A Florida public adjuster is a licensed professional in Florida. This person’s role is to act as your agent when dealing with your insurance company. They will file an insurance claim for you, either when you are the insured or a third-party who has a claim that affects someone else’s insurance company. This person provides these services in exchange for a fee or commission of the amount that the insurance company ultimately pays you.
While Florida public adjusters are licensed, they are not attorneys. They do not have the in-depth legal knowledge that a lawyer would have. They also cannot deal with or spot issues that may be related to your insurance claim in the same way that a lawyer can.
The Basics of What Public Adjusters Do
Florida has a high number of insurance claims compared to the rest of the country, and a lot of those numbers have to do with the increased number of natural disasters that we experience every year. Public adjusters came about, in part, to deal with the high demand of having to work with an insurance company to get funds after a loss.
All Florida public adjusters are required to be licensed. They have continued training requirements that they must meet on a regular basis, too. While experienced public adjusters will often have more in-depth knowledge about structural and construction-related damages, they do not get the same legal training that an attorney goes through.
Some examples of what a public adjuster might do include:
- Investigate or review the damage that occurred after a natural disaster
- Help gather and create documentation, such as receipts, statements, and appraisals
- Prepare estimates to show the damage to property
- Help negotiate your claim with the insurance company
A public adjuster will take a fee for their services; it is usually a percentage of your recovery from the insurance company. Most fees are around 10%. Florida law caps these fees.
Public Adjusters and Attorneys
Public adjusters and attorneys can work well together in some situations. However, an attorney will do everything that a public adjuster can do, and much more.
Restrictions and Regulations
A public adjuster has a wide variety of restrictions on their conduct in Florida. These restrictions are the result of various abuses that have occurred over the years.
For example, a public adjuster is not permitted to solicit work from those who have experienced losses, unless it between Monday and Sunday, from 8 am to 8 pm.
Protection from the Insurance Company
A public adjuster also cannot prevent the insurance company from talking to the insured or having access to their property.
A Florida attorney that handles insurance claims, on the other hand, offers a significantly higher level of protection for those who have experienced a loss. In most situations, the insurance company is directed to communicate only with the attorney. In this way, the client is protected from being manipulated by the insurance company, which often has much more experience with insurance disputes than the average consumer.
Taking the Dispute to Court
A public adjuster can negotiate for you, but he or she cannot take the matter to court as an attorney can. If the dispute cannot be resolved through negotiation, then you may need to turn to a lawyer to help you take a more aggressive stance.
Getting Help With or Without a Public Adjuster
Whether you want to use a public adjuster or not, the team at VG Legal Group is ready to help with your insurance claim. We can continue the investigation where your public adjuster left off, or we can work with your public adjuster as needed. We can even handle disputes against your public adjuster, too. Contact us to learn more about how we can help: 1-833-HELP-365.