Many questions arise as to when a public adjuster should be involved in the claims process within Palm Beach or Broward Counties. Should they be involved from the start? Is it alright to get them in the middle of a claim? What happens after a claim has been resolved and you now have doubts? We answer these common questions:
Question: I live in Palm Beach County and my insurance application/claim is currently underway and I have received an offer from my insurance company, but I’m afraid the amount is too low. Is it too late to hire a public expert/adjuster?
Answer: It is not too late to hire a public adjuster. In Palm Beach and Broward County it is common for homeowners and businesses themselves to try to deal with property damage, especially if they suffer such damage for the first time. However, by hiring an adjuster, you have an expert on your side with the experience of increasing the deal to the amount you deserve.
A public expert is an insurance professional acting on behalf of the insured to settle claims. They will help to:
Assess the total loss, including damage to the building, contents etc.
Review your policy to identify all aspects of coverage that may apply to your claim.
Present the claim of your insurance company.
Negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company.
Solve the claim quickly and efficiently for the maximum amount, you are entitled to.
Question: Can I hire a lawyer to handle my claim for property damage?
Answer: Public Adjusters are experts in determining the total amount and value of property damage and losses resulting from business interruptions. If a policyholder speaks with a lawyer to help him/her settle a claim, it is not uncommon for an attorney to be hired for his / her experience in these areas. If there is a dispute with an insurance company regarding the amount of the agreement to which you are entitled, a public expert who can perform all necessary work is your best defense. Most claims for damages can be resolved without legal assistance, saving you time and allowing you to hire a lawyer.
Question: I hired a contractor to repair the damage to my property in Broward County; can he or she help me to get my insurance to pay out?
Answer: While restoration contractors are an integral part of the recovery process but they cannot help resolve your insurance claim. These contractors are experts in repairing your property in its original condition; they do not have the experience to make claims on behalf of the policyholder. If a catering company attempts to manage an insurance claim, it is considered an unauthorized public adjustment practice that violates the law and, depending on the circumstances, may result in arrest and criminal offenses.
Question: Can the public adjuster also work for the claim for property damage as a contractor?
Answer: Just as it is unlawful for a contractor to assume the role of a public adjuster, it is also illegal for a public adjuster to act as a contractor in a claim. If a public adjuster takes on the role of the contractor, this is seen as a conflict of interest and an illicit practice of public adaptation, which could lead to legal action against him.
Question: My insurance company assigned my claim to an adjuster. Why cannot I use him/her to solve my claim?
Answer: There is a significant difference between a public adjuster and the adjuster provided by an insurance company. A public adjuster works on behalf of the insured to settle a claim to the maximum possible amount, while the adjuster (from the company) works on claims by the insurance company for the insurer insurance company.
Question: My claim for property damage was resolved with my insurance and I received a check. However, I now have more problems because of the initial damage. Is it too late to hire a public adjuster now?
Answer: It is not too late. Often, there are claims for additional damage, such as undetected water damage or damage to the walls after rebuilding. Ideally, it will help identify these common problems and adjust demand accordingly. The only prerequisite for this is that the policyholder signs an exemption that prevents the insurance company from making an additional payment for the respective claim.
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