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Insurance claims for Latinos: What you don’t know will hurt you

Insurance is all about what happens when you file a claim. Wouldn’t you agree that nothing else matters than getting your claim paid IN FULL?

Most of the people who file claims had never had a property or casualty insurance claim before. Most of those same people had NEVER read their policy, even after filing the claim. They have no idea what the claims process was, and they relied on the adjuster to walk them through the process.

But what do you do when there is a cultural difference or a language barrier? Who do you turn to for help when you feel like the insurance company is taking advantage of you because you’re Latino, or because you cannot speak English well?

Once you have a loss and file a claim, you have become the adversary of the insurance company. Your goal is to be paid the highest amount you are entitled to collect under the terms and conditions of your policy. The insurance company’s goal is to pay you the least you will accept for that loss. And if you allow the insurance company’s claims adjuster to control the claims process, you will likely not get paid all that you should collect.

Everything that you must do to file a claim is in your insurance policy. WHAT’S MISSING IS HOW TO DO IT. And as the old saying goes, “The Devil is in the details.”

Most times, people who have had a loss are on the raw edge of emotion. Isn’t is natural to be fearful in a situation where you don’t feel you’re in control…where you don’t know what will happen next, and you’re scared you’ll be “ripped off?”  Most everyone has heard a story from a relative or friend about an insurance claim that went badly.

People like that need solid advice and a strategy on what to do to get their claim paid. They need to understand the claims process completely so that they are not at the mercy of the insurance company, the claims adjuster and the claims examiner. They need to be paid every dollar that they are entitled to collect. They need to have peace of mind knowing that their claim was handled correctly.

Here are two important tips to get you started in the claims process and how you can collect all you should collect when you have a claim:

1. Consult with an attorney before signing ANYTHING that the insurance company asks you to sign. Legal counsel may protect your rights.

2. If you have had a property loss like a home fire or water loss, consult with a Public Adjuster, even before you submit your claim. Public Adjusters will represent you, the policyholder, and help you add thousands more dollars to your claim settlement.


By Being Latino Contributor, Russel D. Langcore. Russell is a Claims Consultant in Marietta, Georgia. Russ can be reached at

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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