An insurance or loss adjuster is hired to investigate insurance claims. If you’ve suffered property loss or damage, you might hire an adjuster to negotiate with your insurance company for the highest payout or settlement possible, and to help you navigate everything necessary to file that claim properly.
To deal effectively with a loss adjuster:
To help you obtain the most amount possible from your insurer, it’s helpful to know a bit more about how an insurance adjuster works and when they’re needed. You might also note some added tips about what they’ll need from you in order to do their job effectively!
A property owner might also note what a loss adjuster cannot do for them, and the difference between an adjuster and an attorney. You’ll then be more likely to get a maximum payout if you should ever suffer property damage or any other loss, and will know how a loss adjuster can benefit you in those cases.
A person might hire a loss adjuster if they’ve suffered serious property damage or a catastrophic injury and have not gotten what they feel is a reasonable settlement offer from their insurer. The insurance adjuster often works for a small percentage of any claim they secure for you, motivating them to obtain the highest payout possible! To help this process along, note some added details about what a loss adjuster does, when they’re needed, and how to work with them effectively.
Keep in mind that you’re not legally or otherwise required to hire a loss adjuster when dealing with your insurance company. You can negotiate with your insurance company yourself for any property loss or damage; if you receive what you feel is a fair settlement or payout offer, you are certainly free to accept it!
Some claims are also so minor that property owners might not feel it’s worth their time or effort to find and work with an insurance adjuster. For instance, you might think that your insurance company is offering a payout that is just a few hundred dollars less than what you think you should receive. If you don’t feel those few extra dollars are worth the time it takes to work with a loss adjuster, then you might not need to hire one.
However, it’s vital that property owners understand when and why a loss adjuster is the best choice for them. For example, you might be willing to forego negotiating with your insurance company over a few hundred dollars, but hiring a loss adjuster is worth the time and effort if you sincerely think you should be getting several thousand dollars more than what’s being offered!
It can also benefit a property owner to hire a loss adjuster if certain claims might be overly detailed and difficult to navigate on your own. For instance, if your vehicle is totaled, you only need to present your insurance company with proof of damage and repair shop estimates, and typically nothing else. If your home or business has suffered a fire or flood, however, your claim then becomes more complicated!
A loss adjuster can help a property owner claim all items damaged or lost in such events, including artwork, furniture, household items, office equipment, and the like. This is also true of medical claims, such as from a slip and fall accident or injury due to someone’s negligence. Rather than trying to negotiate the paperwork and requirements needed to file the claim on your own, and risk overlooking something, a loss adjuster can help you through that process and ensure nothing is missed.
Most loss adjusters charge a percentage of the settlement or payout they negotiate for you, but might raise that percentage accordingly. For instance, they might charge 5% to 8% of all payouts less than $100,000 and then 10% or more of all payouts over $100,000. This ensures that they work as hard as possible to secure a maximum payout for their clients!
As with any other professional you hire, an insurance adjuster should provide you with a written contractor detailing their charges, along with the work they’ll be performing and what they might need from you in the process. You can then discuss any questions or concerns with them before signing that agreement, so you know what to expect by way of negotiations, their fees, and all other details.
Insurance companies hire adjusters to investigate claims and then offer a settlement or payout to the policyholder; he or she might be a different person than your insurance agent, whose job it is to sell you an insurance policy, negotiate rates, collect overdue payments, and so on. A public adjuster is also a loss or insurance adjuster but he or she works for the public, meaning the policyholder!
While a loss adjuster can typically secure the maximum amount of money from an insurance company, note that they are not usually lawyers and cannot give you legal advice or represent you in court. If, for example, you strongly feel that a proposed settlement or payout is still far less than you deserve, you might then need to take an insurance company to court. In that case, you would then need a lawyer, as your loss adjuster cannot assist or represent you through that process.
Note, too, that a loss adjuster cannot give you legal advice but can help you better understand your insurance policy. If you’re having difficult filing a claim simply because you’re unsure if certain losses are covered, a loss adjuster can explain your policy, its coverage and provisions, how to file that claim, and what to expect by way of a reasonable payout. While this doesn’t constitute legal advice, their assistance can make the entire process easier for you and you can better understand what to expect from an insurance company, given the details of a policy.