Daily Archives: December 6, 2010

Public adjusters help you get a fair settlement for your fire claim

Fire brings devastating damages to a property. Many times a house affected by fire is completely destroyed. Dealing with your insurance company and filing the claim properly to assure the best settlement is not an easy feat. Insurance companies are for profit business, and will try to do everything to send you a smaller check. Here are a few tips to help you recuperate your losses:

  1. Don’t rely on the claim adjuster the insurance company sends you – the right solution is to hire a public adjuster. Fire damages are difficult to assess. There could be structural damages that are hidden at a first look, and the claim adjuster send by the insurance company doesn’t have any interest in bringing those damages up. You need an independent professional to evaluate the real damages – a public adjuster is the best solution.
  2. Start making your own damage assessment. No one knows better the value of your property and all the items inside, like furniture, appliances, art objects, clothes and others, than you do. So, try to estimate yourself how much you lost in the fire. This way, the public adjuster you hired and the claim adjuster send by the insurance company will have a reference point for your fire claim. If the fire claim settlement the insurance company proposes is much smaller than your estimate, you don’t have to agree to that. Ask your public adjuster to go ahead with the paper work and to contest the insurance company’s damage assessment.
  3. All the evidence you can get about the value of your property and goods are very important – if your pictures and receipts were destroyed in the fire, ask friends and relatives to give you all the pictures they have to document your property. You should also ask for copies of receipts to the vendors, at least for your most important assets that were destroyed in the fire. This evidence will help your public adjuster substantiate your fire losses in the claims process.
  4. Don’t let the insurance company tell you that the period of time when you had the right to file the fire claim expired – that’s not true, in most states you have three years to file a fire claim. Also, you should know that even if the insurance company already paid your fire claim, if you are not satisfied with the settlement, you could still hire a public adjuster. A review of the initial settlement is possible even after the policy owner cashed the fire claim check. If you feel that the insurance company did not properly reimbursed you for your damages , you can hire a public adjuster to review and contest the settlement.
  5. In case of a fire claim, the insurance company has to pay you enough money to allow you to bring your property to the original state – the one before the fire. Don’t settle for anything less.

    Hiring a public adjuster will increase your chances of a timely and fair settlement for you fire loss.