Top 5 Reasons Not to Handle Your Own Insurance Claim
Handling your own insurance claim could cost you thousands of dollars.
You’re not an insurance expert – and your insurance company knows that. Many insurance companies can take advantage of a policyholder’s inexperience to offer low payouts or deny a claim.
For medium and large-sized insurance claims, you could leave money on the table by handling your own claim.
Here are the top 5 reasons not to handle your own insurance claim.
1) You Need to Handle Mountains of Confusing Paperwork
A major insurance claim involves seemingly endless paperwork.
Most insurers use this paperwork to create a clear paper trail, making it easy to track your claim from start to finish and verify all losses.
Other insurers, however, may use this paperwork to overwhelm policyholders, delay payouts, and make the claim much harder than it needs to be. They might design their paperwork to be confusing, and then overwhelm you with paperwork to deliberately weaken your resolve.
Some insurers know homeowners get so frustrated with paperwork and documentation that they will eventually accept a lower settlement.
Insurance paperwork is hard: you don’t just sign a form and send it back to your insurer; instead, you need to fill out forms accurately and with the right information to ensure you receive maximum payout for your claim.
Some of the paperwork required on a major insurance claim may include:
- Detailed building restoration estimates
- A complete inventory of home property, including the value of the property, how much you paid for it, brand, makes, models, and more
- Additional documentation to prove your claim
Do you know the number of coffee cups you have in your home? Do you know what you paid for your 10-year old couch? Do you have receipts for every high-value item in your home?
All of this documentation takes time. And, a single mistake could jeopardize your claim or leave you with thousands in lost compensation.
2) You Need to Spend Time Researching, Verifying, and Managing the Claim
A major insurance claim takes time. You need to spend time documenting the claim, researching repair and restoration options, comparing contractor quotes, and managing the loss from start to finish.
Even if you don’t have a full-time job, these hours can add up. They’re frustrating hours, too: you’re spending a significant amount of time looking up what each form means, for example, and how to best complete each document from your insurance company.
3) You Need Experience (Or Hours of Additional Research Time)
If you’re lucky, you’ll only deal with one or two major home insurance claims in your entire life.
You don’t want to have experience with major home insurance claims. It’s a bad thing, because it means you’ve suffered multiple serious losses (and likely pay higher home insurance premiums).
Most homeowners don’t have sufficient experience to handle a major insurance claim. Sure, you can research everything you need to, but it takes hours of additional time.
Unfortunately, your insurance company may take advantage of your lack of experience. They might offer a payout hundreds of dollars less than you are rightfully owed, for example, because they know you don’t know the difference.
4) You Don’t Know What to Claim, How Much to Claim, or When to Push Back Against Greedy Insurers
Most homeowners don’t know what damages are covered under their policy. They don’t know what damages are excluded, for example, and they don’t know how to maximize the value of their claim.
It’s not their fault: homeowners aren’t property insurance experts, and they’re not expected to be.
However, insurers might expect homeowners to push back against claims. They might initially offer a lowball amount, for example, because they expect that you may fight back.
If you’re handling your own claim instead of letting the professionals handle it, then you likely don’t know when and where to fight back, which could leave thousands of dollars in compensation on the table.
5) It’s Likely You’ll Get Paid Less
Studies show homeowners who hire public adjusters tend to get higher compensation than homeowners who manage their own insurance claim.
If you try to manage your own major insurance claim, you could get paid significantly less by your insurance company.
Some insurers take advantage of your inexperience and naivety, for example. Others don’t point out additional damages you can claim.
Remember: insurance companies aren’t charities; they’re for-profit businesses that typically want to close your claim as cheaply as legally possible.
Hire a Public Adjuster for Professional Insurance Claim Help
Most homeowners aren’t insurance experts.
It’s not your fault: most homeowners only go through one major claim in their entire lives.
Instead of risking tens of thousands of dollars, however, consider hiring a professional to help navigate your insurance claim.
A good public adjuster has years of experience handling hundreds of insurance claims. They know what information insurers need, and they know how to build your claim to secure the highest possible amount of compensation.
Plus, public adjusters work on contingency, which means you don’t pay until you accept your insurer’s final settlement, which could be 300% higher than the payout initially offered.
Don’t risk it: hire a public adjuster today for your major home or business insurance claim.