Most Florida homeowners are familiar with the term “Claims Adjuster,” but many don’t understand there are different types of adjusters and that adjusters are trained in particular areas of insurance claims.
Company Adjuster versus Public Adjuster
Most every Florida insurer employs a staff of claims adjusters that work on behalf of the company. Their job is to accumulate the information needed to determine what amount of money is needed to repair or rebuild damaged property. In Miami and other coastal areas, the property and casualty adjusters are intimately familiar with damages that can result from severe storms and hurricanes. They are trained to estimate the costs of repairing and rebuilding dwellings, replacing personal property, and the expenses associated with additional living expenses that occur as a result of a damaged home. They work for the insurance company, not the policyholder.
The Public Adjuster is licensed by the state after completing the proper course work and training. They too are familiar with the losses that result from severe storms and hurricanes. They have the ability to represent the policyholder through the entire claims process and in most cases, will work with a team of adjusters provided by the insurance carrier. They are typically paid a percentage of the claim payment to the policyholder and are therefore motivated to maximize the payment from the insurance company. They work for the policyholder, not the insurance company.
Claims Typical to Miami Residents
Although the insurance company may employ a staff of adjusters that specialize in various areas of the claim process, the Miami public adjuster is typically trained and experienced to estimate damages resulting from a variety of perils. A public adjuster understands that damage is damage and how it got there is not as important as how much it will cost to repair or rebuild.
They are paid a percentage of their recovery and will do everything possible to maximize the payout to their client. A typical public adjuster in the Miami area will be able to deal with many types of claims:
- Storm Damage – With the historical record of storms hitting South Florida, the Miami public adjuster deals with storm damage and repairs regularly.
- Flood Damage – Coastal areas are subject to flood damage that can result from rising tides and overflowing rivers and lakes. Miami public adjusters must deal with not only property damage, but also the additional expenses that the insured occurs while temporarily relocating.
- Sinkhole Damage – There are many areas in Florida, where the limestone is thin and during dry weather periods, the ground becomes unstable and sinkholes result. Public adjusters are typically hired when the insurer fails to act on a claim and in many cases may deny coverage.
- Roof Leaks – Although insurers will not cover roof leaks because of old and failing roof coverings, if the leak is a result of a covered peril, the Public adjuster will attempt to maximize this type of claim as well.
- Water Damage – Having a pipe burst within your home can lead to significant damage and this type of claim is fairly typical as well.
- Fire Damage – Fire damage is a common claim, whether it results from a lightning strike, clothes dryer fire, or electrical issues.
The typical Miami public adjuster will also reopen a claim on behalf of a policyholder who feels they were short-changed by their insurance company. Just like a detective who searches for new evidence in a cold case, the experienced public adjuster can have a closed claim reopened if something about the claim seems unusually deficient. When the question posed is “what does a Miami insurance claims adjuster do,” the answer is “they get money out of the insurance companies for their clients”.