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[Towertalk] ARRL Insurance

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Subject: [Towertalk] ARRL Insurance
From: (William F. Beyer Jr.)
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 11:08:44 -0400
Jim Idelson wrote:

> Nothing like learning from experience . . .
> I have had several major lightning events over the past five years. My
> home-owners policy has a deductible around $500, but it covers everything. You
> don't have to list equipment on the policy in advance. Lightning doesn't
> discriminate between ham equipment and other electronics and appliances found
> in your home. This policy provides for replacement cost reimbursements, and 
> the
> adjustor has never had a problem with replacements that might reasonably be
> more costly and up-to-date than the original equipment.
> When the dollar amounts start to rise, the insurance company will become
> interested in the potential scrap value of your completely destroyed radio
> equipment. They may ask you to give them the old equipment. But, when you tell
> them of the extremely small market for your radio and the difficulty they will
> have selling it, they might let you keep it for parts.
> I've never had outdoor antenna damage - it's always been the electronics and
> computer equipment inside. But, I worry that a claim relating to the tower or
> antennas might surprise the adjustor. So, I have informed the insurance 
> company
> of the existence of the tower, and I've shown them the completed building
> permit. This will help to show that the tower and antennas are insured
> property.
> How do you get maximum reimbursement for your losses?  By far, the most
> important thing is to MAKE THE ADJUSTOR'S JOB EASY! An insurance adjustor
> spends the morning in the office doing paperwork and his/her entire afternoon
> driving around looking at damaged things - things they don't care about at 
> all.
> Every insurance adjustor I've met really looks forward to quitting time. They
> allocate a certain amount of time to every visit. If you can get him out of
> your house early, he can get home early. Keep this in mind all the time.
> The adjustor will be looking for a few things during the visit:
> 1.  Evidence of damages and the probable causes,
> 2.  Evidence of your ownership of the damaged property and possibly evidence 
> of
> what you paid for it and when, and
> 3.  Evidence of what it will cost to replace or repair the damaged item.
> Demonstrating that a device is damaged is important. If there is obvious
> physical damage, make sure it is apparent when the adjustor comes to visit. 
> The
> adjustor will usually be carrying a digital camera to take photos of the
> damage. Make that job easy. I have offered my own digital photos, and they are
> often accepted by the adjustor. If the damage can't be seen, then do a
> demonstration. My FT-1000MP had charcoal on the back near the antenna
> connector, and when plugged in, it wouldn't come on at all.
> If an item is completely destroyed, you may be able to just say so, or you can
> provide the written statement of a qualified repair shop. The insurance
> coverage will reimburse you for the cost of getting the equipment looked at by
> the shop. You need to show that the equipment cannot be repaired for less than
> the cost of replacement. The best news for you is sometimes that replacement
> parts are no longer available, etc.
> Was there a big lightning storm or a major wind that caused the damage? It was
> probably mentioned in the newspaper, or it was noted on the Weather Channel
> website. Make a copy of an account of the circumstances that probably caused
> the damage and give it to the adjustor.
> Evidence of ownership simply informs the adjustor that the damaged equipment 
> is
> truly yours. You can show receipts, credit card statements, etc, to show that
> the stuff is yours. It's good to keep all documents when you buy a new or used
> piece of equipment. If you don't need to show what you paid, you might want to
> produce shipping documents that don't include price information.
> If the reasonable approach is to get the equipment repaired, show a repair
> estimate. If you want to replace the item, show evidence of the replacement
> cost. The insurance company expects you to buy a new unit, not a used one. If
> the damaged unit is no longer a current model, you should replace it with the
> most comparable current version. This choice is essentially up to you. If you
> provide specs in written form that can be used as evidence, the adjustor will
> be happy. His goal, remember, is to fill the file with evidence. He doesn't
> have to understand it.
> You and the adjustor also know that there is a wide range in repair and
> replacement pricing. You can choose to demonstrate low, medium or high prices.
> For replacements, I have usually shown evidence obtained from the web of 
> prices
> ranging from discounted distributor prices to full list price. My "honesty is
> the best policy" approach has usually resulted in maximum reimbursements. The
> adjustor will look at the evidence, realize that he can get home early 
> [instead
> of doing price research back at the office], and he will thank you by putting
> the list price evidence in his folder and telling you to put away the
> discounted pricing info because you might not be able to get the equipment at
> that price.
> One more word of caution: Don't finalize your insurance claim too quickly. The
> insidious and widespread results of a lightning event can go undetected for a
> long time. I have found many damaged devices weeks after the claim was closed
> out. You cannot then amend your claim or create a second claim for the same
> event without a second application of deductible, so anything you find later 
> is
> your problem.
> I have found that the approach of doing all the homework for the adjustor will
> get you the best possible results. It's a lot of work, but this is the 
> approach
> I recommend.
> The end result of your claim is a check made out to you from the insurance
> company. One thing you should know is that you are not required to spend that
> money in the same manner that was used to calculate your damages. You can 
> spend
> it any way you want. If you decide to get out of 2M moonbounce, and instead
> invest that money in your new 136KHz LF station, its not an issue for the
> insurance company.
> Although I have always felt good about the way things turned out with the
> insurance company, I would never choose to have a lightning strike. I've lost
> extremely valuable and irreplaceable computer data, and spent huge amounts of
> time documenting losses and preparing for adjustor visits. Right now, my
> station is not in use, and ALL my antennas are disconnected. All AC power is
> supplied through a large UPS. When there's a thundserstorm approaching, I shut
> down everything and disconnect every connection to the outside world. I unplug
> all phone, ISDN and DSL lines coming into the shack. I unplug the UPS from the
> wall. I am also looking carefully at investing in Polyphaser-type upgrades to
> my grounding and lightning arrest system.
> I hope you don't ever have to go through this process, but if you do, I hope
> these suggestions are helpful.
> 73,
> Jim K1IR
> ********** Forwarded Message **********
> [Towertalk] ARRL Insurance
> Mon, 15 Jul 2002 16:43:24 -0500
> Previous message: [Towertalk] Jim, good catch!
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> Someone recently inquired about the ARRL insurance plan.  I have a Yaesu
> FT1000MP Mark-V and a Kenwood TM-331 that were severely damaged my a
> lightning strike to one of my towers.  The insurance has agreed to pay for
> the purchase of new radios.  I also had some rotor and switchbox damage, but
> since I don't list these items they were not covered.  They were all easily
> fixable my me anyway, except for the WX0B Stackmaster Control box which is
> toast.  I'm happy with the policy.
> Previous message: [Towertalk] Jim, good catch!
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> Jim Idelson K1IR
> email
> web
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Great write-up Jim!
Lots of help for people.
*See you in the pileups!


n2wb at arrl dot net

Unless we stand for something,
we shall fall for anything.
                        --  Peter Marshall  --

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