When faced with a major insurance claim, some policyholders choose to hire a public adjuster to help manage the process. A public adjuster is an independent professional who specializes in evaluating and negotiating insurance claims on behalf of policyholders. They can take some of the guesswork out of the process, but this convenience comes with an out-of-pocket cost. A public adjuster will assess the damage to your property, help determine the extent of the repairs, and estimate the replacement value of those repairs.
They will also carefully review your claim and ensure that no damage is overlooked. This can be beneficial if you are dealing with a potentially high payment. Under Texas law, public experts working on your claim cannot act as your contractor and contractors cannot announce that they will deal with your insurance claim. Instead, you may decide to use a contractor for a second opinion if the public adjuster is questioning the damage or how much it might cost to repair it.
The best time to hire a public claims adjuster is before filing the claim or early in the claims process. The NAPIA directory lists all public appraisal firms that must have a license in their state of operation. Bankrate also provides information about what a public appraiser is so you can determine if it would be beneficial to hire this outside professional. If your insurance company doesn't increase its offer after hiring the public appraiser, you'll still have to pay the adjuster. Some people think that the additional expense of hiring a public appraiser is worth it, if only for the peace of mind that they won't have to manage the claims process themselves. You can find a public insurance adjuster by getting a recommendation from friends or family.
Consider the price before choosing to hire a public appraiser.