Public Adjuster: You are the only Adjuster specifically authorized by the State of Florida to represent you, the Insured. The primary responsibility of the Public Appraiser is to protect you and your interests in claims against a loss to the Insurance Company. Florida allows claims adjusters to become licensed public appraisers. In theory, these people act as agents for the insured.
They negotiate on your behalf in exchange for a fee or a percentage of the recovery. As a general rule, it is much more advisable for policyholders to seek the advice of a lawyer. Experienced attorneys understand legal challenges, when bad faith lawsuits can be filed, how to better document and value damages, and court proceedings. An insurance adjuster is someone who helps process and investigate insurance claims.
Appraisers determine if a claim is covered by the claimant's policy and work to reach a settlement with the claim. Many insurance adjusters work for the insurance companies that write policies. Public appraisers are a specific type of insurance adjusters who work for insured parties rather than for insurance companies. You must keep this appointment for at least six continuous months before applying for a public appraiser's license for 3 to 20 years.
To be eligible for a Florida public appraiser license, you must be at least 18 years old, a resident of Florida (or maintain a principal place of business in Florida), and be a United States citizen or legal alien holding a work authorization from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services. Public insurance adjusters were created by their respective states to help level the playing field with the insurance company and provide the policyholder with an expert advocate. The Florida Department of Financial Services licenses and recognizes Florida's public appraisers to help Floridians with their damage insurance claims.
Florida has experienced continuous growth in the number of public adjusters due to the increase in natural disasters, such as Hurricane Michael. Nation Claim Services is a respected public adjustment firm that provides professional insurance claim representation to homeowners and business owners. Average claims data shows that policyholders who hired a public adjuster for non-catastrophic claims received 57.4% more money than those who didn't hire a PA. We see some policyholders getting confused about whether they should hire a lawyer or a public adjuster to handle their claim.
An insured or claimant may cancel a contract with a public appraiser within three business days after its execution without penalty. Unlike public appraisers, independent appraisers represent an insurance company and will not work for a private client. In addition, a public appraiser is very beneficial because numerous law and ordinance issues arise in these insurance claims. Florida and many states require public insurance adjusters to be licensed by the state government.
These are the basic elements of the work of the public appraiser, but some of the most important aspects of the profession are determined by those for whom the adjuster works. The Florida Department of Financial Services requires that public appraisers meet several requirements before obtaining a license. The other major public appraiser's license in Florida is called the 6- to 20-line insurance adjuster license. This licensing requirement ensures that all individuals who offer their services as public appraisers have a basic level of competence in their field and that they comply with all relevant laws and professional standards.