• Insurance Carrier: American Southern Home Insurance Company
  • State: LA

Consumer Complaint:

Filed for damages due to Hurricane Gustav. The insurance company sent check for damages around $4000. The estimates I received from contractors ranged from $20-30,000 dollars. I will have to file for an appraisal process. Who do I get to represent me for my appraiser? Do I get a public adjuster? Do I hire a lawyer?

Insurance Expert Answer:

If the gap between offer and damage was smaller, I'd have definitely suggested that you go to a public insurance adjuster. One of our staff members recently appeared on WWL Radio's \"Insurance Talk\" program in New Orleans and one of the hosts of the program is a well respected public insurance adjuster in Louisiana.

As it is, given the size of the difference between the offer made by the carrier and the damages you sustained, and the possibility that the company is engaging in bad faith, it's a toss up as to whether to start with a public adjuster or a lawyer.

We'd suggest that if you can get a great public adjuster, start there; if not start with an insurance lawyer. Of course regardless of how you start, very often public adjusters and lawyers work together (particularly in Louisiana as the state restricts contingency fees for public adjusters).