To receive compensation for repairs after a disaster, you will have to file a claim with your insurance company. In most cases, after a claim has been filed, an insurance adjuster will be sent to your home to assess the damage. Being prepared for that visit could save you time and help you to get the compensation you deserve.
What is an insurance adjuster?
- An adjuster is a person professionally trained to assess damage. Insurance companies will provide an adjuster for you. You can also choose to hire a public adjuster, but it may come with a higher price tag. If you do, be sure to check references and qualifications carefully. You can also contact the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters (www.naiia.com) for more information.
What Should I Have Ready For the Visit?
- Having a detailed home inventory will speed up the claims and assessment process exponentially. This inventory should include a description of items in your home, the approximate date of purchase, and what it might cost to repair or replace. Give a copy of these documents along with all receipts to your adjuster.
- Do not throw away damaged items until after the adjusters visit. Taking photos or video of damage is also recommended. If your property is completely destroyed, or if you do not have records, work from memory.
- Prepare a list with everything you want to show the adjuster. Be sure to identify any structural damage to your home, garage, shed, swimming pool, or other property features. Carefully check for details like cracks in walls or missing roof tiles. Electrical Systems should also be checked. Most inspections will be paid for by your insurance.
Helpful Tips For Faster and Simpler Adjustments
- Consider having a licensed contractor with you during your adjuster’s visit. These are trained professionals that have a clear idea of what repairs might cost and may be helpful in pointing things out during an inspection.
- Having an up to date home inventory can help you answer adjusters’ questions easier, speed up the claims process, and help you to get the payments you are entitled to.
- Keep lists and records of anything that you send to your insurance company. Take note of any conversations or phone calls made and with whom you spoke.
What If I Have A Disagreement With My Adjuster?
- If there are disagreements about settlements always try to resolve issues with your insurer first. Speaking with your insurance departments claims manager may help. Make sure you have your research and figures to back up your claim.
- Your state has an insurance department you can contact if you’re in need of extra help. They have consumer services personnel that will work with you and your insurer to reach an agreement.
- In some cases, it may be necessary to hire an attorney or public adjuster.
Settling an insurance claim is a business negotiation. Understanding the process will increase your odds of getting a quick, and fair settlement. There is a lot to learn and understand with insurance. Dealing with insurance wording can be confusing and difficult, but there are resources out there to help you and to keep the claims process fair.
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