Have you been wondering, "What is a public adjuster?"
Although you may not need one in your everyday life, a public adjuster can be a valuable asset in navigating your insurance when crisis strikes. Whether it’s your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you should be prepared for anything.
Deciding when to hire a public adjuster shouldn’t be a guessing game. Here’s everything you need to know about public adjusters and when to pull the trigger.
What is a Public Adjuster?
What does a public adjuster do? A public adjuster is an insurance professional used by policyholders when settling an insurance claim on his or her behalf. Nine times out of ten, these claims involve flood, smoke, fire, wind and hurricane damage. Other damage can also be negotiated.
You may need additional assistance; this is when public adjusters are called upon. An individual might believe a claim amount offered by an insurance company is wrong.
Having someone experienced in your corner during these disasters can be calming, but how much does a public adjuster cost?
Know the Cost Beforehand
Most of the time public insurance adjusters won’t charge a fee to visit the site of the loss or damage. The fee comes when the adjuster is filing a claim.
The standard cost involves a percentage of what the policyholder’s insurance carrier would pay for the claim. The fee varies with each adjuster, but state law can cap fees at different percentages.
Percentages can be as high as 15 percent of the insurance settlement.
Choose Your Adjuster
A public adjuster is a broad term that covers three types of adjusters.
The most common form for policyholders is a staff adjuster. These individuals are an employee of an insurance company.
Another type of public claims adjuster is an independent adjuster. These adjusters are independent contractors that insurance companies will pay to handle claims. This is usually done when the company has a lot of claims happening at once (i.e. a natural disaster).
You might also run into a public adjuster that works for the policyholder. The licensed adjuster will work on behalf of the policyholder during the claims process. If you’re in need of one in the Wisconsin area, Miller Public Adjusters can help.
Create a Checklist
If you’ve decided you want to hire a public claims adjuster, there are a few final steps.
Be sure to check your adjuster's references and qualifications. Ensure your adjuster has a license in the state where your loss occurred. Strong recommendations from family and other associates are of the utmost importance.
Avoid falling into “peer pressure” and read your contract before signing.
Know your facts after a major disaster. What state you’re in could result in in-state insurance departments having a preset percentage public adjusters can charge. Don’t let yourself get scammed by door-to-door adjusters.
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