Once your damages are assessed and your insurance claim is approved, don’t be surprised if you find yourself disagreeing with the first settlement offer the insurance company provides.
Insurance companies, just like any other business, are in it for profits. Naturally, they will do what they need to do to ensure they spend the least money possible on settling claims. You need to be well aware of this so that you don’t consent to the first offer placed on the table. However, how do you achieve this?
Here are our top three ways to make sure you get the most from your insurance claims.
Review the Adjuster’s Offer
An insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect your loss and prepare a written assessment. The assessment will detail what needs repairing and what needs replacement alongside the estimated cost for the items.
You must know that a lot of adjusters use a computer program to create this report. If needed in your compensation, the prices for materials and contractors will be sourced from national or regional averages. The adjuster will then forward their report to the insurance company. The report will be used to give you an offer based on the information it has and your policy. Friedman & Associates Public Adjusters are the reference you should take
Before accepting this offer or cashing the cheque anywhere, go through the report. Consult an experienced insurance lawyer to ensure that the costs satisfy you. If you had gotten a quotation from contractors, ensure that the figure they gave matches the one provided.
The report is very important to your claim so go through each item on it and conduct your valuation of damages to compare. Only cash in and use an offer when you are impressed with the offer given.
Consult an Attorney
Many people assume they only need an attorney when moving to court or suing their insurance companies. However, attorneys are essential in any claim process, especially when you wish to get the most out of your claim.
For starters, insurance settlements usually involve numerous contracts. Lawyers find it easy to draft contracts that throw in subtle statements that a layperson may miss or pass off. Some insurance companies also offer clients non-disclosure agreements that may weaken their ability to reap their policy’s full benefits.
Finally, remember that moving to court is always an option when the insurance company fails to reach the expectation of your claim’s worth. Only by having an attorney by your side, do you get to know if your claim stands a chance to win a bigger and better settlement through the court.
Damages Aren’t Always Physical
Damages settled by insurance companies are not limited to physical material things, especially when the settlement involves a case of another at-fault individual. Damages may also include emotional turmoil and even loss of wages. It all depends on the specifics of your case.
The important thing is that you are aware that you can get compensated for these kinds of damages. The best way to do so is to have an insurance attorney’s advice since they have the right knowledge and experience in handling and evaluating losses.
The Bottom Line
Every action you make from the onset of your claim affects the value of your settlement. Make sure you keep a record of every interaction you have with the insurance company, including a history of all the promises they make.
If the payment is from another individual’s insurance company at fault, you should seek an attorney’s counsel, primarily to conduct the bargaining for you.