If the insurance claim is for your company, the fee paid to the adjuster is deductible as a business expense under legal and professional fees. If the insurance claim is for personal use (home or car), the fee is not deductible. Generally, public appraisers charge a fixed fee when you have an important and simple claim. Similarly, when it comes to a claim with an obvious outcome.
However, if a public adjuster announces a fixed rate, make sure you understand what that fee will and will not cover. Sometimes, this fixed rate may not include additional expenses. Finally, be sure to set the price before signing the contract. If the insurer makes a partial settlement or a progressive payment to an insured person, and the insured so indicates, a fee may be paid to the public adjuster in accordance with the terms of the compensation agreement between the insured and the public adjuster.
The compensation agreement requires the insured to pay the public adjuster a fee equal to 10% of the recovery. It is essential to check references and agree on rates and terms before entering into a contract with a public appraiser. Today, you can hire an authorized public appraiser at a “contingent” (percentage) fee who will process your claim and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. An appraiser should display this information on their website, and more experienced adjusters generally charge a higher fee.
Generally, a public adjuster will charge a percentage of what the policyholder's insurance company ultimately pays for a claim. A more expensive and experienced public appraiser is likely to be better able to handle complex claims more quickly and effectively. In any case, while most public appraisers are honest and competent in their work, it is still essential to be aware of potential scams. A public adjuster can help them reopen a claim and file a supplemental claim for additional payments with their insurer.
Because of this fee structure, which is usually a percentage of the final settlement, your public adjuster will be more motivated to seek higher compensation. Public appraisers are professionals and are unlikely to overlook costs in their calculations that the insured may forget or ignore. In fact, if a public appraiser isn't willing to put a written fee agreement in writing, don't even consider working with him. Public appraisers deposit the advance into a special trust account and deduct the cost of services as they accrue in that account.
The hourly rate will depend on the state you are in, the experience and knowledge of the public adjuster, your operating costs and the type of policy to which your application pertains. Public appraisers are one of the three main categories of insurance adjusters, and each is employed by a different group.