After filing your hail insurance claim, you want to get the best possible settlement for your losses. Yet, this can be difficult – especially if the claims adjuster is working against you.
Here are six tips for dealing with an insurance adjuster on hail damage:
- Gather evidence of hail damage
- Take proactive measures to keep damage from getting worse
- Be prepared when the claims adjuster assesses your property’s damage
- Refuse to give a recorded statement
- Anticipate negotiations
- Seek legal counsel
1. Gather Evidence of Hail Damage
When you present your case to the claims adjuster, you need evidence that supports your right to damages. You should:
- Determine the number of hail marks within a 10 x10 square ft. area.
- Take clear photos of your damaged property, which may include your vehicle or home
- Take videos of the damage (if possible)
- Keep all damage-related invoices, billing statements, and receipts
With any other evidence you may have, you want to show the claims adjuster that because your property suffered hail damage, you deserve compensation for various repairs and replacements.
2. Take Proactive Measures to Keep Damage from Getting Worse
After a serious weather event, like a hurricane, insurance companies are overwhelmed with claims. It could be a few days before the claims adjuster examines your damaged property and processes your claim.
In the meantime, you want to protect your property from enduring more damage. If not, the insurance company might not cover losses that happened in the storm’s aftermath.
- Board up broken windows
- Bring your vehicles into the garage (if possible)
- Dry any water damage to prevent mold
- Put tarps over holes in your property’s roof
- Refrain from using items that have already suffered damage
On another note, unless it’s an emergency situation, do not hire a contractor to repair your property’s damage without consulting the insurance company first. If you hire an out-of-network contractor, it might refuse to pay for certain repairs.
3. Be Prepared When the Claims Adjuster Accesses Your Property’s Damage
The claims adjuster may visit your home or business to assess the extent of your property’s damage. You don’t want to be caught off guard when they arrive. Doing so could jeopardize their assessment and how much you can recover.
- Ensure you’re on time for your appointment
- Participate fully in this first meeting
- Show the adjuster pictures before and after the damage happened
- Clear a two-hour period for the adjuster to review your property
- Review your insurance policy beforehand to see what’s covered
- Refrain from giving your opinion about certain aspects of your case
- Limit how much you share; stick to facts and nothing else
4. Refuse to Give a Recorded Statement
After evaluating your property’s damage, the claims adjuster may ask you to give a recorded statement. You might think that this is standard procedure. It’s not; you are under no obligation to give such a statement.
In doing so, the claims adjuster hopes that you’ll:
- Admit that you caused the damage
- Did not take adequate measures to protect your property from damage
- Reveal something that could jeopardize your claim
- Free the insurance company of liability
You only have to give the claims adjuster basic information, such as your policy number. Anything beyond that could be an attempt to deny or undervalue your claim.
5. Anticipate Negotiations
You don’t have to accept the insurance adjuster’s first offer. In fact, it might not account for various aspects of your covered losses. In that situation, you’re allowed to negotiate for a better offer. This involves understanding your policy, having evidence, and knowing the cost of your damages.
6. Seek Legal Counsel
If you have gone through the claims process and feel like your insurance company should have offered you more (or you cannot agree upon a settlement amount), it may be time to consider legal aid.
A hail insurance claims lawyer can deal with the adjuster and fight for what you need. They will review the applicable insurance policy, investigate your covered losses, and negotiate for what you need. You do not have to go through this situation alone. You have a wealth of options when you partner with a lawyer.
Connect with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a Free Case Review
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine is ready to pursue what you deserve for your covered losses. We can do more than deal with the claims adjuster for you after your property suffers hail damage; we can support you during this challenging time.
We Can Help.