What the heck is a "Public" Adjuster?
Public Adjusters are individuals who are licensed, bonded, and appointed by the Florida Department of Financial Services aka “the Florida Department of Insurance” as insurance adjusters who are trained & experienced in measuring losses and adjusting insurance claims, and are licensed to represent the interest of the Insured; NOT the Insurance Company!
Adjusting is a highly detailed, technical, sort of political, and can be a very complex process. The insurance companies utilize the services of either Company Adjusters, which are employed by the insurance companies, however in most cases they retain an Independent Adjuster to come out and adjust the damages. Either way the Independent Adjuster or Staff adjuster is obligated to protect the interest of their employer!
In the case of the public adjuster like me… you (the policyholder) is my employer, not the insurance company. The adjuster that the insurance company sends looks out for their interest, not yours! Think about it: if an Independent adjuster wants to continue obtaining business from the insurance companies, the Independent Adjusters must show the insurance company how they have saved them money by either underpaying or denying your claim. Without Gary on your side, the you must deal with, negotiate and ultimately accept what the insurance company’s adjusters offer.
The Insured, unless he is a professional adjuster himself, does not know all of his options, have the training, knowledge, and experience, and may not have the necessary time each day to deal with his loss as does a Public Adjuster.
What can you do for me Gary?
How soon should I get in touch with you Gary?
At the very FIRST sign of a problem (no matter how insignificant). The most frequent and disastrous mistake made by the Insured in the adjustment of a property insurance claim is the failure to retain a competent and experienced Public Adjuster before the insurance company is in control of the claim. Occasionally the Insured seeks to avoid the Public Adjuster’s fee and attempts to adjust the claim of his own, or believe the insurance company adjuster works for them. Thats a costly mistake.
If the Insurance companies could be trusted to do the right thing by the insured, their would be no reason to license a second type of adjuster to keep them honest.
Typically after considerable frustration does the Insured then turn to the Public Adjuster to remedy what has already become a bad situation. The Public Adjuster can still help at this stage, but may be unable to reverse all of the damage that has been done and which may not have occurred had he been retained earlier. Eventually it is too late for even a Public Adjuster to be able to help. Your next option is to hire an attorney to sue the insurance company for bad faith. Hopefully you will have properly documented your claim (attorneys rely on the documentation prepared by the Public Insurance Adjuster).
How much more money can I get by hiring a Public Adjuster?
As a public adjuster I’m often asked the question, How much more money can I get for my damages? You could receive a considerable bit more! A study was commissioned by the Florida government to see just how effective public adjusters were.
The report concluded that policyowners who retained the services of a Public Insurance Adjuster were paid 747% more money than policyowners who did not utilize the services of a public adjuster.