Why You Should Not Wait for a Claim Offer From Your Insurance Company
You have suffered a loss and it is a natural tendency to wait and see what the insurance company offers you before you retain an expert to assist you. This would be like waiting for the judge to decide your case before consulting a lawyer.
Your insurance company has employed experts to represent its interests. Waiting for insurance company decision is not to your advantage for the following reasons:
The adjuster representing your insurance company will not make you an offer until obtaining the necessary appraisals and other supporting information which the adjuster needs before determining the amount of your claim. There is no way for you or the insurance company adjuster to know the amount of your claim until your loss is appraised. The policy requires you to prove your loss to the insurance company and — if done properly — it is in your best interest to do so. However, you only have one opportunity to submit your claim and it is of utmost importance that your claim complies with policy conditions, be thorough, accurate and beneficial to your interests. The claim you submit will be the foundation of all claim negotiations.
The appraisal of your loss and preparation of your claim will require a considerable amount of your time and expense. After this information is prepared, it must be submitted to the adjuster, at which time the insurance company’s adjusters will review and audit your presentation, make necessary adjustments and at some later date make you an offer. The time period from the date of loss until the first offer can be several weeks or many months depending on the circumstances.
Once you receive an offer you then have the decision to accept or reject the offer. You certainly do not want to accept an offer that “sounds fair.” To guesstimate the amount to which you are entitled could leave you vulnerable to settling your claim for an amount significantly less than to which you are entitled. Moreover, in any negotiations after an offer is made, you have narrowed your bargaining field.
If you reject the insurance company’s offer, you must then have solid evidence to prove the insurance company wrong. Since the insurance company’s offer has been based on a careful review of the claim, including the opinion of their experts such as general contractors, engineers, architects, accountants, etc., your task will be to prove the adjuster and his experts wrong and to provide enough supporting evidence to overturn their decision and bring them back to the bargaining table. Needless to say, this is not an easy task.
By now, it is weeks or months after your claim. During this time, the physical loss and evidence of your values and damage will likely have been altered and you will be attempting to recreate your claim from what information may still be available. Furthermore, the delay incurred is costly to you in terms of lost interest on your insurance proceeds and in re-establishing your property or business.
Insurance companies employ experienced, trained adjusters to represent their interests. By assuming the responsibility of preparing, presenting and negotiating your claim, you will spend considerable time, expense and effort in trying to recover your money from others who have extensive daily experience in the adjustment of insurance claims. Common sense dictates that mistakes will be made and mistakes cost money.
What is the amount of your loss? Your answer to that question is probably an educated guess. When you receive an offer, how will you know that the amount represents a true measure of your loss?
Large claims are not settled on first offers. An offer should lead to negotiation. Once you receive an offer, you are in a position to properly analyze the equity of the offer? Co-insurance, depreciation, policy exclusions, repairable versus total loss and due diligence and dispatch, are only a few items to deal with in the settlement of a claim. Do you attempt to negotiate? Once negotiations start, you are further jeopardizing your position if you are not successful.
It is widely known that the appraisals of property or business interruption claims, whether by contractors, architects, engineers, accountants or adjusters, will produce as many different conclusions and amounts as there are experts involved. Without your own adjuster protecting your financial interests, you will be at a distinct disadvantage.
Prove your claim to the insurance company utilizing your experts. By doing so, you will be providing the documentation and dollar amount to be used in negotiations.
Your claim will be professionally documented by recognized licensed professionals. We will carefully review with you all information before submitting it to the insurance company and our experts will answer any questions the insurance company’s representatives may have about the claim. The amount requested in your claim will have been arrived at in a logical and orderly process with the final amount being the result of considerable analysis.
For the insurance company to disagree with your claim, they must prove your claim documentation incorrect which will be very difficult for them because your claim will have been prepared properly.
Alex N. Sill Company assumes the burden and responsibility of your claim adjustment, allowing you to devote your time and energies to your business operation. We have handled thousands of claims over the years and know the problem areas of a claim adjustment. Our experience allows us to avoid these problems and to produce both a larger and faster settlement than would otherwise be possible.
Consider for a moment that you are faced with a situation that involves a substantial sum of money, a legal contract between you and the insurance company and the assignment of determining your damages under that contract. The insurance company has employed the best experts available. Would it not be in your best interests to have professional experts to help?