What If I Disagree With the Adjuster on My Property Insurance Claim?
If an incident occurs that damages your home or property, you may assume your homeowners insurance company will be there to pay for your repairs. Unfortunately, insurance companies and their claims analysts – known as insurance claims adjusters – are notorious for undervaluing repairs and wrongfully denying benefits.
Although many policyholders do not realize they have the right to dispute an adjuster’s assessment, this is an option that could help you recover fair compensation during a homeowners insurance claim in Phoenix. Find out how to dispute the adjuster’s decision with help from a lawyer.
Understand Your Rights
Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company, not for you. They will not have your best interests in mind. It is important to understand that you have the legal right to dispute the claims adjuster’s opinion or evaluation of your claim. The adjuster’s word is not final.
The adjuster will send his or her analysis to the homeowners insurance company, which will then take the adjuster’s opinion into account to determine whether to accept or reject benefits. If you do not agree with the adjuster, you have further options. This does not mean the end of your claim.
Read the Letter Carefully and Understand Your Policy
Review the language and fine print of your homeowners insurance policy to make sure you are filing a claim within your coverage limits. You might have assumed a certain type of loss or natural disaster was covered when in actuality, your insurance policy never contained this type of coverage.
Read the letter from the insurance claims adjuster, as well. If the insurance company denied your claim, it lawfully must give you a reason. Double-check the letter to fully understand the reason behind the decision and whether it makes sense based on your policy.
Collect Evidence and Documentation
Keep any and all documentation related to your property insurance claim. This includes all letters and emails you receive from the insurance claims adjuster and company. It is important to thoroughly document your claim – especially if you have to go up against an insurance claims adjuster in an appeal later. Gather as much information and evidence as you can, including photographs of your property damage, a copy of your homeowners insurance policy and letters from the adjuster.
Ask the Adjuster to Reconsider
In many cases, an issue with a property insurance claim comes down to a simple misunderstanding. You might have forgotten to give the adjuster a critical piece of information or enough supporting evidence, for example.
If you don’t find anything in your policy that makes sense of the claims adjuster’s decision, speak to the claims adjuster directly. Ask the adjuster for his or her reasoning. This may allow you to clear up the issue that resulted in a diminished or denied claim.
File a Complaint
If a conversation with a claims adjuster doesn’t resolve the issue, you can write a letter to the insurance company requesting an internal review of your claim. The company must grant you this right and assign someone within the insurance company to look at the facts of your case and determine whether the adjuster made a mistake.
If an internal review fails to reverse the adjuster’s decision, you can file an official complaint against the insurance company. Your complaint will go to the Arizona Department of Insurance, where an unbiased representative will look at your case to help resolve the matter. If it is determined that the insurance adjuster made a mistake or acted in bad faith, you could receive financial compensation.
Contact an Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
Insurance bad faith means the homeowner’s insurance company is not handling your case fairly, honestly, or in accordance with relevant state or federal laws. If you suspect insurance bad faith in relation to the adjuster’s decision during your property insurance claim, contact a homeowner’s insurance bad faith lawyer in Phoenix for a free consultation. A lawyer can help you understand and defend your rights in Arizona if you do not agree with the adjuster’s decision.