what if i disagree with an adjuster’s estimate of my loss?
UPDATED: Mar 19, 2015
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Asked March 19, 2015
You are not required to accept the first estimate you are given by the insurance company. In fact, you are not required to accept any estimate provided by the insurance company at all. If you are not happy with the adjuster's estimate, you have the option of seeking an independent estimate before the claim is settled.
The first step is to notify the insurance company that you are not satisfied with the estimated settlement. Explain, politely and concisely, why you feel the estimate is inaccurate and request a second opinion. Most commonly, you will be asked to provide one or more estimates from potential contractors to back up the claim.
In some cases, you may need to hire the services of an independent adjuster. Where the insurance company adjuster works for the company and does not charge you for the estimate, an independent adjuster or appraiser works for you and will attempt to provide you with an honest, unbiased estimate of your losses.
Once you have gotten other estimates, contact your insurance company with the revised estimates. In most cases, the insurance company will accept the independent estimates. If not, your next step is to file an appeal with the insurance company. At that time, you will need at least 3 estimates for the loss, along with any paperwork or documentation that helps back up your claim for a higher amount.
Filing an appeal is the final step in the insurance process. If you do not get the desired results after filing an appeal, you may be forced to seek legal representation. This should always be the final option, and used only if you cannot reach a compromise through the company. Keep in mind that insurance companies keep attorneys on staff, and a legal challenge may only increase your costs without solving the issue.
Answered March 29, 2015 by Anonymous