Understanding home insurance adjusters

Home insurance adjusters are usually employed by insurance companies as contractors or employees. The homeowners insurance adjuster will visit your home to assess the damages or losses, gather evidence, and then use that information to determine the carrier’s liability.

The entire process of filing a claim can be made easier if you know how to handle home insurance adjusters. The home adjuster is the representative of the insurance company. They will be able answer any questions you may have about your claim, and they are usually responsible for making sure that it is dealt with as efficiently and quickly as possible.

How to prepare for a visit by a home adjuster

Your insurance company will usually schedule an appointment for a home adjuster to visit you when you file a claim. It is helpful to know what you can expect from your home insurance adjuster.

It is important to record the exact date and time of the incident before the adjuster arrives. Photographs of damage and loss can be helpful in explaining what happened. As part of the decision-making process, gather documents and other information that the adjuster may use as evidence. You may need to prepare the following documents and information:

  • Contact information and witness statements
  • Video surveillance footage
  • Photos taken shortly after damage was done
  • A police report
  • Receipts, invoices, or estimates for repairs for items that were stolen, lost or damaged
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While you don’t have to be there for the visit, it is a good idea. It is possible to prepare estimates to be compared to the adjuster’s findings.

The insurance adjuster is employed by the insurance company. However, working with the home insurance adjusters can be a team effort. You can have a short conversation with your adjuster to help them understand your needs and provide you with an opportunity to find out what you should do after they leave.

Be sure to ask the adjuster what next. In most states, insurance companies must respond within a certain time frame to any claim filed. This information should be shared with you by the adjuster so that you can get an idea of the typical response time to your claim.

What to do following a visit by a home adjuster

You will likely have some “homework” once the insurance adjuster has left. It is important to respond quickly to all requests and to act fast. You will not receive a payment if you wait too long.

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Send us your damaged property list

You may be required to give the adjuster a list of any damaged or lost property, depending on the extent of the damage. A list is the best way to organize your losses.

Include the item’s estimated value and any receipts or photos. Although it may seem like a lot of work to do, insurance companies will need to know the exact value of each item and any receipts. To help you with future claims, it might be a good idea if you don’t have one.

Other documents and paperwork must be submitted

Additional documentation or receipts may be requested by the insurance adjuster. You should send them immediately. If you fail to do this, your entire claim could be delayed.

As soon as possible, contact the home insurance adjuster

In case an adjuster has more questions, be prepared to receive additional phone calls and emails. It is a good idea not to lie if you are asked further questions. However, avoid using language that could suggest that you may be at fault.

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Follow up

You are welcome to continue your correspondence after you have submitted any documents requested or at the time that you feel a claim decision should be made.

What is the cost of a home adjuster?

A home adjuster is usually employed by the insurance company. Because the carrier pays them, they don’t charge a fee.

An independent home insurance adjuster will typically charge a percentage (around 10 to 15%) of your claim instead of an upfront payment. The fee could range from $30,000 to $45,000 if your house is damaged by fire. It may seem high but it could be worthwhile if the insurance company is not willing to offer a fair settlement.

How to dispute an insurance claim

There are times when you might want to have your own independent adjuster. You may not have agreed to the offer of the insurance company or that the company has rejected your claim. It is okay to decline an offer that you don’t like. You can also refuse to accept it and counter it.

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Begin by contacting your insurance company customer service to discuss the offer. Ask for a written breakdown detailing how they arrived at the amount. The independent adjuster will need this information in order to build a case for you.

An adjuster may offer a second opinion, which could be helpful in negotiating a better settlement with your insurance company. You should remember that adjusters take time to review your claim and to prepare a response that is backed up by their professional findings. This will help you win a better settlement.

Questions frequently asked

Which are the top home insurance companies?

Every person will have their own opinion about the best home insurance company. Our selections for the top home insurance companies have narrowed down the list to just a few, including USAA Travelers, Amica and Allstate. Get quotes from several carriers to help you decide which one is right for you.

What does it mean to be an independent adjuster?

Independent adjusters are not employees of an insurance company. They may be hired by the homeowner if they can help you negotiate a better home-insurance settlement. They usually receive a portion of the payout for your claim.

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What is the average time it takes to get paid for a claim

It can be difficult to determine how long it takes for claims to be paid. The regulations of your state may limit the time it takes for your carrier’s decision. Some carriers are more efficient than others. Lemonade Insurance claims that they pay claims almost immediately.