When your property suffers major damage, the first step is to contact your insurance company. They will assign one of their claims adjusters to the case, and this is the primary person to determine the legitimacy and pay-out of the claim. Most claims adjusters working for your insurance company will be eager to help you. However, some people feel they need a public adjuster to assist with the claim. In this article, we examine why people hire public adjusters, and show you why you probably don’t need one.
What is the role of a public insurance adjuster?
A public adjusteris a licensed insurance adjuster you hire to advocate on your behalf. They work with you through the claim process. Keep in mind, they charge a hefty fee for their services. Sometimes they charge a flat fee, or rate per service, or they may charge a percentage of the pay-out.
Reasons People Think They Need a Public Adjuster
- They believe it saves Time – Insurance claims are time-consuming, so people hire a public adjuster to handle it for them. After any major loss, you are saddled with stress. The last thing you want to deal with is your insurance company, but it must be done. Handing it over to someone else might seem like a time-saver. However, you may end up spending more time on your claim trying to manage two adjusters.
- It’s too complicated – Insurance policies are confusing and complex. This is especially true with large or total loss claims. People think having a public adjuster can help make sense of it all. But, you don’t need an outsider to explain things to you. Your company adjuster knows your policy inside and out. He or she will be happy to answer your questions. Who is more qualified to ensure you understand the policy, the random public adjuster, or the company adjuster that works with this policy every day?
- Communication Issues – In some cases, policy holders feel their insurance company’s adjuster is not communicating well with them. Perhaps phone calls are not answered in a timely manner, or damaged items are being overlooked. This is when people tend to get a public adjuster involved. However, if you are unhappy with your company adjuster, simply call your insurance company and request another person to handle the claim.
Why You Don’t Need a Public Adjuster
- Unnecessary expense – Your company insurance adjuster does everything a public adjuster does, but for free.
- Reduces your Payout – Ultimately, you will receive less reimbursement because you must pay the public adjuster.
- Takes longer – A public adjuster has an incentive to prolong negotiations and inflate the claim payout. Additionally, they often discourage a positive relationship between you and your insurance company, which can lead to further delays in resolving the claim.
- Insufficient Knowledge – You know your property and the loss better than anyone.
Therefore, it makes sense for you to be the person filling out the paperwork. Furthermore, your company adjuster has in-depth knowledge of your policy and its coverage. A public adjuster does not have this information, as they do not work for the insurance company.
Remember, there is no guarantee a public adjuster will get you a higher pay-out. They cannot force the insurance company to pay you more.
In most cases, the company adjuster is helpful, and you do not need to hire your own adjuster. It is in the insurance company’s best interest to treat you fairly, and insurance companies are regulated. In other words, they cannot simply deny your claim because they feel like it. There are legal guidelines and processes in place to protect policy holders. In turn, there are laws to protect insurance companies from fraudulent claims.
If your property has suffered damage, contact the experts at ServiceMaster today, for professional clean-up and restoration.