Having homeowners, wind and hail, and flood insurance is important when experiencing hurricane damage. However, having the right policies is just the beginning of the road to recovery. Filing hurricane damage claims can feel like a full-time job as you document the losses and negotiate with insurance carriers for a fair settlement. The smallest mistake or tiniest omission can result in a lower payout – or worse, a denied claim.
If you want to get back to your family, your job, and your life instead of spending all your free time haggling over your claim, you should consider hiring a public adjuster as soon as your report your damage to your insurer. A professional public adjuster will manage all aspects of your claim to help you get your entitled payout.
When To Hire a Public Adjuster
A hurricane claim is a prime time to hire a public adjuster because these are typically complex and time-consuming. Public adjusters understand the nuances of hurricane claims so they can file the right claims on the right policy. For instance, if hurricane force winds tore off a section of your roof and floodwaters rose a foot into your first floor, you would need to file a flood insurance claim, as well as a homeowners or windstorm claim.
Not only do hurricane claims deal with different policies, but they also need answers to questions that will be difficult to answer if you don’t have the needed experience. When looking around the water-soaked home from above, do you know how much of the water damage was due to the roof versus due to the rising flood waters? You’d have to decide because each type of damage is on a different policy.
However, not all hurricane claims need a public adjuster.
- Small, simple claims – Examples include several missing shingles, a single tree falls across the driveway, or one section of siding was blown away.
- Not enough insurance to cover the damage – If your damage far exceeds your maximum insurance, your insurer will pay you the maximum amount allowed. There will be no need for negotiation.
In the case of the National Flood Insurance Program, damages over $250,000 for the structure and $100,000 for personal property are not covered. However, with the right considerations, a public adjuster could help a homeowner max out their flood insurance while using homeowners and windstorm policies in tandem to create a higher overall payout.
Honesty and Professionalism
Because they know how to:
- Document losses
- Read and interpret the policies
- File claims
- Negotiate with insurers
Public adjusters help homeowners get fair settlements. However, despite their reputation for helping homeowners get the highest possible payout, public adjusters are not miracle workers. They are honest, professionals who work within the confines of the law and your policies. They will not be able to get money from your insurance company that you are not entitled to receive.
Finding the Right Public Adjuster
Not all public adjusters are created equally. Just as with any professional, some adjusters have more experience and perform higher quality work than others. That is why it is important to choose your public adjuster carefully. Here are some things to consider.
- Ask for referrals from those who have used a public adjuster in the past.
- Be sure they have a Florida license. Check with the state insurance department to verify that their license is current.
- Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints
- Ask the public adjuster for at least three referrals. Be sure to follow up with these referrals. Find out their opinion about the adjuster and the service they received.
- Always understand the fees and the contract before hiring a public adjuster.
- Avoid scam artists. Eliminate public adjusters who demand upfront fees or want you to sign a contract too quickly or without explanation.
If you’d like to learn more about how a public adjuster can help you with your hurricane claim, give us, Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, a call today. We have a Florida license and pride ourselves on our transparency concerning our services and fees. We look forward to talking with you.