Frequently Asked Questions
OKLAHOMA PUBLIC ADJUSTERS FAQs
Ask an Oklahoma Public Insurance Adjuster
Q: Why should I use a public adjuster when an insurance adjuster has already estimated my losses?
A: In general, it’s smart to get a second opinion; it could even be in your best financial interest! Remember, when an insurance company adjuster estimates your losses, that adjuster isn’t there working for you but rather for your insurance company. This doesn’t mean that the adjuster isn’t highly professional. However, if you use a public insurance adjuster, you have an equally skilled professional working for YOU. Your public adjuster has the incentive to stick around and find every possible claim. If you want to make sure that all of your losses are discovered and compensated, it’s smart to have your own adjuster working for you.
Q: How much do Oklahoma public adjusters charge?
A: Public insurance adjusters are paid a small percentage out of the final settlement. They do not charge upfront fees, nor can they charge you if they do not produce a settlement offer. Since public adjusters are compensated out of the settlement, they have the financial incentive to find and document every possible insurance loss. And since settlements are maximized, you’ll likely come out money ahead, even after the adjuster is paid.
Q: Should I just do the documentation myself?
A: You absolutely can. In fact, in insurance claims, the burden of proof is on you; it is YOUR responsibility, not the insurance company’s, to document and prove all of your losses. If you have the time, energy, and insurance, rebuilding, and replacement cost estimating expertise to handle the job yourself, then you certainly can handle claims on your own. On the other hand, if you’d rather have a professional work expeditiously on your behalf, let a public adjuster take on the burden. With extensive insurance claims experience along with construction and cost estimating expertise, public insurance adjusters are well equipped to handle your claim. Filing a major insurance claim is routine work for public adjusters, yet for the average consumer, it’s a once in a lifetime event for which they are poorly prepared.
Q: I’m concerned that the public adjuster will badmouth my insurance company or try to sell me a new policy. Should I worry about this?
A: There’s no need to worry about high pressure tactics with public adjusters. Not only are public adjusters professionals who must abide by specific state regulations and industry best practices, they are NOT insurance agents. Their primary goal is to find and document your damage so that they can successfully negotiate a better settlement offer from your insurance company.
Q: Is my claim large enough to justify a public insurance adjuster’s time?
A: While some small insurance claims are straightforward enough to go through the traditional insurance claims process without the intervention of public adjusters, most public adjusters will be happy to discuss your case with you. If you feel that your concerns are being blown off by your insurance company, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to contact a public adjuster to see if your claim qualifies for extra help.
Q: My insurance company has offered me a huge check but I’m not sure that it’s going to be enough. Should I hire a public insurance adjuster?
A: Absolutely. You have little to lose by hiring your own adjuster because any fees paid come out of the final settlement – and only if the adjuster can improve the offer.
Q: Are you saying that my insurance company is ripping me off?
A: Not at all. Your insurance company pays claims based on the information that YOU provide proving your losses. The burden of proof is on you, not on the insurance company or its adjusters. There’s more to proving your losses than simply allowing the insurance company’s adjusters to inspect your property. You may need to be aggressive in order to ensure that every piece of damage is observed, noted, and estimated. If you fail to prove your losses, it’s not that the insurance company is ripping you off; it’s simply that you failed to prove your losses. A public insurance adjuster is a highly skilled professional capable of understanding the terms of your policy, documenting every possible covered insurance loss, and presenting all damages, documentation, and estimates to your insurance carrier.
Q: What types of insurance claims need a public insurance adjuster?
A: Just about any insurance claim can benefit from a public adjuster’s third party expertise including:
• Hurricane losses
• Hail storm losses
• Tornado losses
• Vandalism claims
• Theft claims
• Fire and smoke claims
• Building collapses and explosions
When in doubt, contact an Oklahoma public insurance adjuster and ask if your claim might be a good candidate for outside help.