Last week we talked about what a public adjuster is and what their background and training includes. Now let’s talk about why you should hire a public adjuster and the many advantages it can bring to your claim.
People frequently ask questions like “why should I hire and pay my own adjuster when my insurance company already has an adjuster for me?” Well, the adjuster from the insurance company doesn’t work for you; they work for the insurance company and therefore have the best interests of the insurance company in mind. True that they don’t cost you anything? – NOT true actually. When you consider the items that their adjuster may either omit from the estimate altogether or just miscalculate the value of, it could potentially cost you a lot more than hiring a public adjuster to represent you.
The job of the public adjuster is to conduct a thorough inspection of the damage and put together an estimate that fully encompasses the scope and costs of repair. They are also going to do their best to protect you from any unnecessary costs that might be suggested by the insurance adjuster, such as cleaning items that will end up having to be replaced in the end. Having someone who truly works for you also means that you will have an advocate to manage and negotiate the claim start to finish, relieving you of much time and stress.
Particularly when it comes to a large claim with a more complex scope of loss (fire, flood, tornado), it can be difficult for you to know if the estimate accounts for all damages accurately and if it is consistent with the coverage your policy provides. A public adjuster is trained in coverage questions and knows the tricks of the trade.
If your loss includes damage to your personal property as well, you must also consider the amount of time it consumes to document and inventory a large loss of this nature. The contents alone can literally take hours to put together and then you are still required to price those items and provide more documentation including models, serial numbers, price verification, age, and condition. Most insurance companies do not have adjusters who inspect and inventory the contents loss for you – they will instead hand you a spreadsheet and tell you to get to work. Depending on the type and severity of the loss, the insurance company may even send a contents cleaning company to take as much as possible to be cleaned. You can bet that in this case there will be many items taken to be cleaned that should no question be replaced, not cleaned and returned to you.
You wouldn’t use the same attorney as your spouse in a divorce, so why would you try to negotiate with an insurance company when there are professionals who do it for a living. These claim professionals (public adjusters) also know there is more to hail damage than just your roof — windows, gutters, vents, siding, etc. They know there is more to a flood claim than just sheetrock and paint — electrical, floors, windows, contents, etc.
No one has ever said insurance is fun. Just another reason for you to reach out to a public adjuster or other claim professional and get the answers you need to get the settlement you are entitled to.