From natural disasters to house fires, life is full of unexpected events. That’s why you buy home insurance—to make sure that you’re taken care of when the unexpected occurs.

can you negotiate with home insurance adjusters

When you file a claim following an incident involving property damage, one of the first things that the insurance company will do is connect you with a home insurance adjuster experienced in negotiating insurance settlement for the property damage.

The question is:

Can you negotiate with insurance adjusters? Well…you can and today we’ll be exploring home insurance adjusters and home insurance claim adjuster secret tactics to teach you how to maximize your home insurance payout.

What is a Home Insurance Adjuster?

A home insurance adjuster (also known as a staff adjuster) works with your insurance company to assess the damage to your home and appraise your claim.

Ultimately, they'll be the ones in charge of deciding how much money—if at all—the insurance company should pay out for your claim.

Depending on the circumstances, the home insurance adjuster may visit your home or assess the damage entirely over the phone.

You should prepare for a visit from a home insurance adjuster by:

  • Taking photos of the property damage
  • Preparing an inventory of damaged items, including date of purchase, brief description, and cost of repair/replacement, noting any property damage to your home and external structures like garages, sheds, pools, etc.
  • Keeping copies of any documentation that your insurance company and/or the     home insurance adjuster provides.

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Home Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us.

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get home insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

How to Negotiate with a Home Insurance Adjuster

How do you negotiate with home insurance adjusters? First, read your policy agreement closely.

You need to be aware of the details of your coverage and any exclusions that may lead the insurer to deny your claim, or in case the home insurance adjuster, the estimate is too low.

You can usually find the specific breakdown of your home insurance coverage on the ‘declarations’ portion of your contract, which often includes the following subsections:

  • Dwelling (your house)
  • Other Structures (garage, shed, pool, etc.)
  • Personal Property
  • Loss of Use/Additional Living Expenses (covers temporary lodging, gas, and meals if you are displaced due to property damage)

What should you avoid saying to an insurance adjuster?

While you should always be honest with your insurance company, you want to take care with how you frame the situation so that claim doesn’t get delayed due concerns over a fraudulent or ineligible claim.

When an insurance adjuster asks a question, and you don't know how to answer, be honest.

will home insurance adjusters negotiate

Don't guess if you're uncertain. Avoid saying, “I think," and instead answer with “I don’t know.”

That way, you’ll avoid giving incorrect answers — or accidentally taking the blame for your property damage — that may cause the company to deny or delay your claim.

It’s also important to keep a level head when discussing or negotiating your claim.

Getting angry at the insurance adjuster or leveling baseless threats against a powerful insurance company will only come back to hurt you during the negotiation process.

INSURANCE WHERE YOU LIVE

Home insurance by state.

What if my insurance company is acting in bad faith?

Another thing to keep in mind is that your insurance company is required to act in good faith and uphold the terms of the contract you signed with them.

However, insurance companies may sometimes act in bad faith, which means the home insurance adjuster or other insurance company representatives may misrepresent the language in your contact to:

  • Refuse to pay a claim altogether or underpay a claim
  • Delay processing your claim
  • Fail to disclose exclusions and non-payment terms in your insurance policy

If you suspect that your insurance company is acting in bad faith, consult the advice of an insurance claims attorney in your area.

What Happens if Negotiations Fail?

What should you do if the insurance company isn't sufficiently addressing your claims or giving you the compensation you deserve?

If the insurance company presents you with a homeowners insurance lowball estimate or an offer that you believe is too low—a common practice in the industry to avoid a lengthy negotiation—you can—and often should—reject the offer.

They will typically come back to you with a second offer that is more to your liking.

However, you may find yourself overwhelmed when dealing with the specifics of your policy, including how to determine which portions of the contract apply to your claim.

Worst-case scenario, the insurance company may also refuse to present you with a higher claim estimate in their second offer.

In that case, you will likely want to contact a public claims adjuster to negotiate with the company’s home insurance adjusters.

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Home Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us.

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get home insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

Should You Hire a Public Insurance Adjuster?

Public adjusters are independent insurance adjusters who work apart from an insurance company. They work for the policyholder—you—instead of the insurance company.

These adjusters may reach out to you independently after a natural disaster occurs in your area.

However, you can also contact them if you want a second opinion to appraise your claim, particularly if you are in dispute with your insurance company over your settlement.

Public insurance adjusters operate independently of the insurance company, which means they will not demonstrate bias in favor of the insurer.

The downside is that they charge a fee if the insurance company pays out your claim. However, they generally don’t charge you anything if you don’t receive any payment from the insurer.

These fees vary by state, but they can range from 10-20% of your total insurance claim, depending on the settlement's exact amount.

For example, a claim payment of $25,000 might result in a 20% fee, but a higher settlement of $100,000 may only result in a 10% fee.

However, because the public insurance adjuster can often deliver a larger settlement than if you negotiated on your own, you may find the tradeoff worth it to receive fair compensation for your damages.

Before hiring a public insurance adjuster, be sure to review their ratings with the Better Business Bureau or the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters.

Take Action

Dealing with insurance companies in the wake of an unexpected tragedy or natural disaster can be frustrating and emotionally taxing.

It's important that you're prepared for the kinds of questions that home insurance adjusters may ask to get the appropriate payout for your claim.

If you feel overwhelmed or cheated while negotiating with your insurance company, you may want to consider hiring a qualified public insurance adjuster to help you get a larger payout.


Sa El

About the author

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 11 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. He is also an Official Member of the Forbes Finance Council, a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.

Your Signature


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}