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.
When you file a claim, your homeowners insurance company will assign you a claims adjuster. The appraiser's job is to assess the damage to your property and determine a fair amount of payment based on the levels of coverage you have in your policy. Public appraisers are experts at determining the full extent and value of property damage and losses due to business interruption. Public appraisers are professionals who are licensed to work on behalf of the policyholder to resolve property damage claims.
It is essential to check references and agree on rates and terms before entering into a contract with a public appraiser. You can also check if they are members of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. If you're in the process of filing a claim with your insurance company, it may be worth hiring a public appraiser. Bankrate breaks down what a public appraiser is so you can determine if it would be beneficial to hire this outside professional.
Insurance agencies generally understand the desire to hire an additional lawyer and respond in a professional manner when hiring a public appraiser. If you go directly to a lawyer, your lawyer will likely hire a public appraiser to investigate the claim. Instead of using the insurance company's adjuster, some policyholders choose to hire a public appraiser. If you choose to do so, your public appraiser will act as a liaison so that you never have to talk to a representative or negotiate yourself.
A public appraiser is an insurance professional who works on behalf of the policyholder to resolve a claim. In addition, the public appraiser will carefully review your claim and ensure that no damage is overlooked. Thanks to their experience and determination to find everything possible, the public appraiser can help ensure that nothing is omitted in the claim or in the resolution of the claim. If the public appraiser is questioning the damage or how much it might cost to repair it, you may decide to use a contractor for a second opinion.