“You do what?”: The Basics of Public Adjusters

If you’ve been lucky enough to not have to use your insurance after a major home or auto accident, you may not be quite sure what a claims adjuster is. If you’ve never had to struggle with your insurance agency to get fair compensation after an accident, you may not be quite sure what a public adjuster is, or how one differs from the standard claims adjuster employed by your insurance agency. However, knowing what a public adjuster does and when to contact one can be invaluable when it comes to dealing with insurance after a catastrophe.

Loss Adjustment

Claims adjusters fill a variety of roles for both the insurance company and the policyholder. After an accident or natural disaster, the claims adjuster will go over the policyholder’s policy to ensure the type and extent of the damage is covered under the existing insurance. If the insurance company is responsible for covering the damages, the claims agent will then examine the damages to determine the amount of payout the policyholder is entitled to. This may include any living expenses for people displaced from their homes or business losses for damaged businesses. The insurance adjuster will then document the claim and submit it to the insurance company so that the policyholder can receive their payment in a timely manner.

Claims Adjusters & Public Adjusters

The main difference between a general claims adjuster and a public adjuster is who they are employed by. The claims adjuster is an employee of the insurance company, and some policyholders believe this makes them beholden to the company’s bottom line rather than to the well-being of the insured. Public adjusters are unaffiliated with the insurance company and they may be able to provide a more balanced assessment that will favor a fair payout to the policyholder. Because public adjusters are not employed by the insurance company, it is up to the policyholder to provide payment for their services. This payment is usually in the form of a percentage of the final settlement; between 10-20% of the settlement is common, although some states cap the fee amount and for very large claims this percentage may be significantly smaller.

Generally, the sooner a policyholder contacts a public adjuster, the easier it is to get a timely and fair insurance payout. However, many policyholders wait to hire a public adjuster until the insurance company is refusing to pay a fair settlement.

Find A Public Adjuster in Texas

ClaimsMate is located in Houston, TX and works to help people all over the state find public adjusters that are certified and experienced. Not all public adjusters are created equal, and some are more experienced in certain fields than others – for example, some public adjusters may specialize in health insurance adjusting while others excel in cases related to homeowners insurance. ClaimsMate can help anyone trying to process a new claim or struggling with an old one find a public adjuster to help expedite the process and make sure the policyholder receives fair compensation.

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If dealing with a claim, include the cause of loss/damage