Public adjusters are a good owner resource for the initial claims handing process. A Public Adjuster is a licensed and trained specialist that adjusts insurance claims for homeowners, commercial property owners and businesses. Public adjusters have experience in hail claims, fire loss, contents inventories, storm damage, and other occurrences which constitute a covered loss. In Minnesota, these individuals are subject to regulation and oversight by the Department of Commerce. These insurance adjusters work only for the policyholder and not the insurance company. We frequently recommend that clients start their claims process with a Public Adjuster in place so that the claim is properly documented, properly presented and appropriately paid.
Public Adjusters help insureds by using their expertise in estimating and policyholder advocacy to maximize the claims process. They understand coverage and can make sure the policyholder is being compensated appropriately under the policy they purchased. If appraisal under the insurance policy is demanded by either side, Public Adjusters can represent the property owner in that process. If the claim does not resolve and legal input is necessary, having a file properly prepared and documented by a qualified Public Adjuster is also extremely helpful to the insured.
Public Adjusters differ from Independent Insurance Adjusters or adjusters who are employed by the insurance company because Public Adjusters look out for the property owners’ interests. Policyholders need to understand that when the adjuster comes from the insurance company, that person is paid by and instructed by the insurance company as to how to handle the claim. An Independent Insurance Adjuster is allowed to work for more than one insurance company at a time but, again, is paid by the insurers and receives direction from them on the claim. Unlike a Public Adjuster, neither of the types of adjusters solely represents the property owners’ interests in the claim process.