Knowing that a home insurance adjuster is coming to your property for a meeting and assessment should be something to look forward to, as it is the first step in getting your home repaired after an unforeseen disaster. However, if you are like so many other American homeowners, the thought of having an insurance adjuster walking around your home only makes you nervous. There are so many stories of insurance adjusters doing all they can to cut a homeowner’s recovery down to size, it is hard not to feel a little anxious. Is this person coming to your door going to be on your side?
The short answer is no. Don’t be deceived by advertisements and wide smiles, an insurance adjuster’s job is to provide clients with as little as possible without breaking contract; this is true no matter what sort of claim you filed, from a car accident claim involving your personal injury to a sinkhole swallowing up your small business. This is not to say that insurance adjusters are bad, rude, or inconsiderate people. It is merely a fact that their job description goes against your best interests, almost like how police officers shouldn’t be blamed when they need to make an arrest.
What Does a Home Insurance Adjuster Need to Do?
To wipe away some of your understandable stress regarding a home insurance adjuster en route, it helps to know what they are going to do once they arrive. Most people assume that an insurance adjuster will show up, shake hands, and get them a coverage estimate right away. It would be nice, yes, but this is not how the process works.
Depending on how badly your home was damaged, the adjuster could be inspecting for an hour, two hours, or the better part of a day. Surprisingly, subtle damage, like water damage caused by a burst pipe in the second floor bathroom, can take longer to assess than catastrophic damage, like that caused by a large house fire. You want the adjuster to be thorough, though. If they miss something that you find later, the insurance company is going to write it off as something you just caused and that is not their responsibility.
After completing an assessment, the home insurance adjuster must file a report with their own office. The parent insurance company will then take up the report after several days, complete its own “double-check” of the report, and start calculating cost of materials and labor to make the repairs. All in all, the best insurance company may still take weeks or months to complete a job due to usual hurdles.
What You Can Do to Speed Things Up
Taking care of a homeowner’s insurance claim does not only fall into the lap of the insurance adjuster. There are things you can do to make matters easier on yourself.
When you file a homeowner’s insurance claim, you should:
- Prepare ahead of time: Catalogue all of the damage yourself, taking photographs of key areas and expensive property that has been ruined, such as electronics, furniture, and appliances. Ideally, you will have already catalogued everything yourself before disaster struck, so you can clearly show a before-after comparison of the damage. This will make the adjuster’s job easier and faster, which directly benefits you.
- Not sit and wait: After the home insurance adjuster comes and goes from your property, you have not yet reached a point where you can rest comfortably and hope for the best. Make a point of frequently checking in with the insurance company and the adjuster if you got their own office information, as well as any contractors that might be assigned to the repair job. Let them know that you are waiting and you might just put a quickened pace in their steps.
- Call a lawyer: Bad faith insurance is a serious concern for all homeowners. Even if you feel you can completely trust your insurance policy provider, they could inadvertently make a huge mistake that costs you, not them, in the end. Letting an attorney oversee the handling of your claim will cut out any chance that you are mistreated.
Are you anticipating a meeting with a home insurance adjuster? Consult with The Morgan Law Group, P.A. and our Miami insurance claim attorneys to put an award-winning team of legal professionals in your corner. We can even get you started with a free initial consultation if you aren’t sure you need an attorney for your case. All you need to do is call (844) 818-0774 or contact us online to begin.