Are Public Adjusters Legitimate?
Yes, public adjusters are legitimate professionals who are licensed and regulated by state insurance commissions. Their primary role is to assist policyholders in preparing, filing, and maximizing insurance claims, especially when those claims are substantial or complicated. However, as with any profession, the level of service, competence, and ethics can vary among individuals. Here’s what you need to know:
Legitimate public adjusters are licensed by the state in which they operate. Before hiring one, you should check their license status with your state’s insurance department. Link to licensee search
Public adjusters typically undergo training and education in insurance claims, and many states require them to participate in continuing education to maintain their license. All of our adjusters at Elite have gone through X hours as required by the state and continuing education to keep our licenses in good standing.
State insurance departments regulate public adjusters, setting guidelines for their behavior, ethical standards, and fee structures. If a public adjuster acts unprofessionally or unethically, they can be subject to disciplinary action.
Public adjusters represent the policyholder, not the insurance company. Their job is to help ensure the policyholder gets a fair settlement based on the terms of their insurance policy.
However, there are some things to watch out for:
1. Unlicensed Adjusters
Be wary of anyone who offers public adjuster services without a license. Always verify their credentials.
2. High-Pressure Sales Tactics
Be cautious if someone uses high-pressure tactics, promises you a specific payout, or claims they can get you a settlement much higher than any other adjuster.
3. Upfront Fees
Some states may allow public adjusters to charge an upfront fee, but most will earn their fee as a percentage of the claim payout. A public adjuster usually charges a fee which is percentage-based on the payout of the claim. In the state of Florida, it is usually 20% for residential property insurance claims. In case of a state of emergency, by law it must be 10%. For Texas, our fee is 10%.
While many public adjusters can genuinely help policyholders maximize their claim, be cautious of those who make promises that seem too good to be true.
5. Conflict of Interest
Ensure that the public adjuster isn’t receiving kickbacks or referral fees from contractors or other service providers.
In Conclusion: Public adjusters are legitimate professionals, but as with any service, it’s crucial to do your research, check credentials, and be wary of red flags.