When unexpected damages hit residential or commercial property, it is important that dealing with the insurance company is taken care of as efficiently as possible, and the policyholder gets the funds necessary to rebuild. Property could be damaged by a hurricane, a storm, lightning, water, mold, fire, termites, or more. Countless amounts of hours, work, and money have been put into a property, making it critical that the policyholder do research when it comes to who to hire when disaster strikes.
Lawyers and public adjusters both assist in requesting funds from the insurance companies for these repairs. They are similar… but different.
First, when requesting funds after an incident, the insurance company is going to want to give the policyholder the least amount of money possible. That’s business. The insurance company’s P&L sheets thrive on bringing in as much in premiums and paying out as little as possible. This obviously doesn’t always work for you as the policyholder, as you may not be receiving what you feel you deserve.
After an incident, an insurance provider may not give the property owner the amount they were expecting in order to repair your property. This is often when the policyholder will want to contact a public adjuster or lawyer.
Remember, the insurance company is not the policy holder’s friend. They will look for reasons to pay as little as possible, or reasons to not pay at all.
What is a Public Adjuster?
After an accident, an insurance company provides an adjuster at no charge. A public adjuster is an independent third party the property owner hires, who inspects the damage and makes an estimate according to the value of the damage that has been done, based on their evaluations. The public adjuster will provide an estimate that can be presented to the insurance company in an attempt to get a higher settlement. The public adjuster represents the policyholder, which can cause legal issues for the policyholder if the insurance company claims that there is false information being presented.
In Florida, the maximum percentage that a public adjuster can charge is 20% of the claim. They can also charge an hourly fee.
Why You’ll Want a Lawyer
A property damage lawyer often works with public adjusters and uses them as expert witnesses, but an attorney can do even more. Lawyers will structure your claim for you, and look at all legal issues regarding your policy. A lawyer will also negotiate with the insurance company on the policyholder’s behalf.
If the insurance company is trying to deny coverage or workaround compensating the property owner, it is likely the property owner will need legal advice, which an attorney can help with. There are a number of reasons why an insurance company could say that a policy does not cover a claim. The insurance company may say the policy lapsed, the claim was misrepresented or the damage was intentional. A public adjuster cannot help you with this. Remember, a “policy” is just another term for “contract”.
If the insurance company denies the claim, an attorney can take the case to court. A public adjuster cannot do this. A lawyer can take a case in front of a judge and fight on the property owner’s behalf.
Lawyers at Landau Law Group
If you or a loved one has recently suffered property damage due to a natural disaster or accident, speak with an attorney today for a free consultation. We’ll explain how we work with public adjusters across the state of Florida, and how working with us can be advantageous for your claim. Contact Landau Law Group today at 866-703-4878 for a free consultation regarding your case.