Questions to ask before hiring a public adjuster

a couple examining damage to their home and debating if they should hire a public adjuster

Handling a property damage insurance claim on your own is no easy business. In fact, many people describe the experience as similar to a full-time job. After all, the insurance claims process involves navigating through reams of legal paperwork, making mathematical calculations, learning insurance rules, and negotiating with your insurance company, among other complicated tasks. Besides being labor-intensive and time-consuming, the whole process can be emotionally draining, especially if you’ve just gone through a particularly devastating loss.

Fortunately, you don’t have to handle your claim on your own. You can hire an insurance professional, such as a public adjuster, who can make the process much easier for you.

Pinnacle Claim Services provides you with your own public adjuster to represent you during the claims process. If you have sustained property damage, we are here to offer our services, representation, and subject matter expertise. Reach out to us, and you will receive a complimentary policy review and inspection of the damage to your property. Call 877-70-CLAIM or contact us online to schedule your free appointment today.

To help you understand what we, and other public adjusters, do, here are some of the most common questions asked about our profession, as well as the best questions to ask an adjuster you are considering working with.

What Does a Public Adjuster Do?

A public adjuster is a professional who helps settle an insurance claim on a policyholder’s behalf. People hire a public adjuster when they need help in the claim filing process or if they believe the settlement offered by their insurer was unfair or incorrect.

It helps to distinguish public adjusters from the other types of claims adjusters out there. Generally speaking, there are three types of claim adjusters you may end up working with after you have sustained property damage:

    1. Company adjusters are employed by your insurance company. Because they work for the insurer, they mainly serve the needs of their employer. Although they do take your concerns into account, their primary focus is on settling claims quickly and minimizing their company’s settlement payouts.
    2. Independent adjusters aren’t directly employed by your insurance company. Instead, they work for insurance companies on a contractual basis. Although they aren’t officially employed by the insurer, they still act on behalf of insurance companies, and their priorities are similar to those of a company adjuster. The main difference is that they’re independent contractors rather than salaried employees.
    3. Public adjusters, unlike company and independent adjusters, represent the policyholder/claimant and are paid directly by them. They’re focused on representing the policyholder, not the insurer, and making sure their client receives a fair and accurate settlement.

Because public adjusters work on the policyholder’s behalf, they’re most likely to represent your best interests in a claim situation and maximize your compensation.

That said, you still need to do your due diligence when finding a public adjuster. That means finding an adjuster who’s reputable and knowledgeable in their field, and this might involve a bit of research and legwork on your part.

How Can I Know if a Public Adjuster Is Reliable?

Once you’ve decided you want to hire a professional claims handler, the key is to find an experienced, reliable public adjuster who has good references. You also want to find someone who will take you on as a client for a reasonable price. Check Google reviews and the Better Business Bureau for reputable recommendations.

Questions to Ask an Adjuster

Are You Licensed to Practice in My State?

Most states, including the state of Florida, require a public adjuster license, so make sure your adjuster meets this requirement. To check their license status, ask to see their public adjuster license. This step is crucial because some adjusters work under the license of a firm or another individual rather than their own license.

What Sort of Experience Do You Have Adjusting My Type of Claim?

As unsettling as it may sound for potential clients, it’s possible for someone to work as a claims adjuster without any previous claims experience. Once they obtain their license, they can start working whether or not they have any experience in the field. It’s important, therefore, to check and see if your public adjuster has any experience adjusting your type of claim.

Tell Me About Your Public Adjusting Skills, Credentials, and Experience.

Even if they do have experience handling claims like yours, you need a dig a little deeper. You need to find out information such as how many years they’ve been licensed as a public adjuster, how long they’ve been practicing in your state, and what public adjusting skills they possess.

Please Provide at Least Three References of Clients Who Were Satisfied With Your Work.

When interviewing your public adjuster, ask them to provide you with a list of references for insurance claims they’ve handled in the past three years or so. Another factor to consider is how long they’ve been with their company. Some adjusters bounce from one company to another and only have short-lived associations with the companies they’ve represented. This is a major red flag; you want to hire an adjuster who has a track record of longevity and reliability.

Can I Still Get in Touch With the Insurer if I Hire You?

If you want to stay involved in the claim process, let your adjuster know before bringing them on board. The last thing you want is to file a claim, only to be left out of the negotiations, decision-making, and other important aspects of the claim. This is your claim, after all, and you have every right to be a part of every step of the claim process.

Let’s Discuss the Fee Contract.

The majority of public adjusters work on a contingency fee basis, which means they earn a percentage of the money the insurance company pays on your claim.

Although the percentage typically ranges from 10% to 20%, it can be as low as 5% or as high as 20% in the state of Florida. What you pay the public adjuster should consider your loss’s size and type, as well as the status of your claim. It should also depend on how much of your claim the adjuster will handle. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate upfront to decide whether the adjuster will only be handling a portion or all of your claim.

Reach Out to Pinnacle Claim Services for Answers to Your Questions

At Pinnacle Claim Services, we are happy to field any questions you may have about our work and our credentials. We have earned an outstanding reputation thanks to years of satisfied clients. We are ready to work with you and help you seek to get the fairest value for your claim.

Importantly, we only get paid when you do, so there’s no up-front cost and no risk to using our services. Find out why we’re so highly rated, and learn how we can help during your free initial appointment. Schedule your free consultation now when you call 877-70-CLAIM or contact us online today.