Public Adjusters

When exactly do you need to hire a public adjuster? This question pops up when you first hear about them. Suppose you have experienced major damage like fire or smoke damage or damage due to natural disasters like a windstorm. In that case, you might need a professional to help you recover. There is a large variety of public adjusters with different experience levels, handling different types of cases, and have distinct experiences with insurance carriers.

When and how do I choose a public adjuster?
When filtering for public adjusters, it is very crucial to look for someone who has experience in solving a case like yours. Also, you should feel like you can trust him or her with your case. The thing to keep in mind is that as a client, you have greater authority over who to choose, so do not be persuaded by their luring tactics because trust serves as a key to better communication, which undoubtedly allows the adjuster to present your case in a more satisfying order.

Just for your convenience, keep in mind the following criteria, when thinking of hiring a public adjuster:

- Do not go for the first one that approaches you and offers support because this does not correlate with their abilities to serve you in your case.
- An experienced adjuster is more likely to efficiently handle your case, so make sure he belongs to groups like NAPIA, WIND, and UPA. Being a member of the groups ensures that adjusters follow the ethical standards and also have online directories of these members.
- Every country has laws regarding adjusters. For example, in Florida, adjusters must not contact you until 2 days from the time you have suffered a loss. You, on the other hand, do not have any sort of restriction on when you can contact an adjuster. Moreover, no public adjuster should make commitments about your loss without reading and examining your insurance policies and the loss you suffered. Public adjusters are more like doctors. Both try to heal you from your suffering, and in both cases, they cannot treat you without taking the first look. They meet you, see your loss, review records before they can give a plan for a full recovery.
- Licensing is crucial when it comes to public adjusters because it ensures they are recognized by the government. For example, contractors or restoration companies offering you help as a public contractor to negotiate with insurance companies is considered a 3rd-degree crime in Florida. Visit your State’s Division of License Search to confirm that the public adjuster is licensed. A public adjuster cannot have a financial interest in your loss except for their approved contract fee.
- The best way to find out about the experience of a public adjuster in handling claims is through your community. If a public adjuster gives you any reference regarding his credibility, verify it by asking for or calling the references provided. Ask for referrals to clients who dealt with similar claims. An important thing to notice is how often your public adjuster deals with insurance companies because the relations of your adjuster with insurance companies can boost up the effect of your claim. Your community serves as the best source to find out about the adjuster’s experience and reputation.
- Around the world, people prefer products offered by brands rather than a cheap knock off of the same product. Similarly, be careful of local contractions or companies that offer you help heal your loss and file your claim. Usually, such shady people will abuse you financially by putting less cost on the fix and keeping the rest in their pockets. They will make you sign over your settlement check to them. In some disastrous situations where the bills run-up to an overwhelming height, your insurance company refuses to pay those bills because the policyholder was the only one who signed the work authorization without considering the insurance company’s permission.
In some cases, unlicensed contractors are posing as public adjusters and offering estimates against the law, which can get you in trouble. All we can recommend is that you complete your research over the hiring of adjuster before accepting, always take control of your settlement check, and keep the estimates and repairs separately. Moreover, read and understand the form about what you are getting into before finalizing the contract.
- The pricing of a public adjuster is in the form of a small percentage in return for handling your claim. The cost is directly proportional to the type, size, and complexity of your loss. Smaller losses tend to include a higher percentage because the adjuster needs to look over time commitment. It does not matter if the case is small or big; the amount of effort remains the same. Adjusters with good reputations tend to charge anywhere between 5% to 20%.
Anything less than that indicates a red flag that either the adjuster will not put enough effort into the claim or would not give proper time, or you do not need a public adjuster at all for your specific claim. Also, be vigilant that in case of an emergency declared by an authorized government agency, the adjusters charge you the percentage that lies in the limits given by the state.
- Do not be pressurized by a public adjuster who wants you to sign a contract on the go. Do not sign anything unless you have done the research on your part and have read it clearly with proper understanding. Do not fall into traps of self-proclaimed adjusters because insurance companies like to work with adjusters who are reputable and ethically recognized. It makes it easier to get your claim settled faster, making the process simpler and more comfortable for you as well.
In conclusion, having a professional public adjuster handle your claim can be worth it, leading to you getting your claim successfully. Your insurance companies will have their representatives and adjusters working for them as well, so be sure to look for them first.

What is the role of the public adjuster?
Making the call
After a disaster strikes you and a state of emergency is upon you, it is very hard to focus on exactly what you lost in the situation because your brain is not in the right position. Trying to communicate in this state could cause a misunderstanding between you and your insurance company, which might end up in an unfair and inaccurate settlement. This is the moment when a public adjuster comes in handy. The purpose of public adjusters is to act as a link between you and the insurance company to ensure that you receive a fair and accurate settlement from your insurance company. You might not be an expert at understanding the policies offered by insurance companies. However, you still sign up for insurance to be on the safe side, so the public adjuster also acts in translating the policies, so you know exactly what you will be getting by filing a claim.
Stepping up to bat
Once you have decided to call a public adjuster, either right after a loss or when things get complicated during settlement, they will begin the process of advocating on your behalf. As soon as the adjuster arrives on site, they start collecting necessary information.
After the arrival of the public adjuster at the area of action, he or she will immediately start gathering the information necessary for that particular project.
It is quite challenging to make any change in the information initially provided or add any list of damages, once in the hands of the insurance company by the claimant. The adjusters know what questions to ask, what measurements to take, and how to help the insured – which can even include arranging a housing if yours caught fire or lost in other disasters.
Getting along in the industry
The public adjuster must make sure that all the points are covered, and they know how to speak the language of the industry. They make sure that no aspect is overlooked, and this alone increases the chances of the claimant to receive the maximum price that is due.
A matter of security
It is to be noted that not every insurance claim needs handling by a public adjuster. As a rule of thumb, the public adjusters do not take money from the claimant’s pocket; rather, they are paid out based on the final settlement. It is advisable to use public adjusters for the large-scale claims, not for minor storm damage.
The public adjuster who you hire to represent before the insurer is equally valuable as the decision to hire him or her. Therefore, anyone who will negotiate on your behalf should be licensed. Other inquiries to make to know the company’s track record in the industry are:
- What type of damages have they previously handled?
- What residentials have they assisted in your area?
- How many projects they currently have their hands on?
Insurance policies are made to make an emergency return to normal. The public insurance adjusters help by making the process convenient and tension-free.

What is the cost of hiring a public adjuster?
Each state of the US has a particular fee set for the public adjusters. You can check what the service charges of the public adjusters in your state and area are.

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