Why Hire a Public Adjuster to Manage Your Insurance Claim?
Shock, anxiety, depression, fear–property damage or loss evokes a world of emotions that can be difficult to overcome. That’s not to mention the utter disruption to your livelihood.
Your insurance provider is there to help you, but they are not in the business of handing out money. They know that most property owners don’t have the time, patience or knowledge to scrutinize a settlement. That’s where a public adjuster comes in to handle the legwork for you and ensure that you receive adequate funds to recover from your loss.
The benefits of hiring a public adjuster are:
- Expertise: Insurance comes with a lot of paperwork and fine print. A public adjuster can help you understand how your policy works, and can also guide you through the necessary steps to complete your claim.
- Time: Managing your claim can easily become a full-time job. Your public adjuster will spare you from hours of correspondence, documentation and review, so you can focus on regaining any sense of normalcy possible.
- Pace: The combination of expertise and availability makes a public adjuster more equipped to expedite the claim filing process. Insurance companies speak their own language, and if you don’t understand it, you might find yourself needing two or more attempts to complete each of their requests.
- Representation: Without an expert by your side, your insurer will have no reason to believe that you could and would challenge an unjust settlement. Hire a public adjuster to show that you are serious about your claim, and to assist with next steps if your claim is denied.
- Value: Lastly and most importantly, a public adjuster can recover a sum that truly helps you move forward. A study by the Office of Program and Policy Analysis & Government Accountability in the State of Florida showed that business and homeowner insurance settlements are 747% larger when a public adjuster is involved.
The benefits of hiring a public adjuster really strengthens during a catastrophic event when the insurance companies are handling a high volume of insurance claims within a short time span.
With such a high volume of claims many details are missed and oversights happen with nobody there to catch them. Often, insurance companies aren’t even using their own adjusters to handle the workload. Instead they hire 3rd party companies who then also hire 1099 Cat Adjusters to do the work. A public adjuster ensures you don’t get caught in this trap.
If your property has been damaged or destroyed by a fire, other peril, or catastrophic event, then you may want to consult a public adjuster. You can then assess some of the benefits of hiring a public adjuster first hand.
I don’t go a week without hearing how frustrating it is when a contractor reviews an estimate provided by the insurance company doesn’t come close to paying for full replacement of what a customer lost.
More often than not, the insurance estimate doesn’t include any overhead or profit, either. These inadequacies impair a contractor’s ability to provide what is needed to get the customer back to enjoying life again.
Worse yet, the contractor and customer can’t do much about it. Their hands are essentially tied and the insurance company gets away with inferior assistance.
ONE EXAMPLE I ENCOUNTERED RECENTLY
Just the other day, I had a contractor named John call me, facing this same challenge with his customer. John has been a professional builder for over 20 years and knows his business inside and out. He was referred to a customer looking for a good contractor to work with in repairing their home after an attic fire.
The customer received an insurance estimate for $14,000 to repair the home. Immediately upon review, John knew this wouldn’t be enough to sufficiently complete the job. After having this estimate professionally corrected, it had a $7,000 increase! This sounds great, right? Sadly, it will more than likely be denied or settled at a much lesser payout because neither the contractor nor the customer can hold the insurance company accountable.
John could easily school the insurance adjuster on why their estimation was inferior to his own estimate. But in reality, he can’t do this because he isn’t allowed to represent the customer during an insurance claim settlement. It’s illegal for him to do so. The customer could legally argue for the increase, but unless they can professionally dispute the situation, they will likely be unable to successfully contend for the monetary increase.
Contractors love public adjusters because we can legally represent the customer, effectively contend for the superior estimate and quickly bring accountability to the insurance company.
If you are a contractor and have faced challenges such as that in the example above, the best move you can make is to refer your customer to a trusted public adjuster as quickly as possible. The benefits of hiring a public adjuster will benefit both the contractor and customer. The sooner we gain control of the situation, the more likely we will obtain an optimal and successful outcome.
I have never seen such an amount of proof of the corruption many insurance companies participate in while they “help” their customer through the claim’s process.
I know it might seem hardly believable if you are a good citizen who has been paying premiums on time and to a highly-rated insurance company. However, I guarantee nearly all people felt the same way prior to seeing it with their own eyes. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and feel compelled to openly share my experience in hopes of encouraging you to have your claim reviewed by an experienced public adjuster early on in the process.
As the operating COO of Claim Management Adjusters, one of my main duties has been to craft and launch the estimating service we provide contractors, other public adjusters and nearly anyone busy with insurance claim settlements. To date, I have never been exposed to the inner-workings of more estimates any other time in my professional career.
Here are a few before & after examples:
These examples are taken from homeowner insurance claims I’ve personally witnessed where the insurance adjuster gives the customer an estimate based on their scope of loss, and then upon CMA’s review, a new estimate outlining what the customer is actually owed is presented.
Ex 1: Louisiana Residential Flood Insurance Claim
Original estimate completed by the insurance company: $99,200
Estimate completed by us: $135,200
A difference of $36,000
Ex 2: Indiana Residential Fire Insurance Claim
Estimate completed by the insurance company: $44,000
Estimate completed by us: $89,000
A 200%+ increase the insured can now use for making repairs
Ex 3: Indiana Roof & Exterior Insurance Claim
Estimate completed by the insurance company: $13,800
Estimate completed by us: $22,000
$8,200 missed by the insurance company
I hope this shows you a little of what I see each day. There is no doubt in my mind that every home and business owner who suffers an insurable loss should at least have their insurance claim reviewed by an experienced public adjuster as early in the insurance claim settlement process as possible.
Read more about the benefits of hiring a public adjuster.