Who determines the amount of my loss? - Arizona Fire & Water Restoration, Inc.

Most insurance companies will prepare a dwelling repair estimate and then provide it to you to forward to a contractor of your choice. The contractor may write his own estimate and negotiate with the insurance company for more money. Some insurance companies have their own list of preferred contractors, and will guarantee their work.

Most companies require you to prepare your own inventory of damaged personal property, and will not provide any assistance other than giving you blank forms to complete. You can complete the forms yourself, but it is a lengthy and time-consuming process.

For an extensive fire loss, it may be worthwhile to hire a professional appraiser or a public adjuster. Some insurance companies will prepare a list of the damaged personal property for you and assign replacement costs and actual cash values to each item, but these lists are likely to be incomplete and the values may be too low.

If you allow the insurance company to tell you the amount of your loss, you will probably end up with less than what you are entitled to. Insurance companies are not usually generous in evaluating your damages.