I have been in the insurance business for 21 years as an independent agent,
and thought I might throw in my two cents worth of suggestions here...
Company A Vs Company B is a common "error" made, during these type
conversations... unfortunately, Company A may have an adjuster that is
familiar with lightning claims, has had plenty of experience handling them,
and would "go at it" in such a manner as to resolve it for the insurance
claimant in a quick, easy manner.
However, it is quite possible that this same Company A might have an
adjuster that is assigned to your claim that is NOT so familar with this
type of claim and that in itself is going to make it more difficult to
resolve. Same Company, but different adjusters.. can make all the difference
in the world.
So... what can one do, AHEAD of time, to make "adjusting" (I love how they
use that word) your claim, fair, quick and the least amount of work for the
Here are some suggestions:
1. Take the time to setup files on EACH piece of ham equipment you have.
In that file, keep the original invoice (even if you bought it used, and if
it was used, any repair invoices you might have incurred, getting it back up
to snuff.) In this file, keep the specifications, operating manuals, etc...
then if you need to you can provide factual documentation on what you had
... and more than the adjuster will be able to understand anyway.
2. Take photographs of your equipment as it sets in the shack, the computer
next to it, as well as the tower/beam outside. As a previous list member
mentioned, endorsements (or add on coverages) are available for antennas,
towers and lead in wiring... but must be added to the "standard" homeowner
policy form. In Texas (where I am from, the rate for antennas and towers is
about 2.00 per 100 dollars of value..)
3. Realize that there are two basic methods for "adjusting" a claim.
Replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost is somewhat
nebulous, because the insurance carrier has several options here....
replace with "like kind and quality" or repair what you have, it the cost to
repair is less than the value if paid outright, or give you the money for
what it would cost THEM to replace the item, with a similar like kind and
quality item. If it is a Television, they can probably buy it for less than
you can, from a wholesaler... cuz they can do it on a global scale. Actual
Cash Value, is subject to even more interpretation and quite frankly
negotiations because it is determined by arriving at the Replacement Cost
and then deducting from it, depreciation for age, condition and expected
remaining useful life.
The adjuster has a "book" or table that they look to, in order to
approximate the expected life of a given item... Electronics will range from
8 years to possibly 15, depending upon what it is...
Normally the most an adjuster will depreciate an item is 50 percent, if in
fact it is still working at the time of the loss...
The point here, is you do NOT want your contents written at Actual Cash
Value... ever.. Replacment Cost basis is tricky enough.
At the time of the loss, you will have to generate the list of
stolen/damaged items, with cost new, current values and any receipts you
have, to document your figures. The photograph will help you remember
exactly what you had... cuz if it was a fire, this will be more difficult to
do, than you think.. We suggest that you actually walk all though your
house with a video camera, opening closets, drawers, gun safes, etc.. and
recording everything you can see... and then PUT THE TAPE AT A DIFFERENT
LOCATION OTHER THAN YOUR HOME.... obviously, the necessary "proof" is not
good, if it burns up with the contents..
These adjusters need written documentation to justify to their superiors why
they are cutting checks for the amounts they are... the more documentation
you can produce, generally the easier it will go.
To date, I have yet to have a carrier raise the issue of code requirements
where antennas are concerned.. cuz frankly, their applications for the
policy do not address this issue. It DOES normally address, the type of
wiring, ie alumnium or copper, when it was updated, if any and other general
specifics on the construction and maintance of the house.. so, I am not
saying it is not possible for a company to try this tact, but if pressed,
unless there was missrepresentation on the application on the part of the
insured... I think they are toast, and will have to pay...
A good agent can make a big difference in these kind of things... cuz, it is
quite frustrating settling a claim of this type... and not having the
customer begin to feel like the adjuster thinks they are lying... (which
unfortuantely is often the case...) The agent can make the customer
understand why the carrier is wanting what they want and how they want it..
They (the insurance companies) DO require the insured to do some legwork,
developing this information... so if you can have it up front and keep it
current as you acquire equipment, it makes the job easier when you have to
"prove it up" as they say.
Hope this helps...
PS. I am retiring at the end of this year from the insurance bizz.... so
this is NOT a sales pitch... !! Questions welcome...
----- Original Message -----
From: George T. Baker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Gary Harmon <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, October 11, 1999 10:53 AM
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Insurance
> Gary, the National Electrical Code has some very stringent words
> concerning wire antennas, how they are constructed, installed, operated,
> etc. The language of the NEC suggests that the content was generated in
> the 1920's or thereabouts. I doubt that one amateur installation of wire
> antennas in 1000 could meet the NEC specs, if that many.
> Since most insurance companies have the built-in loophole of not being
> liable for claims when any Code violations are involved, I wonder what
> State Farm did in your case if you had any wire antennas erected, etc.
> I also have State Farm for all my car, motorhome, home owners and
> liability insurance and would like to know further of your experience if
> you don't mind sharing some of the details.
> I was gratified to read of your satisfaction with the way your claim was
> settled. I have always had good relations with SF and intend to remain
> with them. But, are they sticklers for Code violations re wire antennas
> per a 1920's definition of what a wire antenna is and how it is to be
> Thanks, Gary.
> 72/73, George AMA 98452 R/C since 1964
> Amateur Radio W5YR, in the 54th year and it just keeps getting better!
> AutoPOWER Systems, Fairview, TX (30 mi NE Dallas) Collin County
> QRP-L QRP-ARCI FISTS NORCAL ZOMBIE ARS 10-X 33.2 N 96.6 W EM13RE
> Gary Harmon wrote:
> > My personal experience with State Farm has been wonderful. My
> > strike occurred several years ago and they paid for everything, no
> > questions. Our local HAM store did the estimate for a small charge
> > wasn't going to give them the fried equipment. The estimated the TV,
> > and all the HAM stuff including the antenna. State Farm accepted the
> > estimate and cut me a check while I was waiting.
> > If I had a tower I could add it's value to the policy for a small
> > fee but I don't remember how much. Also, you can add mobile rigs and
> > antennas to your car insurance for almost nothing. I believe the only
> > stipulation is that the radio must be mounted and not just laying on the
> > seat.
> > BTW, they also have an option that covers other peoples things that you
> > be using or trying out. I know from personal experience since I blew up
> > son's friend's Commayuck 64 some years back. They replaced it no
> > asked.
> > My reflections about my insurance carried earn me no rewards or frequent
> > flyer miles, I'm just a happy customer.
> > 73,
> > gary
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