The insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not the insured. During the two weeks since Hurricane Matthew, I have heard countless people naively say “their” adjuster when referring to the insurance company’s adjuster. This misconception allows the insurance company to - as a routine business practice - underpay claims. We have all heard the old adage: Get three estimates when hiring a contractor. If this is wise advice, then why accept the insurance company estimate at face value?
My experience is that, on average, there is a 20-50% difference between the insurance adjuster estimate versus an independently-hired contractor or estimator. In short, you should always consult an experienced first party property insurance attorney in the following scenarios:
- Denial of insurance coverage
- Reservation of Rights letter
- Delays in payment of claims
- Bad faith by the insurance company
However, more often than not, the insurance company routinely relies on “underpayment of claims” in order to boost its bottom line. An experienced first party property insurance attorney knows how to maximize your claim. Most importantly, all cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis for the additional payments obtained, meaning there is no fee if we do not recover additional funds from the insurance company. In addition, the insurance company may be liable for attorney’s fees and costs under Florida law.