This is Alan Garfinkel and I’ve been practicing hurricane recovery law for decades and actually for more than 25 years and i want to give some thoughts today some tips today on dealing with adjusters and you’ll meet 3 kinds of adjusters.
Now there are three different types of adjusters.
Insurance Company’s adjuster
The first type of an adjuster is what you’re most familiar with and that is the insurance company’s adjuster.
You call up you probably have a claim number and or have reported your losses and are now speaking to one of their quote adjusters. Many of these folks are licensed with the state. They have duties and obligations but they work for a company who has an obligation to their shareholders.
And so they’re concerned about you but they’re also concerned about their bottom line and making profits for their shareholders. So understand that there’s kind of a mixed a mixed bag of responsibility. One responsibility is to save the insurance company money. The second responsibility is to try to assess your claim.
The second type of insurance adjuster is what’s called a quote unquote independent adjuster.
And the independent adjuster is typically hired by your insurance company and they’re going to say we sent out an independent adjuster to establish your loss of damage.
How much money in damage you have? What your deductible is? What amount of damage do you have and what percentage of that is caused by this Hurricane Matthew as opposed to Sandy, Katrina, Charley, Andrew, Jeanne et cetera? And believe me that there will be lots of responsibility that’s attempted to be shifted by your insurance company for prior storms.
In any event the insurance company itself will hire what’s called an independent adjuster and they’re not independent they’re hired by your insurance company.
They are paid exclusively by your insurance company to give the insurance company their assessment.
So don’t get fooled by the word independent because many times they’re not.
Furthermore i will tell you that because of the thousands and tens of thousands of claims that will likely be handled the insurance companies are not set up to process these many claims in this time.
So what they’ll do is they’ll have people come in from Idaho and New Mexico and all over the state.
South Dakota wherever their folks live and they will be asked to assess the damage.
And many of these folks are not licensed in Florida they don’t know what the additional building codes are.
So please understand that whenever you get an opinion from your own insurance adjuster always get a second opinion always get at least a second opinion and maybe a third opinion.
And finally I’ll tell you the next issue which is what’s called a private adjuster.
A public adjuster is hired by you independently to process your claim but my next segment is going to talk specifically about specific warnings that and vetting processes that you want to do before hiring any public adjuster because the public adjuster many of them are good many of them are bad but all of them have contracts that you have to be aware of.
And remember what i said all contracts are negotiable and so the public adjusters will negotiate with you and they must negotiate one particular term that drives them crazy that i will discuss on the next video.