What Does a Public Adjuster Do?

A public insurance adjuster is a licensed professional that policyholders can hire to represent their best interests in a property insurance claim situation. Public insurance adjusters were created by their respective states to help level the playing field with the insurance carrier and provide the policyholder an expert advocate. The public adjuster helps manage the claim, make sure claim filing requirements are met and helps recover the amount a policyholder deserves under their insurance contract. Unlike the insurance adjuster sent out by the insurance company, the public adjuster works for you. Many policyholders will also hire a public adjuster before hiring an attorney to avoid litigation and retain more of their settlement.

Insurance Adjusters Group will:

  • Complete a detailed property damage report for what is required to repair, restore, or rebuild your property.
  • Assist in the preparation of inventories on your damaged personal or business property, contents, and all related items. Insurance Adjusters team of expert appraisers will evaluate and accurately determine the precise value of each return.
  • Prepare your Time Element Losses, such as Business Interruption, Loss of rent, Loss of Use, or Additional Living Expenses.
  • Establish a professional line of communication with the insurance company adjuster and make sure we provide the timely filing of all required insurance forms and documentation and avoid any penalties that would cost you or lower your settlement offer.
  • Provide estimates, inventories, and other valuations to the insurance adjuster. We will meet with the insurance company adjuster face to face in order to adjust your claim fairly and equitably, thus resulting in a proper settlement to you.
  • Provide experts such as structural engineers, architects, fine art appraisers, failure analysis and causation experts, certified industrial hygienists, certified water mitigation technicians, and licensed general contractors as needed to fully support and document the claim for maximum recovery.
  • Negotiate the best possible settlement whether through consultations, appraisal, mediation, or assisting the attorney of your choice in litigation.
  • Keep you appraised of the ongoing settlement efforts throughout the entire process.
  • Relieve you of all the stress and hardship of having to do it alone, understanding which forms need to be filed, what documents to submit, what to say or not to say to an insurance company adjuster and how to effectively negotiate the maximum settlement you are due.

But when should you hire a public adjuster and what criteria should you use when deciding if you need a public adjuster to represent you in a property claim?

Hire the Adjuster at the Right Time

Like any situation, it’s always best to get professionals involved as early in the process as possible. Public adjusters are trained to review and understand property insurance policies. Without proper representation, there may be additional coverage you are entitled to that you may not be aware. But professional help does come with a cost and many policyholders make the decision to handle their claim themselves. Some are successful, but many become bogged down in the process and are never really sure they received the proper settlement amount. With insurance claims, a policyholder should beware they do not agree to or sign anything presented to them by their insurance carrier that they are not totally comfortable with.

Consider turning to a public insurance adjuster when one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • You don’t have the time to deal with the demands of the insurance company. People already have full lives. They work and have family commitments and may not want to deal with the stress of trying to get a claim processed and paid.
  • You don’t understand your policy. Insurance contracts can sometimes be confusing documents leaving individuals unsure of their coverage. Turning to your insurance agent for clarifications can sometimes help. But if you cannot understand your policy, consider asking a public adjuster like Insurance Adjusters Group for help. Most reputable public adjusters will review your loss with no obligation.
  • You don’t have the expertise. Filing an insurance claim (especially with extensive and complicated damages) can be daunting. Get help if you are confused and avoid mistakes that might affect your settlement.
  • Your damage is extensive. Severe property damage creates a variety of complicated claims issues. Claims that you are due under your policy and certain types of damages can often be missed. Certain expenses may also be placed in the wrong claims categories. Identifying hidden structural damage, valuing your loss properly and accounting for possessions and valuables can impact the value of your claim.
  • The insurance carrier is offering a quick payoff. Insurance company research shows that the quicker a policyholder gets paid-off the happier they are. Unfortunately, what appears to be great customer service can be sometimes be an attempt to get rid of a claim and get you to settle for less money due to the stress and desire to “get it over with.” Our only advice here is to take your time and make sure you are protected. You should not be rushed or forced to sign anything until you understand the true impact a claim can have.
  • The insurance carrier appears to be delaying your claim. This often happens when major catastrophes create claims log-jams. In many cases we have seen insurance companies fly in adjusters from out of state who do not understand state law. In all states, insurance carriers are required to respond to you and process your claim in a specified time period. If you are getting the run-around, get help.
  • The insurance carriers settlement offer appears to be inadequate based on your coverage. Unfortunately, insurance company adjusters and carriers do not always act in the best interest of their policyholders. They are in business to turn a profit and may value damages to your property differently than you. Or they may determine that you are not covered for some of the damage. Sometimes offers will not even approach the value of restoring the damaged property. This is where an expert who uses the same estimating software as the insurance carrier and understands insurance policy language can help.
  • Your insurance claims adjuster is discouraging you from hiring a public insurance adjuster. Insurance claims representatives that are afraid to deal with a licensed professional may be a red flag. You should be the only one determining if hiring your own public adjuster makes sense and is worth the cost.

Attorney or Public Adjuster

We see some policyholders get confused about whether they should hire an attorney or public adjuster to handle their claim. Both have a valuable advocacy role in the claims process. To get value from both we would suggest hiring a public adjuster on the front end to manage your claim. Only if you are denied or legal issues arise that the public adjuster cannot handle would the extra expense and time to hire an attorney be advisable.

Most people that use an experienced public insurance such as Insurance Adjusters Group will tell you the time saved, stress removed and peace of mind provided when working with an experienced public adjuster is well worth the fee.