No. Their services are exclusively available to policyholders, not to insurance company. They are fully and properly licensed to represent first-party property policyholders.
They will advise and assist you in the preparation of building (home or commercial) damage assessment reports, estimates, personal and/or business inventories, and all other factual documentation of your loss. They will handle all the necessary details to compile, file, and negotiate your claim, as required by your policy terms, conditions, and provisions. They will also meet and confer with the insurance company representatives; and handle all negotiations (but always subject to your approval) which are essential to the proper, satisfactory, legitimate and equitable adjustment of your claim... on your behalf.
The insurance company claim representative, independent adjuster or staff/general adjuster is employed exclusively by the insurance company; and that is where his loyalties and legal obligations rest. He must totally represent and protect the interests of his employer. Public Insurance Adjusters work exclusively for your best interests.
Do you really know what is rightfully due you? Are you experienced with prior major property claims? Public Adjusters absolutely are! They are your exclusive representatives, and your first line of defense against delay, denial, under-payment, missed coverage payments, etc. With their experience and knowledge, they are far more capable of bringing about a favorable, satisfactory, and equitable adjustment for you.
Well, in the first place, they only represent the insurance company that employs them to sell and administer that company's policy, for them... not for you. An agent or broker is hired and trained to sell the insurance programs and policies that their employer has available for this geographical area. They are not trained or licensed to represent you, in adjusting major property claims and losses, and never may represent your interests in a property claim. You can't expect your insurance company's agent, who is not paid, licensed, or trained to adjust losses, and who does not ever represent your insurance interests, to be your advocate, to try and "adjust" a serioius property claim... especially for your benefit... against his employer's financial interest. They simply are not allowed to provide that kind of assistance (for the benefit of policyholders) by their employer. Public adjusters are the only experts prepared, licensed, and educated to render the highly specialized service to policyholders, of property insurance adjusting.
No! It stands to reason that professional Public Insurance Adjusters, who are experienced in professionally preparing and negotiating property claims every day, can do it more competently and efficiently than the policyholder, who may only have one or two losses in a lifetime.
To properly adjust an insurance claim to your legitimate and maximum economic benefit, such highly skilled professional insurance experts bring a vast knowledge of insurance policies, definitions and interpretations, "actual cash value" and "replacement cost value" coverage knowledge, coinsurance, depreciation, inventories, building damage assessments, repair and replacement costs, and negotiation skills, all of which are necessary to secure the maximum recovery payments from your insurance policy. Only an experienced professional Public Insurance Adjuster or Public Insurance Adjusting firm has these qualifications.
The typical insurance policy contains many provisions which require knowledge of their prior interpretation, duties that policyholders must fulfill in the event of a loss, and time frames... all of which require a complete knowledge of many different and varying policies, their very complex details, and technical language about complicated procedures and requirements that you must adhere to, in the event of a loss. Many people do not know or understand these policy (contract) provisions; and so do not realize that the burden of proof is on them, the policyholders. In fact, most insurance company representatives actually prefer to work with a professional Public Insurance Adjuster rather than an inexperienced, and often emotional, policyholder.
A professional Public Insurance Adjuster not only has your confidence, but the insurance company adjuster's as well, because they recognize that they are working with a professional. Professional Public Insurance Adjusters are well trained in what to look for in an insurance policy; and fully understands the procedures necessary in preparing, presenting, and negotiating a property claim in accordance with all of the policy terms, requirements and conditions.
They assist you with every phase of preparing, presenting, and negotiating your covered claims, as well as accomplishing an adjustment for you, and subject to your approval, which is most equitable to you, It includes everything to which you are entitled to under your insurance policy, to the fullest extent possible.
They take a physical inventory of your damage with your assistance, prepare the estimate of damages to your building, and also obtain and prepare other pertinent and necessary documentation to determine the legitimate amount of your personal property, loss of rents, business interruption or additional living expenses claims. They make certain that all provisions and conditions in your insurance policy are properly fulfilled and complied with, so that you do not lose or forfeit any rights or possible economic recovery. This often involves numerous steps of which you may know little or nothing about; but these same steps can make a very significant impact on the outcome of the amount for your total settlement.
Yes and No. You know that you will recover some money for your losses without the need to hire anyone: a Public Insurance Adjuster, attorney or general contractor to get that money. You may logically choose to get the major payments that you can achieve first; and then retain a Public Insurance Adjuster to recover what you either couldn't get, or didn't know was due or even existent for your full recovery.
However, you also must realize that the insurance company's representative makes a dollar evaluation of your loss when they first inspect it. This is called a "reserve" and is an absolute requirement in most states by that State's Insurance Department. The adjuster bases the "reserve" solely upon his initial inspection, your first-hand knowledge (communicated to them) of your losses, and additional information you may possibly remember to tell him, either then or later. He is hired and paid by the insurance company; so his interest is how to best protect his employer. Unless some agreements are made initially regarding the scope of loss, and what is to be done next (such as temporary repairs, temporary business or living quarters, your replacement options, extra expense options, additional living expenses or "fair rental value", cleaners, etc.), serious problems could arise that may jeopardize the final settlement payment.
To avoid misunderstandings, long delays, and reduced settlement payments, it may be wise to hire a professional Public Insurance Adjuster to deal with these possible problems before they occur, requiring a lot of time, effort, and often a lot of money. They will also help eliminate the possibility of "forgotten items" that may have been overlooked by you. A Public Insurance Adjuster may be hired immediately to protect your interests in property claims, much like you would probably immediately hire an attorney after being involved in other types of claims, such as an automobile or personal injury accident
But definitely, the choice is your's and your's alone. Please seriously consider what you personally feel will be in your best interests.
Insurance companies are not required to negotiate with contractors... it is just that simple. Building contractors do not have experience in interpreting insurance policies and how they apply to a loss. They are not knowledgeable in calculating depreciation, coinsurance, "actual cash value" and "replacement cost value" provisions of the policy, and other elements of your loss. Further, a contractor is competitive with his bid, attempting to provide his lowest bid and often minimal new materials in order to be hired for the job, thereby probably reducing your maximum and legitimate financial recovery, perhaps significantly.
Hidden heat, smoke damage, and water damage could cause you problems, long after you finalize your loss. These items and many more, are usually overlooked because many contractors who are unfamiliar with the methods of preparing a detailed estimate in a precise computerized format which the insurance company recognizes and most often requires. In addition, a contractor can't handle your contents inventories, or prepare your additional living expense or business interruption claims.
Profesional Public Insurance Adjusters engage the services of skilled, knowledgeable, experienced engineers, builders, inventory evaluators, sometimes even architects and/or loss experts to prepare highly detailed estimates of all aspects of your losses. The building estimate needs to be in a computerized form and content familiar to insurance company experts, and is done in conjunction with examinations by both the company's representatives and your Public Insurance Adjuster's experts. Every item of reconstruction is accounted for and detailed. The estimate specifically details all aspects of damage repairs necessary to pay the full amount necessary to allow you to restore the building to its original condition or evaluate it as to its current value. And then you need to consider your replacement options... rebuild your home or business building where the loss occurred or elsewhere, replace it with another structure in another location or State, etc.
They know exactly what is necessary to provide to the insurance company in order to expedite the fair settlement of your claim. A great deal of time can be saved by having a truly professional Public Insurance Adjuster manage your loss settlement process.
Inspections are done, estimates are prepared, inventories completed, and time elements losses are implemented timely. Accumulation of evidence and substantiation begins without delay. With your cooperation, they will quickly have your claim presented, negotiated, and the settlement process under way, all only with your approval.
They either charge a small percentage of what the insured received in there overall settlement if retained early on; or a larger fee if you recover all that you are able to get, and then retain them... to recover what you were unable to obtain or did not even know was available to you. They don't receive any fee until the insurance company issues payments after they are hired. So, it is to their benefit to get the maximum settlement possible for you, and in as little time as possible. They also guarantee that the benefits gained from engaging their services will more than compensate the cost of their fee, at the very least. Fees are usually "contingent" and similar to how attorneys and realtors charge their fees.
In a situation where additional information is required, they will work cooperatively with your accountant on these matters. They will also provide all documentation that we have obtained, located, and prepared, in order to help and guide your CPA or attorney complete any income tax losses you may utilize as a result of your claim. They have worked in cooperation with many of these professionals; and have been of great value to them in producing the required information needed to provide you with a detailed loss picture. There are no charges for providing this information. However, their fees do not cover charges to you for any accounting, legal services, and experts.
- Complete a precisely detailed estimate of what is required to repair or rebuild your premises.
- Assist in the preparation of inventories on your damaged personal or business property, contents, and related items. With your help in providing correct documentation, and determining ages and descriptions, a professional Public Insurance Adjuster can evaluate and determine the approximate current values.
- Prepare your time element losses, such as business interruption, loss of rents, or additional living expenses.
- Establish a professional line of communications with the insurer's representative.
- Present estimates, inventories, and other valuations to the insurer's representative.
- Meet with the insurance company and their representatives, to negotiate and adjust your claim fairly and equitably to you, thus resulting in an equitable and acceptable settlement to you.