After you’ve submitted your claim to your insurance company, a claims adjuster will usually be assigned to your claim to investigate. You should receive a phone call, letter or email from the adjuster introducing himself and informing you of the general process their company – your company – follows. The adjuster will review your policy to see what coverage and deductibles you have and evaluate the type and extent of damage sustained.
Some claims are simple; some are not. Here’s what you can expect from each:
- Simple claims. In simple cases where damage is minimal (siding blew off of your house during a storm), an adjuster may have you get an estimate of the damage and just pay to replace the siding – less your deductible, of course. An in-person visit probably won’t occur unless your agent/adjuster lives close by and the amount of paperwork needed is usually minimal.
- Difficult claims. In difficult cases where you’ve experienced major damage (your roof collapsed), an adjuster will likely come by to assess the damage in person, take photos and discuss what needs to be done next, such as getting estimates and filling out claim and estimate forms.
How long does the process take? Generally speaking, easy claims can be settled in a matter of weeks. Difficult cases may, and generally do, take much longer – especially when several estimates are needed or your contractor is not ready to perform the repairs right away. However, determining an exact amount of time is difficult since every claim has its own facts and circumstances. Try not to have expectations of when the matter will be resolved, but…
Don’t sit back and wait! Once you’ve submitted a claim, don’t sit back and wait. Check in with your claims adjuster (and contractors!) from time to time, either by phone or email, to see what progress has been made on your claim. Claims adjusters usually have hundreds of claims to settle; don’t let yours fall to the bottom of the pile