Working with a home insurance adjuster is common when you make an insurance claim for any property loss. Many people find this whole process of filing a claim and working with the insurance adjuster to be intimidating. You may have heard wonderful stories of being paid out on a loss and others where the person filing the claim had a complete nightmare of a time dealing with this whole process. So, it is understandable that you might wonder a few things through the process such as Is the adjuster waiting for me to make a mistake? How can I maximize the payout from my insurance company? What items can I expect to be covered? What happens if somethings aren’t covered or the payout is less than the mitigation and rebuild? What is my recourse or what are my options?
What does a Home Insurance Adjuster do?
Your insurance company hires insurance adjusters. The adjuster’s job is to evaluate your property insurance claim, determine if it is covered by your insurance policy, and decide how much money the insurance company is going to pay out to cover your loss.
It’s important to note that the home insurance adjuster is a paid employee or independent contractor hired by your insurance company, they are not an advocate for you and your family. The insurance adjuster’s job is to protect the insurance company’s bottom line and they usually get rewarded quite well for doing that.
Some insurance companies are fair and reasonable and will take good care of you when you file an insurance claim. These insurance companies are prompt and payout within a reasonable amount of time to cover the costs of your loss. However, there are other Insurance companies that want to pay the least amount of money they’re legally obligated to pay. One tactic often used to accomplish this is that they will evaluate your claim, close it as quickly as possible, and for as small a payout as possible. In other cases, they will delay and stall the payout over a long period of time and then finally pay out a fraction of what is needed to cover the loss.
When this happens, the homeowner will sometimes disagree with the insurance adjuster and suspect the estimate is too low. In some cases, the homeowner will be persuaded by the adjuster that their payout amount is fair and just and that their home, belongings, and peace of mind are not worth as much. In other words, they are trying to persuade you to devalue your belongings and get you to settle for less than a complete replacement of your loss. Well, that isn’t fair is it? You don’t have to accept this as the final answer. There is help out there.
If you need help working with an insurance adjuster or getting a fair assessment and settlement for your claim, you should rely on someone with experience in working with insurance companies, such as your rebuild contractor, your mitigation company, your state insurance board or an attorney who specializes in insurances cases. They can help you identify your rights and know how to fight for them. Also, they can show you how to make sure you are getting what your contract with the insurance company says and that your insurance company is following the insurance laws in your state. You do have rights that you may not be aware of. There are people on your side and things you can do to protect yourself.