After an accident or disaster causes damage to your home, business, vehicle or other property, your insurance company will hire an insurance adjuster, or send an adjuster from their company, to assess the claim. Because this adjuster works for the insurance company, they have the insurance company’s best interest — and bottom line — in mind, and it’s unlikely that you will receive a fair evaluation or the full settlement you deserve. This uneven playing field is precisely why you hire a public adjuster, an adjuster who works for YOU, with your interests in mind. Below we break down the pros and cons of using a public adjuster versus working with an adjuster from your insurance company.
Public Adjusters Are Well-Trained Professionals
Insurance claims can be tricky business, and insurance companies know this, even rely on this. A public adjuster is a state-certified expert, knowledgeable on all types of insurance and claims, who knows the tricks insurance companies like to use and how to skillfully negotiate against them. Public adjusters in New Jersey are licensed, bonded, fingerprinted and have to pass background checks
Someone In Your Corner
With a public adjuster, you have someone fighting to get you a proper settlement, just as hard as the insurance company is fighting to pay an absolute minimum. A public adjuster eliminates the advantage insurance companies use over policy holders.
This is especially important as both experiencing damage to property and going through the claims process can be extremely stressful and time consuming. Sometimes the loss is truly devastating, and no one should have to go that alone. When your insurance company looks to cut corners or pushes back on the settlement or proposed repairs and replacements, your public adjuster is there to defend your rights. They provide a cool, collected and experienced hand to guide you and your claim through a tumultuous time.
Receive a Larger Settlement
Because a public adjuster is working for YOU, and knows all the ins and outs of appraising, estimating and evaluating — as well as angles insurance companies like to take to minimize settlements — you will almost always receive a greater settlement when using a public adjuster.
No Upfront Cost
Public adjusters generally do not charge an upfront fee, instead getting paid a percentage of the settlement once the claim is handled and put to bed. At Diversified Public Adjusters, all fees are calculated after a settlement is finalized. If you don’t get paid, neither do we!
Public Adjusters May Only Accept Major Claims
Major events involving severe damage and expensive claims should always be approached with a public adjuster, but in some cases, when damage is relatively minor, claims may not be large enough to justify bringing in a public adjuster. Consult a Diversified specialist today about your claim and we can help you find the best path forward.
Paying a Percentage of Settlement
Just like someone performing any other job, a public adjuster will need to be paid for the work they do. The good news in this scenario is none of the fees have to be paid upfront out of pocket, and no money is due until your settlement is finalized. Public adjusters are paid a percentage of the claim settlement, another incentive for them to work as hard as possible to get you as much as possible.
Some Claims May Take Longer
Usually insurance claims being handled by a public adjuster are pretty straightforward and move along without too much interference. The public adjuster becomes your representative in the claim and communicates with the insurance company while a claim is negotiated and settled. Because public adjusters are so well-versed in the insurance process, claims move faster when handled by a public adjuster than if you handled it all yourself.
However, just because a public adjuster knows the process doesn’t mean that the process always goes quickly or with pushback. If the claim is contested by the insurance company or there is a disagreement in the evaluation process the claim could end up in court, which extends the timeline of the claim. So yes, while having a public adjuster willing to stand up to an insurance company will almost guarantee you more money, the process may take a little longer sometimes since the insurance company won’t be allowed to just issue you their assessment and offer and close the book.
Both in terms of receiving a fair settlement and keeping sane during the difficult time that follows a loss of property, hiring a public adjuster is a smart move. Contact Diversified Public Adjusters today to learn more about the Diversified Difference, including our housing support and resources and professional cleaning services for claimants, that make us a leading policyholder advocate in New Jersey.