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Should I use a Public Adjuster to handle my Maryland insurance claim?

posted Dec 27, 2013, 12:36 PM by Dottrio LLC   [ updated Mar 26, 2014, 9:57 AM ]
dottrio maryland public adjuster increase claim amount
Once you have filed a claim your insurance company is going to send out an adjuster to inspect your damages and write an estimate of repair cost. Your insurance company wants to pay as little as possible to repair your home or business. Most insurers answer to shareholders and profitability often overrides the sense of responsibility to policyholders. Many insurance company managers and some employees hold stakes in the companies they work for. Many may be motivated to protect that investment at your expense by not properly assessing your insurance claim. If these individuals underpay claims often enough along with peers who do the same they can increase the profitability of the company thereby increasing their own financial reward. Executives at publicy held insurance companies almost always hold significant stakes in the companies they work for. This results in the executives often creating internal performance standards that protect their investment above protecting your property.

If your property is damaged in a catastrophe (usually a severe weather event), your adjuster will most likely be an independent adjuster. How does this impact you? Independent adjuster's pay is usually directly tied to your claim. The adjuster has a financial interest in finding the most money for you that he/she can justify with photos and other documentation for your insurance company. Most independent adjusters working on a catastrophe will be dealing with a large case load of claims and may unintentionally miss items that should be covered on your claim if you are not assisted by a Public Adjuster. This is usually simply the result of being overworked rather than an act of willful disregard for your rights under your insurance policy. If your claim is something other than a catastrophe event you will most likely have a staff adjuster assigned to your claim. Staff adjusters are more likely to put the interests of the insurance company above those of the policyholder for the reasons described above.

If the adjuster assesses your claim improperly or you do not agree with the adjuster on what is damaged, you should contact a Public Adjuster. Most Public Adjusters will provide an initial consultation at no charge although it may be limited to a telephone or email conversation. Most claims requiring anything above minor repairs will benefit from the expertise of a Public Adjuster. Public Adjusters work on a contingency basis meaning you only pay if money is obtained from your insurance company. The Public Adjuster fee is usually based on the size and complexity of the claim and is typically a percentage of the insurance claim settlement amount. Professional public adjusters will be very familiar with the current landscape in your local market. The Public Adjuster you select should be actively working other claims in your area and be familiar with many of the insurance company representatives working in your area. It is always preferable to hire your public adjuster before filing your claim but you should still expect results no matter what point in the process you bring them in. A skilled Public Adjuster will evaluate your existing insurance claim and may even direct you into a process called "Appraisal" if the issues in your insurance claim revolve around the dollar amount of the claim. The insurance claims process can be a challenging and difficult endeavor for the inexperienced. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance carrier and this contract is best interpreted by an expert. At Dottrio, LLC we represent you (the policyholder) and make the insurance claims process one less thing you have to worry about. Unlike most other Public Adjuster firms we are also a licensed General Contractor with significant knowledge and experience in evaluating repair costs. We are very active in the insurance claims appraisal process serving as an appraiser or umpire when appropriate for a claim. 

To learn more about how Dottrio, LLC can help you with your insurance claim call us at: 301-971-4040, email us at: admin@dottrio.com or use the "Contact Us" form on our website.

Dottrio, LLC experts in insurance claims resulting from: Fire, Wind, Hail, Hurricane, Tornado, Water Damage, Vandalism, Burglary, Earthquake and other perils.
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