What To Do If Your Home Insurance Adjuster Estimate Is Too Low

Is your home insurance adjuster estimate too low? Here's what you can do

Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company that you have your policy with. They are responsible for producing an estimated cost of your replacement value. Dealing with a home insurance adjuster is part of the general procedure of submitting a claim after you have suffered damage to your property. More often, after a traumatic event, it can be completely overwhelming dealing with an adjuster even more so if that adjuster comes in with a low estimate. Thankfully, there are steps that you can follow to get your insurance provider to pay out the replacement value that is appropriate to the loss that you have suffered. This article will cover the steps you can follow when an adjuster’s estimate is below the amount you anticipated or less than necessary to complete the replacement or repairs.

What Exactly Does an Adjuster Do?

After suffering some form of damage to your home, a home insurance adjuster has to come out and examine the property to estimate what your insurance company will be required to payout. The adjuster’s estimate provides the insurance company with an outline of the extent of the damage and an overview of what needs to be repaired or replaced. In addition to the outline and summary, the adjuster then suggests to the insurance company what he/she believes each of the repairs will cost. Based on this information, the insurance company will settle your claim. Dependent on the circumstances, your adjuster may be an employee of a third party. Still, he/she may work for the insurance company.
what to do if your home insurance adjuster estimate is too low

Understand How Your Policy is Set Up

Before panicking about whether or not your insurance adjuster has provided an estimate that is too low, it’s essential to understand precisely how your insurance policy covers you. Suppose you’ve set up your policy to cover the replacement value regardless of general wear and tear. In that case, the insurer is liable to pay out the full replacement costs. If, however, your policy factors in depreciation (the general wear and tear), then your insurer will only be responsible for paying the value of the item when the damage occurred. For example, if your carpet were destroyed in a fire, the insurer would examine the age of the rug to determine how the value has decreased since it was installed in the home. This will undoubtedly reduce the replacement value.

home insurance adjuster estimate too low

Steps You Can Follow if Your Estimate Is Too Low

Suppose your policy doesn’t factor in general wear and tear, and the adjuster’s estimate is still too low. In that case, you can appeal the forecast. Most insurance companies give you the option to demand the initial assessment that the adjuster made. It’s good to include photos of the damage, witness statements, and even quotes on how much it will cost to repair the damage. They may also want you to show that you have maintained your property according to all the necessary standards and regulations. Suppose the adjuster, who made the initial estimate, works for the insurance company. In that case, it may also be helpful to hire a public adjuster who can review the claim and make an independent, unbiased assessment that you can present to your insurance company as a second opinion. Make sure that the adjuster has a valid license and specializes in the loss that you are claiming.