Have some questions about a renter’s insurance claim for any adjusters or investigators?
I have a question about the renter’s claim/investigation process. I’ve never made a renter’s claim before; any advice is appreciated.
About 2 months ago, my house was robbed while I was at work. We’d just moved in September, & I was having trouble with my cable install – had a tech here for the 4th time. I live half a block from my office & came home from work to let the tech in around 2 pm. I asked him to call me when the job was done so I could come back home & let my dogs out; had them penned up so they wouldn’t run away when he was going in & out. He never called, but I know some jobs can take a long time, & I thought he was still there working. I came home around 8 pm to find the front door of my house standing wide open & quite a bit of my stuff (mostly electronics) removed from my house. When I talked to the cable co., they were able to determine that the tech left the house around 3:15.
A couple days later, I filed a police report. I didn’t do it right away because it wasn’t an emergency, I honestly didn’t expect them to do anything, & I wanted to be sure of what was missing before I made the report. Due to a hectic work schedule with a lot of overtime, & also because I was a little late on paying my policy premium, I didn’t file the claim with my insurance company for another week or so. Of course, I did also speak to the cable co. about this incident, but presently I’m not getting anywhere with them. Don’t know if it was the tech or someone else that burglarized me, but in my mind they bear at least some responsibility – this happened because my door was left open.
Most of what was removed was electronics – we’d just moved, we didn’t have any furniture yet, a lot of stuff was in boxes, & there wasn’t much else in the house. I had 2 laptops with custom specs that were over $ 3k each (one about two years older than the other); one had Adobe software that was over $ 2k; my DSLR camera body & kit that was around $ 2k; had a lens in the kit (refurb) that was about another $ 2k (I had planned on taking classes to learn how to use this stuff). Also removed was my gaming system, controllers, games, CD & DVD collections (they were in binders – about 300 of each), iPod, dock/speakers, Blu-ray player, Kindle… you get the picture. They removed some jewelry too — nothing outrageous, I only wear silver, no gems really; but I did have a couple pieces that were in the $ 300-$ 500 range. All told for the jewelry, about $ 3k.
Anyway, the total loss turned out to be around $ 30k which is well within my $ 45k policy; however, my adjuster reminded me that it is significantly reduced because my coverage for computers/software is a max of $ 3k; jewelry, $ 500; & cameras, $ 500 (per incident, not per item). The total claim amount was a lot more than I expected & is, I imagine, more than a typical burglary claim. I did have & submitted documentation (PayPal receipts/purchase histories/photos etc.) for almost everything. Adjuster suggested I write off what’s not covered on my taxes. He also said that a “special investigator” would probably want to speak to me & to the cable co. I understand there are limits to the policy – I’m not challenging those – I initially got the policy to satisfy my lease requirements with the intention of increasing some of the coverage but didn’t get around to it before the burglary (my bad, lesson learned). I’m sure the volume of the loss, coupled with the fact that I haven’t had the policy very long, is probably raising some eyebrows.
My question is, first of all, what does special investigator do, & what should I expect? From what I’ve been reading on the internet, it makes me more than a little nervous. Frankly, I don’t know if I can handle what a “special investigation” might entail – I’m a single parent going through a divorce/custody battle, I’m in a new position in a very stressful job, & still adjusting to living in a new city. If this is going to involve giving depositions, going to court, or having an investigator scrutinize me until I make a mistake or give an unsatisfactory answer to some small question so that they can charge me with insurance fraud, I’d rather just forget the whole thing. Do they only do this when they suspect fraud or when the claim isn’t typical, or is this routine & nothing for me to worry about?
I asked my adjuster if, when he does my estimate, he could detail what’s not covered by my policy so that I might get an attorney & try to hold the cable company responsible for what my policy isn’t covering. But now it occurs to me that if I’m going to go that route, maybe the right thing to do is, if it’s not too late, to withdraw my claim or put a hold on it & see what, if anything, I can hold the cable company responsible for & THEN see if my own insurance company will cover what’s left (& possibly pay out less), rather