Q. What will you do for me?
A. A Public Insurance Adjuster will advise and assist in the presentation and preparation of your claim with our staff of inventory experts and building consultants. We will also handle all the necessary details for compiling, and filing claims as required by the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. We will confer with you company representative and handle all negations essential to acquire the maximum benefits in the adjustment of your claim.
Q. What is an “Adjuster”?
A. An “Adjuster” is the person that determines the amount of money you should receive for your property damage. There are three types of adjusters.
- Company Adjuster or Staff Adjuster: This adjuster works directly for the Insurance Company (like a State Farm adjuster).
- Independent Adjuster: This adjuster usually works for several Insurance Companies. During catastrophes, like Hurricanes, insurance companies usually do not have enough of their own personnel (staff adjusters) to handle all the work, so they use ‘Independent Adjusters’ to help out (almost like hiring sub contractors). In either case, both of these insurance adjusters represent the insurance companies that pay them, and they ALWAYS look after the insurance company’s best interests.
- Public Adjuster: There is a third adjuster, but this one works for the public, not for the insurance company. This Adjuster is referred to as a “Public Adjuster,” sometimes referred to as “Private Adjusters”. The Public Adjuster will file your claim, work directly with your Insurance Company’s adjuster, and ultimately see to it that you get every penny you are entitled to receive for your damages. Although there is a fee associated with hiring a Public Adjuster, you usually get much more than the insurance company would offer, plus you won’t have the hassle of dealing with the claim process. For their services, Public Adjusters receive a percentage of the money they collect on your behalf, and this percentage may vary slightly with different companies.
Q. Why hire a Public Adjuster, my Insurance adjuster will give me what I need, right?
A. Our experience tells us this is unlikely. Insurance Company adjusters work for, report to, and are paid by, the insurance company. Insurance companies are businesses, and they too look after their bottom line. We find that often times they opt to repair items, when replacement is needed. An average policyholder working alone with an insurance adjuster is like an average person trying a court case without a lawyer who knows every law. Policyholders need equal representation.
Q. If I hire a Public Adjuster, and I have to pay a percentage of my recovery, I will then be short money, right?
A. This is the biggest misconception. Recoveries vary, however public adjusters typically recover more than you’d be able to secure on your own. Since you’ll typically get more money, plus you don’t have to handle your claim at all, why wouldn’t you ask a public adjuster to handle your claim? Still not convinced? Here’s a recent example: A Condo Board reached out with a wind claim. They decided the public adjusting fee would take away from their recovery, so they decided to do it themselves. They struggled for many months (almost a year) and recovered under $500,000. Since they felt they were shortchanged after going it alone, they hired our public adjuster who collected an additional amount over $1million dollars. In short, had they done this from the beginning, they would have collected the entire amount (roughly $1.5 million), in less time, and they would not have had the headache of handling their own claim for almost one year.
Q. Will I have to pay for your services if you are unable to collect money for me?
A. We work off a percentage of your recovery. Therefore, if there is no recovery, there is no fee. We only collect a fee if we are able to get you insurance company to write you a check for your damages.
Q. How do you assist me?
A. It is up to you to prove your loss. There are many questions and provisions within your policy that should be applied in different circumstances. We as your experts will guide you through the questions and assist you to prove your loss to acquire the maximum recovery of your claim.
Q. Will my insurance agent or broker help me in the adjustment of my claim?
A. The agent or broker serves you at all times in connection with your insurance coverage. He generally does not have the time, training, or facilities to render the highly specialized service of insurance adjusting.
Q. Will the insurance company recognize you as my representative?
A. Yes indeed! Most companies actually prefer to work with an experienced, professional Public Insurance Adjuster, rather than an inexperienced claimant. It is to be the best of all concerned that a fair and prompt settlement be made.
Q. How can you serve me better than the insurance company adjuster?
A. The insurance company adjuster is employed exclusively by the insurance company and must try to strike a balance between your interests and those of his company. It is somewhat like trying to service two masters. A Public Insurance Adjuster is working for your best interest exclusively.
Q. Will you take any other claims other than fire?
A. Yes. We will assist you in any claim of loss against any insurance company under the fire coverage and allied lines. These include hurricanes, windstorm, explosion, hail, smoke, motor vehicle damage losses, inland marine, business interruption and others.
Q. Can’t I prepare a claim of my own property rather than you?
A. Yes. But it stands to reason that we, who professionally handle and prepare claims everyday, can do it more competently and efficiently.
Q. Why should I engage you to obtain what is rightfully due to me?
A. Do you really know what is rightfully due to you? We do! We are your representative exclusively. With our experience and knowledge, we are far more capable of bringing about a more favorable and satisfactory adjustment.
Q. If I had a claim that was denied, am I entitled to an opinion?
A. Absolutely! In the past we have had clients who were denied by there insurance companies. We will re-open your case, re-negotiate your claim and prove your case (if it is a valid claim). When property owners hear the word “denial” you should contact our firm for a better look at your claim. There are many other ways a claim can be presented and paid as well.
Q. When should I decide to hire a Public Adjuster?
A. We suggest you call us as soon as you notice any damage to your property. We should be your first call before your insurance company or agent. This advice is effective for your presentation of your claim. However, you can hire us at any time, before you contact your company, as you are negotiating your claim, and even after your case has been closed. It really is never to late to call.