Every homeowner must know the common home insurance claim adjuster’s secret tactics. Insurance companies are for-profit and care far more about saving money than helping their customers out.
These tactics are completely unfair but go unnoticed due to desperate home insurance claimants. Sadly, studies show these tactics help boost insurance companies’ profits every year.
By becoming aware of these common home insurance claim adjuster secret tactics, you can avoid manipulation and gain the maximum possible settlement for your home insurance claim.
Common Home Insurance Claim Adjuster Secret Tactics
Secret Tactic 1: Tricking You to Admit Fault
Throughout the industry, insurance companies try to trick claimants into admitting fault. But by admitting fault, or partial fault, your claim can be worth significantly less.
In property damage claims, the common secret tactic is to claim you either:
- Failed to mitigate the damage, or;
- The damage occurred before or long after the disaster
For example, they might say that you didn’t lock your windows, which caused flooding during a storm, or that your appliances were damaged long before a fire.
If you’re unaware of these tactics, it’s easy to get tricked into admitting fault. It can happen so easily, from a question such as “Were your windows locked?”
In some cases, you might even experience ‘gaslighting’. Which is where they’ll trick you into thinking you were the cause.
We know it’s difficult if you’re in a vulnerable position. Insurance claims adjusters use tricky questions to shift the blame. Don’t give in easily. They’re not your friends.
Secret Tactic 2: Delaying
Your insurance claims adjuster is likely to try delaying tactics. They’ll know from experience that most people get tired of delays when they’re desperate for money and repairs.
From not calling you back or answering emails, they’ll do whatever they can to push you into accepting a low-ball offer.
Don’t give in. If you experience delaying tactics, then you’re a victim of bad faith and can call a property damage attorney.
Secret Tactic 3: False Deadlines
In their goal to get you to accept a low-ball settlement offer, insurance agents will tell you that you have until a specified date to accept the offer or leave empty-handed.
The truth is, this is a scare tactic. It’s a made-up deadline that you do not have to accept. In reality, you always have a chance to negotiate a better settlement offer and are not obliged to accept their low-ball offer before a deadline.
If this does happen to you and you’re afraid, you can contact a property damage attorney who will quickly call the insurance company and set things straight.
Secret Tactic 4: Policy Loopholes
Insurance policy documents are usually long and complicated. That’s intentional.
Many of our clients say that their insurers state the property damage isn’t covered in the insurance coverage. The reason given is usually some technical loophole.
More often than not, this is a lie. You’re their customer and you paid for this policy.
Secret Tactic 5: Requesting Unnecessary Documentation
Insurance adjusters require various documents, such as receipts, photo evidence, bills and reports. But a common insurance adjuster tactic is to ask for documents that aren’t needed because they know you don’t have them.
For example, you might get asked to provide a repair or construction bill from ten years before the property damage event. This is just another trick to wear you down to accept a low settlement offer.
Secret Tactic 6: Undervaluing Your Claim
When you get a low-ball offer, it’s probably not because you over-estimated damages. It’s more likely because insurance adjusters don’t want to pay you more and they want to wear you out.
The most common way this occurs is by claiming repairs can be completed for far less than the real price.
Do not give in. If you’re unhappy with the settlement offer, you can receive an independent inspection of the property and get contractor quotes. These can be used to prove that the claim has been underpaid or undervalued.
Property damage attorneys are of great use in these situations. They have the resources to prove the real costs of the damage so you don’t end up out of pocket later down the line.
Secret Tactic 7: Advising You Not to Use an Attorney
Insurance companies are scared of attorneys because they know that they’ll reveal their tactics as bad faith behavior.
Your insurance agent may try to tell you that hiring an attorney is either unnecessary, a contract violation or a waste of money. None of this is true.
Using an attorney almost always produces a higher settlement, even after deducting attorney fees.
They can fight aggressively on your behalf through the claims process to avoid attorneys’ manipulation tactics and bring you the maximum possible settlement.
Secret Tactic 8: Acting Like They Care
Be warned of any overly friendly insurance adjuster. They’re not your friend; they work for an insurance company.
While it’s always appreciated that you’re treated with respect and sympathy, the red flags come when they try to ‘befriend’ you. They use this approach to get your guard down, so they can use information against you.
It’s not uncommon for adjusters to be paid bonuses for low settlements, and you’re just another opportunity.
Secret Tactic 9: False Promises Made by Insurance Companies
A home insurance claims adjuster might make promises for your benefit that, in reality, are a conflict of interest. Their priority is always the insurance company, not you!
They might, for example, say they’ll pay for a particular type of repair work and then later tell you that it was ‘excessive’ so it won’t be covered.
Secret Tactic 10: Painful Compensation Negotiations
Never forget that you can negotiate with an insurance company for a property damage settlement offer. But be warned, they will make it as difficult as possible.
They won’t just give you the figure you want at the first request, or the second. This is going to take some work, patience and nerve.
It is highly advised that you hire a property damage attorney, as they will negotiate on your behalf. The mere presence of a reputable attorney can be enough to make an insurance company’s negotiations go far, far quicker and result in a fair settlement.
Contact a Florida Homeowners Insurance Claim Attorney Today
If you need to make a property damage claim, negotiate or tackle an unfair insurance claim adjuster, our Florida property damage attorneys can help.
Attorney Jonathon Douglas leads the property damage claim team nationally ranked by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 Law Firm, Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A.
Having previously represented some of the largest insurance companies in the State of Florida, Mr. Douglas uses his inside knowledge and experience to help you navigate insurance disputes.
Regardless of your situation, you can receive a free consultation today.