Listen, we know life gets in the way, and you often don’t think about what to do during a disaster until it happens.

When you’re facing a natural disaster and/or damage to your home and property, you want to trust that you’ve surrounded yourself with people who can help you and have your best interest at heart. That’s what insurance is for, right?

Remember that insurance companies are businesses first. Although it’s definitely possible to have a great collaboration with your insurance company, sometimes you may need more of an advocate on your side. Not having a clear scope on the professionals available to you may be a big mistake.

So when you file an insurance claim, make sure you know the players that are available to you for this process, and who your insurance company will be hiring as their main players as well.

Here’s what you need to know about independent adjusters and public adjusters.

Typing In An Insurance Claim

What is an independent adjuster?

When you file an insurance claim on your home or property, someone from the insurance company will come out to meet you. They will assess the damage and come up with an estimated cost of repairs for the damage you’ve incurred.

Except, this professional is hired by your insurance company, not by you. Since they get paid by the insurance company, they will benefit the most when the insurance company benefits.

To be clear though, independent adjusters are not technically employed by the insurance company. Usually, they are hired and managed by an independent adjusting firm. This allows an insurance company to use multiple adjusters if there is an influx in claims, which is usually the case after a natural disaster.

These adjusters are considered “independent” because they are 1099 contractors. They are sometimes paid at a daily rate, but more often, they are paid a percentage based on the settlement amount.

The clear distinction policyholders should understand is that the independent adjuster is in partnership with the insurer first. Although there are many times when the independent adjuster, policyholder, and insurance company all come to an agreement on the settlement amount, just understand that their priorities might not always lie with pleasing the homeowner.

Who benefits from hiring an independent adjuster?

Since the insurance company is the one to hire the independent adjuster, they usually stand to benefit the most from this relationship.

That is not to say there isn’t any accountability in this partnership, though. That’s part of the reason why insurance adjusters are hired through a firm, rather than just being employed by the insurance company. It creates some distance between them and the insurance company.

If you find yourself in a position where you feel that you need a stronger advocate that can be a better voice for your case, you do have options though.

READ: What Florida Residents Should Know About The Insurance Appraisal Process

Talking With A Public Adjuster

What is a public adjuster?

A public adjuster is an impartial professional who acts on behalf of the policyholder. If a homeowner feels they are not being given a fair assessment and settlement by the insurance company, a public adjuster can help them.

The negotiation skills of a public adjuster are one of the main benefits of hiring one. Their knowledge, expertise, and experience in the industry mean they are better equipped to talk directly with the insurance company on behalf of the homeowner. The relationship between a public adjuster and a homeowner is similar to hiring an attorney.

Public adjusters can either work independently in their own firm or be a part of a larger public adjusting firm. Similar to independent adjusters, public adjusters will usually take payment as a percentage of the insurance claim. 10% is a standard amount.

Getting results from a public adjuster will only be as good as the adjuster that is hired. Unfortunately, sometimes there are people who will pose as public adjusters as a scam. To avoid this, make the adjuster you are considering is licensed, vetted, and has passed a background check.

It’s a smart rule of thumb to hire a public adjuster who doesn’t take payment until they win your case. These types of adjusters have the incentive to work hard for your case and truly have your best interest in mind. They won’t drag out your case for the sake of making more money.

Public adjusters are also regulated by the state for how much they can charge for each claim, so make sure you have that in mind when you hire one as well.

Insurance Property Claims

Who benefits from hiring a public adjuster?

The policyholder is the person who benefits from hiring a public adjuster. For this reason though, some insurance companies will refuse to negotiate with public adjusters. They usually end up having to pay a lot more as an insurance company when a policyholder brings in a public adjuster to negotiate with them.

If you are able to hire a public adjuster, though, it could mean the difference between covering the costs of your damages and not.

So if you’re still wondering who to hire, your only clear option as a homeowner will be to hire a public adjuster. The insurance company is the only party able to hire an independent adjuster.

With any luck, you will get a fair settlement from the independent adjuster and your insurance provider. Still, it’s important to be aware of your options if you feel you are not being treated fairly in your claim.

There is a lot more to know about hiring a public adjuster (including when you might be better off forgoing hiring one) so make sure you read about that here:

Related: What Is A Public Adjuster? What Every Homeowner Should Know

As with any insurance situation, it’s important to understand who benefits from each decision that is made and when you need an advocate. Getting a second opinion on your claim never hurts if you’re worried about covering the cost of the damages.

Independent adjusters and public adjusters are often pitted against one another in a claims process. While this might not always be the case, it’s important to understand that this happens because policyholders have been taken advantage of before.

At the end of the day, make sure you feel equipped and educated to get the fairest settlement possible for you, even if that means you hire someone as an advocate for you.

If you’re in need of professional advice or have questions about our public adjuster services, don’t hesitate to email us at dependableresolutions@gmail.com

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