If you have filed a claim recently, your insurance company has hopefully acknowledged that they received your claim, and they’ve scheduled your inspection. The inspection may go something like this:
The adjuster assigned to your claim has called and made an appointment to inspect your home. You’ve taken time off work to be sure you’re there to let the adjuster in and answer any questions they may have. They arrive, introduce themselves, and tell you they’re going to inspect the exterior. You stay inside, peering through the window to see them taking photos and writing notes. Ten minutes later, they knock on the door to inspect the interior of your home. You follow along while they take pictures and write notes. Another ten minutes pass and they let you know they’re done and that you should be receiving a letter from your insurance company with the result of your claim soon. You thank them and send them on their way. It all happened so fast you don’t realize the adjuster never went on top of your roof. You’re not even sure they had a ladder with them. They didn’t ask if you had an attic or ask to see it. They didn’t check to see the shed in your back yard that lost some shingles in the windstorm.
If you’ve ever filed a claim with your insurance company before, you may know this scenario isn’t all that uncommon. Many homeowners have experiences like this one, and are left not knowing what to do when their insurance company doesn’t pay enough to fix all the damage to their home caused by a storm. If this happens to you, you may be hesitant to call the insurance company to complain. You may think this was their one and only chance to find all your damages and they blew it. However, you can and should have your home re-inspected by a different adjuster. Here are some tips to be sure you get, and benefit from, a second inspection:
- Don’t be afraid to complain. When you call in a complaint, it prevents the insurance company from saying: “If we only knew about this issue, we would have fixed it right away. Homeowner X just didn’t give us the chance to.” The squeaky wheel gets the grease!
- Details, details, details! Make sure to describe to the customer service agent exactly why you would like another inspection. Adjuster showed up without a ladder? Did he or she not get on the roof? Were they discourteous to you or dismissive of damage you pointed out? Mention it all.
- Write everything down. Write down the name of who you spoke with at customer service, the complaints you gave them, and their response. When your re-inspection occurs, take note of what the adjustor inspects and what they say to you. Also make a note if your adjustor says something will or will not be covered. Keep these notes in one central location, just in case you have to call in to the company again.
Getting your home inspected correctly should be top priority for your insurance carrier. If they don’t succeed on the first try, they should be eager to get another shot at it.