Insurance is supposed to give you peace of mind. That is until you need to use it. Business owners that are struggling due to recent shutdowns are having business interruption claims denied.
An underpaid claim or denied claim could be disastrous for your business. You may be depending on that money to keep your business going.
If you have an insurance claim, you’re going to have to work with the insurance adjuster. What is an insurance adjuster and what do they do? Keep reading to learn what a business adjuster does and how you can work with them to settle your insurance claim.
What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster goes by many different titles. They may be called a claims representative, insurance claims specialist, or insurance claims analyst.
The job of the insurance adjuster is simple. They review your insurance policy, review the damages associated with your claim, and settle the claim.
Types of Insurance Adjusters
There are three main types of insurance adjusters. There are staff adjusters, public adjusters, and independent adjusters. They all do the same type of work, but there’s one very important way they differ.
Staff adjusters are employees of insurance companies. These are the people who will review your claim and decide what the claim is worth. Since they work for the insurance company, they’ll be very likely to limit the dollar amount of your claim.
Independent adjusters are hired by insurance companies, but they work as independent contractors. They will work for several different insurance companies.
They are more independent than staff adjusters, but the insurance companies still pay them. They’re more likely to be influenced by that factor when they review your claim.
Public adjusters are independent adjusters who work for homeowners and businesses. They review the claims on your behalf. You pay them, so they’re likely to look out for your best interests.
How to Work with a Business Insurance Adjuster
If your business suffered damages that your insurance policy should cover, you’ll file a claim with your insurance carrier. They will assign an adjuster, either staff or independent, to review your claim.
Their job is to protect the interests of the insurance company. The less money they need to pay out, the higher their profit margins are. Adjusters will look for reasons to underpay or deny your claim.
You need to be aware of what adjusters look for so you can avoid this scenario.
Understand Your Insurance Policy
About 75% of small and medium-sized businesses are underinsured. This is a major reason why claims are denied. Business owners assume that general liability insurance covers everything.
You’re likely to need policies that cover business interruptions, cyberattacks, flooding, property damage, and more. You should review your insurance needs every year with a professional to make sure your business is fully covered.
When you work with an insurance adjuster, you have to prove that your claim needs to be paid. You should provide as much documentation as possible to support your claim.
Documents such as repair bills, police reports, photos of damages, lost wages, and lost revenue reports are some of the documents to support your claim.
Don’t Give Too Much Information
You have to be careful about what you say to the adjuster. You should answer questions by saying yes or no. Telling stories or giving ballpark figures of damages could be used against you as the adjuster reviews your claims.
They look for inconsistencies in your story, so the more information you give them, the more they have to work with. If there’s something that you don’t know, don’t make up an answer. Tell the adjuster you will research the matter and get them a definitive answer.
Hire a Public Adjuster
There’s a good chance that you have a problem with your insurance claim. You have a couple of options to fight your claim. You can hire an attorney or hire a public adjuster.
Public adjusters have plenty of experience working with insurance companies. They may also have other types of experience relevant to your claim, such as construction or business experience.
There are a few reasons why you should hire a public adjuster. The first is that it will save you time and frustration because they deal with the insurance company. That frees you up to rebuild your business.
If you have a large claim, like a property claim, you’ll want to bring in a public adjuster right away. They’ll help you determine what the right claim settlement amount is, preventing you from suffering major losses.
With underpaid claims, a public adjuster will review your claim. They’ll look at your insurance policy and the same documentation you presented to the insurance company’s adjuster. They can give you an objective opinion as to what the real value of the claim is.
Make sure that you hire a public adjuster that’s licensed to operate in your state. In California, there are strict standards that public adjusters have to meet.
Some adjusters will give you a free evaluation. They’ll visit your business and tell you what your options are with your claim.
Know How Adjusters Work and Settle Your Insurance Claim
Businesses are often strapped for cash, with many having only a few week’s worth of cash on hand. If your business has had any property damage or equipment loss, you may be able to file an insurance claim and recover some of the damages.
When you do this, you’ll need to work with an insurance claim adjuster. What is an insurance adjuster? That’s the person who reviews your claim and decides what your claim is worth.
If your claim is denied or underpaid, you’ll want to hire a public adjuster that works for you, not the insurance company.
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