The insurance industry is a complex and ever-evolving sector, and accurately assessing its size is a difficult task. However, a survey commissioned by the Association of Claims Professionals (ACP) offers an interesting insight into the role of independent appraisers in the claims process. The survey was conducted by Bickmore, a risk management consultant, and surveyed members of the ACP, members of the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters (NAIIA), external administrators, large independent adjustment firms and staff adjusters from several large insurance companies. The study examined the size and scope of the independent adjuster industry, as well as its role within the insurance industry and the metrics used by independent adjusters.
According to the survey results, there are currently more than 132 or 106 claims adjusters employed in the United States. Appraisers inspect property damage or personal injury claims to determine how much the insurance company must pay for the loss. They could inspect a house, business, or car. A public adjuster is an independent insurance professional that a policyholder can hire to help resolve an insurance claim on their behalf.
The model law states that public adjusters may only act or assist for the benefit of the insured in the event of claims filed for the first time. Some states such as Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia and others are required by law to limit or limit public adjuster fees to 10% for losses due to catastrophes such as hurricanes or floods, or uncontrollable wildfires. Regardless of the fee structure, public adjuster's professional fees are more likely to be offset by an increase in the settlement amount of a covered claim. Good insurance adjusters often rely on word-of-mouth recommendations for new businesses, so if you know a good public adjuster, tell a friend.
Some public adjusters charge a fixed percentage or a fixed fee, while others use a regressive scale. For those public adjusters who claim to be true experts, it is strongly recommended that their credentials be validated to demonstrate those qualifications. Performance skills can vary significantly among public adjusters, from the most basic to the elite experts. A public adjuster who is involved in the early stages of the process, before the fact-finding stage, will have more opportunities to help the policyholder receive a fair settlement for all losses legally covered by the insurance policy. Professional fees must be adequate for public adjusters to cover operating and business costs while providing sufficient business revenue on those costs. Keep in mind that while a public adjuster can help you with the claims process, they cannot provide you with more money than you are entitled to under your insurance policy.
Unlike insurance company adjusters, who don't charge the policyholder anything additional, public appraisers are independent and charge between 10 and 20% of their settlement for their services. The goal of a public appraiser working for a claimant is to have the claimant paid as much as possible. However, at any time during negotiations with the insurance company and even after the insured has received an agreement, a public adjuster can negotiate a larger amount. If no one you know can make a recommendation, ask the public appraiser in question for contact information of some of their previous customers.