Updated: Jul 6
If you've experienced property damage or loss covered by your insurance policy, navigating the claims process can be overwhelming and time-consuming. To ensure you receive a fair and maximum settlement, hiring a public adjuster can make a significant difference.
In this article, we'll explore the benefits of hiring a public adjuster, how to find one near you, and important factors to consider when choosing the right professional to handle your insurance claim.
Table of Content
The Role of Public Adjusters in the Insurance Claims Process
Public adjusters are licensed professionals who work exclusively on behalf of policyholders.
Their primary focus is to protect the rights and interests of the insured individual during the insurance claims process.
They have in-depth knowledge of insurance policies, coverage, and the claim process.
They understand the intricate details of policy language and can interpret it to the advantage of the policyholder.
Public adjusters also handle the administrative aspects of the claims process, including paperwork, communication with the insurance company, and meeting deadlines.
Differences Between a Public Adjuster and a Lawyer in Insurance Claims
When dealing with insurance claims, policyholders often encounter complex situations where they may require professional assistance.
Two common options are hiring a public adjuster or a lawyer to help navigate the claims process.
While both professionals can provide valuable support, there are distinct differences between them.
Let’s explore the variances between a public adjuster and a lawyer, highlighting their roles, expertise, and how they can assist policyholders in insurance claims.
Public Adjusters: Advocates for Policyholders
Public adjusters are licensed professionals who work exclusively on behalf of policyholders. Their primary focus is to protect the rights and interests of the insured individual during the insurance claims process. Here are some key points to understand about public adjusters:
Insurance Claims Expertise: Public adjusters have in-depth knowledge of insurance policies, coverage, and the claim process. They understand the intricate details of policy language and can interpret it to the advantage of the policyholder.
Claims Assessment and Documentation: Public adjusters thoroughly evaluate and document the extent of the loss or damage to ensure an accurate assessment. They gather evidence, estimate the value of the claim, and prepare a comprehensive report to support the policyholder's case.
Negotiation with Insurance Companies: Public adjusters act as advocates for policyholders during claim negotiations. They engage in discussions with the insurance company, leveraging their expertise to secure a fair and maximum settlement. Their goal is to ensure the policyholder receives the compensation they deserve.
Claims Process Management: Public adjusters handle the administrative aspects of the claims process, including paperwork, communication with the insurance company, and meeting deadlines. They alleviate the burden on the policyholder, allowing them to focus on other priorities.
Contingency-Based Fees: Public adjusters typically work on a contingency basis, meaning their fee is a percentage of the final settlement. This fee structure aligns their interests with those of the policyholder, as they only get paid if the claim is successful.
Lawyers: Legal Representation and Expertise
Lawyers specializing in insurance claims can provide legal representation and advice to policyholders. Here's what distinguishes lawyers in insurance claims:
Legal Expertise and Advice: Lawyers possess comprehensive knowledge of insurance laws and regulations. They can provide legal guidance, assess the policyholder's rights, and advise on the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of the claim.
Dispute Resolution and Litigation: Lawyers can represent policyholders in legal disputes with insurance companies. If a claim is denied, undervalued, or there are issues with the insurer's practices, lawyers can take legal action on behalf of the policyholder, including filing lawsuits if necessary.
Legal Documentation and Communication: Lawyers are skilled in preparing legal documents, such as demand letters, legal notices, and formal communications to the insurance company. They ensure that all correspondence is accurate, legally sound, and serves the best interests of the policyholder.
Legal Fees and Structure: Lawyers charge fees for their services, typically based on an hourly rate or a fixed fee arrangement. It's important for policyholders to discuss and clarify the fee structure with their chosen lawyer before proceeding.
Choosing Between a Public Adjuster and a Lawyer
Deciding whether to hire a public adjuster or a lawyer depends on the specific needs and circumstances of the insurance claim. Here are some factors to consider:
Complexity of the Claim: For straightforward claims that do not involve legal complexities or disputes, a public adjuster can be the ideal choice. They can efficiently navigate the claims process, negotiate with the insurance company, and maximize the settlement.
Legal Issues and Disputes: If there are legal complexities,such as claim denials, coverage disputes, or bad faith practices by the insurance company, it may be advisable to consult with a lawyer specializing in insurance claims. Lawyers can provide legal representation, file lawsuits if necessary, and navigate the intricacies of the legal system.
Severity and Value of the Claim: In cases where the loss or damage is substantial, involving high-value assets or significant financial impact, the expertise of both a public adjuster and a lawyer may be beneficial. They can work together to ensure a comprehensive approach to the claim and maximize the settlement.
Personal Preferences and Comfort: Consider your personal preferences and level of comfort when dealing with professionals. Some policyholders may prefer the assistance of a public adjuster who can handle the claims process on their behalf, while others may feel more confident with the legal expertise and representation provided by a lawyer.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a public adjuster or a lawyer depends on the unique circumstances of your insurance claim. Consulting with both professionals to understand their perspectives and expertise can help you make an informed choice.
Benefits of Hiring a Public Adjuster
Expertise in navigating the insurance claim process: Public adjusters are professionals with in-depth knowledge of insurance policies, coverage, and the claim process. They can guide you through the complex procedures and help you understand your rights and entitlements.
Maximizing claim settlements: Public adjusters work on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum settlement possible. They have the skills and experience to assess the full extent of your loss, document it effectively, and negotiate with the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.
Saving time and reducing stress for policyholders: Dealing with insurance claims can be time-consuming and stressful, especially when you're already dealing with the aftermath of a loss. By hiring a public adjuster, you can offload the burden of the claims process, allowing you to focus on rebuilding and recovering from the damage.
How Public Adjusters Assist with Specific Types of Claims?
Public adjusters handle a wide variety of insurance claims, each requiring a unique approach and expertise. Here's how they assist with some specific types of claims:
Property Damage Claims: These claims involve damage to a property due to incidents like fire, flood, hurricane, or theft. Public adjusters assess the extent of the damage, document it meticulously, and estimate the cost of repair or replacement. They ensure that all damages, even those not immediately apparent, are included in the claim.
Business Interruption Claims: In cases where a business operation is disrupted due to a covered event, public adjusters help calculate the loss of income and additional expenses incurred. They understand the complexities of business interruption claims and work to ensure the business gets fair compensation.
Homeowner's Insurance Claims: These claims can involve various scenarios, from property damage to liability issues. Public adjusters help homeowners navigate the often complex policy language and ensure they receive a fair settlement.
Natural Disaster Claims: Claims resulting from natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods can be particularly complex due to the extensive damage and large number of claims filed simultaneously. Public adjusters have the expertise to handle these claims effectively, ensuring the policyholder's claim stands out and is adequately compensated.
Commercial Claims: Commercial claims can involve various aspects, including property damage, liability issues, and business interruption. Public adjusters understand the unique challenges of commercial claims and work to ensure the business receives the maximum possible settlement.
In all these cases, public adjusters gather evidence, estimate the value of the claim, and prepare a comprehensive report to support the policyholder's case. They engage in discussions with the insurance company, leveraging their expertise to secure a fair and maximum settlement. Their goal is to ensure the policyholder receives the compensation they deserve.
How to Find Public Adjusters Near You
Finding a reputable and experienced public adjuster near your location is crucial for a smooth claims process. Here are a few ways to locate public adjusters in your area:
Online search and directories: Conduct an online search using relevant keywords, such as "public adjusters near me" or "local public adjusters." You can find directories and websites that list licensed public adjusters along with their contact information and customer reviews.
Recommendations from friends and family: Seek recommendations from people you trust who have previously worked with public adjusters. Their firsthand experience can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.
Local insurance agencies and professionals: Contact local insurance agencies, insurance brokers, or real estate professionals in your area. They often have connections with public adjusters and can provide recommendations or referrals to trusted public adjusters near you.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Public Adjuster
Not all public adjusters are created equal, so it's important to evaluate certain factors before making your selection. Consider the following when choosing a public adjuster:
Licensing and certifications: Ensure that the public adjuster you hire is licensed and registered in your state. This guarantees that they meet the necessary qualifications and adhere to professional standards.
Experience and track record: Look for adjusters with a proven track record of successfully handling insurance claims. Consider their experience in dealing with similar types of losses or damages to your own situation.
References and testimonials: Request references or read testimonials from previous clients. This provides insight into the adjuster's professionalism, communication skills, and ability to deliver results.
Communication and transparency: Effective communication is crucial throughout the claims process. Choose a public adjuster who is responsive, transparent, and keeps you informed at every step of the way.
Fee structure: Understand the fee structure and payment terms before hiring a public adjuster. Typically, they work on a contingency basis, where their fee is a percentage of the final settlement. Ensure that the fees are fair and reasonable.
Public Adjusters' Role in Maximizing Insurance Settlements
Public adjusters play a vital role in maximizing insurance settlements. Here's how they work to ensure policyholders receive the maximum possible settlement:
Detailed Assessment of Loss: Public adjusters conduct a thorough and detailed assessment of the loss. They inspect the damage, document it meticulously, and estimate the cost of repair or replacement. They ensure that all damages, even those not immediately apparent, are included in the claim. This comprehensive evaluation helps in claiming the full extent of the loss.
Understanding Policy Coverage: Public adjusters have an in-depth understanding of insurance policies and coverage. They can interpret the often complex language of insurance policies and apply it to the policyholder's advantage. They ensure that all potential coverages under the policy are explored and utilized, which can significantly increase the settlement amount.
Effective Negotiation: Public adjusters use their expertise and knowledge to negotiate effectively with the insurance company. They present the claim in a way that clearly demonstrates the extent of the loss and the corresponding compensation required. They also counter any attempts by the insurance company to undervalue the claim or deny coverage.
Claim Process Management: Public adjusters manage the entire claim process, ensuring all deadlines are met and procedures are followed. They handle all communication with the insurance company, freeing the policyholder from the stress and complexities of the claim process. Their professional management of the claim process helps prevent any errors or delays that could affect the settlement amount.
Contingency Fee Structure: Public adjusters typically work on a contingency basis, meaning their fee is a percentage of the settlement amount. This aligns their interests with those of the policyholder, motivating them to maximize the settlement amount.
By performing these roles, public adjusters work diligently to ensure that policyholders receive the maximum settlement possible. They bring their skills, experience, and knowledge to bear on the claim process, helping policyholders get the compensation they deserve.
Settle Your Claim – Public Adjusters Work on Contingency
Public adjusters typically work on a contingency basis, meaning their fee is a percentage of the final settlement. This fee structure aligns their interests with those of the policyholder, as they only get paid if the claim is successful.
The Process of Working with a Public Adjuster
Once you've selected a public adjuster, the process of working with them typically involves the following steps:
Initial consultation and assessment: The adjuster will meet with you to evaluate the damage, review your insurance policy, and discuss your coverage and rights. They will explain the claims process and answer any questions you may have.
Documenting and valuing the loss: The public adjuster will meticulously document the extent of the loss, including property damage, personal belongings, and additional expenses incurred. They will assess the value of the loss and compile the necessary evidence to support your claim.
Negotiating with the insurance company: Armed with strong evidence and expertise, the adjuster will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. They will present your claim, handle any requests for additional information, and advocate for a fair settlement.
Settlement and claim closure: Once a settlement offer is reached, the adjuster will review it with you, ensuring it aligns with your expectations and covers all losses. If necessary, they will negotiate further to secure a more favorable settlement. Once you agree to the offer, the claim is closed, and you receive the settlement.
Seek professional help for your insurance claims
Seeking professional help for your insurance claims can save you time and reduce stress. Public adjusters have the expertise to navigate the complex procedures of the insurance claim process and can guide you through it. They can also help you understand your rights and entitlements.
How to Find a Public Insurance Adjuster Near You?
Finding a reputable and experienced public adjuster near your location is crucial for a smooth claims process. You can conduct an online search using relevant keywords, seek recommendations from people you trust who have previously worked with public adjusters, or contact local insurance agencies, insurance brokers, or real estate professionals in your area.
PICC Public Adjusters - Best Public Adjusters Near Me
→ If you're looking for assistance in filing an insurance claim after a natural disaster, consider working with PICC, Public Adjusters. We have extensive knowledge of insurance policies and procedures, and can help you get the most out of your claim.
With over 25 years of experience, People’s Insurance Claim Center has gained an outstanding reputation as the largest-growing firm in South Florida.
PICC works with more than 300 insurance companies, both large and small.
We are an active member of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA). PICC has also been an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau since May 2009, with an A+ rating.
Throughout the years, we have settled more than 100,000 claims for our clients, which has led to 22 awards of excellence.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a public adjuster and an insurance adjuster?
Public adjusters work on behalf of policyholders to ensure they receive a fair settlement. Insurance adjusters, on the other hand, are employed by the insurance company and represent their interests.
Are public adjusters regulated by any governing bodies?
Yes, public adjusters are regulated by state insurance departments or regulatory bodies. They must meet specific licensing and ethical standards to operate legally.
How much does hiring a public adjuster cost?
Public adjusters usually work on a contingency basis, charging a percentage (typically around 10% - 20%) of the final settlement. This fee structure ensures that their interests align with yours, as they only get paid if you receive a settlement.
Can a public adjuster help with denied insurance claims?
Yes, public adjusters can assist with denied insurance claims. They can review the denial, gather additional evidence, and advocate for a reconsideration or appeal.
What should I do if I am not satisfied with the insurance company's settlement offer?
If you are not satisfied with the settlement offer, your public adjuster can help you assess whether it is fair and negotiate for a better settlement. They will review the offer, provide their professional opinion, and guide you on the best course of action to maximize your claim.
What qualifications should I look for when hiring a public adjuster?
Look for licensed adjusters with experience, a solid track record, and positive references from previous clients.
Can a public adjuster help with a commercial insurance claim?
Yes, public adjusters can assist with both residential and commercial insurance claims.
Is it worth hiring a public adjuster for a small insurance claim?
It depends on the circumstances. Public adjusters can help maximize even small claims, but you may want to consider their fees in relation to the potential settlement.
What if I've already started the claims process? Can I still hire a public adjuster?
Yes, you can hire a public adjuster at any stage of the claims process. They can step in and assist you in achieving a more favorable outcome.
Do public adjusters handle only property damage claims?
When faced with property damage or loss covered by your insurance policy, hiring a public adjuster can greatly benefit you. Their expertise, knowledge of the claims process, and negotiation skills can ensure that you receive a fair and maximum settlement.
By conducting thorough research, considering important factors, and choosing a reputable adjuster near you, you can confidently navigate the insurance claims process and alleviate the stress associated with it.
Remember, the expertise of a public adjuster can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. Don't hesitate to seek professional assistance to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.
For those reasons, you can confidently place your trust in our insurance adjusters.