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AVNER GAT / President
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Finding A Public Adjuster for Fire Insurance Claims
When you are suffering from smoke and fire damage, the last thing that you want is to make a mistake with the handling of your insurance claim. Homeowner’s insurance compensation is critical to recovery after a significant loss, but you may not have the time to manage your claim personally. When you work with a public adjuster, you will gain a partner who will take over the burden and advocate for you.
In this article, we are going to share our tips for finding the best public adjuster for your fire damage claim.
Determine whether you need a public adjuster
We know this first tip might seem obvious, but the truth is that not every homeowner’s insurance claim requires the aid of a public adjuster. One of the most significant factors in the decision will be the scale of the damage that you have suffered. Public adjusters work on contingency, and they may not be available for small claims. In cases of significant property damage, it makes sense to work with an adjuster. If you have suffered minimal damage, you may prefer to deal with the insurance company directly and avoid paying a public adjuster a percentage of your settlement.
Still not sure if a public adjuster is right for your fire insurance claim? Check out our article on the pros and cons of working with a public adjuster!
We suggest beginning your search with public adjusters in your area. For example, you might use the keywords “fire damage public adjuster Los Angeles” to find relevant businesses. It is helpful to search locally because you will have the assurance that your property falls within the company’s service area.
National public adjusting companies can be effective, but their skills are also more generalized. By operating in multiple states, adjusters must adhere to different state regulations. When you work with a local company, they can provide reliable contractor recommendations, and they will be more familiar with laws in your area.
Read the testimonials
Great service leads to great reviews! As you consider different public adjusters, take the time to browse their testimonials. If the business does not feature testimonials on their website, you can often find them on review sites like Yelp and Trustpilot. For added peace of mind, search for the business with the Better Business Bureau. Their website uses information directly from customers, businesses, and from public data sources to assign a letter grade rating to each company.
Are you interested in learning more about the claims process with Avner Gat? We have created a series of case studies where we review actual cases we have handled in the past. You can read about other smoke and fire damage insurance claims by clicking here.
Check the credentials
Unfortunately, unscrupulous companies may attempt to take advantage of homeowners after a fire incident. One of the most common scenarios occurs when homeowners contact a local contractor or remediation company. Fraudsters may offer to fix your property AND manage your insurance claim. It is illegal for a person to engage in the practice of public adjusting without proper licensing from the California Department of Insurance.
Be wary of anyone who pressures you to sign over your settlement check or sign open work authorization forms. This is a perilous situation because your insurance provider may refuse to pay ‘unreasonable’ repair bills if they do not approve the estimate. In extreme cases, this could lead to a construction lien being placed against the property.
At Avner Gat Inc, all our adjusters carry the appropriate state licensure. Our company license number is #2L73596 and can be verified here. If you would like to view license numbers for individual members of our team, check out our team page. Finally, if you need to verify another public adjuster’s license, you can call the California Department of Insurance at 1-800-967-9331.
We hope that this article has helped you begin the search for your public adjuster! If you have recently suffered a loss, do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your claim. Our main objective is to get you paid every dollar you are owed under your policy.