Should a Policy Holder Hire a Public Insurance Adjuster for a Claim?

Woman calling a public insurance adjuster
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When you experience damage in your home, to your car or have a theft of your property you may find yourself in a position where you need to make an insurance claim.  Anytime there is an insurance claim to be made, there is a good chance you are going to be working with an insurance adjuster who will be assigned to assess the damage and figure out what needs to be paid.

Although filing an insurance claim can be burdensome and can possibly raise your insurance rates for the future, for car accidents or disaster situations where there is a lot of damage, most insurance policy holders will choose to file a claim and pay the deductible, rather than take on the entire financial burden of the loss.

Most people start a claim by contacting their insurance agent and giving them all the information needed, from there the next step is to have an insurance adjuster assigned to the claim. Working with the claims adjuster becomes an important part of the claims process.

Three Types of Claims Adjusters

The insurance claims adjuster is the professional who will probably deal with the most during the insurance claims process. There are three main types of insurance claims adjusters.

  • A company adjuster is an employee of the insurance company that one is filing an insurance claim with. This would most likely be the insurance claim adjuster most would be dealing with for their insurance claims.
  • An independent adjuster is an independent contractor that the insurance company pays to handle a claim for the insurance company.
  • The third type of adjuster, the public adjuster, works only for the policy holder. The public insurance adjuster is also an independent insurance adjuster but they are hired by the policy holders who are filing the claim. Public insurance adjusters are often hired by insurance policy holders to make sure they are getting their full claim benefit from the insurance policy they purchased.

    When is a Public Insurance Adjuster Most Often Used?

    When the insurance claims process progresses to the point where the insurance company adjuster is involved and processing an estimate for the damages for the insurance company, some policy holders feel they would be better served by hiring a Public Insurance Adjuster. This is not always the case as some insurance policy holders are very happy with the claims process using the insurance company's adjuster. But, for the ones who feel the company's insurance adjuster does not have their best interest in mind, hiring their own public insurance adjuster is the right choice for the policy holder.

    Reasons People Choose to Hire Public Insurance Adjusters

    There are several reasons why some policy holders choose to hire their own public insurance adjuster. These reasons include:

    • Large losses
    • When the insured feels that the company insurance adjuster is not communicating well with the them
    • When the insured is in disagreement with the decision of the company adjuster, for example they feel the company adjuster has not reviewed the claim properly, or that damages were left off of the company adjuster’s insurance claim. An insured may choose to hire a public adjuster when they disagree with the decision of the insurance company in handling the claim and in their interpretation of the wording. 

      These are the most common reasons some policy holders hire their own public insurance adjuster but sometimes one may hire a public insurance adjuster just because they are too busy themselves to have to deal with the claims process.

      Whatever the reason, it is good for policy holders to have an option of a public insurance adjuster to represent them in their claim if needed.

      Do You Need to Hire a Public Insurance Adjuster?

      Although having one's own public insurance adjuster sounds like a great way to go, it is not always necessary. Insurance is regulated and if you aren't sure of what is covered or not, you should always try and communicate with your insurance representative first to get clarification and help.

      Insurance companies work hard at adjusting claims and it is in their best interest to settle claims fairly. The reasons things are covered or denied should be clearly outlined in black and white on the policy wording contract, based on the limits within the policy. In today's competitive market place you can often get help by speaking to your representative. If you are having problems asking to speak to a supervisor at the insurance company may help get things resolved. More often than not this helps clarify any miscommunication.

      If you are still concerned with how your claim is being handled, you can contact your State Insurance Commissioners Office, or the ombudsman of your insurance company for help.

      It is best to first try to see how the claims process goes with the insurance company and their company adjuster. This will avoid having to spend any extra money paying the private adjuster. There are many very experienced and fair insurance adjusters working for insurance companies that will do just as good of a job handling the policy holders insurance claim as a paid public insurance adjuster would.