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Public Adjuster Pros and Cons You Need to Know
Public adjuster pros and cons you need to know when deciding if you should hire a public adjuster to manage an insurance claim on your behalf.
Suffering damage to your property or being a victim of theft can be traumatic. And filing and managing an insurance claim can prove to be a stressful experience. To make matters worse, you might not be paid in full for what you’re entitled to under your homeowners insurance policy.
Should you hire a public adjuster to manage your insurance claim? Let’s find out!
According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in 20 insured homes has a claim each year. The most common claims are for wind and hail damage, followed by water damage. Although occurring less frequently, fire and lightning claims are the most severe.
As a rule of thumb, small and straightforward insurance claims are usually filed and managed by the homeowner. For large or complex claims such as a fire damage claim it’s recommended that a public adjuster should be consulted.
Public Adjuster Pros and Cons
If you’re undecided about whether or not you should hire a public adjuster, here are some pros and cons worth considering. It will assist you in making an informed decision.
Advantages of Using a Public Adjuster
Looks after YOUR Best Interests
When you file an insurance claim, your insurance company will appoint an insurance adjuster. This adjuster is paid for by your insurance company. Their job is to act in the best interests of your insurance company, not your best interests.
A public adjuster looks after YOUR best interests and not those of your insurance company. By hiring a public adjuster you can even the playing field by having someone on your side who can fight for what you’re entitled to.
Makes the Claim Process Less Stressful
We live in a hectic world where feeling stressed has become the norm. If you’re like most other people, you can do with less stress, not more.
Trying to manage a large or complicated insurance claim on your own can be very stressful. It forces you to do something you’re probably not familiar with and takes you out of your comfort zone. By allowing a reputable, experienced public adjuster to manage your claim you can save yourself a lot of headaches.
Helps You Fight a Bad Settlement Offer
You don’t have to accept the first settlement offer you receive from your insurance company. If you have received a bad settlement offer, a public adjuster can help to secure a better offer for you.
Saves You Time
Managing a large insurance claim on your own can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. It can feel like a full-time job – lots of paperwork, meetings, and dealing with contractors.
Hiring a public adjuster to manage the process can free up a lot of time!
Cheaper Than Hiring an Attorney
Many homeowners think hiring an attorney is the best solution when an insurance claim doesn’t go according to plan. However, hiring an attorney is a very expensive option.
Most attorneys charge a contingency fee of 33 to 40 percent of the settlement amount. This is significantly higher than what you can expect to be charged by a public adjuster.
Note: It’s not uncommon for an attorney to make use of the services of a public adjuster.
Negotiates on Your Behalf
Negotiating with insurance adjusters can be very hard. It’s likely they know all the ins and outs and have a counter-argument ready before you even start negotiating. Besides, how good are you at negotiating with an expert about a topic you might know very little about?
An experienced public adjuster often deals with insurance companies or their adjusters on a daily basis. Your public adjuster is in a much stronger position to negotiate a good settlement offer than you are.
Faster Claim Resolution
Working with an efficient public adjuster can speed up the claim settlement process. They know what to do and how to do it right the first time.
Note: In some cases, working with a public advisor can take longer than if you were to do it by yourself. However, such delays might be to your benefit. For example, they might identify hidden damages you’re not aware of.
Likelihood of a Higher Settlement Offer
One of the main advantages of using a public adjuster is the likelihood of a higher settlement offer. They understand the fine print in your homeowners insurance policy. They have the skills, knowledge and experience to negotiate with insurance adjusters.
In addition to the above, public adjusters work on a contingent fee arrangement. They’re paid a fixed percentage of the settlement amount. The higher the settlement amount, the more they’re paid. This is a strong incentive for them to make sure you’re paid the maximum amount owed under your policy.
No Upfront Payment Is Required
Public adjusters don’t require upfront payment. They only have to be paid once you receive payment from your insurance company. If you don’t get paid they don’t get paid.
Disadvantages of Using a Public Adjuster
Contingency Fee Arrangement
If a public adjuster successfully negotiates a settlement agreement on your behalf, they’re entitled to a percentage of the claim payout.
Take into account that they might be able to negotiate a much higher settlement offer than you. In addition, by managing your insurance claim on your behalf, they’re saving you a lot of time and frustration.
Small Claims May Not Be Accepted
Managing an insurance claim can take a lot of time and effort. It’s sometimes not viable for a public adjuster to commit their time and resources to managing a small claim.
Not every homeowners insurance claim requires the skills and experience of a public adjuster. Most homeowners are more than capable of handling small insurance claims on their own.
Not All Public Adjusters Are the Same
Some public adjusters are better than others. Finding the right one for your needs may require a little bit of effort on your side.
Verify that you’re dealing with an experienced, licensed public adjuster. If you have any doubts, ask for references or client testimonials.
Not every homeowners insurance claim requires the intervention of a public adjuster. Small and straightforward insurance claims can usually be filed and managed directly by the homeowner.
For large or complex claims such as fire damage it’s recommended that a public adjuster should be consulted. The pros of hiring one far outweigh the cons.
Avner Gat has over 15 years of experience as a public adjuster in Southern California. We have helped countless clients get the best settlement offer they could from their insurance company, and we want to help you too.
Call us at (818) 917-5256 for a free, no-strings-attached consultation.