When you own a property, at some point in time, you will most likely have to deal with repairs. That’s just how it goes. Not only due to severe weather conditions but also because of the wear and tear that accumulates over time.
We all know how expensive it can be to make home repairs; sometimes, even ones that seem easy can cost thousands of dollars. That’s where the importance of knowing when and how to contact a public adjuster can make a huge difference. In most cases, contacting a public adjuster will help you pay for repairs with funds that either come directly from your insurance company or it will help you recover the money you already spent on fixing your home when you have covered damages. For example, many homeowners pay out of pocket for hurricane repairs to avoid waiting for the insurance funds. A public adjuster will help ensure all the funds owed are recovered quickly from the insurance company.
This article aims to help you learn when you need a public adjuster, how one can help you, and how much you have to pay for one. By the end of it, you will hopefully gain enough knowledge so that the next time you have to deal with insurance companies, you’re well prepared.
What Do Public Adjusters Do?
Public adjusters are appointed by a state’s Department of Financial Services. Their main goal is to help a property owner handle an insurance claim, so public adjusters offer free inspections and policy reviews. They only receive money for what they do when funds are recovered, and they receive an agreed-upon contingency percentage.
Knowing that, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a public adjuster the next time you need to do repairs to your home – the insurance policy review and the inspections are free of charge, so you have nothing to lose. Especially if you live in a state like Florida, where weather disasters often happen. Knowing when to contact a public adjuster and working with one will help you save thousands of dollars while keeping your home in the best possible condition.
What Should You Expect From a Public Adjuster?
Public adjusters are experts in insurance claims, so they can point out the money you’re entitled to according to your policy and the damage you’ve suffered. Often those claims might be something you didn’t even know you had a right to – after all, you may not be an expert in the field, and it’s normal not to know all the fine details.
Along with that, a good public adjuster will keep working on the claim, even when you’re already feeling helpless and exhausted by the bureaucracy of it all. The adjuster will handle all of the tiring conversations with the insurance company and will fight for you to get the maximum amount of money possible. In some cases, even for small claims, an experienced public adjuster may be able to find the fine language in your contract that can result in your getting paid thousands of dollars more for your claim.
When Do You Need to Contact a Public Adjuster?
Now that you know what public adjusters do, it’s time to discuss when to contact one. Below, we will give you four signs that it’s time to find yourself a public adjuster.
- If You Have to Document, File and Prove a Claim
When you have to file a large claim with many complicating factors, a public adjuster is just the kind of person you need to help you out and be on your side. In most cases, your insurance company will involve an adjuster for your claim. This professional is employed or, in many cases, contracted by the insurance company, and will handle the claim with their best interest in mind, not yours. Generally, insurance companies have teams of people who understand everything about your policy, its ins and outs, what it covers and what it doesn’t, and they’re always looking out for their bottom line. If you don’t have someone on your side to help, you might find yourself losing the battle before it ever starts.
Along with that, claims can be challenging to navigate. For example, if a fire affects your home, do you know how you need to prove the damages caused or how you can get any reimbursement for damages? In most cases, people have no way of knowing what they need to do to get the best possible recovery for damaged belongings or repairs they have to make. If you fall into that kind of situation, the first thing to do is to find a public adjuster.
- If You Don’t Understand the Coverage or the Language in an Insurance Policy
For people with no experience in handling insurance claims, the language and details of insurance claims can be highly challenging to understand. There are typically a variety of complex processes, clauses, legal terms, provisions, and issues that need to be addressed for your settlement to be the best possible. That’s where public adjusters, with their knowledge and experience, can be extremely useful.
Reading and understanding terms such as Business Interruption Coverage, Period of Restoration, Actual Cash Value, or Replacement Costs are ones you’re expected to understand when settling a claim. Along with that, you also need to know how your insurance company develops the valuation. That will likely be impossible, especially if it’s the first claim you’re filing. If you ever find yourself reading all you need to prepare to file a claim and not understanding half of the document, that’s your sign to get a public adjuster.
- If You Lack Free Time to Deal With Insurance Companies
Filing claims is a long, exhausting, and, more often than not, annoying process. If you own a business or have a demanding job with many responsibilities, finding the time to handle insurance claims is likely highly challenging. Along with that, as a homeowner, you not only have to deal with your claim but also with repairing your home. This could involve hiring people to make repairs, financing those activities, and making sure they’re done the way you want them to be done. Typically after such a disaster, you are also emotionally exhausted. The last thing you want to be doing is handling insurance claims.
Unfortunately, if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket, you need to prove what the insurance company owes you. In such scenarios, the help of a public adjuster is a massive asset, as they will
- Evaluate the insurance policy and come up with the best possible strategy for presenting your claim to the insurance company.
- Document and describe in detail every part of your damaged property.
- Negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.
- Keep you up-to-date with the status of your claim and what end result you can expect.
- Work to settle the claim for the maximum amount of money.
- If The Insurance Company is Not Responding Properly
As we already mentioned, an insurance claim is a long, exhausting process (in most cases). Sometimes, you might start to feel neglected by your insurance company. (For example, when they’re not answering your calls or responding to your e-mails). Once that kind of situation occurs, it’s a sign that you need to talk with a public adjuster.
Once you get a public adjuster on your side, it will be his job to talk directly with the insurance company and to serve as your representative during negotiations. That way, you can avoid wasting time and energy on endless calls and conversations with your insurer. That said, the final settlement decision remains in your hands – a public adjuster must have your authority to accept or reject any offer. As the person who owns the insurance policy, all the decisions remain in your control. The public adjuster’s job is to get you the best possible offer and to give you answers to all the questions you might have.
Additionally, an experienced public adjuster will ensure that your claim includes all the expenses you had to handle as a result of damage inflicted on your property. That can consist of loss of business income, the cost of paying for temporary locations, or any additional living expenses you had to cover.
Whether your claim is residential or commercial, having professional help will make the process a lot easier and less stressful for you. It also gives you the best possible chance to get your money back, which is crucial for any property owner who has spent time, effort, and money on building a perfect home or business.
Hiring a public adjuster is not difficult. There is no upfront cost since public adjusters get paid a percentage based only on what they’re able to obtain for you from the insurance company. In this article, we gave you four examples of when you should reach out to a public adjuster and why it’s the key to getting the maximum benefit from your insurance policy. If you aren’t sure if you need a public adjuster, give us a call to discuss your situation so we can give you a free no-obligation inspection along with a free policy review.