When dealing with property damage and filing an insurance claim, many policyholders are unsure whether to hire a Public Adjuster or an attorney to help them through the process.
While both professionals can provide valuable guidance and support, there are some key differences in roles and responsibilities. Understanding these distinctions and evaluating your specific needs can be the difference in helping you make the right choice for your insurance claim.
To provide you with a better understanding of the immense value an experienced Public Adjuster can provide, let’s discuss the benefits of first hiring a Public Adjuster as your professional advocate in the claims process.
What is a Public Adjuster?
A Public Adjuster acts as your advocate and helps you by supplying thorough estimates, pictures, and documentation to support your insurance claim and they are present for all inspections with insurance company. They are experts in the insurance claims process and work to ensure that you receive the maximum settlement amount for your claim.
The practice of insurance companies delaying, postponing, refusing, or attempting to settle claims for much less than they are worth are just a few of the reasons you should consider hiring a reputable Public Adjuster.
2 Top Benefits of Hiring a Public Adjuster First
#1 Expertise in the Insurance Claims Process
One of the main benefits of hiring a Public Adjuster is their experience and expertise in the insurance claims process. They understand the complex policies and procedures involved in filing a claim and can navigate the process efficiently.
Public Adjusters can interpret all the legalese used in working an insurance claim. A Public Adjuster will investigate and compile all losses including additional costs incurred as a result of any disruption to your home or business.
#2 Ability to Maximize Your Insurance Claim
Public Adjusters are skilled negotiators and can help policyholders receive the maximum settlement amount for their claim. They know how to present the claim to the insurance company and will provide detailed evidence to support the claim.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Public Adjuster
When choosing a Public Adjuster, it's important to consider their knowledge, experience, and credentials. Look for someone who has experience working on claims like yours, is licensed, bonded and insured in your state, and is transparent with their fees. Consider reading reviews or testimonials from previous clients to get a sense of their level of expertise and the service they provide.
Making the Right Choice for Your Insurance Claim
The bottom line is simple that, in most cases, you should hire a Public Adjuster before an attorney. You can get assistance from a Public Adjuster throughout the initial stages of your insurance claim and working with a Public Adjuster helps to ensure that you receive the settlement you deserve.
However, if your Public Adjuster and insurance company cannot agree on a fair settlement, there are typically three dispute resolution methods available - mediation, appraisal, or filing a lawsuit. Since attorneys deal with substantive and procedural law, they frequently settle conflicts through time-consuming and expensive litigation.
Partner with the Experts
At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we have over 76 years of combined experience, and we handle each client's property damage claim as if it were our own. While other professionals might provide comparable services, Reliant is committed to giving you the knowledge and expertise for your residential or commercial claim.
Let us guide you through the claims process and provide you with the best outcome for your insurance claim. Contact us for a free consultation and policy review.
Do you know what a public adjuster does or what services to expect?
Simply stated, public adjusters are insurance experts. The key is that they provide insurance adjusting services working exclusively for policyholders. In the state of Florida, public adjusters are licensed and regulated by the state.
The insurance experts at Reliant Insurance Adjusters have decades of hands-on experience, not just in public adjusting, but also in insurance appraisals. They serve as appraisers and umpires for the binding dispute resolution option of appraisal.
What is an Appraisal?
A policy provision known as Appraisal can be found under the Loss Settlement section of your insurance policy. It is an alternative dispute resolution that can be used to settle disputes when the policyholder and carrier cannot agree on the amount of the loss. It serves as an alternative to a lawsuit. The appraisal process does not address coverage issues, but depending on the state, it may include or exclude items based on causation.
While most insurance policies can differ, most policies include language addressing dispute resolution.
Appraisal language in a typical HO3 policy may read as follows:
If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either may demand an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each party will choose competent appraiser within 20 days after receiving a written request from the other. The two appraisers will choose an umpire. If they cannot agree upon an umpire within 15 days, you or we may request that the choice be made by a judge of a court of record in the state where the “residence premises” is located. The appraisers will separately set the amount of the loss. If the appraisers submit a written report of an agreement to us, the amount agreed upon will be the amount of loss. If they fail to agree, they will submit their differences to the umpire. A decision agreed to by any two will set the amount of loss.
The Responsibilities of an Appraiser
The appraisers of the insured and the insurance carrier will meet at the property, estimate the damage and attempt to reach an agreement on the amount of loss.
If they cannot reach an agreement, the appraisers will present their disagreements to the umpire. The amount of the loss will be determined by an itemized decision agreed upon by two of these three. This decision is legally binding.
The cost of umpire will be split evenly between each party, and each will be responsible to pay for their own appraiser.
The experts at Reliant Insurance Adjusters have successfully completed all their education requirements with the Insurance Appraisal & Umpire Association, Windstorm Insurance Network and Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.
Choose a Team You Can Trust
Settling insurance claims is a complicated, and often, overwhelming process. Allow us to give your claim our personal attention, whether you need a public adjuster, appraiser, or umpire. Contact us to get started.