How to Deal with Low Ball Offers from Panhandle Insurance Claims
Home and business owners who were impacted by the flooding and water intrusion in Pensacola, Destin, Gulf Breeze and the Ft. Walton Beach areas are starting to hear back from their insurance company about their claims. Many will learn that the claim settlement amount(s) fall short and will not cover the cost of repairing storm damages.
These low ball offers are very common in this storm and may not always be the fault of the insurance company. At the root of the problem is the fact that flood adjusters are NOT adjusting these losses. Because of the size of this storm and the number of claims, “adjusters” may pulled in from all over the United States to write estimates. Most are “contracted” independent adjusters that are paid on a per loss basis by the insurance carrier. They are writing estimates instead of adjusting the claims, many without any knowledge about local pricing (demand surge) and without any agreement with a licensed building contractor who has to pull and be responsible for the building permit. As we have written in other blogs, the adjusters want to write an estimate and close the file so they can get paid. Its quantity over quality! You need to demand quality. You paid for it!
What should be done in cases like yours is for the adjuster to actually adjust the file with you or your contractor so that an agreed price and scope of loss is reached between all parties. If you are not getting satisfaction or the answers you need, you need to go to a more senior claims manager and demand a re-inspection with “your” contractor present so that they can have input in the pricing and scope of the loss. As we have advised many times, keep a record of who said what and when. If you meet with someone make notes. If given instructions or promised some action from an insurance representative on your claim, document it or ask for a confirmation in writing. And remember, your policy requires you and the adjuster’s cooperation in the adjusting process.
Once you have made an effort but failed to get anyone’s attention TELL YOUR STORY in a written letter. Send it certified mail to your elected officials (all of them and as many times as necessary) as well as the president and CEO of the insurance company. If you get no response, send your letter again with a note that you have not been given the courtesy of a reply to the first letter. Just the fact that you documented that no one will return your calls should be enough to get someone’s attention.
Typically, there is an appeals process, but what you need now is a re-inspection by an adjuster who will actually adjust your loss now rather than wait in the long line. If you have questions regarding any property insurance related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster claim experts. #PensacolaFlooding #DestinFlooding #FtWaltonFlooding #GulfBreezeFlooding