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What Is a Public Adjuster, and How Can They Help?

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We sometimes get questions from consumers who are stuck with tough problems that they can’t seem to get around. That’s what happened when we got a letter from Ron, who’s had all sorts of trouble with his auto insurance company. He’s at the end of his rope and just wanted to know where he can turn for help.

Delay, Deny, Defend

Ron was recently in a collision with his vehicle. But not that recently. In fact, his car has been sitting at a reputable repair shop for over five months. Unfortunately, the reason for the delay has nothing to do with the repairs. Instead, it’s all about his insurance company. For five months, they have used the delay, deny, defend tactic to avoid making good on the coverage Ron has already paid for. At this point, it seems unclear when they will finally get around to paying the mechanic so he can get his car fixed—or if they will pay at all!

A Public Adjuster

For large insurance claims, some consumers hire an insurance attorney. They are good at getting claims taken care of, but they typically focus on only very large claims, like home or business insurance for massive damage. For smaller claims, an insurance attorney may decline to handle the case. That’s where public adjusters come in.

A public adjuster works for the consumer, not the insurance company. Their goal is to get the insured party the maximum value for their claim. But note that not all public adjusters are certified to handle auto claims. So when hiring an adjuster, make sure to confirm their certification.

Sometimes, repair shops may not provide the best service when it comes to repairs covered by insurance. But you wouldn’t know that until after the car leaves the shop. An automobile-certified adjuster can help you advocate with the repair shop to ensure you get a fair deal.

Before you hire a public adjuster, be sure to find out how you will pay them. Many adjusters charge a percentage of the value they recover. But payment systems may vary, so ask ahead to be sure.