Florida homeowners know how difficult it can be to purchase good insurance at an affordable rate. The state has been severely battered over the last two decades by powerful storms that can do significant damage to even the most soundly built homes. Most of the major insurance carriers responded by leaving the state since they felt they were prevented from charging the appropriate rates for the risk they were assuming. It’s just a tough state to get affordable insurance; plain and simple.
Like all other states, the Florida homeowner’s insurance policy is just a written promise until the time comes for the insurer to pay for damages to your most valued asset. Most people understand very little about the claims process until they suffer through a loss with their insurer. The consumer feels that they should pay as little as possible for their coverage, and the insurer feels they should pay as little as possible for your claim, and somewhere in the middle, the two parties have to meet. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. The type and severity of claims can vary depending on the peril:
- Vandalism & Malicious Mischief
- Water damage
- Theft and Burglary
Enter the Public Adjuster
A Public Adjuster is licensed to work on the policyholder’s behalf to help them get all they are entitled to from their insurance carrier. Their job is to make the policyholder whole again. Most people are willing to settle for less when the claims process becomes drawn out because they just want it to be over with so they can move on. For those people who are unwilling to settle for payment they feel is less than what they need to repair or rebuild, the Public Adjuster can become their knight in shining armor.
How The Adjuster Determines Home Damage in Florida
Public adjusters are experienced professionals that are familiar with the costs of repairing or rebuilding your Florida home. Not only are they familiar with home construction and the building code requirements, but a public adjuster will also have the same software that the insurer’s adjuster uses and can determine what it will cost to make you whole again. In many cases, they uncover damages that may be missed by the insurance adjuster, so your out of pocket expenses are limited to your deductible. They are able to work with the insurer’s claim adjusters (there are typically more than one) on your behalf so you can go on about your life while your claim is being settled properly and expeditiously. They help walk you through the process and eliminate the surprises waiting around the corner. They will calculate the additional living expenses, personal property damages, and damages to your dwelling with accuracy so that you, the policyholder, are not at the mercy of the insurer.
How They’re Paid
Typically, your public adjuster works similar to a personal injury attorney. They charge a percentage of the claim amount and, therefore, are motivated to maximize your claim payment from the insurer. Your claim process will go much smoother if you bring in the public adjuster early on in the claims process. Hiring the public adjuster after you feel that the insurance adjuster has taken advantage of you will only add to the confusion. The public adjuster will need to work backwards to assess your situation at that point. In fact, the adjuster may charge more if he or she feels that they will need to completely re-assess your claim from start to finish.
If you are interested in being on a level playing field with your Florida insurer’s adjuster, then, by all means, contact an experienced public adjuster who will become your advocate and fight for you with the insurance company. You are entitled to be whole again; just as you were before that hurricane or tornado ripped through your neighborhood.