After a serious storm passes, homeowners are left to pick up the pieces, including repairing any damage their property suffered. An independent insurance adjuster can help identify damages that should be covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.
Independent insurance adjusters are industry professionals who investigate storm damage to property that can be included in the claim filed by the homeowner. The adjuster inspects the property for damage, reviews repair estimates provided by contractors, discusses the damage with the property owner and offers an opinion about liability for the damage. For example, the adjuster will determine if the damage came from the storm or from something else.
An independent insurance adjuster can help property owners obtain insurance payments for damage. The adjuster’s determination that the damage is covered by the homeowner’s insurance means the insurance company will likely pay for repairs or replacement. Insurance companies look for evidence that damage existed prior to a storm, while an independent insurance adjuster can refute those arguments with evidence that the storm caused the damage.
Why hire an independent insurance adjuster?
There are two basic types of adjusters: those who work for the insurance company and those who are independent. For homeowners fighting with the insurance company over storm damage claims, the biggest conflict is over damage where the insurance company’s adjuster argues the damage preceded the storm and is the homeowner’s responsibility. These arguments are mostly subjective, so it is important for the homeowner to have an independent adjuster available to refute the argument if necessary.
An insurance company’s adjuster is not necessarily trying to cheat homeowners. But they are considering the best interests of their client, the insurance company. They can make mistakes, so a second opinion from an independent adjuster makes sense for homeowners. Those mistakes can lead to denial of damage claims or a smaller payment made by the insurance company to cover repairs.
Homeowners can hire their own adjuster who is the same type of professional used by the insurance company. They have no motivation to reduce damage estimates, as adjusters who work for insurance companies do. If you are asking, is there an “independent insurance adjuster near me?”, you can search online or call your state insurance department for names of adjusters.
How is an independent adjuster’s report used?
The independent adjuster you hire to evaluate your storm damage may help deliver a more favorable claim from your insurance company. Their report also can more accurately align contractor repair estimates to the damage covered by the insurance company. You can also use your independent claims adjuster’s recommendations as evidence in ongoing negotiations with your insurance company and in legal proceedings if necessary.
You do not need an independent adjuster if you and your insurance company agree on coverage of minor claims. But for large amounts of damage, it might prove useful to hire an independent adjuster early in the process.