Get a Second Opinion to Insurance Estimates

Questions to Ask Public Adjusters

If you receive a check from your insurance company for Hurricane Michael property damage, take the check so you can begin your repairs. However, don’t sign a release until you know for sure that the insurance check covers all of your property damage (reasons why the settlement may not be enough). That means getting a second opinion to the insurance estimate so you know the true value of your damage (reasons to get your own damage estimate).

12 Questions to Ask Adjusters

Here are questions to ask if you’re considering hiring someone to assist you with your insurance claim:

  1. How much experience do they have with claims like yours?
  2. Are they sole practitioners or do they have a team backing them up?
  3. How many people are on their team?
  4. What do those people do to assist with your claim?
  5. How many years have they been in practice focusing on residential or commercial claims?
  6. What is their preferred method of dispute resolution?
  7. What happens if the insurance company underpays or denies your claim? For claims related to Hurricane Michael, more than 16,000 claims were denied, representing more than 11% of total claims submitted (as of January 11, 2019 reported by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation). What is the process and cost for handling your claim if it’s been underpaid or denied by the insurance company?
  8. How much do they know about mortgage companies and their processes?
  9. If they collect money for you, will they help you deal with your mortgage company?
    • If so, ask them to carefully explain the process of how they deal with your mortgage company.
    • Do they have team members dedicated to dealing with mortgage companies?
    • If they can help in dealing with your mortgage company is that service included in their regular fee or are there additional costs?
  10. Are they licensed and insured, and if so by whom and, for how much?
  11. Is the person creating the damage estimate an apprentice or do they have a license?
  12. How skilled of a negotiator are they? Ask about their specific and strategic negotiation strategy and results in past cases.

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