Written by Andy Gurczak

August 23, 2021

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: What to Know

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: What is a Public Insurance Adjuster?

Public insurance adjusters are property loss professionals who work on behalf of policyholders. In fact, they are the only insurance professionals that work for the insured and not for the insurance company. Individual policyholders and businesses usually hire public insurance adjusters to help out with filing and settling their insurance claims. However, defining when to hire a public adjuster can sometimes be tricky.

To illustrate, public insurance adjusters can file and negotiate claims for flood, fire, smoke, wind and hurricane damage, as well as damage due to other covered perils. Moreover, property damage might also result in other types of losses, such as business income. Public adjusters can also evaluate these types of losses and help you get compensated.

Public insurance adjusters are experts in insurance policy language, policyholder rights, claim filing and claim adjusting. They usually also have experience in construction and other related fields. As well as possess sophisticated software to perform independent evaluations and estimates of a client’s property damage. In addition, they know exactly how to log and submit initial and supplemental claims for a policyholder.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster - Public Adjusting

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: Public vs Company and Independent adjusters

Public adjusters are one of the three main categories of insurance adjuster. In fact, each type of adjuster is employed by a different group. Insurance companies, businesses and individuals all use insurance adjusters to evaluate property damage and to estimate the dollar amount a claim should pay out. However carriers employ company adjusters and send them to evaluate claims filed by their company’s policyholders. Meanwhile, independent adjusters Independent adjusters also work for insurance companies, but act more as consultants. They are usually hired on an as-needed basis because of a surge in demand or for specific expertise. And as we said before, public adjusters work exclusively for the policyholder.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster

Public insurance adjusters are licensed by their respective states to help level the playing field with the insurance carrier and provide the policyholder an expert advocate. In many instances policyholders hire a public adjuster before hiring an attorney to avoid litigation and retain more of their settlement. But when should you hire a public adjuster? And what criteria should you use when deciding if you need one to represent you in a property insurance claim?

First, Should You Hire a Public Adjuster?

If you need to file an insurance claim, then you should consider hiring a public adjuster, especially if the claim is for a high amount. As a policyholder, you have little to lose. In fact, many public adjustment firms offer to visit a property loss free of charge to help a policyholder determine whether they should file an insurance claim. And of course, if they need help from a public adjuster.

Moreover, it is also a good idea to get a second opinion on an insurance adjuster’s damage estimate of a costly event like a home insurance claim. Generally, insurance adjusters visit a home or business and offer loss estimates that are far below what they should be. Meanwhile, public adjusters are professionals that work for the policyholder, and therefore, it’s unlikely they will leave out costs in their calculations.

Submitting an accurate, detailed claim is crucial to getting the right amount of money from an insurance company to cover your property damage. Remember, even the best homeowners insurance companies will always find a way to keep your settlement to a minimum . Policyholders need to be conscious they are claiming the correct amount and hiring a public adjuster can help ensure that.

Second, When to Hire the Adjuster? What’s the Right Time?

Like any type of situation, it’s generally best to get professionals involved as early in the process as possible. Public adjusters are trained to understand insurance policies and therefore are your best bet at making the most of your insurance claim. For example, there may be coverage you are entitled to that you may not be aware of.

Consider Hiring a Public Adjuster When One or More of the Following Conditions Exists:

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: First, you don’t have the time to deal with the demands of the insurance company.

Of course, you already have a full life. Most property owners work or have family commitments. Or in fact, maybe even both. They may not want to deal with the stress of trying to get a claim processed and paid.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster - Understanding Insurance Policies

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: Second, you don’t understand your policy.

Insurance contracts are usually confusing documents that leave policyholders unsure of their coverage. Sometimes turning to your insurance agent for clarifications can sometimes help. However, who better than a public adjuster to clarify what type of compensation you are entitled to? Most reputable public adjusters will review your loss with no obligation.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: If you are certainly not an insurance expert.

Public adjusters have the necessary expertise to deal with daunting demands of insurance companies. Get help if you are confused and avoid mistakes that might affect your settlement.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: Or 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.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: As well as if your insurance carrier is offering a quick payoff.

Insurance company research shows that the quicker they pay off settlements, the happier policyholder are. However, what appears to be great customer service can sometimes be an attempt to get rid of a claim. As well as get you to settle for less money due to the desire to get it done. Take your time to settle the claim, as well as make sure you are well informed and protected. Your insurer should not rush or force you to sign anything until you understand the true impact a claim can have.

When to Hire a Pubic Adjuster - Delayed Claim

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: Another good time to hire a public adjuster is when your insurance carrier appears to be delaying your claim.

There may be a few different reasons why your insurer is delaying your claim. However, this usually happens when major catastrophes occur. In many cases insurance companies fly in adjusters from out of state who do not understand state law and therefore slow down the claims process. In all states, insurance carriers are required to respond to you and process your claim in a specified time period.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: Also your insurance carrier’s settlement offer seems inaccurate based on your coverage.

As we mentioned before, insurance company adjusters and carriers rarely act in the best interest of their policyholders. Since they are in business to turn a profit, they may value damages to your property differently than you. Or they may conveniently determine that you are not covered for some of the damage. In fact, offers sometimes don’t even approach the value of restoring the damaged property. For this reason, an expert who uses the same estimating software as the insurance carrier and understands insurance policy language can be of great help.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster: One of the biggest signs you need a public adjuster is when your insurance claims adjuster strongly discourages you from hiring a public insurance adjuster.

Insurance claims representatives that are afraid to deal with a licensed professional is certainly a red flag. At the end of the day, you are the one who decides when to hire your public adjuster makes sense and if it’s worth the cost.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster - Attorney vs Public Adjuster

When to Hire A Public Adjuster VS When to Hire an Attorney

Policyholders often think they need an attorney when they receive an unfair settlement. However, they usually just need to hire a public adjuster. In fact, policyholders commonly hire public insurance adjusters at that point in the claims process. Furthermore, public adjusters can even assist you, the insured, with reopening a claim and filing a supplemental claim for additional payments with their insurer.

Nevertheless, if a public adjuster negotiates with an insurance company and still believes the insurer owes the policyholder a larger settlement, they might suggest litigation. If you decide that the cost of attorney is worth the settlement, then a lawsuit could be your option. But this is usually unnecessary since public adjusters are experts claim negotiators.

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