It’s difficult enough dealing with the aftermath of a fire or flood in your home. You’re reeling from the stress and emotions of the loss, figuring out where you’re going to stay while repairs are made, and processing everything that’s happened. Making an insurance claim on top of it can feel overwhelming, but it’s a necessary part of the recovery process, and you need to be sure that your insurance coverage will cover the cost to rebuild your home, replace your lost belongings, and cover the costs of living elsewhere while those repairs happen.
Dealing with insurance adjusters is an important part of the insurance claims process. There are several things you should know about who the insurance adjuster is and what their role looks like:
- They may be an independent contractor hired by the insurance company or work directly for them.
- Their job is to evaluate the extent of the loss and calculate how much coverage the insurance company is responsible for paying out.
- Their initial assessment doesn’t have to be final; there is likely room to negotiate and push back if you feel the insurance company’s offer is unfair or that they have missed essential repairs.
How can you make dealing with the insurance adjuster and the insurance claims process as a whole easier for yourself?
#1 Hire an Insurance Lawyer
For major claims, hiring an insurance lawyer can help you deal with the process confidently and make sure you get a fair settlement. For smaller claims, it may not be worth looking for help, but in the event of a significant or total loss, their knowledge of the claims process can prove invaluable.
#2 Take Notes and Record Conversations
You should keep some kind of record of your communications with your insurance adjuster. At the very least, take notes of any face-to-face or phone conversations you have with them. You may also want to record those conversations, though you should make it clear to them that you are recording before you begin. This can help resolve disagreements or misunderstandings in the future.
#3 Request a Cash Advance
Receiving a cash advance can make life much easier, especially when it comes to replacing lost belongings or covering your Additional Living Expenses.
A cash advance releases funds early, and the advance will later be deducted from your final payout. A cash advance can help you avoid credit card debt, which can leave you dealing with recovery costs for years to come.
#4 Use a Provisional Schedule of Loss
A Schedule of Loss is a document detailing all of your lost belongings. In some cases, the adjuster may pressure you to finalize your Schedule of Loss before you’re ready. You want to be confident that you’ve included all of your losses and that they are accurately valued before doing so.
In order to free up some money from a cash advance without signing away the right to add further losses when you remember them, you can move forward with a provisional Schedule of Loss.