Unlike other types of insurance claims, individuals who file a homeowners claim know that cash reimbursement is imminent. Even the promise of a claim payment within 48 hours isn't swift enough to satisfy an individual who has been forced from their home.

That's why last December a claims adjuster for Lincoln, R.I.-based Amica Mutual Insurance Co. could've been excused for feeling like Santa Claus. Days before Christmas, a house fire ravaged the home of an Amica Mutual policyholder, leaving the family safe, but nonetheless cold and out on the street.

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