Losing your home or another large part of your net worth due to an unforeseen disaster can of course be devastating. What can make matters even worse though is if your insurance policy does not pay out what you think you are entitled to in your current situation. Insurance companies like to say they will be there for you in a time of need, but at the end of day an insurance company is a business that wants to make money, and a way they can preserve their profits is by limiting payouts to customers when a claim is made.
If you want to argue the terms of your payout, the insurance company may send out a claims adjuster to inspect the property. But keep in mind that this adjuster either works directly for the insurance company or is contracted through them and will likely have the company's best interests in mind instead of yours. There is a way to level the playing field though and that's by hiring a public adjuster.
What is a Public Adjuster?
Most insurance companies will tell you that they can get you an adjuster to inspect the property for free. But again, this "free" adjuster knows who is buttering their bread and may not have the policy holder's best interests in mind. A public adjuster is someone who can be hired by any member of the general public and they have no loyalty to the insurance companies. You have a right to have your property inspected by whoever you like, and in many cases, it may make sense to hire a public adjuster instead of going with the insurance company's option.
Get More Money
Public adjusters pride themselves on being honest and straightforward when doing an assessment. Some of them even have a policy where they don't get paid until you get a payout, at which point they will take a small cut. So in other words, a public adjuster may have a financial incentive to put every last bit of damage they find into their report. They won't artificially inflate the number, because that would be dishonest and likely illegal, but you can rest easy knowing you are getting a truly accurate assessment of the situation. This may not always be the case if your adjuster gets his or her paycheck from the insurance company. This could lead to a bigger payout for you and your family.
Get a Payout Faster
When your insurance company provides the adjuster, you have to go on their schedule. It might be days or weeks before the adjuster will be available to come to your house. When you hire a public adjuster, you can likely find one that will be able to start the assessment right away, allowing you to finalize the data and get the ball moving on your payout sooner rather than later.