What should you do if too much time goes by and you are not receiving the assistance you expect?
That is when you should familiarize yourself with the California Department of Insurance (DOI) website.
As I have mentioned before, they are here to protect you, the consumer.
The DOI strives to keep your provider honest in all areas, keeping prices affordable, making sure of agents’ and brokers’ licensure, getting your claims dealt with quickly, and more.
So, let’s say your part of the city gets hit with strong winds during a storm.
The beautiful, ancient cedar in your backyard loses one of its massive limbs, crashing into your roof as it falls. Thankfully, your family is unscathed, but the roof isn’t as lucky.
The day after the storm you find a reputable roofer recommended by your neighbor, and he gives you an estimate of the cost of repair. Knowing the repair will cost much more than your deductible, you give your insurance agent a call to file a claim.
In the meantime, the roofer advises that you let him staple a tarp over the damaged area until you receive a go-ahead from your provider to get the job started.
That proves to be wise advice. Days go by, and you don’t hear anything from your insurance agent. Even though you call several times, things just don’t seem to go anywhere. You experience another storm, but thankfully the tarp does its job, and your roof doesn’t leak.
Finally, you do a bit of research and find out that California laws require your provider to acknowledge all claims within 15 days. Time has dragged on past 18 days with no acknowledgment of your claim, so you decide to contact the California Department of Insurance.
Shortly after your complaint to the DOI, your provider sends over an adjuster to assess the damage and approve your claim. A check soon follows, and the damage is repaired.
If you are dealing with a similar situation, or know someone who may be struggling to get a claim dealt with in a timely manner, remember that the DOI is there to step in and help get things rolling.
You are paying for protection, and you deserve to be given the service you are investing in. Your provider needs to acknowledge your claim within 15 days, they have 40 days to approve or deny your claim, and 30 days to make the payment agreed upon.
If you have questions about how the California Department of Insurance can help you, give me a call. I’ve seen firsthand how they serve the people of the Bay Area, and I would be glad to talk about how you can utilize their website.