It would be fair to assume that having an insurance policy is all one needs to protect their car, homes, or other property. However, the reality is that filing for a claim can be a very daunting task. The process is time-consuming and it also takes knowledge to properly file for a claim. The insurance company will often agree to compensate only when a policyholder proves his losses. That is where public adjusters come in to aid the policyholder.
A public insurance adjuster assists both businesses and individuals to negotiate their insurance claim. Public adjusters are licensed through the State’s Department. The adjuster is not employed by any insurance company but still has the ability to negotiate an insurance claim on behalf of an individual until he gets everything he is entitled to. Since the adjuster is on neutral grounds, the policyholder is assured of getting a thorough and fair documentation of his loss. He works closely with the policyholder to help him fully recover the amount entitled to him based in the insurance coverage of the holder.
Duties of a Public Adjuster
- Negotiate with the insurance company in behalf of a policyholder
- Arrange inspections by qualified professionals
- Work with contractors and designated cleanup companies following a property damage
- Arrange for temporary housing where applicable
All public insurance adjusters need to be licensed by the State’s Insurance Department. They need to be above the age of 18 years and have a clean record with the law. They also undergo rigorous examinations and are expected to complete education throughout the course of the licenses term.
The examination is quite an expensive one to undertake and must be specific to each area of insurance. One may be qualified in automobile, fire, marine or workers’ compensations. Thus it is important for a holder to find an adjuster who is experienced in his claim field.
The Importance of an Adjuster
The public adjuster’s main focus is to help a policyholder prove his claim to the insurance company so that he can get the maximum amount of compensation according to the terms of the policy. One of the main duties of a public adjuster is to help the policyholder document the claim in a proper manner that can be understood by the insurance company. Calculating actual cash value and replacements costs may sound too complicated in the eyes of a layman and it might not be easy for a holder to document every detail of the claim.
The paperwork associated with these claims can prove to be overwhelming and it is the work of the policyholder to help a policyholder understand all this paperwork and any other supporting document. Sometimes even just a single missing document could cause a claim to be denied. Working with experienced and licensed public adjusters is the best way a policyholder can be assured that such occurrences are minimized and that his claim will be filed properly with no delays.
A certified Public adjuster acts as the voice of a policyholder during a claim negotiation. Once he is hired, the insurance company will be speaking to him exclusively thus giving a policyholder peace of mind as he goes about his daily activities during the claim process.
Choosing The Best Public Adjusting Company
There are licensed public adjusting companies who represent a policyholder for damage or loss of pretty though fire, flood, theft or water. The advantage of working with such companies is that they know how to navigate the complex web of the claim process. It is important for a public company to realize that every insured’s claim is unique therefore each claim needs to be specific to an insured’s situation.
A policyholder would be wise to choose a firm that has the integrity and passion to handle his claim satisfactorily. Public adjusters should be able to perform the following tasks:
- Review and evaluate the policy of a holder- the first thing a public adjuster will do after being hired is to review the insurance policy in order to establish which type of coverage should be applied to a claim. Therefore establishing a relationship with the adjuster prior to property damage is essential.
- Inspect property and assess the damage- a public adjuster should be able to search hidden damage which may at first not be readily visible. After a thorough property inspection, the public adjuster will include all this information in the assessment report and prepare the policyholder’s insurance claim
- Evaluate additional losses- there are times when the damaged property was part of a business. In such a case, the public adjuster will help a policyholder determine losses as a result if business interruption as long as he is covered for it.
- Prepare documents- it is important of documents to be submitted on time and in the right order. Missing documents or incomplete reports could result in denial of a claim.
- Reopen claims- even after a policyholder has already accepted insurance’s settlement claim it is still possible to get money. A public adjuster may in such a case reopen a previously settled claim and determine of any discrepancies is found.
The Rights of a Policyholder
The State Department of Insurance affirms that each policyholder has the right to receive a fair adjustment to a claim. The insurance company must compensate him for his losses and he is not obligated to accept raw deals or delays of processing the claim. As such, it is the right of the policyholder to take advantage of a trained public adjuster help him quantify and establish the full extent of the loss.
The policyholder takes advantage of the services of a public adjuster in order to avoid the intricacies and complex procedures involved in the claim process. Policyholders get the best settlement for the repair of the damages incurred even on business premises as long as the holder is entitled to it.