Thursday, December 29, 2011

What is a Public Adjuster?

Where to Start

It's 2:00AM and you hear a rush of water. You awake to find a burst pipe in your bathroom streaming gallons of water across your floor, onto your belongings, and into the room below. After the plumber and emergency services have stopped the leak, you call your insurance agent (assuming you have one! Another reason to get an HO-6 NOW). They send an adjuster out to price out the claim on what they believe the damage is worth. But who will ensure that you are getting the money you deserve to return to home to it's original form? The insurance company is a profit driven firm and wants to minimize the payout they have to give you. You need someone to fight for you, and that is where a public adjuster comes in.

What They Do

By definition a public adjuster is an insurance claims adjuster who is an advocate for the policyholder in appraising and negotiating a first party insurance claim. A good PA will be onsite almost immediately after the loss. They will control the situation and ensure the right people are on site and doing the right work. The next step is that they will meet with the assigned insurance adjuster and work with them on a fair price for the claim. By nature, insurance will low-ball the price and the PA will aim high. There is a series of offers and counteroffers until an agreeable price is reached. Almost always, this price is considerably higher than what you would receive if you tried to fight insurance yourself.

Why We Use Them

You might not have time to meet with the assigned insurance adjuster every time they come to your home. You might not know the price per square foot of the drywall or the cost of redoing a tile floor. The public adjuster does. They work for you to ensure that you get the money that is rightfully yours to rebuild your home. If needed, they re-open a claim and negotiate for more money if a discrepancy is found after the claim has been settled.

Final Thoughts

Remember, if you chose to use a public adjuster, be sure to call them as soon as possible after the loss. The more time that passes, the more discrepancies that can occur that affect your claim. If you need a referral for a good PA, please contact our office and we would be happy to assist you.

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