A public adjuster is a professional claims handler who advocates for the policyholder in appraising and negotiating a claimant’s insurance claim. Aside from attorneys and the broker of record, public adjusters licensed by state departments of insurance are the only type of claims adjuster that can legally represent the rights of an insured during an insurance claim process. A public adjuster will be most beneficial in the beginning of a claim to ensure the claim is covered by the policy so the insurer will pay the claim and to properly identify and value the loss. Most public adjusters charge a percentage of the settlement. Primarily they appraise the damage, prepare an estimate and other claim documentation, read the policy of insurance to determine coverage’s, and negotiate with the insurance company’s claims handler.
The public adjuster’s main responsibilities are to:
- Evaluate existing insurance policies in order to determine what coverage may be applicable to a claim
- Research, detail, and substantiate damage to buildings and contents and any additional expenses
- Evaluate business interruption losses and extra expense claims for businesses
- Determine values for settling covered damages
- Prepare, document and support the claim on behalf of the insured
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on behalf of an insured
- Re-open a claim and negotiate for more money if a discrepancy is found after the claim has been settled
Typically a policyholder hires a public adjuster to document and expedite their claims, obtain a more satisfactory claim recovery more quickly and completely restore their residence or business operations and insulate themselves from the stress of engaging in an adversarial role with a large corporation. The cost of hiring outside experts such as contractors and repairman no matter how well-earned, can be an added burden when they are borne entirely by the policyholder. The added burden can be alleviated by the work of a public adjuster. However, policyholders’ who are not properly indemnified by their insurance carriers may be left with little choice but to hire professional assistance to recover the claim payment to which they are entitled.
When should I hire a public adjuster? The most benefit is likely to be realized if they are engaged immediately in case of a loss. Shortly after the insurance company receives notice of a loss, an adjuster representing the insurance company will visit the policyholder to gather facts about how the loss occurred, the magnitude of the loss, and the possibility of subrogation. Incorrect, incomplete or inadequately expressed answers to the adjuster’s questions may reduce the amount that can be claimed or be used to deny your claim. A public adjuster engaged early in the process, before the fact-finding stage, will have more opportunity to help the policyholder receive a fair settlement for all losses legitimately covered under the insurance policy. However, any time during negotiations with the insurance company and even after a settlement has been received by an insured; a public adjuster may be able to negotiate for a higher amount.
For your Public Adjuster to begin representing your best interest and start working on your claim contact the experts at Cavalry Public Adjusters: 305-898-7562. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free inspections and policy review with no obligation.