A public insurance adjuster is a claims adjuster who works on behalf of an insured to help them collect as much as possible regarding their claim. While most public insurance adjusters handle property loss and damage claims, some also specialize in other types of claims. A qualified public insurance adjuster must have a state license or non-resident license, many references that provide excellent reviews, and experience in the type of claim you are filing.
Most people never think of what is a public adjuster because insurance companies readily make their own claims adjusters available. Policyholders generally accept this help because claims are a complicated business; however, you should not blindly follow their recommendations. Remember: the insurance company is a business and you want to pay as little as possible for your claim to maximize your profits. Obtaining full financial compensation to get your life back on track is best for you, not for them.
Whenever you file a claim, you will work with one or both of the following types of adjusters:
The office fitters are employed by your insurance company and represent their interests. Their goal is to resolve your claim by paying you the least amount of money possible.
The independent adjusters are employed by a company independent adjustments and work on behalf of your insurance company as needed. While they are not employees of the insurance company, they are similar to a worker on a contract and are on the side of the insurance company, not yours.
As you can see, even the most honest and experienced independent adjuster or staff can underestimate your claim. Hiring a public insurance adjuster ensures that you have an experienced advocate to deal with the adjusters from the insurance company.
When should I hire a public insurance adjuster?
You can think of a public insurance adjuster as your first line of defense against a greedy insurance company. Still, it’s worth mentioning that some companies may offer an honest sum and quality customer service. If you are satisfied with the staff or independent adjuster your company offers, you may not need to hire a public insurance adjuster. However, if you run into any of the following problems, hiring a lawyer or public insurance adjuster may be best for you:
- You suspect that your insurance company has processed your claim incorrectly and is not paying you the amount that it owes you.
- Your current claims adjuster is confusing, frustrating, or bad at communicating.
- The insurance company is pressuring you to settle before you are happy.
- Your policy is difficult to understand.
- You do not have time to handle the claim on your own.
- You are unfamiliar with damage assessment and the general claims process.
- You have lost more than $ 10,000 in property.
Why you should hire an Insurance Adjuster?
A public insurance adjuster can handle every part of the claim process, from explaining your policy and assessing property damage to filing or re-filing a claim and negotiating with your insurance company’s claims adjuster. Essentially, it is your representative, saving you time and hassle during the claims process.
Unlike an independent adjuster or clerk, you will have to pay your public insurance adjuster for their hard work. Generally, they will charge you 10-20% of the final claim payment (inexperienced adjusters charge less). If the property damage is particularly extensive, most adjusters will reduce the percentage they charge or set a cap on their fees. In some states, laws have also been passed to prevent public insurance adjusters from overcharging their clients.
What a public insurance adjuster cannot do is force your insurance company to pay more for your claim, as they have no power of attorney. If you are getting nowhere with your insurance company, even after working with a public insurance adjuster, it may be time to hire an attorney.