What is a public adjuster?
A public adjuster is a professional who has expert knowledge on loss adjustments. He is employed by the general public to assist them in preparing, filing, and negotiating equitable adjustments of insurance claims.
Are public adjusters in any way affiliated with insurance companies?
No. Their services are engaged exclusively by the policyholder and not the insurance company.
What could a public adjuster do for me?
We will advise and assist you in the preparation of building damage assessment reports, estimates, inventories, and other factual proofs of loss. We will handle all the necessary details for compiling and filing claims, as required by the terms of your insurance policies. We will also meet and confer with the insurance company representatives and handle all negotiations essential to proper, satisfactory, and equitable adjustment of your claim.
How can a public adjuster better serve me over an insurance company adjuster?
The insurance company adjuster is employed exclusively by the insurance company where his loyalties are. He must strike a balance between your interests and those of his company. We work for your best interests exclusively.
Why should I hire a public adjusters to get what's rightfully due me?
Do you really know what is rightfully due you? We do! We are your exclusive representatives. With our experience and knowledge, we are far more capable of bringing about a favorable, satisfactory, and equitable adjustment.
Why can't my insurance agent or broker handle my claim?
An agent or broker is well trained in determining your insurance needs and placing or writing insurance programs, but they are not well trained in detailing insurance losses. You can't expect an agent or broker, who is not paid to adjust losses, to try and "adjust" one. They generally don't have the time, training, or facilities to render the highly specialized service of insurance adjusting.
Can I prepare my own claim better than a public adjuster?
No! It stands to reason that professional public adjusters, who are experienced in professionally handling and preparing claims every day, can do it more competently and efficiently than the average insured, who may only have one or two losses in a lifetime.
Why should I engage a public adjuster?
To properly adjust an insurance claim, highly skilled professional insurance experts with a vast knowledge of insurance policies, coinsurance, depreciation, inventories, building damage assessments, repair and replacement costs, and negotiation are all necessary to secure the maximum recovery from your insurance policy. Only an experienced professional public adjuster or public adjusting firm has these qualifications.
Why do I need help in filing an insurance claim?
The typical insurance policy contains many provisions, complex details, and technical language about your requirements and the complicated procedures you must adhere to in case of loss. Many people do not know or understand these policy provisions and do not realize that the burden of proof is on them, the policyholders. In fact, most insurance company representatives actually prefer to work with a professional public insurance adjuster rather than an inexperienced insured.
A professional public insurance adjuster not only has your confidence, but the insurance company adjuster's as well because they recognize that they are working with a professional. Professional public adjusters are well trained in what to look for in an insurance policy and fully understands the procedures necessary in preparing and filing a claim in accordance with policy requirements.
What is the extent of a public adjusters' responsibility?
We assist you with every phase of preparing and presenting your claim, as well as accomplishing an adjustment for you which is equitable and includes everything to which you are entitled to under your insurance policy.
How do public adjusters determine the actual loss?
We take a physical inventory of your damage with your assistance, prepare the estimate of damages to your building, and obtain other pertinent documentation to determine your loss of rents, business interruption or additional living expenses. We make certain that all provisions in your insurance policy are properly fulfilled. This often involves numerous steps of which you may know little or nothing about, but can make a significant impact on the outcome of the amount for your final settlement.
Why shouldn't I wait to get an offer from the insurance company before engaging a public adjuster?
At the onset, the insurance company makes a dollar evaluation of your loss at the time they first inspect it. This is called a "reserve" and is an absolute requirement in most states. The adjuster bases the "reserve" solely upon his initial inspection, your knowledge of the loss, and additional information you may remember to tell him. He is hired and paid by the insurance company so his interest is how to best protect his employer. Unless some agreements are made initially regarding the scope of loss and what is to be done next (such as temporary repairs, temporary business or living quarters, cleaners, etc.), serious problems could arise that may jeopardize the final settlement figures. We will also help eliminate the possibility of "forgotten items" that may have been overlooked by you.
To avoid misunderstandings, long delays, and reduced settlement figures, it is wise to hire a professional public adjuster to deal with these possible problems before they occur. A public adjuster should be hired immediately to protect your interests much like you would immediately hire an attorney after being involved in other types of claims, such as automobile or personal injury accidents.
Why is a builder's or contractor's estimate insufficient to enable the insurance company to make an equitable settlement?
Building contractors do not have experience in interpreting insurance policies and how they apply to a loss. They are not knowledgeable in calculating depreciation, coinsurance, actual cash value provisions of the policy, and other elements of your loss. Further, a contractor is competitive with his bid, attempting to provide his lowest bid to get the job.
Hidden heat, smoke damage, and water damage could cause you problems even after you settle your loss. These items and many more are usually overlooked because many contractors are unfamiliar with the methods of preparing a detailed estimate in a format that the insurance company recognizes. In addition, a contractor can't handle your contents inventories, or prepare your additional living expense loss or business interruption loss.
We engage the services of skilled, knowledgeable, experienced engineers, builders, and/or loss experts to prepare highly detailed estimates of all aspects of your loss. The building estimate is in a form and content familiar to insurance company experts and is done in conjunction with examinations by both the company adjusters and our experts. Every item of reconstruction is accounted for and detailed. The estimate specifically details all aspects of damage repairs necessary to restore the building to its original condition or evaluate it as to its current value.
Will my loss be settled quicker with the services of a public adjuster?
We know exactly what is necessary to provide to the insurance company in order to expedite the settlement of your claim. A great deal of time can be saved by having our professional public adjuster handle your loss.
Inspections are done immediately, estimates are prepared, inventories completed, and time elements losses are implemented. Accumulation of evidence and substantiation begins without delay. With your cooperation, we will quickly have your claim filed and the settlement process under way.
How do the public adjusters charge a fee?
We charge a small percentage of what the insured received in settlement. We don't receive any fee until the insurance company actually issues the check to you. It is to our benefit to get the maximum settlement possible for you in as little time as possible. We also guarantee that the benefits gained from engaging our services will more than compensate the cost of our fee, at the very least. Our fees are usually "contingent" and similar to how attorneys and realtors charge their fees.
Can a public adjuster help me with my tax loss?
In a situation where additional information is required, we will work cooperatively with your accountant on these matters. We will also provide all documentation that they have in order to help your CPA or attorney complete any income tax losses you may suffer as a result of your claim. We have worked in cooperation with many of these professionals and have been of great value to them in producing the required information needed to provide you with a detailed loss picture. There are no charges for providing this information. However, our fees do not cover charges to you for accounting or legal services and experts.
In summarizing, The Public Adjusters will:
- Complete a precisely detailed estimate of what is required to repair or rebuild your premises.
- Assist in the preparation of inventories on your damaged personal or business property, contents, and related items. With your help in providing correct documentation, and determining ages and descriptions, a professional public adjuster can evaluate and determine the approximate current values.
- Prepare your time element losses, such as business interruption, loss of rents, or additional living expenses.
- Establish a professional line of communications with the insurance adjuster.
- Present estimates, inventories, and other valuations to the insurance adjuster.
- Meet with the insurance company to negotiate and adjust your claim fairly and equitably, thus resulting in an acceptable settlement to you.
- The Public Adjusters work for you; they are on your side, to achieve these results.
See John on YouTube.com on the Divas Live show Feb 2014. He provides tips and valuable Insider information on insurance,damage and when dealing with insurance companies.