After the recent Black Forest fire, at our request, our insurance company sent an adjuster to check for smoke damage to our house. Using something he called a kim sponge (not new and didn't look particularly clean), he wiped a number of walls and objects inside and outside the house. He declared that we had no smoke damage. I asked him if we could have an industrial hygienist test this and he said the insurance company would not pay for that service, and noted that it would cost us $800-3000 for that. Since two of our neighbors insurance companies provided services for smoke damage (including one further from the fire than our house) and one was told they had no smoke damage, I have been somewhat uncomfortable knowing that our only information came from someone whose organization benefits by our being told we have no claim. Does the process and his answer seem reasonable? Thank you.

About The Expert

Amy Bach

Amy Bach has been a professional advocate for insurance policyholders since 1984 and an attorney since 1989. She co-founded United Policyholders in 1991 and serves as the organization's Executive Director and primary spokesperson; shaping and overseeing the Roadmap to Recovery™, Roadmap to Preparedness, and Advocacy and Action programs. She is a nationally recognized expert on insurance claim and legal matters; frequently interviewed in print and broadcast media, and the author of numerous publications including "The Disaster Recovery Handbook", "WISE UP: The Savvy Consumer's Guide to Buying Insurance" and consumer tips and guides in the UP Claim Help Library.  Recognized by Money Magazine as a Money Hero, Bach is in her eighth consecutive term as an official consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and is a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance.