Talking to a homeowner who had reached out to The Voss Law Firm, after her claim was denied, stated she wanted to postpone an initial free consultation because the Insurance Adjuster wanted more pictures. This can be a stall tactic used to have you miss a deadline. While these adjusters are people (hopefully) and want to do the best for their customers they are employed by the very company trying to make a profit and paying claims does not help their profit.
A quick online search gave me the job descriptions of what “Adjusters” are supposed to do publicly. The insurance companies have different names Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators are the most common. We set off to see what they are recruiting for and did a quick search through some of the larger companies (Allstate, Farm Bureau, State Farm, Nationwide, Travelers, Liberty Mutual, and others) who are hiring Adjusters and many job descriptions looked similar with keywords being used: “Investigate”, “Assist”, “Estimate”, “Negotiate”, “Company Policies” just to name a few.
We took this opportunity to create a cheat sheet of what they are supposed to do with some of our thoughts on what they are actually doing.
While in public their primary role is to assess the extent of damage, determine the validity of a claim, and calculate the amount of compensation that a policyholder is entitled to under their insurance policy. What they do can be different.
- Impartiality: Insurance adjusters are meant to be impartial, but their ultimate loyalty is to the insurance company that employs them. See reports about record profit and payouts to CEOs in Florida, Article from Tampa Bay Times.
- Estimation: They evaluate the cost of repairs, replacement, or reimbursement in line with the terms and conditions of your policy. Many times they rely on models and outdated cost estimates labor and material, Economic Data From St. Louis Fed and this does not count the cost of labor, especially during a major event. UNDERPAYMENT and can say things about deductibles to have you not want to file a claim.
- Negotiation: Insurance adjusters negotiate with policyholders to settle the claim. However, their priority is to protect the interests of the insurer, Article from Business Insider. UNDERPAYMENT and DENIED
- Claims Process: They oversee the entire claims process, from the initial assessment to the final settlement. They control the process and can delay the claim with various tactics. DELAY
Again we are sure the individuals are good people, but they are working with company policies to make more money for the company.
So much so a book has been written (Delay, Deny, Defend: Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims and What You Can Do About It. and reviewed by the New York Journal of Books. On the website, we also have information you can download (Link) or you can read our other blogs (Link). Honestly, the best thing you can do if you suspect your insurance agent is not working for you is to contact us.
At the Voss Law Firm, we strive to help you get back to normal as fast as possible after an insurance denial or “lowball” offer. If you feel you have been unfairly treated by your insurance company, please call (888) 296-1986, input your information for a Free Claim Review, or chat with us today.
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