Whether you are a parent dealing with an aggressive five-year old, a businessman looking to ink an agreement with a client, or a first-time home buyer trying to snag a good deal on your first bird’s nest – having a good understanding of the science of negotiations always comes in handy.
At the same time, this skill eludes most of us because we don’t take the time to correctly understand how it can be of value. With this in mind, here are four practical tips that will help you successfully negotiate residential insurance claims.
How to successfully negotiate an insurance claim settlement.
1. Remember, the First Offer is NOT the Final Offer in your negotiations
The insurance company is issuing payment to the homeowner based upon its own evaluation of the claim - here, the operative words are “its own”.
Remember, you don’t have to accept the insurance company’s offer and in fact, it can be helpful to bring in a pro to assess the damages and present the insurance company with another opinion of the damages. As insurance companies are in the business of making money, they have someone (an independent adjuster) looking out for their best interests. This similarly implies you should retain someone (a public adjuster) to help you with your negotiations and look out for yours.
2. Contact a public adjuster.
If you are dealing with damage or loss to your property and you need to file an insurance claim, a licensed public adjuster will be able to assist and direct you throughout the insurance claim process. He or she will represent you in order to get the best possible settlement, so that you are made as close to whole as possible.
3. Do not sign until you understand everything completely.
You should not sign a final settlement or a release of liability until you completely understand the details of the offer and what it entails. To save both money and time, insurance companies want their policyholders to settle quickly. (For instance, the insurance company may be liable for, under terms of the policy, any damage that occurs as a result of the initial loss, and so there’s a definite incentive for them to make a deal swiftly.) In the long run, however, it will benefit you tremendously if you take your time and make sure you are completely comfortable with your settlement before signing.
4. Keep a record of all contact with the insurance company.
In case you wind up having to go to court against your insurance company, it definitely helps to have retained evidence in support of your case. For this reason, you should keep detailed records of every call, letter, and email from your insurance company and its independent adjusters.
At the end of the day, keep in mind that there is room to debate the amount owed to the homeowner. For this very reason, utilizing the services of a public adjuster well-versed in advocating on homeowners’ behalf can be a worthwhile choice.
If you need to file an insurance claim, Stellar Adjusting in Miami can help! We have the experience and knowledge to make sure that you are properly compensated for your damage or loss. Call us today at (305) 396-9110 for a free policy analysis and property inspection. Our team of professional public adjusters will ensure that your insurance claim settlement process goes smoothly and that you are satisfied with the settlement.