Don't get overwhelmed by the process. We hope you take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about filing a claim. However, if the answer you are looking for is not listed here, feel free to call or email us to put your mind at ease.
Mediation is set forth in the State of Florida Insurance Statutes. Mediation is the step between you receiving some compensation for your claim and you filing a lawsuit for additional compensation. A mediator (attorney) is appointed by the state within 30 days following the request by the insured. The mediator meets with the all of the parties named in the insurance policy, your Public Adjuster and a representative from your insurance company. The mediator is trained to move both sides to agree on an amount thus avoiding lawsuits that could result in jury trials that could clog up the courts. Mediation meetings generally take less than an hour. Mediation is not binding unless all parties agree.
Sometimes the mediation works and we settle and sometimes it does not. If we have an impasse, the insured has the remedy of filing a lawsuit. The chance of not settling any case is less than one in one hundred. Insurance companies avoid going to trial at all costs because of bad faith damages that can be awarded against them. Suing an insurance company is not initially expensive on the part of the insured; however, it can be stressful and can take a while to complete. We have several attorneys that we work that specialize in plaintiff representation against insurance companies.
Public Adjuster – A Public Adjuster is a licensed professional retained by the insured (you) to represent you and your interests. Public adjusters are licensed by the State of Florida. Our main responsibility is to secure the insurance settlement that the home, condominium or business owner deserve according to their insurance policy/contract.
Company Adjuster – A Company Adjuster is employed as a member of an insurance company’s staff. A company adjuster’s primarily goal is to protect the insurance company’s interests. In essence, a Company Adjuster’s allegiance is to the insurance company, not you.
Independent Adjuster – Independent Adjusters are hired by insurance carriers to represent their interests in dealing with their claim (as opposed to yours). An Independent Adjuster’s allegiance is to the insurance company, not you.
Peace of mind! We are here to represent you and your interest in the claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies often times deny claims that should be paid or do not pay enough money on a covered claim. This is not always the case and even when it is it may not be intentional. I know that most adjusters have the best of intentions but sometimes they may be inexperienced or simply trained to see things one way, the way the big insurance company wants it to be seen. As Public Adjusters our number one job is to get you the largest settlement available to you under your policy with the insurance company.
NO. By state law we as Public Adjusters are not allowed to represent the insurance companies. We can only represent the insuring public.
The answer is yes. A Public Adjuster is tested, licensed, bonded, has completed continuing education and is authorized to practice the Public Adjusting profession in the State of Florida. We are licensed by the Department of Financial Services just as independent adjusters who represent your insurance company.
Answer: Public Adjusters typically work on a contingency basis which equals a small percentage of any money recovered by the insurance company.
By law, all companies, except for Citizens, are required to pay or deny claims within 90 days.
The first check (which we refer to as the undisputed amount, the amount you would end up with if you did not use our firm) from your insurance company will arrive at about 90 days. After that, depending on the course of action permitted in your contract, it may take another three to six months to complete the adjusting and settling of your claim.
If you feel a previous claim was underpaid, we will aid you in re-opening it and work diligently to get you a fairer, often bigger settlement. You have three years from the date of the loss to re-open a claim.
In Florida, in most cases you have three years to report a claim from the date that the loss occurred. Each insurance company has provisions in their contracts regarding late reporting of claims that may make the filing of a claim that happened six plus months ago more difficult but never impossible.
Depending on your contract, you either have mediation rights or appraisal rights.
NO! This is NOT required under any policy that I have seen to date and I do not recommend it. In the event of a loss it is best to employ a Reputable Public Adjuster that knows what the policy will cover and what it takes to get your property back to its pre-loss condition. Many contractors will provide you with a competitive bid to make repairs but not necessarily get your property back to its pre-loss condition
Appraisal is the method preferred by most Public Adjusters. If our respective financial positions are too far apart then we may notify the insurance company that we wish to move the issues into the appraisal process. In the appraisal process, both sides agree on a neutral Umpire who will make a financial determination of our claim and that Umpire’s decision is final. Before meeting with the Umpire the insurance company will appoint an appraiser/expert to represent them. We act as your appraiser/expert. Usually both appraisers/experts meet at the loss to review both estimates to look for compromise. If in the event that there is too much difference to compromise then the estimates and support documentation are sent directly to the Umpire. The Umpire will make a final decision in a week to ten days. Remember that the Umpire’s decision is final.
No. In most cases we can reopen your file with a supplemental claim. There are many factors involved. Give us a call and we will be happy to offer you a free claim consultation.
Not necessarily. It is not recommended to file a claim every time you spill a glass of water as you may become classified as a nuisance claim maker. Property insurance is typically rated based on your area which is why all homeowner rates increased in Florida after the hurricanes, whether you filed a claim or not. The risk is more related to the area where your property is located and in commercial situations the use of the property. However, it is known that there are databases where claim activity is logged and each insurance company may have their own stipulations based on claim activity of the individual or the property. Ultimately, you buy insurance to protect you in the time of a loss. If you are debating whether you should file a claim or not, please feel free to call and speak with one of our Public Adjusters about your particular situation, we are always happy to help.
The insurer’s adjuster represents the insurer and not yours. Neither the insurance carrier nor the assigned adjuster is responsible for writing a detailed estimate of your loss. Frequently, these estimates are missing items and do not accurately reflect the market costs in your area. Their goal is to protect the interest of the carrier.
There are several reasons why you may want to consider obtaining help with your claim:
Public Adjusters are licensed in some states. Both Texas and Florida require Public Adjusters to be licensed.
Do not do anything before having a qualified Public Adjuster or Attorney take a look at your file. Depending on the way everything is written you may be agreeing to their offer by depositing the check. We do not charge anything to come out and evaluate your particular situation.