Public Adjuster or Attorney for Your Insurance Claim
When you suffered damage for a risk covered by insurance, you may think about filing your insurance claim directly with your insurance company. For simple and uncomplicated insurance claims, you can actually proceed to do that. However, there are instances when an insurance claim can be too complex that you doubt whether or not you can actually do it yourself. One example would be the filing of a sinkhole insurance claim which may be too technical for a layman. There are also instances when the damage you suffered may fall under certain gray areas which make it debatable whether or not the damage should be covered by your insurance policy.
When these things arise, you might be better off engaging professional help. In some states, you can choose either a public adjuster or an attorney, or both, to assist you in making your insurance claim. Some lawyers will argue that they are more reliable than adjusters while the latter can claim that they are more experienced than the former. At the end of the day, you can get professional and reliable service from both a lawyer and a public adjuster. You just need to make sure that you pick the right professional(s).
Here are some things you need to remember when you engage the services of a professional to assist you in your insurance claim:
Your lawyer or adjuster should be well-versed in technical matters especially if you are making a complicated insurance claim.
He or she should be able to explain to you why your insurance claim was denied or underpaid and point out the basis for the same.
Your lawyer or adjuster should be able to analyze reports related to the damage you suffered and how these reports can be related to your insurance claim.
He or she should know whether or not the amount being offered by the insurance company is deficient or sufficient for the damage you suffered.
He or she should be able to negotiate with the insurance company or advise you to reject the claim and pursue your claim in court. Be careful here: certain states do not allow public adjusters to negotiate your claim - THIS HAS TO BE DONE BY A LAWYER.
Your adjuster or lawyer should be able to advise you of other options and remedies in the event that your insurance claim does not prosper.
He or she should be experienced especially in dealing with insurance companies and he or she should be familiar with the policies and practices of each company.
Most public adjusters charge lower rates than lawyers. But do not worry about shelling out extra money from your pocket. Most lawyers and public adjusters agree to contingency fee arrangements which can range from 5% to 50% of the amount recovered from the insurance company.
The downside of engaging a public adjuster is that when your insurance claim proceeds to court, you need to engage a lawyer for that purpose. If you engage a lawyer from the start, then he can assist you all the way to court. Public adjusters likewise do not and cannot dispense legal advice.
Always conduct background research before engaging a public adjuster or an attorney. Study his or her track record and the past experiences of your friends and relatives in dealing with him or her so you will know if he or she is worth your time and money.