.Who is a public insurance adjuster? What are the major benefits of hiring public adjusters? And what you should look out for?
It can be quite relieving to recall after you’ve suffered house damage, that you have homeowners’ insurance. However, when you remember that you’d have to go through the stressful process of organizing your documents and filing an insurance claim, you’d feel discouraged.
Hiring a public adjuster can take away the burden of filing a claim from you. No matter how extensive the damage is, a public adjuster has the knowledge and experience to handle it.
The benefits of hiring a public insurance adjuster are numerous, as you’ll soon find out in this article. But before we go into that, let’s find out who a public insurance adjuster is and what he does.
Who is a Public Insurance Adjuster?
A public insurance adjuster is a licensed insurance professional whose job is to help homeowners retrieve what they truly deserve in an insurance claim.
These professionals represent your interests and stand to protect your rights against violations by insurance companies.
What exactly does a public adjuster do? They start by assessing your home to determine its actual value and how much you deserve for the damage. Then they go on to gather the documents and file a detailed claim with the insurance company, demanding that you get settled immediately. When the insurance company is ready to settle, they’d stand in for you and negotiate on your behalf.
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You might be wondering, is hiring a public adjuster worth it? Let’s look at the key advantages you’d have when you hire a public insurance adjuster.
The Advantages of Hiring a Public Insurance Adjuster
You might find the entire process of filing for a claim, negotiating and ensuring you get what you deserve really challenging. But is that all that is involved? No. Most insurance companies may want to take advantage of you if they find out you don’t have deep knowledge about insurance.
However, if you work with a public adjuster, you’d find that the positives outweigh the negatives. Let’s look at the positives (pros) of hiring a public insurance adjuster:
1. A public insurance adjuster can get you a larger settlement
A public insurance adjuster has the knowledge, skills, and experience to determine how much you truly deserve on a claim. They will go through the insurance policy over and over again to ensure the insurance company’s adjuster hasn’t left any damage unattended.
Once the public adjuster has gathered all the information needed for filing a claim, they’d go on to demand the maximum possible payout. They ensure you get paid every penny you deserve.
Most public adjusters get paid a certain percentage of the settlement amount. Therefore, you should be guaranteed that any amount they state as the maximum settlement amount is correct.
Furthermore, they won’t demand upfront payment from you. They get paid from the recovered insurance settlement. So, if you don’t receive your settlement, there won’t be any need to settle them.
2. A public insurance adjuster helps you understand your policy
If you have no knowledge of insurance, you’d find it difficult to understand the terms of your insurance policy. A homeowners’ insurance underwriting process is a very rigorous process, and the policies are filled with lots of jargon that only an expert can understand.
A public insurance adjuster will help you understand every term in your policy by explaining it in much simpler language. They also explain to you all the options you have in the event of making a claim.
You need the expertise of a public insurance agent to understand your policy and file for an appropriate settlement for your property.
3. A public insurance adjuster saves you valuable time
When your home is damaged, you’ll have a lot on your plate. From moving your family to a safe place to taking care of other priorities or tasks you’d have attended to if the damage hadn’t occurred.
Without a public insurance adjuster, you’d have to do all that while filing a claim with your insurance company. And the process of demanding a claim can be really tedious. You’d have to attend meetings and keep in constant communication with the insurance company to ensure every proceeding is carried out with your knowledge.
A public adjuster takes the burden of filing a claim away from you. They help you gather the necessary documents and file and negotiate a claim while you go about your normal activities. With a public adjuster, you’re sure to have a representative who has got your back.
4. A public insurance adjuster protects your rights
A public insurance adjuster is there to represent you and protect your rights as a policyholder. They have no contact or connection with the insurance company except when it comes to filing and demanding your claim.
Therefore, when the insurance company denies your claim, you engage the public insurance adjuster to fight for your rights. They understand the insurance company’s guiding principles and know your legal rights too. They know the necessary measures to take to ensure your insurer does what is required and gives you your due claim.
Without a public insurance adjuster, you might give up on the fight for your rights without knowing there are other means to retrieve them.
5. A public insurance adjuster helps accelerate the insurance process
The entire insurance process can be long and tedious. You’d need to send emails, make phone calls and even attend several meetings before an agreement would be reached over the settlement. It could take a week, a month, or a year to settle and receive an insurance claim, depending on how complex it is. The simplest insurance claims can be sorted out within a week.
However, the more complex it gets, the more you need a public insurance adjuster. With the help of an insurance adjuster, you can sort out your insurance claims weeks or even months earlier than it’d have taken.
The public insurance adjuster files the claim, deals with the complications, and ensures your insurer has no need to delay your claim payout by even a day.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Public Adjuster?
Most public insurance adjusters charge a fixed percentage of the settlement amount you’d get from your insurer. The percentage can range from 10% to 20%, depending on the state. Most public insurance adjusters’ percentage demands in the United States are fixed by the state.
However, you can negotiate with the public adjuster to take a lesser percentage if the expected settlement amount is huge.
Some public insurance adjusters who do not charge by percentage place a cap on the amount they’d charge for each claim. The less experienced public adjusters would cap their fees at say $5000 while the more experienced ones might demand something upwards of $10,000.
The truth is that a public adjuster can save you lots of money. You probably would have lost the money if you handled things yourself.
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When Should I Hire a Public Insurance Adjuster?
While you can handle certain claims by yourself, it is best if you know when to hire a public adjuster. You should consider hiring a public insurance adjuster when any of these six things happens:
1. When you are too busy to deal with the demands of your insurer
If you don’t have the time to handle the entire claim demand process, it’s best to hire a public adjuster. This is because you might be forced to settle for less, as the insurance company will handle everything on your behalf.
2. When you don’t understand the terms of your policy
They will force you to depend on the information from your company’s insurance adjuster if you don’t understand the terms of the policy.
A public insurance adjuster will not just explain the policy to you, but also help you file an appropriate claim.
3. When your damage is huge
The more extensive the damage on your property is, the more complicated your insurance claim will be. If your damage is large, you will need the services of an expert to get what you truly deserve from your insurer.
4. Your insurer is offering a quick payoff
As much as it is good customer service for an insurance company to settle damages on time, it could also mean they’re about to rip you off. Before you accept a quick payoff from your insurer, ensure you get a public adjuster on board.
5. You feel the amount you’re offered is less than you should get
If you feel the settlement amount you’re getting is less than what you should get, hire a public insurance adjuster. The public adjuster will help you evaluate the value of your property. By so doing, they can determine the actual amount you should be settled with.
6. Your insurer is delaying your claim
When your claim settlement is being delayed beyond what it should be, that’s a good time to hire a public adjuster. Being someone experienced in the entire procedure, your public adjuster will ensure every complication leading to the delay is sorted out in no time.
Hiring a public insurance adjuster will cost you money, but it will save you even more money. With the presence of an experienced public adjuster, your insurer would have no option but to release your due claim.
However, it’s important you hire a licensed public adjuster from your state, as they’d have a better understanding of the state laws guiding your policy.