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  • What contents services specialists need to know for wildfire claims

What contents services specialists need to know for wildfire claims

After wildfires rage, affected homeowners will likely expect quick action from their insurers. One of the major concerns of this kind of event is contents damage. The agents brought on to help should be knowledgeable, reliable and able to handle each case they're given, extending the carrier's reach wherever the greatest need is.

As the Insurance Information Institute notes, contents policies include considerations for both cash value and replacement costs: The difference between these is crucial, since the latter only refers to the value of property at the time of the damage. In addition to being prompt and thorough, agents should also know the status of each type of policy and which limits apply.

Changes to laws and best practices can also impact how contents services operate in particular states. In a 2013 Property Casualty 360 article, Van Gilder VP of Personal Lines Vince Ciulla referenced some of the then-new wildfire underwriting guidelines.

"Changes to laws can impact how contents services operate."

According to this article, the new guidelines took special considerations when determining which homes are eligible. Homes near brush, on slopes "in excess of 20 degrees" or within zones that have undergone wildfire-related losses, could be ineligible.

The source said that West Coast states California and Washington already had similar policies in place, and that a new law established a requirement for 365 days in filing home contents inventory claims.

All of this points to important criteria for contents services workers. These professionals have to be responsive and comprehensive to address all of the possible losses each policyholder faces. BrightClaim offers document suitable staff to assess damaged personal property and identify replacement costs with like kind and quality items.

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