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Do you know the difference between an Independent Adjuster and a Public Adjuster?


Have you ever had an insurance claim that seemed to go on forever; the insurance company giving you the run around and being extremely difficult? If you have ever found yourself in that kind of situation then you know all of the frustration that goes with it. You really don’t have to be at the mercy of the insurance companies.  The Voss Law Firm, P.C. partners with adjusters to make sure policyholders are made whole at the conclusion of a claims process.

There is a big difference between an Independent Adjuster and a Public Adjuster.  If you incur a covered loss it is critical to know who the players are and their roles.

Independent Claims Adjuster

An Independent Claims Adjuster is an adjuster that works on behalf of the consumer and does not work for the insurance company. The process and their approach is very similar to a law firm although they are not attorneys. Once you have retained an adjuster, do not speak to the insurance company without the adjuster present. They cannot give you legal advice they can only inform you of your rights. When you think about it, would you sue someone and then allow the other parties attorney to tell you how much you are entitled to. This is what happens when you allow the insurance company to determine how much you are awarded.

Insurance companies are first and foremost a business and as such they top priority is to operate as a successful business, which means they need to show a profit at best and break even at worst. To do this they need to be very conservative on their payouts. According to some that have access to certain information, insurance companies only pay out a portion of what they really could; if the consumer had an Independent Claims Adjuster representing them they are more likely to receive more than the 25% to 40% that is typical of an average payout.

You may wonder how this is possible. The average consumer is probably unaware of the fact the burden of proof is on the consumer and not the insurance company. Chances are that at most as an ordinary consumer you may have only claimed on your insurance once or twice during your adult life whereas; obviously the insurance companies are doing this all day long. 

If you are wondering what exactly an Independent Claims Adjuster does besides advise you of your rights, they should go over your policy and explain the different clauses to you as well as look at the coverage you have and the limitations of that coverage. They will also show you how to present the proof to the insurance company in a way that the insurance company will have very little rebuttal if any. 

When you pay your insurance premium month after month, year after year, it isn’t right that when you need to have the protection of the insurance that you have paid for all that time to get the dividend you are entitled to because you don’t know the procedures, or understand the terminology well enough to be able to argue your case. In fact you shouldn’t even need to argue your case but that’s just the way it is. 

Public Adjuster

What exactly is a Public Adjuster, or PA? Whereas an Insurance Claim Adjuster represents the insurance company, a Public Adjuster represents the interests of the public.  Basically a PA is an advocate for you although they are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice they can give you advice regarding your insurance policy, explaining all the different clauses, and they can also advise you as to what your rights are.

When would you use a Public Adjuster? According to some people in the Insurance industry, Insurance companies only pay out the minimum amounts on claims; paying 25% to 40% of what they could have paid. If as a consumer you don’t know any different, you accept the money and if it is not enough to cover the damage you come out of pocket. One of the reasons this happens is because most consumers do not realize that the burden of proof of the damage is on the consumer not the Insurance Company. For example if you have a tiled floor that is damaged, maybe only a couple of tiles need to be replaced, but because of the type of tile, or maybe it is imported, whatever the reason, you need to replace the entire floor the Insurance Company may try to only pay you for the cost of the damaged tiles, not understanding that the entire floor has to be replaced. And the burden to prove it is on you the consumer who has no knowledge or experience on the correct way to prove and present the reasoning behind your case. Therefore; you lose and the Insurance Company wins.

Conclusion

It is better to have someone on your side that understands the complexities of an insurance claim and has the knowledge and expertise to get you what you really should be paid on your claim and not just what the Insurance Company pays you because you don’t know any better.  The Voss Law Firm, P.C. hires all the experts needed to fully prosecute your claim against the Insurance Company.  Do not go at it alone - if you do, you’re playing right into the hands of the insurance carrier.

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The Voss Law Firm, P.C. represents clients on a local, national and international basis. We proudly serve companies and individuals along the Gulf Coast and around the globe on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm collects nothing unless we recover on our client's behalf.

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