What is a Public Adjuster and How Can They Help You With Your Insurance Claim?

When it comes to filing an insurance claim, it can be a daunting and overwhelming process. It's important to understand the process and the different professionals who can help you. One such professional is a public adjuster. A public adjuster is an independent insurance professional who works on behalf of the policyholder to help them resolve their insurance claim.

Public adjusters are the only property loss professionals who work solely for the policyholder. Individuals and businesses may choose to hire a public adjuster when they need help filing a claim or believe that the claim amount offered by an insurance company is incorrect. A public adjuster will evaluate the damage to your property, help determine the extent of the repairs, and evaluate the replacement value of those repairs. Today, you can hire an authorized public adjuster at a “contingent” (percentage) fee who will handle the processing of your claim and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

It's important to note that a public adjuster works only for policyholders, not for insurers. The policyholder pays them, usually a percentage of the claim amount. A policyholder may decide to hire a public adjuster if they have a potentially significant claim and are concerned that everything is covered. A public adjuster works with policyholders to help them obtain a fair settlement of an insurance company's claim after a loss.

Read your contracts in full and never pay a public adjuster in advance, as their rate will be based on the amount of the settlement. Especially after a major natural disaster, watch out for scammers or people posing as public adjusters. If you have a small, simple insurance claim, it may not be worth paying to use a public adjuster. Many public adjusters don't charge a fee to visit the site of the loss and determine if they will work with the policyholder on a case.

Generally, a public adjuster will charge a percentage of what the policyholder's insurance company ultimately pays for a claim. If these consumers were to calculate the number of hours involved, with the costs applicable to the public adjuster's market rate, it's easy to realize that a 10% fee is very inadequate for smaller claims. The best time to hire a public adjuster is before you file the claim or at the beginning of the grievance process. It's great to know that public adjusters advocate and negotiate on your behalf so you don't have to worry about it on your own. Some public adjusters charge a fixed percentage or fixed fee, while others use a regressive scale. Policyholders should be aware that they are claiming the right amount and hiring a public adjuster can help guarantee this.

Public adjusters are professionals who must have a certain amount of knowledge and training. A public adjuster may be more important if you have a large, complicated claim or if you can't seem to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance company. Knowing what services they provide and how they can help you can make all the difference when it comes to filing an insurance claim.

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