Dealing With the Insurance Company’s Adjuster
If you have a property damage claim, sooner or later, an adjuster from the insurance company will come to your house to look over your property and evaluate your damage. On one hand, you may not realize the importance of this step, so you may not be concerned at all. On the other hand, you may realize how crucial this is, and may be nervous about what you should do or say.
Working With the Adjuster
It is very likely that the adjuster will be cordial, and perhaps even friendly. He or she may even give you what seems like “inside” information, such as tipping you off to what the insurance company will pay or won’t pay, or what the insurance company likes to see or doesn’t like to see.
Certainly, you can and should be friendly to the adjuster, but remember that the adjuster does not work for you, and is not your advocate. The adjuster works for the insurance company. As such, the adjuster is not on your side, and you should remember that before saying anything that could hurt your claim.
The adjuster will likely ask you questions about how the damage or loss happened, and about what was damaged. The adjuster may ask you questions that seem harmless, or even unrelated to your damage claim. However, many of the questions have meanings to them, and your answers to them could determine whether the insurance company denies coverage or not.
It is certainly OK in most cases to tell the adjuster you don’t know the answer to his or her questions. Many questions may be very technical (“what material is your roof made of”), and you may not know the answer. As a general rule however, you should be able to describe how the loss or damage happened, and you should never admit fault for anything.
Do not hesitate to tell the adjuster about damage that is not readily visible. For example, damage to walls or floors that are underneath appliances, or hidden behind furniture, should be pointed out. Additionally, any items that are no longer there—for example, items washed away in flooding or blown away by wind—should be described to the adjuster.
You should be very thorough. If you say that items were lost or damaged later on, the insurance company will be suspicious of why did not mention these losses earlier.
If you have documentation of the items that were lost, or of your property before it was damaged, try to have that documentation on hand for the adjuster to look at.
Don’t worry about how long the inspection takes. A long inspection can mean that the adjuster is trying to find ways to deny your claim, but it can also mean that he or she is accurately and diligently documenting your losses. Very obvious losses, such as a roof that is leaking, may not take much time for the adjuster to review at all.
If your insurance company is denying coverage for needed repairs to your home, or is refusing to pay what is needed to repair damage to your home, we can help. Contact the Miami property damage insurance attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today with any questions you may have.