You paid your insurance premiums on your business for years without ever making a claim. When you finally did file a claim after a small fire, flood or another disaster, you expected the insurance company to treat your claim with all the respect and care it deserved.
Now, you feel naive. The insurance adjuster barely spoke to you, did a cursory examination of your property and only offered you a fraction of what you need for the repairs.
Insurance investigations aren’t meant to help you
The reality is that insurance companies don’t make money by being generous with their payouts. They often look for ways to minimize or deny claims, and a good chunk of their investigations centers around looking closely for fraud.
Sometimes the easiest way for an insurance company to avoid paying out the full value of a claim, however, is to simply not look very closely at all – and that can leave the property owner short.
For example, a claims examiner who just does a cursory examination of your building after someone accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of their brakes and drove through your store window could come up with a dollar figure that’s thousands less than what you actually need. They may rely on a superficial evaluation of the damage that doesn’t take into account structural problems left by the car’s impact on the building. Repairing your front window won’t fix your business if the roof starts to leak or cracks start appearing in the walls because of the hidden damage.
Ideally, you will be able to present your insurance company with more complete documentation of your losses and negotiate a better settlement. When the insurance company is being obstinate and refuses to take a second look, it may be time to explore your legal options.