When was the last time you read and understood the insurance policy that covers your home or business?
Many people have difficulty understanding the technical language of the insurance policy and the complicated procedures they must follow to comply with the policy’s terms. Most people do not realize that insurance company adjusters are trained professionals who represent the interests of the insurance company which employs them. You can protect your interests by employing an public adjuster whose sole responsibility is to serve you, the insured. Public adjusters are retained for the adjustment of insured claims due to fire, wind, water, vandalism, and other perils. The public insurance adjuster serves commercial businesses, financial institutions, professional firms, homeowners, and the general insuring public.
- What is a public insurance adjuster?
An authority on loss adjustments who you can retain to assist you in preparing, filing, and adjusting your insurance claims.
- Are they connected with insurance companies?
No. They are employed exclusively by you – the policyholder- not by an insurance company.
- How can a public insurance adjuster help me?
You will have the advantage of expert assistance based on great experience in handling numerous technical problems. Your public insurance adjuster relieves you of the many time-consuming and difficult matters involved in preparing and filing a claim – and helps you to receive a prompt and fair settlement.
- Can I prepare my own claim?
Sure, but it stands to reason that the public insurance adjuster who has years of experience and training can do so with more competence than the policyholder.
More specifically, a public insurance adjuster will assist you in the preparation of inventories, estimates and other factual proofs of loss. He or she will handle all the necessary details for compiling and filing claims, as required by the terms of your insurance policies. Your public insurance adjuster will also confer, on your behalf, with insurance company representatives and handle all matters essential to a proper and satisfactory adjustment.
- Why do I need help in filing an insurance claim?
The typical fire policy contains hundreds of provisions and stipulations – various forms and riders that are constantly changing and many complex details about your requirements in case of loss. Most people do not know or understand these policy provisions – and most do not realize that the burden of proof is on them, the policyholder. Most insurance company representatives prefer to work with an experienced public insurance adjuster rather than an inexperienced insured.
A public insurance adjuster not only has your confidence, but also that of company adjusters who recognize that they are dealing with a professional.
- In the event of a fire or similar destruction of property does my insurance pay the entire loss?
This depends upon the type and amount of insurance you carry. It also depends on your expertise or the expertise of your representative, not that of the insurance company’s adjuster. Many insurance policies may pay more than the amount shown on the declaration page. A qualified expert working for you can determine everything to which you are entitled.
- Why should I engage a public insurance adjuster to obtain what is rightfully due to me?
Insurance companies offer to pay what is due to you as they see it. Public insurance adjusters are your exclusive representatives. With their experience and knowledge they are better able to obtain a more favorable adjustment for you, the insured.
- What is the extent of their responsibility?
Your public insurance adjuster assists with every phase of preparing and presenting your claim, as well as accomplishing an adjustment for you which is equitable and includes everything to which you are entitled under your insurance policy.
- How do they determine the actual loss?
They take a physical inventory, obtain all pertinent appraisals and make sure all provisions in your policy are properly fulfilled. This often involves numerous steps of which you may know little or nothing, but can make a significant difference in the amount of the final adjustment.
- What special help can the public insurance adjuster give me with technical questions?
They are the experts to turn to when such matters arise. They are concerned only with your interests. Because of their broad experience and specialized knowledge, they prepare your claim so that you can recover to the fullest extent on your insurance coverages. It is up to you to prove your loss. There may be many questions and problems as to how the policy provisions can be applied in different circumstances.
- Are they trained specialists?
Yes. Your public insurance adjuster must, in virtually all jurisdictions, be tested, licensed, bonded, and authorized to practice his/her profession.
- Will a public insurance adjuster help me receive a more prompt and satisfactory settlement?
Yes. They lose no time in complying with the policy requirements to obtain and evaluate the facts and prepare the claim. The alert, knowledgeable and prompt service they render often preserves evidence that may otherwise be overlooked or destroyed. The more thoroughly and completely your claim is compiled and prepared, the faster your public insurance adjuster can accomplish an equitable and proper settlement in you best interest
Once a policyholder has witnessed the skill and knowledge of the accredited public insurance adjuster, he or she rarely will attempt to settle a claim without the benefit of their specialized assistance. The public insurance adjuster’s most frequent sources of new clients are the recommendations of those they have previously served.
- How much do they charge for their service?
Your public insurance adjuster’s charge is a percentage of the insurance company’s settlement with you.
- In the event of a loss, what steps should I take?
Promptly report the loss to the agent or broker, or directly to the insurance company – and immediately retain the services of a public insurance adjuster to serve you.
- Do public insurance adjusters take care of claims other than fire?
Yes. They will assist you in any claims you may have due to windstorm, explosion, and any other insured losses that are sustained (inland marine, business interruption, rental income, improvements and betterments, commission and profit, reporting forms, additional expense, etc.).
- Do they sell insurance or act as insurance agents?
No! If they were to do so, they would become a representative of the insurance company – and they would no longer represent you exclusively and independently.
- If I have a problem or complaint concerning an adjuster or insurance company what should I do?
State insurance departments license insurance companies, brokers, agents, and adjusters to operate in their state. If you feel that one of these licensees has failed to act in accordance with your contract or state insurance law and regulation, we urge you to contact your state insurance department in writing, setting forth the nature of your complaint.
- What if I have a question about insurance coverage or the insurance industry?
State insurance departments are also the appropriate place for information about licensees, insurance law and regulation.