What Is A Public Insurance Adjuster?
Public insurance adjusters are the only property loss professionals who work on behalf of policyholders. Individuals and businesses hire public insurance adjusters when they need assistance filling a claim or feel a claim amount offered by an insurance company is incorrect.
Claims for flood, fire, smoke, wind and hurricane damage, as well damage due to other perils, can be filed and negotiated by public adjusters. Property losses might also result in other types of losses, such as business income, which public adjusters can evaluate.
What A Public Adjuster Does For You?
Public insurance adjusters are experts in the details and language of insurance policies, as well as filing and adjusting claims. They commonly have prior experience in construction (and other related fields) and use sophisticated software to undergo an independent evaluation of a client’s property loss. Public adjusters aren’t just better equipped than the average policyholder to estimate the costs incurred from a property loss — they know exactly how to log and submit initial and supplemental claims and do this for a policyholder.
The process of evaluating, completing and submitting a claim for a policyholder is remarkably exhaustive. In the table below are item descriptions, quantities and costs pulled from an example of a property insurance claim form. It’s unlikely a policyholder would be able to complete a form accurately with a similar level of detail, especially since every property and claim are different.
|Item Description||Quantity||Unit Cost||Total Cost|
|Replace two coat Plaster Ceiling||165.00 [email protected]||$6.65||$1,097.25|
|Replace two coat over 1/2 Gypsum Plaster Walls||111.00 [email protected]||$8.74||$970.14|
|Replace Batt 4″ R-11 unfaces WallInsulation||206.00 [email protected]||$0.71||$146.26|
|Replace Drywall Walls||328.00 [email protected]||$2.68||$879.04|
|Replace Base board 3 1/4||52.00 [email protected]||$3.84||$199.68|
|Replace Bamboo Engineered Wood Floor||165.00 [email protected]||$10.42||$1,719.30|
|Replace Carpeting||350.00 [email protected]||$3.22||$1,127.00|
|Replace Horizontal Slider Window||2.00 [email protected]||$351.82||$703.64|
|Replace casing around door||[email protected]||$4.51||$76.67|
|Replace two ton air conditioning||1.00 [email protected]||$3,200.00||$3,200.00|
|Replace fan with light||4.00 [email protected]||$329.00||$1,316.00|
|Replace Electric Outlet||9.00 [email protected]||$52.50||$472.50|
|Replace knock down Walls||437.00 [email protected]||$0.53||$231.61|
|Prime Paint Ceiling & Walls||601.00 [email protected]||$0.55||$330.55|
|Paint Ceiling & Walls Textures||601.00 [email protected]||$1.00||$601.00|
They also help clients negotiate with contractors and for fair settlements with their insurer. Contact between adjusters and contractors is usually direct and at the site of a loss. Communication with the policyholder’s insurance company is typically done via mail. Having an adjuster throughout the process not only protects the policyholder from any pitfalls due to inexperience, it is a time-consuming process then labored by the adjuster.
How Much Does A Public Adjuster Cost?
Many public adjusters do not charge a fee to visit the site of a loss and determine whether they will work with a policyholder on a case. However, they do charge a fee for working with a policyholder to file a claim.
Typically, a public adjuster will charge a percentage of whatever a policyholder’s insurance carrier ultimately pays for a claim. For example, say a policyholder hires an adjuster with a 10% fee and their insurance company ultimately pays $100,000 for their claim. The policyholder would then owe the public adjuster $10,000.
The fee percentage varies between adjusters and is usually capped by local state law. For example, in the state of Florida, fees cannot exceed 20% of a reopened or supplemental claim limit. There also is a 10% fee limit for claims resulting from events named a state of emergency by Florida’s governor.
Public Adjusters are not miracle workers. They cannot get you more than what your insurance policy covers. But an experienced Public Adjuster can definitely help maximize your pay out. The Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA), the research arm of the Florida State Legislature, released a report demonstrating insurance claim settlements are substantially increased, on average between 574% – 747%, when the policyholder uses a public adjuster.
If your insurance company representative tells you that hiring a Public Adjuster will either stall, delay or get your claim denied, you are being bullied. She or he knows that once a policy holder hires his or her own insurance claim expert, the scale tips in the homeowner’s favor.
Advocate Claims Public Adjusters has been in business since 2002. Steve Venook, a Florida Certified Public Adjuster and Florida native, has processed thousands of claims. Get an insider’s knowledge and experience to work for you. When hiring your personal claim advocate make sure the public adjuster you are working with is certified, is in good standing with the BBB, and has stellar references and testimonials.