Are Public Adjusters a Waste of Time (and Money)?
Ron Glaser | Jan 31, 2018
As a busy roofing contractor, you don’t have time to mess around. If an insurance company won’t buy a roof, you’ve wasted time you could have spent seeking other jobs. To “buy time,” it might be tempting to have a Public Insurance Adjuster (PA) make the claim on your client’s behalf. But in doing so, you could be doing a disservice to your client and yourself; here’s why:
Most PA’s lock homeowners into a contract to submit the claim on the property owner’s behalf. PA’s should submit a comprehensive claim promptly and should diligently follow up until a decision is reached. But they have no special ability to expedite a decision, nor can they do anything to improve the odds of an approval.
If the claim is denied – that’s it, game over. The PA can’t provide legal advice as they aren’t attorneys. All they can do is recommend that an attorney get involved. In our experience, the PA will still require payment of their 10%+ out of the proceeds even though they personally weren’t able to get the claim paid.
As is true for any profession, there are some crooked public adjusters, but most are fine professionals – they just aren’t necessary most of the time! Governor Greg Abbott even issued a Consumer Alert when he was the Attorney General of Texas, stating that:
“Most consumers do not need to pay a consultant or public adjuster to obtain the amount owed to them under their policies. I would urge you to avoid sharing your much-needed settlement with a third party if you can reach a satisfactory settlement on your own.” He also states, “[If] you believe you are not being offered a fair deal by your insurer, you may wish to speak with a qualified private attorney of your choice about your options.”
So instead of locking you and your client into what can be a bad situation, give them this sound advice instead:
- Do a little homework. Research tips on how to file a homeowner’s claim. Taking a few minutes to educate yourself on how to communicate with your insurance company can pay big dividends in the amount recovered.
- File the claim yourself. Yes, it will take a little time, but not much more than hiring a PA. As the property owner, you have just as much influence as a PA with the insurance company, so the odds of getting the claim approved aren’t diminished at all.
- Remain diligent. Texas law sets deadlines for insurance companies to act after you’ve filed a claim. Know them, and don’t be afraid to hold the insurance company accountable, as some have been known to hold checks even after approving a claim.
- Seek help only if denied. Hire a competent attorney if/when the claim is denied or underpaid in writing. If the insurance company pays up like they should, there is no need to hire anyone to help, and 100% of the payout is yours to spend on repairs.
By retaining The Lane Law Firm, you have the best of both worlds. After years of defending big insurance companies and helping them squash the “little guys'” insurance claims, Chip Lane decided to open his own firm to serve families and business owners needing help with insurance claims. With his years of experience and extensive knowledge of the insurance company’s tactics, he’s able to level the playing field and get claims approved.