Most people who have a claim have no idea how to prepare and adjust it. They more or less rely on their "insurance adjuster" to do that for them. BIG MISTAKE! What you must understand is, it is the "insurance adjusters" job to make company inspired settlements with policyholders, most of whom lack the fundamental information and adjusting skills to be on a level playing field with the adjuster. A Public Adjuster can help you level the field.
Knowledge is leverage. The more you know, the more power you have, and insurance adjusters are well trained to cut corners and save their company money and, more and more, look for ways to avoid paying claims. You need someone as well trained in your corner looking out for your interests. The objective in adjusting should be to get as good a result as possible, as quickly as possible, as trouble free as possible. Most policyholders will continue their fate of dealing ineffectively due to the fact that they lack ability, information, and understanding. To adjust is to negotiate. An adjuster is a negotiator. Usually, only the person representing the insurance company is considered the adjuster, and the policyholder receives his/her adjustment, as previously stated, from a company inspired adjuster. In order to arrive at an adjusted settlement, each side has its own needs to satisfy. The less you know, the more likely you are to be forced to meet the needs of the insurance company. You must know your needs! * You must know your rights! A Public Adjuster can help you with both of these. If you don't know what to expect and how to get it, you may become overwhelmed and give in too easily.
No one knows the outcome of an adjustment beforehand. Therefore, it is impossible to anticipate to what extent either party will give in to the needs of the other. Bargaining power becomes the main ingredient in adjusting. It usually comes about naturally as facts come to the surface. Adjusting is a matter of give and take, and unless you are dealing from a position of strength and knowledge like a Public Adjuster can offer, you may be forced to give too much.
Insurance adjusters facing a knowledgeable public adjuster usually enter on a more cooperative basis, and there is a strong likelihood that each will strive for common goals.
Usually a policyholder is having to deal with a claim at a time following a disaster. Psychologically, most people are not up to the task under these circumstances. It is very common to see people in a state of shock, confusion and helplessness. A professional public adjuster will be emotionally level and competent.
The time of a personal disaster is not the time to be thinking about all of this for the first time. Think about it now and take comfort in the knowledge that a Public Adjuster can be there to protect your interest if indeed the unthinkable happens to you.
On September 17, 2004 I witnessed my first weather related tragedy. Heavy rains from Hurricane Ivan caused extensive flooding in Southwestern PA The entire town of Carnegie suffered massive damage. I recall reading in an article that there was more water flowing through Carnegie that night than was flowing over Niagara Falls. Although my home was not damaged my family suffered greatly. Suddenly my parents went from living by themselves to housing an additional 6 family members for 7 months. As the handyman of the family the task of rebuilding fell on me, my father and brother in law. In addition to working an 11 hour a day job I would spend an additional 5 hours a night as well as my entire weekends gutting, sanitizing and rebuilding a house that had 12 ft of water in it. The memories of that time are still very vivid, due to a lack of traffic and electricity the town was quiet like after a heavy snow. The silence occasionally broken by the sound of people crying as they discarded their belongings and memories to the curb. For the next several weeks the town seemed like an odd colored antique photograph as everything became covered in a reddish brown dust that fell upon the roofs, shrubs and flood ravaged cars. The strange smell that lingered caused by the mold, the chemicals from homes and cars picked up by the flood water combined with the odor of dead animals and pets, The thought of which still sickens me to this day. The cost of rebuilding fell upon us as a family. Most residents including myself had no knowledge that homeowners insurance did not cover floods. In fact I recall my agent telling me “Carnegie hasn’t flooded in 50 years it would be a waste of money” Since the Devastation was so great there was no help as local contractors were trying to recover themselves. In fact neighboring towns were in the same situation. There was no infrastructure we often had to drive 8 miles to get gas since the 3 gas stations here in town were out of service. Mitigation fell on the property owner most of whom had never had to deal with this situation. . In the months that followed I came down with Bacterial Pneumonia and was hospitalized for several days. A perfect example of why a professional should deal with mitigation. With The Red Cross providing meals the town turned to government officials. One Politician after another toured the town. Fema helped a few folks but it wasn’t significant enough. And our Senator at the time visited and told everyone they should have been responsible enough to carry Flood insurance! I’m guessing that comment lead to his loss next election. The worst part I can remember is one news report after another where frustrated residents said “ insurance covers nothing” followed by an insurance agent with a smug look and cheesy smile saying “ that’s not true you have to read the policy” Read the Policy?! Every one can read the policy the question is can you comprehend the policy. Most threw their hands in the air and gave up fighting. The fact was insurance companies would not pay, Attorneys would not take cases and the daily challenges of trying to live normally were too much of a burden for most to take on another challenge. I found out years later that Homeowners insurance would have covered some of the damage provided it was presented properly. Seven years later it happened to me I had a furnace malfunction and put smoke through out the property. Like all good policy holders I notified my insurance company who told me they do not cover furnaces. I did some research and called a public adjuster who managed to get me a $6,000 settlement. When I questioned the insurance company they told me I did not present the claim properly. I questioned my agent who could not explain what they meant in fact telling me he didn’t know he was more in the sales end of the business. I thought it was their job to help you. Turns out it isn’t ! It is up to you to present the damage. Furious that they would treat me this way after I had not had a claim in the time I owned the property and had paid over $30,000 in premiums over the years I looked into becoming a public adjuster. I have spent the past several years learning about insurance policies, studying the language and loopholes and learning the tricks and traps used to deny coverage. My intention is to help you understand one of the most un-transparent and difficult industries to comprehend. To make sure you have the correct coverage before you need it My mission to ensure what happened to my family never happens to anyone else My Goal to let everyone know there is help! you do not have to face the challenge yourself especially in the wake of a catastrophic event. I will fight for you while you go about your daily routine. I urge every one to find a public adjuster and have them in your contact list should tragedy strike we have the resources to respond immediately. Have your policy reviewed by a public adjuster yearly to explain coverage’s and changes Make sure your paying for what you think you are paying for. Remember its best to have an opinion from someone who is not trying to sell you anything!
Metro Public Adjustment
Carnegie , PA 15106
Jacquelyn R Hoskowitz
I met with Gary the other day and he spent over an hour with me explaining what he does and how everything works. He even gave a little Powerpoint present. I learned quite a bit from him. He's very knowledgeable and I certainly could tell how he takes pride in helping people. Gary looked at my HO policy and explained what every coverage meant (something the insurance company) doesn't do. I would call Gary first before I ever had to submit an HO claim.