A public adjuster is an insurance claims adjuster who advocates on behalf of the insured in appraising and negotiating an insured’s claim for first-party property damages. In order to effectively evaluate, negotiate, and settle an insured’s claim, an experienced public adjuster should have extensive knowledge of the insurance claims and construction industries.
What does a public adjuster do?
Since the burden of proof is on the insured not the insurance company, a public adjuster can help maximize the insured’s claim recovery by thoroughly documenting the loss and negotiating a comprehensive settlement. And, unlike an insurance adjuster who is predisposed to minimize the claim payments, a public adjuster is predisposed to maximize the claim payments.
How are public adjusters paid?
Most public adjusters are paid on a percentage of the total claim settlement. The fees are based on a contingency-fee agreement; meaning if the public adjuster is unable to settle the insured’s claim with the insurance company then the public adjuster does not receive compensation for his/her services. Depending on when the public adjuster is hired in the claims process and the size and complexity of the loss, the contingency fee can range from ten percent (10%) to twenty-five percent (25%). Regardless of the percentage charged, the cost of the fee is almost always offset by the increase in the amount the insurance company offers to settle the claim.
Why do I need to hire a public adjuster?
A public adjuster is your exclusive representative who will assist you with every phase of preparing and presenting your loss, as well as, negotiating a comprehensive settlement that includes everything you are entitled to under your insurance policy. A typical insurance policy contains hundreds of forms, riders, stipulations that are constantly changing and complex. Most insureds do not understand these policy provisions and most do not realize that the burden of proof is on the insured not the insurance carrier. An experienced public adjuster will guide you through the claim process and help you obtain a favorable settlement of your claim.
When is the best time to hire a public adjuster?
A public adjuster may be hired at any time during the claims process; including, after the claim has been closed by the insurance company. However, a public adjuster will be able to achieve the greatest benefit for the insured when hired immediately after the loss has occurred. Once the claim has been filed, the insurance company will send its own adjuster to investigate all aspects of the loss. Unlike insureds, insurance companies and their adjusters are well-practiced at dealing with claims to their own advantage. It is easy for insureds to make mistakes when they do not know all the rules. Incomplete or inadequate answers to the insurance company’s adjuster’s questions may significantly reduce the amount that can be claimed.
If I have already received a settlement from my insurance carrier on my claim, is it too late to hire a public adjuster?
Although the best time to hire a public adjuster is immediately after the loss has occurred, if you believe your insurance carrier has underpaid or omitted damages that should have been accounted for in your loss, an experience public adjuster will be able to re-open your claim and negotiate with your insurance company to get you every penny you are owed.
Can my insurance carrier cancel my policy if I hire a public adjuster?
Although insurance companies do not want insureds to be on an even playing field, they cannot legally prohibit you from or penalize you for hiring a public adjuster to advocate your claim for damages. Public Adjusters are licensed by state department of insurance and mandated by state law.
My insurance company offered me $35,000 dollars for my business property damages; however, after Atlantis Claims Services got involved, my insurance company paid me $550,000 dollars. Why such a dramatic turn around?
It is not unheard of for us to get over five thousand percent (5000%) increase for our clients on their claims. Actually, it is more common than not. Although this sounds outrageous, the reality is that many adjusters for the insurance company are too inexperienced to recognize covered damages and/or too rushed to thoroughly evaluate all of the loss and apply the correct policy coverages. Unlike some public adjusting firms, we do not inflate or exaggerate damages; we don’t need to. We have over 48 combined years in the insurance claims and construction industries. It is this extensive expertise that gives us the knowledge, confidence, and professional connections within the insurance industry to successfully handle any loss, anywhere, against any insurance carrier.
What is Appraisal?
Appraisal is a means of resolving a dispute with regard to the scope of the loss and/or the amounts paid for repair or replacement costs between an insured and insurance company. An Appraisal Clause is fairly standard in every insurance policy. It is regulated by the policy and, in some instances, state laws. Appraisal takes place before a three-person panel consisting of an appraiser for the insured, an appraiser for the insurance carrier, and an umpire unanimously selected by the appraisers. If the appraisers are unable to agree on an umpire, a provision in the Appraisal Clause allows for the judicial court to appoint an umpire. Depending on the particular facts and circumstances of your claim, invoking the Appraisal Clause may be an effective tool to insure that you receive every penny you are owed on your claim and that all damages, hidden and future, are addressed.
Why should I hire an Appraiser?
The Appraisal Process is extremely cost-effective and time-efficient, especially, when compared to the alternative: Litigation. However, since Appraisal serves as a final, binding determination of the loss, there are pitfalls associated with it that an imprudent appraiser for the insured can stumble on. Therefore, it is paramount to hire an appraiser that is fully competent in handling appraisals and has a proven track record indicating that experience. Our team of appraisers has handled altogether over a thousand appraisals, both for the insured and the insurance carrier, giving us an edge and insight into the process that is second to none.