San Diego

Property Itemization Service Helps Reclaim Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars for Fire Victims

The expert says she's helped homeowners get up to 200 percent more money than initially offered by their insurance company

A specialized service in San Diego aims to help people who’ve lost their homes in fires, and says it can help homeowners recover hundreds of thousands of extra dollars from insurance carriers.

“One of your duties, which is actually in your policy, is to document and show your damages, and prove your claim,” Beverly Cook said.

Cook is an inventory specialist with Policyholders Adjusting Services in Kearny Mesa. To help homeowners, she will itemize, in great detail, the personal contents of a home in an effort to maximize reimbursements from insurance carriers.

Cook says in every case she’s handled, homeowners are under duress and don’t want to go through the trauma of having to itemize their belongings.

“It’s a daunting task to have to re-create your home. It’s incredibly hard. If you don’t do it correctly, you would be short-changing yourself,’ she said.

Cooks says sometimes certain carriers will offer 75 to 80 percent of the actual value of personal contents of a home destroyed by fire.

“I do a lot of research on each and every line item to substantiate what I’m putting down on that paperwork, so I can stand behind what I’m presenting to the insurance company. That’s very important,” said Cook.

Cook says she’s been doing the work for 35 years, helping homeowners as far back as the 2003 Cedar Fires, and more recently, victims of last year’s fires in Santa Rosa.

Cook says she charges 10 percent of what she’s able to recover. And for many that could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in reimbursements.

“I would say that there’s probably, I want to say, anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent, to as high as 200 percent increase in my work product on your recovery,” Cook said.

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