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How to Find a Good Public Adjuster

by Rebecca D

The best place to find a good public adjuster is through the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. NAPIA can provide referrals in every state that licenses public adjusters. A Public Insurance Adjuster is the only type of adjuster qualified to represent the insured party on a property claim. Currently, more than 43 states plus the District of Columbia require an adjuster to hold this licensure to represent the insured.

A professionally trained Public insurance adjuster in Port St Lucie Florida will act as your advocate and help you navigate the insurance maze so you can collect the full amount due to you under your policy. However, several steps must be completed before you can get paid: valuing the loss, presenting it to the insurer, and negotiating a settlement. Insurance policies are complicated and conditional, full payment on a loss is not automatic.

A public adjuster can help determine coverages and causes of the loss to evaluate the carrier’s offer or denial.

After a disaster, fire victims often get besieged with inquires and offers from general contractors and public adjusters, and others offering to assist them. This is normal. Just because you are being solicited does not mean they are doing something wrong. However, you need to be careful and do your due diligence before signing up for their services.

If the public adjusters are not members of NAPIA, (National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters,) be cautious. They may not have the legal or insurance knowledge to adequately represent you. Here are a few danger signs:

  1. They make BIG promises without any guarantees.
  2. Their fees are outrageous. Most legit Public Insurance Adjusters’ fees range between 5% to 12% with an average of around 10%. Some public adjusters may charge higher fees on smaller claims or when they are hired midway through the claim process.
  3. If you feel pressured to make a quick decision, run. Legitimate PAs recognize that this decision to hire someone to represent you to get your home and life back together is a momentous one. This is not a decision that should be made in haste. This could be one of the most expensive decisions you make in your life. Take your time and make sure you feel comfortable with the adjuster you are hiring.
  4. Check their website and address. If they don’t have anything other than a business card, be very wary. If their only address is a PO box, this may be another red flag.
  5. It is often better to hire someone local Public insurance adjuster in Port St Lucie Florida. Someone who knows the local housing market and rebuilding costs, who understands the resources of the community and how best to leverage them. A locally based PA may also have prior experience working with representatives of the major insurance companies in the area and may be able to cut through a lot of the red tape and bureaucracy to make sure you get what is owed to you more quickly.

How to Make Sure You Hire the Right PA?

Once again, make sure they are members of NAPIA and hold professional designations. Take your time and do several in-person interviews and request at least five references for each. It may be difficult and intimidating but you need to call the references and find out what their situation was. Have your questions prepared before you call their references. Are they responsive to your questions and seem genuinely concerned? If you hire a public adjuster, do so in writing and understand their fees before signing.

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