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New Yorkers: Filing an Insurance Claim? Hiring a Public Adjuster Will Save You Money

Public Adjuster Fees

New Yorkers have an independent spirit: we want to do things our way. So when faced with the prospect of filing an insurance property claim, many opt to ‘go it alone’ rather than hire a public adjuster to assist them. Their rationale might be that they need all the money they recoup in a settlement to repair or replace the property that has been damaged or destroyed. Others might be put off by the idea that they do not know what public adjuster fees might entail. In this posting, we’ll debunk the myths surrounding public insurance adjuster fees to clarify why it is always a sound idea to ask for the professional support of a public adjuster whenever it’s time to file an insurance claim.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, nationwide about one in 20 insured homes has a claim each year. When they do, statistically those property owners who file their claims themselves receive far lower settlement offers than those who retain the services of a public adjuster. What often influences New Yorkers to file their own claims is the rationale that an insurance company adjuster will not charge an additional fee to the policyholder to process their claim. Conversely, independent public adjuster fees will range between 10% – 20% for their services, (depending on the services provided and the point in the process that they are ‘brought on board’). The major point to remember is that the public adjuster works for the insured, while the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company.

For New Yorkers, the independent public adjuster ‘has your back’. Here are a couple of hypothetical scenarios that illustrate our point:

In New York, a public adjuster cannot charge more than 12.5% as their public adjuster fees on an insurance claim. That means, for example, a public adjuster who is brought in at the onset of filing an insurance claim and submits a retainer of 10% of the proceeds, will be bound to collect not more than 10% of any funds recovered from the policyholder’s insurance carrier. Not a penny more. 

However, also in New York State, a public adjuster can charge public insurance adjuster fees of up to 20% on any Supplement Claims. This would be a situation where the insured has already filed a claim and received a settlement offer they consider too low, at which point the policyholder retains a public adjuster. The public adjuster’s role is to negotiate on behalf of the insured to have the insurance company adjust the loss for a supplement payment. In this scenario a public adjuster may charge up to 20%, however, the total fee they receive can never be more than 12.5% of the insurance claim. 

What does a negotiation look like? Here is an example:

Policyholder Mr. Smith filed his claim with Ajax Insurance Company. The company offers a $10,000 settlement which Mr. Smith thinks is too low an amount. Mr. Smith hires United Public Adjusters & Appraisers for 20% of the supplement. United Public Adjusters & Appraisers then negotiates a settlement of $50,000 for Mr. Smith, a $40,000 increase over the initial offer. United Public Adjusters & Appraisers’ 20% fee of $40,000 would be $8,000, the maximum the firm can charge. But wait! In New York, the most a public adjuster can charge is 12.5% of the entire settlement. That means 12.5% of $50,000 is $6,250. So $6,250 is the amount an independent public adjuster can receive as their public insurance adjuster fees for negotiating a settlement. Remember, this settlement is 4x higher than the insurance company’s original offer. Looking at it this way, “you get what you pay for” has seldom been more true. 

New Yorkers are savvy and quick to see the value in retaining a leading public adjuster, United Public Adjusters & Appraisers, at the onset of a claim settlement cycle. 

To learn more about these advantages, contact our team at 800-718-5677.


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