For families or business owners who experience property damage, filing an insurance claim can be very helpful. You can file a homeowners insurance claim when you suffer damage from water, fire, or any other natural disaster.
When you file a claim, your insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the damage and decide the claim payout when you submit a homeowners insurance claim. They will evaluate property damage and calculate a settlement based on your policy's coverage. In a best-case scenario, the payout amount should match the price of repairing and replacing damages on your property.
But, sometimes, the payout can be unfair. You might be unsure of your policy's coverage details or whether your insurance company’s adjuster did a good job. In these cases, a public adjuster might play a vital role in getting a fair settlement.
Interested in learning more? Let’s go over the role of public adjusters in your insurance claim process and determine the five best tips for choosing the best public adjuster for your needs.
What Is a Public Adjuster?
Many public adjuster services, such as Elite Resolutions, aim to help policyholders get the best out of their insurance claims. But what exactly is their job?
A public insurance adjuster is a licensed and trained insurance professional that helps individuals with the homeowners insurance claim process. As an independent professional, a public adjuster’s job is to ensure your claim is settled fairly and efficiently.
Unlike adjusters who work for insurance companies, public adjusters advocate exclusively for policyholders.
When your insurance company issues the settlement, the adjuster receives a percentage of the payout amount as compensation for their services. It is essential to know that insurers have no responsibility for the adjuster’s payment. This payment comes from you, the homeowner who hired the adjuster.
When Should You Hire a Public Adjuster?
There is no set rule for when you should hire a public adjuster, but there are some situations where it may be beneficial to do so:
- You're submitting a large claim for costly, complicated property damage, like a natural disaster.
- You have doubts about your insurer's evaluation.
- You believe the settlement from your insurer is unfair or that the adjuster undervalued your claim.
- You don’t understand the ins and outs of a claims process and need someone to guide you through it.
Public adjusters can help you by:
- Determining the cost and time needed to repair or replace damaged property.
- Helping you make sense of your insurance policy.
- Monitoring the claim, submitting paperwork, and sticking to deadlines.
- Serving as a mediator between the insurer, you, and any other parties, including attorneys or witnesses.
- Negotiating with your insurance provider to get a fair settlement.
Hiring the Best Public Adjuster
Ready to hire a public adjuster? Here are some tips to guide you along the way.
1. Ensure They Have a Licence
To get the best professional service, make sure you are hiring a licensed public adjuster. They should have a valid license from your state's insurance department. Additionally, you can ask the public adjuster for their license number and verify it with your state's regulatory body.
2. Inform Yourself On Fees They Charge
Most public adjusters are paid on a contingency basis, often charging between 5% and 15% of the insurer's settlement of your claim. In some states, these fees are regulated; in most cases, you can negotiate the cost with your public adjuster.
The amount and nature of your loss and the status of your claim should be considered when determining the public adjuster's charge. The fee should be specified in a written agreement, and they should be willing to answer any questions you might have about it.
3. Take Availability Into Account
You want to settle an insurance claim within a reasonable time frame, so you can repair your home and move on with your life. Hire adjusters available to work on your case as soon as possible.
4. Ensure Their Competence and Professionalism
Don’t hesitate to ask everything you need to know to feel completely confident in your choice. When interviewing potential public adjusters, you can ask them some of the following questions:
- What is your experience as a public adjuster?
- How many claims similar to mine have you handled?
- Can you provide testimonials from previous customers?
- How do you determine the worth of a claim?
- How do you determine your fee?
- How do you communicate with your clients during the claims process?
- How many people will be working on my claim?
By asking the right questions, you will understand the procedure better, have realistic expectations, and avoid future misunderstandings. Additionally, avoid any public adjusters who put pressure on you, and read your contract carefully to ensure you understand everything before you sign.
5. Get a Recommendation
Word-of-mouth goes a long way in any line of business, and public adjusters are no exception to this rule. If a public adjuster did an excellent job for someone you know and whose opinion you value, they’ll likely do the same for you.
Additionally, you will trust them more and have peace of mind knowing they helped someone close to you. Reading online reviews from previous clients can also help you find valuable insight and make the right decision.
6. Check Out Regional And National Associations
A qualified public adjuster will actively participate in organizations like the Windstorm Insurance Network, United Policyholders of America, and the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. Membership in these organizations shows a public adjuster's dedication to preserving professional standards and keeping current on industry trends. You can check out the registry of their members on their websites and make a decision based on that.
Additionally, state organizations such as the California Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, or the Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjusters can help you contact one of their members. These organizations have strict standards for membership, and their adjusters must abide by a code of ethics.
7. Beware of Unrealistic Promises
Before assessing your policy and possible losses, a reputable public adjuster won't make any exaggerated promises about their services. They should be straightforward and realistic about what they can accomplish for you. If any of their promises sound unreasonable, you should reconsider and try to find another public adjuster.
Get The Most Out Of Your Insurance Claim with a Public Adjuster
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to hiring a public adjuster. To sum up, public adjusters have specialized knowledge of insurance policies and claims procedures. They can help you maximize the settlement of your claim and point out money you are entitled to that you didn’t even know about.
Furthermore, public adjusters have an unbiased, objective perspective on the claim, and they will keep working even when you’re exhausted by the whole process.
The claims process is complicated and stressful. Hiring a public adjuster can reduce your burden and provide peace of mind.
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