Should you re-open a settled home insurance claim

November 16, 2017

You make the mistake of calling your insurance company (before calling a public adjuster) at the first sign of damage. They immediately deploy a claims adjuster to visit your home and inspect the damage.

You are impressed at how quickly and smoothly the process is going. Within a few short weeks you receive a letter, a check and settlement papers. Now, not so impressed with the settlement amount, you agree to recover whatever it is you can, and so you accept the settlement agreement. And it ends there.

Home Insurance settlements: The two things that happen most often

What you will find, in most cases, one of two things will happen. You will either get denied immediately on the phone or through mail correspondence. Or the insurance company will settle the claim quickly, but for a small fraction of what is actually due.

In both situations, the insurance company is hoping you will not do too much research into the claim. They are hoping you agree with their findings and settle or accept the denial. They are also hoping that you come to believe that the “settlement” means you have no other recourse.

What to do if you settled a claim…

The facts are, if you sign off on a settlement, by law you can have a Public Adjuster re-open the claim. A Public Adjuster can review your settlement agreement. Review what exactly you were paid for, and in many cases, what you weren’t paid for.

For the most part, company claim adjusters will pay bases on apparent damage. What you can see with your eyes. However, the biggest damage usually lies in what can’t be seen. That’s called the hidden damage. The company claim’s adjuster will not make you aware of “Hidden damage.” It’s simply not in their scope of duty or responsibility.

It is the policy holder that must prove their burden. The homeowner must detail the damage in order to get paid properly. So when an insurance company quickly settles a claim, more often than not, hidden damage has been left out and not calculated in the settlement. Ultimately, the homeowner is leaving a lot of money on the table.

The importance of a Public Adjuster

The key thing to remember in these situations is that the homeowner needs someone on their side. Settlements done quickly are usually short changing the policy holder. This is nothing new.

After hurricane Katrina, an independent, third party analysis conclusively proved that homeowners that used Public Adjusters got, on average, over 570% more, compared to homeowners that didn’t use Public Adjusters.

That is a huge difference. Public Adjusters can add significantly to the settlement amount.

Over the last few years, our company has collect data concerning our re-open claim clients. The data is impressive, to say the least.

The percentage we have recovered for our clients, AFTER SETTLEMENT, is almost hard to believe.  Even harder to believe is how often these situations go on.

Unfortunately, less than 7% of the millions of home insurance claims that are placed yearly are represented by Public Adjusters.

This is how insurance companies, even in years were we see devastating storms and natural disasters, they still make 100’s of millions of dollars in profit for their shareholders.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for capitalism and making a profit. But as a Public Adjuster, I get to see some of the unjust acts that happen because people are simply uninformed. I’ve seen first hand, people being displayed for years. Families suffering because of simply being unaware of the technicalities of properly placing a home insurance claim. That is why I love what I do.

If you have placed a claim over the last 12 months and would like me to review what you received and settled for, I’m here to help. My services are preformed with no out-of-pocket cost to you. If we proceed to re-open the claim, your fee comes out of the settlement we get you. No new settlement, no cost to you.

Call me if I can be of assistance 856-430-2640.





Mike Martinez, Licensed and Bonded Public Adjuster

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