BBB Gives Suggestions on Working With Insurance Adjusters After Tornado

WYOMING, Mich. (July 8, 2014) – Ron Piersma said his insurance adjuster agreed to replace the blown out windows, siding, the roof and the glass-speckled carpet in his Wyoming home.

“We had an insurance adjuster out here for the house, walked through the house. She was probably out here 2 hours. Just really pleased with what she told us,” Piersma said.

His property of 18 years is arguably the worst hit on his block. He said the cost to remove the trees that damaged his garage and vehicles are covered by insurance.
However, it’s possibly a different story for the trees in his field.

“The 10 trees that we lost on the property, that’s a little bit in dispute as to what they’re covering. They’re saying that they’re only going to cover $500 for clean up. I got a $9,000 bill here for clean up on the trees,” he explained.

It’s very costly, and Piersma said his family is with the same insurance company for their vehicles. This one belongs to his foster son.

Piersma said, “They’re saying he didn’t have comprehensive insurance on this, and um, so it looks like we might be eating this one. I’m not sure.”

Phil Catlett with the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan said keep in mind that an insurance adjuster has a job to do, and they’re not in the business to overcompensate.
He said the consumer ought to stay informed and voice their opinion.

“If they’re pushing beyond what you believe is appropriate, you need to be firm because the insurance company is working for you too,” Catlett said.

He added, “So if it’s a car, or if it’s a house, or it’s property damage, just make sure you understand clearly, why the insurance company is offering what it is offering.”

“If you don’t think it’s fair, you need to explain why and we’d recommend writing it all down…. why you think you should get what you believe you ought to get and have a clear firm conversation with the insurance company to make sure you’re being treating fairly in a way that you think is responsible,” Catlett explained.

If you want a second opinion from another adjuster, Catlett said, “Typically, you might ask that, if the insurance company would send a second adjuster.”

However, she said, “We have found that most insurance companies are willing to work with you, but it’s up to you to be firm.”

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