A public adjuster is an independent professional who works for you, the property owner, to help you prepare, file and settle your insurance claim. They are not employed by any insurance company, nor are they a public employee or work on behalf of the State of Illinois, the Department of Insurance, or any other public agency. Under Illinois law, you have certain rights and protections that a public adjuster can help you take advantage of. Public adjusters can negotiate, estimate and resolve insurance claims after a fire or flood, but they may not practice law.
The state of Illinois has enacted laws that must be followed for the protection of the landlord. Unfortunately, some public adjustment companies have violated these laws in the past and have been accused of committing crimes. When you hire a public adjuster, you authorize them to resolve your claim on your behalf. They provide services similar to those of staff and independent adjusters, such as taking an inventory of destroyed property, meeting with insurance company adjusters, inspectors and contractors, and negotiating a settlement offer.
Public adjusters typically focus on claims involving significant home or business losses. President and founder of the Illinois REIA Company, adjusters are paid by the hour or salary. They don't get a bonus for scamming you - their check doesn't change until their next salary review. Do they get the best increase for overpaying claims? Independent adjusters bill hourly, mileage and expenses, but they don't get a bonus for the stress and savings they generate. If they overpay the claims, the insurance company can hire another independent adjustment company. Once you hire a public adjuster (P.
A.), the insurance company is supposed to take care of them and leave you alone. However, there are “Pete's” in this world who will try to get you to cancel your P. A., which can last 3 to 10 days depending on the state. To become a public adjuster in Illinois, one must pass an exam, obtain a license, and be on bond.
Some states now require P. A.'s to also pursue continuing education - in Illinois, this requirement is 24 hours every 2 years and must include 3 hours of ethical classroom instruction. Many states don't allow a P. A. to request business between dusk and dawn - this is interesting because it seems that large losses always occur in the middle of the night! Public adjusters represent those insured for property damage involving damage to real property or personal property - they do not represent victims of car accidents in liability lawsuits as that would border on the practice of law. A public insurance adjuster charges a percentage of the settlement of the claim - the average is 10%, but there are variations.
In fact, during Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana required a published fee schedule and does not allow a P. A. The following article will cover the insurance evaluation process and what it means for you. Harris Claims Services' public adjusters want you to understand and know your options and rights when faced with significant property damage in Illinois - it's in your best interest to hire a licensed public adjuster to defend you and make sure you recover all your losses. These claims require a licensed public adjustment team including a forensic accountant to ensure a fair and equitable settlement that covers lost revenues and additional expenses during the disaster recovery process. The guidelines under which public adjusters must behave are set out in the Illinois Statue and administrative code of the Illinois insurance department - public adjusters in Illinois must obtain bonds to ensure that they are responsible for their professional conduct.
Compliance with Section 1501 of the Illinois Insurance Code and Administrative Rule 3118 is required before one can conduct business as a public adjuster in Illinois - your license will not be issued until the required background check has been completed and you have paid the required fee. Violations of public adjuster rules should be immediately referred to the Illinois Department of Insurance - this was done to ensure that those operating companies had the skills, knowledge and passed background checks by the Illinois Department of Insurance before they could act as a public adjustment company. Before working as a public adjuster in Illinois, one must have a license from the Department of Insurance - contracts must be submitted for approval before entering into one with an insured person and cannot be done until approved. The magnitude and circumstances of the loss, details of your situation, personal preferences and fees are all factors to consider when hiring a public adjuster.