You’ve just filed a property insurance claim for your home. Now what?
Negotiating the settlement is one of the most critical parts of this process, but it’s also one that many people don’t know how to do. To ensure you get the most out of your property insurance claim, here are five tips on negotiating a property insurance claim settlement:
Know Your Policy and Coverage Limits
Before a property insurance claim is even settled, it should be carefully reviewed by experts. You want to ensure that the property is covered and the coverage limits are appropriate. This includes looking at the standard policies and terms and any endorsements or riders that may change these details.
If your policy allows you to use an independent adjuster of your choice, choose someone who specializes in home insurance claims. These professionals understand all aspects of this type of insurance. Otherwise, the property insurance company will assign one without the experience necessary to negotiate a good settlement for you.
Read Your Policy Before Filing a Claim
People often file a property insurance claim without actually reading their policy first. When you do this, you’re potentially missing out on valuable information that may allow you to get more out of your settlement.
For example, suppose you’ve got coverage for personal property in the event of a disaster. In that case, it’s essential to make sure the company knows about any items that have been damaged.
These are the kinds of details that will help negotiate your settlement and ensure you aren’t getting taken advantage of by claims adjusters. Go through an independent insurance broker instead who can represent your interests at a fraction of the settlement and still maintain as much leverage with them.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Against Company Advice
If the adjuster recommends a decision that you disagree with, then don’t be afraid to go against their insurance claim advice. You are paying the premium, which means it’s your claim, not theirs.
When there is any disagreement about how much damage was caused by the property loss, get an independent party or contractor to investigate it. This person has no stake in either side of a claim and can provide unbiased information to help settle conflicts regarding coverage.
As soon as you notice an issue with your property, take photos and keep them in a safe place. This will help you argue for coverage of the damage when the time comes to settle on a claim.
Even if your insurance company sends a contractor out to inspect the site, they can only estimate how much damage occurred when filing a claim. This is because they may not see all of it or may not know which damages were caused by the same incident. Photographs prove actual conditions and eliminate any guesswork.
Watch Out What You Say to the Adjuster
It’s essential to be honest when dealing with an insurance company, but you don’t need to reveal unnecessary details. Don’t admit to any safety violations on your part. The adjuster can use anything you say against you.
Answer the questions posed but don’t volunteer information. For example, if they ask whether you have a security system on your property or how many people were injured in an accident, answer the question but don’t say anything further.
This helps prevent them from asking more questions on the subject and trying to use it against you. If you feel that something is irrelevant to your claim, then tell them so. Withhold any information until they explain how it’s necessary for resolving the matter.
Property insurance claims can get complicated. It’s important to document everything you’ve been through after a disaster so that when the time comes to negotiate, you have as much ammunition as possible. Be sure to save all receipts related to living expenses and home repairs.
You might also want to keep a journal or diary of your case as you wait. This will give you something to refer back to if dealing with a denied insurance claim.
Avoid Padding a Claim
Not all home insurance claims are legitimate. Some people pad their losses to get more money from the insurance company. This is illegal and could result in criminal charges against you if caught.
Be upfront with your property insurance adjuster about what happened and how much it will cost to repair or replace damaged items. Save receipts so that you can prove your case if necessary.
Hire an Expert Insurance Claim Lawyer
Insurance companies have teams of experts to deal with making property insurance claim settlements. You don’t need to be an expert, but you do need a professional that can advocate for your interests during this process.
A lawyer specializing in handling property insurance claim settlements will know what documents to keep, how long you have to negotiate, and which clauses are negotiable. Remember that the only thing more important than working hard is working smart when it comes to a complex case like this.
Click for more information about getting an insurance claim lawyer.
Avoid Underpaid Insurance Claim: Negotiate the Best Claim Settlement
Ensure that you’re getting the best claim settlement by comparing your policy to others and checking for property insurance claims settlements online. The more information you have, the better off you can be during a difficult time.
Don’t let the insurance company rush you into accepting less money than what is deserved. The worst that happens is that they end up having to give you what you deserve anyway. So don’t feel pressured into anything during such a stressful time.
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