Florida Insurance Claim FAQ’s
1. What is a Public Adjuster?
A Public Adjuster or a Public Insurance Adjuster is an expert on loss adjustment and the recovery process, who is employed by the policyholder. The Public Adjuster assists you, the insured, in preparing, filing and managing the payment of insurance claims regarding property loss. They work on your behalf.
2. If I work directly with the insurance company’s adjuster, wouldn’t I get the same results as by hiring my own adjuster?
Most likely, no. The insurer’s adjuster represents the insurer’s interests, not yours. Neither the insurance carrier nor the assigned adjuster is responsible for writing a detailed estimate of your loss. Frequently, these estimates are missing items and do not accurately reflect the market costs in your area.
3. Why do I need help with the claim?
There are several reasons why you may want to consider obtaining help with your claim:
- Filing a claim requires a written, itemized statement of your losses. You may not realize what the extent of your coverage is, and the insurance company is not obligated to tell you. The Public Adjuster will help you identify everything to which you’re entitled.
- Filing a claim is a tedious, time-consuming and aggravating process. The Public Adjuster can take this burden off your shoulders and free you to do what you do best.
- The Public Adjuster has experience and knowledge which can help your position. The professionally licensed Public Adjuster is recognized and respected by the insurance companies.
4. Are Public Adjusters licensed professionals?
Public Adjusters are licensed in some states. Both Texas and Florida require Public Adjusters to be licensed.
5. Do I have to accept the claim payment offered to me by my insurer?
No. Most policies include your right to have an appraisal, and if necessary the right to litigation. In any case DO NOT SIGN ANY WAIVER for the insurance company.
6. Can the Public Adjuster I hire also function as a contractor for the same claim?
No. A Public Adjuster cannot function as a contractor on any claim he manages and vice versa. Many states have severe penalties for individuals acting as a public adjuster while also acting as a contractor. Beware the contractor who offers to “negotiate” your claim. This may actually put the legitimacy of your entire claim in jeopardy.
7. Will I lose my coverage if I hire a Public Adjuster?
Absolutely not. The Public Adjusting Profession is licensed and regulated by the Department of Insurance in any given state. As a policyholder, you have the right to hire an expert who will manage your claim on your behalf. Canceling your policy because you hired a Public Adjuster is a violation of State Law in some states.
8. Will employing a Public Adjuster anger the Insurance Company and thus cause problems or delays?
If there are any problems or delays in your claim, they likely exist whether or not a Public Adjuster is involved. It is very likely, however, that the Public Adjuster will help expedite the solutions to the problems. The responsible Public Adjuster strives to handle claim discussions with the insurer with mutual respect and professionalism. However, if an insurer does not want you to hire a Public Adjuster, that insurer can’t possibly have your interest in mind. You can always bring such matters to the attention of the State Department of Insurance.
Your settlement is likely to proceed faster when a Public Adjuster works for you, diligently navigating the red-tape sea. He is on the alert for any development in your case, and will not let it be forgotten or dropped.
9. What is the difference between a Public Adjuster and the insurance company’s adjuster?
The Public Adjuster is employed by you, and works on your behalf. The insurance company’s adjusters are employed by the insurance company, and their responsibility and accountability rests with the insurer.
10. Why shouldn’t I hire a lawyer rather than a Public Adjuster?
In case of litigation with the insurance company you should definitely hire a lawyer. However, you can go to court only after you comply with certain provisions in your policy. Your lawyer does not deal with matters of damage assessment or the scope of loss, and will likely hire a Public Adjuster to document the loss and accomplish the required steps.
11. Why can’t my insurance agent handle the claim for me?
Your agent is trained in determining your insurance needs, not negotiating insurance claims. Additionally, on most occassions your agent’s hands are tied because their employer is the insurance company.
12. Is the Public Adjuster affiliated with any insurance company? Does he sell insurance or act as an insurance agent?
No, no and no. The Public Adjuster is employed exclusively by the public you, the policyholder. Selling insurance or acting as an insurance agent would be a conflict of interest.
13. I have already received a payment for my claim from the insurance company. Is it too late to reopen my file?
Probably not depending on the time limits in your individual state to file for supplemental payments. Call Rapid Public Adjusters for a consultation and we will see if we can help you.
14. How is a Public Adjuster compensated?
A Public Adjuster’s compensation is a small percent of your insurer’s claims payments that are made to you. The Public Adjuster’s fees are usually more than covered by a successful claim payment that is obtained for you.
15. How Do I hire a Public Adjuster?
You can contact our firm via telephone (305.226.8600) or email (email@example.com) and request a review of your loss. You will need a copy of your insurance policy. If you do not have it available, you can usually obtain a copy from your insurance agent with a request in writing.