Podcast – What is A Public Insurance Adjuster?

What Is A Public Insurance Adjuster And How Are They Hired?



Scott, Melissa, Kevin


Welcome back to The nationally syndicated Price Of Business Show. I’m your host, Kevin Price talking to you about you and your business. Do want to mention our newsletter read instead, it’s the best of the Price Of business digital network. Each week, we give you some of our favorite interviews, favorite content, right there for your reading convenience. We don’t daily you would make newsletters. It’s one newsletter a week, and you can find it at readinstead.com. Melissa Gordon, she is a senior editor here on the Price Of Business Show and Price Of Business digital network. She’s got an ongoing series that she’s doing and this is the next one in that series. Thanks so much, Marissa.


Thanks, Kevin. On today’s session, I’m so excited to visit with public insurance adjuster, Scott Friedman. We are very interested in your work as a public adjuster as are our audience. Let’s start with a brief summary of what a public adjuster is.


Sure, thanks, Marisa. A public adjuster is a licensed adjuster who solely represents the interests of policyholders. They’re licensed, bonded, and most states do have their license by the Department of Insurance, and they typically work on a contingency arrangement whereby it’s no recovery, no fee.


That’s fantastic. When should a policyholder hire a public adjuster?


Well, the best time to hire a public insurance adjuster, particularly if you’re dealing with a large loss that involves a commercial or multifamily insurance claim, is at the beginning of the claim, and the reason is that an insurance company is required to give equal consideration to a policyholder’s interests equal to their own, and you have to remember that insurance companies are for-profit organizations and the adjusters and the representatives that are retained to come and investigate a loss are representing the interests of the insurance company, not yours. So, when you’re dealing with a smaller claim, we always like to have people give the insurance company the opportunity to do the right thing. And if there are problems, using a public adjuster who’s good, and vetted, and trusted with a good reputation and experience can save a policyholder a lot of time and headache in the event of a dispute. But when it comes to larger losses, which is what we specialize in, in the insurance world they consider anything over $50,000 to be large loss, we typically get involved in claims that are six figures or seven figures, in that arena, and those are considered large losses. And so, there are so many factors and variables that go into an investigation of a loss. And what a lot of policyholders need to understand is that while a policyholder does have the burden of proving and providing information on their claim, the insurance company has a duty to perform a proper investigation, and therein lies the rub. Because what is proper? Proper can be very subjective. If something can be repaired and you have a full replacement policy, just because it can be repaired doesn’t mean that it should be repaired, especially if you’re paying extra premium for replacement policies. Does that make sense?


Yes, it does. Thank you. What are some questions to ask before hiring a public adjuster?


The questions that I always encourage people to ask because we don’t help every single person that calls with residential stuff if we’re talking about smaller claims, but we do tell them what to do and help them. And then in the events, they do need to talk to another firm that specializes in a high volume low number type of claims environment, you want to know, one is; how busy are you on a scale from one to 10? Do you have time to take on my claim? How long have you been doing this? Do you also do appraisal work? Do you also work for insurance companies? That’s a very important question. It seems kind of obvious that you shouldn’t have to ask that, but believe it or not, there are public adjusters who do work both sides, and in our view that presents a conflict of interest. How long you’ve been doing it? What certifications do you have? And then the other big thing is this, I recently was talking to a policyholder, who said they’ve talked to three other public adjusters before they contacted us. One didn’t answer their phone. One of them gave a really bad feeling because right out of the gate, they started talking about attorneys. And while a good public adjuster should have access to good qualified attorneys, it should definitely not be one of the things that are being discussed as a lead-in, like this is where the direction of your claim is going to go. In other words, you want to find out what percentage of your claims end up in litigation? What percentage of your claims into an appraisal? How long should it take? Those kinds of things. And they should also be asking you questions specifically related to the claim, and to the policy and to do you have any estimates? What’s the story, what’s the background on why you’re here today? In other words, what’s the dispute? How much is in dispute? When we talk to a policyholder, we want to vet it out because we work on contingency. We don’t want to mislead anybody. We want to make sure we have all the facts that are necessary and reasonable so that if we do represent the policyholder that we are, one, setting up expectations that they understand what’s happening, and we want to make sure that the claim has a reasonably high likelihood of reaching the settlement and closure that the policyholder is going for? Does that make sense?


It does, thank you. Can you provide our listeners with your website so they can get more information?


Sure, we have a lot of resources on our website. We have several free downloads, and we’re just chock full of information. And that website address is www.insuranceclaimrecoverysupport.com. Again, that’s insuranceclaimrecoverysupport.com. We tried to get a longer domain, but that’s the longest one we could find. Just kidding.


Well, thank you, Scott.


You’re Welcome.


That’s www.insuranceclaimrecoverysupport.com.


Yes ma’am.


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Hard-hit restaurants, gyms, and other businesses are battling insurers over the coronavirus, sparking a new Washington lobbying war

Hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake, and some groups have asked Trump to intervene.

A multibillion-dollar standoff between the nation’s leading insurers and the restaurants, hotels, gyms, and theaters that purchase their policies has spilled into some of the most powerful corridors of Washington, as both sides clash over who should foot the sky-high costs of the coronavirus outbreak.

The battle hinges on whether insurance providers should have to pay claims to companies that have shuttered unexpectedly as a result of the deadly pandemic. The dispute has attracted the attention of President Trump, triggered lawsuits in courtrooms nationwide, and touched off a massive lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill, where some insurers say the federal government instead should be the one providing financial help to those that need it most.

The industry’s powerful lobbyists, led by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), say “business interruption” policies never were intended to cover contagions. Even if they had been, the estimated claims just from small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic could total more than $430 billion a month, threatening to create a “solvency event” for the industry, said David A. Sampson, the group’s chief executive.

Read More Here