September 6, 2013 | 5:08 pm

A wise woman once said, “You can pay with time or money, but you always pay”.

We’ve found that the same is true when it comes to settling a claim with your insurance company. And we’re not the only ones: In 2010 OPEGGA (Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability – an office located here in Florida) released a study called Public Adjuster Representation in Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Claims Extends the Time to Reach a Settlement and Also Increases Payments to Citizens’ Policyholders.

This article found that that having a PA involved in reaching a settlement increased claim payments anywhere from 500-700%

Insurance companies used this study to warn homeowners of the disadvantage of hiring a PA. Does that confuse you? A 500-700% increase in your payout! How could that be a negative thing? Their angle: it would take longer to reach a settlement. Perspective is an interesting thing, don’t you think?

Another interesting thing to note is that the “quick pay-out” is only IF you take the first offer they give. If you try to fight for a larger settlement on your own the wait time for a settlement can be longer than said dreaded wait with a PA on your side.

The report states that, “Policyholders that disagree with their insurance company regarding claim settlements (e.g. scope of loss, damage estimate) can resolve the dispute through mediation, appraisal or litigation.” Mediation is non-binding whereas appraisal and litigation are binding. All three options can be highly time consuming and emotionally draining.

So what’s the down side of hiring a PA? We don’t see one, do you?