A public adjuster is licensed by the state insurance department to be an advocate for the policyholder. All homeowners and business owners, if they so choose, may retain the services of a public adjuster to negotiate with their insurance company on their behalf. The public adjuster will evaluate the damage to the home or business and will prepare their own detailed repair estimate in a special format accepted by the insurance industry. Then the insurance company is notified that the public adjuster will be handling the insurance claim on behalf of the insured. An appointment is set for the public adjuster to meet with the claim adjuster assigned by the insurance company. The public adjuster walks through the home or business and presents the damage to the insurance adjuster, explaining what happened, and what needs to be done in order to return the property to pre-loss condition. Most of the time, the insurance company will work from the public adjuster’s estimate and then provide their own estimate as an acceptance or counter offer. Once the insurance estimate is received, the public adjuster will continue to negotiate with the insurance adjuster if there are still items that need to be addressed. Many times the public adjuster will recover more than one payment for the insured. If there is a question of coverage, the public adjuster will discuss how the damages are covered by the policy.
Public adjusters are able to assist with property damage to a home, building, and also the personal property and furnishings contained inside the structure. If there is a loss to personal property, the public adjuster will prepare a detailed inventory in a format accepted by the insurance company to include a detailed description and replacement cost of each item being claimed. For businesses, the public adjuster can also assist in negotiating the loss of business income.