As a homeowner, you have a lot on your plate. You need to maintain the property and deal with any damage that occurs. When it comes time for filing an insurance claim, however, there are additional steps involved in getting the best possible settlement from your insurer. Having someone who knows what they’re doing can be extremely beneficial when dealing with all of these issues so it’s important to hire a public adjuster if you want the best chance at success. Here are some tips for hiring one:
1. Determine Your Insurer’s Coverage And Deductible
The first thing you need to know is what kind of insurance policy you have. The public adjuster will need these details in order to determine how much they can help you improve the value of your claim payout. Here are some things you should look for:
Deductible – This is the amount of money paid out-of-pocket by the insured before the insurer pays any claims. It usually varies depending on which policy you have so be sure to investigate this.
2. Know How Much Work Needs To Be Done And Whether Or Not It Qualifies As A Total Loss
When damage occurs, a public adjuster will inspect the problem and give their opinion regarding whether or not it’s possible to repair the home. If it’s not, they will recommend that you file a claim with your insurer to get this covered. You should know whether or not these repairs are possible before reaching out for help though.
3. Find An Adjuster Who Is Licensed And Experienced
When searching for public adjusters in your area, be sure to check their license information first so you can confirm they are allowed to do business in the state where the policy was purchased. The last thing you want is someone who can’t legally work with your insurance company so make sure this isn’t the case before proceeding any further.
4. Have High-Quality Photos Taken Of All Damage
The amount of money received will often depend on how much damage there is. This can make a huge difference in the outcome of your claim so you want to do everything in your power to prove there was significant damage that required immediate repair. For example, if the roof is leaking and causing damage to other parts of the home, take photos showing where there’s moisture and how it’s spread throughout what used be dry areas.
5. Bundle All Documents Together When Submitting Them For Consideration
There could be numerous pieces of paperwork involved when filing a homeowner’s insurance claim such as receipts for materials or photos showing damage before and after it occurred so try to bundle these items together instead of sending each one separately. It will help the adjuster process everything quicker which will lead to an answer sooner rather than later which is the ideal scenario in most cases.
6. Don’t Take Your Insurer’s Word For It When It Comes To Getting A Settlement
There is an incentive for insurance companies to pay out as little as possible and you need to be aware of this when assessing what kind of claim payout, you’ll receive. This means that they have no obligation to offer anything more than what they deem necessary so don’t think there isn’t room for negotiation if their first offer isn’t satisfactory. If necessary, call your agent and explain why the suggested payout doesn’t meet the minimum amount required in order to get a sufficient settlement from them which will then go into effect after negotiations have been exhausted.
7. Choose A Public Adjuster Who Works On Commission Only
A disadvantage of working with an insurance company is that they aren’t always up front about the amount of money you’ll receive for your claim. This means you can end up filing a claim and getting nothing or seeing very little improvement in damage coverage despite investing time and energy into the process. If this happens, it’s often too late to hire someone else to help so having someone on your side who works on commission only will ensure they’ll do everything they can to get as much as possible from the insurer which could lead to a significant increase in what’s offered for your claim based on their expertise alone.
8. Compare Public Adjusters Ahead Of Time So You Know Who Offers The Best Service For The Price
Since not everyone requires professional assistance when dealing with insurance companies, you’ll want to compare public adjusters so you can select the one who offers the best value for what it costs. Should a person have a claim that’s impossible to handle on their own, they can always choose a public adjuster with more affordable rates but this isn’t necessary unless there is no other choice which ensures those operating on a budget won’t be penalized for being frugal from the start.
9. Ask For Some Form Of Payment Upfront
In most cases, you’re going to have to pay your public adjuster after everything has been handled and settled with your insurer which means you could wait up to several months before getting back any money at all depending on how long process takes. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask for a certain sum of money upfront before beginning the claim management process so your public adjuster is committed from the start.