Archive for the ‘Insurance negotiation’ Category

Maximizing Your Insurance Settlement

August 14, 2009

I get a lot of questions about how to maximize insurance settlements. Below are some suggestions on what to do during the early stages of a home disaster.

First and foremost, be sure to save any and all receipts related to the inconvenience of being displaced from your home. This includes hotel (be sure to clear hotel arrangements with the insurance company first), restaurant meals and even the expense of developing your photos. Keep in mind that some insurance companies may have reimbursement caps such as meal per diems and clarify any of these items with the agent up front. In my case, for example, I was reimbursed only for incremental meal expenses above and beyond my regular grocery costs. It is, unfortunately, true that the odds of the insurance company proactively communicating this information to you are low. (more…)


Difficulty with your Insurance Negotiation?

November 14, 2008


If you are experiencing difficulties in negotiating your insurance claim, you might try filing a complaint against the insurance company with your state’s Department of Insurance. Depending on the rules of your home state, it is likely that you will have to complete a form that asks you to describe your problem and suggest what you believe to be a fair resolution. I did this myself when I received a low-ball settlement offer and encountered difficulties in securing hotel reimbursement while my home was uninhabitable. Once you’ve submitted your complaint, an agent will be assigned to your case and will contact the insurance company to probe into your claim. Although involving the state agency won’t automatically guarantee an immediate settlement, your complaint will remain under his or her watchful eye and the insurance company will be more attentive to you.

Challenging the Insurance Company

September 12, 2008

One of the most important rules to remember in negotiating an insurance settlement is to never accept the first offer. I challenged the first offer sent to me with a long letter detailing (more…)

Flood Damage Hazards — Mold, Asbestos and the Insurance Company

August 23, 2008

Mold grows quickly after a flood – as quickly as 72 hours after the damage. Unfortunately, many insurance policies do not cover proper mold abatement. Here’s how I handled this problem.

Not only did I have severe mold growth in my condominium, but my home was also built in 1971. The ceilings, which needed to be demolished due to water damage, were loaded with asbestos. Both asbestos and mold require extremely skilled professionals to safely remove and dispose of them. The insurance company insisted that I authorize its contractor to remove the ceilings and asbestos from my condominium.  However, they refused to cover proper mold abatement, even though there had been mold growing in the unit (more…)

Negotiating Insurance Claims

August 18, 2008

The below article was published in The Standard-Times, The Narragansett Times, The East Greenwich Pendulum, The Chariho Times and The Coventry Courier  newspapers.

Negotiating Insurance Claims: Ten tips to prepare for storm, wind or water damage

Between household accidents and natural disasters, homeowners insurance claims have become an integral part of home ownership. From the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 to the recent tropical storms and hurricanes in the Southeast, flooding has threatened countless American homes over the past several decades. Now that the 2008 hurricane season is in full swing, below are ten tips (more…)