Illinois Insurance Adjusters and Their Tasks During the Claims Process
January 20, 2017
If your property has suffered damage, either caused by the weather or because of someone else’s fault and you own property insurance in Illinois, insurance adjusters will be among the first people you will have to talk to. Assigned to your case by the insurance company you have to deal with, adjusters are the specialists who, in most cases, will determine the amount awarded in compensation to the owner of the damaged property, but it is not their only role in the claims process – here are some more of their attributions.
Tasks of Illinois Insurance Adjusters in the Initial Phase
In the first phase of the claims process, the principle task of insurance adjusters is to inspect the damage and to establish the circumstances in which the damage occurred. The adjuster will interview not only the claimant, but also the witnesses to the insurance event (if there are any) and other people who may provide a reliable expert assessment of the case such as medical professionals, lawyers or construction workers; he or she will also inspect documents related to the case such police reports, photos or video footage of the damage. They will take care of your property.
The Next Phase: Paperwork
After the adjuster gathers sufficient information about the damaged property and the circumstances of the damage, they will move on to the next phase: handling paperwork. The evaluation process continues with the inspection of the claimant’s insurance policy to check whether it covers for the damage, indeed.
It may seem obvious to you that claimants know what type of damage they are insured against, but in reality many of them have never read the policy and they only assume they have coverage when they report the damage to the insurer. Claiming compensation for damage that is not included into your policy conducts to the instant refusal of any compensation claim, so if the adjuster finds that the claimant has no coverage, he or she simply rejects the claim and closes the case.
If the policy does provide coverage for the damage sustained, the adjuster takes care of the necessary paperwork related to the case file and comes up with a compensation proposal, then informs the claimant in writing about the offer. Insurance adjusters are usually authorized to settle claims up to a certain value – if the value of your damage is higher than that limit, the adjuster will have to forward the case to a supervisor or manager who is authorized to handle larger amounts.
The Negotiation and the Settlement
If the claimant is happy with the amount offered, it means that a settlement has been reached and the adjuster or the manager who took over the case will authorize the payment to be made into the claimant’s bank account. The process is prolonged if the claimant does not accept the amount offered. Many claimants choose to involve independent experts such as public insurance adjuster Illinois offers or lawyers at this stage of the claims process and some cases even reach the phase when they are taken in front of the court, the final settlement value being determined by a judge.