You hire a public appraiser by signing a contract in which you agree to pay a fee or commission based on a percentage of your settlement or other compensation method. If you have problems with your insurer, or if your personal or professional situation makes it difficult for you to manage all the details, you can hire a professional to help with claims. In most parts of the United States, today, you can hire an authorized public appraiser at a “contingent” (percentage) fee who will process your claim and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. A public appraiser is a claims assistance professional that you can hire to represent you in the documentation and negotiation of your insurance claim.
A public appraiser works only for the insured, not for the insurers. As a policyholder, it's your duty to prove to your insurance company how much money you're owed. By hiring a public appraiser, you'll have a professional who will work on your behalf every step of the way. Some public appraisers specialize in insurance claims for fire or smoke damage, since these claims can be particularly expensive and complicated.
You hire a public insurance appraiser to help you with the claim before you learn that your claim payment will be less than what you actually need to rebuild. Your insurance company 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. Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota and Wisconsin do not have regulatory schemes for public appraisers. 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.
Unlike your insurance company's appraiser, who works for the insurance company, a public appraiser represents you and your interests. Public appraisers are experts at determining the full extent and value of property damage and losses due to business interruption. To be considered a licensed public appraiser in most states, you must meet strict requirements. A public appraiser 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.
Robert is a UP volunteer and authorized public adjuster based in the San Francisco Bay Area with Crown Adjusting, LLC. Generally, a public appraiser 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. When an insured person uses an attorney to help them resolve a claim, it's not uncommon for the lawyer to hire a public appraiser because of their experience in these areas. Public appraisers are professionals who are licensed to work on behalf of the policyholder to resolve property damage claims.
It's also possible for an insurance company to refuse to negotiate with a public appraiser or to refuse to pay the desired settlement.