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When property owners file a homeowners insurance claim, an adjuster from the insurer evaluates the damage. The payout for that damage is determined by how much it will cost to repair or replace the damaged structure or property.
Public adjusting services such as Statewide Public Adjusting Services can help with this often-confusing claims and payout process. Public adjusters ensure policyholders get all they are entitled to after sustaining losses- even when dealing with big-time powerful insurers who do not always play fair.
Fighting back and ensuring you get what you deserve means knowing what your policy covers, assessing damage accurately, and understanding how insurance companies work. It is not easy if you are not in the business of doing so every day. Taxpayers pay their premiums because they expect them to be there for them during these troubled times.
What Exactly is a Public Adjuster?
Public insurance adjusters are independent and trained professionals who can help with homeowners insurance claims. They advocate exclusively for policyholders, unlike company adjusters who are employed by the insurance provider.
Policyholders may be at a disadvantage when they deal directly with their insurer to try to get the compensation to which they are entitled. The reason is that insurance companies have a vested interest in them settling for as little money as possible.
That is not fair considering policyholders have paid premiums and deserve full and fair compensation when meeting all conditions of their policies.
Public adjusters, on the other hand, work strictly for policyholders. They essentially are opposite-funded – it is beneficial financially for public adjusters to get you the best possible settlements while it benefits the insurer’s bottom lines if you accept lower compensation.
They typically are much better than company adjusters at damage analysis because of their training and – perhaps most importantly – because their loyalty is supposed to fall solely with the insured rather than anyone involved in an incident or filing.
What is the Work of a Public Adjuster?
If you have ever filed a home insurance claim chances are good that either your insurer or an independent adjuster representing you will visit the damaged property to inspect and evaluate it.
What you may not know is that there is another type of insurance adjuster, one employed by policyholders and known as a public adjuster. Working exclusively for policyholders, these experts help people recoup what they are entitled to from their insurance companies — provided the damages covered by their policies.
The primary role of a public adjuster is to settle policyholder’s claims with their insurance company. Employed by the policyholder, this person helps maximize the payout on an insurance claim when money is at stake.
The types of duties typically performed in most states include:
- evaluating existing coverage;
- preparing an estimate based on structural and content damages;
- discussing potential problems with property owners;
- helping prepare documents relating to claims made- including proof of loss forms- citing settlement packages if making initial filings isn’t necessary (if immediate repairs need to be done).
What is the Usual Cost of a Public Adjuster?
Public adjusting is a service with which a licensed and bonded claims adjuster helps homeowners navigate the ins and outs of their insurance policy claim. Public adjusters work for homeowners (and businesses) to achieve the maximum possible settlement on their insurance claims.
Most public adjusters charge a percentage of the total payout from your insurer. Fees typically range from 3% to 30% on final claimed payments. So if you receive $250k by the time all is said and done, and your adjuster charges 10%, you would owe them $25k.
Some common fee structures for public adjusters include flat rates or hourly rates; every situation is unique, so it is important that pricing be determined based on an extensive analysis.
Public Adjusters v/s Independent Adjusters- Which One Should You Choose?
In the event of damage to your property, a public adjuster can be an invaluable resource. Public adjusters work for — and are paid by — the policyholder, not the insurance company.
Their job is to ensure you receive the most accurate claim payout possible. They can help you understand what is under your policy, manage all aspects of claims preparation, presentation and negotiation, and keep everything moving on track through settlement.
Independent adjusters are hired by “insurance companies” to evaluate claims in a town or area where they represent several insurers. They work on behalf of — and are paid by —the insurer.
The Bottom Line: Public Adjusting Services
In the end, you should have a proper understanding of what Public Adjusters are and why they can be a valuable resource after your home or business has suffered damage.
Make sure to research before hiring any professional who offers these kinds of services, as there are both good and bad actors in this space.
Also, note that Public Adjusters (who work for policyholders) and Independent Adjusters (who work for insurance companies) are different. So choose wisely b/w them for your use case.
Best of luck!