Contractor’s Overhead and Profit

List of the overhead and profit for services provided by general contractors working on your home when applicable.

L: Total with Tax

The total for the entire estimate, including tax and/or overhead and profit.

M: Less Deductible Applied

This reflects and applicable policy deductible that is applied to your claim. This will depends on what your deductible is, which will depend on a number of other factors, such as your home’s insured value.

N: Recoverable Depreciation

The total amount of depreciation that is recoverable. This refers to the amount that you might be reimbursed for to cover the depreciation of the affected items.

O: Sales Tax

Based on the location of the loss, sales tax may vary. Sales tax may be applied to materials only or to the combination of both materials and labor.

P: Net Claim for Involved Coverage

The total replacement cost minus the recoverable depreciation and any applicable deductible. The number on this line will reflect the amount of the settlement check for the involved coverage.

Other companies may include claim contact information, types of coverage, unit costs, or other items on their insurance claim summaries, so be aware that all summaries will look slightly different depending on the company your policy is under. If you are confused about what one of the items means, don’t be afraid to call your claim adjuster and ask them about it. Claim specialists are also extremely well-versed in how to read summaries, and would be able to explain what each item means so that you can best understand.

We hope this post helps you navigate the complicated thing that is insurance claim summaries! Good luck with your claim, and don’t forget to give us a call so we can help you get the highest return on your claim to restore your home without having to worry as much about the cost.

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