Why Is My Home Insurer Sending a Forensic Engineer?

Posted on December 14, 2023


Frances Badayos | author

Site Logo Favicon

ICHQ | Site Author

A homeowner’s insurance policy could serve as a vital lifeline if your property experiences an unexpected event. When serious damage occurs, such as from a hurricane or fire, most homeowners will need to file a claim to make the necessary repairs. If you see the insurance company sending an engineer over to your home instead of a check to cover the damage, you may need to contact our home insurance attorneys at Insurance Claim HQ to protect your claim.

Is an Insurance Company Sending an Engineer to My Home a Cause for Concern?

In many cases, anything that delays your receipt of the funds needed for emergency home repairs could become a major cause of concern. If a hurricane blew away the roof of your home, every day that goes by waiting to receive repair funding could seem like a lifetime.

When an insurance company brings in a forensic engineer to inspect your property damage, the end result could be even worse than a delay in payment: The engineer’s report may significantly reduce the amount you need for the repairs. In a worst-case outcome, the engineer’s report could result in a claim denial.

An insurance company sending an engineer to your home after you submit a claim could spell trouble. Some insurance companies may note in their policy contracts’ fine print that they use forensic reports for their own benefit rather than for their policyholders’.

Reviewing and fully understanding what’s in your policy contract can better prepare you to deal with potential claim denials. You may find your property damage claim undergoing the scrutiny of a forensic engineer biased toward an insurance company that would prefer to not pay your claim.

What Does a Forensic Engineer Do?

Overall, the services provided by forensic engineers fall into the categories of investigation and engineering; they use their engineering skills to analyze evidence collected during their investigation of a damaged property. The investigative findings typically become part of a report that can serve as a legal or official assessment of what caused either property damage or personal harm to occur.

Forensic engineers can provide their services to private individuals, government agencies, and businesses such as insurance companies, builders, and law firms. They can also provide expert witness testimony in courtroom litigation and conflict resolution.

An insurance company sending an engineer to your home could indicate that your coverage provider believes it can refuse or reduce your property damage claim. The individual conducting an on-site investigation of your claim may intend to follow a specific outcome-oriented approach, and this may not reflect your best interests.

What’s typically considered in a forensic engineer’s report?

A forensic engineer’s report could play an important role in the outcome of a property damage dispute. Some of the report’s contents that the involved parties should take into consideration include:

  • Scope: Does the report cover the full extent of the damage?
  • Methodology: What investigative and analytical methods did the preparer rely on?
  • Accreditation: What professional accreditations does the preparer possess, and are they relevant to the nature of the damage?
  • Sound principles: Are the report’s findings based on sound and applicable principles that another equally qualified preparer can reproduce?
  • Meteorological factors: In cases of weather damage, what recorded wind speeds, temperatures, and precipitation levels contributed to the damage?

An insurance company sending an engineer to your home needn’t require you to accept the submitted report as a final outcome. An experienced property casualty attorney’s review of the engineer’s findings could uncover issues that require correction and help you obtain a fair and just property damage amount.

Why Do Insurance Companies Use Forensic Engineers?

Unfortunately, for many homeowners who submitted property damage claims, the tactics used by their insurance companies to deny their claims can fall into the “shady business practice” category. In some cases, an objective and rigorous forensic engineer’s report could get “buried” by an insurance company’s desk adjuster.

Forensic engineers have also reported that they’ve experienced financial pressure to create investigative reports that favor the insurance company.

Their service-providing relationship with the insurance carrier may otherwise end up jeopardized or “no longer needed.”

What can homeowners do to protect their claims when forensic engineers investigate?

You can take a proactive approach to an insurance company sending an engineer to your home and the possible submission of an unfavorable claim determination. These are some of the steps that property owners can take to help obtain a fair and objective final evaluation of their property damage claims:

  1. Be prompt: Notify the insurance company as soon as possible after the damage occurs.
  2. Prevent further damage: Take whatever steps possible to protect the property and lessen the chances of the damage worsening.
  3. Review the policy contract carefully: It’s important to follow all of the claim submission steps outlined in the policy contract.
  4. Document everything in every way possible: Don’t rely only on “written notes” — use video, photos, receipts, and witnesses to present a comprehensive overview of the damage and how it occurred.
  5. Contact an experienced property casualty attorney: A knowledgeable attorney can handle the more complicated damage and reporting issues while also following all applicable state laws.

How do property casualty attorneys use forensic engineers?

An insurance company sending an engineer out to review a damage claim does not rule out a property casualty attorney obtaining a separate report. A comparison of two forensic engineering reports — especially if reviewed within a courtroom setting — could help prove that an insurance company acted out of line. An accredited forensic engineer’s testimony can serve as a credible and persuasive demonstration of what actually took place to bring about the property damage claim.

Call a Home Insurance Attorney Right Away

Don’t let your home and property become a casualty of bad faith insurance practices. Getting an experienced attorney involved at the start of your claim submission could help you obtain the amount you need to fund your repairs and make things whole again.

If your home or property has suffered unexpected damage, contact one of our skilled attorneys at Insurance Claim HQ at [phone] or online for a no-fee case evaluation. We are focused when it comes to getting our clients the maximum recovery amount.