For many homeowners filing and dealing with the insurance claim process is a completely new experience for them. They will be presented with a lot of new information, and wrapping your head around all the different terms can be overwhelming at times. In this article we hope to explain the difference between the two terms that will undoubtedly arise soon after filing a new insurance claim. The insurance Agent vs. an insurance adjuster, who are they and what role will they play in your insurance claim?
The agent is the person who sold you your policy.
Your Home Insurance Agent is the individual who sold you your insurance policy. He or she is basically an insurance salesman who manages your policy with the carrier (the insurance company that your policy is held with) but is typically not involved in the loss settlement.
Agents who do get involved in the loss settlement usually do so only to assist the insured (you the homeowner or policy holder) if the insured has issues or concerns about the claim process. They should be viewed as a valuable resource for information if you have questions about how the process works and what to expect going forward, but will most likely not have detailed information about the coverage of your claim, cost of damages, nor scope of loss. For that information you would want to talk to the Insurance Adjuster.
The adjuster is the person who is handling your claim. The adjuster assesses damage, determines coverage (what the scope of loss is), estimates the cost of damages, issues payments, and monitors coverage limits for the insurance company. It is your adjuster’s job to help you get your life back together after your loss by providing you with the financial resources necessary to do so.
Your adjuster must also do this within the terms of your insurance policy. The adjuster has a responsibility to both you and the carrier to pay your claim, IN FULL, within the terms of the contract. It is a common misconception to view an adjusters job description as being “to hang on to as much of the insurance company’s money as possible.” If they have that attitude, they don’t last long due to their continual confrontations with insured’s. The vast majority of adjusters simply want to pay reasonable and customary amounts for what is owed under the terms of the policy. It is not unusual for there to be differences between the estimated cost for repairs that your adjuster provides and the estimate that your repair contractor creates. Communication between your repair contractor and adjuster will work out these differences. Settling an insurance claim is really quite simple: if there are damages from a covered loss, payment is owed. You can find more information about the role of an adjuster here.
The adjuster is the person handling your claim.
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