7 Tips For Dealing With Insurance Claims and Adjusters as a Landlord

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Damage is an unfortunate reality for landlords, as there will be scenarios where a tenant leaves your property in poor condition. The expenses associated with major household repairs can be significant, but you’ll have insurance to offset the costs. 

Landlords often visit a home after a tenant moves out to find damage to carpets, doors, windows, walls, and countertops, all of which are expensive to replace. Paying out of pocket is a nonstarter, so you’ll contact your insurance provider to file a claim.

Your insurance company will use an adjuster as part of the claims process. This adjuster is an individual who investigates your insurance claim to figure out the insurer’s liability and aims to minimize the insurance company’s overall expenses.

Insurance adjusters aren’t above using some sneaky tactics as they attempt to reduce the insurer’s liability, but there are some ways you can fight back. This guide covers some mistakes to avoid during your interactions with insurance company representatives and provides information on how to scare an insurance adjuster.

Mistakes to Avoid When Speaking to an Insurance Adjuster

The insurance firm’s adjuster will visit your rental property to inspect the damage. They’ll also ask you about the circumstances as they gather information. The goal of this interaction is to discredit your claim, but you can keep things on track by avoiding the following mistakes:

Admitting Fault

Never admit even partial fault to any damage the adjuster finds on the property. The adjuster could use this admission to reduce your payout, even if the damage isn’t directly related to the claim. Your best bet is to say as little as possible and never answer any questions regarding your role in the damage. 

Making Untrue Claims

Always be honest with the adjuster. It’s better not to say anything at all than to make an untrue claim because this individual is trained in the field and will uncover evidence during the investigation. You shouldn’t have much to worry about if you’re honest about the situation.

Offering Theories

Your theories about the cause of the damage to your rental property don’t prove anything, so don’t offer them. The property’s repair and replacement costs won’t be based on your opinion anyway, so all your theories do is give the adjuster more information to use against you.

Remember that your insurance adjuster isn’t on your side, as their goal is to save the insurance provider money. Don’t offer any information that isn’t pertinent to the investigation and keep the conversation on track throughout your interactions. 

Seven Hacks For Averting Insurance Adjusters’ Secret Tactics

Seasoned insurance adjusters have ways to get information out of you, even if you don’t make obvious mistakes, and they can convince you to accept a lower payout than you deserve. Learning a few hacks can help you avoid these home insurance claim adjuster secret tactics, though, especially if you know what they’re trying to do. Some tricks you can use include the following:

1. Know Your Rights

Insurance adjusters rely on you not knowing your rights and blindly following what they tell you. Understanding that you can research your desired settlement amount and present the insurance company with evidence of what you deserve shows the adjuster that you’re an experienced landlord and could lead to better outcomes as you await an offer. 

2. Expect Delays

It’s a near certainty that your insurance adjuster will use a delay tactic, where they’ll take far longer than necessary to make an offer. They might also ignore your calls and emails to make you desperate to accept the first offer they present to you. Knowing there could be delays as you seek a resolution can help you prepare for this tactic, making it less likely to succeed. 

3. Ignore False Deadlines

Your insurance adjuster could present you with a lowball offer and a deadline to accept it. They might also tell you you’ll end up with nothing if you don’t take the proposal by the deadline. The deadline is often deceitful, though, and you typically have plenty of time to negotiate a better payout if you believe you deserve one.

4. Understand the Policy

You must understand your insurance policy and what it entitles you to when making a claim. The problem is that most insurance documents are lengthy and complicated, creating challenges as you attempt to read through them. There’s a chance your insurance adjuster will withhold coverage information, so a careful review of the documents is essential.

5. Hire a Loss Assessor

You can hire a loss assessor to help you get the best settlement possible. An assessor works for you by assessing the damage to your rental property and giving you supporting documents to present to the insurance company. Every how-to-scare-insurance-adjuster list must mention hiring a loss assessor because of its immense benefits.

6. Don’t Accept the First Offer

You should rarely accept the first offer unless it exceeds your expectations. Insurance companies often begin the process by making a lowball offer, which you can use as a starting point for your negotiations. Don’t accept this offer because there’s usually more money available if you wait.

7. Use an Attorney

One of the most damaging home insurance claim adjuster secret tactics is convincing you that you don’t need an attorney. Every situation is different, but hiring an attorney who understands this process typically leads to better outcomes. Property management firms can also help you deal with insurance companies and adjusters if you don’t have a lawyer.

Following these tips can put you in a better position as you deal with your insurance company. Remember that you and the insurer aren’t on the same side, so you’ll have to work hard to protect your interests throughout the negotiation.

Get Property Management Help

Hiring a property management firm to assist with your rental property can eliminate much of the stress you’ll deal with as a landlord. Your property manager will handle problem tenants, arrange for repairs, and interact with your insurance company, providing the best possible outcomes for you.

Nomadic Real Estate offers property management services in the Washington, D.C., area. We understand how insurance companies can manipulate you, but our property management professionals know how to handle the situation. Contact Nomadic Real Estate to learn more about the benefits we provide. 

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Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

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Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

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Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

Enhanced Rent Roll Report
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Income Statement by Month Report
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The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

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Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

Owner Portal Property Statement

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Month over Month Statement

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You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

Commincation Dashboard Screenshot
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Owner Portal New Message Screenshot

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Portal Conversation Response Screenshot
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Owner Portal Comment

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Portal Conversation Snapshot

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

Owner Ledger Dates
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Ledger Property Column
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The Description column displays the transaction type:

Owner Ledger Description Column
  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
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  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

Owner Ledger Amount Column
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Owner Ledger Account Balance Column
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Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

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You can filter all info by date range or property:

PW Portal Filters

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

PW Owner Dashboard View

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Owner Portal Ledger View

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

Owner Portal Document Library

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

Portal Reports View

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Owner Portal Bills View

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Portal Bill Details

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

Owner Portal Communication Tools

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

Net Distribution

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.