There are a variety of ways that public adjusters structure their fees. Before hiring a public adjuster, it’s important for individuals to fully understand when the professional expects to be paid. Depending on the adjuster, that can include:
- When a public adjuster negotiated deal is accepted by the client
- Contingency fee – no payment received if the adjuster is unable to obtain additional reimbursement from the insurer
- Flat fee
- Hourly rate
In Florida, terms and fees are negotiable and the maximum a public adjuster can charge is 20 percent of the overall claim. That fee amount is reduced to 10 percent if the damage occurred during a governor declared state of emergency or during a federally declared disaster. There’s a time limit of 1 year in which the claim must be filed.
Public adjusters are very good at obtaining additional reimbursement from insurance companies, but it’s essential that individuals understand that the professionals can’t guarantee a settlement. There are times when insurers simply won’t negotiate.
A homeowner’s insurance company will send one of their adjusters to assess the damage and assign a monetary value to it. He/she works for the insurance company. Their job is to adhere to the terms of the homeowner’s policy, while providing as little reimbursement as possible to save the insurer money.
A public adjuster is hired by the homeowner and works only for the homeowner – not the insurance company. They provide a variety of services while engaged in the pursuit of winning their client additional reimbursement on their claim.
The adjuster assesses the damage, examines the policy for exclusions, and determines if the original settlement was adequate for the damage that occurred. He/she will negotiate on behalf of the client for the additional reimbursement required to repair the damage and can often obtain results in as little as 30 to 90 days.