After a loss has occurred, most home or business owners find they are a situation that is completely foreign. Dealing with a loss and the insurance claims process can be a very overwhelming, confusing and emotional experience. Following a loss from a house fire or other disaster, people often turn to their insurance agent and possibly their lawyer for help. While they may be informed and educated in their area of expertise, these professionals most likely do not have expertise as claims processing advocates.
The role of the insurance agent is to report your loss to the insurance company. They in turn assign an adjuster to the claim, who will likely try to limit the insurance company’s financial exposure. To protect their interests, some policyholders seek the advice of an attorney. While their legal expertise may be of value, in most cases they are not claim handlers and lack the required experience to process a claim.
A public insurance adjuster is a licensed, trained, educated and experienced professional who can be of great Help and value to a property owner after a loss has occurred. A qualified public adjuster is intimate with the claims process, the insurance policy and its conditions, and can guide and direct a policyholder through the process with strength and surety of the claims outcome. A public adjuster is only interested in protecting the interest of the policyholder and has an obligation to their client to do so.
Not many people take the time to read their entire insurance policy, and once they do, realize there is a significant learning curve. Then there are an infinite number of details to be attended to-building estimates, content spreadsheets, and loss-of-use receipts, business interruption calculations-that can make it difficult to focus on rebuilding your home or getting your business back up and running. While all of this is happening, your insurance company is making monetary decisions on your behalf.
We take care of all of these issues and details so you can concentrate on rebuilding your home or continuing business operations. So, the answer is yes, you can deal with the claim on your own, but considering the time, money and disruption to your personal or business life, it is generally well worth it to hire a public adjuster to represent you.
Your insurance agent writes your policy. Their job is to make sure you have all the proper coverages in place at the time of a loss from a House Fire or other disaster. Once they report your loss to the insurance company, they are out of the picture. Then the insurance company assigns an adjuster, who works for them, to determine the amount of your claim.
Unlike your insurance agents, a public adjuster serves as your advocate, looking out for your best interests. Our job is to examine all the technical and insurance aspects of your claim, prepare an accurate, detailed claim and present it to the insurance company in a format they understand, and then negotiate the fairest settlement for you that the policy allows.
Generally agents fall into two categories. There are agents who are consumer-minded and concerned that their clients receive fair settlements so it will encourage them to keep renewing their policies. Then there are agents who are more concerned with their loss ratios with the insurance companies they write policies with. These agents would prefer to see the claim settlements as low as possible so they will get more money back at the end of the year from the insurance companies.
PLCG has staff that handles your claim from start to finish. Each of our adjusters has extensive experience and knowledge, and work as a team to prepare and submit a detailed claim to your insurance company and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
You work with the same person-who inventories your home or business and prepares a detailed building repair estimate-throughout the process. Other public adjusters typically use a pool of outside estimators, who prepare estimates and then hand them off to the adjuster. PLCG handles all aspects of your claim in-house so you receive focused, personal attention to ensure a smooth, coordinated approach that results in the successful outcome of your claim.
The adjuster assigned by your insurance company works for the company and will try to limit their financial exposure. PLCG represents you, and only you, to obtain the maximum insurance settlement possible on your behalf.
Insurance companies typically use software that is “one size fits all” whereas our software allows us to customize your claim. Our job is to differentiate from the generic estimating software that the insurance companies use so that your claim accurately reflects your loss and what is required to restore or replace your property.
Our fee is paid by the insured party on a contingency basis. We charge a percent’s of the overall insurance claim. This fee may be negotiated with respect to the size of the loss. We do not get paid until you receive your insurance settlement.
No. PLCG works in PENNSYLVANIA and NEW JERSEY and following the devastating destruction caused by major hurricanes that have struck these areas in recent years.
PLCG handles any first party property insurance claim. Water damage, frozen pipes, vandalism and windstorm are just a few examples of the types of claims we handle.
A condominium owner loss is a very different situation from an individual homeowner or business owner loss, and can be particularly confusing and complicated. There are many parties involved, and it is necessary to keep the management company, unit owners and tenants informed throughout the process. A public adjuster can explain how the different insurance policies and condominium documents interact with one another, and the responsibilities of each party.
A public adjuster will prepare the claim for the association and determine what portion of the damage falls within the association policy or if the damage is to be claimed under the unit owners’ insurance policy. A public adjuster examines all aspects of the claim, like what improvements a unit owner has made to their individual unit, and be able to convey that information to the insurance company. Any public adjuster engaged to represent condo associations will take the time to investigate and gather information where the insurance company adjuster will not.
In short, condominium claims require a strong leader who can prepare the claim, supply a breakdown for damages for each involved owner and common area; understand the insurance policy and condominium documents, take the time to communicate and deliver accurate information so that everyone understands the process and ultimate goal. A qualified public adjuster can accomplish all of these tasks.
A company adjuster or “in-house” adjuster is an employee of the insurance company. An independent adjuster works for a private company and is hired by the insurance company to adjust losses on their behalf. The independent adjuster’s client is the insurance company. A public adjuster is hired by the insured to work on the insured’s behalf to prepare the claim, present the claim to the insurance company and negotiate the settlement. As public insurance adjusters, you are our clients.
You should look for a company that has experience, knowledge and a good reputation. It is also important to look for a firm that has skilled in-house staff to handle every aspect of your claim, such as building consultants, accountants and property claims specialists. It’s important that you have an open line of communication to the people who are preparing and presenting your claim.