Should I Hire a Public Adjuster?
Most recently, hurricane Irma brought devastation to numerous places, including the state of Florida in the year 2017. In fact, there was a total estimated loss of $9,701,252, and 978,767 claims filed for property losses. Many individuals were left without homes, nowhere to go, loss of words, and without anything but the shoes on their feet. Even now, individuals are still suffering the effects of such devastation that impacted Florida. When property loss and damage have been endured, insurance claims for such losses are imminent.
Despite the efforts of these victims, they may be faced with insurance companies that do not care for their losses but only for the money that they will lose for paying these claims. The irony behind it all is that policyholders of these policies pay to be covered by these disasters, yet when the time comes to be compensated, insurance companies give these victims a hard time during such difficult moments. Whether it is to file a claim of these damages or to fight a settlement that was not fairly given to a policyholder, a licensed public adjuster is skilled in the arts of property damage and losses and understands the full scope surrounding the seriousness of property damage.
A policyholder’s best interest will be taken by the hands of a professional public adjuster to handle their property insurance claim. The purpose of a public adjuster and its creation by the state was to ensure that an expert advocate would be provided for the policyholder and assist in leveling the playing field with the insurance company. Unlike the insurance lawyer that is sent out by the insurance company, a public adjuster works alongside the policyholder, not the insurance carrier. The victim of the property damage is not taken into consideration by the insurance lawyers that work for the insurance companies.
In the scope of the contract of the policyholder, an expert Floridian public adjuster will ensure that their client obtains the maximum allowed compensation within their agreement, effectively completes all the requirements to file the claim, and most importantly, helps their client manage the claim the best way possible. In addition, the most out of the settlement and avoiding to go to trial is another benefit that a public adjuster provides.
Top Reasons and Circumstances Why You Should Hire a Public Adjuster
When an individual goes through a traumatic event such as the total loss of their home, they might be confused and lost as to what to do or who to turn to during the aftermath. Because this event is a severe occurrence, it is essential to understand the various reasons that a public adjuster has that can give purpose to the victim to seek one. Below are some valid points and situations that could happen that should a public adjuster one of the very first professionals that a policyholder should research on and take the policyholder by total surprise:
- Rebuilding a damaged house can be more expensive than filing a claim for the total loss of a home
- Both you and your mortgage bank will receive checks; mortgage banks would most likely release settlement money in three installments, having you to use money out-of-pocket to fix damages
- Checks marked as “final or full settlement” should not be cashed; if such checks are cash, the policyholder might lose their opportunity to obtain all the compensation they deserve
- The home insurance claim should not be signed as released by the policyholder; this action could lead to the dismissal of any future claims or compensation
- Items being replaced by cheaper versions; Public adjusters ensure that the property that their client lost is replaced by property of the same quality and value
- Don’t go to a shelter if your home is at a total loss and mandates evacuation; Insurance companies cover “additional living expenses” this includes, food, transportation, and shelter
- An out-of-state adjuster will be brought by insurance companies persistent to a widespread disaster; typically, an out-of-state adjuster will be hired by the company who does not understand the local building costs in your area and who are not licensed to practice in your state
- Most people settle for less than what they deserve; the majority of claimants settle for less than they should obtain because they are exhausted with the case. That is the fact that insurance companies take advantage of, and one that can be avoided with the help of an expert public adjuster
- The value that hiring a public adjuster has on a claim; with a public adjuster by the policyholder side, they are at an even field with the insurance company Fees charged by public adjuster; because public adjusters charge their fees in accordance with the percentage of the settlement, they have a great incentive to obtain the maximum amount
Above are just some situations that could happen after filing a claim for property loss and points that a public adjuster has that can help a policyholder throughout the whole process.
The Whole Process
Filing a claim for property damage is exhaustive. Not only is it tiring, but it is composed of numerous details, requirements, and specifications in order to successfully file one. Because of the strenuous nature involved with such claims, completing an insurance form accurately is most likely not to occur by the policyholder. The accuracy in which these forms are filled out could be obtained by a professional public adjuster. This is an example of what the cost of an insurance form would look like:
|Item Description||Quantity||Unit Cost||Total Cost|
|Ceiling replacement plater||155.00 SF@||$13.50||$2,591.50|
|Wall replacement plaster||121.00 SF@||$11.50||$1,609.50|
|Wall insulation replacement||216.00 SF@||$1.20||$243.00|
|Drywall wall walls replacement||318.00 SF@||$2.00||$974.00|
|Base and trim replacement|
|Wood floor replacement|
|Window replacement||2.30 EA@||$565.00||$1,130.00|
Knowing how to calculate and knowing what to input exactly in this form comes with knowledge and experience. Who better to correctly fill out this portion of the form other than a public adjuster? Just imagine, this is only one part of the whole process needed to be precisely filled out. Any claim that is improperly done could ruin the chances of the policyholder at being compensated fairly.
When to Turn to a Public Adjuster
There are various conditions and situations that should give a policyholder enough reason to turn to a public adjuster. If one or more of the following exists, contact a public adjuster in Florida:
- The insurance company’s demands are taking up too much of your time; individuals have their lives and are filled with responsibilities. The requirements of the insurance company may be too much for the policyholder to handle alone.
- The legal jargon of the policy is not understandable; typically, policies are made for the policyholder not to understand. The uncertainty of coverage can arise from such confusing contracts. Turn to a public adjuster who will review your losses with no obligation and clarify any confusions within the agreement.
- Lack of expertise; There may be a dreadful feeling when filing an insurance claim, mainly because of all the complicated and extensive damages that may exist. When in doubt, avoid mistakes that can diminish your chances of a settlement by speaking with an expert adjuster
- A vast amount of damage; a number of complications arise when the damages that are caused are extensive. There may be damages that are due under the contract that are missed as a result. In addition, the categories where the expenses of the claim are placed could be incorrect. The valuables and possessions can impact the value of the claim, the value of the property, and any hidden structural damage.
- A quick payoff is being offered; Statistics show that the policyholder is happier the faster that they are paid. Sadly, these quick actions cannot be overlooked. The majority of times when a policyholder is paid quickly is most likely to avoid paying them the maximum compensation. The insurance company just wants to get over with your claim by giving you the less amount as possible while making you think that they are providing you with excellent customer service. Property claim cases require time and patience. Being forced or rushed to sign anything should not occur.
- The claim is appearing to be delayed; If a run-around with the claim is present, seek help from a public adjuster. Typically, claims are delayed when there are significant disasters, causing a jam in claims. Regardless, insurance companies have a specific time-frame that they must abide by when processing insurance claims for property.
- The insurance company offering inconsistent settlement with respect to the coverage; the best interest of policyholders is often not taken by carriers and adjusters of insurance companies. They want to profit, and to profit, they must attempt to value the property of the policyholder much less than it actually is valued to be. Sometimes, the offers made do not even touch one fraction of the total loss endured by the policyholder. Due to this, a professional public adjuster that utilizes the same software for estimating property than does an insurance company can help their clients.
- The insurance company is trying to steer you from hiring a public adjuster; it is a red flag when an insurance company is discouraging a policyholder to hire a public adjuster. The act alone should indicate that the insurance company is trying to avoid something and is without a doubt doing something they are not supposed to.
Public Adjusters Want Your Best Interest
Unlike insurance lawyers, and the adjusters set-out by the insurance companies, a Floridian expert public adjuster will always watch out for their client. Just remember that a public adjuster is paid based out of a percentage of the total settlement that their client acquires, this means that the professional representative will do all in their power to get the most out of every loss their client has suffered. Whether you decide to seek a public adjuster or not, it is always better to be safe than sorry and seek advice from one before making any life-changing decisions. There are many reasons why a public adjuster is the best option and road that a policyholder who is having a difficult time to acquire a claim, having their claim delayed, or being forced to sign documents should take. Don’t let this loss ruin your future. The public adjusters in Florida are knowledgeable and eager to assist these victims in combatting these fierce insurance companies.