Pros & Cons: The Claims Adjuster & The Public Adjuster

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Pros & Cons: The Claims Adjuster & The Public Adjuster

The Claims Adjuster

(The following are general rules of thumb)

Pros:

Wages: The Insurer pays their wages / fees for services.  Payments towards the adjuster’s wages and fees does not impact on the Insured’s policy limits.
Payments:  If the adjuster is the insurance company’s employee, then insurance funds more quickly.
Transparent Requirement: The policy is built on the principle of “Utmost Good Faith.”  This demands, timely, full and complete disclosure by each of 1) Insurance Company, and 2) the Insured.

Cons:

Greatest Potential for Bias: The Insurance Company is paying for opinions from the persons they hired on this this file, as well as many other files.
Not Seeking out Coverage that was Paid For:  An Insurance company may overlook advising their Insured regarding other coverage advantages that are available to their Insured.
Delay in Payments:  The independent adjuster will report every 30 to 60 days to the Insurance Company.  It can take a long time to receive payment from the Insurance Company when and independent adjuster is on the file.  We have seen many times where an undisputed payment is not issued for over a year.
Lack of a/o Untimely Disclosure:  Insurers rarely share their file information, including investigative notes, and when they do, what is shared is usually after much delay.  This should not happen.

Hit & Miss

Experience:  The strongest staff adjusters often leave adjusting, or they may become independent adjusters.  The industry is woefully lacking qualified adjusting professionals who are long on experience and adept at managing a file.
It is a rare occurrence to be blessed with an adjuster that is a genuinely qualified professional who also carries the traits of transparency, timeliness, and empathy for your well being.

The Public Adjuster

Note:  After doing your research and engaging a qualified professional who markets speaks to and demonstrates the correct characteristics to best represent you, then these should be the Pros & Cons to consider.

Pros

Stress Reduction:  Your Public Adjuster (and not you!) directly discusses and negotiates with the Insurance Company; this continues until the insurance claim is settled.
Putting Experience + Professionalism to Work:  With our strategic alliances, we are recognized as the leaders in the industry.   None carry our knowledge base, our experience, and our success in directly managing insurance claims.  (As this is not true of other firms; this becomes a “Con” for most others.)
Research and Familiarity:  Your Public Adjuster carefully researches your insurance policy to ensure that the Insurer’s policy responds as it should (and as you paid for.)
No More “Fingers Crossed”:  It’s not wise to compete outside of your skillset.  Unless insurance is your skillset, you will be guessing, using the Insurer’s information and then resort responses based on:
“It sounds okay, so it’s probably right”, or “Here’s hoping for the best.”
Added Services at No Charge:  Our Public Adjusting Services includes our acting as your Representative or Appraiser in cases where it is required to settle using the Dispute Resolution a/o Appraisal process.  You would otherwise have to hire someone, at your own, non-refundable cost.  (This is set out by statute in place of litigation for otherwise irresolvable disputes on repairs and values.)

Cons

Qualified Adjusters:  Not all Public Adjusters are the same.  We recommend carefully vetting them including requesting a copy of their CV, and 3 respected references.  Find out what your adjuster’s file load is and do the math.  Do they have time for you?
Will Value Be Added?  Care must be taken before hiring a Public Adjuster; does their retainer have strong potential to add value to your insurance claim?  This is generally only a “con” in cases where a value-added analysis was not reviewed before retaining a public adjuster.  This is important as fee structures are generally commissioned based.
Small Losses:  A Public Adjuster is not likely to add value on small insurance claims.  Yes, there are exceptions.

Hit & Miss

Denials of Coverage: These are neither a Pro nor a Con in relation to hiring of a Public Adjuster.  If a file cannot be turned into coverage, then your exposure is nominal (you are only facing a few expenses, assuming the retainer is on a commission-based structure.)
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