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Dealing with a Home Disaster with Less Stress

Your home is a place of safety and security, a refuge from the storms of life.  However, when and if disaster does strike, you may need a little know-how to get through the process of filing an insurance claim. You will likely be surprised at how time consuming the process can be.  Obviously, one of your key concerns will be to know what you are expected to pay for and what your homeowner’s insurance may cover.

While this process is one you can research on your own or with the help of your insurance company, you may find that turning to an additional public adjuster for aid in documenting your insurance claim to be very helpful. A public adjuster works independently from your insurance company and can evaluate your home, the damage, and your coverage to determine the best means of reporting your loss.

Here are some steps to follow when hiring a public adjuster:

  1. Only interview and hire an adjuster who is licensed and ask about their level of experience.
  2. Make sure you speak directly to the adjuster who will be evaluating your loss each time you call regarding your property, to lessen the risks of misunderstandings.
  3. Question the adjuster’s experience and credentials and call past client referrals and ask for details. Your adjuster should be willing and able to supply you with this information easily.
  4. Double check that the adjuster you are working with is local and will work with any contractors you want to hire, if necessary.  Ask if they will help you in calculating living expenses, if applicable, or just with damage estimation.
  5. Educate yourself.  Since public adjusters work on contingency fees ranging from 5% to 15% of the insurance proceeds, it is wise to negotiate these fees and have them defined in a signed contract.

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