Whenever you file an insurance claim, you’ll have to work with an insurance adjuster from your insurance company. Insurance adjusters evaluate your property damage, collect evidence of the loss, prepare estimates, and rule on your claim. However, although insurance adjusters are usually friendly and reassuring, it’s important to remember they are not your advocate. Instead, insurers pay adjusters to calculate the lowest possible compensation for you. But don’t worry! There are ways you can prepare for dealing with an insurance adjuster.
For example, you can prepare for the adjuster’s inspection by compiling an itemized list of your belongings or making sure you understand your policy’s exclusions. Moreover, you can keep notes of your meetings and use very specific language when describing your property loss. Read on ahead to learn more about dealing with an insurance adjuster.
Know The Different Types of Adjusters Before Dealing With An Insurance Adjuster
A good place to start preparing to deal with your insurance adjuster is to know the different types of adjusters. First, a claims adjuster can work for the insurance company, be an independent adjuster, or a third-party administrator adjuster (TPA). However, the last two types of adjusters are simply types of outsourced adjusters. Outsourced adjusters are generally used on minor claims and only have limited authority. For example, they only have the authorization to offer a certain amount of compensation. They may need approval from the insurance company to exceed it.
You can usually spot an outsourced adjuster by their letterhead or email address different from the insurance company’s. So if you think you are dealing with a TPA, feel free to ask the adjuster upfront. Meanwhile, it won’t make much difference on your claim, it will show the adjuster that you are knowledgeable.
When Dealing With an Insurance Adjuster is Wise to Know the Adjuster’s Responsibilities
- First, insurance adjusters confirm the policy and coverage
- Second, they investigate the facts, liability, and damages of your claim
- Then, adjusters evaluate your claim
- Afterward, insurance adjusters reserve the appropriate amount of money
- And finally, they pay your claim and close the file
Furthermore, know that insurance companies monitor quite a few aspects of their adjusters’ work. For instance, insurers keep track of the total dollars of settlements each month and the number of claims they close each month. Also, the number of settlements approved without the involvement of an attorney. Insurance companies also expect adjusters to prevent insurance fraud and settle claims quickly.
It could be an excellent strategy to play dumb with the adjuster by asking how the insurer tracks their performance. Understanding the adjuster’s expectation of their job performance could help you negotiate your claim.
Dealing With An Insurance Adjuster’s Visit
After experiencing property damage due to a covered peril, here are the steps you might expect to take:
- First, you’ll call your insurance provider to inform them of the damage and ask about the insurance claim process. Before the adjuster arrives, they’ll answer any questions and ask you to gather certain information and documentation about your property.
- Afterward, you will file a report. Depending on what happened to your property, you may also need to file a report with your local fire department or sheriff’s office. Request copies of the reports because you will need to give them to your insurance company.
- Only then will you be assigned and visited by an insurance adjuster. An insurance adjuster will come to your property to review the extent of your loss and determine the compensation you’ll receive. Ensure the adjuster doesn’t miss any damages, so try to be there when the insurance adjuster visits.
However, be careful not to overshare and be conscious of everything you say to your adjuster since it could be held against you later on. Remember, adjusters aren’t on your side, however friendly they may seem.
Dealing With An Insurance Adjuster After Their Visit
Once the adjuster is done with the visit, they will likely require you to submit some additional information within a time limit defined by your policy. You might have to send in:
- A statement describing the loss
- As well as an inventory of lost or damaged personal property
- They could also ask for specifications for damaged structures
- And finally, receipts for additional living expenses if the damage forces you out of your home
Make sure you provide this information so the rest of the process goes smoothly with your insurance adjuster. Furthermore, dealing with the insurance adjuster can be easier if you have an itemized inventory. Keep a log of your meetings with the adjuster and understand your policy limits. And while it’s important to remain honest about your claim, you should avoid suggesting you’re to blame.
Itemized list of your lost or damaged property
A property inventory shows what you own and how much it’s worth. Thus, it serves both as evidence and gives the adjuster an idea of what needs replacement.
Keep a log of any meetings with the adjuster.
Document your interactions with your insurance adjuster in a journal or spreadsheet. Log the date and time of your conversations, along with a brief explanation of the discussion. In addition, make sure to keep track of text messages, calls, and emails. Also, try to acquire paper or electronic copies of any reports or statements your adjuster makes. This will help you stay organized throughout your case and negotiate any settlement issues.
Be honest about your loss.
You’ll likely have to provide an account of what happened to your insurance adjuster, and you must be honest when you do. Therefore if you have to sign any statements, review them to verify they are true. Since making false statements to the adjuster will negatively affect your claim. In addition, your insurance policy prevents you from receiving any compensation if you mislead your adjuster. In fact, you could even face a lawsuit for committing insurance fraud.
Understand your policy’s exclusions
Your claim might be denied if you aren’t sure what your policy covers, specifically when discussing your property damage with the adjuster.
Avoid suggesting you’re to blame
Meanwhile, it’s important to be honest with your claims adjuster. You should avoid statements that suggest you’re at fault for your property damage. Since your policy does not compensate you for property losses caused by your negligence, your adjuster will listen for statements suggesting you caused the damage. In fact, if you have to prepare a written statement, you may want to consult your public adjuster.
Let a Public Adjuster Deal With an Insurance Adjuster
As we said before, an insurance adjuster works for your insurance company and its interest. On the other hand, a public insurance adjuster is a licensed insurance professional that works exclusively for you and your rights. A public adjuster takes care of every part of the insurance claims process, so you don’t have to. They file, negotiate and settle claims, as well as offer damage estimates, deal with contractors, and most importantly, deal with insurance adjusters. They only charge you a percentage of your insurance payout once your case is finished and assure you a maximized and fair settlement. Hire a public adjuster today!
Best way to beat the insurance company is to hire AllCity Adjusting
At AllCity Adjusting we help residential and commercial clients alike get the claims support they need. Moreover, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping get our clients the max settlement time and time again. If your claim has been low balled or denied entirely we can help increase your maximum settlement. Call us today for a FREE consultation. Experience the AllCity difference.
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