Frequently Asked Questions

Some answers for the questions you may have.

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PastPerformance:

We are a powerful partner;
our member's clients are the proof.

November 16, 2011

demoIndependant Members of PublicAdjusters.com have negotiated hundreds of millions of dollars – including tens of millions in increased settlements—on behalf of our clients. From Fires to Explosions; to devastating natural disasters such as Floods, Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Tornados, thousands of victims have turned to us and found a powerful partner to pull them through in their time of need.

ConsumerAlert:

 According to the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

for non-catastrophe, every day  claims, policyholders who used public adjusters received an estimated $9,379 on their claim, compared to $1,391 for those policyholders that did not use a public adjuster (a difference of 674%).


OPPAGA supports the Florida Legislature by providing evaluative research and objective analyses to promote government accountability and the efficient and effective use of public resources. This project was conducted in accordance with applicable evaluation standards. Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-3804), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a Public Adjuster?

  • A Public Adjuster is a professional who has expert knowledge on loss adjustments. He is employed by the general public to assist them in preparing, filing and negotiating equitable adjustments of insurance claims.
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Are Public Adjusters in any way affiliated with Insurance Companies?

  • No. On the contrary, the main advantage of a public adjuster is that he is on the policyholder's side, an advocate, assisting you throughout the claims negotiation and claim settlement with your insurance company.  The Public Adjusters's services are engaged exclusively by the policyholder and not the insurance company.
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What could a Public Adjusters do for me?

  • Guide, advise, support and relieve.  We will advise and assist you in the preparation of building damage assessment reports, estimates, inventories, and other factual proofs of loss. We will handle all the necessary details for compiling and filing claims, as required by the terms of your insurance policies. We will also meet and confer with the insurance company representatives and handle all negotiations essential to a proper, satisfactory, and equitable settlement of your claim.
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How can Public Adjusters better serve me over an insurance company adjuster?

  • The insurance company adjuster is employed exclusively by the insurance company and is loyal to the insurance company and it's interests.  He must strike a balance between your interests and those of his company. A Public Adjuster is hired by the policyholder and works exclusively for his client's best interests.
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Why should I hire a Public Adjusters to get what's rightfully due me?

  • Mostly, because many times, people really do not know what is rightfully due them. We do!! We are your exclusive representatives. With our experience and knowledge, we are far more prepared to bring about a favorable, satisfactory and equitable settlement.  To properly adjust an insurance claim, highly skilled professional insurance experts, with a vast knowledge, are a necessity.  Insurance experts know everything about co-insurance, depreciation, inventories, building damage assessments, repair and replacement costs, and negotiation are all necessary to secure the maximum recovery from your insurance policy. Only an experienced professional public adjuster or public adjusting firm has these qualifications.
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Why can't my Insurance Agent or Broker handle my claim?

  • Agents or brokers are well trained in determining your insurance needs, and placing or writing insurance programs, but they are not well trained in detailing insurance losses. You can't expect an Agent or Broker, who is not paid to adjust losses, to try and "adjust" one. They generally don't have the time, training, motivation or facilities to render the highly specialized service of insurance adjusting.
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Why do I need help in filing an insurance claim?

  • The typical insurance policy contains many provisions, complex details, and technical language about your requirements and the complicated procedures you must adhere to in case of loss. Many people do not know or understand these policy provisions, and do not realize that the burden of proof is on them, as the policyholder. Professional public adjusters are well trained in what to look for in an insurance policy and fully understand the necessary procedures which are needed when preparing and filing a claim.  In other words, the success prospects of a professionally filed insurance claim are much higher than a basic, unprofessionally filed claim.

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How do public adjusters determine the actual loss?

  • Public Adjusters are trained to assess damages and they have the experince to do that.  Moreover, as the policyholder's representative, they will always try to protect the interests of the policyholder.
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Can I prepare my own claim better than a public adjuster?

  • We take a physical inventory of your damage with your assistance, prepare the estimate of damages to your building, and obtain other pertinent documentation to determine your loss of rents, business interruption or additional living expenses. We make certain that all provisions in your insurance policy are properly fulfilled. This often involves numerous steps of which you may know little or nothing about, but can make a significant impact on the outcome of the amount for your final settlement.
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Why shouldn't I wait to get an offer from the insurance company before engaging a public adjuster?

  • At the onset, the insurance company makes a dollar evaluation of your loss at the time they first inspect it. This is called a "reserve" and is an absolute requirement in most states. The adjuster bases the "reserve" solely upon his initial inspection, your knowledge of the loss, and additional information you may remember to tell him. He is hired and paid by the insurance company so his interest is how to best protect his employer. Unless some agreements are made initially regarding the scope of loss and what is to be done next (such as temporary repairs, temporary business or living quarters, cleaners, etc...), serious problems could arise that may jeopardize the final settlement figures. To avoid misunderstandings, long delays and reduced settlement figures, it is wise to hire a professional public adjuster, before getting an offer from the insurance company.  The Public Adjusters should be hired immediately after the insured event. 
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Why are the builder or contractor's estimates insufficient to enable the insurance company to make an equitable settlement?

  • Building contractors do not have the necessay experience to interpret insurance policies or how they affect the policyholder's damages. They don't have the ability to calculate depreciation, coinsurance, actual cash value provisions of the policy, and other elements of your loss. Furthermore, to get the job, a contractor will provide you with the lowest possible quote, leaving out hidden damages thich may pop up after the restoration process is over.


    Hidden heat, smoke damage, and water damage could cause you problems even after you settle your claim. These elements are among the many elements that are usually overlooked, because many contractors are not familiar with the proper preparation of a detailed estimate format that the insurance company can recognize.   In addition, a contractor can't handle your contents inventories, prepares your additional living expense claim, or business interruption claim.

    As professional Public Adjusters, our independant members engage the services of skilled, knowledgeable, experienced engineers, builders, and/or loss experts to prepare highly detailed estimates of all aspects of your loss. The restoration estimate we write has the suitable format for the insurance company and is completed  in conjunction with examinations by both the company adjusters and our experts. Every item of reconstruction is accounted for and detailed in the report. The estimate specifically details all aspects of damage repairs necessary to restore the building to its original condition.

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Will my loss be settled quicker with the services of a public adjuster?

  • Of course!  Accumulation of evidence and substantiation begins without delay.  With your cooperation and assistance, we will quickly have your claim filed and the settlement process underway.  We know exactly what the insuance company expects in order to expedite the settlement of your claim.  By preparing all the essential information and writing it in a proper format for the insurance company, we significantly reduce the settlement timeframe.
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How do Public Adjusters charge a fee?

  • Our individual members charge only a small percentage of what you receive as a settlement. Since we share the same interests and are on the same side, we'll do our best to maximize your settlement and expedite the process.  We don't charge any fee until the insurance company actually issues the check to you. We also guarantee that the benefits gained from engaging our services will more than compensate the cost of our fee, at the very least. Our fees are usually "contingent" and similar to how attorneys and realtors charge their fees.
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Can a public adjuster help me with my tax loss?

  • Yes, we can.  We will work cooperatively with your accountant, providing all the documentation you need.  We'll help your CPA or attorney complete any tax losses you may suffer as a result of your claim. We have successfully collaborated with many of these professionals, helping them to prepare all the information they need to provide them with a detailed loss picture for your tax loss. There are no charges for providing this information, though our fees do not cover charges to you for accounting, legal or expert services.

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