Should I use a public adjuster vs. a lawyer?What Is a Public Insurance Adjuster?


A public insurance adjuster is a claims adjuster that works on behalf of a policyholder to help them collect as much as possible.


Most people never think to hire a public insurance adjuster because insurance companies readily provide their own claims adjusters. Policyholders generally accept this help because claims are tricky business; however, you should not blindly follow their advice. Remember – the insurance company is a business and wants to pay as little on your claim as possible to maximize their profits. Receiving full financial compensation to get your life back on track is in your best interest, not theirs.


When Should I Hire a Public Insurance Adjuster?

You can think of a public insurance adjuster as your first line of defense against a greedy insurance company. It’s worth mentioning, however, that some companies may offer an honest sum and quality customer service. If you’re pleased with the staff or independent adjuster your company provides, you may not need to hire a public insurance adjuster. If you run into any of the following issues, though, hiring an attorney or public insurance adjuster may be in your best interests:


  • You suspect your insurance company has processed your claim incorrectly and is not paying you the amount you’re owed
  • Your current claims adjuster is confusing, frustrating or bad at communicating
  • The insurance company is pressuring you to settle before you’re comfortable
  • Your policy is hard to understand
  • You do not have time to handle your claim on your own
  • You are unfamiliar with assessing damages and the general claims process
  • You have lost more than 10 thousand dollars’ worth of property


What Does a Public Insurance Adjuster Do?

A public insurance adjuster can handle every part of the claims process, from clarifying your policy and assessing your property damage to filing or re-filing a claim and negotiating with your insurance company’s claims adjuster. They’re essentially your representative, saving you time and hassle during the claims process.


Unlike a staff or independent adjuster, you will have to pay your public insurance adjuster for their hard work. Typically, they will charge you somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the final claim payout, with inexperienced adjusters charging less. If the property damage is particularly extensive, most adjusters will lower the percentage they charge or cap their fee. 


When to Choose an Attorney

You may choose to seek the help of an attorney when:


  • You’ve reached a standstill in coverage and payment negotiations with the insurance company
  • You want to sue the insurance company for denying you coverage or full payment
  • Make sure you contact an attorney while you are still within the statute of limitations to ensure your case is viable. After hiring an insurance attorney, you should let them handle all communication with the insurance company.


If you think one of these applies to you, it may be time to call the professionals at Childress, Lockus, & Plunkett. Call now.