FAQS


What is a public adjuster?
A public adjuster is a professional who has expert knowledge on loss adjustments. He is employed by the home or business owners to assist them in preparing, filing, and negotiating fair and equitable adjustments of insurance claims.

Are public adjusters in any way affiliated with insurance companies?
No.  Their services are engaged exclusively by the policyholder and not the insurance company.

What could a public adjuster do for me?
We will advise and assist you in the preparation of building damage assessment reports, estimates, inventories, and other factual proofs of loss.  We will handle all the necessary details for compiling and filing claims, as required by the terms of your insurance policies.  We will also meet and confer with the insurance company representatives and handle all negotiations essential to proper, satisfactory, and equitable adjustment of your claim.

How can a public adjuster better serve me over an insurance company adjuster?
The insurance company adjuster is employed exclusively by the insurance company where his loyalties are.  His objective is to keep the loss payment (dollar amount) to a minimum, in doing so this will increase his own personal bonuses.  We work for your best interests exclusively.

Why should I hire a public adjusters to get what's rightfully due me?
Do you really know what is rightfully due you?   We do!   We are your exclusive representatives.  With our experience and knowledge, we are far more capable of bringing about a favorable, satisfactory, and equitable adjustment.

Why can't my insurance agent or broker handle my claim?
An agent or broker is well trained in determining your insurance needs and placing or writing insurance policies, but they are NOT WELL TRAINED in detailing insurance losses.  You can't expect an agent or broker, who is not paid to adjust losses, to try and "adjust" one.  They generally don't have the time, construction/rebuilding knowledge, training, or facilities to render the highly specialized service of public insurance adjusting.

Can I prepare my own claim better than a public adjuster?
No!  It stands to reason that professional public adjusters, who are experienced in professionally handling and preparing claims every day, can do it more competently and efficiently than the average insured, who may only have one or two losses in a lifetime as opposed dealing with rigorous claims process.

Why do I need help in filing an insurance claim?
The typical insurance policy contains many provisions, complex details, and technical language about your requirements and the complicated procedures you must adhere to in case of loss.  Many people do not know or understand these policy provisions and do not realize that the burden of proof is on them, the policyholders.  In fact, most insurance company representatives actually prefer to work with a professional public insurance adjuster rather than an inexperienced insured.  A professional public insurance adjuster not only has your confidence, but the insurance company adjuster's as well because they recognize that they are working with a professional.  Professional public adjusters are well trained in what to look for in an insurance policy and fully understand the procedures necessary in preparing and filing a claim in accordance with policy requirements.

How do public adjusters determine the actual loss?
We take a physical inventory of your damage with your assistance, prepare an accurate, computer software aided estimate of damages to your building, and obtain other pertinent documentation to determine your loss of rents, business interruption or additional living expenses.  We make certain that all provisions in your insurance policy are properly fulfilled.  This often involves numerous steps of which you may know little or nothing about, but can make a significant impact on the outcome of the amount for your final settlement.

Why is a builder or contractor's estimate insufficient to enable the insurance company to make an equitable settlement?
Building contractors do not have experience in interpreting insurance policies and how they apply to a loss.  They are not knowledgeable in calculating depreciation, coinsurance, actual cash value provisions of the policy, and other elements of your loss.  Further, a contractor is competitive with his bid, attempting to provide his lowest bid to get the job and in giving the lowest bid he may not be doing the entire job. Hidden heat, smoke damage, and water damage could cause you problems even after you settle your loss.  These items and many more are usually overlooked because many contractors are unfamiliar with the methods of preparing a detailed estimate in a format that the insurance company recognizes.  In addition, a contractor can't handle your contents inventories, or prepare your additional living expense loss or business interruption loss. We engage the services of skilled, knowledgeable, experienced engineers, builders, and/or loss experts to prepare highly detailed estimates of all aspects of your loss.  The building estimate is in a form and content familiar to insurance company experts and is done in conjunction with examinations by both the company adjusters and our experts.  Every item of reconstruction is accounted for and detailed.  The estimate specifically details all aspects of damage repairs necessary to restore the building to its original condition or evaluate it as to its current value.

Will my loss be settled quicker with the services of a public adjuster?
We know exactly what is necessary to provide to the insurance company in order to expedite the settlement of your claim.  Having our professional public adjuster handle your loss can save a great deal of time. Inspections are done immediately, estimates are prepared, inventories completed, and time elements losses are implemented.  Accumulation of evidence and substantiation begins without delay.  With your cooperation, we will quickly have your claim filed and the settlement process under way.

How do the public adjusters charge a fee?
We charge a small percentage of what the insured received in settlement.  We don't receive any fee until the insurance company actually issues the check to you.  It is to our benefit to get the maximum settlement possible for you in as little time as possible.  The benefits gained from engaging our services will more than compensate the cost of our fee, at the very least.  Our fees are usually "contingent".  

In summarizing, Advocate Claims Services will:
Complete a precisely detailed estimate of what is required to repair or rebuild your premises.  Assist in the preparation of inventories on your damaged personal or business property, contents, and related items.  With your help in providing correct documentation, and determining ages and descriptions, a professional public adjuster can evaluate and determine the approximate current values.  Prepare your time element losses, such as business interruption, loss of rents, or additional living expenses.  Establish a professional line of communications with the insurance adjuster.  Present estimates, inventories, and other valuations to the insurance adjuster. Meet with the insurance company to negotiate and adjust your claim fairly and equitably, thus resulting in an acceptable settlement to you.

Advocate Claims Services works for you; they are on your side, to achieve these results.