Q: What is a Public Adjuster?
A: He is a professionally trained adjuster who works on behalf of the home/business owner. His function is to estimate the damage to a property in full detail and secure the largest recovery possible.
Q: Why haven’t I ever heard of a “Public Adjuster” ?
A: Like attorneys, Public Adjusters are restricted by the Department of Insurance. The manner in which they can advertise is tightly controlled in order to protect the public from fraud, scams and other criminal elements. The Department of Insurance restricts the Public Adjuster to the point that his best form of advertising is WORD OF MOUTH. If the home/business owner is happy with our services, he will refer us to his family and friends. Also, the Insurance Companies want Public Adjusters restricted because more people would use our services rather than contact their companies directly when they suffer a loss. Then, the Insurance Company can try to minimize the home/business owners claim, rather than us trying to maximize the claim for the benefit of the home/business owner. Because of the large amounts of money that Insurance Companies generate for themselves and the State through premiums, they can lobby for legislation that restricts the growth of the Public Adjusting Industry which takes that money away from the Insurance Company and rightfully gives it to the home/business owner.
Q: How will using a Public Adjuster benefit me?
A: First, you, as the home/business owner, may not be completely aware of your rights under your policy. Your policy is written in such a manner that it is very difficult for the average, intelligent home/business owner to understand. Every other line seems to contradict the previous line. The Public Adjuster is trained to read and understand your policy and the Insurance Laws that apply to your specific situation.
Second, once you have retained a Public Adjuster, you no longer have to worry about wasting time obtaining estimates, nor do you have to deal with the frustration or aggravation of trying to settle your own claim. All these problems are handled for you.
Third, your Insurance Company hires professionals to protect their interests. This means that the Insurance Companies interest is to pay you as little as possible. You should have someone equally trained to protect your interests, therefore receiving the maximum amount for your loss.
Q: Do you send Repairmen?
A: No! We only recover the necessary amount for you to do your repairs properly. However, if you would like us to recommend qualified workmen to do your repairs, we will gladly do so as anyone we recommend is qualified and well-respected in his trade.
Q: How does a Public Adjuster base his prices to insure that he will recover enough money to pay his fee and complete my repairs properly?
A: Our prices are based on what the Building Trades Councils set as standards for each area. These figures take into consideration what value should be placed on good, quality materials, workmanship and labor. Whichever area you reside in, there are guide lines that correspond to that area.
Q: Do I have to spend all the money I receive on repairs?
A: No! Only you dictate the manner in which you make repairs to your property. That manner can be influenced by your mortgage company to some degree, but only as far as making the obvious repairs that you would make anyway. If you know someone who can repair your house for much less or you can do it yourself, the more money you can save.
Q: Can I be dropped or will my rates increase if I file a claim and a Public Adjuster represents me?
A: No, absolutely not. In the State of Pennsylvania, the Department of Insurance has ruled that it is illegal for a home/business owner to be dropped or have his rates increased because he files a claim with or without a Public Adjuster. Home/business owners insurance is not like automobile insurance. You cannot be penalized for filing a claim. For example, if you file a claim and receive $1,000.00, your rates cannot increase more than the normal allowable percentage. This means that your premium can only increase $15.00 to $50.00, which it increases for inflation yearly whether you file a claim or not.
Q: Do I have to contact my Insurance Company or Agent?
A: No! Not if you use a Public Adjuster. He will do everything for you.