What is an insurance adjuster?
An insurance adjuster, also known as a claims adjuster, investigates and verifies claims to determine if, and how much, an insurance company should pay for damage or personal injuries.
For example, a tree falls on the roof of an IT consultant's office building. A claims adjuster will inspect the damage, interview the property owner and any witnesses, and determine how much it will cost to repair the building.
The insurance claims adjuster will also analyze the terms of your commercial property insurance or business owner’s policy. They will then submit the information about the incident to the insurance company along with recommendations for an appropriate claim settlement.
What does an insurance adjuster do?
An insurance adjuster collects information to find out what happened in an incident and figure out a fair settlement price. The adjuster will speak to anyone involved in the case to verify the details. They may also take photos of the damage and gather information, including police reports. The claims adjuster will then review the evidence and your policy to determine how your policy may cover the damages.
Types of insurance adjusters
In the insurance industry, there are three main kinds of adjusters:
- Staff adjuster: Paid employees of the insurance company whose primary duty is to evaluate claims.
- Independent adjuster: These are third-party contractors who work on behalf of the insurance company.
- Public adjuster: Similar to an independent adjuster, this person is a contractor, but they work specifically for the policyholder, not the insurer.
Should you consider hiring a public adjuster?
No matter the type of insurance adjuster, the goal is to analyze the facts of your claim and determine fair compensation. But unlike a staff adjuster or an independent insurance adjuster – which both represent the interests of the insurance company – a public adjuster represents the interests of the insured.
If you own a small business, chances are your claims can be adequately handled by an independent or staff adjuster. However, if your claim involves unusually catastrophic damage or an inadequate insurance payout, you may consider hiring a public adjuster.
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