Homeowners Insurance Industry's Best Kept Secret!
With the information overload on the Internet, trying to find easy, simple answers to your homeowner questions can be overwhelming. However, it is vital that you fully understand the issues, since not only may your home investment and your family’s health may be at stake if you have mold growing in your home. As a consumer, you must be educated about home ownership issues, so that you can make informed decisions.
For homeowners, one scary topic is who do you look to for assistance when you have a “water event,” (pipe leaks, breaks, water backup or overflows, roof damage, fire, lightning, etc.) or with mold and mold remediation questions?
Many homeowners feel lost and do not know where to turn when their property has been damaged. In addition, many people are worried about contacting their homeowner’s insurance company. They feel intimidated, almost bullied, by large companies whose sole interest is paying out the least amount of money to their policyholders.
We have fantastic news for you. You are NOT alone! This doesn't mean that there are many people in your shoes, rather that you have an angel on your side.
Public Adjusters are skillfully versed in “insurance speak” and know how to go to bat for you – the homeowner. In addition, they are certified to deal with the insurance company claim adjusters on your behalf. Public Adjusters work for you, not the insurance company. And the best part is that there are no out-of-pocket costs on the homeowner’s part, ever.
How do Public Adjusters Operate in Florida?
According to the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA), “Every year, public insurance adjusters help thousands of Floridians navigate the complex process of filing insurance claims, protecting policyholders and helping them secure fair compensation during what is often a challenging and emotional time due to loss or damage of a home or business.”
Public adjusters accurately inspect all areas to demonstrate the entire impact of a loss-producing event and work to help policyholders receive their claim reimbursement as early as possible. They are independent, state-licensed professionals who are expertly familiar with industry laws, regulations, and market trends.
The Public Adjuster will visit your property immediately after being called. They will perform a comprehensive assessment of your claim by evaluating the damage to your property and explain the entire process to you while on site. First, they will inspect the damage, evaluate and estimate the cost, line by line, item by item, penny by penny. Then they will do all the “behind the scenes” work, the calls, emails, paperwork, in-person meetings, and most importantly negotiate on your behalf.
They negotiate directly with your insurance company to recover the most money possible. It is virtually a STRESS-FREE experience on your part.
Public Adjuster fees are regulated by the Florida Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services. With no out-of-pocket or up-front costs for the homeowner, public adjusters prepare and settle your property damage claim on your behalf for a moderate fee of no more than 20% of the additional funds that they recover for your total loss.
Public Adjusters Working in the Construction Industry
The best public adjuster is one who also has experience working in the construction industry as well. They are intimately aware of exactly what repairs are necessary in order to make you whole. They understand the materials involved, the process, and the labor, to ensure that the job is done correctly the first time. They can defend their estimate to your insurance company because they have direct, detailed, hands-on experience in working in the field. So, if you can, find an adjuster that has a background in construction. They will almost always recover more money for you. Do not mistake this for a Public Adjuster that has experience “adjusting” construction jobs. This refers to Public Adjusters who have had careers working in the construction industry.
How Effective Are Public Adjusters?
Let's take a look at a real-life example. If the insurance company offered you a settlement for $10,000 for your total loss and then the public adjuster recovers an additional $7,000 for you, you would pay the public adjuster no more than 20% of the $7,000, totaling $1400 ONLY after the insurance company sends the policyholder the claim settlement.
The Public Adjuster fee come directly from the check the insurance company sends to the policyholder to settle the claim.
Settlement Offer from Your Insurance Company
Public Adjuster Negotiates for an Additional Settlement
Fee to Public Adjuster (20% of $7,000)
TOTAL Recovery for the homeowner with help of Public Adjuster
It is not uncommon at all for Public Adjusters to recover more than double, triple, or even quadruple what the insurance company initially offers to settle on damages.
Forbes Advisor reports, “Public insurance adjusters are worth their weight in gold. At least that’s the assessment of Carole Lieberman, whose Los Angeles home was damaged by ash and soot after the Malibu Woolsey Fire tore through Southern California in 2018. She filed a claim on her homeowners insurance. Her insurance company offered her only $25,000, which would have covered only a fraction of her repair expenses. So, she hired a public adjuster. Lieberman exclaims that her Public Adjuster "is a champ who keeps fighting for me by proving to the adjuster that what we are asking for is valid” and that “We are up to over $500,000 [in reimbursement] now and counting.”
Keep in mind, while it is always best to have a public adjuster involved in the beginning, if you have already filed an insurance claim and the insurance company is not cooperating, you can work with a Public Adjuster to help get the proper assistance you need. They will determine the full extent of damages and be sure that you receive every dime to which you are entitled.
Additionally, do not be fooled into thinking that you are getting something for free from companies that offer “Free Consultations” or “Free Inspections" or “Free Claim Reviews.” These services are just a part of the entire process, for which they collect their fee. “Consultations,” “inspections,” and “reviews” are part of the services included in the regulated fee. There is no separate charge for these initial visits should you decide to not hire their services.
This blog was intended to help educate the reader with an easy-to-understand guide to what is a Public Adjuster. The information offered is for general information and educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter and does not create a company-client relationship. Agency and state department information and regulations are subject to change at any time and therefore, the information offered in this article may not reflect the most current information at the time of reading. Environmental Matters Contracting & Consulting, LLC does not take responsibility for any inaccuracy in any information shared on this blog or this website.