When you suffer minor damage to your home or business, you can probably handle the insurance claim process on your own. However, when your damage is substantial, you'll probably find it pays to have a public adjuster on your side.
Unlike the claims adjuster your insurance carrier assigns to your claim, a public adjuster is your exclusive representative and advocate. Our licensed professionals can help you navigate the claims process, evaluate and document the full extent of your loss, and work directly with your insurance carrier to get you the most out of your policy's coverage.
Today, we're sharing five reasons why it's wise to let our experts take the reins, especially during the sensitive and emotional aftermath of a disaster.
Why Hire a Public Adjuster?
When you're faced with a large loss, the claim process is complex, confusing, and can become contentious quickly. Most people discover they need help to achieve a full and fair insurance claim settlement.
While you may not be well-versed in dealing with policies, claims and carriers, public adjusters are property claims experts. That means we’re ready to fight for you to receive every dollar you’re entitled to under the terms of your homeowners insurance policy. We can also help avoid many snags that can delay your recovery process.
You can bring a public adjuster into your claim at any point, from the moment of your loss until after you receive your claim decision. The only exception would be if your statute of limitations has already passed — and even then a public adjuster may be able to help.
Public vs. Independent Insurance Adjusters
When you need to hire your own insurance claims adjuster, an independent adjuster may sound like the person to call. It is not who you need.
Independent insurance adjusters work for (and are loyal to) multiple insurance companies. As such, they are not fully invested in your individual claim or driven to get you the highest settlement. In fact, independent adjusters can be incentivized to minimize the amount that the insurance company owes you.
Public insurance adjusters are the only claims adjusters who work exclusively for you, the policyholder. We level the playing field between you and your carrier. And we don't get paid until you do, so we’re motivated to prioritize your claim and achieve the best outcome possible.
Next, let's review five reasons why a public adjuster is able to negotiate your settlement amount better than if you went at it alone.
1. Expert Communication
When you're faced with an emergency, notifying your insurance carrier or agent about your loss might be the last thing on your mind. However, it's important to do so as quickly as possible: providing prompt notification of damage to your property is a policy requirement.
A public insurance adjuster can take care of this step for you, making immediate notification of your loss. This way, the claims process can begin as quickly and solidly as possible.
From there, a public adjuster relieves you of the burden and risks of communicating with your carrier, makes sure your duties are carried out properly, represents your interests at each stage of your claim, and keeps you well informed and advised throughout the claim process.
2. Thorough Documentation of Your Loss
While you're assessing your property damage and creating your claim, it's easy to miss important items. You or your contractor could overlook them, or you might not even be aware of everything you can include in your claim.
This is especially the case if the loss occurred at your residence. Over time, we all become blind to the things we see regularly, and we forget about the things we store away. A licensed public adjuster is a trained professional who will dig deep into your policy, damages, documents, and estimates to ensure a thorough scope of loss.
By documenting everything that was damaged, then identifying what it would take to return your property to pre-loss condition, a public adjuster calculates a more accurate value for your loss — often considerably higher than the insurance carrier offered.
3. Professional Negotiation
Going up against a big insurance company can feel like you’re living in a proverbial David v. Goliath story. That's why it pays to have a public adjuster on your side. We are experts in buildings, personal property, policy language, and negotiation. And, most importantly, our only loyalty is to you, the policyholder.
Some carriers will look for any opportunity to lower your claim payout. You don't have to fight through the process alone. If you receive a settlement offer or coverage position, and you're dissatisfied or believe it to be an unfair or lowball offer, a public adjuster can step in and work directly with your insurance company to prove your claim and negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf.
4. Advanced Technology
How do insurance companies determine your claim amount? They use estimating software that allows them to input generic data and produce a one-size-fits-all outcome.
A public adjuster has access to the same software, but also uses other tools, research and expertise to produce solid evidence proving the full extent of your loss and the full value of your claim.
5. Policy Knowledge
It's no secret that people who read and understand insurance policies are usually people who work in insurance. Outside of the insurance industry, most people have a hard time deciphering all the legal language, clauses, forms, and paperwork associated with property insurance.
Public adjusters are policy experts. We will read your entire policy to understand every provision, endorsement and exclusion. Then, we will spearhead the claim process, document and prove every detail, and free you to focus on getting your life back to normal.