If you disagree with the adjuster’s final claim estimate, tell the company why. The company may have overlooked something and may make adjustments. Make sure to send any supporting documentation, such as a contractor’s estimate for the repairs. If you still disagree, you have several options to challenge your insurer’s decision.
Request an appraisal
Your policy may include an appraisal process to resolve claim complaints. The appraisal process begins with you and the company each hiring an appraiser. The two appraisers then choose a third appraiser as the umpire. Your appraiser and the company’s appraiser make their own estimates of your loss. If they are different, the umpire makes the final decision, which is binding on both you and the company. You are responsible for the expenses of the appraiser you hire and for half of the umpire’s expenses. Check your policy for any deadlines to demand appraisal. If you need help finding an appraiser, search for a “property damage appraiser” or check with your contractor.
File a complaint
If you think an insurance company has treated you unfairly, you can file a complaint with us. Learn how to get help with a home insurance complaint.
Some people hire a public insurance adjuster if they disagree with the number or type of damages listed by the insurance company’s adjuster. Public adjusters charge fees for their services. Before you hire a public adjuster, make sure you understand what you’ll have to pay. Learn more about public adjusters.
If you’re not satisfied with the outcome of your dispute, you have the right to sue the insurance company in a court of law over your claim. You can use these resources to find legal help. You can also ask for alternative dispute resolution, which uses mediation with a neutral third party to settle disputes outside court.
A public adjuster is an independent insurance professional that a policyholder may hire to help settle an insurance claim on his or her behalf.
Your insurance company provides an adjuster at no charge to you, while a public adjuster has no relationship with your insurance company, and charges a fee of up to 15 percent of the insurance settlement for his or her services. Note that while a public adjuster can assist with the claims process, he or she cannot get you more money than you are entitled to under your insurance policy.
If you’re thinking of hiring a public adjuster:
- Check the references and qualifications of any public adjuster. Ask for recommendations from family and associates. Make sure the adjuster is licensed in the state where your loss has occurred, and call the Better Business Bureau and/or your state insurance department to check up on his or her record.
- Avoid any public adjuster who pressures you and, as always, read your contract carefully to make sure you understand it all before you sign.
- Know the facts after a major disaster. Your state’s insurance department may set the percentage that public adjusters are permitted charge. Be wary of public adjusters who go from door-to-door after a catastrophe.