Hiring a Public Adjuster vs. an Insurance Attorney

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Anyone who has lived through a major disaster like a fire, flood, windstorm or a worse case scenario like Hurricane Katrina, knows how traumatic and stressful it can be to recover both your tangible belongings and emotional well being.  After several days of trying to keep your family safe, cope with finding new living quarters or attempting to keep a business running, it becomes quickly apparent to the insured that they may benefit from some professional help to pick up some of the slack.  It is in this type of situation that a public adjuster and/or an attorney could be of tremendous assistance.  Each can play a valuable role to the insured during these times and often work hand in hand with a mutual client.

Public Adjuster’s Role

The public adjuster’s job is to appraise the extent of the loss, decide how to best present the claim and prepare estimates.  They inventory, then negotiate the settlement with the insurance company on behalf of the insured.  Their main role is to negotiate the fairest settlement so the insured can make full recovery and get back to a normal living environment again.  The level of expertise and detail that a public adjuster invests in a claim is usually something most policyholders either don’t know how to do, don’t have time to do or would prefer not to do.  Policyholders often underestimate the process until they are in the middle of it.  When they understand how tedious the process can be and see how special knowledge in this field comes into play when applied, they start to appreciate the help.

The majority of the time the amount of effort a public adjuster puts into the claim turns out to be in direct proportion to the result of the settlement which could end up to be three or four times the amount that an insured would receive if negotiated on their own.  If an insured decides to go with a public adjuster over an attorney to start, the adjuster can be a lot faster and less expensive than an attorney’s services.  However, some cases reach a standstill in which case in order to move forward, an attorney’s expertise is needed for litigation.

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