It only takes one wrong move for an adjuster to affect a claim negatively, thus leading to a lifetime of adjusters having a bad reputation.
Do you want to know how many times I have encountered an insured already mad about something before I can even start the claims process? The answer is too many times. The reason is that they previously had a bad experience and assume this experience will be no different. Or they heard horror stories and are already on the defensive. Well, I got news for you! Not every adjuster is the same. Based on what I have heard from insureds, here are a few reasons why adjusters have a bad reputation.
Oh and remember, this is coming from me- a property adjuster 🙂
The adjuster lacks communication skills.
You just sustained a significant loss to your home, you are very anxious, awaiting a call from the adjuster to get the ball rolling. When you do not hear promptly from the insurance company or adjuster, this alone will start the claim off in the wrong direction.
When reporting your claim to the insurance company, make sure you clearly state to them the level of damage that has been done to your home. If you cannot live in your home, tell them immediately.
Once you hear from the adjuster, set clear expectations during the initial phone call. Ask them if you can text them and what their contact hours are. Write down their preferred method of communication and the time allowed along with all their information. Get ahead of the game!
My property insurance damage packet includes a section to keep all your adjuster’s information in one spot along with a call log.
Trust me, doing so will save you some headaches in the long run.
The adjuster was not transparent about coverage.
The worst mistake an adjuster can make with you is not being transparent throughout the claim and notifying you immediately if there is a coverage concern. If explained thoroughly at the start of the claim, it will give you time to clear up any discrepancies. You may find out that you have coverage after all!
Not being transparent upfront can cause a lot of headaches and disappointment later during the claims process. Be sure to ask your adjuster questions about your loss and verify if coverage will be afforded. Adjusters are not allowed to make coverage determinations, so they cannot tell you yes or no definitively if something is covered. They can, however, advise if they have a coverage concern.
That being said- ask the adjuster, “do you have any coverage concerns about my claim? If so, what information do you need to clear up any discrepancies?” If you are confused about why something is not covered, ask to be shown wherein the policy it states you do not have coverage. Being able to see something on paper, written out may help.
Further, if the adjuster still cannot explain or give you a solid answer, you can always call the desk adjuster directly and ask for clarification. Sometimes, this is what it takes!
The adjuster is late.
If your adjuster is late, then your adjuster probably lacks time management skills. Let us take a deep breath and call them and ask where they are. I get it. Your time is essential, and there is nothing more annoying than sitting home and waiting for someone to show up. If the adjuster gives you a tight timeline for arrival during that first appointment setting phone call, take it with a grain of salt and add an hour to that. It will help set better expectations for you.
As much as it sucks, sometimes, taking the entire day off will just set a calmer experience. There is no stressing over the arrival of the adjuster and the time it takes to perform their inspection.
It is the little things that help your claim experience stay positive!
The adjuster left off repairs in your estimate.
Do not under any circumstances, let the adjuster rush through your inspection or pressure the adjuster to hurry. They could overlook or forget critical details and may have to come back out to complete a second inspection.
If you feel the adjuster is rushing through the inspection, reassure them that you have ample time, and there is no need to rush. So, make sure you allow sufficient time for the adjuster to come out and inspect!
One thing you can do is download my property insurance claim damage packet. You can walk through your home and around the exterior and fill out the damage checklist. Once completed, make a copy and provide it to the adjuster upon arrival.
The adjuster is not as professional as your banker.
Adjusters are supposed to adhere to professional dress code such as a nice polo, khakis, and appropriate shoes.
Not all adjusters are cut from the same cloth. Unfortunately, some adjusters will not adhere to the dress code. It sets a bad image for the homeowner and leaves them with a wrong impression. I get it.
Sometimes you need a little extra care and compassion during your insurance claim. Having an excellent adjuster to just spend some additional time and listen to you, makes all the difference. This does not always happen, causing you to feel negatively towards the customer service experience.
Just remember: you only have to deal with the adjuster for a short time (hopefully).
Your adjuster is taking forever to get paperwork submitted.
Based on my experience, insurance companies require a claim contacted within 24 hours of delivery to the adjuster. Inspections should be in 48 hours with a first/ reserve report due within 72 hours, if not the same day of inspection.
These are strict timelines that cause adjusters to become overwhelmed and occasionally late on their submissions.
By knowing the timelines, this should give you a sense of when the insurance company should receive your paperwork. Once the paperwork is received, the insurance company must review the adjuster’s report, confirm coverage, and then issue a payment or a denial letter. This process could take around 14-30 days on average.
So, it is not always the adjuster that is holding up your paperwork. Sometimes the insurance company takes a while! I would adjust your expectations to allow 30 days before the check comes in the mail. Not to say it will take that long, but setting more broad expectations keeps your positivity in check.
If you are genuinely concerned about timelines, feel free to ask your adjuster when you can expect the insurance company to issue payment. They should have a general timeline to offer.
Read this article on insurance timelines for more information.
The Curious Confidential: Have you ever had a bad experience with an adjuster? What happened, and how do you wish it went differently?