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Public Adjuster Vs. Independent Adjusters: Learn the Difference and Why it Matters

05/18/2022

When a person files a claim with an insurance company, they work with an adjuster. However, they may find this individual denies the claim. What should they do in this situation? 

When a person has a claim denied by insurance, they often believe they have little recourse. They may file an appeal but are unsure of the odds of success. In this situation, they should hire a public adjuster to help resolve the matter. What does a public adjuster do, and how does this individual differ from the adjuster working for the insurance company?

Independent Adjusters

Insurance companies employ independent adjusters to handle claims. People hear the word independent and believe the adjuster doesn’t work for anyone and will look out for their best interests. That isn’t the case. They work for the insurance company and will do what is best for their client and the policyholder. 

However, independent adjusters don’t work for the insurance company. The insurer often has company or staff adjusters that handle claims. They use the independent adjuster contractually for certain claims, and the adjuster receives a percentage of the claim as their fee. 

The independent adjuster reviews the claim and gathers the facts of the claim. They then take this information and analyze the policy to determine what compensation the claimant is entitled to. However, this adjuster works to pay out the lowest amount possible while complying with the terms of the insurance policy. 

Policyholders often believe the independent adjuster has their best interests at heart because they don’t charge a fee for their services or so the policyholder believes. The insurance company, however, is paying this professional to verify the validity of the claim and ensure the company doesn’t overpay for damages. 

Independent adjusters must adhere to a strict code of ethics, so they won’t deny reasonable claims. They will try to reduce the settlement using a variety of methods. For instance, they may not be able to determine the brand of appliances listed in the claim, so they calculate the claim using inexpensive brands. 

Public Adjusters

Public adjusters, often referred to as private adjusters, work for the policyholder. A policyholder rarely files a claim, which can leave them overwhelmed with the process because of its intricacies. Nevertheless, the policyholder needs to ensure they get all funds they should according to the policy terms and the public adjuster works to make certain they do. 

A policyholder may hire a public adjuster when they believe the settlement amount offered by the insurance company is too low. They may also turn to this individual when they need help to manage a claim. 

The private adjuster then opens negotiations with the insurance company or professional working on its behalf. Most reputable public adjusters offer free consultations. 

Public insurance adjusters either work independently or as part of a larger firm. They don’t work for free, as they come with a unique skill set that benefits their clients. Rather than charging a fee upfront or requiring a client to pay an hourly rate, these individuals usually charge a flat rate, which is a percentage of the final settlement amount. The percentage typically charged by these professionals is ten percent. 

Clients often believe the adjuster can effortlessly get them a significantly larger settlement. However, these professionals must remain within the legal guidelines when calculating a fair settlement amount. 

Furthermore, the public adjuster serves as a liaison between the client and the insurance company. They ensure all documents are completed properly. This takes some pressure off of the policyholder and reduces their stress. 

When to Hire a Public Adjuster

If you need insurance claim help, reach out to a public adjuster. When the insurance company sends an adjuster, it’s best for the policyholder to have someone with experience on their side and the unique skill set that a public adjuster has. The public adjuster looks out for the client rather than the insurer and works to ensure they include all damages. Companies may also hire a public insurance adjuster when they file a claim, as the business needs representation just as an individual does. 

Both adjusters handle insurance claims and determine the amount of any settlement. The major difference lies in who they work for and how they receive payment. Anyone filing a claim should hire a public adjuster to work on their behalf. As the fee comes from the settlement, a person has nothing to lose by working with this professional. Contact a public adjuster today to discuss your case. 

About LMR Public Adjusters:

LMR Public Adjusters works for the client rather than the insurance company and offers residential and commercial services in Florida. We serve as licensed and bonded property loss experts and know what clients are entitled to when they sustain a loss. Our adjusters walk clients through every step of the claims process.