How To Choose A Public Adjuster

Tips for Hiring the Best Public Adjuster for You

Consider the following criteria when hiring a public insurance adjuster:

  • Make sure they obey the law. In many southern states, no one should be contacting you if you have a personal lines residential loss (homeowners) until 48 hours (2 days) after you have suffered a loss. You however have no restrictions on when you can contact a public adjuster if you feel immediate assistance is beneficial.

  • No public adjuster should make any promises of what they can do for you before first reading and carefully reviewing your insurance policy as well as looking carefully at the loss. We believe that just as a good doctor must first look at a patient before treating them, the same should apply to public adjusting. We need to meet you, see your loss, review your records (the policy among other things) before outlining a plan to get you back on track for a full recovery.

  • Make sure the public adjuster is licensed by the State where the loss occurred. Contractors or restoration companies posing as public adjusters who tell you they can adjust your claim or negotiate with your insurance company are committing a 3rd degree felony. Just as a contractor cannot adjust your claim, a public adjuster cannot have a financial interest in your loss except for their approved public adjusting contract fee. You can confirm an adjuster is licensed by searching your state Department of Insurance website.

  • Do ask for and call any references a public adjuster might give you. Especially ask for references to clients with similar claims. Does your adjuster deal with your insurance company on a regular basis? Your public adjuster’s reputation with the insurance carrier can dramatically affect your claim. Make some calls and speak to references. You can usually find out about experience and reputation from folks in your community. 

  • Beware of local contractors and remediation companies that offer to file your claim and then fix the damage. We have seen some serious abuse in this area. In some cases these firms’ contracts will require you to sign over your settlement check to them. Sometimes they will spend less fixing your property and pocket the rest. In other cases we have seen overreaching and unconscionable bills run-up which the insurance company then refuses to pay because the policyholder alone signed the work authorization without authorization from the insurance company. This often results in a construction lien being placed against the property. 

  • The adjuster is offering to handle your claim for a small percentage. Of course the type, size and complexity of the loss will impact the cost.  Most reputable adjusters charge between 5% and 15%. Anything less should be a red flag that the adjuster will not put in the proper time or effort in handling your claim or that you don’t need an adjuster for this particular claim. Also be aware that in a declared state of emergency by an authorized government agency, public adjuster contracts are limited to the percentage that you can be charged.

  • The adjuster pressures you to sign a contract on the spot. Don’t sign anything unless you have read it and understand it. Our life experience is that a good night sleep will often help resolve any conflicts, questions, thoughts or concerns you may have.


Having a professional public adjuster on your side is extremely valuable and key to the success of your claim.  Your insurance carrier has professionals working hard on their side, shouldn’t you?