Public Adjuster Frequently Asked Questions
Can you tell me the role of a Public Adjuster?
Public Adjuster – A Public Adjuster is a licensed professional retained by the insured (you) to represent you and your interests. Public adjusters are licensed by the State. Our main responsibility is to secure the insurance settlement that the home, condominium or business owner deserve according to their insurance policy/contract.
Company Adjuster – A Company Adjuster is employed as a member of an insurance company’s staff. A company adjuster’s primarily goal is to protect the insurance company’s interests. In essence, a Company Adjuster’s allegiance is to the insurance company, not you.
Independent Adjuster – Independent Adjusters are hired by insurance carriers to represent their interests in dealing with your claim (as opposed to yours). An Independent Adjuster’s allegiance is to the insurance company, not you.
Why Should You Hire a Public Adjuster?
When it comes to insurance claims, you are responsible for proving your loss to your insurance company.
Aside from attorneys, a licensed public insurance adjuster is the only entity licensed by the state to represent you, the insured. As a Public Adjuster, we handle all of the work regarding your claim.
We have the experience, knowledge and expertise to obtain the maximum entitlements under your policy. Our team of specially trained professionals understands insurance policies, endorsements and forms, in addition to your rights as the insured. Our focus is on you. Our job is to represent you to the insurance company.
Think of it this way: If you were involved in a legal matter, you wouldn’t choose to represent yourself. Instead, you would hire an attorney to represent you. The scenario isn’t all too different when it comes to insurance claims. It is important to remember the adjuster hired by the insurance company works to protect their interests while a Public Adjuster works ONLY for you.
Why Do I Need a Public Insurance Adjuster to obtain what is rightfully due to me?
Standard insurance policies/contracts contain numerous provisions and stipulations, as well as various forms and endorsements that are always being revised and updated. Endorsements are documents added to your policy/contract to either exclude or supplement certain policy coverages which were not included when you purchased the original policy.
It is essential to familiarize yourself with your policy/contract forms. However, we understand that unless you work in the insurance business and have a great deal of experience with insurance policies and claims, then these complicated documents can be very difficult to understand.
Most people just do not have the expertise to properly understand and interpret the technical language contained in their policy, nor do they understand the complex procedures that must be followed to comply with the policy/contract’s terms. The insurance company’s adjusters are trained professionals representing the insurance company’s interests. Policyholders have the option to protect their own interests by retaining a public adjuster, whose responsibility is to serve the insured.
In addition, when you file a claim with your insurance company, there are certain policy conditions that must be satisfied. Failure to do so can reduce your settlement amount or even cause your claim to be denied. Your Public Adjuster will advise you on what to do to satisfy those policy conditions.
Just because the insurance company’s adjuster makes an oral statement, or the insurance company makes a decision concerning your loss, it does not necessarily mean it is fact. It is not uncommon for the insurance company to misinterpret its own policy or forget to apply state statutes and case law that may supersede their policy.
That is where a public adjuster makes a big difference.
I previously reported a claim. Can you help me get a fair settlement?
If you feel a previous claim was underpaid, we will aid you in re-opening it and work diligently to get you a fairer, often bigger settlement. You have one to three years from the date of the loss to re-open a claim depending on the state in which the claim was filed.
How long do I have to report a loss?
In most cases you have one to three years to report a claim from the date that the loss occurred depending on the state in which the claim was filed. Each insurance company has provisions in their contracts regarding late reporting of claims that may make the filing of a claim that happened six plus months ago more difficult but never impossible.
Are Public Adjusters Trained Specialists?
The answer is yes. A Public Adjuster is tested, licensed, bonded, has completed continuing education and is authorized to practice the Public Adjusting profession. We are licensed by the state Department of Insurance.
How Do Public Adjusters Charge For Their Services?
We do not get paid unless you do. Our fee is based upon a percentage of the insurance company’s settlement to you. There are no upfront fees for our services and if you do not get paid, then we don’t get paid. It is in our best interest to look out for our clients’ interest.
How long will the insurance company take to pay my claim?
By law, all companies, except for Citizens, are required to pay or deny claims within 90 days.
How long will my claim really take?
The first check (which we refer to as the undisputed amount, the amount you would end up with if you did not use our firm) from your insurance company will arrive at about 90 days. After that, depending on the course of action permitted in your contract, it may take another three to six months to complete the adjusting and settling of your claim.
When does my Public Adjuster stop trying to get me more money for my claim?
It is the duty of a Public Adjuster to get you money to “indemnify” you for your loss. That is, to have enough resources, after your deductible has been met, to put your insured property back to the way it was before the loss. No more, no less.
What are my rights in the event that the insurance company does not pay what we feel is enough money to settle my claim?
Depending on your contract, you either have mediation rights or appraisal rights.
Please contact Corbitt Public Adjusting, LLC if you have any further questions.