If an insurance claim has been denied or underpaid, many people turn to a public adjuster to reopen the claim, negotiate with the insurer, and get additional reimbursement. The question then becomes, how to find the professional that’s right for you. The following are 6 steps to employ on your search for a public adjuster.
Florida License Search
Public adjusters in Florida must be licensed. You can check the state registry to ascertain if the individual is currently licensed and in good standing. The adjuster should be licensed, bonded and insured. Explore their background, certifications, experience, and if they have a specialty. Try to find an adjuster with expertise in your type of claim.
Ask for Recommendations
Talk to family, friends and coworkers to see if they have suggestions based on firsthand experience.
What’s Their Track Record
You want a public adjuster that has a record of being successful on their client’s behalf. Don’t hesitate to ask for references from past clients or read reviews and ratings online.
Discover the Fee Structure
The majority of public adjusters work on a contingency basis, meaning their payment is a percentage of additional funds they collect from the insurer. There should be no up-front fees. Public adjusters are allowed by law to charge 10 percent of the recovered funds. If the loss is due to a declared disaster, they’re limited to 5 percent within the year following the disaster. Be sure the fee structure is clear and always get a contract that spells out all the particulars.
Look for Local Expertise
Seek a professional that’s accustomed to working in the local area and is familiar with the type of claims that can arise from your South Florida locale.
Explore Their Availability
Public adjusters handle a lot of cases. Verify that he or she is actually available to take your claim. Be sure the adjuster is responsive to queries and doesn’t relegate your communications to an assistant. If you’ve experienced a catastrophic loss, time is of the essence and there are limits to reopen a claim.