If you have ever hear a public insurance adjuster speak, you'll most likely hear, "Your insurance company is going to cut corners on your claim," or in laments terms, "Your insurance adjuster is going to screw you." While that may be the perception many people have with corporate or independent homeowners adjusters and the companies they represent, often the case, it simply isn't true.
Your insurance contract states that your company will pay to damages to your property as caused by an accidental loss. Sure there are losses that will not be covered, (ie. mold, rot, ground water seeping through the foundation of your basement) but lets be realistic, these losses aren't accidental. Ads on TV, the Internet and in the yellow pages boast that regardless of your loss, you should contact a public adjuster. Why? Well, I'll tell you, and then I'll tell you why you needn't hire one.
1. "We can help you avoid the stress that comes with dealing with the 'evil' homeowners adjuster. "
- Seriously? The stress you are enduring is most likely due to your homeowners loss, not from the men and women who are so irritable and so annoying that they were only put on earth to become insurance adjusters.
2. "We can maximize your claim payment."
- Plain and simple. Homeowners adjusters pay whatever it costs (less deductible) to get your home and your personal property back to the way it was prior to the loss. This is really not an item in which a public adjuster can "maximize".
3. "Payment comes from a small portion of your settlement."
- Ah yes, the payment. After your public adjuster has taken the stress from your life and has "maximized" your claim payment, he/she is going to want to get paid. 10%? 20%? It varies. But how's this for an example. Say your house burns to the ground and you have $300,000.00 in limits on the home and $100,000.00 in limits on the personal property. Your "evil" homeowners adjuster works with your public adjuster to find that a total loss has occurred on the home that has reached limits. Upon completing your inventory of your personal property, you find that your replacement cost exceeds $100,000.00. Minus any endorsements your policy may hold for this exercise, your total amount available per your policy is $400,000.00. Here is your check. Oh, wait. You have to come up with $40,000 to $80,000 out of your own pocket now... because you hired a public adjuster.
Next time you should have a homeowners loss, let me give you some advice. Call your agent. Talk with your adjuster. Rear your policy. Search the Internet for explanation and breakdowns of you policy. Just avoid the public adjuster, because they are simply unnecessary.