How to Find the Right Florida Public Adjuster for You
Every commercial property owner in Florida understands the importance of insurance. In a state prone to hurricanes, high-winds and rain, it’s essential to have a comprehensive coverage plan to protect your assets.
When disaster does strike, you need your claim processed quickly and fairly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. When you need help filing a claim or feel like your insurer isn’t compensating you correctly, a public adjuster is your greatest ally.
A Florida public adjuster works for you
Just as there are a number of insurance options available to individuals, there are also unique adjusters to match. What makes a public adjuster unique from an independent adjuster is that they are the only adjuster in Florida specially licensed by the state to represent you. According to the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA), their responsibility is to protect the insured’s interests and claims against a loss with their insurance company.
If your insured property is damaged by a fire, hurricane, hail storm or a number of other events, you are responsible for collecting information about the extent of the destruction and present it to your insurance company. As FAPIA explained, there are a number of conditions the insured must satisfy to have their claim accepted. Failing to comply with even one of these requirements could result in your settlement amount being reduced or your claim denied altogether.
Between all of the legal jargon and paperwork, it can be overwhelming for even the most organized property owners to file a commercial building insurance claim quickly and correctly. Furthermore, even if your loss is properly documented, filing and receiving a claim can be a tedious process as insurance companies are notorious for delaying compensation.
As experts in the insurance industry, public adjusters understand the legal requirements for filing a claim and can help you understand your rights under your policy. They work for you to ensure you receive fair and timely compensation when you need it the most.
2 reasons you may need a public claim adjuster
Now that you know what a Florida public adjuster does, it’s time to explore when and why you may need one. The first occurs before your claim has been filed. As previously mentioned, compiling the documentation to properly file a commercial insurance claim can be difficult for one person to do on their own. A public adjuster can help you prepare your claim before you send it off to your insurance company.
This is especially helpful if you don’t understand legal terms or want to maximize your settlement. A public adjuster can help you organize the information needed to move your claim along quickly and ensure you don’t miss any crucial pieces that could delay or reduce your settlement. If you feel like you need assistance compiling your claims information, you should call and hire a public adjuster before you begin.
The second scenario when you would need assistance from a public adjusting firm is after your claim has been filed. Your insurance company will be carefully scrutinizing your documents and may delay providing their own information that can help you understand the claim. In the long-run, insurers are looking out for their best interest, not yours. If you feel like your settlement was unfair, a public adjuster can help you ensure you receive the right compensation. They have the tools and knowledge to evaluate your loss and know how to log supplemental claims for policyholders.
A public insurance adjuster works for the claimant, and only gets paid when their settlement is complete. This means they are fully invested in ensuring you receive fast and fair compensation for your losses.
Choosing a Florida public adjuster
The South Florida Sun Sentinel estimates that there are around 1,800 licensed public insurance adjusters in the state of Florida. It’s no surprise considering how populous the state is and how prone it is for natural disasters that there are a large number of public adjusters to choose from. However, it’s important to choose an adjuster that specializes in your property damage and, most importantly, is licensed in the state of Florida.
Public adjusters are held to high standards by Florida statutes. According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, to become one you must first be over 18 years of age and be a resident or have a principal business residence in the state. Additionally, you must have an all-lines adjuster license in Florida and file a surety bond (costing $50,000). Then, you will need to apply (and pay fees to do so), be fingerprinted and take an exam if you haven’t already done so within a year.
Only when all of these prerequisites are met will your application be considered and either accepted or rejected. As you can see, it’s no small task becoming a Florida public adjuster. However, even though they are all held to the same standard, they may specialize in different properties and damage types.
For instance, if you have a commercial property, restaurant or warehouse that was damaged by high winds, you would want a public adjusting professional who has expertise in these areas and knows how to assess damages. On the other hand, if your home has experienced water damage due to a burst pipe, you would want assistance from an adjuster who is well-versed in residential claims.
The experienced public adjusters at Stone Claims Group are ready to help with commercial storm damage claims. Headquartered in Florida, our licensed professionals understand the unique challenges of commercial property owners in the state when it comes to damages caused by weather events and accidents. Contact us today to learn more about receiving help maximizing your next commercial building insurance claim.
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