Review of Secrets of the Insurance Game; What You Need to Know About Property Damage Claims, by Sean M. Scott. Available from the Red Guide To Recovery website:
Reviewer: Heather Korth, Architect & Cofounder of Our Front Porch
Having witnessed the limitations of insurance policies firsthand with clients, this book definitely peaked my interest. My organization, Our Front Porch, works with families displaced from home fires and I have seen their insurance policies span the spectrum in terms of coverage, limitations, and customer service.
The first chapter includes survey data that presents a grim story: most people are underinsured, short changed by their adjuster, and/or experience significant delays in their rebuilding process. Coupled with my own data that 50% of my clients are underinsured, it’s no surprise that dealing with insurance is indeed a game.
Mr. Scott describes the insurance claim process in detail, identifying each place where adjusters have an opportunity to underpay a claim, leaving people far from being made whole again. The book is very thorough, but having knowledge in construction contracts and estimating projects will prove beneficial to the reader. However, Mr. Scott includes several real-life examples that help to explain the concepts and where to look for red flags to anyone who finds themselves in this scenario. In addition, there is more than enough justification as to why someone would want to educate themselves or hire a public adjuster to represent them through this process.
Most of the book is geared towards homeowners, but renters can benefit as well, especially from the chapter on Personal Property. I have had several clients, renters displaced from home fires, who have had to endure yet another level of loss when repair contractors stole their personal property. Mr. Scott’s vast experience and honest advice will benefit not only those who have experienced a disaster, but help all of us be better prepared and informed.
I highly recommend this book as a resource to anyone going through the insurance claim process and encourage everyone to read it as part of their preparedness effort.