Insurance adjusters are responsible for evaluating the extent of damage to a home after an incident like a fire or windstorm. And public insurance adjusters evaluate property loss on behalf of a policyholder and help them file insurance claims in exchange for a fee. They are licensed professionals who work for individuals and businesses – not insurance companies – and can save you a lot of money by ensuring your insurance company is paying the full amount it is responsible for under your policy

What is a public insurance adjuster?

Public insurance adjusters are the only property loss professionals who work on behalf of policyholders. Individuals and businesses hire public insurance adjusters when they need assistance filing a claim or feel a claim amount offered by an insurance company is incorrect.

Claims for flood, fire, smoke, wind and hurricane damage, as well damage due to other perils, can be filed and negotiated by public adjusters. Property losses might also result in other types of losses, such as business income, which public adjusters can evaluate.

What A Public Adjuster Does For You

Public insurance adjusters are experts in the details and language of insurance policies, as well as at filing and adjusting claims. They commonly have prior experience in construction or another related field, and use sophisticated software to perform an independent evaluation of a client’s property loss. They know exactly how to log and submit initial and supplemental claims for a policyholder.

Sample insurance adjuster claim information

The process of evaluating, completing and submitting a claim for a policyholder is remarkably exhaustive. In the table below are item descriptions, quantities and costs pulled from an example of a property insurance claim form. It’s unlikely a policyholder would be able to complete a form accurately with a similar level of detail, since every claim is different.

Item Description
Quantity
Unit Cost
Total Cost
Replace Partial Wall Insulation206.00 SF@$1.25$257.00
Replace Drywall Walls328.00 SF@$3.00$984.00
Replace Base & Trim52.00 SF@$7.50$390.00
Replace Wood Floor165.00 SF@$10.50$1,732.00
Replace Carpeting22.00 SF@$36.00$792.00
Replace Electric Outlet9.00 EA@$90.00$810.00
Prime Paint Ceiling & Walls601.00 SF@$0.55$330.55

They also help clients negotiate with contractors and their insurer. Having an adjuster throughout the process not only protects the policyholder from any pitfalls due to inexperience, it is a time consuming process then labored by the adjuster.

Public vs company and independent adjusters

Public adjusters are one of the three main categories of insurance adjuster, and each is employed by a different group. Insurance companies, businesses and individuals all use insurance adjusters to evaluate property loss and determine the dollar amount a claim should pay out. To better cater to the different parties, there are three distinct types of insurance adjusters: company adjusters, independent adjusters and public adjusters.

Company insurance adjusters are employed by carriers and sent to evaluate claims filed by their company’s policyholders. Independent adjusters also work for insurance companies, but act more as consultants. Independent insurance adjusters are usually hired on an as-needed basis because of a surge in demand or for specific expertise.

Should I use a public adjuster?

Anyone considering filing a property insurance claim should also think about hiring a public adjuster, especially if the claim is for a high amount. As a policyholder, you have little to lose: Many public adjustment firms offer to visit a property loss free of charge to help a policyholder determine the severity of damage and whether they should file an insurance claim.

Even if a policyholder is confident in the dollar value of their property loss, it is good practice to get a second opinion on a costly event like a home insurance claim. Frequently, adjusters visit a home or business and find that their loss estimate is far below what it should be. Public adjusters are professionals and it’s unlikely they will leave out costs in their calculations that a policyholder might forget or not know about. For example, if part of a roof is destroyed by wind, a homeowners risks miscalculating the cost of a new roof and neglecting to include the cost of removing the damaged roof altogether.

Submitting an accurate, detailed claim is crucial to getting the right about of money from an insurance company to cover a property loss. Remember, even the best homeowners insurance companies will never voluntarily pay more than an amount claimed. Policyholders need to be conscious they are claiming the correct amount and hiring a public adjuster can help ensure that.

How much does a public adjuster cost?

Many public adjusters do not charge a fee to visit the site of a loss and determine whether they will work with a policyholder on a case. However, they do charge a fee for working with a policyholder to file a claim.

Typically, a public adjuster will charge a percentage of whatever a policyholder’s insurance carrier ultimately pays for a claim. For example, say a policyholder hires an adjuster with a 10% fee and their insurance company ultimately pays $100,000 for their claim. The policyholder would then owe the public adjuster $10,000.

The fee percentage varies between adjusters and is usually capped by local or state law. For example, in the state of Florida, fees cannot exceed 20% of a reopened or supplemental claim limit. There also is a 10% fee limit for claims resulting from an event named a state of emergency by Florida’s governor.

Public adjusters also cap the dollar amount their fees can reach per claim. Generally, public adjusters with less experience might cap their fees at $5,000 per claim. Experienced adjusters might cap their fees at much higher amounts, such as $10,000 or $15,000. For example, a public adjuster might collect a fee of $15,000 for a $350,000 claim, instead of their normal 20% fee which would amount to $70,000. They also might negotiate a lower percentage fee for large claims, such as property losses of $1 million or more.

How to choose a public adjuster

There are a number of things a policyholder can do to make sure they are hiring a good public adjuster. The first thing they should check is whether the public adjuster can legally practice. Public insurance adjusters must be licensed in every individual state they practice in. Like other professionals, they also must be bonded and participate in continuing education courses to maintain their licensure. Do not work with any other individual, such as a contractor or an attorney, that offers to provide claim adjustment services, if they are not licensed to do so. Practicing without a license is against the law and the license is an important benchmark of knowledge and qualification.

Will your adjuster be handling your claim personally? Some public adjustment firms might send one adjuster to do an estimate and another to follow up and thoroughly analyze a claim. As a policyholder, you might prefer to work personally with a single adjuster, but having a firm send more than one person might not be a bad thing. Another adjuster might take over a claim simply because they have more experience with a certain type of damage. For example, one adjuster might know their firm is interested in working on your fire claim, but another adjuster with the firm might have more experience with fire damages and handle your claim from that point on.

Ask for a referral or reference. A referral from an acquaintance that already worked with an adjuster is best. However, if no one you know can make a recommendation, ask the public adjuster under consideration for the contact information of some of their previous clients. Make sure others have had a good experience working with them.

We also recommend that you read reviews of public adjusters online. The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) has a directory of its members, though membership does not preclude someone from being a licensed or qualified adjuster for your claim.

Does your public adjuster have the right level of experience? Depending on the severity and complication of a claim, a policyholder might want to seek out a more experienced public adjuster. Ask what types of claims they have worked on, and do they have experience with your insurer? Ask public adjusters how long they have practiced and what types of claims they have worked on. An adjuster should display this information on their website and, generally, more experienced adjusters charge a higher fee. Remember, the number of years an adjuster has practiced or the volume of claims they handle each year are not necessarily indicators of their experience level. For example, a very experienced adjuster might only take on a dozen claims per year, but only because they might be choosing to work on large, complicated claims for high dollar amounts.

What are the adjuster’s terms of communication? A public adjuster generally handles a the entirety of a claim for their clients, but some policyholders might still want some level of involvement. Discuss this with your public adjuster before you hire them. You want to hire an adjuster with whom you are comfortable communicating throughout the process

When you need an attorney, not a public insurance adjuster

Policyholders who file a claim and receive a proposed settlement from their insurer they see as unfair might think they need to hire an attorney to dispute their claim. In that case, they usually do not – they need to hire a public adjuster.

In fact, policyholders commonly hire public insurance adjusters at that point in the claims process. A public adjuster can assist them in reopening a claim and filing a supplemental claim for additional payments with their insurer.

However, if an adjuster negotiates with an insurance company and still believes the policyholder is owed a larger settlement than the insurer is willing to provide, you may have to turn to litigation. Should a policyholder decide the cost of an attorney and filing a lawsuit against their insurance company is worth the desired settlement, then a lawsuit could be the next step.

It is possible that any insurance company might refuse to negotiate with a public adjuster or refuse to pay a policyholder’s desired settlement. In that situation, hiring an attorney and litigation would be the only option. Fortunately for policyholders, this is fairly uncommon.

 

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Target’s Data Attack May Scare Companies to Get Cyber Insurance

Data Breaches are Influencing the Growth of Cyber Insurance Policies

Target acknowledged Thursday that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend.

It’s considered the largest credit card breach in U.S. history since the breach discovered in 2007 involving retailer T.J. Maxx and roughly 45 million card users.

This massive breach is a wake-up call for organizations to take a better look at what types of security they have in place, and what types of training their employees are going through.

Already, at least two lawsuits seeking class-action status have been filed against Target. And attorneys general from New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have contacted the retailer seeking more information about the breach and the steps being taken by Target to protect consumers.

And according to media reports, these stolen consumer data are already flooding the black market. Credit and debit card accounts stolen from Target’s data breach are being sold on underground black markets for anywhere from $20 to more than $100 per card, reports KrebsOnSecurity, a security news website.

In such data breach cases, there are several policies that are important for the companies to look at as possible insurance coverages to be triggered, according to attorneys who spoke with Insurance Journal.

Target declined to comment on an inquiry regarding its insurance coverage. But attorneys observed many companies are purchasing insurance coverages to protect against such data breaches.

“A lot of companies are purchasing specialized cyber insurance policies so those have to be examined,” said Joshua Gold, a New York-based attorney and shareholder at law firm Anderson Kill. Gold regularly represents corporate policyholders in insurance coverage matters. Such cyber insurance can be tailored to cover a wide range of expenses, even costs for forensic accounting, credit monitoring, crisis management, notification and setting up call centers to respond to consumer inquiries.

There could also be some measure of protection under traditional policies like the commercial general liability policy, even though finding coverage under traditional policies may be getting increasingly more challenging as the industry continues to add data breach-related exclusions. Most recently, Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO) filed this year data breach exclusion endorsements concerning its standard-form primary and excess/umbrella commercial general liability policies, to be effective next May.

According to a 2012 Cyber Claim Study, the most frequently breached sectors are healthcare and financial services. The average cost per breach was $3.7 million, with the majority devoted to legal damages.

Approximately 25 insurers now offer Cyber insurance, and all these carriers offer coverage for both first-party and third-party losses. Learn more about cyber insurance here.

Have a insurance claim you need settled? Contact the experts at ICRS today for a free claim evaluation.

If your claim is delayed, the WSJ recommends you hire a public adjuster! Find out more here:

Visit ICRS at the Texas Apartment Association Expo to Get the Experts Working for You!

If you have an apartment and insurance claim issues, then let’s talk! Please visit us at Booth 205 this Thursday or Frida y at the TAA Expo. The Expo will run from 4:30pm-7:30pm on Thursday 4/25 and 11am-3pm on Friday 4/26.

ICRS is one of the largest public insurance adjusting firms dedicated to settling multifamily property damage insurance claims. We solely represent the interests of the insured policyholder (property owners, managers, and lenders). We are the apartment public adjusters that represent YOU, not the insurance company! Don’t wait another moment! Get the insurance claim settlement you deserve in the minimal amount of time. ICRS has delivered results from 47%, 102%, 3000%, to 9953% higher than the insurance carrier’s initial offer.

Everybody deserves a fair settlement. We can help! Find out more information by visiting us at Booth 205 at the Texas Apartment Association Expo.

 

 

texas apartment association expo


Don’t know if you need a public adjuster? Learn more about what adjusters do below:

Commercial Property Public Insurance Adjusters

PUBLIC INSURANCE ADJUSTERS
NO RECOVERY, NO FEE

Public Insurance Adjusters are the only type of insurance claims adjusters who can legally represent the rights of an insured during an insurance claim process.

Insurance Claim Recovery Support (ICRS) is a leading licensed public insurance adjusting firm that specializes in documenting, negotiating and settling large commercial property losses solely on the behalf of YOU, the insured policyholder (property owners, managers, and lenders) not the insurance company.

Insurance Claim Delayed, Denied or Underpaid?
Don’t Take Chances, Know your claim options and rights

We exclusively represent the policyholder’s interests, NOT the insurance company.  You gain the competitive advantage of having a claim advocate who levels the playing field with your insurance company RISK FREE!

Property owners and managers receive a great deal of value and several advantages by employing a public insurance adjuster to represent your interests when you suffer a loss that your insurance company probably won’t tell you about, including…

– Reduce time and stress dealing with your insurance claim
– Assurance your claim file is well documented, comprehensive and timely “pro-policyholder”.
– We estimate the full scope of your damage for maximum recovery allowable under your policy coverage.
– Any areas of your policy “open to interpretation” will be negotiated “pro-policy holder”.
– You get a claim advocate to help guide you through your policyholder rights.
– You get the maximum settlement you deserve in the shortest amount of time.
– We provide the knowledge and expert resources you need to get the fair settlement you deserve.
– We eliminate the burden, time and stress of you having to deal with your insurance company
– You have nothing to lose and everything to gain with our “No Risk Offer – No Recovery, No Fee

What is a public insurance adjuster?

Fact: It is up to you, the insured, to present your claim to the insurance company to settle.  They have their teams of experts, shouldn’t you have yours?  Documentation and policy interpretation by a licensed expert engaged as your advocate is the key to successful claim recovery.

The insurance settlement process can be complex and can wear out even the most vigilant policy owners.  In many cases, if you aren’t represented by a licensed public insurance adjuster or have light documentation in your claim file, you could settle for much less than you may rightfully be entitled and the process could take longer time during a period when time is of the essence in your financial recovery.

Avoid Insurance Claim Underpayment, Denial and Recovery Delays!

ARE YOU FRUSTRATED AND WONDERING???

  • Who can help me with an insurance claim?
  • What is a public adjuster?
  • Where can I get a 2nd opinion on my current or old claim?
  • When will my claim settle?
  • Why am I not getting results on my own?
  • Can I have my property inspected for damage at no charge?
  • Am I over or underinsured with my current insurance policy?

>> GET THE ANSWERS YOU NEED CLICK HERE NOW<<

Fighting to Recover Your Damages

  • No hidden surprises.
  • No out of pocket expenses.
  • Our fees are paid on the performance of the claim.

    100% No Risk Offer
    NO RECOVERY, NO FEE

We are your greatest advocate in the worst of times
Call Now 855-203-2226

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Public Adjusters – What Do They Do and Do You Need One?

Apartment Association of Greater Dallas owners and management companies in the process of dealing with insurance claims in the aftermath of hail and windstorms in the Dallas/Fort Worth area may choose to work with a public insurance adjuster.

Do you need a public adjuster?

  • Are you dealing with a hail/wind storm insurance claim seeking an advocate who represents your interests, NOT the insurance company?
  • Do you have no time, expertise or desire to deal with the burden of an insurance claim?
  • Are you concerned your insurance claim is being underpaid, delayed or denied?

What does a public adjuster do for an Apartment owner or management company?

A public adjuster is an advocate who exclusively represents the interests of the policyholder (not the insurance company) in appraising and negotiating an insurance claim. Public adjusters can legally represent the rights of the insured during an insurance claim process. Their main responsibilities include visiting the site of the loss to analyze damages, making sure the loss is documented, prepare damage estimates, review your Apartment insurance policy for coverage, determinate current replacement costs, determine values for setting covered damages, evaluate business interruption losses, determine building code upgrades, interpret policy, negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on behalf of the insured, handle paperwork required by the insurance company and re-open a claim and negotiate for a higher settlement if a discrepancy is found after a claim has been settled.

>>READ ARTICLE FROM ROOFLINES MAGAZINE<<


Visit us at the Texas Apartment Association Expo! Get more info below:

Report Contractors & Roofers Negotiating Insurance Claims to TDI Fraud Dept.

TDI Urges Consumers to Report Roofers & Contractors Negotiating Claims Without a License

Kudos to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Commissioner for issuing bulletin B-0017-12. Insurers, agents, adjusters, and consumers are urged to report contractors, roofing companies, individuals and entities not licensed by TDI for advertising or performing acts that require them to hold a public insurance adjuster license to the TDI Fraud Unit (1-800-252-3439) The Insurance Code provides for both civil and criminal penalties for violating this licensing requirement as unlicensed persons are not permitted to negotiate insurance claims or perform the acts of a public insurance adjuster.

Only licensed public adjusters should be negotiating any type of insurance claim. If you’re in need of an experienced and certified public adjuster, you can always trust the experts at Insurance Claim Recovery Support. Our team only represents you, not your insurance company. We will fight to get you the fair settlement that you deserve so you can get back to your normal life. With ICRS, you can stop worrying about working with an unexperienced adjuster and know we’re getting you what you’re owed. Contact ICRS today at 832-725-2878 and we’ll get you back to business.


Read more about the TDI’s work here:

Insurance Companies Maximize Profits To Industry By Shorting Customers

Insurance Companies Boost Their Profits by Low-Balling Consumers

WASHINGTON — Unlike many other businesses, the insurance industry is bound by law to act in good faith with its customers. Because of their protective role in the lives of ordinary citizens, insurers have long operated as semi-public trusts. But since the mid-1990s, a new profit-hungry model, combined with weak regulation, has upended that ancient social contract.

“Claims has been converted into a money-making process,” said Russ Roberts, a New Mexico-based management consultant and former business professor at Northwestern University who has studied the insurance industry’s evolution from a service business to a profit-driven machine.

The change started when consulting giant McKinsey & Company sold Allstate and other leading insurance companies on a new system to boost the bottom line: Rather than adjusting claims the traditional way, which gave claims managers wide latitude to serve customers, insurers embraced a computer-driven method that produced purposefully low offers to claimants.

Those who took the low-ball offers received prompt service, while those who didn’t had their claims delayed and potentially were reduced to bringing expensive lawsuits to fight for their benefits. As former Allstate agent Shannon Kmatz told the American Association for Justice, the trial lawyers’ lobby, the strategy was to make claims “so expensive and so time-consuming that lawyers would start refusing to help clients.” The strategy was dubbed “Good Hands or Boxing Gloves” by the consultants, riffing on Allstate’s advertising slogan.

McKinsey’s strategy put profits above all. One slide in the McKinsey presentation illustrated this philosophy by painting the insurance business as a zero-sum game: “Improving Allstate’s casualty economics will have a negative economic impact on some medical providers, plaintiff attorneys, and claimants. … Allstate gains — others must lose.” Allstate has certainly gained: It made $4.6 billion in profits in 2007, double its earnings in the 1990s. The stunning increase, said Russ Roberts, came through “driving down loss values to an average of 30 percent below the actual market cost” — that is, paying dramatically less on claims.

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Did your insurance company give you a low-ball offer on a property damage claim? Whether you filed for a business interruption loss, a fire damage loss, or more, ICRS will help you get the settlement you’re owed.’

 


Thinking about filing a bad faith claim with your insurance company? Read more below!

Wall Street Journal Recommends Small Business Owners a Public Adjuster To Assist With Claims

Expect Delays with Claims – Hire A Public Adjuster

The WSJ recommends that small business owners hire a public adjuster to assist with claims.

If you are filing a claim under your homeowner’s policy because of Hurricane Irene or another loss, brace yourself: On major claims, it could take months to get through the whole process.  Depending on the type and severity of your loss, there may be an on-site inspection, such as to confirm the degree of water damage. If your home is unlivable, you may receive one initial check to cover temporary living expenses and then other checks down the line, says Paul Stachura, chief claims and risk-services officer for Fireman’s Fund Insurance. Keep track of expenses, such as hotel and meal costs, and save your receipts, says Joe Kovar, a certified public accountant in Danville, Calif. If you have a small business, consider hiring a public insurance adjuster to assess the damage and organize your claim, which might include inventory and repair costs.

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Data breaches are becoming more and more common. Read about the Target data breach and cyber insurance here:

Winter Storm Related Loss Estimates in Texas Reaching to $100M

Loss Estimates from Winter Storm Related Weather Already Hit $51 Million in February

Preliminary estimates of insured losses from recent winter storms in Texas range between $51 million and $100 million statewide according to two insurance industry trade groups.

Southwestern Insurance Information Service said estimated preliminary statewide losses from winter storm related weather like high winds and freezing temperatures during the first few days of February had reached $51 million, cautioning that the number is likely to rise. The Insurance Council of Texas estimated insured losses from 15,000 claims so far statewide would exceed $100 million.

The winter storm that pushed through Texas on Feb. 1 brought damaging winds to the Hill Country, frigid temperatures statewide, and snow and ice in many areas of the state.

“Most of the damage will be the result of roof damage from strong winds and bursting pipes resulting in water entering a home or business. There will be some claims for vehicle damage but the majority of the claims will be to homes and businesses,” said Jerry Johns, president of SIIS.

According to Mark Hanna with the Insurance Council of Texas, approximately 1,000 wind-related claims had been reported in the Texas Hill Country as early as Feb. 2. Hanna said losses occurred in all areas of the state. Particularly hard hit was El Paso, Hanna said, which experienced a record low of zero degrees Fahrenheit.

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Interested in learning more about Texas weather? Read more below!