How to Negotiate a Settlement Amount

Both household accidents and natural disasters can strike a homeowner at any time. This means that you have a good chance at having to file a claim someday. With such events as fires, floods, tornados, hurricanes, and other events occurring daily, all homeowners experience something that causes damage to their homes.

Unfortunately, there are some who don't have homeowner's insurance to cover the damages that they may sustain in a disaster and there have been plenty of people left homeless because of this fact.

But for those who do have homeowner's insurance, there is a settlement to be had and it is important that you ensure that what you receive is enough. There are times in which the insurance company gets the settlement amount right the first time and times in which they do not. If you can prove that you cannot have repairs done for the amount of money that they are offering you, then you may be able to negotiate an increase in the amount you'll be getting paid on a claim.

Document Everything

The claims adjuster is the person who is responsible for determining what may be appropriate in regards to the dollar amount that is rewarded. If you personally know a claims adjuster, their advice can go a long way or you may be able to find one that is willing to give you information that can help. But most people do not personally know a claims adjuster.

So what you need to do is document everything. You want to have pictures and any information regarding the damage that you can provide. For instance, your malfunctioning dishwasher may flood your kitchen and cause damage to the floor. You will need photos of the damage and you may want to acquire your own estimates regarding the damage.

You also want to document any expenses as a result of the damage. If you have expenses that cannot wait, you will need to save the receipts. You can then show the receipts to the insurance company to show what you spent and to prove that spending that money was necessary. If you were displaced from your home, you need to provide receipts of the expenses that resulted from being displaced. This can result in a larger settlement check for you in order to reimburse you for the inconvenience.

You'll also need to keep records of phone calls and all documentation that was sent your way. If any questions ever come about, you will need to have the answers quickly and having the right documentation and other information means you are going to be able to answer quickly.


Sometimes negotiation isn't about the amount of money you receive from the insurance company. It can also be about the housing you are provided when you have been displaced from your home. For instance, the insurance company may try to place you in a cheaper place, but that cheaper place may be on the end of town that is filled with crime. If you have children, you definitely don't want to be placed in such an area. Even without children, you want to be safe. It is also in your right to be in an area that allows you to tend to the repairs that are done on your home.

And when the insurance adjuster is sent to your home, be nice. This is the person who is going to make a determination regarding the amount of your first check. This is also the instance in which you can show photos, video, and provide any other supporting documentation so that you can get the maximum amount for your claim when negotiating a settlement amount.

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