Property Insurance Claim FAQ’s

Why can’t my insurance broker or agent handle my property insurance claim?

Consider that insurance agents and brokers sell insurance policies, not estimate and adjust claims. Insurance claim estimating and the claim adjustment process is a specialized area within the insurance industry.

Are insurance claims negotiable?

Absolutely. Many components of a claim are negotiable. Repair costs, depreciation amounts, costs/values of goods, deadlines and overhead & profit are a few items that can be and should be negotiated.

What’s the downside of allowing the claim adjuster from the insurance company to handle the claim process for me?

The insurance company’s claim adjuster represents his or her employer and the insurance company’s interests. Insurance policies clearly state that it’s the claimant’s responsibility to prove losses. Thus, it’s common occurrence for carrier’s adjusters to not 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. Being in and staying in control of your claim and the insurance claim process will result in a more accurate and quicker final settlement.

Why hire a public adjuster to handle a property insurance claim?

Though the steps may seem easy enough at first glance, public insurance adjusters are thorough and highly motivated to get the maximum value for all of your losses. They know how to navigate the insurance claim process efficiently and effectively and they know the processes and strategies to reverse claim denials or low settlement offers. If you want a hassle-free and efficient claim process and the highest possible settlement, then consider speaking to a public adjuster.

Will my insurance company discourage me from hiring a public adjuster?

Maybe. Insurance companies are often inclined to minimize claim settlements. An experienced public adjuster will exhaust every detail of a claim and require all parts of a claim be given due attention. This can result in more work and accountability for the claim adjuster form the insurance company. As such, it’s common for an insurance company adjuster to discourage a claimant from hiring a public adjuster.

I received a settlement which I think it’s too low to repair all my damaged property. How long do I have to re-open my claim to attempt to get an additional settlement from the insurance company?

It depends on that state in which you live. Most states require insurance companies to give claimants between 2-5 years from the date of loss to re-open a claim or file a supplemental claim for damages.

Will my insurance company cancel my insurance or “drop me” if I hire a public adjuster?

No. An insurance company cannot cancel or “drop” a claimant for any reason other than fraud or material misrepresentation. An insurance company can elect to not renew your policy, but that can only occur on the anniversary of the renewal date. This rarely happens unless an insured has had several insurance claims within a short time span.

Will I have enough settlement money left over to replace my belongings and finish the restoration and repairs to my property after I pay a public adjuster fee?

If you are properly insured and hire an experienced public adjuster who completes an exhaustive claim package, then you should have more than enough money to replace personal property, rebuild your property and pay the public insurance adjuster his or her fee. The claim adjuster you decide to hire should communicate to you a claim strategy as well as realistic expectations and goals for settlement prior to starting any work.

Is a public claim adjuster needed in the event of a total-loss scenario?

If you suspect, or if the insurance company adjuster has determined, your claim to be a total loss then it makes financial sense to wait to consider hiring your own claim adjuster until after the insurance company has tendered an offer, on paper.

A claimant is still required to adhere to policy obligations and submit a full claim package even in the event of a total loss such as with a fire claim. This would include submitting supporting data such as damage estimates, photographs and other claim documents in order for the claim to be processed and paid. Often times in a total loss scenario an insured may be entitled to collect up to 35% ABOVE POLICY LIMITS. An experienced public adjuster knows how to document, submit and negotiate total-loss settlements in the most expeditious way.

What's involved in the property insurance claim process?

Though the steps vary depending on the claim type and severity of your loss, you can expect the insurance claim process to include the following basic steps:

  • Notify the insurance company
  • Meetings with the insurance company and its representatives.
  • Document of damages – photos, receipts, expert opinion reports etc.
  • Estimation of the damages- property and structure(s).
  • Revisions and negotiations of line items on estimates.
  • Daily and weekly claim communication
  • Choosing qualified and licensed contractors to restore and/or repair
  • Submission of claim package.
  • Submitting a Sworn Statement and Proof of Loss Form
  • Settlement negotiations.

Why can’t I prepare and negotiate my own insurance claim for property damage?

Most people who attempt to handle their claim from the onset quickly realize that mistakes and oversights end up costing them time, money and stress. These mistakes can include miscalculating the scope of the damage, not adhering to policy requirements and obligations, misapplying policy benefits and allowing the insurance company to dictate the pace of the claim and monetary settlement.

Can a public insurance adjuster reverse a denied insurance claim?

In some cases, yes. While it can be disheartening to receive a denial letter for an insurance claim, many denials can be reversed. Insurance companies commonly and unfairly deny insurance claims due to wrongly interpreting the insurance policy or misdiagnosing the cause or origin of damage. An experienced public claim adjuster can determine the validity of a denied claim. Many of our highest claim settlements came from claims that were originally denied from insurance companies. Take a look.

What is the cost to hire a public adjuster?

Public adjusters receive a small percentage of the negotiated settlement. Typically the fee range can be anywhere from 8% to 20% depending on the complexity and size of the claim. Never hire a public adjuster that charges an upfront fee or out of pocket costs.

Experience and a proven track record are the most important factors if you are considering using a public adjuster to provide you with insurance claim help. If you need claim help for a water damage insurance claim, fire insurance claim or any other type of insured loss then we can help. Since 1990 we have successfully won people fast and accurate settlements.

Why do I need to submit a Proof of Loss before I receive a settlement?

The Proof of Loss form is a very important document in the home insurance claim process and business insurance claim process. It’s a formal declaration by you and is used by the insurance company to determine the amount or liability of the claim. Many insurance policies require the submission of a Proof of Loss before processing settlement checks.