Many homeowners are concerned with hiring public adjusters to manage their property insurance claims. They’re not sure if adjusters can be trusted to work on their behalf. This is quite understandable considering the fact that independent insurance adjusters have been known to work on homeowner’s claims, in the best interest of the insurance companies. But, it’s important for homeowners to know that public adjusters and private adjusters are not the same thing. Public adjuster are hired privately by homeowner. They work directly for the homeowner, get paid by the homeowner and care about fighting for the homeowner’s rights.
What is a public adjuster?
A public adjusters are also known as a public claims adjusters. The term “public” is a term given to these adjusters to promote the fact that they work for the public, not the insurance company. A public adjuster is a private contractor, hired by the homeowner to represent them when they file an homeowner’s insurance claim. They help the homeowner, who is also the insurance policyholder, file their property claim, walking them through it every step of the way. They also help to adjust the claim, as needed. Their loyalty falls in the lap of the policyholder, because that is who they are contracted by.
Public adjusters don’t work for insurance companies. In many cases, they have in the past, and chose to move to the public sector for personal reasons. They are usually not happy with the way independent adjusters are required to handle homeowners claims by the insurance companies they work for. So, they’ve chosen to move to the other side of the table, in essence, becoming an advocate for the homeowner instead.
Two Types of Home Insurance Claim Adjusters
Independent Claim Adjusters
Don’t let the term “independent” fool you. A great way to remember who they are is like this: Independent adjusters work for independently owned insurance companies.
- These are the case workers that your insurance company assigns to policyholders when they file an insurance claim for loss or damage to their property.
- They always have a multiple amount of open case files assigned to them. This gives them very little time to look deeply for things that could benefit the homeowner, according to their policy terms and conditions.
- Work directly as employees for the policyholder’s insurance company. This is where their loyalty and priorities are.
Public Claims Adjusters
The term “public” means these adjusters work for the good of the public. They can be found in public media and can be contracted or employed by individuals of the general public.
- These are independent contractors that are hired privately by the policyholder to represent them directly in their claims of loss or damage to their property. They work for the policyholder directly.
- They are paid by the policyholder by commission. Their payment is based on a percentage of the settlement they are able to help their clients win in the settlement. It’s in their best financial interest to get policyholders the highest amount they can possibly get based on their commission pay.
- They have chosen to be independent contractors who are advocates that fight for and protect the rights of homeowners.
Benefits of Public Adjusters
- Homeowners insurance policies are very detailed, complex documents. They are very difficult for most policyholders to understand. Therefore, most have never read them in full. Public adjusters are professionals that can understand the astronomical number of clauses contained in the policy. They are able to dig through the “garbled data” to understand exactly how the clauses apply to the particular claim. They are able to interpret the information for policyholders in laymen terminology so that they can understand it.
- These contracted professionals know just as much about homeowner insurance policies as the insurance companies do. This makes them equals when it comes to interpreting policies. Their jobs are to prepare, file and adjust insurance claims for their clients. The go through the extensive training and have the innovative tools and software needed to file insurance claims correctly from the start.
- Allows the homeowner to concentrate on getting their homes back in order after a disaster, while they deal with the insurance paperwork. They deal with fire policies, flood policies, inventory appraisals and property evaluations for the policyholders. Homeowners have no idea that the burden of proof belongs to them. Public adjusters take on the task of finding and providing this proof to the insurance companies for the homeowners so that don’t have to.
Do Your Research
Homeowners need not take our word for it. Research should be done to ensure the right adjuster is hired in each individual case. But, by all means, policyholders shouldn’t assume that insurance company adjusters will work hard to find clauses in the policy that will give extra benefits they didn’t know about. Just like any other insurance company, they don’t make money by giving away money. Homeowners have to prove they are owed money. But, if policyholders don’t understand how to read the policy, they won’t be able to do this. A certified public adjuster, hired by the homeowner can manage this task for them.
Kiesha Joseph is a content marketing geek with a true love for the world of real estate. She believes that real estate is not just an industry. It’s an art that deserves to be treated as such. It’s a complex world that includes many aspects, all of which have a story that needs to be told.