Oklahoma's #1 Public Adjuster

"Accuracy is Our #1 Priority"

What is a Public Adjuster?

A public adjuster is a professional claims adjuster who advocates for the policyholder/homeowner in appraising and negotiating a homeowners insurance claim.

 
     Aside from attorneys and the broker of record, state-licensed public adjusters can legally represent the rights of an insured during an insurance claim process. Their technical expertise and ability to interpret sometimes ambiguous insurance policies allow property owners to receive the maximum amount of indemnification for their claims. Although seen many times as adversarial by the Carriers, public adjusters do (almost always) substantially increase the settlement value of the loss. Many professionals, and persons who are either incapable due to education, age, or physical impairment, choose public adjuster representation to guide them through the process and minimize the time which must be spent to perfect their claim.

 

     Primarily public adjusters prepare detailed scope and cost estimates many times using experts in the fields of remediation, toxicology, and construction engineers to prove their loss. Public adjusters also provide insurance policy interpretation to determine covered and uncovered items and to negotiate with the insurance Carrier to a final and fair settlement.

 

     There are three classes of insurance claims adjusters: staff adjusters (employed by an insurance company or self-insured entity), independent adjusters (independent contractors hired by the insurance company) and public adjusters (employed by the policyholder/homeowner).

 

"Company" or "independent" adjusters can only legally represent the rights of an insurance company, therefore, their job is to control the insurance company's costs by undervaluing your claim.  Public Adjusters work for the homeowners best interest.

 

The public adjuster's main responsibilities are to:

 

  • Evaluate existing insurance policies in order to determine what coverage may be applicable to a claim. 

  • Research, detail, and substantiate damage to buildings and contents and any additional expenses.

  • Evaluate business interruption losses and extra expense claims for businesses. 

  • Determine values for settling covered damages. 

  • Prepare, document and support the claim on behalf of the insured. 

  • Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on behalf of an insured.

  • Re-open a claim and negotiate for more money if a discrepancy is found after the claim has been settled.

 

     Typically a policyholder hires a public adjuster to document and expedite their claims, obtain a more satisfactory claim recovery, more quickly, and completely restore their residence or business operations, and insulate themselves from the stress of engaging in an adversarial role with a large corporation. However, the cost of hiring outside experts, no matter how well-earned, can be an added burden when they are borne entirely by the policyholder. The added burden can be alleviated by the work of a public adjuster. However, policyholders who are not properly indemnified by their insurance carriers may be left with little choice but to hire professional assistance to recover the claim payment to which they are entitled.

     

     Public adjusters must be able to recognize claims that may be insubstantial and disputable and explain such problems to the client. The everyday meanings of terms like "collapse", "partial collapse" and "extent of physical damage" might be entirely different from their legal interpretations, requiring the adjuster to clarify such terms for the client.  

 

     While it is not always clear when a policyholder may benefit from hiring a public adjuster, the most benefit is likely to be realized if they are engaged immediately in case of a loss. Shortly after the insurance company receives notice of a loss, an adjuster representing the insurance company will visit the policyholder to gather facts about how the loss occurred, the magnitude of the loss, and the possibility of subrogation. Incorrect, incomplete or inadequately expressed answers to the adjuster's questions may reduce the amount that can be claimed. A public adjuster engaged early in the process, before the fact-finding stage, will have more opportunity to help the policyholder receive a fair settlement for all losses legitimately covered under the insurance policy. However, any time during negotiations with the insurance company and even after a settlement has been received by an insured, a public adjuster may be able to negotiate for a higher amount. 

Insurance Appraisal Process

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Hire An Unbiased Appraiser To Invoke The Appraisal Process

Has the insurance company stonewalled your project or insurance claim, saying they refuse to pay another dime?  Insurance companies lie to homeowner and contractors all the time.  Our third party unbiased insurance appraisers are ready to assist in the process of coming to an agreed price and scope of repairs with the insurance company.  We maintain that we are unbiased, because we charge a flat fee for services.  These services are not percentage or commission based.  Once the appraisal form is signed, your appraiser will invoke appraisal with the insurance company.

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Insurance Company Hires An "Unbiased Appraiser"

Once the appraisal process is invoked, the insurance company must assign their appraiser within 20 days according to most policies.  Each appraiser will agree on an umpire that will make the final decision if they can not come to an agreement.  If the two appraisers can not agree on an umpire, then one can be appointed by a judge in the court.  After an umpire is agreed upon, each party will submit their position to the other party and the negotiations will begin.

Appraisal Agreement

Once the appraisers have come to an agreement, an appraisal award will be sent to the insurance company.  The insurance company will typically cut a check for the agreed award within a few weeks.  If the appraisers can not come to an agreement, the umpire will be invoked, and the umpire will decide the outcome of the appraisal award.

Did Your Insurance Company Pay Enough For Your Repairs?