5 Myths About Public Adjusters

5 Myths About Public Adjusters

Your home has been damaged and you know you need to file an insurance claim. You’ve learned a public adjuster can help, but you’re still concerned about hiring one because you’ve heard some myths about them in the past. Find out the truth about how a public adjuster can help you.

Using a Public Adjuster Raises Your Rates

Insurance is necessary, but the cost is already high enough and you won’t want to pay more just because you’ve hired a public adjuster to help you obtain the full settlement you need. The good news is, hiring a public adjuster is not going to automatically raise your insurance rates.

You Can Lose Coverage for Using an Adjuster

Along with hearing a public adjuster can cause rates to rise, many people have heard that hiring a public adjuster can cause you to lose coverage and perhaps make it harder to find new coverage. As with the myth of your rates rising, hiring a public adjuster is not going to mean you lose your insurance coverage and it will not make it harder for you to find new coverage at any point in the future.

Public Adjusters Fraudulently Obtain a Higher Settlement

This myth is prevalent because hiring a public adjuster can help you get a much higher settlement than you would have received simply doing everything on your own. Many people incorrectly assume this means the public adjuster is fraudulently trying to obtain a higher settlement for you so they’re paid more.
The reality is, most people who do not use a public adjuster are missing out on a significant amount of money they could have received if they had the right help. When you hire a public adjuster, they work to help you obtain all of the money you should get.

Public Adjusters Don’t Do Much

Another common misconception is that a public adjuster doesn’t do much yet will take a significant portion of your settlement and leave you with less than you need to recover from the damages. The reality is, their money is a small percentage of the settlement you receive and you will get more money by working with a public adjuster than you would if you handled it all on your own. They work hard to make sure you get the full value of your property.

Anyone Can be a Public Adjuster

Becoming a public adjuster is not as easy as many people might believe. They cannot have a felony criminal conviction on their background and they must meet all licensing requirements to be licensed to work in your location. They also must keep up with all licensing requirements to continue to be licensed to work as a public adjuster and can lose their license for a variety of reasons.
If you’ve suffered damage to your property, don’t let the myths surrounding public adjusters keep you from getting the money you deserve. They’re available to help you maximize your settlement so you can recover financially from the damages to your property.

Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your home is no easy task. Download Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

Public Adjusters or Insurance Companies: Who Is Really on Your Side?

Public Adjusters or Insurance Companies: Who Is Really on Your Side?

When you have damages to your property, there is a lengthy claim process you need to go through to obtain the compensation you need for your damages from your insurance company. During this, you will likely meet with the insurance company’s adjuster to determine how much you should receive for your damages. Should you work with them or hire a public adjuster to help you?

Making Money is the Main Goal

The main goal of just about every company or person is to make money. Insurance companies and public adjusters want to make money so they’re able to cover all of their bills and make a profit. When you’re considering whether or not you should hire an adjuster, you’ll want to think about more than what will cost you money. Consider who will help you get the money you need to recover from the damages to your property.

How Insurance Companies Make Money

Insurance companies make money off the premiums you pay every year. They lose money when claims are filed. To minimize their loss and maximize their profits, they’re going to pay out the minimal amount for any claim and will try to deny claims where possible.

Most people don’t realize the settlement they’re receiving is much less than what they should obtain because it covers enough of the damages. However, the insurance company is simply trying to maximize profits by minimizing their payout, which means the person is obtaining much less than they are owed for their claim.

How Public Adjusters Make Money

Public adjusters make money by helping people obtain a higher settlement. They typically work on a contingency basis, which means they don’t get paid until you get a settlement. If you don’t get a settlement at all, they don’t get paid.

A public adjuster is working for you. They get a percentage of your settlement, so the more you get, the more they get. They’re going to try to maximize the settlement you obtain because it means they can maximize the amount of money they’re paid for the work.

Who Is on Your Side?

When you need to file a claim for damages to your property, you want help from someone who is working for you and whose goal is to maximize the money you should obtain for your claim. You’ll want to make sure you get all of the money you deserve for your settlement.

An insurance adjuster sent by your insurance company is simply not going to be on your side because you’re not paying them. They’ll be working to maximize profits for the insurance company, which means minimizing the amount you’ll receive in a settlement.

To maximize your settlement and ensure you get all of the money you need to recover from the damages, hire a public adjuster. You’re paying them with a percentage of your settlement, so it’s in their interest to maximize the amount of money you receive in the settlement from your insurance company.

How to Prepare a Thorough Inventory List for a Property Loss

How to Prepare a Thorough Inventory List for a Property Loss

Your home is full of your belongings, many or all of which may need to be replaced if your home is severely damaged. When you’re ready to make an insurance claim, you’re going to need a list of everything that was damaged in your home and that needs to be replaced.

Wait Until It’s Safe to Reenter Your Home

If your home was damaged in a fire or is structurally damaged, wait until the proper authorities have said it is safe for you to go inside your home again to ensure your safety. You need to make sure you can go through the home and take your time to do a complete inventory, and you cannot do that if the home is not structurally sound and you are not safe to enter it yet.

Start in One Room, Work Your Way Around

Be methodical about how you go through the damaged areas and list what needs to be replaced. If the whole home is destroyed, it can take a lot of time to go through and list everything you own.
Start in one room and just focus on one room at a time, listing everything in the room, before you move onto the next one. Mark off areas you’ve completed with tape or post-it notes so you don’t backtrack if you need to take a break and start again later.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Take photos of the rooms in the home and anything that was damaged. Photos help you prove that everything you listed needs to be replaced and can help the insurance company determine exactly how much to give you so you can replace the items. Plus, they can be used to help you remember everything you need to replace later so you can make sure you have everything you need.

Be Detailed When Possible, Including Serial Numbers

When you’re writing down the list of items to replace, be as detailed as possible with items that are expensive. For clothes, you might want to just list how many of what type of clothing, unless you have expensive designer clothing.

For electronics such as televisions or video game consoles, make sure you list exactly what it is as well as the serial number where possible. The more details you can provide, the easier it is for your insurance company to determine the full value to add to your settlement.

Take the time to follow the tips here to create an inventory of everything that was damaged and needs to be replaced along with the damage to your home. This way, your insurance company knows what is needed to return your home to the way it was before the damage.

If you need assistance with this or any part of your damage claim, contact a public adjuster. They’re going to help you go through the damage to your home to list exactly what needs to be repaired or replaced so you can maximize the settlement you receive.

Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your home is no easy task. Download Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

How to Boost Your Odds on Maximizing a Residential Insurance Claim

How to Boost Your Odds on Maximizing a Residential Insurance Claim

Your property has been damaged and you need to file a claim for compensation. According to your policy, you should be covered for the damages, but that doesn’t mean your claim will be approved or that you’ll receive the full amount needed to repair the damages. There are a few things you can do to boost your odds of maximizing your settlement.

Build a Collection of Evidence

You need clear evidence of the damages your property suffered to show what happened and what needs to be repaired or replaced. The more detailed your evidence, the more likely it is you’ll receive the full settlement you need.

Take as many photos of the damage as possible, including photos from multiple angles where possible. List out all of the damages, including exactly what was damaged, what is needed to repair or replace it, and how much it’s going to cost to repair or replace it.

Get Estimates from Professionals

Obtain professional estimates for the damages to your property and what will need to be done to fully restore the property to the way it was before the damages occurred. Professional estimates show exactly what was damaged and exactly how much you’ll need to repair your property so the insurance company cannot try to offer you a lower amount of money. This will help minimize the chance you’ll need to cover anything out of pocket. It also gives you the chance to see exactly what you need so you can compare it with any settlement you’re offered.

Keep Up with the Claim

Follow up on your claim. Just because you’ve filed a claim doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait. You’ll want to make sure you keep in touch with the insurance company to see how your claim is being processed and to ensure you remain up to date about what’s happening. If you are denied coverage or offered a settlement amount that’s far too low, do not just accept this. Instead, learn what you can do to appeal the denial or to request a higher settlement amount.

Know Your Rights

You have certain rights when it comes to filing a claim and to obtaining a settlement. Read through your claim and learn about local laws that can dictate the amount you can receive as well as other details of obtaining a settlement. This could come in handy and help you obtain the maximum amount as quickly as possible. The more you know, the easier it is for you to make sure you receive the settlement you deserve.

Get Help When You Need It

Even if you originally file the claim on your own, you may reach a point where you need help. Public adjusters are there to help you through the claims process and are going to try to maximize the settlement you obtain from the insurance company. They are not the adjusters who work for the insurance company. They work for you and will try to help you get as much money as possible for your claim. Working with a public adjuster can help you significantly boost the settlement you obtain.

Five Tips to Limit Your Risk During Hurricane Florence

Five Tips to Limit Your Risk During Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence approaches, here are five important tips to get you prepared for this or any hurricane that threatens to make landfall.

Protect Your Property

Hurricane-force winds turn unsecured property into missiles. If you’re on or near Hurricane Florence’s projected path, take the following steps to protect your property, family and neighbors:

  • Clear trees on your property of broken or weak limbs.
  • Bring lawn furniture, grills, toys, plant stands, bird feeders, etc. inside
  • Board up your windows
  • Secure your valuables
  • Evacuate when recommended by your local authorities.
  • Make a video of your property, home and possessions; store it in the cloud
  • Back up important electronic data and files

Pack a Go Bag

A hurricane can change direction, spawn tornados, create flash flooding, and worse. Having each member of your household pack a Go Bag is one way to know you can evacuate on short notice and still have the critical things you’ll need. Include:

  • Identification and/or driver’s license
  • Phone, with a wall and car charger
  • Cash and credit/debit cards
  • Health insurance ID cards
  • Important documents, including your property insurance policies
  • Water
  • Shelf-stable food
  • Clothing and other personal items, including needed medications
  • Gas cans, which NEVER should be transported in the cabin of a vehicle.
  • Comfort items for children
  • Pet supplies

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Risk exposures skyrocket with a hurricane. A minor injury literally can become life threatening. Think through the circumstance you might face — wind, water, debris, restricted travel, shortages, power outage — and gather what you might need, such as:

  • First aid kit
  • Heavy-duty, waterproof boots and rain gear
  • Blankets
  • Flashlight/batteries
  • Extra food and water

Plan for Communication Outages

Having a communication plan in place with your family, friends and co-workers is a great way to defend against power outages, damaged phones, etc. The most comprehensive communication plans include:

  • Making sure everyone is connected to the same social media site, and knows to look there for important information from one another.
  • Downloading apps in advance and getting familiar with useful information resources.
  • Writing a physical list of cell and landline phone numbers
  • Incorporating additional communication devices, should phone and internet service be unavailable: satellite phone, two-way radio, CB radio, HAM radio, police scanner, and more.
  • Know What You and Your Family Will Do

    Putting a plan in place — and practicing it before disaster strikes — is the best way to safeguard your loved ones. Some key pieces of your response plan should include:

    • Where you will meet. Identify in advance where you will meet up, should you be separated. A good rule of thumb is to identify one place in town, one place out of town, and one place out of state, each with multiple routes leading there.
    • How you will communicate. Rank your communication devices in order of importance. Identify a social media site to use if phone service isn’t available. Know what you will do if you are separated and unable to communicate.
    • All evacuation routes. Hurricane Florence is likely to take out her share of roads. Knowing multiple routes to your destination lets you react quickly, if the main road is closed or too congested.

    A Public Adjuster Can Help Resolve Your Property Insurance Claim In The Aftermath Of Hurricane Florence

    Insurance Company Denied my Claim… Now What?

    Insurance Company Denied my Claim… Now What?

    After devastating damage to your home, you’re denied compensation for your claim. You know you should receive the settlement through your insurance, but you are now being told that your claim is denied and you will not receive any settlement. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to try to appeal this decision and obtain the settlement you deserve.

    Why Did They Deny the Claim?

    Insurance companies will deny claims if they believe they do not need to pay it. They might deny your claim because they believe there is evidence you caused the damage and, therefore, it is not actually covered under your policy. They might deny your claim if they believe you did not file the claim in time. It’s a good idea to find out why they’re denying your claim so you can counter the denial and show you should actually receive a settlement to cover the damages to your property.

    Proving Your Damages

    Get evidence of your damages and the amount it will cost for everything to be repaired or replaced. Photographs from multiple angles help show the damage clearly and can help you show how the damage was caused. Additionally, if you have photographs from before the damage occurred, this could help show what you need to have repaired or replaced as the insurance company will be able to better see what exactly what damaged or destroyed.

    Have a professional determine the amount to be repaired as well as the amount you’ll need to repair or replace everything that was damaged. A public adjuster can be invaluable at this point because they have the experience and training to know how to determine the full value of your property as well as the costs to repair or replace your property. They’ll be able to help you create an itemized list of everything that needs to be repaired or replaced.

    Write a Demand Letter

    The next step is to write a demand letter to the insurance company requesting full compensation for the damages to your property. In this letter, write out exactly what you’re looking for in compensation for the damages, detail the damages to your property, and include evidence you have of the damages or how they occurred. The insurance company may reverse their decision based on this letter, so be as thorough as possible with it.

    Go Through the Formal Appeals Process

    If they continue to deny your claim after the demand letter, look into whether they have a formal appeals process. Most insurance companies have this type of process so you can appeal their decision and obtain the compensation you need. Follow the appeals process carefully to have the best chance of having your claim approved.

    Just because your claim has been denied doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a settlement to help you repair damages to your home. Follow these steps to try to get the insurance company to reverse their decision so you can get the money you need to return your property to how it was before the damages occurred.

    Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim

    Dealing with a disaster recovery for your home is no easy task. Download Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim as a resource to help you through the turmoil.