How Do Public Insurance Adjusters Work?
Filing a disaster-related insurance claim can be a stressful process. To avoid the hassle, many homeowners seek the help of a public insurance adjuster, who offers to deal with all the complexities of the process to help clients get accurate compensation from the insurance company. Read on to learn the pros and cons of working with an insurance adjuster.
How it Works
Public insurance adjusters are independent and licensed insurance agents who work on behalf of a policyholder during the claims process. Most people don’t use them because their insurance companies provide adjusters as part of their insurance policy benefits. Many times, they also forgo the option because they simply don’t know it exists.
In theory, a public adjuster will work to get you a better outcome because they don’t work for the insurance company. That said, since there are strict rules governing insurance companies, most take an honest approach when evaluating a homeowner’s claim.
If you do choose to hire a public insurance adjuster, it's best to involve them in the claims process as soon as possible. The insurance company will still send their own adjuster, but it will be helpful if your public adjuster is able to communicate with the company’s adjuster during the initial fact-finding process.
You can expect to have to pay out of pocket for a public insurance adjuster. Each will have a schedule of base fees along with some added fees for their services. That said, most will charge a percentage of the total settlement amount.
Why Hire a Public Adjuster?
There are a few good reasons why some policyholders decide to pay for their own public insurance adjuster. In disasters that lead to large- or total-loss claims, the public adjuster can sometimes help the policyholder attain a larger sum to repair or rebuild the property.
When a homeowner believes an assigned insurance adjuster may not have their best interests at heart, they may feel more comfortable with a public adjuster. The same goes for if there are disputes in the claim assessment that haven’t been resolved by the insurance company. In this instance, a public insurance adjuster can help a policyholder get a second opinion and a more favorable claim settlement.
In some instances, a policyholder may feel that the insurance company's adjuster isn't communicating well. They may also disagree with the company adjuster’s decision, feel they didn’t review the claim properly or believe damages were left off.
For especially complex policies, a public insurance adjuster can also help the policyholder better understand complicated documents. They can also help investigate the costs of replacement or repair of structures and calculate any loss of business expense.
Many times, people decide to hire public insurance adjusters because they are just too busy to deal with the claims process. They may also decide to hire a public adjuster if they expect to get a substantial payout which will help them cover the adjuster’s services, or if there seems to be a big discrepancy between the insurance company’s estimate for repairs and what their general contractor has quoted.
Making a Smart Decision
The biggest negative associated with using a public insurance adjuster is cost. In many instances, the expense will negate any extra money you are able to acquire. That said, if you have the money, expect a big payout or are too busy to deal with the process, a public adjuster may be a good option. Otherwise, you can probably get away with working with an insurance-assigned adjuster as long as you have a reputable contractor to give you an honest quote and help you through the claims process.
For a seamless, stress-free claims process, contact SERVPRO® of Denver West. We work with your insurance to help manage the claims process and paperwork. Using the best tools and extensive expertise, we provide a complete spectrum of restorative services for residential homes and commercial properties. From water and smoke to mold, fire and more, we provide flawless, comprehensive restorative services. Contact our team of courteous experts to learn more.