When you experience property damage to your business or home, having someone on your side to navigate the claims process can be beneficial. Many times, property owners choose to hire public adjusters because it saves time, reduces stress, and produces a better settlement from the insurance company. Choosing the right public adjuster can be difficult. How do you know which one will deliver the best results?
There are some steps you can follow to make sure you hire a reputable public adjuster.
Check their license status.
Public adjusters are required to hold a license in their state. You can ask for proof of license or contact the Insurance Department in your state to verify their license is in good standing.
Ask for references.
If a public adjuster believes in their abilities, they will give you references to call. If they are unwilling to share references, consider it a red flag and move on to the next adjuster on your list. Calling references is a great way to ask former customers questions about their experience and if they would use the public adjuster again.
Look at their online reviews.
With review websites like Google and Yelp, it is hard for companies to avoid the true opinion of former customers. Read through the reviews to identify common themes in complaints or praises. If a review causes concern, ask the public adjuster about it to see if they respond professionally.
Check for association memberships.
If a public adjuster is committed to serving their customers, they invest in association memberships to gain access to education.
Review their website.
Take the time to review their website for information about their experience, success stories, and other important information like the areas they serve. If they don’t have a website or it doesn’t appear professional, they may be new or a fly-by-night adjuster company.
Ask if they carry insurance.
All public adjusters should carry an insurance bond or errors and omissions coverage. Verify that they have coverage by asking for a certificate showing proof.
Do they obey the law?
In many states, it is illegal for public adjusters to contact you during a natural disaster or within so many days following a storm. If one is reaching out to you, question their motives and the legality of their actions.
Ask about their fees.
Reputable public adjusters only charge a percentage of the final settlement for their work. There are no upfront costs.
Ask about the process.
Ask the public adjuster about the process of working with them. What steps do they take initially with the insurance carrier and valuing the claim? Do they review your insurance policy? Will they visit the damage site? How often do they communicate with you? You should feel comfortable with the public adjuster your hire. Asking the right questions helps you better understand and relay expectations.