PUBLIC INSURANCE ADJUSTER
A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL
Protecting Policyholders and Their Claims
WHEN PEOPLE’S HOMES OR BUSINESSES ARE LOST TO FIRE, HURRICANE, OR OTHER INCIDENT, THE PROCESS OF NAVIGATING INSURANCE CLAIMS AND RECOVERY CAN BE DIFFICULT AND EMOTIONALLY DRAINING. MOREOVER, WITHOUT THE EXPERTISE IN FILING A CLAIM, CONSUMERS OFTEN ARE AT AN EXTREME DISADVANTAGE.
The report found that
“Florida’s public adjuster licensing requirements appear to be similar to or more stringent than those of other states.”
Florida imposes some licensure requirements not included in other states’ laws. For instance, Florida’s... apprenticeship requirement, which was supported by FAPIA, is not required in any of the other states examined.
“The number of complaints, investigations, and disciplinary actions against public adjusters is generally low.”
FAPIA believes this is reflective of the strict ethical guidelines to which Florida Public Insurance adjusters adhere.
During the study period (March 2008 and June 2009), a review of 61,324 non-catastrophe claims (those unrelated to a declared state of emergency) found that policyholders using public adjusters received an estimated $9,379 per claim. Those not using a public adjuster received an estimated $1,391, a difference of 574%.
For catastrophic claims filed during the study period related to the 2005 hurricanes, policyholders using public adjusters received an estimated $17,187 per claim. Those not using public adjusters received an estimated $2,029, a difference of 747%.
"the work of public adjusting is defined by the noble work of helping someone navigate a path they have no way of navigating themselves and don't believe they can"
Former Florida Chief Financial Officer
Former Florida Chief Financial Officer
Public Adjusters Stand Up for Policyholders
• For the personalized expert assistance Public Adjusters provide in preparing and adjusting a claim, allowing the property owner to receive accurate analysis of their circumstance and policyholder rights as early as possible.
• The primary reason a Public Adjuster is hired is to help the policyholder fully recover from their insurance company, for all covered damages sustained in the event of a loss. Public Adjusters inspect all areas to demonstrate the entire impact of the loss-producing event.
• Public Adjusters will typically be more complete in their damage analysis than their insurance company counterparts or the inexperienced policyholder on his or her own because they are trained for it, provide a personalized service with that concept in mind, and because they do not receive any fees until policyholders receive their claims reimbursement.
• Public Adjusters share a similar interest with the policyholder in achieving the most accurate comprehensive claim payment possible, and in an expedited manner that results in payments to policyholders.
The Public Adjuster’s Role
• The Public Adjuster measures and documents a policyholder’s loss on behalf of that policyholder, taking care of the claim process and helping to document all losses to the insurance company adjuster.
• The Public Adjuster’s sole responsibility, unlike that of an insurance company adjuster, is to advocate for the policyholder’s position in the claim.
• Generally, a Public Adjuster handles claims for damage to real and personal property, and the related loss of income, which results from such perils as fire, lightning, wind, water, vandalism, theft, collapse, hail, flood, etc.
• The standard compensation of a Public Adjuster is a contingency fee in the range of 10% - 20% of the amount adjusted.
• When a Public Adjuster is working in a contingency fee arrangement, the Public Adjuster is paid by the policyholder after the claim has been paid by the insurance company.
After Disaster Strikes
The Public Adjuster
- Provides immediate claims handling assistance to the insured.
- Provides immediate direction as to what to do and what happens next.
- Helps the policyholder fulfill all obligations placed upon them by the insurance policy conditions entitled, “Duties in the Event of Loss”.
- Provides direction concerning reasonable and necessary mitigation efforts.
- Provides direction to preserve evidence , photos and video of the scene to capture much of the damage moments after the loss.
- Suggests the preservation of valuables that are in the structure.
- Prevents the wasteful spending of unreasonable mitigation money.
- Provides direction as to new temporary living arrangements.
- Advises against the premature hiring of contractors until damages, job specifications, and cost of the job, are known, agreed to, and paid for by the carrier.