NOW WHAT? YOUR INSURER HAS DENIED OR LOW-BALLED YOUR CLAIM

You’ve just heard from your insurance company about your homeowner’s claim, and it’s bad news.  They’ve either denied your claim or offered you a settlement that is so low it is not possible to make the necessary repairs in a reasonable manner.  What to do?  You can call or write the insurance company, but without some rationale to reopen the claim, there’s not too much chance of that happening; or, you can contact us, Pinnacle, and let us take over the fight and win you the proper settlement.  We’ll review your policy terms, minutely inspect the damage and find everything that needs fixing or refreshing, price the cost of those repairs, review your communications with the insurance company and their offer, and then initiate discussions with them to reopen the claim and make the appropriate settlement.  As part of this process, we will redocument all the damage, and the proper costs to repair the damage, and restore the property to at least its former condition, if not better, and document what’s needed in complete detail, so the insurance company can comprehend why it makes sense to re-evaluate their position and offer.

How likely are we to succeed?  90% is a reasonable approximation of our success rate.  This can mean thousands or tens of thousands more for you to repair the damage.  And, what does it cost you?  Nothing until you receive your actual settlement.

New Leaf services FAQs

What services does New Leaf offer?

New Leaf offers ‘direct cremation’ services at an affordable price. Forms are filled out online or over the phone. We provide efficient, quality service at a clear, reasonable price.

Arrangements are made online or over the phone.

We provide efficient, quality service at a clear, reasonable price.

How does the process work?

-A call to New Leaf or a visit to our website is all that is needed to start the process

– You choose your package and receive a quote, complete the online forms, and provide payment.

-We then dispatch our licensed funeral directors to transport your loved one from the place of death to our climate controlled holding facility for care and storage.

-We then register the death with the local municipality. Forms, certificates and authorizations are completed according to New York State laws before the cremation can take place.

-Once the forms and authorizations have been signed and filed with the local health department, the decedent is transferred to a third party crematory (as required by New York State law) for cremation. Usually this takes place within 3-7 days.

-The ashes are then shipped to the family or a hand delivery/pickup is arranged.

How long does the process usually take?

The overall cremation process, from notification until the family receives the ashes, will take an average of 7–15 days (you said you would hold body for five days when we spoke; can you hold a body more than that without cremation; should note that if there is a delay, as outlined below, body must be cremated). (We can’t cremate until the forms are filed. If the delay is longer than 5 days we charge a storage fee per day) Funeral homes are at the mercy of the medical examiner and others, though, so delays can and do occur.

The overall cremation process, from initial arrangements until the family receives the ashes, will take an average of 10–15 days.

Delays may occur when local, state or federal agencies, police, county coroner, or medical examiners become involved and investigate the circumstances surrounding a death, or the attending physician delays signing the death certificate.

You can rest assured that New Leaf will keep you informed every step of the way should a delay occur.

**Note: Should a delay in obtaining the death certificate require us to store your loved one in our care beyond the standard 3 day window, a daily ‘custodial care’ of $150/day will apply.

Is the memorial service included?

No, New Leaf handles the cremation allowing you to plan your own memorial service. If you would like to have a memorial service at one of our partner funeral homes we will be happy to arrange.

How are the ashes delivered?

Your loved one’s ashes will be either shipped through USPS Priority Mail, or hand-delivered by one of our representatives. They come in a rigid plastic container unless an urn is purchased through our website.

Does low cost mean low quality?

When it comes to a traditional funeral, yes, you get what you pay for- nicer facilities, nicer livery vehicles, etc. Direct Cremations are different however. New Leaf offers an efficient service and we pride ourselves on quality customer service. We believe that a person’s financial standing should not preclude them from a dignified end, and that every life should be celebrated. We treat our clients like family, just as we have for over 100 years at our partner funeral homes.

There are many reasons insurers deny claims by:

  • Invoking the pre-existing condition clause meaning that the condition was present before your policy was issued
  • Stating that your claim/loss was not covered under the terms of your policy, or was specifically excluded from coverage
  • Alleging that your claim itself is fraudulent meaning that they don’t believe a real claim for loss exists; or, that the loss did not occur while your coverage was in effect
  • Claiming that you failed to file the claim, have the claim investigated, or responded to their request on a timely basis
  • Cancelling the policy from inception date by “discovering errors, omissions, or misstatements that you made in your original application for the coverage
  • Asserting that the amount of the loss covered for your damage claim is less than the deductible in your policy

Wow, that’s a lot of ways the insurance company can deny or modify your claim settlement.  How likely are they to use one or more of these reasons?  Not likely, but the incidents of these occurring do happen every day.  Why expose yourself to these possibilities?  With Pinnacle handling your claim, most of these can be mitigated right at the beginning of the claim process; or, if you’re calling us in after the fact, we can assess the validity of what the insurance company is saying and, in most instances, overcome it or provide factual evidence that proves the insurance company is wrong.  Call on us to protect your rights, either up-front on the claim or as soon as you are made aware of the insurance company’s denial.

So, now we’ve covered the insurance company denying your claim.  The bigger risk is that the insurance company is going to make you an unsatisfactory, low-ball settlement.  What do you do then?  Call us in.  We can painstakingly review prior documentation and redocument all the details we find related to your loss, communicate it to the insurance company, and likely get them to make a fair offer in the end.  During this time when the claim is reopened, you don’t have to do anything.  Why not leave it to us to handle?  No fuss, no muss, no aggravation; and, best of all, get the results you seek.  Pretty easy, huh?

There are three actions the insurance company can take that should automatically get you to call us in:

  1. Ask you to make a recorded statement.
  2. Try to get you to seek mediation.
  3. Indicate that they are going to a more thorough “investigation.

None of these steps works in your favor!  They all are ways for the insurance company to deny or low-ball your claim.  Call on us to back you up, provide the technical support to satisfy the insurance company, and get you the equitable settlement that you are entitled to.

Lastly, suppose you have already accepted the insurance company’s money and hired a contractor to repair the damage and find that the money you got is far less than what it’s going to cost, what can you do?  Answer: you have up to five years after the initial claim was filed to reopen the claim to seek higher recovery dollars.  This is when it is very important that you use our services.  As public adjusters, we have the skills, knowledge, and negotiating strength to get the insurance company to see why it is reasonable to take another look at the claim and consider a higher settlement.  Call us so that you can take advantage of our services to tussle with the insurance company.  (The insurance company isn’t going to agree to reopen the claim and write another check out of the goodness of their heart.  They’re a company and don’t have one.  It takes cold, hard document facts to achieve these results.  We can get those results for you.  Try us.