What is a public adjuster?

woman looking at mold damage that should be inspected by a public adjuster

When you file a claim, an insurance company representative reviews that claim and determines the extent of your damages to estimate your payout. Sadly, claim payouts are sometimes lower than you may expect, and you might be entitled to more compensation under the terms of your insurance policy.

Fortunately, you can increase your chances of getting the money you are entitled to. One way you can do that is by hiring a public adjuster. Read on to learn what a public adjuster is, when and where you can hire an adjuster, and other pertinent information.

When it comes to getting a fair evaluation of the benefits available under your policy, Pinnacle Claim Services is here to help you. We provide our professional knowledge and experience to assist you when you need us most. Find out why people throughout Florida trust Pinnacle public adjusters and receive a free damage inspection and policy review when you call 877-70-CLAIM or contact us online.

What Is a Public Adjuster, Exactly?

The job of an insurance claims adjuster is to evaluate an insurance claim and determine the policyholder’s payout. The settlement offer will be based on several factors, including the person’s policy coverage and the severity of their loss.

In most cases, your homeowner’s insurance company assigns you an adjuster when you file an insurance claim for property damage. Their goal is to compensate you based on the severity of your damages and the coverage available under your policy. However, because they work directly for insurers, they may have a financial motivation to reduce coverage for any reason. They may underestimate the cost of repairs, ignore the full extent of damage, or allege that certain forms of coverage are reduced or unavailable due to the nature of your claim.

It’s not uncommon for individuals facing these challenges to hire a public adjuster, an independent professional whose job is to act on the policyholder’s behalf, to assist them during the claims process. Separate from an insurance company claims adjuster, whose job is to determine the insurance company’s specific liability, a public adjuster will determine the extent of your property damages to ensure fair and accurate reimbursement. They work for you!

When the claim is settled, the adjuster receives compensation in the form of a contingency fee, typically 10% to 20% of the claims payout. You should remember that it’s the policyholder who pays the adjuster out of the settlement they receive. Insurers aren’t responsible for considering the payment amount you owe the adjuster when determining the claims payment amount.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster?

Public adjusters assist when you have a homeowners insurance or property damage insurance claim after an incident like the following:

  • Storm
  • Hurricane
  • Fallen tree
  • Roof damage
  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Structural collapse
  • Hail damage
  • Wind damage
  • Mold damage
  • Water damage

It might be a good idea to hire a public adjuster if you don’t have the time to deal with a claims process, which can be long and tedious, and you want someone who can take care of everything.

A public insurance adjuster in Florida can also be helpful if you’re facing a rather large claim that has received an offer that won’t pay for all needed repairs. By hiring a public adjuster, property damage, repair costs, and the exact benefits offered under your policy will all be considered. You may, therefore, end up with a larger payment that covers repairs for all of the damage.

Some individuals hire an adjuster because they’ve had negative claims-related experiences in the past. Because a public adjuster works on your behalf, not on behalf of the insurance company, you don’t have to worry about conflict of interest, and you can rest assured your claim payout is the adjuster’s biggest priority.

Where to Find a Public Adjuster?

Luckily for you, finding a public adjuster is quite easy.

You can begin by visiting the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) website. The directory on their website has every piece of information you need, including the name of every licensed public adjusting firm in your state (most states, including Florida, require a license, so it’s important to check for public adjuster license information). To see the list of public adjusters in your area, all you have to do is type in your ZIP code or city and state. You can also visit the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters for more local recommendations.

Another way to find an adjuster is to get recommendations from friends and family. After all, you want to hire someone reliable and effective — and what better way to find a reputable adjuster than to get a recommendation from someone you deeply trust? Google Reviews and the Better Business Bureau are also good sources for reputable companies.

Once you’ve created a list of contenders, avoid an adjuster who tries to pressure you into making a decision. Yes, the adjuster’s job is to work on your behalf, but you should ask the adjuster some questions to ensure they’re a good fit. Here are some examples:

  • What kind of experience do you have adjusting my type of claim?
  • How long have you been working in this field?
  • Does your business have errors and omissions insurance?
  • What is your track record of successful recovery of insurance benefits?

When narrowing down your list, find out how much each one charges since most adjusters ultimately receive a percentage of the claims payout. Although the typical range is 10% to 20%, some can be higher or lower. If you’re saddled with a large claim that could potentially lead to a big payout, consider the price before settling on an adjuster.

FAQs About Public Adjusters

What Does the Claims Process Look Like With a Public Adjuster?

Once you have hired a Public Adjuster to represent you and fight for your rights, the Public Adjuster will take care of the entire process for you. From visiting your home to assess the property damage, reviewing your policy, meeting with your insurance company representatives and experts, to working with your insurance company to negotiate and process your claim, your adjuster will be there every step of the way to ensure everything will be taken care of.

Hiring a public adjuster can result in a higher payout. According to an Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) report, policyholders who hired a public adjuster earned 747% more in final payouts than individuals who didn’t work with an adjuster.

A Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) report shows similar findings, cementing the fact that policyholders who hire a public adjuster generally receive larger settlements than those without a professional claims handler.

That being said, getting a higher payout by working with a public adjuster is never guaranteed. Although your adjuster’s findings will increase your chances of getting more money, your insurance company may not agree with the adjuster’s payout recommendation.

Can It Ever Be Too Late to Hire a Public Adjuster?

Even if your claim has been closed by the insurance company, it’s usually not too late. The state of Florida gives you a few years from the date of loss to file what’s known as a supplemental claim. If you think you were unfairly compensated and would like a review of your claim, contact a public adjuster, and they will carefully analyze your claim.

Will Working With a Public Adjuster Speed up the Claims Process?

Probably. Because public adjusters are insurance professionals who must possess a license (in most states) and a certain amount of knowledge, they’re intensely familiar with the claims process and can complete the process quickly and seamlessly.

Hire a Public Adjuster to Serve as Your Personal Insurance Professional in Florida

If you’ve experienced loss in Florida and need a professional to represent your best interests in a claim, look no further than a public adjuster. This professional will help manage your claim, ensure all your claim filing requirements are satisfied and help you recover the amount you deserve under your insurance contract.

Unlike insurance company adjuster, the public adjuster works for you. Therefore, you can rest easy because your claim will be in good hands, and your public adjuster will work as hard as possible to achieve the settlement you deserve.

Pinnacle Claim Services is here to answer any questions you may have, and we can help you get started immediately on filing a claim or disputing a recent offer. Contact us to schedule a free, no-risk damage inspection and policy review today. Schedule your free case review now when you call 877-70-CLAIM or contact us online.