By Billy Walkowiak
COLLISION SAFETY CONSULTANTS
A 2015 Heartland Silverado camper was struck by lightning resulting in a hole in the roof causing water damage since July without the owner’s knowledge. He discovered the damage last month. Progressive said, “We will pay to fix the roof, but the subsequent damage is not covered.”
After speaking to me I told the camper owner to invoke the appraisal clause. Now folks, there are a lot of adjusters and appraisers who will mislead victims or are simply uneducated.
The insurance adjuster wrote:
“I am writing in response to our conversation yesterday regarding your travel trailer and the excluded damages that occurred from water seeping into the unit. You indicated you would like to invoke the appraisal clause. This clause is typically reserved when a customer and insurer cannot agree on the actual cash value of a vehicle, not when there is a coverage decision dispute. Our estimate included consideration for the sudden damage that occurred from the lightning strike (roof repair and electrical repairs). Our coverage doesn’t apply to the water damage to your camper that has occurred since the original date of loss, July 3, 2019.”
HE IS 100% wrong. My customer suggested he contact his supervisor or go back and read his own policy. Within 24 hours they hired an independent appraiser to speak to me. I explained my position and had an estimate prepared by a camper repair company. The customer went from a $12,521.56 repair estimate not covering mold, electrical and water damage, to getting his camper declared a total loss and receiving $30,000 to go buy a new camper.
NEVER TRUST ANYONE WHO OWES YOU MONEY. The adjuster lowballed the repair cost, told him he couldn’t use the appraisal clause, and that the camper would never total. So was the adjuster dishonest or just incompetent?
Billy Walkowiak is the founder and CEO of Collision Safety Consultants, 6116 W Wilkinson Blvd in Belmont, North Carolina. He can be reached at Billy.collisionsafety (at) gmail.