There are public adjusters and there are independent adjusters. What’s the difference between the two professionals? Is there a difference between a public adjuster and an independent adjuster? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about the difference between the two.
Independent Adjusters Work for the Insurance Company
Many people think independent adjusters and public adjusters are two words for the same profession.
That’s not true.
There is absolutely a difference between public adjusters and independent adjusters – and it’s a very important difference.
Both types of adjusters perform the same basic job: they adjust or manage your insurance claim to determine the claim settlement amount, if any, that applies.
An independent adjuster, however, works for the insurance company. Despite the fact that they have “independent” in their name, an independent adjuster is not a free-wheeling mercenary. Instead, an independent adjuster is a contractor hired by your insurance company. Their ultimate goal is to represent the rights of your insurance company.
Independent adjusters have no obligation to represent you, the policyholder. They technically represent both the insurance company and the policyholder. However, their bottom line is to represent the person paying their paycheck – which is your insurance company or the claims company hired by your insurance company.
It’s important to note that independent adjusters are different from company adjusters. Your insurance company may have it’s own adjusters on its permanent payroll, known as staff adjusters or company adjusters. Independent adjusters, meanwhile, are hired on a contractual basis for specific claims. Like a public adjuster, an independent adjuster is typically paid based on a percentage of the claim.
What Does an Independent Adjuster Do?
An independent adjuster’s job is to represent the rights of an insurance carrier as they handle your claim.
When you make a claim with your insurance company, your company will assign its own company adjusters, or also known as staff adjusters, to your case or they will hire an independent adjuster to manage your claim.
Like any adjuster, an independent adjuster will analyze the facts of your claim, analyze your policy, then determine adequate compensation. The goal of an independent adjuster is to pay you the lowest amount of money they’re legally obligated to pay based on the terms of your insurance policy.
A Public Adjuster Works Exclusively for the Policyholder
A public adjuster, on the other hand, works for you – the person who holds the insurance policy. Public adjusters are also often referred to as private adjusters or private loss adjusters.
A public adjuster’s goal is to help the policyholder with the intricacies involved in the claims process. For many policyholders, this is their first major claim. A lot of money is at stake. A public adjuster, or private insurance adjuster, ensures you’re getting the exact amount of compensation you’re owed based on the terms of your insurance policy.
If you need help managing your claim, or if you believe your insurance company’s offer is inadequate, then you may wish to hire a public adjuster. Once you hire your own private insurance adjuster, that professional will begin negotiating with your insurance company or the independent adjuster hired by that insurance company.
Public adjusters might work on their own. Or, they might work as part of a larger firm of public insurance adjusters.
Obviously, public adjusters can’t be expected to work for free. Public adjusters are certified professionals with a unique skillset. However, most public adjusters do not charge fees upfront, nor do they charge hourly rates. Instead, public adjusters typically charge a flat rate of approximately 10% of the final claim settlement amount.
What is an All-Lines Adjuster or a P&C Adjuster?
When searching for public adjusters online, you may see designations like “All-Lines Adjuster” and “P&C Adjuster”.
What do these designations mean?
Adjuster licenses vary between states. Some states – like New York – have 6 or 7 different types of licenses for adjusters.
In Texas and several other states, however, you typically have three different options when hiring an adjuster: All-Lines, Property & Casualty, and Workers Compensation. A Workers Compensation adjuster is fairly self-explanatory. But what about the other two licenses?
Property & Casualty Adjuster: A Property & Casualty Adjuster, or P&C Adjuster, is certified to process most types of insurance claims cases, including property and casualty claims for residential, commercial, automobile, farm, and ranch, inland marine, and ocean marine cases.
All-Lines Adjuster: An All-Lines Adjuster is similar to a P&C Adjuster. The only difference, in fact, is that an All-Lines Adjuster is certified to handle workers compensation claims in addition to everything a P&C adjuster can handle.
Ultimately, an All-Lines Adjuster has the most comprehensive license available. However, unless you’re dealing with a workers compensation case, you may not need to hire an All-Lines Adjuster for an ordinary property claims case.
Conclusion On Insurance Claim Loss Adjusters
There’s an important difference between public adjusters and independent adjusters. A public adjuster works for the policyholder, while an independent adjuster is hired by your insurance company on a contractual basis to manage the claim. To hire a qualified public adjuster to represent your case, request a free consultation through ClaimsMate today!