What Is A Public Adjuster?
A Public Adjuster is a licensed insurance professional who is retained by a policyholder to manage their property claim and to advocate on their behalf to expedite and maximize their recovery from a property loss event.
Types of Adjusters in New York
In New York state, there are several types of adjusters:
- Independent Adjuster (IA) – Independent adjusters are independent contractors who work with independent adjustment firms. They can work with as many firms as they like.
- Independent Adjustment Firm (IA) – Independent adjustment firms are the businesses insurance companies contract to handle claims on their behalf. These firms may be national or local, and they mostly hire Independent Adjusters who handle claims while the firm manages the claim and reviews the adjusters’ paperwork. After reviewing their paperwork, the firm sends their settlement recommendations to the insurance company.
- Staff Adjusters – Staff adjusters are employed by insurance companies, with their salary, benefits, and car often paid for by the company. They inspect damages, determine coverage, and make payments to the insured for damages sustained. Staff adjusters are also known as “field adjusters.”
- Inside Adjuster – Inside adjusters do not venture into the field to inspect claims. Instead, they review the work performed by independent adjusters and their firms. Inside adjusters are often the contact for policyholders within their insurance company, and they’re responsible for making payment to the insured.
- Catastrophe (CAT) Adjuster – Catastrophe adjusters mostly handle catastrophe claims. As a result, they’re often from out-of-state, only traveling to an affected area after a large storm or other event with dozens of claims in their docket. Their goal is to inspect and settle as many claims as possible in a short amount of time. Catastrophe adjusters are mostly independent adjusters, but some insurance companies also employ “catastrophe teams.”
- Catastrophe (CAT) Adjustment Firm – Catastrophe adjustment firms are companies that specifically recruit and manage catastrophe adjusters. They contract with specific carriers to handle their claims within a certain territory. These firms manage and review the cat adjuster’s paperwork before sending it to the carrier with payment recommendations.
- Public Adjuster – Of all adjusters licensed by the State of New York, only the public adjuster operates on behalf of the policyholder.
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What Does a New York Public Adjuster Do?
The public adjuster can submit a claim, manage a claim, schedule inspections, interpret the policy, negotiate with the insurance adjuster, and settle a claim on behalf of the policyholder with their consent. A public adjuster can help a policyholder avoid several time-consuming processes, like:
- Claims investigation, which includes scheduling inspections with insurance adjusters or other investigators.
- Coverage analysis, which consists of reading dozens of pages of cryptic insurance policies that are loaded with jargon.
- Claims negotiation, which includes arduous back and forth calls and meetings with insurance adjusters or their agents.
- Finding reputable restoration contractors or other experts, who can assist in the restoration process.
Often, public adjusters can help policyholders maximize their payment settlements faster, with the goal of getting a policyholder back to pre-loss condition as quickly as possible.
How Does a New York Public Adjuster Get Paid?
Quite simply, a public adjuster gets paid when the policyholder gets paid. In most cases, the public adjuster will be paid directly by the insurance company. The amount paid to the public adjuster will vary, but in New York state it can be no higher than 12.5% of the total claim settlement.
When Should a Policyholder Hire A New York Public Adjuster?
As a policyholder, if you’ve sustained damage to your property and have questions, a Licensed Public Adjuster can be a tremendous asset. They can assist as you navigate the treacherous waters of the claims investigation process, as well as help avoid common pitfalls and missteps that can lead to denials or underpayment. It’s not always necessary to hire a public adjuster for every property insurance claim, as they generally handle those that are larger or more complex. However, smaller claims can sometimes have more extensive damage than what can be observed by the untrained eye. If you have questions about your property damage, you can get a free, no-obligation consultation with a Licensed Public Adjuster at Claimly Public Adjusters by calling 1-800-624-3840.