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David's Family

It was just three weeks after my wife gave birth to our first daughter. An electrical outlet started to smolder in our basement. Within minutes, the entire floor was a lake of fire.

My family and I escaped to safety and called 911. Firefighters arrived soon after and put the fire out. In the time between, we lost our home, our belongings, our treasured mementos, and our sense of security.

Confident my insurance company would step up and take care of us, I called to report the loss. My confidence quickly dissolved.

The insurance adjuster came out, took a look around, and provided a repair estimate of roughly $34,000 to scab new floor joists next to the burnt lumber, and clean the drywall, floors, trim, doors, and other finishes. I was offended that he believed I would accept such a low offer.

At the time, I owned a construction and restoration company, and rebuilt fire- and water-damaged properties all over the Midwest. When I was done with my estimate, I was closer to $140,000 to properly remove and replace the areas damaged by the fire, smoke, and water from the fire department. Once we were in a dispute about the scope of my damages, they tried everything to keep from paying me to properly fix my fire-damaged home.

Knowing my estimate was the right way to fix my house and bring it back to pre-loss condition, I was going to do whatever it would take to achieve a fair settlement for my claim.

The adjuster dug his heels in and doubled his efforts to frustrate me into accepting his low-ball offer. I held firm and spent the next five months fighting my way up the chain of command until I finally convinced someone to listen to reason.

When they realized I wasn’t going to back down, a supervising adjuster stepped in, reviewed my claim, and started making concessions on the scope of the repairs. The final estimate to rebuild my house came in within a few thousand dollars of my original estimate. Finally, I could start putting my family’s life back together.

Negotiating a fair repair estimate was grueling, but it was only half the battle. Getting fully compensated for our personal property and additional living expenses (ALE) was another matter. Long story short, because of my attention to detail and refusal to give up, I settled my claim to replace our belongings and extra incurred expenses for close to another $150,000.

This experience left me as stressed and frustrated as I have ever been — and I had the benefit of some resources. I realized many people would have to surrender and accept what was offered under such circumstances. But I don’t give up, especially when I’m fighting to do the right thing.

After my claim was settled and life started getting back to normal, I met my first public adjuster while working on a project in Chicago. I didn’t know such a profession even existed, but the desire to become a public adjuster myself consumed me faster than our fire consumed our home: I had to spend the rest of my life making sure no one has to go through the insanity I went through, to have to battle and fight just to get what’s rightfully owed.

I made a fast and passionate decision to start my career as a licensed public adjuster. After obtaining all the necessary licenses and credentials, I sold my construction company and opened Miller Public Adjusters.

Today my team and I are proud to make sure anyone who suffers property damage can benefit from professional representation, a level playing field, and maximum compensation for their commercial or homeowners insurance claims.

If you need insight into your property damage insurance claim, I invite you to explore our Miller Public Adjusters website. It’s filled with DIY claims resources, inventory templates, guides to maximize recovery, and stories that highlight what to look out for if you’ve suffered an insured property loss.

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