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6 Things Your Insurance Company Doesn’t Want You to Know
According to statistics published by the Insurance Information Institute, the U.S. insurance industry is a trillion-dollar industry employing nearly three million people. It’s a profit-driven industry paying close to $25 billion in premium taxes every year – that’s about $75 for every person living in the United States.
When dealing with your insurance company, recognize that you’re not dealing with a charity. You’re dealing with a business that will try to make as much money from you as they can. And they won’t leave any money on the table when paying you out for an insurance claim.
Read on to discover six things your homeowners insurance company does not want you to know that might save you money or increase your insurance payout.
Secrets Your Homeowners Insurance Company Won’t Publicize
Here as six things your insurance company doesn’t want you to know:
#1. Resources Offered by Your State’s Department of Insurance
The Department of Insurance in most states offers helpful resources to assist homeowners in choosing the right insurance company and cover.
Your insurance company doesn’t want you to visit your state’s insurance department or any other resource where you might be able to compare them to other insurers.
#2. Insurance Companies Can Offer Secret Unadvertised Discounts
Most insurers can offer discounts on premiums for homeowners that take action to reduce their risk of a loss event. For example, by installing a fire sprinkler system or a home security system that includes gas-leak detection, you mitigate the risk of a loss event.
Insurance companies love homeowners who take proactive measures to lower their risk profile. But what they love even more is if the homeowner doesn’t request a discount on their insurance premium. Don’t expect your insurer to offer you a discount. Ask for it.
Many homeowners are implementing new technological advances that might lower their risk profile. However, many insurers, perhaps even your insurance company, have been slow or reluctant to embrace new technologies.
What your insurance company doesn’t want you to know is that new insurtech companies might be able to offer you a better premium. Insurtech is a combination of the words insurance and technology. These companies offer highly customized policies to clients with Internet-enabled devices where they dynamically price premiums based on observed behavior.
#3. An Insurance Adjuster Is Not Your Friend
When you submit an insurance claim for a covered event, your insurance company appoints an insurance adjuster to handle your claim. Your insurer expects the insurance adjuster to mitigate their liability and act in their best interests.
Many homeowners get confused between insurance adjusters, independent adjusters, company adjusters, and public adjusters. For a detailed explanation of the different types of adjusters, refer to our article on public adjusters versus independent adjusters.
Insurance adjusters typically fall into one of two categories, namely:
- Company or “Staff” Adjuster – A company or staff adjuster is a full-time employee of an insurance company.
- Independent Adjuster – The term independent adjuster is a bit of a misnomer. Though the word “independent” would imply otherwise, insurers pay independent adjusters as their contracted representatives to investigate and adjust claims on their behalf.
Homeowners often believe that independent adjusters are on their side and want to help them. And this suits your insurance company because if you trust the adjuster they appointed to handle your case, you’re more likely to accept the outcome of your insurance claim.
However, in reality, any adjuster appointed and paid for by your insurer will not do you any favors. Insurance adjusters will never put your interests in front of those of your insurance company that employed them.
#4. Insurance Adjusters Are Skilled Negotiators
Insurance adjusters are expert negotiators. They typically have years of experience and deal with insurance claims daily. They know the ins and outs of homeowners insurance and every trick in the book to mitigate the liability of your insurer.
They negotiate from a position of strength, realizing the average homeowner is out of their depth negotiating with a home insurance expert.
Your insurance company doesn’t want you to know that you’re dealing with a skilled negotiator. They want you to believe that their insurance adjuster is simply presenting you with the facts and are not negotiating.
Some insurance adjusters might act like they’re on your side. For example, they might say things like, “I wish I could help you, but my hands are tied.” Don’t be fooled. It’s all part of the negotiation process you are not even aware is happening.
#5. You Don’t Have to Accept a Settlement Offer
Undervaluing claims is a common practice for insurance companies that are chasing profits at the expense of their policyholders.
If your insurance adjuster presents you with a lowball settlement offer, you don’t have to accept it. They will typically try to convince you it’s a good deal. And might even pressure you to accept it by saying things like, “This offer is only valid for the next 48 hours.”
Remember that it’s in the best interest of your insurance company if you accept their settlement offer without delay.
Your insurance company doesn’t want you to know that settlement offers can be negotiated and you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive. If you believe the settlement offer is too low and won’t cover you for the loss you suffered, don’t agree to it. Get a second opinion from an attorney or public adjuster.
#6. Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Hire a Public Adjuster
The last thing your insurance company wants is for you to hire a public adjuster. Unlike their insurance adjuster, who acts in their best interest, a public adjuster acts in YOUR best interest.
As previously mentioned, insurance adjusters are expert negotiators. They know the ins and outs of homeowners insurance and every trick in the book to mitigate the liability of your insurer.
By hiring a public adjuster to manage your claim, you’re leveling the playing field.
Hiring a public adjuster:
- makes the claim process less stressful,
- saves you time,
- is cheaper than hiring an attorney,
- means having an expert negotiate on your behalf,
- might lead to a faster claim resolution, and
- increases the likelihood of a higher settlement offer
That's a Wrap
We trust the six things we discussed your insurance company does not want you to know might save you money or increase your insurance payout.
Large and complex homeowners insurance claims can be a nightmare to manage. In such cases, we recommend hiring a public adjuster to act in your best interests.
An experienced and licensed public adjuster can help you overcome the challenges of managing your property insurance claim. And they can assist you in getting the best possible settlement offer or fighting a bad settlement offer.
Avner Gat, Inc. has 17+ years of experience as a public adjuster in Los Angeles, covering Southern California. We protect homeowners from the games and fine print that insurance companies are known for.
Call us at (818) 917-5256 to find out how we can help you.