TEI Claims Frequently Asked Questions

Why do property owners need a public adjuster?

First, a public adjuster works for the property owner, NOT the insurance company.  The stressful period following a loss can be a difficult and frustrating time for individuals and businesses.  This can lead to a policyholder missing critical deadlines and overlooking available/applicable coverage(s).  The typical fire or flood insurance policy has an assortment of complex provisions and conditions associated with coverage.  Public adjusters know the insurance business and are experienced in the various procedures and forms that require detailed, timely completion in order to facilitate a fair and equitable insurance recovery.

What services do public adjusters provide?

A public adjuster reviews insurance policies in order to present appropriate insurance claims for the damages incurred.  Public adjusters thoroughly examine and document damages and the associated costs.  Additionally, they determine the financial impact of business interruption losses and extra expense claims.  They help facilitate the gathering of complete documentation and support of all claimed damages.  Finally, a public adjuster negotiates with the insurance company on your behalf keeping you informed every step of the way.

How is the public adjuster compensated for their work?

Generally, public adjusters are paid based on a percentage of the total settlement.  Some may charge a flat fee or a sliding percentage based on the size of the claim. In many jurisdictions, the fee structure must be disclosed up front. Other compensation arrangements also exist such as contingent fee plans, retainers, and hourly basis agreements.

Why shouldn't my agent/broker or my contractor handle my claim?

An insurance company agent/broker is generally well versed in determining proper coverage and selling insurance policies.  Insurance claims for loss/damage require expertise in many disciplines outside of the insurance agent’s capability such as structural assessment, construction costs, local building codes and business disruptions for specific industries.  In most states, contractors cannot discuss policy coverages and are not licensed to negotiate your claim with the carrier.  Bottom line is that public adjusters are trained and licensed to advocate for your interests and have the knowledge to handle both the insurance complexities and construction related issues of the claim.