By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Insurance adjusters are wrapping up one of their busiest weeks in a long time as they continue to help property owners assess the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
For most of us, the first phone call we make is to the insurance company. They then send out an adjuster who eventually submits an estimate on how much money you’ll receive for damage repairs.
Philadelphia Consumer Advocate Lance Haver says you should keep in mind that everything is negotiable.
“If you believe for whatever reason the adjuster hasn’t had the appropriate time to spend on your claim you should say ‘I don’t think this is fair, I want a second opinion. I want to dispute and for this reason here is why I should get more’,” he said.
If you’re still not happy, you can turn to a public adjuster. They act as a go-between with you and the insurance company.
Haver says you should be careful here as well, however.
“You must look at the contract the public adjuster wants you to sign. Many times the cost and the percentages that they will take off your claim are so large that it’s really not in your interest to sign with them.”
Haver says your first call should be to FEMA to find out how the government can you help rebuild.