Frequently Asked Questions
- I just discovered my property has damage from (fire, wind, water, hail, theft, etc.), when is the best time to enlist the help of a Public Adjuster?Upon discovering your property has damage it’s best to contact Action Public Adjusters immediately so we can help you report your claim. Delay in engaging our services, puts the amount that you’re entitled to recover at risk. Your interest and the insurance company’s interest are not the same. Many times insurance carrier’s claim centers ask tricky questions to potentially confuse policyholders into saying things which may compromise coverage on their claim. The Public Adjuster will gather all the correct, pertinent information and help report the claim in a timely and efficient manner to the carrier.
- There are three types of adjusters, a company adjuster who the insurance company has on staff. An independent adjuster, who the insurance company hires. The insurance company pays them to handle their claims and protect their interests. A Public Adjuster is the only adjuster who is the policyholder’s advocate. The Public Adjuster works only for the policyholder, representing their interest and maximizing the claim for the insured, not minimizing for the insurance company.
- The insurance company and their adjuster say that hiring a public adjuster will delay and slow down the process?Think about it, the insurance company makes out better if you are not on a level playing field with them. They use industry lingo that you may not fully understand. Hiring your own expert will not slow down the process, instead it puts you in the same league as the insurance adjuster. Insurance contracts can be confusing, leaving policyholders unsure of what is actually covered. Though your insurance agent gave you your coverage, their allegiance is to the insurance company.
- Claim adjusting is a really specialized industry. It is not just putting numbers to paper. There is negotiation involved in the process and preparing the claim to put you in the best situation. Relying on your insurance company to calculate the amount of damage decreases your chance to recover a full fair settlement.
Insurance companies are in the business to turn a profit and theirs adjuster may value damages to your property differently than you would. Many times, they say you are not covered for some of your damages. And often, their offer will not even come close to the value needed to restore the damaged property.
- Once you sign a contract with a Public Adjuster, they will notify your insurance company. At this point all correspondence will be directed towards the public adjuster. The public adjuster should continuously keep you informed and updated of all correspondence and make you aware of the progress of your claim.
- The insurance company sent out a mitigation company to help with the clean-up, should I always just use this company?Mitigation/Restoration companies come directly from the insurance company. It is not in their best interests to protect you and your concerns with your claim. Insurance companies send out their own preferred contractor whose job it is to define the scope of damage and estimate costs for repair. These companies are measuring the loss for the insurance company not for YOU. Their job is to protect the financial goals of the insurance company not protect your goals as the policyholder.
- The mitigation/restoration company wants me to sign and hire them to repair my property and sign a power of attorney stating they can talk with my insurance company about my claim, should I?The only licensed professionals to represent a policyholder with an insurance claim is a state licensed Public Adjuster or a lawyer. The benefit of hiring a Public Adjuster over a lawyer is the daily experience the Public Adjuster has in this field. Lawyers are qualified to do this work, but generally this is not the only work they do. Public Adjusters review and handle claims 365 days a year and stay current with education on any new laws or rules of adjusting.
- Contractors, Mitigation Companies, Restoration companies are not authorized to represent you in insurance claim negotiations, nor are they professionally licensed or regulated by your state insurance department/agency to do so.No one should ever request a power of attorney be signed over; this is a BIG RED FLAG. Public Adjusters have state licensed contracts clients must sign. These are determined by the state.
- Insurance companies lead you to believe that a quick payout is in your best interest. Policyholders will be more satisfied and look favorably on the carrier. What looks like great customer service may actually be an attempt to settle a claim and convince you to settle for less money. We recommend taking your time and making sure you are completely protected. Don’t feel rushed or sign anything until you understand all ramifications of your claim.
- Severe property damage creates all kinds of complicated issues. You may miss damage that is covered under your insurance policy. Experienced professionals help ensure you will not miss damages that can be submitted as part of your claim.
- Insurance carriers are required to respond to you and process your claim in a specified period of time when certain conditions are met. The public adjuster understands these nuances and can assist with this. If you are getting the run-around with your claim, seek immediate help from an expert in this field.
- The Public Adjuster is paid on a contingency fee basis. Be careful when you are interviewing adjusters, this fee should not be more than 25%. The fee you agree to pay is dependent upon the size, type of loss and status of the loss. The amount the adjuster is paid comes from the proceeds you receive from the insurance company.
- Public Adjusters are not attorneys. They are state licensed professionals whose job is to represent policyholders with insurance claim negotiations with insurance companies.
There may be times an attorney is needed if legal issues arise in your claim. Denial of claim, and bad faith are two examples of conditions that require an attorney representation.
- I have already settled my claim and now discover there are additional damages I was not aware of; can I get a public adjuster involved now?As long as you did not sign a full and final release, you can engage a public adjuster. You may be required to sign a proof of loss or partial proof of loss in order to receive some check from the insurance company. There are also statute of limitations that you need to be aware of that may apply to your claim.