Frequently Asked Questions about Public Adjusters
WHAT WILL A PUBLIC ADJUSTER DO FOR ME?
- Your public adjuster will make sure the claim you submit meets the requirements of your insurance policy. Many policyholders are not aware of their own responsibilities when submitting a claim to the insurance company. Missing steps or not providing accurate or complete information can result in your claim being denied or paid at a reduced rate.
- Your public adjuster will carefully document your claim – including all estimates, inventories, photos and other facts that support the extent of your property loss. Thorough documentation is key to getting a fair and proper settlement.
- Your public adjuster will work with your insurance company adjuster to settle the claim, including negotiating on your behalf when there are differences about coverage, costs, or other things.
HOW DO I PICK A PUBLIC ADJUSTER?
It’s important for you to work with a public adjuster you trust and feel comfortable working with. You might want to talk to more than one prospect to see who you best connect with. Beyond that, here are some other things that might help:
License: All states in the Rocky Mountain region require public insurance adjusters to be licensed in their home state and any other states they work in. Check the department of insurance website for your state for how to get a license confirmation. Links to each Rocky Mountain state insurance department are included on the Resources page.
Experience: Ask questions to make sure you select a public adjuster with experience and expertise that matches your specific loss. How long has he or she been a public adjuster? How many losses like yours have they worked on? How did those claims turn out? Feel free to ask for and talk to references.
No conflict of interest: In most states, there are only two professions that can legally represent you to your insurance company – public insurance adjusters and attorneys. It’s recognized as a conflict of interest is a contractor offers to negotiate your claim and do the repairs. The same if a contractor offers to take your claim on “a contingency” or waive your deductible.
Transparency: Do not sign a contract unless you’ve been given a thorough explanation of how the public adjuster will handle the claim, how they will communicate with you throughout the process, and how they will determine the fee you will pay. Never sign a blank contract.
HOW MUCH DO PUBLIC ADJUSTERS CHARGE?
In most states, the maximum a public adjuster can charge is 10% of the final settlement of your claim. But the amount may vary depending on the complexity of the claim and the time and expertise needed to effectively represent you. Some public adjusters may charge flat or hourly rates. However, the total fee still may not be more than 10% of the final claim settlement.
The public adjuster does not receive the fee until the insurance company pays your claim. Do not sign a contract if the fee isn’t clear and agreeable to you.
What types of claims do public adjusters help with?
Public Adjusters handle all types of insurance claims, including property loss caused by:
- Building collapse
- Civil unrest
PAs also help with covered business losses such as:
* Builders’ risk
* Business interruption
* Electrical / mechanical breakdowns
* Leasehold interest