A Conflict of Interest: Top 7 Reasons to Hire a Public Adjuster
In a perfect world, when you have any sort of property loss, your insurance adjuster would work together with you to get you the full amount you are entitled to as a replacement for your loss. In reality, however, your insurance adjusters work for the insurance company and are paid to reduce your claim to the least amount possible out of the insurance company’s pocket.
This is when it pays to have a public insurance adjuster. These adjusters evaluate your property loss on your behalf and help you to file your insurance claims. While you pay a small fee to hire a public adjuster, your money is usually more than recouped by the increase in the claim payment you receive.
Public adjusters are licensed professionals who work for you as an individual or business owner to get the most coverage possible out of your insurance policy, whether it is for hurricane, fire, flood, or other damage, or losses to your business covered by an insurance policy. You can choose to hire a public insurance adjuster either initially to help you file your claim, or after you have received a claim offer by your insurance company and you feel it is unfair.
7 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Public Adjuster
- They have the knowledge of how an insurance claim works.
When you step into the world of insurance claims, it may be a completely new situation to you. Many people are confused, uncertain, and unaware of what they should expect. Insurance companies often take advantage of this by offering you a lower reimbursement than you are entitled to, and you, unknowingly, probably think you have no choice and accept it.
This is where a public adjuster comes in. They work for you and are aware of how to understand your insurance policy, file your claim, and independently evaluate your property loss through sophisticated software similar to the insurance company’s.
Public adjusters can estimate the costs that you have incurred from your property loss, log them appropriately, and submit your property insurance claim, as well as any supplementary claims necessary, for you.
- They take the confusion out of the claim filing process.
If you have suffered severe loss, the last thing you probably want to do is to fill out intricate claim forms notating your item descriptions, quantities, and costs in detail. Your public adjuster will do this for you, allowing you to concentrate on recovering from your loss and moving forward.
- Public adjusters can negotiate with insurance companies to get you a better settlement.
Whether you are working with a contractor or an insurance company, your public adjuster can be the go-between, handling the stressful aspects of negotiating a better settlement for you. This may be through mail or in person, but either way, you only have to step in during the important times of approving a final settlement.
Allowing a public adjuster to act in your behalf not only takes the stress out of the situation, but it also ensures that you won’t settle for less than you are entitled to because of your inexperience.
- It is always smart to have a second opinion.
If are planning on making a claim, it definitely can’t hurt to have a public adjuster come behind your insurance adjuster and make sure that their claim is fair. Many public adjusters offer a no-cost visit to let you know how severe the damage is that you are looking at and whether it is worth filing a claim.
Once your insurance adjuster comes through your home to inspect your damage and gives you a report, you can also hire a public adjuster to come through and do a thorough inspection to ensure the insurance adjuster did not miss anything.
The public adjuster can verify that the insurance claim takes into account the correct cost of removing and replacing your damage, such as those costs incurred by flood damage to your floors and having to pull up your current, ruined flooring.
- Statistics show that those who hire a public adjuster receive exponentially more money in their claim settlements than those who did not.
Simply in Florida alone, the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) showed that policyholders with non-catastrophic damage who hired public adjusters received 574% more money that those who went with their insurance company’s claim settlements alone. Catastrophic claims from policyholders working with public adjusters received 747% more for their damages on the average.
- Your insurance adjuster may not have experience in estimating your losses.
Everyone starts somewhere and has to learn how to do their jobs, but you do not want to be penalized because the person assigned to handle your claim was new and missed some damages that you could have been reimbursed for.
Unfortunately, unless they tell you themselves, there is not really a way to know for sure if your adjuster is experienced or not. To be safe, hiring a public adjuster to check over your claim before you accept it is a smart idea.
- You get your money back faster.
Since your public adjuster knows how to organize your claim and process the paperwork, your claim can be resolved faster. With the right language on your claims and a direct line of communication to your insurance company, the public adjuster reduced the need for requests for additional information that delays your claim’s processing and gets you your reimbursement faster. With your check in hand, you can begin rebuilding from your damages.
Hiring a Public Adjuster is a Must Before You Accept an Insurance Claim Offer
It simply makes common sense. Taking the extra few minutes to research and hire a public adjuster in your area will save you hours of time, stress, and headaches filling out forms and dealing with your insurance company. The increased settlement you are likely to get will more than make up for any costs incurred by hiring the public adjuster.
Before you file your insurance, property damage claim or accept a settlement offer from your insurance company, find a public adjuster to help you get the most you can from your policy.