What is a Public Adjuster?
A public adjuster is an insurance claims adjuster who works for the policy holder in estimating and negotiating a policy holder’s property casualty insurance claim. Aside from attorneys and the broker of record, public adjusters, licensed by the state’s department of insurance, are the only type of claims adjuster that can legally represent the rights of a policy holder during the insurance claim process. A public adjuster is most beneficial when it is clear that the insurance company will pay the claim and the only issue is the proper identification and valuation of the loss. Most public adjusters charge a percentage of the settlement with the average charge being between 15-20%, although some states cap this fee. Primarily, public adjusters appraise the damage, prepare an estimate and other claim documentation, read the insurance policy to determine coverages, and negotiate with the insurance company’s claims handler.
Who is looking out for my interests?
There are three types of insurance claims adjusters: staff adjusters (employed by an insurance company or self-insured entity), independent adjusters (independent contractors hired by the insurance company) and public adjusters (employed by the policyholder). “Company” or “independent” adjusters can only legally represent the rights of an insurance company.
A Public Adjuster is the only adjuster who is legally on your side.