What happens when disaster strikes? Say your water heater lets go at 3 AM, spilling hot water over your floors where it gets soaked up by your wallboard. You call your plumber and insurance company. The plumber comes out and replaces your water heater, and eventually, the insurance adjuster comes out and tallies up the damages for payment to you. Maybe you should call a public adjuster.
Your mind may be on the water heater because that’s the most visible part, but water damage to your home structure will probably add up to a lot more than the cost of the plumber. Water, especially hot water, may cause permanent damage to flooring. Hardwood stains and warps, laminate flooring may in time delaminate, vinyl or tile floors may come unglued, and the subflooring may warp. Baseboard moldings might become warped or stained. And if the water touches the wallboard, it will wick it up like a sponge and sag like a wet noodle. What’s worse is that anything that stays wet can grow mold and make your home dangerous and unliveable.
Your insurance company adjuster may look at it all, mutter a couple of tsssk-tssks, then issue a check for what they think repairs will cost minus your deductible. Is it enough?
This is where a public adjuster comes in. A public adjuster is someone that works for you. Their job is to protect your checkbook, not the insurance companies. They help navigate the claims process and negotiate a fair settlement for damages. Here are some of the key benefits of hiring a public adjuster:
- Expertise: Public adjusters have a thorough understanding of the insurance claims process and can help policyholders navigate it effectively. They have the expertise and experience to help maximize the value of a policyholder’s insurance claim.
- Objectivity: Public adjusters work solely for policyholders and are not influenced by the insurance company. They provide an objective and unbiased evaluation of a policyholder’s damages, which can help ensure that a fair settlement is reached.
- Time Savings: Filing an insurance claim and negotiating a settlement can be time-consuming and stressful. Hiring a public adjuster can free up time for policyholders so they can focus on other aspects of their lives.
- Increased Settlement: Public adjusters have the skills and knowledge to negotiate a higher settlement for policyholders. They understand the language of insurance policies and can use that knowledge to help policyholders receive the maximum value for their damages.
- Stress Relief: Dealing with insurance companies and the claims process can be stressful and emotionally draining. Hiring a public adjuster can alleviate much of that stress, as they handle all aspects of the claim on behalf of the policyholder.
Why not hire an attorney?
Most attorneys don’t have the construction skills and knowledge of an adjuster. They’re likely to go out and hire an adjuster of their own and charge you for it (with a markup).
So, it’s your decision. If it’s a small claim and the insurance companies adjuster seems knowledgeable and trustworthy, maybe accept their offer. If it’s a larger amount, or you’re unsure if a complete repair is covered, then hire your own adjuster.