If your house is destroyed by a fire or if you are involved in a car accident, then contacting an insurance adjuster is the next step. An insurance adjuster, or claims adjuster, is a person who investigates claims to determine how much (or if) your insurer should pay for a damage or loss.
In some cases they will give you paperwork to file with the insurer. It will show all the things they discovered during their investigation and the amount of money your insurer should pay.
Before you contact an insurance adjuster, there are some things to think about. First, you have to decide if you want to hire them. Many people think they can do this themselves and just call the insurer when they need help. But if an insurance adjuster finds something wrong with your claim, then it will affect whether or not your insurer pays it – even if you did not find these mistakes yourself.
What exactly does an insurance claim adjuster do?
“An adjuster is a trained professional who is hired by your insurance company to inspect and evaluate any damages that may have occurred as a result of a covered event.”
Insurance adjusters spend most of their time at the scene of an accident or fire. They check to make sure everything is in order and that the insurance company will pay for damages or losses.
Why would you want to hire an adjuster?
If you have a damaged car or destroyed house, hiring an adjuster can help you get more money for damages or losses – even if the person who caused the damage does not do it again. If your car is damaged by someone who hit you, then hiring an adjuster can help you get more money from your insurance company.
Is it worth making a claim on home insurance?
Usually. If you’re not sure whether you should make a claim, call your insurer and get advice from them. The only time it’s really not worth it is if the cost of making a claim will be more than the value of the property that’s damaged.
How long do you have to make a claim on home insurance?
The Home Insurance Claim Process, as described by CFCU, states that you should submit a claim to your home insurance company “as soon as practicable” after your loss. A prompt claim is in your best interest because it can result in a:
- Faster payment of the claim; and/or
- Higher total settlement amount for which you are eligible.
What happens when you make a home insurance claim?
Here’s how the Home Insurance Claim Process works:
- Report Loss: You should notify your insurance company as soon as you know that you have suffered a loss that is covered by your policy. The sooner you report your claim, the smoother the process will go. If you don’t report it to your insurance company right away, they may not want to pay it anyway because of delay.
- Insurance Adjuster Inspects Property: In the course of investigating your claim, an insurance adjuster may need to inspect your property, check for loss of use or other expenses you’re incurring, and gather replacement costs. If you make a claim on your home insurance policy after a fire, the adjuster may even need to have an investigation done by a private investigator.
- Payment: After the insurer has received all the necessary information, they will make a decision on your claim. If you filed a claim that is approved, then they will process payment to you or your contractor. If you filed a claim that is denied, then the insurer will issue you with an explanation of why it was denied. If you feel that the insurance company’s decision is unfair, then contact your state’s department of insurance for advice on how to proceed.
What should you do if there is an injury or death involved?
If someone was injured or died as a result of your home insurance loss, then you should notify the police and obtain a copy of their report. You may have to include this police report with your home insurance claim.
What if you don’t agree with your home insurance adjuster?
If you do not agree with any information that is presented to you in writing by your adjuster, then you may ask for a meeting with the insurer. At this meeting, the parties can discuss this information, and the insurer might put all of their findings in writing.
The final decision to hire an adjuster for your claim rest solely on you. After a loss you want money back as quickly as possible so in some cases an adjuster can help. Next, you need to convince your insurer to hire an adjuster for your claim. Most insurers will not do it unless you hire one first because they want all of the facts themselves first.
If either side (the insured or the insurance company) does not know what the other side wants, then negotiations about a claim are very slow or almost nonexistent.