What is a Public Adjuster and What Do They Do?
At some point, it’s likely you will have to file a homeowner’s insurance claim. When you file a claim, the insurance company will send a representative to assess the damage and put together an estimate of your payout depending on what they find. Claim payouts can often be lower than what you were expecting, and it’s at this point that you should strongly consider hiring a Public Adjuster to represent you.
Public adjusters are licensed insurance adjusters that work independently of your insurance company, on your behalf. Policyholders may hire their own public adjuster to represent them during the claims process and ensure that they are getting a fair deal. A public adjuster follows a very similar process to the adjuster sent by your insurance provider – they will examine the damage to your property, determine a proper scope of repairs, and help assess a fair value for the repair or replacement up to the maximums allowed by your policy. You are not obligated to automatically accept the claim payout offered by your insurance provider, if you want a second opinion then a public adjuster can help.
Why Hire a Public Adjuster?
There are a few very good reasons why some people choose to hire a public adjuster to assist them in the claims process.
First, a public adjuster will take a lot of the burden of filing an insurance claim off your shoulders. They will handle organizing all the claim documentation such as receipts, supplemental paperwork, and photos. They will also communicate with your insurance provider on your behalf, freeing up your time and reducing your stress.
Second, a public adjuster will be extremely thorough in assessing your claim, which can be very important when it comes to large or complex claims. It is important to have an expert review your claim to make sure that nothing is being overlooked or undervalued; if you are not sure if your claim payout is fair, hiring a public adjuster will erase any doubts.
Most importantly, a public adjuster works for you, not the insurance company. Many believe that there is an inherent conflict of interest in having a claims adjuster sent by the insurance company determine how much money the insurance company has to pay out, so a public adjuster can help restore balance to the equation. If you want to make sure you are getting every dollar you are entitled to in your policy, hiring a public adjuster is the best way to achieve your goal.
Common Public Adjuster Claims
Public adjusters handle many types of insurance claims, but these are some of the most common losses that policyholders face:
- Wind and Hail Damage
- Fire and Smoke Damage
- Drain Lines and Water Damage
- Roofing Damage Claims
- Commercial Claims
- HOA/Association Claims
- Multifamily Insurance Claims
- COVID-19 Claims
That being said, public adjusters are insurance experts with a broad range of expertise, so if your claim type is not on this list or you are unsure about how to proceed with your claim, it is still a good idea to reach out – an experienced public adjuster has likely handled similar situations and can help you.
What Outcomes You Can Expect
Every case is different, of course, but hiring a public adjuster to handle your claim can generally help in most of these specific areas:
- Less stress
- Less paperwork handling
- Thorough claim review
- Personalized help with the claims process from an expert
- Higher payout