And then it happens! A tree is blown over onto your house in a wind storm and damages the roof. Or a pipe breaks and you now have 4 inches of water in your finished basement. Or maybe an upstairs toilet malfunctions and your kitchen ceiling is now lying on your kitchen floor.
It will be okay. You have insurance for just this type of disaster. You have paid all of your premiums so your policy is up to date. Your insurance agent is such a friendly person. All you have to do is call that 800 number and all your worries will be over... SO YOU THINK!
According to a new report you have, AT BEST, a 50-50 chance that your insurance company will completely take care of you without a fight. Insurance adjusters are paid, not to settle your claim, but to limit the amount of money that you may be entitled to receive due to your claim. They will question your choice of repair contractor, how much the new carpet is going to cost, whether the entire roof should be replaced or just a portion of it. All sorts of things!
In some cases, the examiner is only authorized to pay out a certain dollar amount. If your claim comes to more than they are authorized to pay, they would rather tell you no than explain to the higher-ups why they need to pay you more. Why should they risk their position for you? Besides, their in-basket has a hundred more files waiting for their attention. It's much simpler to say no to you and move on to the next claim.
The best advice to the homeowner is to be persistent. Don't give up and settle for less than you deserve. Call your insurance company AND your agent every day if need be. Save receipts and invoices. Keep a log in a claim file of your own that details in writing who, what, and where. Hire a public adjuster. DON'T GIVE UP!!
Consider the people in New York that were affected by Superstorm Sandy. Some of them have been battling their insurance companies for over two years now. But they are still fighting. They haven't given up. Eventually they will receive what they are due. And so will you, If, you are one of the 10% who will stand up and fight for what you are due!