The details, process and lingo for filing an insurance claim can be confusing and stressful. If you’re planning to pursue an insurance claim, you may have already considered hiring a public adjuster. Public adjusters are independent insurance professionals hired by policyholders to help settle an insurance claim.
A privately hired public adjuster isn’t the same as the adjuster assigned to you by your insurance company. Public adjusters work solely for the policyholder, unlike an insurance adjuster who represents the rights of the insurance company. However, a public adjuster doesn’t have a Juris Doctorate (J.D.), so they cannot litigate you in court.
If you’re interested in pursuing an insurance claim, it’s recommended you get in touch with an experienced insurance claims attorney.
Tampa Attorney Explains Public Adjusters in FL
Public adjusters can be incredibly helpful when filing an insurance claim. They’re experts with insurance policies and can accurately evaluate your losses. However, a public adjuster doesn’t fulfill the same role as an attorney.
If you need an insurance claims lawyer, then it’s imperative you contact Germain Law Group, P.A.. Michael B. Germain is an accomplished insurance claims lawyer who can assist you. Not only can he determine your losses, but he can represent you in court if necessary. Contact attorney Germain today at (813) 835-8888 to schedule a free consultation.
Germain Law Group, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Hillsborough County area and surrounding counties including Pinellas County, Polk County, Paso County, Sumter County, Brevard County, and Hernando County.
Overview of Public Adjusters in Florida
- What’s a Public Adjuster?
- What’s the Difference Between an Insurance and Public Adjuster?
- Should I Hire an Attorney or Public Adjuster for My Claim?
- Additional Resources
What’s a Public Adjuster?
Public adjusters are licensed by the state of Florida to inspect damage claims. You can either hire a private adjuster or have an insurance adjuster assigned to you. In some cases, you may have both an insurance and private adjuster analyzing your property for damages.
Before the claim is filed, the adjuster will come in and evaluate the damages to your property. Typically, public adjusters will document the event for further evidence when negotiating the claim. They can then create an inventory of your losses to determine an appropriate settlement. Once they’ve finished, the adjuster can advise you whether you should file a claim and what you should demand.
Your adjuster can help you further by negotiating and filing a claim for you. However, it’s important to understand that a public adjuster doesn’t have a Juris Doctorate (J.D.). They usually don’t have a legal background, so they may not have an in-depth understanding of insurance law. Although, this doesn’t mean becoming a public adjuster is easy.
You must do the following to obtain a Florida public adjuster license.
- Pass a written examination;
- Pass a background check;
- Post a surety bond;
- Complete a viable one-year apprenticeship; and
- Attend training periodically for at least 24 hours every two years
What’s the Difference Between an Insurance Adjuster and a Private Adjuster?
Insurance adjusters and public adjusters do similar things, but work for different people. Both insurance adjusters and private adjusters are licensed professionals who analyze damage claims. They both will analyze your losses, create an inventory, and determine a settlement for the damages.
However, an insurance adjuster is a representative of your insurance company. You’re not required to pay them, and they’re assigned to you by your insurer. Ultimately, the insurance adjuster represents the interests of the insurance company. In some cases, an insurance adjuster will use tactics such as giving low-ball offers to try and coerce policyholders into settling early.
Public adjusters, on the other hand, work for you. A public adjuster represents the interests of the policyholder and is compensated by the insured for their work. They will examine the damage done to your property as well as give you advice on your claim. A public adjuster’s mission is to ensure the insurance company handles the claim in a fair and timely manner.
Should I Hire an Attorney or a Public Adjuster for My Claim?
It’s important to understand that a public adjuster has a limited scope in what they can do for your claim. They can evaluate your property and recommend you to take a settlement deal or not, but they don’t have an in-depth legal understanding of insurance law.
An insurance claims attorney can do all a public adjuster can and more. Your attorney can either hire a reliable third-party contractor to assess your damage or examine it themselves. They can advise you of your insurance policy and warn you about settlement offers that look suspicious. In addition, an insurance attorney has a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) and understands the intricacies of insurance law. They can represent you in court and fight for what you deserve.
If you simply need someone to assess your damages, then an adjuster may be the best fit for you. However, if you believe your insurance company isn’t acting in good faith or will outright deny your claim, it may be the best decision to hire an attorney. An insurance lawyer can collect evidence and litigate on your behalf. They can even subpoena expert witnesses to prove damages or the value of repairs if the case heads to court.
Public Adjuster Laws in Florida – Visit the official website of the Florida Statutes, to learn more about legislation regarding public adjusters. Access the site to learn the legal definition of an adjuster, what adjusters are prohibited from doing and their cost restrictions.
What’s a Public Adjuster? – Visit the official website for the Insurance Information Institute (III) to learn more about public adjusters. Access the site to see a general summary on what a public adjuster is, tips for hiring a public adjuster and resources for how to file a homeowner’s claim.
Insurance Lawyer for Public Adjusters in Hillsborough County, FL
If your property has sustained unexpected damage, you may need an insurance claims attorney. Filing a claim can be incredibly difficult and stressful. Not to mention dealing with insurance adjusters who always seem to talk in circles or are hard to reach. Take charge of your claim by contacting Germain Law Group, P.A..
Michael B. Germain is a reputable insurance lawyer in the Tampa Bay area with a passion for representing his clients. He can analyze your damages as well as represent you in court. Contact him at (813) 835-8888 to schedule a free consultation now. Germain Law Group, P.A. accepts clients throughout the Hillsborough County area including Pasco County, Polk County, Hernando County and Pinellas County.
This article was last updated on June 21, 2019.