Filing an insurance claim after a disaster is a stressful process. To avoid having to deal with the hassle, and with hopes of getting more money from the insurance company, many homeowners seek the help of a licensed public adjuster.
A public adjuster is an insurance claims specialist who interprets the homeowner’s policy, assesses the damage and how much it will cost to repair, and negotiates with the insurance company on behalf of the homeowner until the claim is settled.
Public claims adjusters are professionals who act solely on behalf of the policyholder and help ensure homeowners get the money they are entitled to under the policy. They differ from adjusters hired by the insurance companies to assist with the claim because their compensation comes out of the homeowner’s pocket, not the insurance company’s.
Homeowners don’t always need the help of a public adjuster. But for many, the assistance is crucial. It’s a judgment call. You have to determine whether you need the service or not.
When do you need a leading public adjuster?
Some people decide to hire an adjuster simply because they don’t have the time to deal with the insurance claim process.
The general rule of thumb is if you estimate you have losses of $10,000 or more, it’s probably wise to hire a public adjuster. But it really depends on your circumstances and how the insurance company is reacting.
If your adjuster doesn’t return calls or answer questions properly, or if you think the adjuster left any damages off your claim, you should probably get your own public adjuster.
How do you go about finding a good public adjuster?
One place to start your search for a public adjuster is the NAPIA website. The organization has a vetting process and requires members to be licensed and to have been in business for at least two years to become members. Keep in mind having a license alone is not a guarantee you are hiring the best.
Go by prior clients and word of mouth. Check their websites, get a reference list and talk to some of their clients.
It’s also helpful to check with your state’s department of insurance to see if there are any complaints filed against the adjuster you’re about to hire.
What to expect from an adjuster
A public adjuster should assess your losses and help you get what your entitled to from your insurance company.
For more information, contact Berger Adjusters in Brookline and Providence.