“My insurance company denied my claim. What do I do now?” You don’t have to take it! You can take your claim into your own hands, sort of. You have a few tools at your disposal that most people don’t know about.
Hire an Attorney. An attorney that specializes in Insurance is sometimes hard to find, but they’re out there. If you can get them to take your case, they’ll usually sub out the work to a Public Adjuster unless they can find a black and white violation of the policy, which is a contract. They’ll charge you their rate, plus the cost to cover the Public Adjuster. If it goes all the way to court the policyholder will likely have to pay court cost and of course the hours of work for the attorney associated with it. This is not a very cost effective option, considering the entire reason you’re hiring them is to get the money you’re losing to the insurance company.
Insurance Appraisal. In most policies, there’s a clause called the “Appraisal Clause” that allows for a process that resembles an appeals process. If you and your Insurance Company disagree on what your pay-out should be, you can invoke your right to appraisal. You are able to have two third party individuals come together and decide what a fair allotment will be. One will be appointed by your insurance company and one will be appointed by you. Most of the time they can hash it out with no problems. If they cannot come to an agreement, the decision will go to what’s called an “Insurance Umpire”. That’s an individual that both of the Appraisers agree on before hand, just incase they can’t agree on your payout. The decision made by the Appraisers or Umpire overrides the insurance companies initial decision. Usually the Appraisal process ends in favor of the policyholder, increasing the claim at least a small amount at worst. To learn more (how to, cost, how long it takes, print an Appraisal Invocation) click here. Noble Public Adjusting Group just so happens to have the number one Insurance Appraiser for the policyholder in the country! So it’s safe to say we have a lot of experience and lots of happy policyholders!
Hire a Public Adjuster. Insurance companies have spread a misconception over the years that they alone can assess and declare damages. It’s just not the case. Policyholders have WAY more power then they realize. While you can’t assess and declare damages without a state issued and regulated license, you can hire one that advocates specifically and solely for you, the policyholder. It’s called a Public Insurance Adjuster. Public Adjusters (P.A.s) are licensed and regulated by the state in which they practice. They have many of the same requirements that a regular adjuster has, but many more in addition. They have to complete an Insurance program and pass an exam just to sit for the state licensing board. After they pass the program they must be fingerprinted, background checked and more. Once they pass the state licensing exam, they have to become bonded for up to $50,000.00, depending on the state, and then they have to apprentice under another State Licensed Public Adjuster for an entire year (some states don’t require this). Long story short, they know their stuff. A good P.A. should also have experience in construction, estimating, business, and Insurance law. They can re-open your claim and re-negotiate it, if there is indeed claimable damages to your property. To find out more about Public Adjusting or how it works, click here.