Public Claims Adjuster Frequently Asked Questions
How to claim fire damage?
An insurance claim is a difficult process in the first place, but when a property has fire damage, it adds many complex levels to the claim. First, we must make sure that the air quality in the property is properly tested. We need to review the cause and origin report from the fire department to verify the information they provided about the loss and specifically, the cause of loss, matches with the policy coverages. The contents need to be inventoried and all unsalvageable items should be documented and photographed. The structure of the property, including the trusses, needs to be inspected to confirm their stability. There are several moving parts, but we handle all of that. Using us as your advocate will take all the burden off your hands and put them into an experienced adjuster’s, that is only looking out for your best interests.
What is fire damage restoration?
Fire damage restoration companies exist to help homeowners and business owners that have experienced a fire loss. The need for such companies exists because fire leaves behind a messy trail. Having a property repaired that underwent a fire should be done by professions that specialize in Fire damage. These fire damage restoration companies have licensed air quality professionals test the home and put together a report detailing the air quality. They will make sure that your home does not have structural damage. If the property does need repairs that the insurance company is not willing to pay for, then consider hiring a Public Adjuster to advocate your interests. My firm helps to maximize the award from the insurance carrier, so you have enough funds to properly repair the property.
Why hire a public adjuster?
A policyholder that has damage from a clearly covered loss and receives enough money to fix the property would not necessarily need the services of a public adjuster, however, a study was done in 2008 that showed if you used the services of a public adjuster, instead of just relying on the insurance company’s adjuster, then you received over 500% more of an award than your neighbor, who had the same damage, but did not hire a public adjuster. My profession specifically represents and advocates the interest of the policyholder during a property claim. An insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and even though many company adjusters want to help the policyholders, certain carriers make certain policies that get claims dropped because of constant requests for paperwork that doesn’t really apply to the situation. Insurance companies are a business just like any other. They don’t deeply care about your safety or well-being, they care about your ability to pay the premiums. They deny many legitimate claims, they underpay many approved claims, and they delay the process all the way around.
Who pays a public adjuster?
The policyholder pays a public adjuster. Most public adjusters work on a contingency, which is a lot like an attorney. No money up front, they receive a percentage of the award from the insurance claim. That fee can range from 5-20%. In the state of Florida, regarding fees for representation for Hurricane related claims, the maximum a public adjuster can charge is 10% for the first year of the damage. The policyholder would pay the adjuster their agreed upon percentage at the completion of the claim. Many adjusters charge and work differently. It is important to select a well-respected company that has been around for long time and you feel you can trust with your claim.
How do I appeal a denied home insurance claim?
Appealing an insurance claim denial depends on the verbiage of your policy regarding disputes. Also, your options depend on what type of loss you experienced. If you had fire damage, water damage, roof damage, tree damage, hail damage, losses of the like, then your policy most likely has Mediation and/or Appraisal. The specific language in the policy, defines how they can be invoked. They are both very different processes and if you need to appeal a denied claim, then consider having a team of professionals represent you during the appeal. We have experience with the different options to help advance a claim that was before denied.