Recovering from damage to your home is stressful enough. Having to navigate the ins and outs of insurance settlements is an added burden.
Working with a public adjuster is one way to minimize stress and maximize your insurance settlement. While your insurance company will send out an adjuster, working with a public adjuster often provides you with better results. What to do before the adjuster arrives?
Understand Your Policy
Read your entire policy, even the fine print. Understand what is covered and what is not. If you have any questions about what is covered, make note and be ready to discuss the issues when your adjuster arrives.
Assess and Document Your Loss
Take pictures to document your loss. Make note of anything lost to the damage. It is better to over-document. Your adjuster needs to have as much information as possible to reach the best settlement.
Keep Excellent Records
From the moment that you realize something is wrong, keep excellent notes. Note the damage, write down when you called the insurance company, who you talked to and what was said, and any other follow-up conversations.
Research Contractors Carefully
You will need to get some estimates on the cost of repairs before agreeing to any settlement from the insurance company. It is important to select your contractor for the repairs carefully. A disreputable contractor may overcharge on an insurance claim, assuming that the homeowner will have a more hands-off approach to the job.
Talk to friends and relatives who have had recent work done on their homes to get recommendations. Ask at least three to come out and give you an estimate. You should also ask for, and call, references before making your final selection.
Prepare For the Visit
When the adjuster arrives, have all of your notes neatly organized. While the adjuster will take their own information, it is important to have some things on hand. Have a list of damages, including an estimated value if possible. Have photographs or videos, or ideally both, of the damage. If you have spent any money to stop further damage, such as tarps for a leaking roof, have those receipts as well.
You’ll want to hang on to the originals, so make copies before your appointment. It can be helpful to have your contractor available at the adjuster’s meeting as well. A discussion between the two can often prevent back and forth negotiations with the insurance company later on.
Working with insurance adjusters is a stressful situation at a stressful time. Using a licensed public insurance adjuster, like Rapid Public Adjusters, is a great way to make sure you have someone working on your side.