Water damage can be a real pain, harming not only your property but also your bank account. Filing a water damage insurance claim can help cover some costs, but dealing with insurance adjusters can be a headache.
Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to get the most out of your water damage claim and how to negotiate with insurance adjusters. Whether you’re dealing with a small leak or a major flood, this guide will help you navigate the confusing world of water damage insurance claims.
Understanding the Role of an Insurance Adjuster
If you’ve experienced water damage and need to file an insurance claim, you’ll likely interact with an insurance adjuster. But what exactly does an insurance adjuster do, and who do they work for? Is there a difference between a public adjuster and an independent adjuster?
Put simply, an insurance adjuster is a representative of the insurance company whose job is to investigate and assess the validity of your claim. They’ll inspect the damage to your property, review any relevant documents, and ask you questions about the incident.
Keep in mind that insurance adjusters are not really on your side. They work for the insurance company and their goal is to protect their employer’s bottom line. So, you need to be ready to advocate for yourself.
7 Tips for Dealing with an Insurance Adjuster
Dealing with an insurance adjuster can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of getting a fair settlement. Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with an insurance adjuster after water damage:
Keep Track of All Expenses
One of the most important things you can do is keep track of all expenses related to the damage. This includes receipts, invoices, and any other documentation that shows the cost of repairs or replacement items.
Whether it’s residential or commercial damage, you should keep a detailed record of everything, including any additional living expenses you incur due to the damage. You don’t want to miss out on any reimbursement you’re entitled to because you didn’t keep track of your expenses.
Be Prepared for the Inspection
When the insurance adjuster comes to inspect the damage, be prepared to answer their questions and provide any documentation they may request. This could include photos, videos, or a detailed inventory of damaged items. Be honest and don’t exaggerate the extent of the damage, but also don’t downplay it. Stick to the facts and let the evidence speak for itself.
You can even go the extra mile and get an independent contractor to assess the damage and provide an estimate for damage restoration. This will give you a better idea of how much coverage you need and will help you negotiate with the adjuster.
And something you cannot forget: review your policy carefully so you understand what is and isn’t covered. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises during the claims process. You don’t want to be caught off guard when dealing with an adjuster.
Keep a Record
Make sure to keep a record of all conversations and correspondence with the insurance adjuster. Write down the date, time, and details of each interaction, including the adjuster’s name and contact information. This will help you keep track of the progress of your claim and provide a record in case of any disputes.
Keep It Polite but Firm
When speaking with the claims adjuster, remain calm and polite, even if you’re frustrated. Remember that they are just doing their job. However, be firm in your requests for coverage and don’t accept any offers that are lower than what you believe you’re entitled to.
If you feel like the adjuster is being unreasonable or uncooperative, don’t be afraid to escalate the issue to their supervisor or to seek professional help.
Think Before You Sign
The first offer the insurance adjuster gives you for your water damage claim is usually lower than what you’re entitled to, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. After all, you’re not asking for a favor, you’re seeking the coverage you’ve been paying for all these years.
If you feel like you’re not being offered a fair settlement, you can hire a public adjuster to help you. They can negotiate on your behalf and make sure you get the maximum amount of coverage you’re entitled to.
And here’s a pro tip: before signing any documents or agreements, take the time to read them carefully and make sure you understand what you’re agreeing to. If you have any questions or concerns, ask the adjuster or seek advice from a professional. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your insurance claim.
Know Your Rights
As a policyholder, you have certain rights when dealing with an insurance adjuster after water damage. For example, you have the right to a fair and prompt investigation of your claim, and you have the right to receive a written explanation of any claim denial. If you feel like your rights are being violated, don’t hesitate to file a complaint with your state’s insurance department.
Consider Hiring a Public Adjuster
If you’re uncomfortable dealing with an insurance adjuster after water damage alone, or if you feel like you’re not getting a fair settlement, consider hiring a public adjuster. These professionals can help you navigate the claims process and negotiate on your behalf. It will be a huge weight off your shoulders.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Dealing with a Claims Adjuster
You want to get the best possible settlement for your claim, right? Well, then you need to know what NOT to do when dealing with claims adjusters. This way, you won’t get manipulated into agreeing to an offer that’s no good.
- Waiting too long to file your claim: Most insurance policies have a time limit for filing a claim. If you wait too long, you may miss out on the opportunity to get compensation for your damages. So, file your claim as soon as possible.
- Underestimating the value of your claim: Insurance adjusters may try to downplay the value of your claim or offer you a low settlement. Don’t accept the first offer without doing your own research and getting an independent estimate of the damages.
- Skipping the fine print: It can be tempting to just sign on the dotted line and let the insurance company handle everything, but this can be a big mistake. Take the time to read your policy and make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not.
- Not researching your options: Insurance companies often have preferred contractors they work with, but this doesn’t mean you have to use them. Research other options and get multiple estimates from contractors before making a decision. This can help ensure you’re getting a fair price and that the work is being done to your satisfaction.
How to Maximize Your Water Damage Claim
Want to maximize your water damage claim and get the best possible insurance coverage? Then follow these tips to enhance your chances of getting what you’re owed when dealing with an insurance adjuster after water damage.
- Document everything: As soon as you discover water damage, take photos and videos of the affected areas. Make a list of damaged items and keep all receipts related to repairs or replacements.
- Mitigate the damage: Take immediate action to prevent further damage from occurring. This could include turning off the water source, removing water-damaged items, and drying out affected areas.
- Review your policy: Make sure you understand the terms of your insurance policy, including what is covered and what is not. Some policies may have exclusions for certain types of water damage, such as floods or sewer backups. For example, you need the National Flood Insurance Policy in order to get coverage in case of floods.
- Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurance company ASAP after discovering the water damage. Provide them with all the documentation you have gathered and ask for guidance on the next steps.
- Be prepared for the insurance adjuster: Be courteous but firm, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or request clarification if you don’t understand something.
- Get an independent assessment: Consider hiring an independent contractor to assess the damage and provide an estimate for repairs. This can help ensure that you are getting a fair settlement offer.
- Get a public adjuster’s help: A public adjuster will take care of the entire claims process with your best interest in mind. You don’t need to worry about getting lowballed with them by your side.
Work with a Reliable Public Adjuster and Get the Settlement You Deserve
Want to be 100% sure you’ll get the amount you deserve for your property damage claim? Then hiring a public adjuster is the way to go. Elite Resolutions has been in this industry for over 14 years and we know it like the back of our hand. We’re here to make sure you get the coverage that’s rightfully yours. Get in touch with us and let our public adjusters handle the entire claim process for you – you don’t have to lift a finger.