On average, we spend thousands of dollars each year on insurance premiums – property and casualty insurance, automobile insurance, life insurance, health insurance, etc. Usually, the lion’s portion of this is spent on coverage to insure our most valuable assets – our home and other properties. Whether it’s a residence, vacation or rental home, or business property, most folks have insurance in the event of a catastrophe or significant damage to their property. But, what happens when an event occurs and damage is sustained but the insurance company either denies your claim or the estimate falls way short? It’s never too late to explore your options and that’s exactly where a licensed public adjuster or qualified first party claims attorney comes into play.
Fortunately, most people go years and years without ever having a need for using their property insurance coverage. Likewise, because of this, most people also don’t have much, if any, experience in handling a property damage insurance claim. Between flat denial and gross underestimating by the insurance adjuster, confusion and shock may follow closely behind the filing of the claim. Insurance companies are like any other business, they are in the market of tracking profits, even if this means shortchanging the customer – you, the policyholder.
Let’s just start by saying that initial offers are generally lower than what is owed. The first estimate is likely to be basic and cut every corner possible. Just a very small example of this is some insurance companies going so far as to pay for the number of shingles needed when everyone knows that shingles may only sold in bundles. This is just one of many examples of how one might get shorted simply because of not knowing the difference or not knowing how to read the insurance adjuster’s estimate. Considering the number of claims filed each year, these small cuts from each estimate add up to a small fortune kept in the insurance companies’ pockets.
The best thing to do is consult with and hire an expert in this area – a licensed public adjuster. They work for you, not the insurance company, and are trained to read the policy and apply the coverage to make sure that you are getting exactly what you have paid a premium for. They work on a contingency fee and don’t get paid until you get paid. They relieve you of the stress and headache of trying to navigate through and negotiate something that is most likely out of your wheelhouse. It’s what they do!
It’s kind of funny – the insurance company writes the policy, they interpret the policy coverage, then they estimate the claim and are in control of the money. That doesn’t have to be the case. You have options, you just need to be aware of what those options are and how to act on them. It’s time to level the playing field and get what you are owed.
Enjoy the summer and let someone else do the work for you – a licensed claim professional who knows the ins and outs of the insurance industry and will do their best to make sure that you are not taken advantage of by someone just because they are bigger.