To suffer damages to a property or fall victim to theft can be distressing. And to add the filing and managing of insurance claims afterward can be adding additional stress to the experience. Worse, homeowners may not even be paid in full for what they are entitled to under their homeowners’ insurance policies.
Read more below to find out when a homeowner should consider hiring a public adjuster to manage insurance claims.
About one in 20 homes that are insured have a claim annually. The most common type of claim is for wind and hail damage. This is followed by water damage claims. And although less frequently happening, fire and lighting claims prove the most severe.
As a guide, insurance claims that are small and straightforward are usually done and managed by homeowners and for insurance claims that are large or complicated (like fire and flood damage claims) it is recommended that a homeowner consult a public adjuster to manage it.
If a homeowner is undecided about whether to hire a public adjuster or not, learn of the following pros and cons to consider.
Advantages Of Hiring A Public Adjuster
A Public Adjuster Takes The Homeowners’ Best Interest In Mind
When a homeowner files for an insurance claim, the insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster from their end. This adjuster is paid by the homeowner’s insurance company. Their task is to keep and act in line with the insurance company’s best interest, and not the homeowners’.
On the other hand, a public adjuster takes the homeowner’s best interests in mind and not those of the insurance company. When homeowners hire public adjusters, they can have fair play by having somebody on their side who can fight for what they are entitled to.
A Public Adjuster Makes The Insurance Claim Processing Less Taxing
Truth be told, we are now living in a hectic world. Feeling stressed with a lot of events has become a norm. If a homeowner is like most people wanting to lessen stress, when possible, then hiring a public adjuster is the next best choice.
Needless to say, attempting to manage a large and complex insurance claim on one’s own can spell a lot of stress. It invites homeowners into doing something they might not be familiar with and will surely take them out of their comfort zones. By getting into a contract with a reputable and experienced public adjuster, the homeowners can rest assured that their claims are managed well and this in turn saves them from a lot of headaches.
A Public Adjuster Helps Homeowners Counter A Bad Settlement Offer
Homeowners are not obliged to accept the first offer of settlement they receive from their insurance companies. If homeowners have received a “bad” settlement offer, a public adjuster can help secure a better offer for them.
A Public Adjuster Saves A Lot Of Claim Time
Doing all the work for a large insurance claim can be time-consuming and not to mention labor-intensive. It can even feel like a full-time job considering tons of paperwork, meetings, and talking with contractors.
Hiring a public adjuster with the experience and know-how of the process to manage one’s claim can free up a lot of time!
A Public Adjuster’s Fees Are Cheaper Than That Of A Lawyer
A lot of homeowners think that hiring a lawyer is the best choice during insurance claims mishaps. However, hiring a lawyer is a very expensive decision.
Many, if not most, lawyers charge a high 33 – 40% of the settlement amount as a contingency fee. This percentage is significantly higher than what can be expected by public adjusters to charge as a fee. It is even good to note that some lawyers make use of public adjuster services. So why not hire a public adjuster directly and bypass the lawyer from the picture?
A Public Adjuster Negotiates On The Homeowner’s Behalf
Negotiation with an insurance adjuster can go south very easily. They likely know all the facets of the claim and already have counter arguments prepared even before the start of a negotiation. Some homeowners may find themselves short when negotiating with an expert insurance adjuster when homeowners know little about the topic.
A seasoned public adjuster commonly deals with insurance companies and their adjusters day in and out. Public adjusters then are in a much stronger stance to negotiate a good, if not great, settlement offer than just the homeowners on their own.
A Public Adjuster Generally Arrives At A Faster Claim Resolution
Working with an experienced public adjuster can hasten the process of claim settlements. They know what strings to pull and how to pull them right the first time.
Although, there still may be times when working with a public adjuster will take more time than if homeowners do it by themselves. Albeit, these delays might be to the benefit of the homeowners still like identifying and avoiding hidden damages homeowners may not be aware of.
A Public Adjuster Increases The Chances Of Higher Settlement Offers
One of the prime advantages of hiring a public adjuster for insurance claims is the probability of higher settlement offers. They get the fine print in the insurance policies of homeowners. They have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to negotiate with insurance companies and their adjusters.
A Public Adjuster Does Not Require An Upfront Payment
You heard it right! They only get paid once homeowners receive payment for their insurance claims. If their homeowner clients do not get paid, neither do they.
Disadvantages Of Hiring A Public Adjuster
A Public Adjuster Arranges For Contingency Fees
A public adjuster is entitled to a percentage of the claim payout after negotiating a settlement agreement successfully on the behalf of a homeowner.
Homeowners should take into account that they may go for a much higher settlement offer.
A Public Adjuster May Decline Small Claims
Insurance claims management can take up a lot of time and effort. It is sometimes not feasible for a public adjuster to commit to all claims, especially small ones. Also, not all homeowner insurance claims require the services of a public adjuster. A lot of homeowners are still better off handling small insurance claims on their own.