What Is A Public Adjuster?
You may have just sustained property damage to your home, investment property, or business. Now all of your friends and family keep telling you to hire a public adjuster. But what’s a public adjuster?
In short, a public adjuster is someone who is licensed and trained to help home and business owners alike get the most money for their property damage insurance claim. They are hired by the property owner to work on their behalf for their property damage. Since many homeowners don’t know that they have the right to a fair settlement by hiring an experienced public adjuster, we wanted to give you as much information as possible in this article.
A public adjuster works as your advocate throughout the entire claims process. They are trained to know how each and every state law and regulation works in regards to property damage. This includes local building codes and ordinances that may apply to an insurance claim. Having the expertise of an insurance professional on your side can help you get a fair settlement for your damages while saving thousands on repairs if hired early enough after an incident takes place.
Public adjusters charge a percentage fee but we feel it’s worth every penny when dealing with insurance companies who have no interest in taking care of you fairly!
As always, please contact our office at any time so that one of our insurance claim experts can answer any questions you might have about this article or anything else related to public adjusting.
As a homeowner, you should know that you have the option to hire a public adjuster when you have any kind of damage to your property. Read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
What Is A Public Adjuster?
A public adjuster, also known as a claims adjuster or public insurance adjuster, is someone that represents the homeowner in an insurance loss. They are not employed by the insurance company; they work on the homeowner’s behalf. A claims adjuster negotiates with the insurance company in order to obtain a fair settlement to get the property back to its prior condition before the property loss took place.
From the moment you call until the very last claim check has been sent out, a public adjuster is there to handle the entire claims process. They are licensed professionals who will work on your behalf and handle any and all communications with the insurance carrier, conduct inspections of the property, and advise you on what should or shouldn’t be done to fix your property.
What Kind Of Claims Can A Public Adjuster Handle?
A public adjuster can handle all property damage insurance claims. This means they work with homeowners, investment property owners, and business owners when there is damage to the building or contents inside of it. Public adjusters advocate for the insured to ensure they receive proper compensation for their insurance claim. At Performance Adjusting we help with:
Public adjusters can be hired right after the damage occurs or even after a homeowner has filed a claim. Hiring a claims adjuster will ensure that an insured will receive a fair settlement from their insurance company.
What's The Difference Between A Public Adjuster, A Company Adjuster, and An Independent Adjuster?
Although these three titles sound very similar and self-explanatory, there is a huge difference between leaving it up to your company or independent adjuster and using a public adjuster when you have property damage.
What Is A Company Adjuster?
Company adjusters work directly for a particular insurance company. A company adjuster will visit your home to assess all damages and losses from any peril that may have occurred. A company adjuster will come after your claim has been called in and will provide an estimate to the insurance company they work for. Given that a company adjuster works for the insurance company, they do not go the extra mile to ensure the insured has enough money to repair their property. The payout of a claim may be extremely different depending on whether you use the adjuster provided by insurance carriers or a public adjusting firm.
What Is An Independent Insurance Adjuster?
An independent insurance adjuster is an adjuster who works for an insurance company to settle claims. Unlike a company adjuster, they are subcontractors and are hired on a per claim basis. Given that an independent adjuster is hired by the insurance company, they do not have the insured in mind when conducting their assessment. Independent adjusters do not detail a claim as a public adjuster would, which may lead to an insufficient settlement.
When Should I Hire A Public Adjuster?
You wouldn’t go to court without a lawyer, so don’t file a property insurance claim without a public adjuster. Regardless of the size of the damage, a public adjuster will be able to help you with your claim. You have homeowners insurance for a reason, so you shouldn’t leave it up to your insurance company’s adjuster.
Even what seems like a small amount of damage, can be a lot larger than you would think. Like this picture to the right, it may look like a small leak coming through the ceiling from a burst pipe. But what about replacing the ceiling? Or the contents (personal property) the water has damaged? Or maybe that water yields secondary damage such as mold?
Public adjusters will not take more than the agreed-upon fee so that you can use the total cost of the damage to fix your property. You will forget about the small fee once you receive your insurance settlement check!
It is important to know the extent of your property damage. What may seem small could be a fairly large claim in the end. A public adjuster can assess this for you, look at your insurance policy, and determine if you should file a claim.
What If I Already Filed A Claim?
Even if you’ve already filed a claim, you can still hire a public adjuster to represent you. It’s almost never too late to get the help you need from public adjusters to obtain a proper settlement from your insurance company.
Many public adjusters offer a free assessment of your property damage, so you can get an idea of what to expect from the claim and how much it will payout.
Should I Use A Public Adjuster If I Already Got Paid? (And Didn't Get Enough Money)
The final settlement check doesn’t actually mean final! Depending on how long ago your date of loss was (the day you had the property damage) and the statute of limitations in your state, you can still reopen your claim by using public insurance adjusters. By doing so, you’ll be able to retrieve the money you need to fix your damages even after you’ve been paid by your insurance company.
Hiring a public insurance adjuster is the best way to make sure you get all of your money from insurance claims. Insurance companies aren’t always on your side, but public insurance adjusters will be!
How Much Does A Public Adjuster Cost?
Not only are public adjusters hired to get you the most money to benefit you, but it also benefits the adjuster. Public adjusters take on average 10% of the final settlement. Although sometimes you’ll see higher fees, up to 20%! Nothing comes out of pocket and nothing gets taken away from the money you need to fix your home or business back to pre-loss conditions. It makes sense to hire a public adjuster even though they cost a small percentage because public adjusters can often get you more money than an insurance company.
Public adjusters are there to help you every step of the way, and they should be able to tell you if it’s worth filing an insurance claim or not.
How Do Public Adjusters Determine Damage?
Public insurance adjusters use high-quality technology and proven techniques to uncover even the smallest damage for smaller claims. They’ll use tools like moisture meters, laser tapes, soot sponges, and more to find everything that your insurance company should pay out for your claim.
When claim adjusters go through a property, they make sure to look at every detail. They’ll be looking for things like fire damage, smoke stains, water damage from burst pipes or flooding, wind damage from storms with high winds that may have torn roofs off homes or ripped trees out of the ground, and other signs of damage.
From taking pictures to going through the entire property room by room, public adjusters will make sure that your insurance company knows exactly what happened and how much it’s going to take to fix everything.
When Should I Use A Lawyer To Fight My Insurance Company?
When dealing with property damage, sometimes a policyholder hires an attorney or a lawyer to fight their claim instead of a licensed public adjuster. Most of the time it’s because they don’t know that they have the option to hire a public insurance adjuster.
The only reasonable time to hire a lawyer for your insurance claim is if it is denied or you believe the insurance carrier has demonstrated bad faith. If your claim is denied, we as public adjusters can’t do anything about it. A lawyer can help you with this. If your claim is not denied, hiring a public adjuster is your best bet. It is more cost-effective and generally a better idea than the hassle and a higher fee associated with hiring a lawyer.
What Should You Expect When Hiring A Public Adjuster?
When you choose to hire a public adjuster, they will work on the claim personally, comparing cost estimates with the insurance company’s insurance claims adjusters. Here is our process:
Insurance Claim Process
How To Pick A Public Adjuster?
It’s pretty easy to find a public adjuster near you. But to find a good one, you’ll need to do your research.
- How long have they been in business? (We’ve been around for 16 years!)
- How many licensed adjusters do they have on staff? (We have 6 licensed adjusters!)
- How are their connections to contractors to fix your property damage after you get your claim check? (Ours are great!)
- How much of a fee are they going to take? (We only take 10%!)
About Performance Adjusting
Performance Adjusting is a public adjusting firm located in North Providence, Rhode Island. We have licensed insurance professionals who have been helping homeowners get more money for their property damage and resuming business operations since 2005. Our adjusters attend continuing education on updates to insurance policies, staying up to date with state law in the state they are licensed in, and learn about all things homeowners insurance.
Unlike other public adjusting companies, we have someone dedicated to every step in the claims process from calling in your claim to handing you your check. We are licensed to help property owners with their property damage in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida. Hiring our firm will save you from dealing with a time-consuming home insurance claim so you can feel confident that you got the settlement you deserved from your insurance company.
We offer free, no-strings-attached consultations for any amount of property damage. One of our licensed public insurance adjusters will come out to your damaged property to assess the damages, look at your insurance policy, and see how we can help you.
We will help you understand your insurance coverage and advise on the best course of action. You can always request a public adjuster, but it is not required to hire one if you want to file a claim with your insurance carrier.
We have helped thousands of Rhode Island property owners get more money for their losses through claims negotiation or litigation against their insurers.
Give us a call at 401-724-9111 or fill out our contact form to get started! Whether you have new property damage or are already struggling through the insurance claim process, our public insurance adjusters will be happy to help you.