Should I Hire a Public Adjuster or an Attorney?
The answer to this question will always depend on the specific nature of your property damage and the point you are at in the insurance claims process. In many cases, it actually makes sense to hire both. Generally, public adjusters will be most useful during the early stages of the claims process. Property insurance attorneys become most useful when a policyholder’s claim has been denied, in whole or in part, by the insurance company. In the event that legal action becomes necessary, only an attorney can represent a policyholder in court and through the litigation process.
What Does a Public Adjuster Do?
A public adjuster is a professional who can assess property damage, document, quantify, and present damage claims to an insurance company. When assessing a property damage claim, public adjusters have many responsibilities. Specifically, this includes:
- Researching and evaluating the property damage claim;
- Determining the value of the damage;
- Preparing estimates of damage;
- Helping the policyholder substantiate the full extent of their damage; and
- Assisting the policyholder in making their claim to the insurance company.
Public adjusters are particularly valuable when it is undisputed that the insurance company will pay for the damage, but it is unclear how much the company will pay. In this circumstance, a public adjuster will help determine the precise valuation of the damage and will help ensure that adequate documentation is obtained. Further, a public adjuster may be able to help a policyholder make a more effective initial claim. A well prepared claim will increase the chances that policyholders receive a fair settlement. However, in more complex property insurance coverage cases, policyholders should look to obtain the services of an experienced attorney.
Public Adjusters Are Most Effective When Working in Tandem with Attorneys
Public adjusters and attorneys have fundamentally different skill sets. These differing skill sets are often complementary. When working together, they can help a policyholder maximize their settlement. While a public adjuster can always be helpful at the initial stages of a claim by ensuring that the full extent of property damage is identified and properly valued, an attorney should be brought in when a dispute emerges. Whenever an issue over whether there is coverage arises, policyholders should have an experienced attorney by their side. Ultimately, you will want to consult an attorney once the settlement negotiation process has stopped making progress, once your claim has been denied, or when your insurance claims rights have been put at risk. If you have worked with a public adjuster, and your claim has not been resolved to your full satisfaction, you should speak to an experienced attorney who can work with that adjuster to comprehensively review your case.
Contact Our Office Today
If you are involved in property insurance dispute in Florida, our team of experienced attorneys can help. At Geyer Fuxa Tyler, we devote our time and attention to the needs of our clients. Please do not hesitate to contact our Sunrise office today to schedule a free review of your case. We serve clients throughout Broward County, including in Coral Springs and Hollywood.