Insurance agent Betts discusses claims process with Westfield-Mayville Rotary

Submitted Photo Richard “Richie” Betts (left), independent insurance agent and owner of Betts Insurance Agency, was introduced as the guest presenter at the Aug. 6 Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club meeting by Sheila Chapman (right), Rotarian. During his program at The Parkview in Westfield, Betts discussed the insurance claims process, particularly in relation to weather-related events, such as the April 14 hail storm in this area.

WESTFIELD – How to proceed with an insurance claim, the role of the agent with the adjuster, and the need for having adequate insurance were topics discussed at the Aug. 6 Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club meeting, which was held at The Parkview in Westfield. Guest presenter Richard Betts, an independent insurance agent who is the owner of Betts Insurance Agency in Westfield, offered strategies for navigating the claims process. His program was sponsored by Rotarian Sheila Chapman.

Starting in 2016, Richard “Richie” Betts has focused on helping his clients with their needs for home, auto, business, and life insurance. Prior to starting his agency, Betts and his family lived in Columbus, Ohoi for just over nine years. While there, he worked out of the home office of Nationwide Insurance, which gave him invaluable experience which he uses with his current agency.

Betts and his wife Meghan, who are both graduates of Westfield Academy and Central School, are grateful for the opportunity to return to Westfield. Betts said, “We are enjoying everything that makes Westfield so great. Our three children Brookleigh, James, and Emma are loving the local schools and are enjoying growing up with family nearby.”

Betts stated, “Because I am an independent agent, I am not contracted with just one company. I represent multiple companies and am able to help folks get the best coverage for the best price. I grew up in Westfield, and since my family and I now reside in Westfield, I am reconnecting with many people.”

He continued, “I’ve run into so many folks who do not have proper coverage on their homes. Throughout the years, they’ve put multiple additions on their homes and made numerous improvements, but did not update their insurance. I can keep a pulse on my client’s needs.”

According to Betts, the April 14, 2019 hail storm affected over 300 Westfield homes. “My phone was definitely ringing off the hook! If you have a claim, the first thing is to quickly reach out to your agent and try to get an understanding of the extent of the damage. It is very important to have someone look at the roof and to identify if the damage was due to the hail or not. The longer you wait to do this, the more likely the damage cannot be claimed, as it will be attributed to normal wear and tear of the roof.”

Answering questions from Westfield-Mayville Rotarians, Betts discussed the role of the agent with the adjuster, how to proceed if a person believes a second opinion with a claim is needed, and the relationship of the adjuster with the contractor. Betts said, “Some insurance companies use their own adjustors, while others use only independent, third party adjusters. It varies from company to company. What matters is that you communicate with the adjuster, if you’re not satisfied with the assessment.”

He added, “I suggest to each client with an open claim to get a contractor’s estimate, especially if you’re worried about what’s damaged or not. Then you can better evaluate the claim in terms of the amount of what the insurance company says it will cover.”

The Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville welcomes Betts and his family back to Westfield. Betts Insurance Agency is located at 27 East Main St. in Westfield. For more information, call 269-4322 or send an email to richie@bettsinsuranceagency.com