Informed adjuster key to fair insurance claim
Sarah Stelzner had just returned home with her family in April 2006, when the biggest hailstorm in Indianapolis history smashed her lead-glass windows and devastated her slate roof. “It looked like Swiss cheese,” she says.
Three contractors gave her repair estimates ranging from $38,000 to $75,000. However, Stelzner’s insurance company, State Farm, initially sent a check for only $6,000.
“I don’t think State Farm was giving us the runaround,” Stelzner says. “They were just unprepared, and they sent out an adjuster who was uninformed.”
After a six-week campaign, Stelzner’s agent got a more experienced adjuster to assess the roof, and she and husband David Ingram received a check for $43,000, enough to cover the estimate they wanted to go with.
State Farm spokesman Phil Supple acknowledges that mistakes are inevitable when tens of thousands of claims are involved. “We can make mistakes and we’ll take a second look to make it right,” he says.
Stelzner and Ingram are still waiting for an adjuster to look at the windows, but this time they’re ready. “I’ll be very pushy about making sure the right adjuster comes out,” Stelzner says.