Is this your first property insurance claim? The insurance claims process can be overwhelming whether it’s your first or one of many. It’s emotionally draining, confusing, and complex. It could be one of the most stressful events of your life. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be, especially if you get help from a qualified public adjuster.
When it comes to handling an insurance claim, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach as each claim is unique and complex. However, two basic approaches exist:
Do-it-yourself and let the insurance carrier drive the insurance claims process
Use a public insurance adjuster to make sure your best interests are looked after
Many policyholders begin the insurance claims process on their own because they simply do not realize external help is available. In fact, they often rely on, and are grateful for, their insurance carriers to guide them through the process. Unfortunately, despite the kindness of individual claims adjusters and customer service representatives, these individuals are the insurance carrier’s employees and are inclined to protect the insurance company’s interests, not yours.
In contrast, a public insurance adjuster is an independent claims consultant who works for YOU. Your interests, not the insurance company’s, are the driving force. Let’s take a look at these two approaches so that you are better prepared for the challenges ahead.
Insurance Company-Driven Insurance Claims Process
With this approach, the policyholder relies on the insurance company for guidance throughout. The insurance company has many requirements and forms, many of which are difficult for the average consumer to understand. If you have questions, you’ll need to call an 800 number for help which may or may not prove to be helpful. As you muddle through the paperwork, you do the best you can. From there, your insurance company may deny or delay your claim because the paperwork is incomplete or incorrectly filled out.
It doesn’t end with confusing paperwork, either. The insurance company will send a claims adjuster to your property to assess the damage and estimate the costs to restore your property to its original condition. This is great, you may think. After all, the claims adjuster takes care of estimating repairs and may even cut you a check on the spot.
However, you could be grossly underpaid for your losses. Not only does the insurance company’s employee represent the insurance company’s interests, it is not the insurance company’s responsibility to find all of your insurance losses. This is YOUR responsibility. Thus, your insurance carrier’s adjuster is not likely to perform as thorough of a damage assessment as you might expect. As a result, hidden and non-obvious damage may not be accounted for in your total insurance settlement.
Despite the burden of proof being your responsibility, the insurance company tends to dictate the entire process. It has all of the power throughout the process.
If you will be handling your own claim without a public adjuster’s help, make sure to:
Document all of your losses
Get multiple estimates from independent contractors
Take extensive notes when speaking with insurance company representatives including names and dates
Stand up for yourself when conflicts arise
Have a Plan B (call a public adjuster) should your claim be denied or your settlement too low
Public Adjuster-Driven Insurance Claims Process
With a public insurance adjuster’s help, the balance of power shifts back to you, the policyholder. You will still responsible for adhering to all of the insurance company’s requirements, filling out paperwork, and proving your losses. However, your public insurance adjuster is an expert at doing so, and does so with your best interests driving the process.
Delays and denials due to incomplete or incorrect paperwork are no longer an issue because your public adjuster knows what all that insurance terminology and legalese really means. What’s more, your public insurance adjuster is an aggressive advocate for you who searches for every possible loss to claim. Where an insurance company adjuster may look at your property and say it “looks fine,” a public adjuster uses every available tool to come to the most accurate conclusion. For example, our public adjusters utilize thermal cameras that are used to find hidden water damage that’s not visible to the naked eye, yet substantially damaging nonetheless.
This thorough, policyholder-centered approach typically translates into substantially higher final insurance settlements without the hassles, delays, and fears that many policyholders experience when navigating the claims process alone.
You have a choice in how your insurance claims process progresses. Do you want the insurance company to dictate the process or would you like to take charge from the beginning?
Contact us 24/7 via telephone at (800) 572-7914 if you would like a no cost, no obligation assessment of your current claim. You can also submit your information here. We are licensed and have public claim adjusters ready to help you with your claims process in Houston, Tampa, St. Louis, Brooklyn, Long Island and many other cities and states.