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Have you had an insurance claim not go your way?

Maybe you are facing the grim reality that your insurance company is not giving you enough to cover the full cost of damages. Many people feel at a loss for what to do in this situation.

Perhaps you have considered hiring someone to be an advocate for your case. After doing a little research, perhaps you’ve heard some unsettling rumors about public adjusters as a whole.

This is pretty normal, lots of insurance professionals will have negative biases around them, especially when insurance money is at stake. We’re here to help you sort through these rumors.

If you can overcome the nay saying about public adjusters, it can completely change the course of your insurance claim. The price of not doing so could mean thousands of dollars you have to pay out of pocket, so let’s tackle these myths about public adjusters.

1. Hiring a public adjuster will raise your premium

Your insurance company probably won’t like it if you hire a public adjuster. When public adjusters are involved, they usually end up having to pay more, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t be thrilled.

However, insurance companies are legally restrained from raising your premiums just because you’ve chosen to hire a public adjuster. Most often, premiums are raised because they have gone up for the entire region. This is common after a natural disaster has occurred, such as a hurricane, tornado, or flood. In Florida especially, homeowners insurance premiums usually go up every year. 

If you choose to file a claim, one claim will likely not raise your premium. If you have multiple claims filed in a certain time though, this could result in a raised premium though.

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2. Public adjusters take a huge part of your insurance payment

A public adjuster should present you with a contract outlining their services and fees. Most of the time, they can only take a percentage of the insurance settlement, so you shouldn’t be blindsided by how much they charge for their services.

In most cases, including ones of catastrophic disasters, public adjusters are capped for what they can collect at about 10%.

We would caution you against hiring a public adjuster that charges a fee upfront for their services, or ones that work on an hourly or retainer basis. When a public adjuster only collects a percentage of your insurance settlement, then you know they only benefit when you do. They will be more motivated to win your case.

If 10% still seems too high, then consider all the work that a public adjuster will be doing for your case. They will likely be filing all the claims paperwork, writing up a damage report, as well as meeting and negotiating with the insurance company. It ends up being a large amount of work to make the process easy for you as the homeowner.

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

3. Public adjusters don’t have your best interest in mind

Public adjusters are in business to advocate for policyholders. If you’re hiring a quality public adjuster, they will be motivated to advocate on your behalf because it helps their business thrive.

Public adjusters will have passed a background check and have been fingerprinted in order to advise and represent you. Any criminal charges they get will lead them to be barred from adjusting or banned from getting a license.

This being said, sometimes scammers posing as public adjusters will take advantage of an area that’s experienced a natural disaster. For this reason, check the reviews and reputation of the public adjuster you are considering.

A decent public adjuster will have your best interest in mind, and only benefits when you do.

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4. Your insurance will drop you if you use a public adjuster

Insurance companies are at liberty to drop a policyholder at any time regardless of the reason, except for in the middle of a policy period. They are not at liberty to drop you because you’ve hired an advocate for yourself.

If an insurance company drops someone, it’s likely due to neglecting payments or underlying issues that have been in the works before a claim was made.

Although it’s not strictly impossible to be dropped, if you have a legitimate claim there shouldn’t be any worry about your insurance company dropping you. In Florida, the government has a state-run insurance company that can help you out if something does happen with your insurance company. They help people get competitive rates for those who are unable to get insurance.

5. Public adjusters commit insurance fraud

A public adjuster’s job is to build a case for the policyholder based on state statutes. The negotiation process between a public adjuster and an insurance carrier is much like that of a court trial.

The only thing both the insurance company and public adjuster have to work with is the law, the previously outlined policy, and the actual cost of repairs. It’s hard to deceive either party out of a great sum of money with these parameters.

Some of the pushback around public adjusters is from insurance companies themselves because they know they will likely end up paying more for a claim settlement. The public adjuster is skilled at pointing out things that they may have overlooked in their own assessment, which bodes well for the homeowner.

Working with a public adjuster is not insurance fraud, insurance companies just don’t like it.

Furthermore, if a public adjuster is found associated with insurance fraud, they lose their license and are unable to get it back ever. Most would not risk their career and reputation for insurance fraud.

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6. Public adjusters are untrustworthy

Once again, a reputable public adjuster will have your best interest at heart. Their business will only benefit if you do.

If you still have doubts, ask for referrals, references, or testimonials from a public adjuster you are considering. Their reputation should be able to speak for them if they have been able to get results for other people who have been in similar situations as you.

It’s understandable if you have hesitations about hiring a public adjuster. However, consider how much you could stand to benefit if hiring a public adjuster goes well for you. Hiring a quality public adjuster could mean additional thousands of dollars to cover the costs of your damages.

Most importantly, do thorough research on the adjuster you are considering hiring. Thorough research should weed out any untrustworthy professionals, as well as help you feel confident that you will benefit from hiring a public adjuster.

7. Your insurance adjuster can do the same thing as a public adjuster

Although an insurance adjuster and a public adjuster both come out to your property, inspect the damage, and come up with an estimated cost of repairs, there is a stark difference between the two.

Your insurance adjuster works for your insurance company. Meaning, they benefit the most when the insurance company does. They may be more likely to overlook the extent of the damage that has been incurred.

A public adjuster, hired by the policyholder, will want to get the fairest settlement for the homeowner. Unfortunately, their job is necessary because many insurance companies will want to give a smaller settlement to their policyholders than what they are entitled to.

So, though they are similar professionals, hiring a public adjuster will likely result in you getting a higher coverage for the damage you’ve sustained.

Related: Independent Adjuster vs Public Adjuster: Who to Hire and Why

All in all, overcoming any of the doubts you have about hiring a public adjuster could make a huge difference in the outcome of your insurance claim.

Many people who hire a public adjuster appreciate having a guide and advocate that can handle all the details they don’t understand for themselves. Their negotiation skills and knowledge of the industry help the process go smoothly.

If you have any questions or want professional advice, make sure you reach out to us at dependableresolutions@gmail.com

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