FAQs

What is a homeowners insurance claim?

An insurance claim is a formal request sent to an insurance company asking for compensation for damages that are covered under the terms of the insurance policy. The claim process involves listing, describing and valuing everything that was damaged or destroyed, meeting with adjusters, and sometimes contractors, and reviewing reports and estimates.  It is very helpful to have a public adjuster on your side helping you navigate the process from start to finish.

Every insurance policy is different and there are many variables involved in determining whether your accident is covered. In the case of homeowners insurance, your insurance provider will dispatch an adjuster who will evaluate the damage and make a recommendation based on their experience, as well as the details of your policy and coverage. The process of filing an insurance claim varies depending on the type of coverage in question.

What are the top homeowners insurance claims?

Did you know that one in every 15 policyholders will need to file a homeowners insurance claim in their lifetime? On a national level, the most common homeowners’ insurance claim is filed for damage caused by wind or hail. Here in California, we do not experience frequent hail storms, but we are vulnerable to water damage and fire damage events, which are the second and third most frequently filed homeowners insurance claims.

How long do you have to file an insurance claim after an incident of property damage or loss?

While all contracts are different, most insurance companies require that a prompt notice is given to the company. That means that if you have a loss you must notify your insurance company or agent right away.  Furthermore, you should file your claim as quickly as possible to avoid a breach of your insurance policy, which may justify your claim being denied.

What are your responsibilities as a property owner?

If you experience any damage or loss to your home or business, it is your responsibility to mitigate the damage. You may need to contact an emergency service company to provide mitigation services. Do not dispose of your damaged belongings or reconstruct the damage before calling your insurance company. Most policies have a condition that requires you to display the damaged property.

What is a public adjuster?

A Public Adjuster is a highly skilled insurance professional that has extensive knowledge of insurance policies and who specializes in the adjustment of claims.  They are hired by policyholders to present, manage and negotiate their claims.

Why can’t I work directly with the insurance company and get the same results?

History shows that it is unlikely that you will obtain the same results.  The insurance company’s adjusters represent their interests, not yours. Many company adjusters are overworked or inexperienced and it often results in the inaccurate adjustment of your claim.  Therefore, many things you are entitled to receive are missed or overlooked.

How do public adjusters work?

Public adjusters are independent adjusters hired by individuals to represent them in their dealings with their insurance company. Our main objective is to get you paid every dollar you are owed under your policy. Our service is no upfront cost to you as we work on a contingency basis only and our fees are based solely on a percentage of the claim payments we bring you. Therefore, we are motivated to bring you the maximum amount available under your policy in the shortest amount of time.

Why is it in my best interest to hire my own public adjuster instead of using the insurance company adjusters?

The insurance company adjusters are employed by the insurance company and they are looking out for their interest and doing what they are told.  On the other hand, we work for you and our loyalties are to you. We are only looking out for your interest.  It is hard for insurance company adjusters not to have some sort of conflict of interest or be impartial because the insurance company pays their salary.

Will I be cancelled, or will my rates go up if I use a public adjuster?

No, not for using the services of a public adjuster. However, you need to be aware that when you file a claim it may trigger an underwriting review which can result in a rate increase and/or other changes with your current policy and its coverage.  The California Department of Insurance has attempted to limit what is sometimes called the “use it and lose it” practices of the insurance industry.

Do I have to pay my public adjuster up front?

No, we work on a contingency basis. We are not paid unless you are paid and we collect money from the insurance carrier.

Is it too late for me to hire a public adjuster after I received payment(s)?

No, you can hire us after you have received payments.  The only time it is too late to hire us is after any applicable time limitations have expired. We recommend you contact us to review your claim if you think you may have been underpaid to determine if there are any other reasons that would prevent you from retaining us.

Why can’t my agent handle the claim for me?

Your agent is not trained to adjust claims.  In general, they are not familiar with construction and what it will take to restore you home or business. In almost all cases, your agent is not involved in the actual adjustment of your loss.  In addition, they are usually not licensed to adjust claims and negotiate settlements on your behalf.

What’s the difference between a public adjuster and an attorney?

Public adjusters are not attorneys.  We specialize in the adjustment of property damage claims.  Unlike attorneys, we document the loss to support the damages and get you paid as soon as possible.  Many attorneys will hire public adjusters to help them evaluate damages so they will know the extent of the damage.  Also, public adjuster’s do not provide legal advice.

How long do you have to file an insurance claim after a water damage or fire damage incident?

While all contracts are different, most insurance companies require that a prompt notice be given to the company. That means that if you have a loss you must notify your insurance company or agent right away.  File your claim as quickly as possible to avoid a breach of your insurance policy, which may justify your claim being denied.  But don’t file your claim before carefully assessing all the damage you have incurred.

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