When it comes to filing an insurance claim, many policyholders turn to public adjusters for help. These professionals are employed by the insurance company and work on behalf of the policyholder to assess the damage and negotiate a fair settlement. However, there are certain restrictions on how much money you can receive from an insurance company after working with a public adjuster. Typically, public adjusters charge between 5 and 15% of the total settlement amount.
This fee may be reduced if the amount of money paid to the claimant increases. It's important to note that public adjusters are employees of the insurance company and their work is done on behalf of the insurer, not the policyholder. In cases of large losses, such as due to a fire, for example, the damage can be significant. In these cases, some insurance companies may try to save money in the payment process.
Ultimately, the insurance adjuster must satisfy the insurance company's requirements. The insurer will send its own appraiser, but you can also hire a public insurance appraiser to assess the loss of property on your behalf and help you file insurance claims. It can be difficult for a policyholder to complete these forms accurately, but a public claims adjuster can prepare and submit this information for each policyholder's unique claim. The hourly rate will depend on the state you are in, the experience and knowledge of public experts, your operating costs and the type of policy your claim is subject to.
Hiring a public insurance appraiser may seem like a good idea to help you maximize your claim payment and resolve it quickly. However, it's usually best to work directly with your insurance agent and insurance company. A public appraiser is not affiliated with the insurance company and is only there for your benefit. Public appraiser fees are usually a percentage of the amount that the insurance company pays for the policyholder's claim.
For example, Florida public appraisers are not allowed to charge more than 20% of the final fee in a situation that is not declared a disaster, nor more than 10% if a disaster has been declared. This fee structure is designed to motivate public appraisers to request higher compensation for their clients. Your public appraiser will assess the damage, determine a cost estimate, and even negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf. Depending on the severity and complication of the claim, you may want to seek out a more experienced public appraiser. If you're too busy to manage the claims process on your own or need help, a public appraiser may be an option for you.
However, it's probably too late to go to a public appraiser if you've signed a definitive authorization or if your claim period has been extended beyond the statute of limitations.