What You May Not Know About Hiring A Public Adjuster
When it comes to dealing with real damages to your property due to a storm, fire, or other disaster; whether it is partial damage or the total loss of your home, dealing with your insurance company can be a long and arduous process. At the end of the claims process the homeowner is exasperated and left disenchanted by the experience. Add to the fact that for many home owners going through this process is unique and most homeowners lack the experience and understanding of what all goes into filing a claim with their insurance company. For most, this eye-opening experience makes homeowners wish they had an advocate that acted in their behalf to muddle through the process for them and help them realize better payout results. This is where A Public Adjuster can help. This article is geared towards providing you with some useful facts about public adjusters that you may not know and to inspire you to share this new knowledge with others who may be in need of the services of a public adjuster. Most people, when asked, will tell you that they have never heard of a public adjuster. Yet, when they discover the practical benefits they can’t stop talking about how there PA helped them resolve their claims efficiently and effectively getting them a higher payout on their claims.
The most important consideration is that a public adjuster works on behalf of the homeowner/policy holder and not the insurance company. A Public adjuster is able to identify real damages to your property that your insurance company’s adjuster may leave off (due to inexperience or in an attempt to save the insurance company money). A public adjuster will work with the homeowner to uncover the jargon in the policy and get to the issue, then help the policy holder realize fair compensation for real damages. Generally speaking a public adjuster can expedite the process of filing a claim and receiving a settlement.
If you have never heard of a public adjuster, then this may be exciting news. Still this is pretty much common knowledge in our industry. But, there are some things about claims your public adjuster might advise you of that you may not know. For instance, filing a claim for a total loss can actually cost less than rebuilding an existing structure. In many cases starting from scratch is more cost effective than trying to correct issues that are more intensive and structural in nature.
What many home owners are not aware of is that if you have a current mortgage, the insurance company will send the payout checks to your bank instead of to you directly. Some policies require that you endorse the check to your mortgage company which allows the bank to ensure that repairs are made prior to releasing the check to you. If you do receive a check from your insurance company you want to make sure that that the checks are not marked “Full and Final” or something akin to this. In some cases this is a trick that holds the insurance company harmless from any future liabilities on that particular claim. Still many states make this practice illegal.
Another important thing to remember is not to sign a release on your home insurance claim as this will also effectively release the insurance company from any future payments on your claim.
Many times homeowners feel like they have to replace their property with sub-par replacement property. The value of your possessions is one of those things where the insurance company will want to haggle on. Don’t settle for anything less than the real value of your damaged property. A good public adjuster will fight for your property down to the dime. There is no reason for you to settle for less than what is owed to you. This is, after all, why you pay for insurance, right?
While you are having your home or property repaired your insurance company should provide you with additional living expenses. Don’t settle for having to make arrangements to stay at your In-Laws when you and your family can stay at a nice hotel comparable to or superior to the quality of your own home. While it is an inconvenience to have to stay somewhere besides home, you should never think that you have to stay with a family member or a friend when your insurance provides for additional living expenses for this very reason.
Another useful tidbit related to natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornado’s is the influx of out of state adjusters that your insurance company hires to meet the overwhelming demand in such cases. These out of state adjusters are not likely familiar with costs associated to construction in your locale and may end up shortchanging your estimate because they are not accustomed to seeing pricing for construction in your area. To make matters worse, they use software that only provides general costs and not exact costs. This can be detrimental to you if the costs of construction are higher than the national average in your area.
Finally, the process of filing a claim can be an exhausting experience for a homeowner who is not regularly involved with the process. This frustration can undermine the success of your claim by causing the policy holder to simply settle for the first offer the insurance company makes, simply to avoid the hassle of continuing the process. With a public adjuster on your side, you are truly leveling the playing field and now have an advocate that understands the process and knows how to “play the game.” A public adjuster can help you understand all of the insurance jargon and walk you through the process, effectively simplifying it all so that you can get back to your life.
Public adjusters are generally compensated by a percentage of your total claim. This incentivizes the relationship between you and your adjuster as they will strive to get a larger claim settlement which is mutually beneficial for both the public adjuster and the policy holder. These fees will vary from state to state so when you consult with your public adjuster be sure to know what their fees are. In most cases the fees they charge will not be missed by the policy holder as the adjuster is able to help them get compensated for a settlement well over the amount that the homeowner could have received on their own apart from hiring a public adjuster.
Hopefully this article has given you enough information to make an informed decision about hiring a public adjuster. It is our hopes that you would consider using A Public Adjuster Group for your claim. If you run in to a neighbor or family member who has damages to their property you would be doing them a favor by telling them about public adjusters and how they work for you.
A Public Adjuster Group has over 30 years experience in serving as a public adjuster. Randell Smith and his team of qualified adjusters have over a century of combined construction experience and can often spot details that your insurance company’s adjuster may “conveniently” overlook. This translates into additional money in your pocket on your insurance claim.
We want to thank you for choosing A Public Adjuster Group in advance! You will be glad you chose us!
Should you need our services please call us today at 713.522.9463 –or– fill out our contact form below.