Representative Sean Shaw sponsored and passed a law in 2018 that protects hurricane victims against scammers and criminals such as fake public adjusters. There are still plenty of methods, however, that scammers and criminals can use to:
- Convince policyholders to assignment of insurance benefits
- Scam you of Insurance payments
- Make offers that are too good to be true
- Overcharge for services
Policyholders need to be wary of anyone that is making promises that sound too good to be true. Here are a couple of scams that you should be aware of.
Don’t Hire a “Consultant”
Public adjusters must have a license. It is against the law for anyone to help or represent a policyholder with a claim that is not a public adjuster or a licensed attorney. Fake public adjusters often call themselves “consultants” when they are not licensed. Report anyone that is trying to do the work of a public adjuster and are calling themselves one if they are not licensed.
Public adjusters working for Aftermath Adjusting & Consulting are licensed in several states, including Florida. To verify if someone has a valid license in Florida, you can check the following link: https://licenseesearch.fldfs.com/
Some fake public adjusters will charge you way more than allowed. Most reputable public adjusters charge 20% for claims. However, if the governor declares a state of emergency, for example in the event of a Tropical Storm or Hurricane, the maximum allowed to be charged is 10% for services. The ones that charge more tell you not to worry. They will say that they know contractors who will do the work for far less than the other public adjuster’s estimate. This is insurance fraud. It is also a conflict of interest.
Oftentimes, replacement cost policies don’t need the insurance company to pay more than the cost to do the work. The public adjuster will have you to give your claim to a contractor they have a deal with to get around this. They to do the work for less than the estimate prepared by the other public adjuster without telling the insurance company.
The number of different kinds of fake public adjuster scams is limitless, as you can imagine. Here are some of the more popular ones that you should be aware of:
- Deals based on a particular natural disaster
- Limited time offers
- Shoddy repairs that used substandard material
- Damaging your roof or siding to inflate the claim
Be sure to contact the Department of Financial Services (Fraud division)and local office of consumer affairs if you think you have witnessed a public adjuster scam.
Many people in the insurance business do great work. However, it is upsetting that there is so much greed to make more money or sign a deal. It makes people create schemes to defraud and take advantage of the desperate situation people find themselves in.
You can be confident that the public adjusters at Aftermath Adjusters always follow the law. We work hard to help our clients get the highest possible payout based on their insurance policy. If you suffer a loss due to a hurricane or other disaster, avoid scams by fake public adjusters and give us a call. We are ready to help.