WHY HIRE A PUBLIC ADJUSTER?
If you have just suffered an insured loss resulting from a pipe burst, a fire, hurricane or some other traumatic event, it's probably not the best time to take a crash course on how to properly present an insurance claim. You may be dealing with a multitude of other matters, such as finding housing or an alternate business location, dealing with the emotional trauma of a loss or simply going about your daily responsibilities, like work and family. God forbid you should also be dealing with injuries or the unthinkable in connection with the event. Consider these three points. It is up to you to prove the extent of your loss to the Insurance Company...
A typical insurance policy is dozens of pages long and contains numerous provisions and stipulations – written in technical and legal terms. Additionally, it contains various forms and endorsements which are constantly changing from year to year and which add or exclude coverage from your policy.
Most people have difficulty understanding what can appear to be a lot of legal mumbo jumbo. For example, did you know that in order for the insurance company to compensate you for your loss, there are certain conditions which YOU must satisfy? Did you know that your failure to satisfy these policy requirements could reduce your settlement amount or even cause your claim to be denied? Don't feel bad. Most people don't know these things. A qualified and trained public insurance adjuster whom you trust can help make sure you meet all of the policy conditions, document your loss and get your claim paid.
No matter how organized you and your documentation is, filing and receiving payment on a claim is a time consuming and tedious process. If you are not sufficiently organized and your loss documented, you may not realize the compensation you have paid premiums for and are entitled to receive.A licensed, bonded and qualified Public Adjuster has the experience, knowledge and expertise to obtain your maximum entitlements under your policy
Remember that the insurance company adjuster is representing the insurance company. It is not uncommon for the insurance company to misinterpret their own insurance policy or forget to apply case law or Florida Statutes which supersede their own policy. A public insurance adjuster will know current laws as they affect insurance losses and how to best represent you. A public insurance adjuster has resources to help you through the maze of estimating, documenting, and filing your insurance claims.
WHAT IS A PUBLIC ADJUSTER?
A Public Insurance Adjuster is a licensed and bonded insurance professional who assists policyholders with the complicated insurance claim process when they suffer an insured loss. Public Insurance Adjusters who belong to the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and are able to take advantage of the best quality, public adjuster specific, continuing education in the country.
Additionally, FAPIA members have a network of resources available to best assist policyholders in the handling of insurance claims. There are three types of adjusters licensed by the State of Florida: Insurance Company Adjuster - is employed by an insurance company to represent the insurance company in dealing with your insurance claim.
The insurance company adjusters main responsibility if to protect the interests of the insurance company. Independent Adjuster - is hired by insurance companies to represent them in dealing with you, your loss and damages. The independent adjuster's main responsibility is to protect the interests of the insurance company.
Public Adjuster - is the only Adjuster specifically licensed by the State of Florida to represent you, the Insured. The Public Adjusters main responsibility is to protect you and your interests in claims against a loss with the Insurance Company.
HOW MUCH DO PUBLIC ADJUSTERS CHARGE?
Public Adjusters charge a percentage of the settlement for their service to you. The Public Adjuster is not paid until you are paid. There are no upfront fees for their services.
Percentages vary from adjuster to adjuster, so it is best to shop for the best adjuster for you. The maximum percentage that a public adjuster in Florida can charge for a claim is 20% of the claim paid after you sign the contract with them.
In the event of a declared emergency by the Governor's office, that fee is reduced to 10% for any claim made in the first year after the date of loss. After the first year, the maximum amount that can be charged reverts back to 20%.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?
On average, it takes about 2 to 4 months.
However, it can take less or more, depending on how soon the insurance company gives us the settlement we are going for.
HOW LONG AFTER A LOSS CAN I FILE A CLAIM?
Although claims can be reported any time, policies usually say that homeowners have 2 weeks to report any loss that happens at their property.
Windstorm (like tropical storm, tornado, hurricane, etc.) damage is an exception which you can report up to 3 years if there was a state of emergency declared in the area. However, do ontact us to look at options if you think you are over the mentioned periods