Written by Andy Gurczak

August 8, 2022

Deal with Home Insurance Claim Adjusters

How to Deal with Home Insurance Claim Adjusters

If a storm, fire or other natural disaster damages your home, you first want to make sure everyone in your family is safe. After that, you will survey the damage. If it is more than very minor, you will probably file a homeowners’ insurance claim. Therefore, it will be helpful to know how to deal with a home insurance claims adjuster.

You should file an insurance claim as soon as possible to start the claims process. Certainly, the sooner you file a claim, the sooner you can get your insurance settlement.

After you file a claim, an adjuster working for the insurance company will come to inspect the damage to your home. Insurance claim adjusters may work directly for the insurance company. Or they may be independent adjusters.

However, don’t be fooled. Independent adjusters only work for insurance companies as independent contractors.

As such, they are looking to settle your claim quickly and cheaply. Insurance companies are not in the business of simply paying money to insureds. Consequently, company and independent adjusters know that and act accordingly. The insurance adjuster evaluates your property, collects evidence on the extent of the damage and rules on your claim.

What Is the Best Way to Deal with Home Insurance Claim Adjusters?

There are several steps you can take to make dealing with an insurance claims adjuster easier.

The first thing you should do before the adjuster comes to inspect your home is to read your insurance policy.

By studying your policy, you will be in a better position to negotiate with the insurance adjuster.

Therefore, know what types of insurance coverage you have. For example, do you have replacement cost value coverage or cash value coverage? There is a big difference.

For instance, if a fire destroyed your five-year-old stove, the insurance company will only offer to replace the stove at its current value, not at the price you paid for it five years ago.

In other words, they will factor in depreciation and only make settlement offers for the depreciated value of damaged personal property.

Learn your policy limits and know the amount of deductibles you have.

It is important to know you do not have to take their first offer. However, let them make the first offer just in case your research has led you to a lower figure.

Be prepared to negotiate and know your rights (another reason to take the time to study your policy). Challenge their first offer if you can show that it should be higher. You can prove your point by showing them parts of your policy and providing quotes from reliable contractors.

You should note at this point the company may recommend contractors to you. You do not have to use those contractors. In fact, you are free to find your own contractors.

Consider Hiring a Public Adjuster

If you have substantial damage to your home, and you don’t think the insurance company is treating you fairly, it’s a good idea to hire a public insurance adjuster. A public insurance adjuster works for homeowners only. They can analyze your losses, collect and organize photos, estimates, etc., and present your claim to the insurance company.

Indeed, most public adjusters worked for insurance companies earlier in their career. Therefore, they know how insurance companies work.

They will negotiate a final settlement for you.

Typically, a public adjuster charges 5 to 15% of the final settlement as a fee. However, you do not pay that until they settle your claim. Moreover, a public adjuster may get you as much as 30 to 50% above what the insurance company might offer if you are not represented.

Therefore, the homeowner is still coming out ahead.

Take the time to develop a list of damaged or destroyed assets and compile estimates for repairs. If you made a home inventory, listing the date and purchase amount for appliances, electronics, computers, etc., the claims process will go much smoother for you.

If you have to leave your house while it is being repaired, your policy will cover additional living expenses (ALE). Therefore, keep all receipts for meals, hotels, etc. Indeed, if clothes were destroyed, you can purchase new clothing and get reimbursed.

In fact, if it is clear you will have to move for a period, the company adjuster can give you a check or debit card to cover those expenses.

Of course, they will deduct any money you spend on ALE from the final settlement.

Keep Documents in Order

Keep a folder for all photos, estimates and letters exchanged with the insurance company. Additionally, log the date and time of your conversations, along with a brief explanation of what was said.

Create a folder on your computer for all emails exchanged with the insurance company for easy retrieval. If you can, acquire paper or electronic copies of any reports or statements your adjuster makes. This will help you stay organized throughout the duration of your case.

The best way to get a fair final settlement is to be honest and polite with the company adjuster. You won’t get them to budge on their first offer if you have insulted them or they lose faith in your honesty. If you exaggerate or embellish the facts involved in your claim, they could deny your claim.

Therefore, treat the property claim adjuster with respect. As a result, the claims process will go smoother and you will get a better result.

Don’t give a recorded statement to the adjuster. However, your policy might require you to submit to an examination under oath. If so, make sure you don’t contradict yourself or suggest you caused the incident.

In addition, sit down with a public adjuster or an insurance attorney to prepare. Indeed, hire one of them to go with you if it is a face-to-face meeting.

If You Need a Public Adjuster, Call AllCity Adjusting

We are a family-owned claims company with five decades of combined adjusting experience. As a result, if there’s one thing we understand, it’s that you need 100% of your claim value.

Insurance companies under value your claim 8 out of 10 times. Moreover, they hire expensive adjusters to ensure they maintain a strong profit margin. Additionally, they have experienced actuaries that create insurance agency guidelines that help their team of agents challenge your insurance claim’s validity.

You have already gone through a tumultuous event. For this reason, get an agency that gets you more.

At AllCity Adjusting we work to ensure you get 100% of your claim value. Equally important, with over 50 years of combined adjusting experience, we know insurance companies and understand where they cut corners. Moreover, we help you build a larger claim, maximize your claim value, and get you the settlement amount you deserve.

Don’t get fooled, get the company that gets you more.

Call us at 844.692.3587. Or you can email us at info@allcityadhjusting.com.

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