What Is a Public Adjuster?
A public adjuster is an independent insurance adjuster that you can hire to help settle your insurance claim. While your insurance company does provide an adjuster at no cost to you, that adjuster works for your insurance company and your insurance company’s best interests. They often charge about 15% of your total insurance settlement. However, an adjuster can:
- Evaluate the extent of your damage claim
- Make the claims process faster and easier for you
- Review contractor estimates
- Help counter low-ball offers from your insurance company
There are some limitations to hiring a public adjuster, including:
- They cannot get you more for your claim than you’re entitled to under your policy
- They can’t give you legal advice
- They may not all handle smaller homeowner property damage claims
Advantages of Hiring a Lawyer
It can be hard to know when to hire a lawyer for your homeowner’s insurance claim. But if you’re getting low offers from your insurance company or they are dragging out the process, it’s probably time to talk to an attorney. While a public adjuster can be a big help at the early stages of a claim, they can’t provide legal advice, legal interpretations of your insurance contract, or initiate litigation on your behalf.
Frankly, a lawyer can make your insurance company sit up and take notice. Hiring an attorney sends a message to your insurance company that you know the worth of your claim, and you intend to fight to get it. Your attorney can work hand in hand with your public adjuster, comprehensively evaluating your claims and ensuring that they are well documented if it’s necessary to pursue legal action. If the insurance company has stopped negotiating or denies your claim, you’ll need a lawyer to continue pursuing your claim.
It’s time to talk to an insurance lawyer when your insurance company:
- Denies your claim
- Stops negotiating with you or an adjuster
- Offers a low settlement amount
- Misinterprets your policy
- Drags out the process
- Repeatedly asks for the same documentation or paperwork
- Demands unreasonable documentation
How to Choose the Right Public Adjuster
Once you’ve decided to hire an adjuster and attorney, you want to ensure that you get the right professionals for the job. When you’re looking for skilled professionals to help you with your property damage claim, you’ll want to ensure that you hire someone with integrity and experience in the field. Ask your family, friends, and coworkers for recommendations, and ask any adjuster you interview for references. You should also:
- Make sure that any adjuster you hire is licensed in your state
- Be sure to read your contract carefully
- Avoid hiring an adjuster who pressures you or goes door to door after a disaster—they may not have your best interests at the forefront
If you already have an attorney, they can help you find an adjuster, often one they’ve worked with in the past and can highly recommend.
You Need an Experienced Insurance Lawyer
If you’re facing a possible claim against your homeowner’s insurance company, you need some skilled legal guidance. The experienced attorneys at The Voss Law Firm, P.C., have fought for Texas policyholders in insurance disputes for years. At The Voss Law Firm, P.C., you won’t pay a fee until we recover compensation on your behalf. Call us at 888-614-7730 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.