FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Public Adjuster?
A Public Adjuster is a trained professional who represents you, the policyholder, by timely filing, adjusting and negotiating your insurance claim, to appropriately, effectively and thoroughly procure your settlement.
You do not need to involve any contractor to receive pricing either, as we complete that process as well, by preparing a comprehensive estimate for all related work.
Why are Public Adjusters needed?
The insurance company’s adjuster works for the insurance company, not the policyholder. A public adjuster works for you, the policyholder, and has the experience and knowledge to appropriately handle every aspect of the claim. In most situations, if you do not hire a public adjuster, your interests will not be looked after. Additionally, only someone with the needed experience can achieve the results we achieve. And, anyway, one must be licensed to represent you by adjusting your claim as an adjuster. PLEASE DON'T GO IT ALONE!™
Who else works for the insurance company?
The insurance agent and agency, in addition to the insurance company adjuster (including the "independent" adjuster and the "independent" agent or agency) all work for the insurance company and they do not work for you.
In addition, often times an insurance company will encourage you to hire their contractor for temporary to extensive repairs, though that may not be in your best interest. Most importantly, it is unethical (likely illegal) for an insurance company representative to even suggest that you must involve who they "recommend".
Anyway, we suggest that you consider the possibility that those contractors may care about their on-going and future business with the insurance company, which could be detrimental to you in your time of need. Thankfully, having a public adjuster will, in and of itself, address such potential problems.
What will AmClaims.com Public Insurance Adjusters/affiliates do for you?
We will complete a computerized inventory of all personal items and/or contents and establish values. We will determine the scope of the structural damage. We will ensure that all provisions in your policy are fulfilled. We will file and negotiate your claim with the insurance company to recover what is needed for all related items.
Can you chose which contractors will complete the work?
Yes, you are the only person with the final say in this important decision. To often, many homeowners make the regrettable mistake of not securing their rights or, worse, relying on their insurance company's adjuster to make this important decision. Based on our experience, homeowners fare much better when they choose a local company, after they obtained the funds from the insurance company. Negotiating with a contractor before you know how much money you will have to work with can cause many problems and the contractor cannot legally adjust your claim, nor do they know what you are entitled to.
Why can't your Insurance Agent or Broker handle the claim?
An agent or broker is well trained in determining your insurance needs and placing or writing insurance policies, but they are not typically trained with respect to property insurance claims. They generally don't have the time, training or facilities to prepare the highly specialized service of claim adjusting, and, too, they rarely have any control regarding the important decisions that need to be made. In fact, an insurance agent works for the insurance company and owes their loyalty to the insurance carrier first, which is one reason that they are not involved in the claim process.
Do you have to be licensed in order to legally adjust an insurance claim?
Yes. Only a licensed public insurance adjuster or the insurance company's adjuster can legally perform the tasks associated with assessing, valuating and negotiating a claim. However, a lawyer can legally handle claims too, but typically involve a public adjuster to handle the details.
How are Public Adjusters compensated?
They are typically compensated based upon a small percentage that is recovered on your behalf and they are not paid until you are. And, they will not charge any upfront fees for their services.
An important objective worth noting is that the insurance company pays up front so the control of the costs is shifted away from the insurance company. Because the final settlement is agreed to between you and the insurance carrier, you decide how the money is allocated and any leftover funds belong to you.
What Should You Do After A Loss?
1. Protect the property from further damage
2. Don’t dispose of debris (personal property, unique features, etc.) if you can avoid it as you need proof that it was there for your claim.
3. Quickly remove all valuables and special property such as jewelry, books, pictures and important papers. If you find it necessary, hire security as in most cases you will be reimbursed for it from the insurance company (check with your public adjuster or even your agent).
4. Don’t use any food or medicine if it has been damaged.
5. Don’t start repairs until you have a properly documented scope of the work needed.
6. Hire your own experts.
7. Do not rely solely on your historical records; secure replacement estimates.
8. Understand that your claim will have to be verified.
9. Concentrate on maintaining your normal daily activities, not on preparing claim details –leave that to the experts.
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