6 Reasons Why You Should Involve A Public Adjuster In Your Insurance Claim
Unfortunately, the worst has happened and you’re now at crossroads – whether to work with a public adjuster or an independent adjuster when filing for an insurance claim. You might think an independent adjuster is the right way to go because of the term “independent” but insurance jargon can be confusing.
Remember, insurance adjusters work for your insurance company, public adjusters work for you. if that isn’t enough, here are 6 more reasons why you should involve a public adjuster in your insurance claim.
1. Public Adjusters Represent Your Rights
Perhaps the most important point, unlike an independent adjuster, a public adjuster is hired directly by the policyholder and works to adjust the insurance claim in your favor.
Moreover, independent adjusters are contractually obliged to ensure the lowest insurance payout legally possibly. On the other hand, public adjusters will work to review and analyze case facts and policy detail to ensure the maximum payout.
2. Public Adjusters Can Increase Insurance Payout
It’s not just that public adjusters try to increase insurance payout, more often than not, the insurance payout is increased significantly when hiring a public adjuster.
In fact, a recent report by The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) found that homeowners saw an average increase of 747% in their homeowner’s insurance payout. Furthermore, in 2005, homeowners who filed for an insurance claim on their own received just $2,029 in payout on average, compared to $17,187 for those who hired a public adjuster.
3. Public Adjusters Will Help With Paperwork
Licensed public adjusters will do everything necessary to get the maximum insurance payout. This means that they will even submit necessary documents on behalf of the policyholder in time, to get the claim process started.
On top of this, public adjusters will even attend depositions with you or on your behalf.
4. Public Adjusters’ Fees Is Based On Your Payout
While independent adjusters are provided to you by the insurance company and are also paid for by the insurance company, public adjusters’ fees have to be paid out of pocket.
But before you start working with an independent adjuster, understand that the typical compensation arrangement is commission based. This means that public adjusters only take a small percentage out of the total insurance payout. Generally, public adjusters’ fee is equal to about 10% of the total insurance payout and as evident from the OPPAGA report, good public adjusters can help you make a lot more than what you pay them.
This compensation system also acts as another incentive for public adjusters to get the highest amount legally possible from an insurance claim.
5. You Are Still In Complete Control
Since it’s important to sign contracts when working with public adjusters and they handle many of your insurance documents, you might feel like your hands are a bit tied at times. But don’t worry. The policyholder is always in charge.
In fact, public adjusters cannot go ahead and make a final settlement with your insurance company with your approval.
On top of this, it’s mandatory for public adjusters to hold public insurance licenses in 44 states and the District of Columbia – that should give you even more peace of mind about their conduct.
6. You Can End The Contract Whenever You Want
Most contract agreements with public adjusters will have limitations. In some cases, the contract can limit or even completely cut off your communication with your insurance company and insurance agents. Though it’s nothing to worry about (because again, the public adjuster is working for you and they have incentives to get you the maximum payout), you can still end the contract whenever you want.
You are not obliged to carry out the entire process with the public adjuster if you do not want to.
There are even more reasons, albeit smaller reasons, that make public adjusters more appealing than their counterparts. The key takeaway here is that policyholders are likely (basically guaranteed) to benefit significantly more by involving a public adjuster instead of an independent adjuster in their insurance claim.
Water and Fire Damage
You are most likely to need a public adjuster if your home is damaged by a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, or storm. Each of these disasters can cause widespread property damage and it is very important for your insurance claim to accurately document the damage. A disaster restoration professional will work with insurance agents and public adjusters to determine the extent of the damage and the scope of restoration that needs to be done to repair the damage. Working with a public adjuster that understands the water damage and fire damage restoration process will ensure fair and accurate water and fire insurance claims.