Should You Accept Your Insurance Settlement After a Natural Disaster?

September 12, 2019
Home / / Should You Accept Your Insurance Settlement After a Natural Disaster?

After a natural disaster like a wildfire or hurricane, you may face many expenses like evacuation costs, finding new housing, and replacing destroyed property. As you need more cash and the credit card bills come in, you may be tempted to cash the insurance settlement check as soon as you can. This could mean that you lose the right to thousands of dollars in additional coverage that you may have been entitled to. Public insurance adjusters help make sure you get a fair settlement.

Do You Have to Accept an Insurance Settlement?

When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will tell you what they think the claim is worth and offer you a settlement for that amount. You do not have to accept this settlement.

Your insurance policy details what’s covered and how the insurance company should value your property. If your insurance company tells you something isn’t covered when you believe it is, or you disagree with their valuation, you don’t have to accept their offer.

Why Would an Insurance Company Make a Low Offer?

Insurance companies are businesses trying to make money, and paying more claims mean they make less money. Their own adjusters are often under pressure to settle claims as cheaply as possible.

Even when your insurance company is trying to be fair, they may make mistakes. A busy adjuster after a major disaster may miss something, or the adjust may not have enough information to support your claim.

What Should You Do if You Disagree with an Insurance Settlement?

If you disagree with your insurance settlement, you have the right to ask for everything you’re entitled too. If the insurance company refuses, you may be able to take them to court for breach of contract. More often, you can get them to agree to pay more by providing additional information to support your claim. A public insurance adjuster can help you do this.

What is a Public Adjuster, and What Do They Do?

A public adjuster is like the adjusters working for the insurance company, except they’re independent. Rather than receiving a salary from the insurance company, they receive a portion of what they’re able to help you recover. This means that they have incentive to fight for you instead of trying to cap your claim.

Public adjusters have expertise in how to evaluate claims and how to submit detailed documentation to support them. This greatly increases the chances of your insurance company agreeing to pay you more.

To learn more about how to make sure you’re made whole following a disaster, talk to one of our experienced adjusters today.