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After the Fire: Claim Clarification

One of our buildings had a fire in the maintenance room. It was pretty much contained to that room, but there was some secondary smoke damage to a lot of the residents’ units, belongings and also in the storage areas. Normally, you would file the claim and make sure it goes smoothly, but in this case we realized that both the board and the managing agent were getting a lot of phone calls and inquiries about what was going on. What about my belongings? How is this going to work? Whose insurance is going to pay for some of the damage to my unit and belongings?

We decided to physically set up at the building. We put a table in the lobby so that any shareholder could stop and talk to us about the claim. People were curious as to how it was going to work.

We were really happy with the results because a lot of people came and asked questions. Some of them even brought their own personal insurance policies down, and we were able to look and advise them how their policies would respond to any of their damaged units and belongings. We felt that we were giving some service above and beyond, and we were also fielding a lot of the questions that board members and the managing agent would have had to field. We were ready to answer those questions and delve into it with individual shareholders.

The feedback was tremendous. People really liked getting the information, and I think it allayed any fears. If another one of our buildings has a fire, we’re going to use this as a protocol. We want to get right down there and have people manning a table who can talk to residents and let them know how it’s going to work.

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