Independent Adjuster vs Public Adjuster: What’s the Difference

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public adjuster

Barely would you ever come across a person who does not have any type of insurance? It is a necessary evil that one purchases to financially safeguard their future against the possibility of a loss. Whenever there is a loss that is covered by your policy, you file for a claim. Typically, an adjuster will come and assess the financial implications of the loss and inform the insurance company, based on which the settlement amount will be fixed. Therefore, the role of the adjuster is vital.

What An Insurance Adjuster Does

When your insured property suffers damage of any kind, you have to provide an estimate of the cost of repairs when you file the claim. Here starts your race. You run pillar to post, trying to gather quotes from contractors. Some may quote too high and others significantly less, and yet a few somewhere in between. The point is that you don’t know which estimate is most appropriate, and neither does the insurance company.

To protect its interest and ensure there is no fraud involved, the insurance company sends an adjuster. He inspects the damage and writes up his estimate.  

Types Of Adjusters

There are two categories of claim adjusters. These are:

1. Independent adjuster or the independent claims adjuster.
2. Public adjuster or the public claims adjuster.

As a policyholder, you are most likely to think any adjuster will do. After all, they are here to assess a loss. This assumption is precisely the root of all misery that you might have to face in the future. Independent and public adjusters are two separate entities whose loyalty lies with their respective employers. Hence, you want the adjuster to bat for you when you file a claim, not the insurance company.

Why You Should Not entirely Trust The Adjuster Employed By The Insurance Company

Insurance is a business, and every insurance company needs to have a reasonable margin of profit to stay afloat. If they pay the maximum amount for all claims every time, their profits are bound to dwindle until they start operating in loss and ultimately close down. So what the insurance company tries is to pay the least possible amount for the loss to the policyholder. It is especially true in the case of property insurance. 

One needs to beware because the claims adjuster sent by the insurance company, who introduces himself as an independent adjuster, will try and downplay the loss. These underhand tactics ensure that the insurance company has to pay as little as possible in a settlement. For this very reason, it is better not to place your trust entirely in the independent adjuster. Whatever they say should be taken with a heavy dose of salt.

Difference Between Independent Adjuster And Public Adjuster

1. Employed By
a) Independent Adjuster – The term independent adjuster is a misnomer. They may be independent but are employed by the insurance company. Several insurance companies typically employ an independent adjuster.
b) Public Adjuster – Public adjuster is for the public. They are employed by the insured to protect their interest. Typically one public adjuster is employed by several policyholders to handle their claims.

2. Loyalty Of The Adjuster
a) Independent Adjuster – The loyalty of the independent adjuster is with the insurance company. Therefore they are always pro the insurer and not the insured.
b) Public Adjuster – The loyalty of a public adjuster is with the policyholder or the insured. Therefore, you can always be assured that he will work in your favor.

3. Treatment Of Claim Estimate
a) Independent Adjuster – He will try his best to get quotes as low as possible so that the insurance company pays the least possible amount.
b) Public Adjuster – He will try to get the most reasonable estimate so that the insured does not have to pay anything other than the deductible from his own pockets. The aim is to get the maximum amount the insurance company is willing to pay as settlement.

4. Scope Of Work
a) Independent Adjuster – The work of an independent adjuster is limited to inspecting the loss and submitting its estimate.
b) Public Adjuster – The public adjuster does all the leg work for the insured. He gathers the estimates, files the claim, submits the documents, and does all the work for the insured to ensure that the claim is settled to satisfaction as soon as possible.

Try A Public Adjuster Before Passing Judgement

You will come across people who say there is no use employing a public adjuster. It is a sheer wastage of money because you can complete all the formalities yourself. Yes, you can indeed do it all, but won’t it be easy to let someone else take care of things and pay them a fee for it? You will no longer have to go back and forth collecting proof and estimates, submitting documents, filling forms, etc. Will that not make life much simpler?

Here’s a list of tasks that a public adjuster will perform for you. The list is not exhaustive, just indicative.

1. The public adjuster will gather all the necessary documents, fill up forms, and submit the claim.
2. He will ensure that all forms are filled accurately and submitted timely.
3. He will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
4. He will set up appointments and attend meetings with all parties involved. 

When the claim is finally settled, the claim adjuster will charge a small fee which is usually around 10% of the settlement amount. The fee is mutually agreed upon initially, so there is no question of pulling the wool over your eyes at the end. Moreover, the adjuster is paid only after you are. 

Wrapping Up

An independent adjuster and public adjuster both perform the same job, though their loyalties lie with a different set of people. Where one (independent adjuster) favors the insurer, the other (public adjuster) favors the insured. When the insured suffers a loss, it is best to have someone playing ball for you on equal footing with the insurance company. The public adjuster gives you that distinct advantage. This way, the insurance company’s tactic to pay as little as possible will no longer work.

If you are looking for a reputed and experienced public adjuster in Florida who can expedite your claim and reduce your frustration, you are in luck. Continental Public Adjusters will provide you all the necessary assistance and handle the complete process on your behalf. Place your trust in us, and we shall awe you with our service. To book an appointment, call (800) 989-4769.