How Do I Get Started?
Call Florida’s Best Public Adjusters at 800-952-7693
What Is Appraisal?
Appraisal is the method preferred by most Public Adjusters. If our respective financial positions are too far apart then we may notify the insurance company that we wish to move the issues into the appraisal process. In the appraisal process, both sides agree on a neutral Umpire who will make a financial determination of our claim and that Umpire’s decision is final. Before meeting with the Umpire the insurance company will appoint an appraiser/expert to represent them. We act as your appraiser/expert. Usually both appraisers/experts meet at the loss to review both estimates to look for compromise. If in the event that there is too much difference to compromise then the estimates and support documentation are sent directly to the Umpire. The Umpire will make a final decision in a week to ten days. Remember that the Umpire’s decision is final.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is set forth in the State of Florida Insurance Statutes. Mediation is the step between your receiving some compensation for your claim and your filing a lawsuit for additional compensation. A mediator (attorney) is appointed by the state within 30 days following the request by the insured. The mediator meets with all of the parties named in the insurance policy, your Public Adjuster, and a representative from your insurance company. The mediator is trained to move both sides to agree on an amount thus avoiding lawsuits that could result in jury trials that could clog up the courts. Mediation meetings generally take less than an hour. Mediation is not binding unless all parties agree.
Sometimes the mediation works and we settle and sometimes it does not. If we have an impasse, the insured has the remedy of filing a lawsuit. The chance of not settling any case is less than one in one hundred. Insurance companies avoid going to trial at all costs because of bad faith damages that can be awarded against them. Suing an insurance company is not initially expensive on the part of the insured, however, it can be stressful and can take a while to complete. We have several attorneys that we have worked with for a long time who specialize in plaintiff representation against insurance companies.
What are my rights in the event that the insurance company does not pay what we feel is enough money to settle my claim?
Depending on your contract, you either have mediation rights or appraisal rights.
When does my Public Adjuster stop trying to get me more money for my claim?
It is the duty of a Public Adjuster to get you money to “indemnify” you for your loss. That is, to have enough resources, after your deductible has been met, to put your insured property back to the way it was before the loss. You are not entitled to make a profit.
How long will my claim really take?
The first check (which we refer to as the undisputed amount, the amount you would end up with if you did not use our firm) from your insurance company will arrive at about 90 days. After that, depending on the course of action permitted in your contract, it may take another three to six months to complete the adjusting and settling of your claim.
How long will the insurance company take to pay my claim?
By law, all companies, except for Citizens, are required to pay or deny claims within 90 days.
Will they raise my rates or cancel me if I make multiple non-storm related insurance claims?
No, it is against the Florida insurance statute to cancel you during your policy. Research shows that the average increase in Florida after you put in a claim is approximately 2%. This can be researched as it is discussed greatly on the internet in multiple forums.
How Do Public Adjusters Charge For Their Services?
We do not get paid unless you do. Our fee is based upon a percentage of the insurance company’s settlement to you. There are no upfront fees for our services and if you do not get paid, then we don’t get paid. It is in our best interest to look out for our clients’ interest.
Are Public Adjusters Trained Specialists?
The answer is yes. A Public Adjuster is tested, licensed, bonded, has completed continuing education and is authorized to practice the Public Adjusting profession in the State of Florida. We are licensed by the Department of Financial Services just as independent adjusters who represent your insurance company.
How long do I have to report a loss?
In Florida, in most cases you have three years to report a claim from the date that the loss occurred. Each insurance company has provisions in their contracts regarding late reporting of claims that may make the filing of a claim that happened six plus months ago more difficult but never impossible.
I previously reported a claim. Can you help me get a fair settlement?
If you feel a previous claim was underpaid, we will aid you in re-opening it and work diligently to get you a fairer, often bigger settlement. You have three years from the date of the loss to re-open a claim.
Why Do I Need a Public Insurance Adjuster to obtain what is rightfully due to me?
Standard insurance policies/contracts contain numerous provisions and stipulations, as well as various forms and endorsements that are always being revised and updated. Endorsements are documents added to your policy/contract to either exclude or supplement certain policy coverages which were not included when you purchased the original policy.
It is essential to familiarize yourself with your policy/contract forms. However, we understand that unless you work in the insurance business and have a great deal of experience with insurance policies and claims, then these complicated documents can be very difficult to understand.
Most people just do not have the expertise to properly understand and interpret the technical language contained in their policy, nor do they understand the complex procedures that must be followed to comply with the policy/contract’s terms. The insurance company’s adjusters are trained professionals representing the insurance company’s interests. Policyholders have the option to protect their own interests by retaining a public adjuster, whose responsibility is to serve the insured.
In addition, when you file a claim with your insurance company, there are certain policy conditions that must be satisfied. Failure to do so can reduce your settlement amount or even cause your claim to be denied. Your Public Adjuster will advise you on what to do to satisfy those policy conditions.
Just because the insurance company’s adjuster makes an oral statement, or the insurance company makes a decision concerning your loss, it does not necessarily mean it is fact. It is not uncommon for the insurance company to misinterpret its own policy or forget to apply Florida statutes and case law that may supersede their policy.
That is where a public adjuster makes a big difference.