How To Become An Insurance Claims Adjuster
Whether you wish to work on behalf of the insurance company or as a homeowner advocate, there are several prerequisites to becoming an insurance claims adjuster. If youre a high school graduate or have your GED, you can get licensed to become a claims adjuster by taking a course and passing an exam.
Not all states have the same requirements some require you to complete an insurance licensing program while other states have no certification requirements at all.
If youd like to work as a claims adjuster locally or nationwide follow these steps:
- Complete high school or a GED
- Earn a DHS license
- Gain employment with an insurance company or build clientele if working as an independent adjuster
- Earn continuing education credits while working or from an online course
Why You Need A Local West Palm Beach Public Adjuster
You cannot afford to handle your claim without a public adjuster. Your insurance claim might be worth thousands of dollars, and you deserve to have the maximum amount of coverage paid to you. A public adjuster has the skills and knowledge necessary to help make that happen.
Insurance companies know that public adjusters understand the insurance industry and what is owed to policyholders. They wont try to pay you less than what youre owed if a public adjuster is handling your case. The chances of you receiving the full amount of your claim are much higher.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to hire a public adjuster whenever you have a claim worth more than a few thousand dollars. We only take a small commission on the settlement amount after the claim is approved. There are no up-front costs to hire a public adjuster.
Public Adjuster West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach is a popular city for retirement and vacation. If you own a home or business in West Palm Beach, you have the privilege of looking at gorgeous property every day. However, bad weather or other unexpected things can damage your property when you least expect it, leaving you to deal with the aftermath by seeking compensation for the damage from your insurance company. That is where a West Palm Beach Public Adjuster comes in.
Before you contact your insurer, you need to be ready for their tactics. Insurance companies dont like to pay out high-value insurance claims. Theyll try to make an excuse for why your claim cannot be approved. But if you have a certified public adjuster on your side, the outcome might be better for you.
Merkury Public Adjusters has handled the insurance claims of West Palm Beach residents and business owners for years. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and convince them to approve claims that deserve full compensation. Please give us the opportunity to do this for you.
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What Does A Public Insurance Adjuster Do
The average person may not be familiar with the minute details of a home insurance policy, but that is where a public insurance adjuster can help.
In addition to home property damage, public adjusters can also assist businesses with their commercial insurance damages and claims. If your property ever suffers major damage, a public insurance adjuster can decipher the legalese of your policy and help you get a fair settlement with your insurer.
This is also the party that will arrange for an official survey of the damage so that the total cost can be determined. Your adjuster can also help with filing your claim in what can sometimes be a very complex process, tracking what feels like countless phone calls and attending meetings on your behalf. Your adjuster can even help you find temporary living arrangements if your home is inhabitable from certain damages.
However, there are some limitations to a public adjusters role. Adjusters may not handle bodily injury claims or third-party claims, such as those involving a trust or an estate. An adjuster is unable to help with damages involving your vehicle or car insurance. In that case, you will need a different kind of professional that is licensed and experienced in auto insurance claims. In addition, public adjusters must follow specific state guidelines that outline both their job duties and the claims process.
What Happens If I Dont Agree With A Home Insurance Adjuster
When your insurance agency presents you with a payout offer that you think is unfair or too low, youre not without options. You can attempt to negotiate with your agent, but its vital you note how to do so effectively, as simply calling them on the phone and demanding more money is probably not going to work!
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How Much Does A Public Adjuster Charge
Price is another critical consideration when determining whether to hire a public adjuster and which one. The adjuster’s fee is not covered by your insurance policy.
Your public adjusters fee is often based on your claim settlement, with the adjuster receiving a portion of your settlement’s total value. The III reports that public adjusters typically charge around 15% of your settlements total value. For example, if you and your insurance company settle for $10,000, the public adjuster could receive $1,500.
It is important to understand that the fee you pay is not a guarantee of any settlement. “The thing to remember is that a public adjuster can’t get you more than you are legally entitled to and they will charge you that fee,” says Salvatore.
Keep A Log Of Any Meetings With The Adjuster
When you’re assigned an insurance adjuster, document your interactions in a journal or spreadsheet.
Log the date and time of your conversations, along with a brief explanation of what was said. If you can, acquire paper or electronic copies of any reports or statements your adjuster makes. This will help you stay organized throughout the duration of your case.
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What Happens After Your Homeowners Insurance Claim Is Settled
After your claim is settled, review any shortcomings in your insurance coverage and make changes to ensure you’re properly protected going forward.
Depending on your insurance company and claims history, filing a claim could affect your premiums. When setting rates, insurers generally review losses associated with a home within the past five years. If you file multiple claims in that time frame, insurers may view your home as high-risk.
Can An Insurance Company Deny A Claim
If an insurer decides that your claim doesnt fit your policy, they can deny it. A few common reasons for a carrier to deny a homeowners insurance claim include:
- If you were negligent in maintaining your home or did something directly that resulted in a flood, fire, or other such disaster, the policy carrier might deny your claim. For example, if you ignored a leaking plumbing pipe which then eventually burst, your policy carrier might deny your claim based on you neglecting those needed repairs. That’s information that will be presented in what happens after the home insurance adjuster comes out.
- Along with negligence, a policy carrier might deny claims arising from poor-quality DIY repairs. If you attempted to fix your own water heater, as an example, and it then burst and flooded the home, your carrier might deny your claim for damages.
- A non-covered peril refers to something not covered by your insurance policy, and your carrier will deny claims for any such damages. For instance, many homeowners policies dont cover termite or carpenter ant damage, or damage caused by earthquakes.
- An insurance company might also deny a claim if you wait too long to notify them and file your loss notice.
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The Adjuster Will Determine The Value Of The Case
Once the adjuster has all of your medical records and bills and all of the other information that he/she needs to value the case, he/she will put a value on the case and try to settle it. If you don’t have a lawyer, the adjuster will generally ask you how much you want to settle the case. Don’t give a number first. Ask the adjuster how much he/she will offer to settle. Then you have to negotiate. Negotiation is not easy. If you were in a car accident and have any questions about what the insurance adjuster is doing in your case or are having any problems trying to settle the case, you should contact a car accident lawyer immediately.
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Be Honest About Your Loss
Whether you have to provide an account to your insurance adjuster during their visit or after, you should always be honest.
If you have to sign any statements, review them to verify they are true. Making false statements to the adjuster will negatively affect your claim. Your homeowners policy prevents you from receiving any compensation if you mislead your adjuster. Even worse, you might also face a lawsuit for committing insurance fraud.
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How Much Does A Home Adjuster Cost
In most cases, a home adjuster works for the insurance company. They do not charge you a fee because the carrier pays them.
If you choose to hire an independent home insurance adjuster, they typically take a percentage of the claim instead of an upfront fee. If your home burned down in a fire and you dispute your insurance carriers offer and eventually agree to a payment of $300,000 to rebuild, the independent adjuster could earn a fee of $30,000 to $45,000. Although it sounds high, the fee may be worth it if you have trouble getting a fair settlement offer from the insurance company.
When You File Your Insurance Claim: What Your Adjuster Will Do For You
You will be working with your insurance company’s adjuster if you report a claim for damage to your house, condominium, apartment, mobile home, or business. The adjuster may meet you face-to-face at the scene or you may settle the entire matter over the phone. In either case, a skilled adjuster will help you financially recover from your loss, as directed by the terms of the policy you have purchased.
Read Your PolicyYour insurance policy is a very important financial management tool. It is the contract between you and your insurance company. It explains the amount of your coverage, what is covered, and how the loss will be compensated. It also outlines the steps to follow after a loss and how to settle a dispute between you and the insurer. Knowing what is in your policy is an important part of your financial planning.
Pay close attention to perils that are covered. Know exactly what property is being insured. Pay attention to the liability sections of the policy and what coverages are included there. Note the limits of coverage that are applied in some areas and pay very close attention to any exclusion. It is often possible to purchase additional specialized coverage to fill in the gaps between your policy’s limits and exclusions and your financial management needs.
What to do After the Loss
Keep receipts for any close up supplies that you purchase to protect your building. They are a covered expense and can be added to your claim.
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Types Of Property Damages
As a West Palm Beach insurance policyholder, you need coverage to protect your property from many different kinds of damages. The most common damages in West Palm Beach are:
Water Damage West Palm Beach gets a lot of rain. If you have a leaky roof, then rain could easily cause damage to your structure. Water damage may also occur because of a flood, hurricane, burst pipe, or malfunctioning appliance. If As the cause of the water damage was not preventable, your insurance company should approve your claim.
Business Income Loss Do you own a business in West Palm Beach? Did a recent disaster cause your business to stop functioning temporarily? If so, then your insurance policy will probably cover business income losses. This is where you receive compensation for the money youre not making because your business was forced to shut down temporarily. If your building suffered unexpected fire damage, hurricane damage, water damage, or theft damage, then your insurer should approve your business income loss claim. You just need to prove your average business income to the insurer.
Can You Keep Leftover Money From A Home Insurance Claim
Technically, you are allowed to keep the leftover money after a home insurance claim. Thats assuming there is nothing written in your policy about returning unused claim money. As long as you did not commit insurance fraud or lie to your insurance company to get the money, you should be able to keep any remaining balance.
Generally the claim amount is based on a projected cost for repairs but market prices and fluctuations in wholesale rates means that sometimes repairs are cheaper than initially estimated. Typically any excess of estimated repairs is put towards upgraded materials and minor cosmetic choices that fall within the scope of required repairs.
However, lying to your insurance company about how much the repairs cost just to keep the leftover funds is classified as fraud. In addition to it being illegal, the consequences with your insurer are significant. If you dont make the required repairs and complete them to the insurers satisfaction, any future claims may be denied. Plus, the insurance company has the right to terminate your policy.
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How To Deal With A Claims Adjuster When You Disagree On Price Or Scope
A reader sent this question to us about a water damage claim she is dealing with that occurred in her home. I was a claims adjuster for three years, and I definitely know that adjusters and insurance companies love to pay the least amount possible for a claim, and they try to get away with as much as possible, hoping that the homeowner wont push back or question their decisions. Its the job of the insurance company and the claims adjuster to indemnify you, which means they have the responsibility to put you and your home back to its original condition. Here is the question from the reader:
This is a common situation, but it can easily be settled without the use of an attorney or a public adjuster. If you hire an attorney or a public adjuster, they will take anywhere from 20 to 40% of the claim settlement. Of course, theyll guarantee that they get you so much money that itll pay for their commission, but they cannot really guarantee that, and its not ethical in the first place.
The point is that you can negotiate the claim yoursef and continue to get competing bids. If they continue to be stubborn, then threaten to file a complaint with the state financial department. They will then give you the option of going to an appraisal which is a dispute of price and scope with a neutral mediator. This mediator often sides with the policy holder as long as you have legitimate reasons for your dispute.
What If There Are Multiple Payouts That Need To Be Made
In some cases, you might receive multiple checks stemming from one claim. This is particularly common when you need to use several different coverages. For instance, if your home is ravaged by a hurricane, you might receive one check for the exterior damages, another check to replace lost personal items and a third check to pay for additional living expenses during construction.
There could also be another check written to a contracting company for home repairs. But chances are, youll never see that money. According to Adams, Some contractors may request a direction to pay form that allows your home insurer to pay them directly. This arrangement means that you legally assign your claim payment to the contractor and are removed from the process. Be sure you fully understand your rights before giving control of a home insurance claim to a contractor.
This direction to pay form is also often referred to as an assignment of claim or assignment of loss. For large loss claims, many homeowners opt to have their trusted general contractor handle the entire claim and repairs start-to-finish, but this choice is a matter of preference.
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Dealing With Roof Damage Insurance Claims And Roofing Inspections
Roof damage insurance claims can often be tricky to inspect and prove your case. Some roofing damage is always covered by a home insurance policy, while other roof damage is not. Were providing the most crucial tips you should know about roof insurance claims, dealing with a roof insurance adjuster, and handling an insurance roof inspection.
How Is My Home Insurance Settlement Determined
How youâre reimbursed for personal property damage depends on if your belongings are insured at their replacement cost or actual cash value. If theyâre insured at their actual cash value, your insurer will take the item’s age and wear and tear into consideration and reimburse you its depreciated value. But if your property is insured at its replacement cost, youâll be reimbursed for new items.
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