Do you need help with your insurance claim? If you're having trouble with your insurer or if your personal or professional situation makes it difficult to manage all the details, you may want to consider hiring a public adjuster. A public adjuster is a claims assistance professional who works only for the insured, not for the insurer. They are experts at determining the full extent and value of property damage and losses due to business interruption, and they can help you with the documentation and negotiation of your insurance claim. In most parts of the United States, you can hire an authorized public adjuster at a “contingent” (percentage) fee who will process your claim and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Some public adjusters specialize in insurance claims for fire or smoke damage, since these claims can be particularly expensive and complicated.
It can be difficult for a policyholder to complete these forms accurately, but a public adjuster can prepare and submit this information for each policyholder's unique claim. Unlike your insurance company's appraiser, who works for the insurance company, a public adjuster represents you and your interests. To be considered a licensed public adjuster in most states, you must meet strict requirements. A public adjuster or lawyer can advise you on the next steps to take, such as filing a complaint, fighting for higher compensation, and negotiating with your insurer. When an insured person uses an attorney to help them resolve a claim, it's not uncommon for the lawyer to hire a public adjuster because of their experience in these areas. Generally, a public adjuster handles the entirety of a claim on behalf of their clients, including communication with the insurer, but some policyholders may want to participate in some measure. It's important to note that Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota and Wisconsin do not have regulatory schemes for public adjusters.
Additionally, it's possible for an insurance company to refuse to negotiate with a public adjuster or to refuse to pay the desired settlement. If you're considering hiring a public adjuster to help with your insurance claim, make sure you understand all of the details of the contract before signing. You'll need to agree to pay a fee or commission based on a percentage of your settlement or other compensation method. Robert is a UP volunteer and authorized public adjuster based in the San Francisco Bay Area with Crown Adjusting, LLC.