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Should Your Business Hire a Public Adjuster for Insurance Claims?

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Businesses get insurance to cover for theft, accidents, property damage and making a claim is common occurrence especially for the 10 most common business insurance claims.

In this article we look at general role role of adjusters for insurance claims. We also hone in on public adjusters, their role and how they work with other insurance claim adjusters on behalf of policy holders. Plus we provide tips on what research to do when choosing a public adjuster for your business.

Public adjusters are one of three types of insurance claims adjusters and it’s worth knowing how their roles differ, so you can work out when it’s appropriate to engage the services of an adjuster for your business.

Types of Insurance Claims Adjusters

There are three different types of claims adjusters, each are explained simply below:

Company or Staff Adjuster

The role of a staff adjuster is to manage the claims process for the insurance company. They are employees of the insurance company. It’s this group, policy holders communicate with regarding their claims.

Independent Adjuster

An independent adjuster is engaged by insurance companies to manage the claims process. They are self employed or independent businesses and as they’re contracted to insurance companies they can manage many different claims at the same time.

Public Adjuster

This type of adjuster is the policy holder advocate – hence the ‘public’ also independent, and only works for the policy holder. Claimants hire these professionals to ensure that they are getting the maximum payout possible from the insurance company.

Reasons to Hire a Public Adjuster

There are several reasons that a business might hire a public claims adjuster to help with their insurance claim.

For large loss claims – If the damage/loss is substantial and there is a lot of money at stake it makes sense to have independent help. There are a lot of variables which affect the value of your compensation and professional assistance can definitely maximize the payout.

If there is a dispute – If you have a dispute with the insurance company it can result in a tricky situation. In such cases businesses often seek outside assistance to help them achieve a favorable outcome.

If you’re time constrained – Another common reason for businesses to use a public insurance adjuster is to save time. If the adjuster is dealing with the claim it allows personnel to get on with their core functions which serve the company’s goals.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Public Adjuster

If your business is looking to hire a public insurance adjuster then it is good practice to do some screening first. Finding the right professional will have a huge impact on the outcome of your claim. If you’re in the USA these questions are highly relevant.

1. Are You Licensed to Practice Public Adjusting in My State?

Although most of the public adjusters will have a license with them for their identity, it is crucial to check with the state department of insurance if they are properly licensed in your state. Napia has important information you may need about certified and licensed public adjusters in a particular state.

2. Will You Handle My Claim Personally?

It is important to consider using a public adjuster who can personally handle all your issue. Along with those acting as public adjusters without a proper license there are also some firms that may outsource or pass off the work to others rather than handling the claim themselves.

Research shows that the process is much easier to deal directly with the public adjuster who will be dealing with your claim.

3. How Many Claims Have You Sorted Out in This Area?

Knowing the number of claims a public adjuster has been able to sort out in your area will help you determine how good they are at their job. Public adjusters who have worked many claims in your area are also highly likely to be successful.

4. What Are Your Credentials, Public Adjusting and Construction Estimating Skills and Experience?

Public adjusting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. You can easily find some of the credentials and experience of a public adjuster by checking their references and reviews online.

A public adjuster, in most states, cannot do the contractor job of estimation and the contractor cannot handle the job of a public adjuster. This can create a conflict of interest. However, a good public adjuster should have the necessary building and construction knowledge and be able to help find or refer the needed contractors.

Make sure you examine the credentials and skill set of your public adjuster since an under experienced and poorly qualified one may lead to hiring the wrong professionals.

5. What Are Your Fees and Charges?

The fee depends on the states one resides in. Different states have different regulations on what public adjusters are allowed to charge.

However, in every state it is crucial to establish an agreed upon fee up front and have that in a written contract with your public adjuster. It is also important to research the price public adjusters charge for your type of claim in your area, so as not to be largely overcharged.

Summary

There are different types of adjusters and public adjusters work for the policy holder.  Their role is to get the best outcome for their clients.

Do your homework before selecting the appropriate person or team to work on your behalf.

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