Advertisement

When your home has been damaged, you turn to your insurance company for answers. You’ve paid the premiums and been promised that when an accident happens, you’re covered.

Your insurance company should be critical in helping you get back on your feet and rebuild. But what they offer you may not be everything you are entitled to according to your insurance policy. In the case of a major loss, such as a total loss due to fire, you will need every dollar you can get to rebuild.

When you’re dealing with the insurance company, there are three tips you can use to help you throughout the process. 

#1 You Can Hire Someone to Help You with Your Claim

After you file an insurance claim, a claims adjuster will contact you to evaluate the extent of your loss and make a recommendation to the insurance company about your settlement. It’s important to know that the claims adjuster does not represent you; they are paid by the insurance company.

You can hire someone to negotiate with the insurance company and the claims adjuster who represents your interests. There are two options for this: public adjusters and insurance lawyers.

The difference between insurance adjusters vs lawyers is that a lawyer will have a broader understanding of law beyond insurance. If there is a dispute involving your claim, they have the ability to represent you in court (though their goal is usually to avoid a dispute), they are skilled at negotiation, and they can also help when there are third parties and liability issues involved.

#2 You Don’t Have to Accept the Insurer’s First Offer

After the insurance adjuster makes their recommendation, the insurance company will tell you how much they are willing to pay out. This is usually not a final offer. In most cases, you can still negotiate if you have a real case that the settlement should be higher.

With the help of an insurance lawyer, you can compare their valuations against your insurance policy. At the end of the day, the insurer has to live up to the terms of your policy, but there may be room for interpretation and negotiation.

#3 You Can Request a Cash Advance

One way the insurance company can make families feel the pressure to accept a subpar offer is through the expenses that they face while waiting for their insurance claim to come through. Families who cannot return home until extensive repairs are made are dealing with several costs, such as:

  • Continuing to pay property taxes and mortgage payments on the damaged home
  • Rental costs for a rental home or apartment, as well as the initial costs of a hotel in the days after a fire
  • Added transportation, storage, and food costs

These costs can add up and force some families into debt to keep up. As interest charges accumulate, they start to feel the pressure to accept any offer.

If you’re feeling that type of financial pressure, request a cash advance from the insurance company. A cash advance will be taken out of your final offer, but it can provide immediate financial relief that takes the pressure off and lets you make sure the insurer’s offer is accurate.

Ad