How Adjusters Can Handle 4 Common Winter Property Claims Like Pros

By The Institutes | December 1, 2014

Remember the polar vortex?

That was the weather term on everyone’s shivering lips last year when the U.S. was blasted by freezing Arctic air. All told, the Winter of ’13-’14 caused billions of dollars in insured losses, making it one of the costliest winters on record and a busy season for independent and company adjusters alike.

The mere mention of it brings chills to those who had to inspect damage from collapsed roofs, burst pipes and downed trees in the brutally frigid cold. In conditions like that, no one wants to spend any more time than necessary inspecting a damage claim.

This year, be prepared to handle the worst that Old Man Winter can throw at you. The Institutes’ Property Technical Certification is specifically designed to help all adjusters do their jobs better by providing a comprehensive guide to quickly and efficiently identifying damaged property and assessing its repairability.

With practical advice and easy-to-understand technical information for major building components, such as roofs, exterior walls, windows, doors, interior walls, flooring, electrical systems and plumbing, it’s a must-have for claims professionals.

To understand how the PTC program can help you not only enhance your expertise and advance your career, but also handle claims quickly and efficiently, here are four common winter property claims, and how PTC training can help:

1. Fallen trees

Snow-covered trees can be a beautiful sight after a snowfall, but not if they’re so overloaded with ice that they fall onto your roof. Learning to scope and estimate the damage to roofing and siding materials—and recommend how each might be repaired—is critical. You’ll find insight into both in PTC II – Exterior Loss Adjusting.

2. Ice Dams

Ridges of ice that form at the edges of roofs and prevent melting snow from draining, ice dams can pose serious problems. While they are capable of causing damage to the roof, it’s also possible for substantial interior water damage to occur with or without any outward signs – an obvious issue for homeowners and adjusters. Learn about what you need to know to assess this type of damage in PTC I – Core Property Adjusting Principles and PTC III – Interior Loss Adjusting.

3. Broken pipes

Even if a homeowner keeps their house warm, water pipes located near the outer walls may freeze and break. In addition to determining the extent of water damage to the house’s interior, you’ll also need to be able to estimate the cost of repairing the broken pipe by a plumbing professional. The PTC III – Interior Loss Adjusting coursework provides a convenient table that can help you do just that.

4. Fires

It’s a cruel stroke of irony that the coldest months lead to the most home fires, but it’s logical, given the increased use of fireplaces and space heaters. Often, smoke damage is a more prevalent concern than the visible effects of a fire—and it can also have a more destructive, long-term impact. Learn about different building materials, their damageability by fire, and the costs of repairing or replacing them by taking PTC I – Core Property Adjusting Principles and PTC III – Interior Loss Adjusting.

Besides improving your own technical knowledge in these ways – allowing you to work more efficiently and market yourself better to potential clients – the courses are also approved for at least 20 hours of CE credit in most states that require CE for adjusters. For more information about the PTC program, visit our website by clicking here, and start earning your certification today.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.