HVACi Releases 2013 Annual Claims Report

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — HVAC Investigators (HVACi), an established market leader providing insurance carriers across the country with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) damage assessments, recently published its 2013 Annual Claims Report. Provided to insurance carriers across the country, this report revealed several compelling statistics for HVAC trends that can help carriers make more informed decisions on their specialty HVAC and refrigeration claims. The report is free and available at request by emailing info@hvacinvestigators.com.

The 2013 Annual Claims Report provides critical industry statistics regarding: reported damage versus actual damage, recommended settlement actions, repair versus replace frequency, recommended repair action by category, and frequency of claims per geographic region. The data was compiled using the actual results of thousands of HVAC insurance claims investigations across the United States, and provides an accurate representation of the industry as a whole.

“The impact of Superstorm Sandy is certainly reflected in the 2013 report, but the data clearly points to the ever-present disparity between reported cause of damage and what actually happened,” said Matthew Livingston , HVAC Investigators’ Manager of Customer Education. “Because of the complexity of HVAC claims, and the technical expertise required to accurately diagnose true cause of damage, it can be difficult for carriers to settle those claims consistently without outside assistance.”

The 2013 report also suggests that HVAC claims represent a significant opportunity for insurance carriers who lack HVAC formal education or subject matter expertise to leverage third-party, objective investigations to improve their claims accuracy – particularly in light of ever-changing market influences, including equipment price fluctuations, regional labor rates, parts availability, and the looming EPA regulations on the use of R-22 refrigerant.
The next report, revealing statistics from the first half of 2013, will be released in the third quarter.

Highlights of the 2013 Annual Claims Report:

Reported Damage vs. Actual Damage
A staggering number (34% of all systems evaluated in 2013) were ultimately diagnosed as “Wear and Tear,” “Not-Damaged,” or “Claim Withdrawn.”
Recommended Settlement Actions

The average claims accuracy was $3,659 per residential claim and $20,459 per commercial claim in 2013. Based on the average variance per claim, a typical Property and Casualty insurance carrier had a potential claims accuracy of more than $35,000,000 in 2013, had they engaged an outside HVAC claims expert.

Repair vs. Replace Frequency
More than 8 out of every 10 claims investigated by HVACi resulted in a repair recommendation to bring the insured back to pre-loss condition … or weren’t damaged at all.

Repair Action by Category
HVACi’s specific repair action varies widely based on the type of damage sustained by the HVAC equipment. “Lightning,” “hail,” and “theft/vandalism” are the three most common types of reported claims, and were sub-categorized based on recommended repair action. In each category, the frequency of recommended “minor” or “moderate” repairs was significant.

Frequency of Claims by Geographic Region
Despite the widespread damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, the number of HVAC claims in the Southeast still accounted for largest percentage of total HVAC claims for 2013 with 29%, immediately followed by the Southwest at 26%. The Northeast region accounted for 16% of all claims, up from 9% in the previous reporting period (the first half of 2012).

HVAC Investigators is the nation’s leading provider of data and inspections for property insurance claims involving HVAC and Refrigeration equipment. The company provides timely inspections and actionable reports to help settle HVAC claims more quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy. For more information, or to submit an assignment, visit HVACinvestigators.com or call 888.407.5224.

For more information, contact:
Daniel McCollum , HVAC Investigators, 888.407.5224