12 Feb Should You Hire a Public Adjuster?
What we often hear from potential clients is, “Why would I need my own adjuster? Doesn’t the insurance company provide me with an adjuster?” The answer to this question is both yes and no. Yes, they do provide an adjuster to investigate and settle your claim; but no, that adjuster does not represent your interests. Instead, that adjuster is there to represent the insurance company’s interests.
If you have a property damage claim, you may need professional help to recover your full insurance benefits in a timely manner. Public adjusters can negotiate a claim settlement with your insurer on your behalf. Because they are experienced in dealing with claims and company adjusters, they can be very helpful in maximizing and speeding up your recovery.
What is a Public Adjuster?
A public adjuster is a professional who can assess property damage, document, quantify, and present damage claims to an insurance company. When assessing a property damage claim, public adjusters have many responsibilities.
Specifically, this includes:
- Researching and evaluating your property damage claim
- Determining the value of the damage
- Preparing an estimate of the damage
- Helping substantiate the full extent of the damage to your home
- Assisting in presenting your claim to the insurance company
Public adjusters are particularly valuable when it is undisputed that the insurance company will pay for the damage. In this circumstance, a public adjuster can help ensure that adequate documentation is obtained. Further, a public adjuster may be able to help a policyholder make a more effective initial claim.However, in more complex property insurance coverage cases, policyholders should look to obtain the services of an experienced attorney. Public adjusters and attorneys have fundamentally different skill sets. These differing skill sets are often complementary. When working together, they can help a policyholder maximize their settlement. While a public adjuster can always be helpful at the initial stages of a claim by ensuring that the full extent of property damage is identified and properly valued, an attorney should be brought in when a dispute emerges. Whenever an issue over whether there is coverage arises, policyholders should have an experienced attorney by their side. Ultimately, you will want to consult an attorney once the settlement negotiation process has stopped making progress, once your claim has been denied, or when your insurance claims rights have been put at risk. If you have worked with a public adjuster, and your claim has not been resolved to your full satisfaction, you should speak to an experienced attorney who can work with that adjuster to comprehensively review your case.
Thinking About Hiring a Public Adjuster? Here’s some tips.
- Check the references and qualifications of any public adjuster. Ask for recommendations from family and friends. Make sure the adjuster is licensed in the state where your loss has occurred and call the Better Business Bureau and/or your state insurance department to check up on his or her record.
- Avoid any public adjuster who pressures you and, as always, read your contract carefully to make sure you understand it all before you sign.
- Know the facts after a major disaster. Your state’s insurance department may set the percentage that public adjusters are permitted charge.
To keep your property, claim on-track, you may want to work with both a public adjuster and a property insurance attorney in Florida, Texas, or North Carolina and Across the US from the get-go. If your claim is being denied, delayed or underpaid, hiring a homeowner’s insurance lawyer that knows property insurance lawyer in your state can make a big difference in the success of your claim. The insurance company has a team of lawyers working for it to make sure they don’t pay you. You should have a team of lawyers working for you too! FPJLwill aggressively represent you to ensure you get the money you are owed without any further delay by the insurance company. Our team of attorneys have decades of experience providing affordable representation to Individual and Corporate policy holders facing a wide range of denied, delayed or underpaid insurance claim issues.
Contact our law firm today at (305) 300-3000 for a free consultation!