Long Nguyen | author
ICHQ | Site Author
After your home is damaged by a storm, fire, or other event covered by your homeowners insurance, quick action is needed to make repairs and ensure your house stays comfortable and protected. So the last thing you want to worry about is your money being held up (or denied) by a frustrating and complicated insurance claim.
Most claimants expect their insurance company look out for their best interests, but the unfortunate reality is that they are more interested in their profits than helping you recover.
To avoid getting cheated out of a fair settlement, you should strongly consider hiring an experienced property damage attorney to help you prepare, file, and defend your claim. An experienced attorney will know how to avoid common pitfalls in the claim process, speak with insurance adjusters, and get you the recovery you deserve.
At Insurance Claim HQ, we negotiate with the insurance company so you don’t have to. Our team of property damage lawyers are ready to hold your homeowners insurance company accountable when they deny your claim or only offer unfair settlement offers. In this article, we will cover why insurance companies give lowball offers, as well as tips that can help you avoid unfair settlements and increase your claim’s chances of success.
How Your Insurance Company Sees Your Settlement
When it comes to getting a fair settlement from your insurance company, the truth is that your homeowners insurance company is more interested in their bottom line than your recovery. As frustrating as it is, most insurance companies will undervalue your insurance claim as much as possible to save themselves money.
That being the case, it’s important to be as careful as possible while filing your insurance claim. Your insurance company will be scrutinizing your claim for any opportunity they can find to minimize your settlement offer, or even deny your claim outright. This makes hiring an experienced property damage attorney even more valuable, as they can show you what to avoid and how to build a stronger case.
Related: How to Hire a Public Adjuster – What You Need to Know
Tips For Negotiating and Filing Your Insurance Claim
Remember, the insurance company has been doing this for years. They have a lot of experience negotiating settlements. And the system is stacked in their favor. If you’re not prepared, you’ll be in for an uphill battle.
If you want to tilt the scales in your favor, you’ll need take full advantage of the tools and techniques available to you. The tips below can help you defender yourself against an insurance company taking advantage of you and your loved ones during the negotiation process.
Carefully Review Your Insurance Policy
When the insurance company denies your claim, that denial is usually based on specific languages or loopholes within your homeowners insurance policy. So, be sure to carefully review your policy before filing a property damage claim—ideally with your lawyer. Understanding the rules and regulations of your policy before you file save you and your loved ones the frustration of denial.
Gather Evidence and Hire an Independent Insurance Adjuster
Before you file your claim, be sure to gather as much evidence as possible. This includes taking photos and videos of all damage to your property, as well as saving any bills or estimates you collect.
One trick insurance companies frequently use is hiring their own preferred inspectors to assess the damage to your property. Unsurprisingly, these inspectors often undervalue the trust cost the damage.
The best way to protect yourself is by hiring an independent claims adjuster or contractor who can provide an unbiased estimate. You can then use this to counter the insurance company’s claims during negotiations.
Don’t Trust the Insurance Claims Adjuster
During negotiations, it is important to keep in mind that insurance claims adjusters are not on your side—no matter how friendly they may act. Their job is to find ways around paying you a fair settlement, and they’ve had a lot of practice doing just that.
While discussing your insurance claim with a claims adjuster, be careful what you say. Only provide direct, factual answers to the specific questions asked, and don’t provide any further information or commentary. Statements that might seem innocent or irrelevant at the time can often be misconstrued and used as ammunition to deny or reduce your claim.
Expect a Low Initial Settlement Offer
Don’t be surprised if the first settlement offer is not as generous as you anticipate. Insurance companies will often offer a lowball initial settlement offer in the hope that the homeowner will simply take it without doing their due diligence, or simply as a negotiating tactic. The lower the starting point, the less money the insurance company expects to pay in the end, even after a few rounds of back-and-forth with the claimant.
Don’t Accept an Unfair Offer
If you feel that your insurance company has given you an unfair offer, don’t accept it. Many people don’t know that after you accept a settlement offer, there is no chance to get more money later. Once an offer is accepted, you claim will be closed and you won’t be able to reopen it if more expenses come up.
If you are unsure if your offer is fair or not, consider contacting a property damage lawyer to get a professional opinion on your case’s value.
Related: Know Your Worth: Understanding the Roles of Appraisers
Insurance Claim HQ: Fighting Back Against Unfair Settlement Offers for Louisiana
When the insurance company sends you an unfair settlement offer, you need an experienced property damage attorney who can help you fight back.
At Insurance Claim HQ, we know the tricks that your insurance company uses to cheat you out of the compensation you deserve. Our team of lawyers is here to teach you how to avoid these pitfalls, file a successful claim, and negotiate a better offer when your insurance company lowballs you.
If you or a loved one are dealing with property damage due to a covered event and are in need of legal assistance, contact our team today or call us directly at 844-587-8395 to schedule your free consultation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.