Dealing with insurance adjusters

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Any experiences with how to deal with insurance adjusters for roof damage and interior water damage repairs, eg re-taping drywall, painting?
This is from Sandy last fall. Had the adjuster out today. Couldn't do the roof because the roof was wet. But we did get into it over the interior painting. Basically shingles blew off letting water into the cathedral ceiling of my large great room and foyer. Ceiling and walls of those rooms needs to be done. The great room and foyer run into each other, so for simplicity you can just visualize it as one very large 30 x 25 , two story room, with 4 walls. In addition to being a cathedral ceiling, part is also over stairs. A ceiling in one small bedroom also needs to be done.
They initially pegged this last Fall at $619 for the interior work, without coming out. Which is obviously a joke. I got two painters for estimates. One quoted $3850, the other $4000. I thought they were on the high side.
So, today the Allstate adjuster was here. It was something else. This woman spent an unbelievable amount of time measuring everything to the last inch. Here's an example of the process. The wall at the front of the house needs to be repainted. It's a contemporary with 7 large windows that form part of that wall. I'd say the windows and the double entry doors amount to 75% of the wall area. So, what does the adjuster do? She calculates the square footage of the wall, and then subtracts OUT the windows and doors.
She says they only paint areas that need to be painted. I say that any painter will tell you that you should ADD for all those windows, because you have to cut in around each one and you could just paint a wide open wall for less than you can paint a wall with all that work. That fell on deaf ears.
After an hour and 45 mins of measuring and computing, I managed to get another $700 out of them. $200 of that was for damage to a sofa, unrelated to the interior drywall/painting. So, she's telling me that $1119 is the cost to repair the drywall, seal, paint etc a great room and foyer that combined are 30ft x 25 ft, two stories tall. It also includes going around 6 recessed ceiling lights, two natural wood beams that cross the ceiling, dealing with a section that is over stairs with a ceiling fan. And doing sealing and repainting of one bedroom ceiling 15f tx 13ft.
I tried to point out the obvious, like going around 7 windows makes the cost go up, not down. And that it's multiple trips for the painter, because you have to do 3 coats with the drywall repair. I got nowhere. Their whole approach is use some low ball cost per square foot to paint, which would be fine if it was just one big wall. But they then take an area like the front wall, full of windows, subtract out the area of all those windows, multiply the little that is left by their low cost per sq ft., and say that covers it.
So, any ideas? Even worse, Fri they are coming back to do the roof estimate. She's already told me what to expect. They deal with it one roof slope at a time. Only if that roof slope has such extensive damage that it can't be repaired will they pay to replace it. And then they will only pay to replace the one slope, ie section. So, I ask what about the fact that 4 roof slopes face the street and three have extensive damage? You'll only replace 3? Answer: Yes. I said, but it's not going to match, it will look like hell. Her answer: We only pay to repair or replace what's damaged, not for cosmetics......
I talked to a neighbor who has State Farm. They had a roof that had less damage and SF paid to replace the whole thing. And it's not like I have cheap premiums. I was paying around $1400 a year and they have just jacked it to $1800.
Any ideas on what to do? She did suggest that I could have a roofer there to make the case for more extensive work. But I'm thinking with the above approach to painting, she wouldn't listen to reason about the work involved with painting a wall with a lot of detail, why would she listen to a roofer?
Any experience with independent adjusters? I'm wondering if I should try to find one by Fri to be here to try to reason with her?
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On 3/19/2013 7:18 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I went the independent adjuster route. Worked to my advantage. I first had the State Farm adjuster come by. They gave me an estimate. I then called an independant adjuster. He came by and met the State Farm adjuster. They both inspected everything in, outside and on top of the house. The independanrt guy got me a whole new roof, new drywall in one damaged room and pointed out m any small areas that needed repair and repainting. Go with the independant adjuster..... Good luck
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Thanks for the info!
What did the independent adjuster cost? Was it flat fee, by the hour, by amount recovered?
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This is how you deal with insurance adjusters, and always get your way:
http://truth-media.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/gunman_1.jpg
It works every time!
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On 3/19/2013 7:18 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ?

I'm not sure what they call them in the US, Attorney General's offices maybe?
Does your township or state have a legal office that might offer advice on a website or over the phone?
Is it worth hiring a lawyer to bat for you?
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On Tue, 19 Mar 2013 16:18:50 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

You have the right to get your own adjuster. They usually charge a percentage of the loss, but a good one will get you a bunch more money that you can negotiate on your own.
We had one after a loss at work. The difference between what the insurance offered and what the adjust got paid was hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was like a hungry pit bull and the insurance company was a very meaty steak.
A restaurant I know had a kitchen fire. Insurance offered $6000 to settle, same adjuster got $35,000 for the loss.
You may not do as well, but you can get things done right.
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On 3/19/2013 10:24 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

If you have a business sense and know how big companies operate you can accomplish a lot on your own. I always go that route first.
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wrote in message
Any experiences with how to deal with insurance adjusters for roof damage and interior water damage repairs, eg re-taping drywall, painting?
WW
Any ideas on what to do?
After you are done with this mess dump Allstate. They did my dad dirty on his claim. I have had American Family insurance for more than 25 years one residences and vehicles. Have had several claims in those years. They took care of things better that I thought it would cost. Have $500 deductible on house 1900 square feet and full basement, oversized 2 car garage. Live in area that has high winds several times a year. Last year stripped the shingles and "tar paper??" from rear roof side. Estimate was made at $3450.00 Roofer completely redone it perfect. Cost was $2825.00. So insurance company waved the deductible. Our policy covers full replacement at increased costs when claim is made . Insurance cost per year is less than $600.00 WW
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On Tue, 19 Mar 2013 16:18:50 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"
Dealing with insurance adjusters:

Get ready to take it to a lawyer. Get in line.
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wrote:

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I would say that due to the work load, they have taken on a lot of inexperienced people. And/or they are hoping to piss you off so you'll eventually just get the work done yourself at your own expense.
Just take note and get another insurer.
You only know how good your insurer is when you come to claim. Ask other people what their experience was in their claim before you choose a new one.
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On 3/19/2013 7:18 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

As a matter of principle dump allstate and get a better insurance company for the possible next time . My first rule is to discard the ones who advertise heavily from the running (I am sure there is a inverse proportionality between amount of advertising and quality of the company which seems to be true for all businesses). Get referrals from friends. We went with the hardly anyone knows Erie insurance after dumping allstate.
One method I have used is to simply get quotes from tradesmen to do the work and then go back to the insurance company and show them the difference. To be fair you want to pay them for their estimation services.
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wrote:

Why? If you are thinking about using them to do the work. When I have had insurance work to be done, I still got more than one bid. I haven't paid for the ones I did not use. If you are doing it to just get a leg up and have no intention of using them, then I would agree.
--
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to work within the system, but too early to shoot
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.- Hide quoted text -

I already did that. That is how the amount for interior drywall repair, sealing, painting for a two story great room, two story entry foyer including stairs, and a bedroom ceiling went from $600 to $1100. Quotes I gave them were for $3850 and $4000. The adjuster just dismissed the quotes, saying it's easy to get a contractor to do that job for $1100. As I said, their process is to take a large wall that has 7 windows and two doors and subtract out that area. So, the wall is now only 30%. According to the adjuster, that is the area that needs to be painted, that's the proper way to do it, that is all they will pay for. I told here about 5 times that ANY painter will tell you that to go around those windows and doors ADDS to the cost instead of reducing it. If the windows/doors were not there, you could just roll the wall in no time and the difference in paint cost is not substantial. It's the labor.
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wrote:

Generally you are best to deal with a broker. They will handle at least 3 different companies (at least in Canada a broker MUST represent at least 3 markets) and they can shop you for the best deal, and they will know which companies are best to deal with - and they can exert pressure on the companies on your behalf much more effectively Igenerally) than you can. They have pull because they may have a thousand customers with that company, and if the company doesn't pull their weight, when renewal time comes around they may not get a chance at the business.
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On Mar 20, 7:42 pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

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All good points. I should have shopped around starting a few years ago when Allstate started really jacking up the rate. But a big part of the rate problem here is that I'm just a few miles from the NJ shore and all the insurance companies have been jacking up rates and deductibles. I got very lucky in that Sandy lost steam and was downgraded from a hurricane just minutes before it made shore. If it had still been a hurricane, I wouldn't be collecting anything because then a 5% hurricane deductible would apply....
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On 3/21/2013 7:40 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Basic rule. The more a company tells us how good they are the worse they really are. There is a reason allstate airs commercials every 10 minutes. My basic rule is to do business with companies that simply are good and don't need to spend a fortune telling me how good they are.
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On 3/20/2013 7:42 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

One feature of allstate is that they only sell through their own agents who only represent them. We used to have allstate and I got really tired of asking for policy reviews which resulted in them lowering the rates a trivial amount only to receive a letter 2 months later informing about a rate increase. allstate lost lots of business (one reason why they air a commercial telling you how good they are every 10 minutes). My rule is the more you spend telling me how good you are the worse you really are.
A friend mentioned Erie. Typically it is only available through agents that handle multiple lines. The agent noted Erie is very particular about who they insure. He said if Erie didn't accept us he would need to use other insurers such as progressive (who also advertises every 10 minutes) and pay a lot more.
We have had Erie for 5 years and they haven't raised our rates. I happened to get into an insurance discussion yesterday and the person described how a toilet supply line failed on the 2nd floor while they were away and the water caused extensive damage. They mentioned they had Erie who quickly responded and did not chisel like allstate and others would have.
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I looked at the breakdown more closely and here's some more data points on Allstate's process. First, for all the water damaged walls and ceilings, they are paying for ONE COAT of paint, plus $45 for stainblocker. Anyone think that one coat gives an acceptable result or is the way it should be done?
One ceiling is in a bedroom, 13 x 11.5 ft. To paint the ceiling, they cost it out at $55. WTF? A gallon of decent paint alone is $35.
For the huge two story great room, 20 x 18, they say the walls and ceiling can be painted for $400.
Unbelievable.
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can't wait for the 'health insurance' claims to start being refuted.
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On Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:04:31 -0700 (PDT), Robert Macy

I used to be an insurance adjuster. Most people never read the policy to see what they are buying. So then they bitch and whine when the find out what they bought. That's the first thing. Read the damn policy BEFORE buy it. You have a 30 day grace period to do that. Use it! Ask questions about things you don't understand. Having said that, here is how to give the adjuster nightmares. You can get all the estimates you want but that is not going to have any effect on them. They are trained, and trained very well, to tune out what the industry calls "third party claimants". So do this. First, protect the property as well as you can from further damage. Then call the adjuster. When they come out, give them free run of the place and let them do their job. Then when they present their offer to you, demand that they provide you with the name, or names, of the skilled technicians the adjuster believes will honor their estimate. If they refuse to do that, go right straight to your state insurance commissioner and register a complaint. When you demand the names of people that will honor the adjuster's estimate and you get the names and subsequently use them, they can go back to the adjuster for supplemental funding for things the adjuster missed and as the adjuster trust them enough to give out their names, the supplemental will generally be a breeze. Ultimately what you are entitled to is to be put back in the exact same condition as you were 30 seconds before the event that caused the damage. As long as the adjuster is following that provision, no judge will allow a verdict against them. Now, let me tell you what happens when you get a lawyer. The insurance company's attitude is that the damage to your property from that one event will never get any worse. Therefore all you are doing by getting a lawyer is giving someone else a third of what you were going to get in the first place. Very seldom does a property damage lawsuit come out ahead for the insured party. It's a hell of a racket and the only way a person wins is to read the policy BEFORE they buy it and know what they are buying. And, there is so much collusion that goes on between adjusters and plaintiff attorneys that it is just downright sickening. They make a killing and you get screwed. There are such things as adjusters that work for your side. You might want to discuss your claim with one.
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