Know your rights and resourcesIf you have suffered from a major disaster or loss, such as a flood, fire, windstorm or even worse a natural disaster such as a hurricane, then you understand the troubles and emotional stress that can be incurred. After the loss the next days are spent trying to deal with the damages and keeping care of your family there can be barely enough time to handle it all. This is when it is clear that the help of a professional could be greatly beneficial. In these sorts of scenarios attorneys and public adjusters can be a huge help in getting you back into shape. So now the question may be; how can one of these public adjusters and/or attorneys help? Each of the two plays a vital part in helping policy holders through these tough times, but they do this in different ways. You as the policy holder should know the ways in which each of these entities can benefit you and when to choose one, the other or both. The important thing to note is that attorneys and public adjusters both represent your rights legally while the insurance’s attorneys and independent adjusters solely stand for the insurance companies, not you, no matter how they may try to sell it.
AttorneysOften hiring an attorney is most beneficial when your legal rights as a policyholder are compromised or when disputes arise in the insurance claims negotiations. The main role of the attorney is to make sure your rights and assets are protected at all times and it can be important to make sure you are dealing with an attorney that is specialized in insurance claims. They can be helpful in reviewing how the claim is processed and handled often calling on public adjusters to assist in fulfilling more complex claims. The attorney will also be greatly beneficial in deciding if it’s in your best interest to pursue further with your claim into litigation and alternative solutions. You may have already hired a public adjuster, which is perfectly ok, and find that you come to a standstill in your claim with disputes and other issues. An attorney can help escalate situations like these and resolve the claim if the public adjuster has not fully satisfied your needs. Commonly Attorneys represent policyholders with claims that have been denied in ‘bad faith’.
Bad faith claims are a complex issue in themselves and tricky to resolve. Bad faith claims occur when the insurance companies act in bad faith, meaning they are being dishonest or unfair to policyholders. They do this by carrying out absurd delays, are uncooperative, or flat out refuse to pay. However, this does not mean that all denied claims are in bad faith and it can be in your interest to ask your attorney if you have legal grounds to file a bad faith lawsuit. There are many ways that an insurance company can commit bad faith and it is important that you do some research as well as consult your attorney to determine if you have probable cause to file suit against them. Although in many situations policy holders may find it favorable and cheaper to hire a public adjuster to handle their claim first. Attorneys are very useful but come at a higher cost and usually benefit the client more on claims that pursue litigation or when disputes arise during negotiations.
Public AdjustersPublic Adjusters represent your rights just as the attorneys do. They help prepare and develop documentation and important information for filing your insurance claim. Public Adjusters specialize in negotiating your claim with the insurance company on your behalf. Policyholders sometimes fail to recognize the amount of time and effort that can go into an insurance claim and how that can be correlated to the final settlement received. The amount of details and level of precision that can be put into an insurance claim is easily overlooked. It is important to know that it is not out of the ordinary or uncommon for a public adjuster to settle a claim for upward of three to five times the initial amount offered. Public adjusters must go through thorough background checks and in the majority states are required to hold a certified license to assist with claims. Choosing a Public adjuster over an attorney can be much faster and cheaper to settle your claim. Although most times a public adjuster will be the better option there are cases where an attorney will provide that extra edge an adjuster simply cannot. Situations where negotiations reach a standstill or disputes arise among the involved parties. Then there are other situations in which a policy holder will find hiring both an attorney and a public adjuster will provide the best results.
Two is Better than OneBoth a public adjuster and attorney get hired typically when the claim gets beyond the expertise of the adjuster or when it is apparent that legal matters need to be pursued. This is commonly the case in a bad faith claim. Adjusters help organize and file the claim while the attorney stands for your rights in a court of law. Together the duo ensures that you are covered and fairly represented always within your best interests. Attorneys will recommend a policy holder to a public adjuster when they find it is to the clients benefit. Public Adjuster will refer you to an attorney when the claim gets out of the adjusters specialized expertise. The sum of the matter is both work for you and not the insurance company and will work to your benefit during the claims process. You should do some research on your claim and ask for advice from the experts as they will help guide you to the assistance that will most help you. One is not necessarily better than the other, but each has their specific pros and cons. Every claim is different and it’s good to know the resources you have at hand as a policyholder and who you can trust in a time of need.