Are there any restrictions on how long after an incident occurs that i can hire a public adjuster to help me file an insurance claim?

Insurers will analyze your claim history when setting their rates. Insurers can find homeowner and auto homeowner insurance claims filed over the past seven years in what is called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) database. The more homeowners insurance claims in your history in a CLUE report, the more expensive your home insurance premiums will be. When New York homeowners and small businesses file insurance claims after a disaster, they may hire public appraisers to help with the claims process.

An independent appraiser is any person, firm, association or corporation that acts in this state on behalf of an insurer by investigating and adjusting claims that arise under insurance contracts issued by the insurer. Harris today announced new consumer protections in New York's public appraisers regulation, which will take effect on October 8.Protections help policyholders by clearly defining the obligations of insurers and public appraisers hired by insurers to negotiate the settlement of insurance claims on their behalf. A public appraiser represents you as a plaintiff, but then charges you a percentage of your compensation. Sometimes, after a disaster, the insurance department sets the percentage that public appraisers can charge.

If you have significant damage to your home, you may want to hire a public claims appraiser early in the process. The addition of consumer protection by the DFS to New York's regulation of public appraisers is due to increasingly frequent extreme weather events, including historic storms in New York. In addition, the DFS accelerated the issuance of temporary permits to independent and qualified insurance experts in other states, so that more appraisers are available to process claims and help repair consumer properties and pay claims. If you decide to use a public appraiser to help you resolve your claim, this service could cost you up to 15 percent of the full value of your settlement.

The DFS action further reinforces the obligations of public appraisers and insurers to ensure the fair and prompt resolution of claims. A public appraiser is any person, firm, association, or corporation that acts on behalf of an insured in negotiating the settlement of a claim or claims for loss or damage to the insured's property.

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