Public Adjuster vs. Independent Adjuster – The Crucial Difference in Settling Claims

Facing property damage? Then an insurance claim is in order! You want to get compensated for the damages to be able to pay for the restoration, right? Well, hiring a professional to help you will be the key to your success. 

But we understand that the world of insurance claims can be overwhelming for a newbie. For starters, how do you tell the difference between a public adjuster vs. independent adjuster? Though the differences may seem minimal, they are crucial to the outcome of your claim. So, you should get to know all about these two adjusters to decide how to go forward. 

Let us explain how these two types of adjusters differ from each other and which one will help you get the best insurance coverage – keep reading. 

What Is a Public Adjuster?

First things first, let’s clarify what a public adjuster is and what they do. A public adjuster is an insurance professional who works on behalf of a policyholder in the process of settling an insurance claim. Their job is to evaluate and negotiate the best possible claim recovery. That typically involves:

  • Inspecting the damage
  • Providing evidence
  • Estimating costs associated with repairing or replacing damaged items
  • Gathering necessary paperwork
  • Communicating with insurers throughout the claims process.

When to Hire a Public Claim Adjuster?

Working with a public adjuster can be helpful whenever you have an insurance claim to settle. Public adjusters are there to handle both your residential damage and commercial damage claims. This can include vandalism, fire damage, and water-related incidents such as flooding or plumbing leaks. They can also help in cases of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and hail storms. 

Public adjusters can help you navigate the insurance claims process by providing objective advice on how to best resolve your claim. They have experience dealing with the complexities and nuances of different types of insurance coverage and know what kind of evidence you need to successfully secure an appropriate settlement. They will make sure your settlement is fair and quick. 

Additionally, they will handle the paperwork and other tedious aspects of settling a claim, freeing up your time for more pressing matters. It’s a win-win arrangement!

What Is an Independent Adjuster?

An independent insurance adjuster works on behalf of the insurance company instead of an individual policyholder. They are hired to investigate and assess damage claims, often when the insurer doubts policyholders’ claims or needs assistance in evaluating them. Essentially, they represent the insurer’s interest in the settlement process. 

They are usually hired for larger-scale insurance claims, such as those involving multiple parties or multiple sites of damage. They may also be hired to investigate suspicious claims or provide an objective third-party analysis to evaluate the circumstances of a claim and ensure that the insurer isn’t being scammed by a fraudulent policyholder. 

Just like a public adjuster, independent adjusters help navigate complex claims and provide advice that helps secure the best possible settlement. They are well-versed in the legal aspects of insurance coverage and understand how to work within the framework of state laws and regulations. 

Key Differences between Public and Independent Adjusters

Though it may seem like these two types of professionals have the exact same job, there are some important differences to note. Learning to distinguish between them will be crucial if you face an insurance claim. 

Who They Work for

The primary difference between public and independent adjusters is their employer. Public adjusters serve the interests of you, the insured. On the other hand, independent adjusters represent insurance companies. This can significantly impact how your claim is handled, as the adjuster’s loyalties will naturally lie with their employer. 

So, when you’re filing a claim to your insurance company, you should know that a public adjuster is the one who will fight for the amount of coverage that you deserve. Independent adjusters are often expected to offer minimum compensation.


Another key difference has to do with compensation. Public adjusters are typically paid a percentage of the settlement amount, while independent adjusters are paid a fee by the insurance company. This can lead to a conflict of interest with independent adjusters, as they may be incentivized to settle claims for less than what the policyholder is entitled to. So, that’s something to keep in mind. 


Regarding qualifications, both types of adjusters are licensed professionals trained in the claims process. To become a public adjuster or an independent one, certain certifications, licenses and education are required. So, both professionals are highly qualified to handle the claims process effectively and properly. However, public adjusters may have more specialized training and experience in representing policyholders, which can be an advantage in complex or high-value claims.

Hire a Public Adjuster You Can Trust and Get a Fair Settlement

Knowing these nuances will help you weight out independent vs. public adjuster pros and cons and decide which option will be more beneficial for you Public adjusters are more likely to advocate for you to recover a higher settlement amount. On the other hand, independent adjusters may focus more on minimizing costs and protecting the insurer’s interests. 

So, if you’re facing property damage and you want to file an insurance claim, the choice is clear. Hire a public claims adjuster to get the best settlement! Elite Resolutions is a public adjusting firm that’s been in business for over 14 years and has handled over 1,000 insurance claims. It’s safe to say that we know what we’re doing. Our experts are here to help you no matter what kind of claim you’re filing and how complicated it is – we’re here to fight for you! 

Contact us and get the insurance coverage you deserve – never get lowballed again!

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