A public adjuster is someone in your corner who can help you with the claims process. Their job will be to assess your home’s damages, create the needed documentation of those damages, file the claim, and continue to negotiate on your behalf with your insurance company.
However, not all public adjusters are created equal. Here are ten questions to ask before deciding which public adjuster is right for you.
1. How Long Has the Public Adjuster Been in Business?
When working with a public adjuster, you want to work with someone who has a track record. Experience in the business is a necessary component for all aspects of the job. Without experience, a public adjuster could easily miss issues during the initial inspection or not understand the best way to fill out the paperwork.
2. Does the Public Adjuster Have a Florida License?
You want to be sure that you work with a public adjuster that has a license. Just as importantly, you want that license to be valid in Florida. This will help ensure that the person you hire has a general level of competency as required by Florida law.
3. Is the Adjuster Solo or Part of a Team?
Finding a public adjuster that is part of a team is optimal. Having the knowledge of several people combined will lead to better results overall.
4. Does the Team Have Experience With the Type of Claim You Need to Make?
There are many different types of insurance claims, and each type requires a different set of skills. One reason for working with a Florida public adjuster is because they are likely to understand how to deal with the most common Florida occurrences, such as hurricane or tropical storm damage. However, not all claims are typical. For instance, you could be dealing with a sinkhole or fire damage caused by a neighboring condo.
5. Does the Team Have Experience Dealing with Mortgage Lenders?
This question is especially important if you still have a mortgage on your home. A public adjuster can help be the go-between with your mortgage company during the claims process.
6. How Will the Public Adjuster Get Paid?
If the public adjuster asks for money up front, you should not walk away, but run. Public adjusters should only get paid when the claim is settled. Then, they should get a percentage of that claim. In Florida, a public adjuster cannot charge more than 10% of the claim during a declared emergency and 20% for other claims.
7. Does the Team Prepare the Claim?
Some public adjuster companies are so large that they outsource some of the work, including the preparation of the claim or other key elements. Although this isn’t necessarily bad, it can be. You want to be sure that whoever is preparing the claim has the same level of experience as the public adjuster you hired. This may be difficult to assess if they hire freelancers for part of the work. It most cases, it makes sense to hire a public adjuster who will be intimately involved in the entire claim process.
8. How Involved Will I Be During the Claim Process?
There are many different ways for a public adjuster to operate. Some insist that all communications with the insurance company come from them. Others allow homeowners to be part of the process. Regardless of which you choose, be sure that you are kept in the loop. As the homeowner, you should always be aware of where the claim is, what inspections have happened, and any current delays or snags in the process.
9. How Busy Are You With Other Claims?
You want to be sure that the public adjuster you hire has enough time and resources to put into your claim. If the team is overwhelmed with other clients, you may not get the attention you deserve.
10. Are They Willing to Provide Local References?
A public adjuster who has been in business in Florida should be able to provide a list of references from satisfied clients. If they do not have that list or are unwilling to share names for whatever reason, you should find another team to hire.
Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, LLC is more than willing to answer these questions and any others you have about our team and how we can best serve you. We have over five decades of combined experience dealing with Florida insurance claims. Call us today.