Remember to Check Before You Sign

A hand signing a document

Severe weather is here, and claims season comes with it, making it important for you to be on the lookout for those looking to take advantage. Always read the fine print when asked to sign any document by those seeking to “assist” you with your insurance claim. While third-party players may have the best of intentions, others are simply looking to profit from your situation. You may think you’re signing a contract to have a contractor fix your damaged property, and then discover you signed over your rights under the insurance policy.

Public Adjusters: Public adjusters can assist you with processing your claim, however, they do not work for free. They charge between 10% and 30% of the total value of your claim. While Public Adjusters can help with large complex losses, most of the time their services are not necessary. Remember, if you’re paying a public adjuster 30%, that money is coming out of the funds you need to fix your house or replace your damaged property.

Assignment of Benefits: Some contractors ask you to sign a form referred to as an Assignment of Benefits. It is important to read the fine print on any document you sign because frequently AOB language is hidden in the details. When you sign an AOB, you are signing over your rights under the policy to the contractor. Once you sign on the dotted line, the contractor no longer has your best interest in mind, they simply want to get the cost of the claim as high as possible, so they profit. In claims where an AOB is involved, the contractor will drag the claims process out for months to get what they want. All the while your home sits there in need of repair. You can never be too careful when reading a document before signing.