Owning a property is an amazing accomplishment for anyone, but it also comes with lots of new responsibilities, including maintenance and repairs if anything goes wrong. It can happen to the best of us at no fault of our own, and often time things happen that are outside of our control. When things get out of hand, it is beneficial to bring on a public adjuster who can help take care of all of the technicalities.
It’s virtually impossible for us to know what’s going to happen in the future, so instead, we arm ourselves with protection in the event the unthinkable happens. It’s times like these that property owners insurance becomes a golden ticket in aiding with getting back on track.
No one wants to lose out on recovering damages just because they don’t know the ins and outs of their insurance policy. This is when it might be a good time think about whether you need a public adjuster to support you through the claims process.
Public adjusters are agents that represent property owners in insurance claims when disaster strikes. They charge a fee for their services, which is typically a percentage of the total claim settlement. Bringing a public adjuster on board can make all the difference in the success of your claim, and can significantly speed up the process of negotiating a settlement.
Though it is not required to hire an agent to represent you, depending on your situation, you may decide it is the right thing to do to ensure you are getting the most out of your settlement in the long run. If you are faced with one of the five situations noted below, perhaps it is time to hire a public adjuster to represent you.
Wind or Hail Damage
Mother Nature is a force of her own, and no matter how expensive your property is, weather is always something that needs to be considered as a property owner. Depending on where in the country you live, your policy premium may factor in the likelihood of a claim for things like wind or hail damage.
For example, if you live in Colorado, hail season through early summer may leave you with severe damage to your roof, in some cases even beyond repair. If this happens, you would of course want to file a claim under your property owners insurance policy and pay the deductible to have your roof replaced.
If you live in the Midwest, you may experience wind damage during tornado season, like damaged siding or broken windows. You may lose your deck to a tornado, or other structures on your property could be damaged. If you live in the South, you are certainly no stranger to hurricane season, which often leaves trails of destruction behind it. This too would be a cause to file a claim under your policy.
Any of the above scenarios can be terrible for families to go through. It can be stressful and emotional for those involved, particularly when irreplaceable items are lost. When working through a claim, property owners are required to submit document after document to the insurance company, which can be incredibly trying for a family in crisis.
If you choose to hire a public adjuster to represent you in the claim, they can help to not only assess the damage, but assist in filing all necessary paperwork as well as obtaining quotes for contractors to replace or repair the damage. They will be there to make sure the claim is processed as quickly as possible so the insured party can work towards rebuilding what has been lost without the headache of dealing with the insurance company on a daily basis.
Water Damage and Freezing
Though pipes are not something we think about everyday since they can’t be seen on a daily basis. During winter months, it is also possible for pipes to freeze and break, which can cause significant additional damages to your property. If not caught right away, frozen pipes could lead to flooding in certain areas of the property. This is why it’s so important to keep the heat on at a reasonable temperature in cold areas during the winter season.
Another thing to consider is if you have a timeshare or vacation property somewhere where freezing temperature linger through the winter months. When a vacation property is unoccupied for extended periods of time, it may be too late by the time someone discovers the damage done by a broken or frozen pipe. Taking regular precautions against this happening is recommended, but if you find yourself in this position it may be a good time to bring on a public adjuster to help you process your insurance claim.
Fire and Lightning Damage
Fires may possibly one of the most devastating occurrences that could take place in a family property. They rip through a hproperty with no forgiveness for anything in it. In best cases, no life is lost in the event and only the material items are at stake to be replaced. In addition to losing the property, many find it even harder to lose sentimental items that cannot be replaced or valued at any given price. Fires can be extremely traumatizing to those going through it, and leave those affected with concern and heartache.
Lighting damage can also be incredibly devastating. In some cases, lighting can strike a property and leave and entire hole in a roof or wall. It can also lead to fire, which could subsequently spread and create further damage.
Even though some items can’t be replaced, when a public adjuster is hired to handle your claim, you may be able to recover a certain financial amount for items lost that you may not have recognized as recoupable altogether. They will help to catalog all of the lost items, ask the critical questions and assist you with filing all of the necessary documentation for what was lost in the fire. After going through such a traumatic event, it may just be the right thing for your family to sacrifice a small percentage of the settlement in order to have an advocate like a public adjuster guiding you through the process.
Non-Theft Property Damage
This category is a bit different in nature from the others, as it is not necessarily direct damage or theft to a property. You may see this in businesses as well, where another person’s property (or damage to it) is causing a direct loss of use or value to your property. Understandably, coverage under these circumstances may land in a bit of a gray area, but the fine print in insurance policies will dictate the available coverage under each specific policy issued. As a policyholder, it may be challenging to understand the language included in the policy itself along with the rights and obligations of a policyholder.
By bringing on a public adjuster in this case, insured parties will alleviate the responsibility of interpreting the policy alone. As public adjusters are trained to deal with these situations, they will be able to assess the damages and detail those damages in reports to the insurance company. They can take over the back and forth discussions with the insurance company and speak confidently on behalf of the policyholder. Because these situations are what they deal with on a daily basis, they can stand their ground through negotiations and push for the best possible outcome for the insured party.
Liability claims may not necessarily include damage done directly to the property, but rather incidents that occurred on your property. This can be a sticky slope for many because it’s impossible to predict if something will happen while you have others on your property. As a property owner, you are responsible for such incidents and your property insurance covers you in protecting against lawsuits for various situations.
For instance, if an individual is bitten by your dog on your property, they would have a case against you to file a claim. In addition to facing other potential consequences, such as maybe having to put the dog down or surrender them, you could be held responsible for covering any and all medical costs of the injured party. Additionally, they may come to the table with requests for added damages for pain and suffering. This is never an easy situation to deal with, but having a public adjuster may help to lessen the burden while dealing with the claim.
For instance, if a property owner has a large aging tree in their yard, and it falls over on the neighbor’s house during a storm and causes significant damage, the neighbors could potentially be in a position to directly demand that the property owners cover the damages incurred on their property.
Even though this could be an event completely out of the insured parties hands due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the property owner ultimately has to come to the table to cover any damages that are caused by their property. Much like the situation with the dog bite, when a liability claim includes additional parties, it can be all the more trying to resolve. If you make the choice to have a public adjuster represent you, it will make the process much easier and much more comfortable for you as the insured party.
When remodeling, landscaping or having other renovations done to your property, you are also responsible to keep the contractors that are performing the work safe while they are on your property (to an extent). Unfortunately, if someone is injured while they are on a property and completing services requested, that individual property owner or business owner may be liable to cover the costs of any medical fees associated with the incident.
Claims like this can be quite complicated when it comes to negotiating actual damages, and depending on the medical condition of the injured party, it could drag on for months or even years. This particular scenario is one that often leads to future damages claimed, as medical issues sometimes change or digress after a serious accident. Instead of the property owner or business owner negotiating directly with the injured party or insurance company, a public adjuster can advocate for the policyholder and expedite the settlement process from an unbiased professional position.
Liability claims against your property owners insurance policy can be particularly trying, as there is always an extra third party to deal with. If you decide to hire a public adjuster to assist in your claim, they can help by taking over as the communicator between all parties involved, significantly reducing the amount of stress placed on you.
This will allow the claim to progress without necessarily keeping emotions at the forefront of negotiations. Public adjusters are focused solely on the successful and swift closure of you claim, and will work tirelessly to ensure you are able to walk away from the negotiations in peace.
No matter the scenario, it is never easy to go through the claims process for your property owners insurance policy alone. With any situation in life, it’s always easier if you have someone by your side making sure everything is covered.
Life can throw many surprises our way, but by hiring a public adjuster, you are making sure you are protected against financial losses when such events occur. Though it is possible to file a claim without a public adjuster, it is without a doubt much easier on the property owner if they have someone in their corner advocating for them.
They will push forward on your behalf to ensure you are receiving the largest possible settlement available under the circumstances of the claim, all the while making sure that you don’t have to deal with the darker side of the claims process.
In the event that additional damages surface after your claim is settled, you may want to come back and claim the additional damages. On your own, that could be a challenging task. When and if you decide to bring on a public adjuster, you are guaranteeing that you have someone in your corner to help you come out of the claims process on top.
Now that you know why you might need a public adjuster, consider reaching out to Your Large Loss Adjuster, powered by Bulldog Adjusters, if you’ve had your claim denied, been given a lowballed settlement offer, or have been waiting for months for funds you need for necessary repairs.
We get you the biggest possible settlement on your claim!
Related: What is the Difference Between Denied and Partially Denied Claims?