A guide to hiring a loss assessor
In the wake of a serious incident such as a fire, flood or burst pipe at your home, the last thing you need is the additional stress of dealing with a lengthy and complex insurance claim. This is where a loss assessor can help.
In simple terms, a loss assessor will manage the entire insurance claim on your behalf, and work to ensure you receive the full settlement you are entitled to under the terms of your insurance policy.
As well as negotiating a fair financial outcome for you, a loss assessor will be able to help speed the process up considerably, meaning you can move back into your home quicker than you might have done had you managed the claim yourself.
If you have questions about hiring a loss assessor, read on for more information.
How much will it cost?
Usually, nothing at all.
Typically, loss assessing companies are able to offer their services to you for free, providing you use their team of recommended specialists (chartered surveyor, contents specialist, builder etc.) to carry out the necessary repair works to your home.
Should you opt to use your own builder, the chances are you’ll incur a small fee. However, in such scenarios the company will still assign you a loss assessor, a chartered surveyor and contents specialist at no extra cost, so either way you’re likely to save time and money.
What services can I expect from a loss assessor?
A loss assessor will:
- Assess the full extent of the damage to your home and compile your insurance claim for buildings, contents and alternative accommodation.
- Handle all dealings and communications with your insurance company on your behalf.
- Help you choose an independent surveyor and builder who will work in your best interests to restore your property to the highest possible standard.
- Give you full control over the refurbishment of your home.
- Negotiate the type of settlement you want, be it reinstatement, cash or diminution (loss of value).
For a detailed breakdown of the insurance claims process, visit this page.
When should I consider appointing a loss assessor?
A loss assessor can technically be appointed at any stage of the claim, however the earlier they are involved, the quicker the claim will reach a resolution. Ideally you should appoint a loss assessor in the immediate aftermath of an incident, before initiating the claim.
Don’t I need a loss adjuster?
The names may sound similar, but the roles of the loss assessor and loss adjuster in the insurance claim process are very different. A loss assessor works for you, the policyholder, and is employed to protect your interests. Conversely, a loss adjuster is appointed and paid by the insurance company – their job is to ‘adjust’ the claim you (or your loss assessor) present to them.
There is no reason why a (good) loss adjuster shouldn’t encourage you to use a loss assessor, as doing so will lead to a faster resolution, which is in the interest of all parties. In instances where a loss adjuster is discouraging you from appointing a loss assessor, their motives should be questioned.
How do I choose a good loss assessor?
When it’s your home on the line, there’s no room for compromise. While gut instinct inevitably plays a big part in helping you choose a company to work with, you should also consider the following:
- How reputable is the company? How long have they been operating and do they have case studies to prove it?
- Are they FCA authorised? By law, all loss assessing companies must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check this at https://register.fca.org.uk/.
- What is their fee? As explained above, this can vary so be sure to discuss and agree it in advance.
- Who exactly will be responsible for carrying out repair works to your home?
Loss assessors exist to help you. By appointing a loss assessor to manage your insurance claim you’ll save time, money, and a lot of unnecessary stress.