Questions About Public Adjusters
What is IPAA?
IPAA stands for the Illinois Public Adjusters Association. IPAA members are committed to establishing and maintaining the highest level of professional standards and services, for the purposes of protecting our rights and the rights of policyholder’s throughout our great state, to provide a means for solving and dealing with our common concerns, and to insure professional working relations and most importantly to promote the general welfare of the public.
What is a Public Insurance Adjuster?
A Public Insurance Adjuster is an insurance adjuster who works for the insured to assist in the preparation, presentation and settlement of the claim. They do not work for any insurance company, they work for you!
Are there any other types of Adjusters?
Yes, there are three different types of Adjusters.
A Company Adjuster means the insurance adjusters who are employees of an insurance company. They represent the interest of the insurance company and are paid by the insurance company. They will not charge you a fee.
An Independent Adjuster means the insurance adjusters who are hired on a contract basis by an insurance company to represent the insurance company’s interest in the settlement of the claim. They are paid by your insurance company. They will not charge you a fee.
A Public Adjuster means the insurance adjusters who do not work for any insurance company. They work for the policyholder to assist in the preparation, presentation and settlement of the claim. The policyholder hires them by signing a contract agreeing to pay them a fee or commission based on a percentage of the settlement or other method of compensation. The insured is not required to hire a Public Adjuster to help the policyholder meet his or her obligations under the policy, but has the right to do so.
What are the requirements necessary to become a licensed Public Adjuster?
Public Adjuster licensing requirements vary from state to state. Many Public Adjusters receive on-the-job training while working for a Public Adjusting company. For a list of State Departments of Insurance, click here.
How can a licensed Public Adjuster help me?
It is up to you to prove your loss. There may be many questions as to how the policy stipulations could or should be applied in different situations. Public Adjusters are experts with these types of questions. Due to their specialized knowledge and years of experience they make it possible for you to receive the maximum amount to which you may be entitled under your insurance policy. The Public Adjuster’s professional help relieves you of the work, worry, stress and enormous amount of time-consuming detail in filing a claim. Therefore, you are able to devote your time and effort to your family, business or leisure activities.
Will my insurance company recognize you as my representative?
Yes. Most insurance companies actually prefer to work together with an experienced licensed public adjuster rather than an inexperienced insured. It is to the best interests of all parties that a fair and prompt settlement is made.
Should I use the "preferred contractor" recommended by my insurance company?
No. The “preferred contractor” must keep their estimates low in order to continue getting work from the insurance company. This does not always work out to the homeowner’s advantage, because they are not allowed to negotiate a better settlement on your behalf. They simply have to repair your home for whatever the insurance company offers them. They do not have the knowledge or experience to interpret policy language. A trusted Public Adjusting company will negotiate a higher settlement to ensure the work is done properly.
Do Public Insurance Adjusters take care of claims other than fire?
Yes. They an assist you in any claims you may have including storm damage, explosions and any other insured losses that are sustained, including business interruption, rental income, improvements and betterments, additional living expenses, etc.
May I prepare my own claim?
Of course you may, but why not utilize a licensed Public Adjuster’s experience, knowledge and training for your benefit? A Public Insurance Adjuster will assist you in the preparation of inventories, estimates and other substantiation of the extent of your loss. They will handle all the necessary details for compiling and filing claims, as required by the terms of your insurance policy. Your Public Adjuster will also confer, on your behalf, with insurance company representatives and handle all matters essential to a proper and satisfactory settlement.
Why do I need help in filing my insurance claim?
The typical fire policy contains hundreds of provisions and stipulations, various forms and riders that are constantly changing and many complex details about your requirements in case of loss. Most people do not know or understand these policy provisions, and most do not realize that the burden of proof is on them, the policyholder. Insurance companies offer to pay what is due to you as they see it. Public Insurance Adjusters are your exclusive representatives. With their expertise and knowledge they are able to obtain a more favorable adjustment for you, the insured.
In the event of a fire or other destruction of property, does my insurance pay the entire loss?
This depends on the type and amount of insurance you carry. It also depends on your expertise or the expertise of your representative, not that of the insurance company’s adjuster. A qualified public insurance adjuster’s expertise can make it possible for you to receive the maximum amount to which you are entitled.
Will a Public Insurance Adjuster help me receive a more prompt and satisfactory settlement?
Yes. They waste no time in complying with the policy requirements to obtain and evaluate the facts and prepare the claim. The knowledgeable and prompt service they render often preserves evidence that may otherwise be overlooked or destroyed. The more thoroughly and completely your claim is compiled and prepared, the faster your Public Insurance Adjuster can accomplish an equitable and proper settlement for you.
How much does a Public Insurance Adjuster charge for their services?
The fee charged by Public Insurance Adjusters is a percentage of the insurance company’s settlement with you. By seeking to maximize your settlement, your Public Insurance Adjuster’s services can save you the cost of their fees, at the very least.
In the event of a loss, what steps should I take?
Promptly report the loss to your agent, broker or directly to your insurance company, and immediately retain the services of a licensed Public Insurance Adjuster. Once a policyholder has witnessed the skill and knowledge of a licensed Public Insurance Adjuster, he or she rarely will attempt to settle a claim without the expertise of their specialized assistance. The Public Insurance Adjuster’s most frequent sources of new clients are the recommendations of those they have previously served.