The last thing anyone wants to do after suffering property damage is think about the insurance company and the wrestling match that must be fought to get the settlement you require to restore your home to its pre-loss condition. That’s what insurance is for, right? So, when emergencies happen and (and they do happen), you are covered. What should be a stress-free situation in terms of coverage becomes one more thing to worry about.
While some insurance companies do provide fair settlements, policyholders should never expect that to be the case otherwise they may find themselves accepting a settlement that is far too low for the damage suffered. Look to these indicators to identify when insurance companies are trying to underpay your claims.
Their Estimate Was Not Thorough or Accurate
The insurance company will send over a representative (their independent adjuster) to come and see what kind of damage has occurred. This is referred to as the scoping of the loss. This is where the estimate usually gets botched. Independent Adjusters, who work for the insurance company, usually receive flat fees and speed is usually more important than an in depth analysis of the claim’s origin and the extent of the damage. From the scope comes the estimate. Without a proper, fair estimate, all facts and arguments that follow are based on shaky ground.
The process is supposed to look like this:
- Your home is damaged due by an event covered by your insurance policy.
- Naturally, you call your insurance company and it sends out an Independent adjuster to scope the damage.
- Adjusters arrive, assess the property, and prepare their scope and from the scope their estimate that should be sufficient to cover the damages and restore your home to its pre-loss condition.
- After a settlement is reached and agreed upon, you receive the money in time and your home can be repaired.
- You live happily ever after.
If it were so easy, Public Adjusters such as Florida’s Best Public Adjusters would simply not be necessary. However, that’s not how the situation typically unfolds and the amount of the estimate usually produces the most issues.
One of the ways that damage can be underestimated is a failure to assess the entire location. It can be easy to be focused on the areas that have taken the brunt of the damage, but ensuring the adjuster performs a thorough inspection is crucial for the estimate to come.
Additionally, just because adjusters have walked the premises and taken note of things does not guarantee that they have seen everything that should be noted for an estimate. At the risk of sounding cynical, it is in the benefit of insurance companies for their adjusters to not see things from time to time.
The most obvious damages will be noted, but there may be other damages that will be omitted.
Insurance Estimate is Too Low
Ultimately, that’s what this comes down to, right? If the assessment that is performed results in an estimate that is not sufficient enough to cover damages, then that is unacceptable.
Unfortunately, many homeowners accept unfair settlements because they need things repaired quickly and are tempted to take a quick check. Insurance companies know this, so they intentionally underpay from the get-go and aim to close the claim as quickly as possible.
Do not fall for this. It is worthwhile to have some patience in this regard, or involve a party that can negotiate on your behalf.
Identifying Issues Leading to Underpaid Claims
To put it very simply, there are a few obstacles that prevent homeowners from getting the best settlement possible.
- Homeowners will not necessarily know the true, up-to-date costs for repairs for the various items and portions of their home that are damaged. Time is often scarce and doing the appropriate research on fair prices for a roof, walls, repairing water damage, or other tasks can be very time consuming.
- Many people are unfamiliar with the claims process as well as the tactics and negotiating strategies that insurance companies use to underpay claims.
- Even if homeowners are somewhat knowledgeable on points 1 and 2, insurance companies do everything to delay and drag the process out for anyone fighting to get a substantially better settlement.
How to Get the Best Property Damage Insurance Settlement
All of the issues presented prey on a homeowner’s lack of time or knowledge about the claims process or the true cost of repairs.
That is where Public Adjusters come in.
- Work for you, not the insurance company
- Will represent you and handle the claims process for you, saving you valuable time and headache
- Will meet the insurance company’s adjuster to review your loss
- Will prepare a thorough estimate of your losses and send that to the insurance company
- Do not get paid until your claim is settled.
You have been dutifully paying for homeowner’s insurance this entire time. If you have suffered property damage, don’t let your insurance company underpay your claim. Now is the time to reap the full benefit of your insurance investment and protection.
Contact Florida’s Best Public Adjusters at (800)-952-7693 today for expert insurance claims help in Florida!