Let’s continue our discussion from earlier this week and cover who the frenemies are. You or your public adjuster will be dealing with an outside adjuster who reports to an inside adjuster. Here we will walk you through the differences and who is here to help you:
Outside Insurance Adjuster
The outside adjuster’s job is to determine the scope of loss, secure photos, and write an estimate for the administrator to review. Even though the administrator has the final say, the manner in which the adjuster documents the loss has a huge impact on how the claim is settled. The outside adjuster is the artist who paints the picture. Most adjusters have some limit of authority, which forces them to submit their findings to the administrator before the claim can be paid. A lot of times, the adjuster will either not commit to something until he runs it by the administrator or he approves something but it gets reviewed and changed or maybe even denied.
Inside Insurance Adjuster/Administrator
The inside adjuster/administrator is your inside person who has the authority to issue payments. Many times, the administrator will review and reduce the amount of an estimate and/or advise the outside adjuster to modify the report. Sometimes, this is the person who reaches a final settlement with the public adjuster. When push comes to shove, when the public adjuster is ready to advise the client to take the claim to the next level, the inside adjuster may be the only one that has the leverage to settle a claim.
Public Insurance Adjuster
A public adjuster is your claim representative. They monitor and track the progress of the claim while holding the insurance company accountable for what they owe. From a birds-eye view, you can see that a public adjuster documents each loss on its own merit based on what they see is a reasonable means of repair or replacement. The insurance adjuster’s approach is much more routine, restricted by time, and also controlled by company requirements with respect to documentation and estimate writing. Without a public adjuster, your claim is being documented and estimated by adjusters who work for the insurance company, not you. A public adjuster has the knowledge, training, and expertise necessary to advocate on your behalf and even the playing field with the insurance company.
While some insurance companies have the mindset of we are supposed to help “our” people, others do have a more fair approach. Either way, the most important thing you can do is protect your assets and this begins with hiring a public adjuster or other claim professional.