Your home has been damaged and you pay your premium every month to your homeowner’s insurance company, so you expect to be properly compensated for your losses. Instead, your insurance company denied your claim or gave you much less than you feel you should have gotten, which can be frustrating and leaves you wondering what you can do now. Unfortunately, this is a situation many homeowners find themselves in when they have to file a claim.
Review Your Claim
If you want to fight your insurance company’s ruling on your claim, the first thing to do is review your original claim and see how it can be improved. See if there are any more, or better, photos you can send them, repair estimates, receipts for repairs, and anything else that can help showcase the damage that was done; If you did not already submit these things with your original claim, submitting them now may help your claim.
Next, review your insurance policy. Sometimes, claim disagreements come from not knowing what your insurance policy actually covers, so you may be including things in your claim that your insurance company does not cover.
Submit Your Dispute
Write your insurance claims adjuster a letter asking them to review the claim. State your reasons why you think it should be reviewed and include any additional evidence you found when you reviewed your initial claim. Make sure you are polite in this letter, no matter how furious you are with your insurance company.
In the letter, include a response window for them to get back to you. Make a copy of the letter for yourself and send it with certified mail so you have an exact date it was mailed.
You can request they inspect the property again so you can show them the extent of the damages. If there were any appraisers, contractors, or other professionals who have given you opinions on the extent of the damage, arrange for them to be present when the adjuster comes to reevaluate the damages.
Contact a Public Adjuster
If your claim is still not settled after you have made your appeal and gotten a new home visit, you can contact a public adjuster to help you. This is something that can be done at any stage, but this is the stage where you should highly consider doing so. They have experience in the field and know how to work with insurance companies to help you get the maximum amount from your insurance claim. Unlike a lawyer, a public adjuster will only get paid if you win your insurance claim, so they are highly motivated to help you get the desired outcome.
One option you can try is having an appraisal to determine the extent of your damages. Both you and your insurance company hire an appraiser, who will come to the house and appraise the extent of your damages. The two appraisers will submit the value they think the damages are worth in writing, and if they agree, then that is the set amount. If they disagree, both appraisals will be given to an umpire — a third-party appraiser — who will look at both appraisals and determine the final amount.
The problem with appraisals is that once it is done, you cannot continue to dispute it for a higher claim settlement; the amount they choose is the final amount you owe. They are done faster than the litigation process may take, so if you are in a hurry, this is a good way to finish up your insurance claim quickly.