FAQ

Prolific Public Adjusters FAQ

A Public Adjuster is a professional claims handler who advocates for the insured/policyholder in assisting and negotiating a claim. [1]  Aside from attorneys, state licensed and bonded Public Adjusters are also legal representatives, professionals who are entrusted by the government as a lawful fiduciary and who are made available to consumers to legally and professionally represent the rights of an insured/policyholder during a business commercial, farm, or homeowner insurance claim process.

A public adjuster, by contrast, works on behalf of the customer and operates independently from the insurance company. Since a victim may only deal with the insurance companies a few times in their life (depending on the person), they are usually unfamiliar with the process of filing a claim and getting the most to repair their damages. An insurance company, on the other hand, deals with settlements hundreds of times a day, which means they are much more familiar with the process and how to tip the scales in their favor.

Public Adjusters have specialized training and expertise that a policy holder will need in the immediate aftermath of a peril. They are experienced in handling fire, flood, hurricane, hail, tornado or any other kind of disaster that might occur and are committed to getting property owners the most amount of money that they are entitled. Even though Public Adjusters are not able to get more than what the policy stipulates, they know how to level the playing field between a property owner and their insurance company.

The compensation of a Public Adjuster is based on a percentage of the eventual settlement price, which generally still results in more money for the victim once the Public Adjuster has reviewed and negotiated the settlement, not only includes payment for their services in obtaining a higher settlement but also for filing and pursuing the claim with the company as well – a process that many people are unfamiliar with.

In the instance of a storm, many property owners start evaluating the destruction and try to determine what needs to be done to repair it. While this involves typically filing paperwork with their insurance company, there are numerous reasons people may decide to wait, sometimes the property owner fails to comply with the stipulations and terms of the policy and that can lead to have the claim underpaid or denied.

No matter what path an individual uses, there is a deadline for reporting a property claim with an insurance company. Though the laws can vary from state to state, in many instances, it might be less time than what the property owner thinks, claims may vary depending on the category of the hurricane or type of peril, so it is better to review the policy entirely rather than simply assuming someone has time.

Additionally, there may be several deadlines depending on each step of the process. Most insurance companies expect a property owner to inform them of a situation as soon as possible. If a homeowner waits too long to report the claim, the insurance company has limited possibility to make a precise assessment, it is wise to call a Public Adjuster as soon as you notice something went wrong with your property so they can do the correct assessment and file it properly in a timely manner.

There are also deadlines to present documentation, such as a file containing what was lost and/or damaged, accurate measures with an estimate of the cost of the lost or damaged items. Due to this reason a property owner needs to hire a Public Adjuster, so he doesn’t have to worry about knowing deadlines that are involved in their policy.

Although you might think that your insurance company should be there when you most need it, you could be very disappointed when you see the negative results if you are not guided by an expert. That is one of the main reasons why Public Adjusters can be of such great help. While the victim naturally wants to wait to fix their home until they have an estimate from the insurance company, they must consider that the insurance company must keep the payment at a minimum. You also must consider that you must mitigate the damages as much as you possibly can and avoid the damages to extend, failure to do so could end in losses not being covered as it is part of your responsibilities as a property owner disclosed in your policy.

Since a disaster does not happen frequently, there is substantial uncertainty about what a Public Adjuster does to maximize the amount of money a policyholder will get from the insurance company. Typically, both the Public Adjuster and the company know the terms of the policy, so compromising on the exact number to pay out is the role of both adjusters, whether private or public.

1. Meet with the policy holder

The first meeting is with the property owner to review a strategy that they will use to recuperate from the damages and analyze the policy data as thoroughly as possible, the Public Adjuster will determine the terms boundaries and exclusions to figure out how much is reasonable to claim. Next, they will both sign an agreement where the property owner is giving permission to the Public Adjuster to file the claim and act on his behalf, a percentage will be agreed upon on a contingency basis, the Public Adjuster will help the property owner understand all the right and responsibilities of the policy and process.

2. Elaborate an Estimate / Get proof and documentation

The Public Adjuster will then collect as much data from the homeowner as possible, such as building measures and pictures, inventory documentation, receipts, invoices images or files depicting the actual loss that transpired to elaborate an estimate. If the property is a commercial entity, the Public Adjuster will also examine business interruption coverage, including revenue forecasts and predictions of what that business will lose when is not operating. The Public Adjuster’s job is to decide – whether residential or commercial properties – how much of the owner’s daily life has been disrupted by the loss.

3. Present to the Insurance Company

After the policy has been reviewed and the relevant data gathered, the Public Adjuster will then coincide with the property owner to go over their conclusions and show the case as they see it. After the approval of the property owner, they will then present the claim to the insurance company for their first assessment.

5. Negotiation

The insurance company will most likely demand an explanation from the Public Adjuster a few items, wanting a more extensive timeline. Once the data has been gathered and presented, the consultations will begin without the property owner being present, but they should be notified of all progress. Once a claim has been established, and all the proof and requests from the insurance company have been satisfied, if the claim is not denied a negotiation starts.