Nations Home Remodelers, Inc. is the top choice for home improvement, remodeling, renovations, restoration, roofing, siding, windows, gutters, downspouts, decks, and kitchen/bathroom remodeling in Maryland. We are locally owned, operated, and BBB A+ rated with over 20 years in business. We are Maryland's leading hail damage insurance restoration contractor.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Feedback from an Insurance Adjuster
Hail damaged roof
Hail damaged siding
Late last night we received some rather negative feedback from someone who is apparently an independent insurance adjuster in response to our previous blog post (which I have since updated). Apparently this individual found our post offensive in that it lumped all insurance companies and adjusters together. I did attempt to respond directly to the feedback but apparently I have an incorrect phone number and e-mail address for the adjuster. After reading our post over again I have decided to provide some additional comments about the homeowners insurance industry. Hopefully these additional comments may provide a more accurate representation of what our reality is in dealing with adjusters and insurance companies. The vast majority of insurance adjusters approve or deny claims according to guidelines set by the insurance company they are working for either as employees or as independent adjusters. Adjusters are not trained to ignore damage and are in fact trained to look for true damage. The individual adjusters are not setting policy and guidelines as they go but are rather following corporate directives that they may or may not personally agree with. It is true that insurance adjusters are usually trained to minimize payouts to homeowners but this is not as bad as it sounds and requires some clarification. There is a major difference between true damage and perceived damage and there is also a difference between new damage and pre-existing damage. The insurance adjuster is trained to protect the financial assets of the insurance company which would mean that if something were in doubt they will usually err on the side of claim denial. For example a hail storm occurs in a neighborhood where a 12 year old roof is struck by hail. In looking at this particular roof the adjuster has the difficult task of determining whether this home was damaged by the recent hail storm or by prior hail events possibly occurring many years ago. If this neighborhood had numerous hail events in the past 12 years a denial may occur based on the likelihood that this roof had pre-existing damage. For most homeowners this is where the story ends. A reputable, licensed, local contractor can often help the claim get a second look from the insurance company. An additional meeting will usually be scheduled with an insurance recovery expert working for the contractor, an insurance adjuster, and possibly even an engineer with training specific to the claim. In some cases the claim will remain in a denied status but in many cases the roof claim may now gain an approval. Ideally a homeowner would contact the contractor for a free hail damage assessment before contacting the insurance company to file the initial claim. When the contractor is contacted first the homeowner can avoid filing a claim where an approval is unlikely. Contractors that specialize in insurance restoration work gain nothing by encouraging a homeowner to file a claim that will be denied. The insurance company wins in that no claim gets filed if there is no damage, no adjusters meetings get scheduled, and significant costs are not incurred. Even when claims are approved and damage is verified which is more likely to occur if an expert contractor is present it is still more cost effective for all involved if this happens in a single adjusters meeting. The homeowner wins by knowing what if any damage is present (something they cannot usually determine on their own). The contractor wins in that they have made contact with a new client for an insurance restoration project or for a future home improvement project. The truth of the matter is that we at Nations Home Remodelers, Inc. have a great working relationship with the vast majority of adjusters we encounter throughout the State of Maryland. My apologies if the prior post, including the cartoons, and opening joke offended anyone in the insurance industry. If anyone values the service of insurance adjusters it is Nations Home Remodelers, Inc.. I would love to hear from those in the insurance industry and welcome your feedback on topics such as "Choosing a Contractor" or "What to expect from the insurance claims process". I look forward to incorporating your comments/feedback into future posts so that all involved may become better educated on the process as a whole. We can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org on the web at http://www.nationshomeremodelers.net or by phone at 1-800-646-2846.