Carrying insurance coverage is a necessary evil if you’re a property owner. It’s not exactly pleasant to consider how much the premiums you pay add up to over the course of several years or decades—money that could easily have gone to your savings, retirement account, or a few luxury vacations. On the other hand, there’s a peace of mind that comes with knowing that if the unimaginable occurs—such as fire or hurricane damage—your home or place of business and the contents within it are covered. And they should be, considering the money you’ve faithfully paid your insurance company over the years. But what if the insurance company you’ve assumed has you covered in the event of disaster doesn’t necessarily have all of your best interests in mind as they assess your damage and determine your settlement amount?
It’s quite possibly one of the most well kept secrets in the insurance industry that few policyholders figure out as they navigate through the claims process: the adjuster sent by your insurance company to investigate and document your damages is not necessarily working on your behalf. It’s an unfortunate but true reality that claimants can often overlook during this particularly devastating time.
Whenever you open a claim, remember this one rule: if you ever need to file a claim, the claim adjuster assigned to your case is hired by and working for the insurance company. Even if they introduce themselves as independent insurance adjusters, they’ve still been contracted by your insurance company. Insurance companies are in the business of making money—not giving it away. As a result, the insurance adjuster is operating under two conditions:
Sadly, because they’re so overwrought with grief and stress, many claimants don’t realize this during the insurance claim process, settling instead for what could potentially be insufficient payouts that represent just a small fraction of what is actually owed. It’s only the policyholders who follow their intuition that something isn’t quite adding up and begin doing their research who discover that there’s another type of property claims adjuster—one whose focus is entirely on the insureds’ rather than the insurance company’s.
As we emphasized earlier, an insurance adjuster works for your insurance company, and as a result, may not actually be estimating your damage and loss with your sole interest at heart. His/her job is to provide a settlement that simply resolves your storm or fireclaim, but in reality may be overlooking damages and losses that aren’t so obvious but will still cost you money to fix or replace.
On the other hand, a public adjuster is a licensed insurance claim expert whom you hire to advocate on your behalf during or even after your claims process to assure that you receive the largest possible settlement in the most efficient way. Like an insurance adjuster, a public adjuster carefully scrutinizes your policy and estimates the full scope of damage, however, the similarities often times end there. Following our own exhaustive estimation of your damages, with careful consideration of the losses you’ve endured beyond any obvious damage, such as hidden damage or loss of profit, public adjusters then initiate a thorough investigative process which includes 1) a thorough appraisal of damages and 2) the subsequent negotiation process with your insurance company to 3) arrange a settlement that actually compensates you for the entirety of your loss. In some cases, this can even mean above and beyond the amount stipulated in your policy.
The difference in property insurance claim settlements that enlist the help of a veteran public adjuster is remarkable. We see it nearly every day at Insurance Claim Consultants, where home and business owners transition from feeling frustrated, and quite frankly cheated, to feeling encouraged and empowered as we help them realize the amount they’re actually entitled to and getting them that settlement with little to no hassle from their insurance companies. In one recent case, we assisted the owner of a 12-unit apartment complex who had filed a fire damage claim.
The claim was denied by the carrier due to the “fire damage did not exceeding his deductible.” We immediately sent a two-member team, comprised of one of our experienced insurance adjusters and a construction consultant, to assess the damage. After carefully surveying provisions within the owner’s insurance policy and noting a recent change in building code, our team proved that the damages were well above the insured’s deductible—$212,856.72 to be exact.
This is just one example of 1) how your insurance company can act negligently during its estimating process and 2) how an experienced public adjuster can obtain a fast and more accurate settlement that reflects the true amount of damages. Our public adjusters assist with various types of insured losses resulting from:
Our number one goal is to fully investigate the entire scope of your loss, right down to the nitty gritty details, and work with your insurance company to win you the amount you deserve.
Contact us 24/7 with any questions about hiring a public adjuster of general claim questions.
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