When should a public adjuster get involved in your homeowners insurance claim
San Diego, CA - January 24, 2011
We all know the saying: Sooner is better than later.
A homeowner called us recently looking for assistance with his claim. He had suffered a large water loss to his home originating from the roof, down through the second floor and eventually flooding the first floor.
When he called us, his claim had been open six months and he was in the final stages of the claim but was being worn down by his insurance carrier. The homeowner had not yet submitted his personal property portion of the loss because he was so exhausted with the claim already.
Here is the nightmare story.
Representing his insurance carrier, the first insurance adjuster wrote an estimate and issued a check but the amount was not enough to cover the damage. Soon after, his claim was reassigned to a second adjuster, then a third adjuster, and then to a fourth adjuster. Throughout the claim process, each request for a repair estimate revision led to other repair items "accidentally"
Although the red flags were raised with the first adjuster reassignment, the alert level finally reached severe when a carrier-appointed engineer inspected the home after the repairs started. Not knowing what the damage initially looked like, the engineer began removing items from the estimate written by the first adjuster that had been re-adjusted by both the second and third adjuster.
At this point the claim seemed out of control and the homeowner started looking for help on the internet. After researching his options, he discovered that his potential rescuer could be a Public Adjuster.
Licensed public adjusters assist homeowners and business owners in preparing, presenting and resolving their claims with their insurance carriers. A public adjuster knows the rights of the insured and can facilitate a swift resolution of the claim. Even better, an experienced public adjuster knows how insurance companies work and how they liked to be worked with and can often obtain the best possible offer with the least amount of conflict and argument. This is good for the homeowner as well as for the insurance company.
Unfortunately, at the late stage of this particular claim with so much history between homeowner and the carrier, it is too late for public adjuster to be very helpful.
Here is the lesson to be learned. Don't wait. As soon as the first red flag goes up, start making some phone calls to a local public adjuster. A homeowner should be alert to a carrier's actions from the very beginning of the claim. They should definitely consider hiring a public adjuster if the handling of a claim begins to take over time normally spent working a job or taking care of a family. Many claims can be amicably resolved with a carrier and do not require the assistance of a public adjuster.
The exhausted homeowner wished he had known about the public adjusting profession before his loss occurred. He believed without a doubt that he would have hired a public adjuster sooner to assist him with his claim instead of looking for help later.
If you need help finding an experienced public adjuster, you can visit the NAPIA website (National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters) or your state organization. In California, the organization is CAPIA - California Association of Insurance Adjusters
# # #
About Quality Claims Management
Quality Claims Management Corporation provides hazard claim recovery services to investors, mortgage servicers, homeowners and businesses. All claims are adjusted by licensed insurance professionals for an equitable settlement and accelerated resolution timelines.
QCMC's core focus is unparalleled expertise in policy coverage and the technical aspects of mortgagee and homeowner claims. QCMC has worked with homeowners and businesses including those affected by catastrophic natural disasters such as the 2003 and 2007 Southern California Wildfires, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
Contact Quality Claims Management at http://www.qualityclaims.com and/or 866- 450-1183