- If your home was damaged because of water, first document all damages with detailed pictures. Then, call a leading public adjuster and your insurance company.
- Read your insurance policy carefully prior to filing the claim. As you’ll notice, insurance companies have an extremely limited use of certain terms, and this limitation usually works on their behalf, not yours. For example, “flooding”, as something caused by the overflow of a river or lake, is not covered under general house insurance. So, when you file a claim to the insurance company, because a burst pipe flooded your first floor, don’t use the word “flood” when filing your claim. The insurance company might deny it, since you’re not covered for flooding. To avoid such situations, a public adjuster is your best ally.
- Insurance companies will attempt to deny your water damage claim under the “house maintenance” umbrella. They will try to prove that your burst pipes or leaking dishwasher were not an accident, but caused by poor maintenance. Don’t accept such arguments if you feel the water damage was accidental: you are entitled to your claim check, and the insurance company has to cover for all your water related damages.
- Don’t rely on the claim adjuster the insurance company sends you – the right solution is to hire a public adjuster. Fire damages are difficult to assess. There could be structural damages that are hidden at a first look, and the claim adjuster send by the insurance company doesn’t have any interest in bringing those damages up. You need an independent professional to evaluate the real damages – a public adjuster is the best solution.
- Start making your own damage assessment. No one knows better the value of your property and all the items inside, like furniture, appliances, art objects, clothes and others, than you do. So, try to estimate yourself how much you lost in the fire. This way, the public adjuster you hired and the claim adjuster send by the insurance company will have a reference point for your fire claim. If the fire claim settlement the insurance company proposes is much smaller than your estimate, you don’t have to agree to that. Ask your public adjuster to go ahead with the paper work and to contest the insurance company’s damage assessment.
- All the evidence you can get about the value of your property and goods are very important – if your pictures and receipts were destroyed in the fire, ask friends and relatives to give you all the pictures they have to document your property. You should also ask for copies of receipts to the vendors, at least for your most important assets that were destroyed in the fire. This evidence will help your public adjuster substantiate your fire losses in the claims process.
- Don’t let the insurance company tell you that the period of time when you had the right to file the fire claim expired – that’s not true, in most states you have three years to file a fire claim. Also, you should know that even if the insurance company already paid your fire claim, if you are not satisfied with the settlement, you could still hire a public adjuster. A review of the initial settlement is possible even after the policy owner cashed the fire claim check. If you feel that the insurance company did not properly reimbursed you for your damages , you can hire a public adjuster to review and contest the settlement.
- In case of a fire claim, the insurance company has to pay you enough money to allow you to bring your property to the original state – the one before the fire. Don’t settle for anything less.
Hiring a public adjuster will increase your chances of a timely and fair settlement for you fire loss.
1.What is a public adjuster?
A Public adjuster is an insurance claims adjuster who is an advocate for the policyholder in appraising and negotiating an insurance claim. Licensed public adjusters can legally represent the rights of an insured during a property insurance claim process and ensure a prompt and fair settlement.
2.Why should I hire a public adjuster?
Unlike adjusters hired or working for the insurance company, a public adjuster works exclusively for you. They have the necessary all the documentation and represent your interests during the claim process, reliving you of many time consuming matters and assuring you get a prompt and fair settlement.
3.Who are the adjusters from LeadingPublicAdjusters.com?
The adjusters in our directory represent the best in the field. They are all state accredited, and also members of the National Association of Public Adjusters.
4.What is the role of leadingpublicadjusters.com?
Leadingpublicadjusters.com mission is to connect individuals and businesses who had suffered economic losses with top public adjusters from around the country, and also provide a platform for our member adjusters to share their insights with the public. The directory is membership based, but it is free for the public to access.
5.How do I find a public adjuster in my area?
To find someone in your area, click on the Directory tab in the top menu. If you you would like to recommend a public adjuster for inclusion in our directory, or would like to share your experience about working with a public adjuster, please click here.
A public adjuster, on the other hand, will perform an independent assessment of the losses, will help you understand your rights and file your claim properly, will help collect the supporting evidence to substantiate the claim while also having the necessary expertise to negotiate with the insurance company from the same level. Hiring a public adjuster generally increases someone’s claim payment by a significant amount, and thus cutting into the insurance company profits.
Let’s take a short example: Susan M. and her family were on a trip when a pipe broke and the first floor of her house was flooded. The damages were substantial, but the claim adjuster from the insurance company said the damage was Susan’s fault, because she didn’t fix the water pipes in time. So, the insurance company agreed to pay only a fraction of what it would cost to repair the damages. However, Susan decided to hire a Public Adjuster. He demonstrated to the insurance company that Susan was properly maintaining her property and the pipe break was an accident. The new settlement was five times larger than what the insurance company initially agreed to.