Orange County Public Adjuster: Who are they?
An Orange County public adjuster assesses property loss on a policyholder’s behalf and assists them in filing insurance claims for a small fee. They are licensed experts working for both individuals and businesses–not for the insurance companies– and therefore can add significant value by making the most of the coverage provided by an insurance policy.
Public adjusters can file and negotiate claims for fire, flood, and hurricane damage, as well as damage from several other perils. They are the only property loss professionals who are working on behalf of policyholders. Individuals and businesses usually employ an Orange County public adjuster when they are in need of help in filing a claim or if they think that an insurance company's offered claim amount is erroneous.
What an Orange County Public Adjuster Can Do For You
Orange County public adjusters are quite proficient in insurance policy facts and terminologies, and also in the filing and adjustment of claims. They mostly have previous construction (and other related areas) experience and they use advanced and innovative software to complete an independent assessment of a client's loss of property. An Orange County public adjuster is not only better equipped to evaluate the losses incurred from a property damage than the average policyholder— they also know precisely how and when to log in and submit all the preliminary and supplemental claims and even do this themselves on behalf of the policyholder.
The evaluation, completion and submission of a policyholder claim process is extremely exhaustive. It is unlikely that a policyholder would really be able to correctly finish a form with an analogous level of detail, especially because each property and claim is different.
They also assist the clients in negotiating with contractors and for a better settlement with their insurance company. Typically, correspondence between adjusters and contractors is direct and would be at the site of loss. Communication with the insurance company of the policyholder is commonly done through mail. Having an Orange County public adjuster all through the process not only protects the policyholder from any inexperience-related pitfalls, it is also a time-consuming process that the adjuster can readily work on thus getting the heavy load from the policyholder's end.
Difference between Company and Independent Adjusters
All insurance companies, businesses and individuals are using insurance adjusters to assess property damage and determine the amount of the claim that the insurer should pay out. There are three different types of insurance adjusters to properly cater for the different sides: public adjusters, company adjusters and independent adjusters
Company insurance adjusters are hired by insurance companies and are sent to assess claims made by the policyholders of their company. Independent adjusters are also working for insurance companies, however they act mostly as consultants. Independent insurance adjusters are commonly hired as necessary caused by an increase in demand or for need of specialized expertise.
Why Hire an Orange County Public Adjuster?
Anybody considering filing a claim for property insurance must also consider engaging the service of a public adjuster, especially if a claim is quite high. As a policyholder, you have very little to lose: many public adjustment companies even give free visits to a property loss to guide a policyholder in determining the extent of the damage or if they should file an insurance claim.
Even though a policyholder is confident of the amount of the damages of their property, having a second opinion has always been a useful practice. More often than not, public adjusters visit a property or business and find out that the estimated amount for the loss is far below of what it is supposed to be. An Orange County public adjuster is an expert, and they are unlikely to leave out costs during their computations that a policyholder would perhaps overlook or otherwise not know about. For instance, if portion of a roof is wrecked by wind, a homeowner risks underestimating a new roof's cost and failing to include the cost of removing the destroyed roof altogether.
For the insurance company to cover a claim for property loss, submitting an accurate, descriptive claim is paramount to getting the appropriate amount of money for the loss. Keep in mind that insurance companies, even the best ones, will never willingly pay more than the amount being claimed. Policyholders need to be mindful that they are claiming the right amount for the damages and hiring a public adjuster can help to make that happen.
How Much Should You Pay for a Public Adjuster?
Several public adjusters do not charge to visit the site and assess whether they will be working on a case with a policyholder. They do, nevertheless, charge a fee when they will be working with a policyholder to lodge a damage claim.
A public adjuster will usually charge a percentage of what the insurance carrier of a policyholder eventually pays for a claim. For instance, assuming a policyholder hires an adjuster with a 10% fee and eventually their insurance provider ends up paying $100,000 for their claim, the policyholder would therefore owe $10,000 to the public adjuster.
The percentage of fees differs from one adjuster to another and is generally restricted by local county law. For instance, charges may not exceed 20% of a reinstated or supplementary claim cap in Orange County. There will also be a fee limit of 10% for claims arising from occurrences which are declared as a state of emergency.
An Orange County public adjuster also regulates the amount that can reach their charges per claim. Generally speaking, less experienced public adjusters could reduce their fee to $5,000 per claim. Experienced adjusters, however, can cap up their fees up to $10,000 or $15,000 per claim. For instance, a public adjuster might earn a $15,000 for a $350,000 claim rather than just having the regular rate of $70,000 for a 20% fee. They could also negotiate a lesser percentage payment for big claims, like those of $1 million or so in property losses.