There are two choices when it comes to filing a claim: do it by yourself or hire someone to help you. Filing a claim is an individual decision one makes to fit their own circumstances. A licensed Public Adjuster Los Angeles can represent you and speak on your behalf, especially in the process of getting your claim adjusted (processed) and settled (or paid).
What is a Public Adjuster?
A claims adjuster is one that evaluates insurance claims and determines the policyholder’s payout based on factors such as their policy coverage and how serious the loss was.
When filing a home insurance claim, your insurance company assigns you with a claims adjuster. They are assigned to fairly reimburse you for your claims based on your policy coverage and coverage of loss.
Many homeowners choose to hire public adjusters to help them during their claims process. A public adjuster is an independent professional that represents the policyholder and makes a decision on their behalf. A public adjuster is similar to a claims adjuster. They will evaluate the damage to your property and determine the number of repairs needed as well as the replacement value for those repairs.
A public adjuster receives part of the policyholder’s claims payout once it is settled. Do note that insurers do not consider the payment owed to the adjuster when deciding on the amount of the claims payout. This should come from the homeowner who sought the services of the adjuster.
When is It Time to Hire a Public Adjuster?
There are a few cases where you might consider availing the services of a Public Adjuster Los Angeles. When you work with a public adjuster, they’ll do all the work for you. So, if you’re too busy and don’t have the time to deal with stressful claim processes, this is a good solution for you.
Having a public adjuster around is also great if you are dealing with a large claim by yourself. The adjuster will take a good look at your claim and make sure that no damage is overlooked. You may end up with a larger payout depending on the kind of damage identified.
Some homeowners choose to work with a public claims adjuster if they have had a bad experience filing claims in the past. An independent adjuster is a better choice because they work for you rather than for the insurance company. This means there will be no conflict of interest and the main priority is only your payout.
Hiring a Public Adjuster
As with most professionals, you’ll see that not all public adjusters are the same. Some are better at getting claims processed than others, and some simply suck at what they do. If you’ve suffered a major loss, the last thing you need is more problems. So, be careful of the public adjuster you hire. Don’t give in to pressure and hire the first one that comes along. Make sure you ask these questions before you hire a trustworthy Public Adjuster Los Angeles.
Questions to Ask A Public Adjuster Before Hiring One
- Are they licensed?
Make sure you hire a licensed public adjuster. Check their public adjuster’s license. Some adjusters work under the license of another person or a company rather than being individually qualified and certified. It’s better if your public adjuster has the local or national experience, has a clean record and is affiliated with a reputable company.
- Will the adjuster be personally handling the claim?
Will the adjuster be personally adjusting the loss, or will they simply delegate the task to someone else?
- How many claims have they signed up for in your area?
If a public adjuster accepts more claims than they can handle, you will not be getting the attention and care you need.
- How are their claim adjusting and construction estimating skills and experience?
How much experience does the public adjuster have? How long have they been practising in your state?
- Do they have references or recommendations from local clients?
Ask the public adjuster you’re thinking of hiring to give you a list of references for claims they have personally handled in the last 2 or 3 years.
- Discuss the fee contract
Many public adjusters Los Angeles work on contingency fees ranging from 5% to 15% of the claims payout. Some states place a cap on these fees, and some don’t. The fee you agree to pay an adjuster should consider the size and type of loss as well as the status of your claim. Make sure you discuss with the adjuster whether or not they will get a percentage of the monies the insurer already agreed to pay but has not actually paid yet. You also need to discuss and negotiate with your adjuster upfront if you only want them to handle parts—not all—of your claim.
- Can you stay involved in your claim?
If you want to communicate with the insurer and be involved in the claim, then it’s important that you let the public adjuster know about this before you hire them.
- Will the public adjuster’s name be on every check issued by the insurance company after you hire them?
Some public adjusters do not accept a fee on Additional Living Expenses or other insurance benefit categories. Make sure you talk to your adjuster about this before you sign the contract.
- What happens when you terminate the contract?
If, for some reason, you decide to terminate the contract before you reach a settlement, will the adjuster allow this? How much will you owe them as a penalty for terminating the contract early?
- Will they be working on a specific lawyer or firm on your claim?
This is an important question because some public adjusters are not allowed to charge contingent fees unless they work with a lawyer or firm. This is because it is considered an unauthorized practice of the law.
It’s important that you know what you’re dealing with when working with a public adjuster Los Angeles. So make sure you ask all the right questions and have all the bases covered before hiring one.