Top Insurance Claim Settlement Tips
The public adjusters at Insurance Claim Recovery Support urge policyholders to take the appropriate steps to avoid settlement complications by reviewing these insurance claim settlement tips.
1. Put your insurance company on notice that you intend to file a claim, promptly.
2. Take photographs of damage.
3. Mitigate damage so that additional losses are not incurred.
4. Get a copy of your insurance policy and review it for coverage and your policyholder duties required to settle.
5. Be sure to continue to pay your insurance premium and mortgage! Be pro-active but patient in the claim process.
6. Remember, you’re not on a level playing field when you’re dealing with an insurance claim.
7. Think of your insurance claim settlement as a business negotiation—you’re dealing with a for-profit company. Who’s more important, shareholders or policyholders?
8. Give your insurance company a chance to do the right thing, but don’t mistake a friendly representative for a friend. Do not make remove damaged property or make permanent repairs until the insurance adjuster has inspected your property.
9. Document and support your claim with proof, details and estimates. Take extensive photos and video of damage. Keep repair receipts!
10. Present clear requests in writing that explain what you need, when you need it, and why you’re entitled to it.
11. Don’t pad or exaggerate your claim.
12. Don’t sign legal documents without consulting with a qualified attorney.
13. Try to resolve problems informally but complain in writing, go up the chain of command and/or use government agency help when necessary.
14. Review your entire policy(ies) for coverage and endorsements. Interpretation of policy and scope of loss can make or break your insurance claim settlement results.
15. You have the right to control and select who does your repairs. Do not sign over your claim to a contractor or restoration company. Carefully review any restoration contract and do not authorize any repair work until you get written approval from your insurance carrier. You can have a restoration company clean-up the immediate mess but are not required to have them also do the repair work. Make sure you maintain control of your insurance payment.
16. Don’t feel forced or obligated to use the contractors your insurance company recommends. Get independent estimates for the repair work. It’s your property and you have the right to control who does the work. Sometimes insurers hire contractors based on cost only but you may not get the quality restoration work you require. Check out>> Questions to Ask Any Roofing Contractor BEFORE You Let Them on Your Roof
17. Don’t allow any work to be done unless you have some written approval from you insurance carrier. They may refuse to pay the claim without prior approval. Make sure you get and keep everything in writing.
18. Ask your insurance company for an advanced payment on any undisputed amounts of the claim until an agreement can be reached on the rest of your claim. This will help you get repairs started and avoid heavy out-of-pocket expenses.
19. If you feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the process or feel your insurance company is not offering a fair settlement, consider hiring a public insurance adjuster to help with your claim from the start on any claim exceeding $50,000 in damage. Public adjusters are typically compensated on a percentage of your recovery. In disaster situations it is typically no more than 10%.
20. See if you can retrieve recent photos that show “pre-loss” condition.
Should a Home and Business owner dealing with a property damage insurance claims consider hiring a public adjuster, contractor or attorney to represent them?
One thing is for sure, your time is valuable and every Policyholder needs a claim advocate. After all, insurance companies have experts working for them – you should too! Trust me on this!
We specialize in hail, wind, fire, and water damage losses because they are commonly classified as “Partial Losses” which can lead to “Repair “vs. “Replace” disputes.
Do you need a public adjuster or attorney?
- Are you dealing with an insurance claim and seek an advocate who represents your interest?
- Do you lack time, expertise or desire to deal with the burden of an insurance claim?
- Are you concerned your insurance claim is being underpaid, delayed or denied?
If your answer is “YES” to any of the above questions then you may want to consider professional representation as soon as possible.
What does a public adjuster do for a property owner?
A public adjuster is licensed advocate who exclusively represents the interests of the policyholder (not the insurance company) in appraising and negotiating an insurance claim. Public Adjusters can legally represent the rights of an insured during an insurance claim process. Their main responsibilities include visiting the site of the loss to analyze the damages, making sure the loss is documented, prepare damage estimates, review your insurance policy for coverage, determine current replacement costs, determine values for settling covered damages, evaluate business interruption losses, determine building code upgrades, interpret policy, negotiate a settlement with the insurance company of behalf of the insured, handle paperwork required by the insurance company and re-open a claim and negotiate for higher settlement if a discrepancy is found after a claim has been settled.
The 5 main reasons why property owners hire ICRS public adjusters vs. attorneys or contractors because we…
1. Work on a 10% No Recovery, No Fee basis vs. Attorneys who typically charge 40% +/- and settle claims in a fraction of the time of a lawsuit.
2. Help ease the burden, time and stress of you having to deal with your insurance company by taking care of all the paperwork, interpretation of your policy, adjuster meetings, documentation, and negotiations in a legal but non-litigious manner.
3. Exclusively & legally represent YOUR INTERESTS,…NOT the insurance company.
4. Can re-open claims and negotiate for higher settlement if a discrepancy is found after a claim has been settled.
5. Negotiate settlements much more effectively than the average policyholder or contractor.*
Tips to remember before hiring a public adjuster…
- Make sure any adjuster and their company is licensed by the Texas Department of Insurance. Verify a license at https://txapps.texas.gov/NASApp/tdi/TdiARManager or call the Department of Insurance at 800-578-4677.
- Ask what experience does the public adjuster have in settling your type of loss and building?
- Be cautious of aggressive individuals who “team sell” with public adjusters, contractors and/or attorneys.
- Do an online search of the person and company name with the following words: “Ripoff Report”, “Lawsuit”, “Barratry”, “Sued”
- Get References and Call Them!
- Be sure they approach your claim with surgical precision vs. hammer.
- Beware anyone approaching you with a contract of any kind unless you requested it. Barratry is a problem in TX.
- Watch out for the vultures, hustlers, bullies and anyone who uses scare tactics!
- Check out their businesses at Secretary of State – SOS DIRECT
- Verify, research and trust your gut.
TEXAS DOES NOT LICENSE GENERAL CONTRACTORS OR ROOFERS
Beware of Roofers who advertise as “Insurance Claim Specialists”
* Per Texas Department of Insurance COMMISSIONER’S BULLETIN #B001712 urges consumers to report contractors & roofing companies not licensed by TDI for advertising or performing acts that require them to hold a public insurance adjuster license to TDI Fraud Unit 1-800-252-3439.
Sec. 4102.163. CERTAIN ROOFING-RELATED BUSINESS PROHIBITED. (a) A roofing contractor may not act as a public adjuster or advertise to adjust claims for any property for which the contractor is providing or may provide roofing services, regardless of whether the contractor holds a license under this chapter.
Insurance Companies Have Experts Working For Them, You Should Too!
Need Professional Claim Representation?
Here’s What We Need…
- Copy of insurance policy and/or Declaration Page
- Policy and Claim Number
- Copies of vendor/contractor invoices, bids, payments, etc. on all repairs to date.
- Copies of any receipt for materials that we used for temporary, emergency, and permanent repairs.
- Copies of any correspondence with the adjuster, insurance agency, insurance company, etc.
- Copies of any claim reports prepared by any adjusters or their estimators.
- Documents that confirm the date of the original construction, blueprints, remodeling plans, etc.
- Adjusters contact information.
- Agent/broker contact information.
- Cause of Loss
- Date of Loss
For Business Interruption Claims
- Copies of the last two years trailing income and expense statements.
If you have any questions about our services, would like to schedule a complimentary claim review or want more information on how we consistently exceed the value of our 10% contingency fee agreement, please get specialized professional help from Insurance Claim Recovery Support. Call 855-203-2226 for a free consultation.