After your home sustains damage in an emergency weather event or a similar situation, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. There is so much stress on your plate and so many things to do in order to get your home repaired and to get the full pay-out from your homeowners’ insurance company. If the claims process seems too confusing, there is help readily available in the form of a public insurance adjuster. However, if you’ve never hired one before, you might be wondering how to go about finding one that is reputable and has your best interests at heart.
When you contact a public insurance adjuster, ask about payment. Inquire about how much they will charge you and when they want to collect that payment. If they want money up front or ask for a specific amount before they even begin to help you process your insurance claim, this is a huge red flag. Avoid that public insurance adjuster and move to the next one on your list. A professional and reputable public insurance adjuster will never ask for any money up front, and they will usually want a certain percentage of your insurance claim as payment for their services, not a set fee.
Along the same lines, do not hire an adjuster that promises you a specific amount from the insurance company before reviewing any of the facts about your case or your specific policy.
Your public insurance adjuster should not insist that you use a specific restoration or repair company for your home. If he or she does, this usually indicates the adjuster is receiving a fee from that company to recommend their services. In some states, this is illegal and in others, the adjuster has to tell you up front if they are getting kick-backs from the repair companies. Check with your state’s department of licensing for its laws and regulations surrounding this practice.
If the public insurance adjuster cannot give you any references or testimonials, this is another sign you should take your business elsewhere. You should be able to get a list of referrals who can tell you about their experiences working with the adjuster.
Finally, one of the biggest red flags to look out for is a public insurance adjuster that approaches you about small damages to your home you didn’t even know about. Public insurance adjusters usually only want to help with large claims, not small ones.
Sara L. Fisher independently authors articles for SEM clients like the MN and WI public insurance adjusters at Norcia Insurance Consultants: http://www.insuredsadvocate.com. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only and not those of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness or use of the content herein. Call Norcia Insurance Consultants at 866-512-LOSS to learn more.
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