Have you ever wondered when it’s time to call a public adjuster? Can they start at the beginning? Can they be brought in later in the game? What about after the settlement? Here are the answers to these and other common questions about hiring a public adjuster.
I’ve Gotten a Low Settlement Offer. Is Hiring a Public Adjuster Still Possible?
Sometimes, a homeowner gets the claim package together, but the insurance company comes back with a low settlement. If this happens to you, think about hiring a public adjuster. Despite getting to the settlement phase of the claim, it is not too late.
Many homeowners try to handle property damage claims on their own. This is especially true for those who have never had a claim before. As a “newbie,” it is easy to miss important facts, details, and documents that could provide a higher settlement.
A public adjuster works for you and has your best interests at heart. They have the experience you need to get the best settlement possible.
Your public adjuster can:
- Help you valuate the loss correctly to include not only building damage but contents and additional expenses.
- Look at your policy to determine which parts of your coverage apply to the claim.
- Take the claim to your insurance company.
- Negotiate the claim settlement with the insurance company.
- Quickly settle the claim for the maximum amount.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
Of course, you can hire an attorney. However, it may not be necessary. In fact, most attorneys hired by homeowners turn around and hire a public adjuster to help settle the claim. Attorneys understand that the expertise needed is held by public adjusters.
Even when you disagree with the settlement amount, your public adjuster understands what is needed to defend you to the insurance company. In general, most property damage claims are settled without a lawyer. Understanding this can save you both time and money.
Can the Contractor Repairing My Property Help Me Settle My Claim?
The short answer is NO. Although contractors are needed during the recovery of your property, they are not able to help you negotiate or settle your claim. Remember, their expertise is in repairing and rebuilding – not filing property damage claims.
In addition to not having the expertise, contractors are not allowed to act as public adjusters. Doing so is against the law. Those found acting as a public adjuster illegally can receive a felony charge. That’s because public adjusters are professionals in a field that requires a license.
Can My Public Adjuster Be My Contractor?
So, if your contractor can’t be your public adjuster, you may wonder if your public adjuster can be your contractor. Once again, the answer is NO. The law stipulates that public adjusters cannot act as contractors on a claim they represent.
Why Can’t I Just Use My Insurance Company’s Adjuster?
There is a big difference between a public adjuster and an adjuster from your insurance company. A public adjuster works on your behalf. On the other hand, the company adjuster works for the insurance company. As such, the carrier adjuster looks out for the best interests of the insurance carrier.
You have to prove to the insurance company how much money you deserve. Relying on a company adjuster likely means that you will get less. When hiring a public adjuster, you can rest assured that the adjuster will work to get you the highest settlement possible.
Can I Still Hire a Public Adjuster If I’ve Received a Settlement?
Sometimes, you accept a settlement but find that there are still more issues from the damage to your home. Luckily, it is not too late to hire a public adjuster. They will be able to file a supplemental damage claim for such things as:
- Water damage not discovered earlier
- Damage behind walls
It is easier to have a public adjuster from the start to help you identify these kinds of problems. However, as long as you didn’t sign a release saying the insurance carrier has no more responsibility for the claim, then you can still hire a public adjuster.
Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting has years of experience helping homeowners file property damage claims. No matter where you are in the process, contact us today. We will work hard to get you the best settlement possible.