Do you hire a realtor to buy or sell a property? Do you hire an accountant to prepare or file your taxes? Do you hire a contractor to rebuild your home?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may understand why you should hire a public adjuster when you need to file a property insurance claim.
If an incident occurs and you need to file a claim with your insurance company, you allow their adjuster to inspect your damages, you fill out all of the paperwork, give the insurance company all of the documents you think they need, and then you cross your fingers hoping they come through for you. Hope is wonderful, though wouldn’t it make sense to have more hope after hiring an expert that represents YOUR interests?? A skilled public adjuster can help you file your claim, show your insurance company all the true damage, and negotiate your settlement in its entirety without the emotional burden that comes along with having a devastating event ruin your property you’ve worked so hard to upkeep.
It IS about the MONEY $$
One of the most important things that you might miss out on without a public adjuster is your settlement amount. It’s no secret that insurance companies have been known to low-ball you with their first offer. Since the claims process is complicated, you may decide to just take what you can get and leave it at that.. You may choose to fight your initial offer, but you might take the next one they propose that is slightly higher even though it’s still not actually what you are entitled to based on your damages.
Public adjusters are experts in their field, and they will negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf to make sure you receive the full amount your insurance company owes you.
Insurance policies are complicated, and you may not be able to determine whether you have coverage for something. If the right language is not used in your claim, you could end up getting denied on a technicality.
Some of these include:
“I have mold.” Claim Denied. Instead, say “I have water damage from a broken pipe that then caused mold.”
“I had a flood in my house.” Claim Denied. You might mean that you had a pipe break that caused water to damage throughout your home; this feels like a flood to you, but homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover floods, so using that language can get your claim denied instantly.
“This was leaking for sooo long.” Claim Denied. If your pipe burst on Saturday night, and you could not get the plumber to come fix it until Monday morning, that may feel like forever to you, but your insurance company may interpret that it was leaking for months, which means you were negligent and they can deny your claim.
“There is damage from the sewer overflowing.” Claim Denied. Since the damage sounds like it was not caused by something directly in your home, some insurance companies may not be willing to cover those damages. However, if there was a drain pipe that collapsed inside your own, that then caused the toilet to overflow, most policies would cover this claim.
Your insurance company has the advantage
Insurance policies are lengthy and complicated and so is understanding what needs to be done to actually repair your damaged property. Unless you are an expert at reading and understanding legalese AND construction and restoration, it’s difficult to get the insurance company to pay out what’s actually needed.
If you are left confused by your insurance policy OR what your property damages truly consist of, you’re probably giving your insurance company the advantage with your claim. As an average property owner, you have no way of knowing whether or not you got a fair deal from your insurance company unless you have someone with years of experience, on your side representing your interests, every step of the way during all inspections and negotiations.
Property owners do not know how to fight, who to fight, or even what they need to fight for. This leaves you at a tremendous disadvantage.
Another problem you may run into is that sometimes an insurance company will intentionally draw out the length of your claim. Their hope is that by the time they finally do give you a settlement amount, it has been so long that you will take it, simply because you are tired of fighting.
Public adjusters can help make sure your forms are submitted properly the first time and that no “stone remains unturned” when it comes to the damages. They also know how to handle insurance companies who intentionally draw out claims so they can get away with paying less.
At the end of the day (and the beginning of it) there is an inherent conflict of interest between an insurer and their insured. Whereas many insurance adjusters aim to be fair, are they equipped, educated, or authorized to a degree that enables them to provide payment to the maximum benefits for every policyholder’s claim? Is it in your insurance company’s best interest to pay every claim to the MAXIMUM of its merits?
Even if your insurance company grants coverage for your property claim, the average property owner has zero idea how to read the repair estimates carriers must legally provide along with settlement payment. Did the insurance company pay for everything they were supposed to? Are you to trust them when they say “everything was paid for”? Who determines that??
Public adjusters can level the playing field for you. PUBLIC ADJUSTERS and attorneys are the only individuals licensed by the state to represent policyholders during their crucial times of need. Attorneys can be great, but representing “in the field” isn’t their forte’. They do best, once there has been wrongdoing by the insurance company, perhaps months, or years after the incident or loss occurs. Public adjusters, on the other hand, are there from the start, guiding policyholders during the stressful and grueling claims process. As a result, PUBLIC ADJUSTERS are typically able to minimize or even eliminate, simple mistakes, underpayments, and insurance company wrongdoing altogether, while ultimately maximizing settlement recovery.