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Anybody know the best way to deal with a homeowners claim adjuster? (Hurricane stuff)
vanity

Posted on 09/03/2011 8:36:34 AM PDT by no gnu taxes

Ok, I guess the best adage is to be nice until that doesn't work.

But my agent keeps telling me, "don't worry, they'll pay." My policy language is very vague and open to a lot of interpretation. Without going into detail, I'm not getting the impression the adjuster will be that accomodating. You know, I'm 51 years old and have never had to file a homeowner's claim before

I sort of feel like the difference between my agent and and the adjuster is like the difference between a military recruiter and the drill sergeant.

Am I wrong?


TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: adjuster; homeowners; insurance; insuranceadjuster
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1 posted on 09/03/2011 8:36:37 AM PDT by no gnu taxes
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To: no gnu taxes

I will be in this thread in a bit as I am starting this process today.


2 posted on 09/03/2011 8:40:44 AM PDT by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid!
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To: no gnu taxes

You can always hire your own independent adjuster. Normally they are paid a percentage according to how much extra they can get for you from your insurer, so it doesn’t cost you anything up front.


3 posted on 09/03/2011 8:43:09 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: no gnu taxes
I think you are right! I was in a foul mood this past week because I was dealing with my husband's doctor, Walgreens and the insurance company. I finally was able to get his prescription for insulin raised (and paid for by insurance) but it left me spoiling for a fight with every one I encountered. So any freeper I offended I apologize.
4 posted on 09/03/2011 8:43:44 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: no gnu taxes

How long has it been? What kind of damage?


5 posted on 09/03/2011 8:44:47 AM PDT by GOPJ (126 people were indicted for being terrorists in the last two years. Every one of them was Muslim.)
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To: no gnu taxes

example

http://www.ecpaclaims.com/homeowners.htm


6 posted on 09/03/2011 8:45:38 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: no gnu taxes

Don’t agree to anything until you have acquired a firm estimate from a legitmate contractor to repair the damage. Study your policy to understand the limitations of coverage. Play nice with the adjuster in the meantime, but if you get a whiff of lowballing, and they will likely try, retain an attorney and offer to settle for the maximum under your policy.

Then, regardless of the outcome, be prepared to find a new insurance company, because they will drop you for having filed a claim. Nothing personal on that one, even though it seems like a slap in the face to a homeowner. Actuarial tables show that those who have had a claim paid out are far more likely to have another in the immediate future, and they’re cutting their losses.


7 posted on 09/03/2011 8:45:50 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: no gnu taxes

Don’t say or offer anything, just let him or her do what they need to, then wait for report and if you feel that it is sufficient accept, or ask for another one or call a general contractor and get your own. Then counter.


8 posted on 09/03/2011 8:46:25 AM PDT by MAAG (Look up, for your redemption draws...)
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To: no gnu taxes

take lots of pictures and write everything down.. in other words cover your ass and don’t take anything for granted


9 posted on 09/03/2011 8:46:37 AM PDT by garykfd (American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God)
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To: garykfd; no gnu taxes

Even better..have someone record your meetings, and conversations, with the adjuster..he shouldn’t mind...


10 posted on 09/03/2011 8:49:41 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: no gnu taxes

Hire a public adjuster.


11 posted on 09/03/2011 8:51:03 AM PDT by clintonh8r (Happy to be represented by Lt. Col. Allen West.)
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To: no gnu taxes

Filed last Monday , haven’t heard a word yet from an adjuster.

I have two estimates already, but no adjuster, and Lee coming in with more rain on a damaged roof, and Katia sitting in the Ocean.


12 posted on 09/03/2011 8:53:20 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: no gnu taxes

My experience with insurance companies over many years in business is to get a lawyer experienced in insurance claims. You would be surprised how reasonable insurance companies become when dealing with someone who understands all of the legal mumbo jumbo. I have come out way ahead of the legal fees with a good attorney.


13 posted on 09/03/2011 8:53:20 AM PDT by oldbrowser (Santelli is the real leader of the tea party.)
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To: no gnu taxes

What is your claim? Flood damage? Wind damage? Fire damage? What specifically are you claiming?


14 posted on 09/03/2011 8:55:40 AM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: clintonh8r

A public adjuster only impacts damages, and cannot affect coverage.


15 posted on 09/03/2011 8:57:42 AM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: no gnu taxes

Who is the carrier, and do they send their own adjustors?


16 posted on 09/03/2011 8:58:51 AM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (Liberals fight with smear, Conservatives fight with truth. Palin & West team 4 me)
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To: no gnu taxes
Allstate was here in the winter and was excellent for a collapsed barn.
I too will see tomorrow when they show up for a tree landing on house, but before it landed, it ripped out power feed and associated hardware.
When the power came back after being repaired some where away from the neighbor hood an open neutral in the feed resulted in all low voltage stuff to fry.Micro,garage door opener,TVs,Stereos,radios,all gnd fault sockets and I think the circuit board in the gas furnace/ac unit(nothing works in that)Best one was the mattress pad heater controller in the 2nd floor bdrm that no one uses in the summer,melting on the night stand which I discovered after shutting the main breaker and doing a walk around in the dark.The end table was starting to burn.If I waste home to kill the breaker the house would have been on fire..........
My declaration shows 160,000.00 personal prop @replacement value...will see.There is always the “act of god” disclaimer. So far out of pocket 700 for the tree and 1700 to replace the entire service feed which was old and the power company wouldnt connect back to it.
17 posted on 09/03/2011 9:01:16 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: no gnu taxes

Hire your own adjuster and then begin the negotiations.


18 posted on 09/03/2011 9:02:21 AM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter Hobbit)
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To: no gnu taxes

After Katrina it took a while because of volume but the claims adjuster did a fair job at my parents house. New roof new carpet. Around $15,000 in all. Repaired damage caused by the fallen tree but didn’t cover removal of tree. LA has odd laws. They were not living in the house so they had time to be patient.


19 posted on 09/03/2011 9:03:02 AM PDT by ThomasThomas ( Congressmen should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers, so we can identify their corporate sponsors.)
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To: no gnu taxes
Thoroughly read your policy. Understand the distinction between wind damage, for which you may be covered, and flood damage, for which you may not be. Recognize that under that Midwestern smile, your insurance company will do everything it can to avoid paying. When interviewed, answer all questions in a way which comports with your coverage; think strategically. Photograph everything. Do not accept any verbal assurances.
20 posted on 09/03/2011 9:04:40 AM PDT by americanophile ("this absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, is a rotting corpse which poisons our lives" - Ataturk)
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To: no gnu taxes

A huge tree fell on my parent’s home last summer. Their basement also flooded. Triple whammy, my dad was dying from a brain tumor, so it was up to me to deal with all of the insurance nonsense.

When the adjuster arrives at your home, accompany them every step of the way. Have a notebook in hand. Write down everything they tell you, because later on it won’t be so easy to remember. I’m 51, as well, believe me when I say write it down.

The adjuster was a nice enough woman. She answered my many questions and presented us with a fair figure for the damage.

Then the wait began. The agent was not the best of help. We were dealing with the homeowner’s insurance for the tree and a separate flood policy for the basement.

Record the date and time and name of every person you speak with in dealing with the various parties. The homeowner’s check arrived about a month after the adjuster visit. Getting the check for the flooded basement was another matter. Numerous calls to the adjuster went unreturned. The agent was also unsuccessful in getting anywhere with them. I finally tracked down the owner of the adjustment company and raised holy heck. Two weeks later we received a check, almost two months after the incident.

Be your own advocate. Do not rely on your agent. Keep records of everything.


21 posted on 09/03/2011 9:04:52 AM PDT by mplsconservative (Impeach Obama Now!)
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To: ought-six
The main issue is this -- our pecan tree fell on our house. And the big problem and expense was getting the tree off our house and being able to get power restored because it also fell on our electrical service line. (It also did some some damage to the house, but I don't think anybody has a problem with the payment for that.) The agent says the company will pay for the tree removal, but I am doubting the adjuster will agree.

This was a massive tree and the removal of it was very expensive.

22 posted on 09/03/2011 9:05:05 AM PDT by no gnu taxes
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To: no gnu taxes

Adjusters have been fair to us so far.


23 posted on 09/03/2011 9:05:41 AM PDT by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: RegulatorCountry

I rcvd 25G’s for a 200 year old POS collapsed barn this winter and renewed in April with no rate increase


24 posted on 09/03/2011 9:06:12 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: no gnu taxes
My suggestion...dress for success!

Photobucket

25 posted on 09/03/2011 9:09:25 AM PDT by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: no gnu taxes

A good homeowners policy (an HO-3, for example) would cover a tree being blown down onto a house by wind, as it would be a covered peril, for both the damage to the house and the tree removal.

You said your policy was “ambiguous”: How so?


26 posted on 09/03/2011 9:11:06 AM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: harpu

Purdy, real purdy!


27 posted on 09/03/2011 9:11:09 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: t1b8zs

You were very fortunate. Homeowners policies actually are dropped routinely here and elsewhere, merely due to having a paid claim, due to the actuarial considerations mentioned previuosly. Maybe your jurisdiction does not permit this practice. Mine does, as do quite a number of others.


28 posted on 09/03/2011 9:11:49 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: no gnu taxes

All things considered, my insurance adjusters were very helpful after Katrina. They came out, assessed the damage and even pointed out some areas that I wasn’t aware of that were covered by my policy. They paid off promptly and we were able to get our place cleaned up quickly. However, the next year my rates tripled.


29 posted on 09/03/2011 9:14:55 AM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
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To: no gnu taxes

Wait ‘til you see what the claims adjuster’s estimate is before you get upset. Many of them are snarky and under stress right now and may not be as sympathetic as you would normally like.

Get the detailed estimate from the adjustor first. Then you’ll have a choice: you can either take it around to various contractors of your own choosing and let them cost it out as if they were going to be doing the work; take it to contractors who are recommended by your insurance carrier, or keep the money and do some or all of the work yourself. If you’re good with power tools you can even make money by choosing option #3.

In my own case a few years ago, I combined Options #2 and #3: I got a list of recommended contractors and talked to each of them separately. They made highly detailed estimates, showing exactly what materials would be used and what would be done in each room, for their proposed price. There was a difference, of course, between what the claims adjustor wanted to pay out and what the contractors said it would cost. They told me not to worry, the claims adjustor’s statement was a bargaining position and was not set in stone.

(They also told me that if I wanted to do upgrades in the house that were not due to our disaster, this would be a good occasion since the walls would be open and the trades would be on the job site already, and I did take advantage of that in some small ways.)

We talked a LOT about what I wanted done and what standards I wanted them to employ (for instance, did I want the ruined wood flooring just refinished, and keep the difference in cost? Or replaced with the same stuff? Or replaced and upgraded, with the difference in cost to come out of my pocket or out of the funds provided for other rooms?) Then they went to have fistfights with the insurance company. I stayed out of it.

I stressed a little, but everybody assured me it would be okay in the end, and it was: the house is better now than it was before the disaster and I’m really pleased with the insurance company (Nationwide), my agent, the contractor, and the adjustors.

One thing that may have made a difference about a positive outcome: I rode herd on the subs and supervised their work constantly (in a nice way). I knew what I wanted and made fast decisions that did not change.


30 posted on 09/03/2011 9:15:59 AM PDT by ottbmare (off-the-track Thoroughbred mare)
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To: no gnu taxes

Our experience with claims adjusters has been pretty good (hurricane damage, not related to flooding). Can’t speak for everyone in every situation or location, and we we’re rarely greedy and never grasping.


31 posted on 09/03/2011 9:18:50 AM PDT by Prospero (non est ad astra mollis e terris via)
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To: RegulatorCountry

i was told if rates went up it was not due to my claim but due to the etire region being wacked


32 posted on 09/03/2011 9:22:26 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: no gnu taxes

35 years working with insurance companies from the POV of the guy who fixes the damage.

Companies, regional offices and individual adjusters vary tremendously in how they will adjust a particular claim. Regardless of how the policy is worded there is a great deal of room for interpretation.

I’d like to recommend against your initially hiring a public adjuster. While fully ethical public adjusters may exist, I must say I never ran across one. Many have side deals for kickbacks from contractors who will “fix” your damage, seldom doing the job properly.

Adjustment of a claim can be handled on a “fair” rather than a legal adversarial basis. Once you hire a public adjuster the company will drop any attempt to “treat you fairly” and everything becomes adversarial.

My point is that you can always go to adversarial, but once you’ve gone there you can’t go back to “fair.”.

If you must go to adversarial, I agree with those who suggest retaining an attorney. I believe they generally provide better results than a public adjuster.

I also suggest independent itemized estimates for the damage.

When it comes to calculating the bottom line, big differences between estimates are more likely to be related to the number of line items than to the unit price. IOW, are they including the same things? However, direct comparison is extremely difficult, since estimates are arrived at using different methods.

Freepmail me if you have specific questions.


33 posted on 09/03/2011 9:25:18 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

Interesting. I will remember this when and if I need it.


34 posted on 09/03/2011 9:27:55 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: t1b8zs

... So, a future rate increase was soft peddled to you, lol? You’ll be getting one, regardless of who else does. Risk pools tend to do that. Maybe not as much as it could have been standalone, since there are nonclaimants who will have their rates increased as well, but it will get paid for above and beyond.


35 posted on 09/03/2011 9:31:04 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: no gnu taxes

Remember they are not your friends, be cordial, answer the questions posed but do add information. Make a list of damage and show them all damage. Be calm and do not get offended.


36 posted on 09/03/2011 9:33:16 AM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: no gnu taxes

Remember they are not your friends, be cordial, answer the questions posed but do add information. Make a list of damage and show them all damage. Be calm and do not get offended.


37 posted on 09/03/2011 9:33:17 AM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: RegulatorCountry

at renewall I added umbrella and HO and car went down.........Hmmmmmmm


38 posted on 09/03/2011 9:33:52 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: t1b8zs

My goodness, maybe I should file a claim so my rates will drop. Can I live on your planet, lol?


39 posted on 09/03/2011 9:37:39 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: ken5050; garykfd; no gnu taxes

All written communication of any significance to the insurance company or its agents should be via certified, return receipt mail.

First thing they think of is that you are laying the groundwork for legal action if it becomes necessary.

Ask for everything that is said to you verbally to be restated in writing. Paper trails make bureaucrats nervous.


40 posted on 09/03/2011 9:38:48 AM PDT by ChildOfThe60s ( If you can remember the 60s....you weren't really there)
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To: no gnu taxes
Had considerable damage from a micro burst here several years ago. Home insurance gave us a bit of grief with delays and estimate. But Good Sam (GMAC) on the motor home was outstanding. They had an independent adjuster out next day, was well pleased with his estimate and check was sent over night.
41 posted on 09/03/2011 9:40:53 AM PDT by Sea Parrot (Democrats creation of the entitlement class will prove out to be their very own Frankenstein monster)
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To: Venturer
I have two estimates already, but no adjuster, and Lee coming in with more rain on a damaged roof, and Katia sitting in the Ocean.

Welcome to our world ;-)


42 posted on 09/03/2011 9:41:50 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici ("Si, se gimme!")
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To: RegulatorCountry

Can I live on your planet,
No I dont think we would get along


43 posted on 09/03/2011 9:41:50 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: no gnu taxes
I'd ask your agent to be there at your home with the adjuster.....

After the Northridge earthquake, our home was crawling with adjusters - to our surprise, State Farm was literally throwing money at us for damages we would never have expected; I'm guessing they wanted to avoid lawsuits down the line.

A lot of the funds were of the "what if" variety, which worked out extremely well in our case.

44 posted on 09/03/2011 9:43:30 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (Obama Voters: Jose Baez wants YOU for his next jury pool.......)
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To: no gnu taxes

Whacked during Rita in 2005 to the tune of a $100K. Approach I took was first hire a good reputable general contractor right off the bat, and have him complete a very very detailed listing of exactly what needed to be fixed, and what the contractor thinks it will cost homeowner to fix it. When the insurance company low balls you, make a formal request that your adjustor, agent and your contractor meet and compare notes. Force the adjustor to justify the low number. Came out great in the end.


45 posted on 09/03/2011 9:47:30 AM PDT by catfish1957 (Hey algore...You'll have to pry the steering wheel of my 317 HP V8 truck from my cold dead hands)
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To: t1b8zs

I’d wager you’re right in that one instance.


46 posted on 09/03/2011 9:54:47 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: no gnu taxes

Don’t accept their first offer. Get a second appraiser, and if needed tell them to send their engineer. If the first two don’t tell you what you need to hear the last may. Final step is to lawyer up.


47 posted on 09/03/2011 9:58:48 AM PDT by jdsteel (I like the way the words "Palin for President" make progressives apoplectic.)
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To: no gnu taxes

Who is the adjuster working for? If he is from the company, look for lowballs. But you have the right to hire your own adjuster for a second opinion (at least in our state).


48 posted on 09/03/2011 10:05:05 AM PDT by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: RegulatorCountry; t1b8zs

“Then, regardless of the outcome, be prepared to find a new insurance company, because they will drop you for having filed a claim.”

I have filed HO claims in TX and AZ with different companies and have never been dropped (I switched companies of my own accord). Prior to retirement I worked in Auto Claims for decades and had associates in the HO Claim dept. There was no policy in place to “drop an insured for having a claim”, as they often handled claims for the same homeowner over a multi-year period. Sorry that your mileage obviously varied, but as a blanket statement that’s incorrect.


49 posted on 09/03/2011 10:22:04 AM PDT by Magic Fingers
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To: oldbrowser

“My experience with insurance companies over many years in business is to get a lawyer experienced in insurance claims. You would be surprised how reasonable insurance companies become when dealing with someone who understands all of the legal mumbo jumbo.”

I agree. When I was an auto claims supervisor I preferred dealing with an attorney knowledgable in insurance claims for precisely that reason (realistic expectations, business vs. emotional conversations, etc.).


50 posted on 09/03/2011 10:33:05 AM PDT by Magic Fingers
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