Claims Process Do’s and Don’ts
Insurance claims are complicated. They are made even more complicated when policyholders fail to follow, or simply do not understand the guidelines imposed by their carrier. Public claims adjuster see many claims that are denied or underpaid due to complications. Reliable Claims Adjusting urges policyholders to take the appropriate steps to avoid settlement complications. Read on to learn more!
Be sure to continue to pay your insurance premium and mortgage! Be pro-active but patient in the claim process. Remember, you’re not on a level playing field when you’re dealing with an insurance claim. Think of your insurance claim as a business negotiation—you’re dealing with a for-profit company.
However, give your insurance company a chance to do the right thing, but don’t mistake a friendly representative for a friend. Do not make permanent repairs until the insurance adjuster has inspected your property. Document and support your claim with proof, details and estimates. Take extensive photos and video of damage. Present clear requests in writing that explain what you need, when you need it, and why you’re entitled to it.
Don’t pad or exaggerate your claim. Don’t sign legal documents without consulting with a qualified attorney r public claims adjuster. Try to resolve problems informally but complain in writing, go up the chain of command and/or use government agency help when necessary. Review your entire policy(ies) for coverage and endorsements. Interpretation of policy and scope of loss can make or break your claim.
You have the right to control and select who does your repairs. Do not sign over your claim to a contractor or restoration company. Carefully review any restoration contract and do not authorize any repair work until you get written approval from your insurance carrier.
You can have a restoration company clean-up the immediate mess but are not required to have them also do the repair work. Make sure you maintain control of your insurance payment.
Don’t feel forced to use the contractors your insurance company recommends. Get independent estimates for the repair work. It’s your property and you should control who does the work and the quality of the work. Sometimes insurers hire contractors based on cost only and you may not get the quality restoration work you require.
Don’t allow any work to be done unless you have some written approval from you insurance carrier. They may refuse to pay the claim without prior approval. Make sure you get and keep everything in writing.
Do ask your insurance company for an advanced payment on any undisputed amounts of the claim until an agreement can be reached on the rest of your claim. This will help you get repairs started and avoid heavy out-of-pocket expenses.
If you feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the process or feel your insurance company is not offering a fair settlement, consider hiring a public insurance adjuster to help with your claim. Public adjusters are typically compensated on a percentage of your recovery. Contact Reliable Claims Adjusting today for help with your claim. We are your advocate during the claims process and will work to maximize your settlement so all of your damage is fixed correctly and in full.