What is a "Public Adjuster"?
There are three types of adjusters licensed by the State:
Company Adjuster - is employed by the Insurance Company to represent the company in dealing with your loss and damages. The Company Adjusters main responsibility is to protect the interests of the Insurance Company.
Independent Adjuster - is hired by the Insurance Company to represent the company in dealing with your loss and damages. The Independent Adjusters main responsibility is to protect the interests of the Insurance Company.
Public Adjuster - Private Adjuster - is the only Adjuster specifically licensed by the State to represent you, the Insured. The Public Adjusters main responsibility is to protect you and your interests in claims against a loss with the Insurance Company.
Our Public Adjusters are members of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters and State Associations of Public Insurance Adjusters, which require us to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics. In addition, we are able to take advantage of the best quality continuing education, conferences, and reference material in the country.
Contractors, Mitigation Companies, Restoration Companies Should NOT Interpret Your Insurance Policy or Attempt to Adjuster/Negiotate the Claim on Your Behalf.
In Michigan for example:
Contractors, Mitigation Companies, Restoration Companies, etc. should not interpret policy language or adjust Insurance claims, MCL 500.1222 states: "A person shall not adjust loss or damage under a policy of insurance nor advertise, solicit business or hold himself out to the public as an adjuster unless he is licensed as an adjuster. This section does not apply to a person admitted to the practice of law in this state, to a licensed agent adjusting loss or damage under a policy within his control, to an employee of an insurer or a manager of an insurer authorized to transact insurance in this state adjusting loss or damage under a policy written by the insurer or to a marine average adjuster."
Why Hire a Public Adjuster?
If you have just suffered an insurance loss, from a fire, hurricane or some other traumatic event, you may not feel confident in representing yourself and your interests before an Insurance Company. Consider these three points.
It is up to you to prove the extent of your loss to the Insurance Company.
A typical insurance policy is dozens of pages long and contains numerous provisions and stipulations – written in technical and legal terms. Additionally, it contains various forms and endorsements, which are constantly changing from year to year. Most Insureds have difficulty in understanding all of them. To be compensated for your loss, there are certain conditions which must be satisfied – Failure to do so could reduce your settlement amount or even cause your claim to be denied.
No matter how organized you and your documentation is, filing and receiving payment on a claim can be a time consuming and tedious process.
If you are not sufficiently organized and your loss documented, you may not realize the compensation you have paid for and are entitled to receive.
A Public Adjuster has the experience, knowledge and expertise to obtain your maximum entitlements under your policy.?
Remember that the Insurance Company Adjuster is representing the insurance company. It is not uncommon for the Insurance Company to misinterpret their own insurance policy or forget to apply case law or Statutes which supersede their own policy. A Public Adjuster will know current laws as they affect insurance losses and how to best represent you. A Public Adjuster has resources to help you through the maze of estimating, documenting, and filing your insurance claims.
Can I prepare my own claim?
Yes you can. Be prepared to document all aspects of your loss, and follow through with the agent and the company. However, if your loss is significant (more than $10,000) you should consider hiring your own expert Public Adjuster to receive your full entitlements. Remember, the insurance company has their own expert representing them.
How Much Do Public Adjusters Charge for Their Services?
Public Adjusters charge a percentage of the settlement for their service to you. The Public Adjuster is not paid until you are paid. There are no upfront fees for their services. Percentages vary from adjuster to adjuster, so it is best to shop for the best adjuster for you.
Are Public Adjusters Affiliated with Insurance Companies?
No, they are not. Their services are available only the Insured public, not the Insurance Company.