Tips on Dealing With Adjusters123

Insurance companies employ their own adjusters. They’ll evaluate your property damage and help walk you through the claims process, free of charge. In many states, you can also hire public adjusters to help you file claims and negotiate your insurance payment. Public adjusters represent the claimant, and usually charge you 10-15 percent of any insurance settlement.

Schemes:  Most public adjusters are honest and competent, but some are crooked. They may come from out of town, and go door to door, trying to bilk disaster victims with insurance schemes. They might:

• Charge you a large fee, and then disappear without handling your claim.

• Refer your repair to a dishonest contractor for a kickback, and you may receive shoddy repairs in return.

• File false and inflated claims against your policy. Sometimes they’ll also try to convince you to join the scheme.

• Use their position of trust to access your Social Security number and other personal data for scams involving identity theft.

Licenses:  Public adjusters need licenses in most states. Ask your state insurance department if an adjuster is properly licensed in your state, or has any complaints or disciplinary actions. If the adjuster comes from another state, contact that state’s insurance department to make sure the adjuster is licensed.

References:  Ask people you trust if they can recommend a reputable adjuster.

Remember:  You are fully within your right to hire whichever contractor you desire.  Your home owners insurance adjuster or your public adjuster may recommend contractors, but the decision of whom you hire is completely up to you. 

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About the author: Joe Fiorilli