6 Inside Tips for Dealing with a Home Insurance Adjuster
Anyone who has dealt with a home insurance adjuster understands how overwhelming the process can be. Luckily, our insurance experts have been there a time or two with our clients, and we have some inside tips to help you navigate the whole process like a pro! Read on to pick up some invaluable tips and tricks from our team.
FAQs About Home Insurance Adjusters
What is a Home Insurance Adjuster?
After filing a claim, your insurance company will send an adjuster to your house to inspect the losses and damages you’ve incurred. Throughout this process, it’s important to remember that the goal of a home insurance adjuster is to evaluate your claim and decide how much money the insurance company must pay out. From a financial standpoint, insurance companies want to pay the minimum amount of money they’re legally obligated to pay.
With that in mind, you’ll quickly learn that most adjusters will operate with one aim in mind: to evaluate and close your claim as quickly as possible with a settlement that will make all parties as happy as possible. Before filing a claim, speaking with your insurance specialist can save you a lot of time, money, and stress throughout the process, as they will be able to review your policy with a fine-toothed comb and help you determine the full extent of your coverage.
FAQs About Dealing with Home Insurance Adjusters
Considering the in-depth process of filing a home insurance claim, it’s not surprising that our team has come across many frequently asked questions over the years from our clients.
So, we are here to share the experience and knowledge we’ve gained to help spare you from any expensive mistakes or missed opportunities for a higher payout from your insurance company!
Q: My adjuster has been assigned to me – what’s my next step?
A: Typically, after you file a claim, it will take 24-48 business hours for an adjuster to be assigned to your case. If your home is no longer livable, be sure and communicate that to your agent at the time of filing the claim. Try to take as many photos of the damage as possible, and stop further damage from occurring to your home (Ex. shut off the water, put out the fire, put a tarp over a hole in the roof).
Be sure to save any receipts for immediate repairs, and document the damage as much as possible for the adjuster. Once the case is assigned to the adjuster and they have had a chance to review the claim, they will call you to set up a time to come look at the damage.
Q: What can I expect to be covered?
A: Depending on what is damaged and the type of coverage on your policy, the adjuster will determine the amount the insurance company will pay out for repairs. As a general rule, you can expect what is listed on your policy to be covered.
If it is not listed on the policy or there is less damage than the amount of your deductible, there is no grounds for the insurance company to cover the loss. That is why it is so important to talk with your agent about the type of coverage you need, and to make sure your loss is enough to meet your deductible.
Q: What steps can I take to ensure a fair payout?
A: When purchasing a policy, make sure you discuss with your agent the coverages included on your policy. If you understand what is included, you will have a better understanding of the types of loss that are covered. Sometimes, the cheapest policy does not always mean the best policy when it comes to coverage. In addition, talking to your agent before you file can help you maximize your claim payout.
We hear stories all the time about insured who file claims without looking at their coverage or talking to a professional, and do not receive any pay out on their claim. Why? Because they did not understand their coverage or get an estimate to know if there was enough damage to warrant the claim. It is really disappointing when a client is upset from lack of pay out and their rates increase, when the whole situation could have been avoided with the right resources. So, always call your agent!
Q: What if my adjuster never returns my calls or emails?
A: Another common complaint about homeowner claims is the adjuster never calls or emails the client back. If you feel like your adjuster has forgotten you, you are not alone! This lack of communication is not your adjuster ignoring you or not wanting to help you out. Adjusters usually divide their days into two parts: office work and field work. During their time in the office, they are making calls to clients, repairmen, assessing damage, and coming up with reports on how the insurance company is going to pay out.
The other part of their day involves looking at damage in people’s homes and trying to document the loss. Because their office time is cut short, it may take longer to hear back from your adjuster. So, be patient, because they do care and want to make sure your coverage is honored! In the meantime, another avenue you can take is calling the claims customer service number for an update, or reach out to your agent.
Claims customer service can be a great resource if you have general questions on your claim or you’re not sure where to send documents. Your agent can also reach out to claims for an update or reach out to a claims supervisor when necessary. Be sure to use all your resources if you’re having issues hearing back!
Need An Agent Who Has Your Back?
While we aren’t licensed adjusters, we do know a lot about what adjusters look for and how the process of filing a home insurance claim typically goes. If you need a knowledgeable insurance agent in your corner, reach out to our team at the button below to discover what we can do for you!
Our National Providers
At Lifetime Insurance Services, we firmly believe in that old adage, “variety is the spice of life”.
With access to multiple providers, we can offer a pool of coverage options as diverse as your needs.
1. Avoid giving the adjuster a recorded statement
Remember that an insurance adjuster’s number-one goal is to settle your claim as quickly as possible with the fairest payout that will satisfy both you and your insurance company. However, anything you say can potentially impact your ability to negotiate a fair settlement. Don’t give the home insurance adjuster any recorded statements that could be used to hurt your position in negotiations down the road!
2. Have a knowledgeable insurance specialist help you
If possible, it’s a good idea to avoid speaking to the home insurance adjuster before speaking with your insurance specialist first. Our insurance specialist can help educate you on your policy, so you are fully armed with the correct coverage information and expectations before filing a home insurance claim.
3. Don’t sign anything before reviewing it carefully.
Your insurance policy is a mutual contract with your insurance company, legally binding them to cover certain types of damages, and they are required to act in good faith when investigating claims. However, if the initial settlement offer seems low, you do not need to settle or sign anything before speaking with your insurance specialist.
4. The more you cooperate with the adjuster, the easier it will be.
Bear in mind that you’re required to cooperate with any adjuster that has been hired and deployed by your own insurance provider. Your safest bet in executing successful negotiations will be speaking with your insurance agent to ensure your policy coverage matches your payout expectations. It’s also a good idea to be as transparent as possible with your home insurance adjuster.
5. Ask for itemized damages & facts for their numbers
Even after negotiations, your payout may seem low. If this is the case, now would be a good time to ask them for further justification of their low settlement offer; this may involve requesting an itemized list of damages with facts behind their numbers. However, adjusters will usually offer a settlement commensurate with your level of coverage and type of coverage. Buy if this is the case, your insurance specialist will be able to help you assess your policy coverage limits alongside the itemized damages.
6. Once a claim is settled, get that settlement in writing
Contrary to popular belief, your home insurance adjuster is not your enemy! In fact, they serve as the arbitor of truth and fairness throughout the process of filing and settling a claim. However, in some rare cases, a home insurance adjuster may promise one thing in negotiations and flip to the previous settlement offer in the final settlement. Make sure to get the final settlement offer in writing, just as an extra precaution.
Let Us Help You Settle with Your Home Insurance Adjuster
As an independent insurance agency, we have access to multiple providers with a pool of different coverage options as diverse as the needs of the clients we serve. While we may not be able to control the process of dealing with an insurance adjuster, we can help you navigate the ins and outs, and we can provide you with the knowledge and insight needed for the greatest chance at reaching a successful settlement.
Let our team of insurance experts help you protect what matters most! Give us a call today at (972) 771-2622 or visit our website at https://lifetimeinsurance.agency/home-insurance/.