An insurance adjuster, sometimes called a claims adjuster or claims handler, is the person who investigates claims for an insurance provider. The investigation may include interviewing witnesses, inspecting property damage, and reviewing police and hospital records.
When you file an insurance claim, your insurer has a claims adjuster look into the events surrounding the loss. Typically, this means the adjuster:
For small claims, an adjuster may only contact you by phone. But for something more costly, like a flood claim, an adjuster may need to come to your property to survey and record the damage.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about a claims adjuster is they work for the insurance provider — not you. While their goal is to provide a fair settlement, you may still need to be ready to make a case for yourself. These five tips can help:
You have a better chance of receiving an appropriate settlement when you’ve done your research and can assist the claims adjuster.
Some homeowners may decide to hire with an independent or public adjuster. An independent adjuster offers an objective perspective and can usually help:
Many public adjusters charge a fee based on the amount you collect, usually between five and 15 percent. Some will even visit your damaged property and help you determine if you should file a claim. Considering how important accurate details are for recouping the right amount of money, hiring a public adjuster after a major claim may make sense.
If you decide to hire an independent adjuster, do your due diligence. Adjusters must be licensed in their state, and most need to be bonded before they can offer services, so check their credentials. Also, be wary of anyone offering their services immediately after a disaster. That’s typically a red flag for scams.