I love that at this age I still have "aha!" moments and still learn new things from different people in my life. A couple of insurance lessons came my way recently. The first one is that if a neighbor's tree falls on your property, you should call YOUR insurance company, not theirs. Who knew??

The other is that there are people called Public Adjusters who can help you file an insurance claim.  In February my bedroom got pretty messed up from a big crack in an upstairs pipe. There was water damage in my room, flooring damage in another room, and a whole lot of plumbing work that was required.

A friend suggested I call a public adjuster who he knew of and I have to say it was a positive experience. He did the paperwork. He followed up with my insurance company. He scheduled the appointment with the insurance company's adjuster and walked him through the house, showing the extent of the damage. I was relieved of the burden of all that stuff and was able to go about my daily life. And then when the claim was settled, I got a check which covered the cost of the repairs and the percentage that I agreed to give him. That's basically his selling proposition. Public adjusters can usually maximize the claim and get more money from the Insurer than the average uninformed homeowner.

This was my first experience using one so I can't say that it always works to the homeowner's advantage but he seems to have an excellent track record.  Let me also say that when I had damage to my Beachwood house, I dealt with the insurance company directly and had a positive experience there as well.  I'm just mentioning the public adjuster as one possible route you might take in the future.  I had never even known of them until my recent problems.
Insurance is one of those topics we seem to learn about as we go. In other words, we get educated only when we actually need to file a claim. Since it can be a complicated topic, I thought you might find this information helpful. It's a link to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.