The role of a public adjuster is to be an advocate for insurance policyholders whenever they need to file a claim with their insurance company. In other words, the public adjuster is hired by the policyholder to conduct an investigation of the claim that was filed. Sometimes the public adjuster will file the claim as well. It all depends on which point in the claims process they are called in to assist.
The public adjuster collects all the available evidence that supports the validity and seriousness of the claim. This could include taking photographs, retrieving police reports, and so on. After they collect the evidence, the public adjuster negotiates with the insurance company to seek the highest settlement possible for the policyholder's claim.
You should hire a public adjuster if you want to increase your chances of receiving a high settlement amount on your insurance claim. Insurance companies are in the business of denying claims that might result in a high settlement amount. If you try to handle these claims yourself, your insurance company will either offer you a lower settlement amount than you deserve, or they will deny your claim altogether.
On the other hand, if you have a public adjuster on your side, your insurer likely won't try any underhanded tactics like this. Insurance companies realize that public adjusters understand the claims process and the laws surrounding it. So, if you are genuinely owed a high settlement, your insurance company won't try to fight it if they're negotiating with a public adjuster.
There is no up-front cost to hire a public adjuster from Merkury Public Adjusters. The only fee we charge is a percentage of the settlement amount of your insurance claim.
The Florida Department of Financial Services regulates and oversees the fees charged by public adjusters. That means we will never charge you an unfair commission after we help you recover money from your claim.
In the rare case that we don't recover money from your claim, you won't have to pay us anything. You pay only for results. Therefore, you only have to pay us when your insurance company pays you for the claim.
Yes! We have public adjusters who specialize in denied claim cases. If you have already filed a claim with your insurance company and the claim was denied, it’s not too late to contact us. Our public adjusters will review the details of your case and negotiate with your insurance company to reopen the claim.
Many insurance companies deny claims when they're working the policyholder. They know that policyholders don't understand their rights in these matters, which is why many policyholders don't appeal their claim denials.
When a public adjuster is hired to review the claim, they will soon discover whether the insurance company's denial was justified. If it was not justified, they will try to get the insurer to reopen the claim. Since they don't want to end up in court, the insurer will most likely reopen the case.
Many variables determine the duration of a claim case. Since each claim is different, there’s no fixed time period for when a claim must be approved or denied. In most cases, the insurance company will send you at least some amount of compensation within 90 days of the claim filing.
Sometimes the insurance company will approve a claim, but won't pay the full amount of compensation requested. If you’re unhappy with the amount of compensation that your insurer wants to pay you and dispute its decision, it could delay the claim process for another 3 to 6 months.
Florida law requires you to report a claim to your insurance company within three years of the date on which the initial loss took place. However, your insurance company is allowed to set its own rules for when you need to file a claim. All of this information is included in your insurance contract.
Check the provisions of your contract to see how long you have to report a loss by filing a claim. Many insurance companies require you to file a claim within six months after the incident. If you wait longer than six months, it might be more difficult to get your claim approved.
When you contact a public adjuster for help with your insurance claim, there are usually five steps involved in the ensuing process. The first step is to meet with the victim, which would be you. Our public adjuster will discuss the incident with you and evaluate the damage your home incurred. We will also explain our services in more detail so that you understand what might happen in your case.
The next steps involve an investigation into your insurance policy, retrieving all documentation related to your claim, presenting a reasonable defense to your insurance company, and negotiating a settlement with your insurance company.
In all likelihood, yes.
Public adjusters are trained in the art of negotiating insurance claim settlements. They understand insurance policies and what their provisions mean. Insurance companies may offer a lower settlement amount if they're only dealing with a policyholder and not a public adjuster.
Since policyholders do not always understand the provisions of their insurance policies, they won't usually know whether they're getting a fair settlement or not. Public adjusters are in the business of fighting for the highest settlement amounts possible. Insurance companies typically won’t lowball a public adjuster. That is why you'll have a better chance of getting a higher settlement when you hire a public adjuster.
A public adjuster is similar to an insurance company claim adjuster in the sense that both investigate insurance claims. The difference is that the claims adjuster is hired by the insurance company, whereas the public adjuster is hired by the policyholder.
As a result, a claims adjuster tries to help the insurance company pay out as little money as possible, whereas the public adjuster tries to get the insurance company to pay out as much money as possible. That’s why it’s a good idea for a policyholder to hire a public adjuster.
You cannot trust a claims adjuster to be 100% honest in their investigation of your claim. It’s better to have an adjuster on your side who will ensure that all the evidence and facts are discovered and fairly presented to the insurer.
You will not lose your insurance coverage if you hire a public adjuster. In fact, the State of Florida has laws that protect policyholders by giving them the right to hire their own public adjuster.
If your insurance company were to cancel your insurance policy or deny you coverage because you hired a public adjuster, then your insurance company would be in violation of the law. In that case, your insurance company could be sued for discrimination for violating your legal rights. That’s why no legitimate insurance company would ever cancel your coverage for hiring a public adjuster.
In terms of insurance claims, attorneys do a lot of the same work that public adjusters do. They both review reports, gather evidence, prepare documentation, and negotiate with insurance companies. The difference is that attorneys charge an up-front fee that must be paid, regardless of whether your claim is approved or not. Public adjusters only make you pay if the claim is approved and a settlement is paid.
Of course, attorneys have more knowledge of the law and statutes that govern the insurance industry. If a more serious legal issue comes up in your insurance claim, then you might consider an attorney. But for most insurance claims, an attorney will overcharge you for the same work that a public adjuster will do up front, for free.
A 'proof of loss' is an insurance form that is normally filled out after you file an insurance claim. It is not the claim itself; it has to do with the details of the claim. The 'proof of loss' form is where you put all the information related to your claim, such as the total value of your losses and all the supporting information to legitimize that value. You state exactly what was damaged and what it was worth, then include as much documentation as you can to verify the details you mentioned.
Your insurance company will usually request a “proof of loss" form after you file your claim. But even if they don't officially make the request for the form, you may have up to 60 days from the date of the incident to fill out the form and submit it to your insurance company. If you fail to submit the form to your insurer in time, the company could deny your claim.