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What Is A Loss Assessor? The Loss Adjustor’s Enemy

Insurance claims can be a tortuous business. Insurance companies are fully aware of their responsibilities but, especially when the economy in the doldrums, will relentlessly try to drive down the value of claims, particularly the sizeable insurance claim for business. Negotiating with a company’s loss adjustors can sometimes leave you feeling like a criminal, merely for trying to get the compensation to which you are entitled.

The more significant the claim, the more the loss adjustor is keen to find ways of slashing its value. The adjustor is an expert at decoding the small print in your contract – in the insurance company’s favour. The insurance claimant of course cannot match the adjustor’s expertise and furthermore is often desperate and suggestible following the catastrophic disruption the theft, fire or flood has wrought on their business or home life. If you have had to close-up whilst repairs are carried out or cannot meet orders due to theft you may end up taking a far lower settlement than you should.

It is in order to try and make the process for making insurance claims less weighted in the insurers favour that a new profession has emerged over the last couple of decades: the loss assessor. A loss assessor is an insurance expert appointed by the client to deal with the claim on their behalf. The fee charged by an assessor is an agreed percentage of the final payout and is almost always easily absorbed by the increase in the size of that payout they manage to secure.

Ideally you should call a loss assessor as soon as you realise there is a problem, before you claim. The assessor will visit the site of the loss, comb through your policy with an expert eye and help prepare a ‘schedule of the loss’. They will assist you in obtaining estimates to reinstate your loss through replacement or repair and basically handle the whole claims process for you while you get on with putting your business back on its feet, or your house back together.

The assessor’s strength is based not merely on their knowledge of insurance law, of how claims work and how to negotiate with the insurers. It derives from the psychological message their presence sends out. It tells the insurer that you are determined, serious and prepared to engage the services of professionals in furtherance of your interests. Once a loss assessor joins the party, his counterpart the loss adjustor suddenly has an opponent who is a fair match – not his normal situation and one he will probably wish to escape from by settling quickly.

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