Losing a home to a fire or a storm can be a traumatic experience for any homeowner. If you have suffered property damage, then you may want to consider hiring a public insurance adjuster to help guide you through the insurance claims process. Why? Because insurance policies are complicated legal documents that can be difficult to understand and filing a claim requires a great deal of time-consuming documentation that most homeowners with jobs, families and busy lives just do not have time to take on. Add to that the emotional toll of experiencing a fire, hurricane, flood, tornado, etc., and you will see why professional guidance can be infinitely helpful.
Licensed public adjusters are trained in helping policyholders file property damage insurance claims. Having one on your side can make the difference between receiving a payment large enough to restore your property to normal and not getting enough to make all of the necessary repairs.
How can you find the right public adjusting company to help settle your insurance claim? Here are some tips from AI's Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, John Marini:
- Check with Your State Department of Insurance — Most states require public adjusters to be licensed. This means that they have met the state’s education and experience requirements for practicing the profession in that particular state. Many states have directories online that allow you to confirm an adjuster's licensing. You can also call your State Department of Insurance to check on licensure. To find your state's Department of Insurance, visit naic.org.
- Find a NAPIA Member — Find a firm that is a member of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. Public adjusters from these companies have agreed to abide by the organization's code of ethics and are licensed in the states that require it.
- Check State and Regional Associations — Many states also have local public adjusting associations that provide online directories that you can use to confirm membership.
- Check References — Always request references from any public adjuster before working with them. By speaking with past clients, you can get a better understanding of how easy the public adjuster will be to work with and how successful they have been in handling past claims.
- Visit the Company's Website — Most legitimate public adjusters have a website. If the firm does not offer this or any other marketing materials, then that may be a red flag indicating that the firm is not legitimate.
- Call the Better Business Bureau — Consumers may also want to call their local Better Business Bureau to see if the company is a BBB Accredited Business and if any complaints have been filed against them.
- Don't Allow Yourself to be Pressured — Although it is usually best to get a public adjuster involved early in the claims process, you should avoid anyone who tries to rush you into making a decision.
Once you have narrowed down a short list of public adjusters, what additional questions should you ask? For example, you could ask them:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have errors and omissions insurance?
- Do you have experience adjusting my type of claim?
"Filing an insurance claim can be complicated and stressful. Most homeowners just want to get their lives back to normal whether that means moving back into their damaged homes or cooking in their newly renovated kitchens," said Marini. "A little research can go a long way toward making sure that they’re not only picking the best Public Adjuster for the job but also making the whole process easier on themselves and their families."
Adjusters International's public adjusters are licensed, educated and experienced. Contact Us today to find out how we could be of assistance with your property damage insurance claim.