The good news for home and business owners is that they don’t have to pay any money upfront when hiring a public adjuster. The professionals only get paid after they’ve successfully recovered funds from the insurance company.
Public adjusters are limited in what they can charge. They can collect up to 20 percent of funds recovered from the insurer, though some adjusters and clients work out agreements for a flat rate fee. During a declared state of emergency, public adjusters can only charge clients up to 10 percent of the recovered amount for up to 1 year following the disaster.
Scope and Scale
It’s important for home and business owners to know that many public adjusters only take cases in which there’s major property damage and where the potential for a significant reimbursement is present. There are times when it may not be financially feasible to hire one of the professionals, particularly if the additional reimbursement would be relatively small.
Some insurance companies regularly underpay or deny claims. The average home owner doesn’t know if they’re being underpaid or unfairly denied. Reasons for denying a claim include:
- Negligence by the policy holder
- Claim filed too late
- Incomplete claim
- Didn’t mitigate damage
- Lapse in coverage
- Non-payment of premiums
- No coverage for event that cause the damage
Challenging a Reimbursement
When a policy holder files a claim, the insurer will send one of its adjusters to assess the damage and assign a dollar amount for reimbursement. That adjuster works for the benefit of the insurance company. A public adjuster is an advocate for the policy holder who has suffered the loss.
Insurance company adjusters will assess a claim to the letter of the policy, but not necessarily consider increases in the cost of materials or labor. Costs may be determined on pricing at the time the policy was last renewed. Any time an individual makes an upgrade to their home, it must be reported to the insurer or it won’t be covered.