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What to Do if Your Property Damage Claim Is Undervalued

Pekar Law, P.A. Aug. 16, 2017

Insurance is always a touchy subject for homeowners. Every month you make payments, just in case, hoping that you’ll never have to file a damage claim. After all, nobody wants their home in disrepair. If something doesn’t happen, then you have to go through the red tape to determine a value of compensation. For most people, insurance issues are a maze and you don’t know where to turn.

For those who have filed a claim, what happens when it’s not enough? Whether the roof was damaged in a storm, the basement flooded or a tree branch took out a window and your dining room table, there may be more damage than first meets the eye. Home repairs are almost always more complicated than they first appear.

Reasons for Inaccurate Claims

There are many reasons why agent’s will undervalue or deny your claim. Misevaluations are often based on time. Insurance adjusters are busy. In the rush to visit multiple sites in a day, they may have not been thorough in their investigation, either overlooking the significance of the damage or estimating for cosmetic repairs instead of infrastructure damage. Similarly, the agent may have misread your policy.

Contesting an Offer

When you don’t get a number you think fits the bill – or worse, if you’re denied, there are ways to counter the claim.

  • Review your existing insurance policy

  • Request a reevaluation

  • Gather your own expert evaluation

  • Document damage with photos, witnesses, repair estimates, etc.

Another method is to seek legal counsel. While you may be able to contest the claim on your own, an attorney who works with insurance companies on a daily basis is familiar with the regulations and processes of the industry. They will know who to contact and what points to address for a clear explanation about your company’s response to your claim.

Protecting Your Property

For the average homeowner, insurance is a maze in which you don’t know where to turn. Experience matters, and it can help you get full value for your property damage claims when you feel you’ve been undervalued. When filing a damage claim, you’ve already paid for the insurance. It’s your company’s obligation to fulfill your policy.