Seeing your home destroyed or severely damaged is something no one is prepared for, but recently in our area, we have faced the wrath of nature and witnessed countless homes and buildings seriously affected. The question is, do you know the best way to deal with your insurance agent to get the benefits you’re entitled to?
Vince Perri, who specializes in negotiating with insurance companies for his clients, told us that there is one rule to start with: “never accept the first offer from the insurance company. Never.”
As Perri explained, in his experience, the insurance offer rarely suffices.
“We already know that the insurance company will send an estimate that isn’t enough,” said Perri, the founder of Elite Resolutions.
That’s why, he insisted, every homeowner should do their homework and not just rely on the insurance adjuster’s calculations. In this regard, he added, always ask for multiple quotes before accepting what the insurance company offers.
“If you can interview 2, 3, or 4 contractors, it’s the best thing you can do,” said Perri.
Of course, to ensure you receive coverage and get paid on time, you have to do your part.
“Take photos, mitigate, protect the house, call the insurance company immediately,” said Perri, adding that “you also have to make the minimum repairs to protect the house.”
As Perri explained, if the homeowner doesn’t put up tarps, boards, or whatever is necessary to protect the house and more damage occurs after the incident, the insurance company may refuse to pay.
By the way, in California, the law clearly states how long an insurance company has to respond.
“From the day you file a claim with the insurance company, they have 45 days to investigate. If they take longer than 45 days, you can go to the California Department of Insurance,” he said.
Also, if you contact the insurance company, whether by leaving a phone message or by mail or email, they have an additional 14-day window to respond.
If not, you can go to the Insurance Commissioner’s website, insurance.Ca.Gov, and file a complaint.
And if you choose to hire an adjuster to support you, first make sure they have a valid license in California by visiting the state’s Department of Insurance website and searching for “check a license.” Keep in mind that they charge between 10 and 20% of what they obtain from your insurance, but according to Perri, the cost of having an adjuster represent you is worth it.
“Fifteen years doing this, almost always, 95% of the claims we make, we can get more money. And not just a little, from 50 to 800% more,” said Perri.
Stay up-to-date with the latest insights and developments in the insurance industry by exploring our news page. Don’t miss the chance to learn from our CEO, Vince Perri, who is frequently featured in these news articles. His expertise and thought leadership have made a significant impact in the sector. Check out what Vince has to say by following the link to his insightful interviews and discussions. Stay informed and be inspired by the wealth of knowledge he shares.