Property insurance claims can be complex and challenging to navigate, especially when you’re dealing with damage to your home or business. In such situations, insurance adjusters play a crucial role in assessing the damage and facilitating the claims process. Two common types of adjusters you might encounter are Public Insurance Adjusters and Independent Insurance Adjusters. While they both work in the insurance industry, they have distinct roles and responsibilities. Let’s explore the key differences between these two types of adjusters.
Public Insurance Adjusters:
- Representation: Public Insurance Adjusters work on behalf of policyholders, representing your interests as the insured party. They are your advocates in the claims process, striving to ensure that you receive fair compensation based on your insurance policy.
- Independence: They are independent professionals who do not have any affiliation with insurance companies. Their loyalty lies solely with you, the policyholder, and their goal is to maximize your claim payout.
- Fee Structure: Public adjusters typically charge a percentage of the final settlement as their fee. This fee is usually around 10% to 20% of the total claim amount. Importantly, they only get paid if you receive a settlement.
- Expertise: Public adjusters are knowledgeable about insurance policies and have a deep understanding of the claims process. They assess the extent of your damage, prepare documentation, and negotiate with the insurance company to secure the best possible outcome for you.
- Client Solicitation: Public adjusters actively market and solicit their services to policyholders. You can hire them if you believe that your insurance company’s initial assessment is inadequate or if you want an independent expert to handle your claim.
Independent Insurance Adjusters:
- Representation: Independent Insurance Adjusters are typically contracted by insurance companies to assess and manage claims on their behalf. They act as representatives of the insurance company’s interests.
- Affiliation: Unlike public adjusters, independent adjusters have a professional relationship with insurance companies. They are responsible for evaluating claims and ensuring that the insurer’s payout aligns with policy terms and company guidelines.
- Fee Structure: Independent adjusters are salaried or receive a flat fee from the insurance company for their services. They are not paid a percentage of your claim settlement.
- Expertise: Independent adjusters possess expertise in assessing property damage and determining the extent of coverage according to the insurance policy. However, their loyalty is to the insurance company that employs them.
- Assignment: Insurance companies assign independent adjusters to handle claims based on workload and availability. They are often utilized when a surge in claims occurs, such as after a natural disaster.
In summary, the key differences between Public Insurance Adjusters and Independent Insurance Adjusters revolve around their allegiance and purpose:
- Public Insurance Adjusters are advocates for policyholders, working independently to secure the best possible settlement. They are hired by the insured party, and their fee is contingent on a successful claim outcome.
- Independent Insurance Adjusters serve the interests of insurance companies, assessing claims and ensuring they align with company policies. They are typically contracted by insurers and receive a salary or flat fee.
When deciding which type of adjuster to engage, consider your specific needs and circumstances. If you’re seeking an advocate solely dedicated to your interests, a Public Insurance Adjuster may be the right choice