These terms can be tricky for individuals who aren’t steeped in insurance jargon. When we hear the word independent, we often assume it’s an agent acting independent of the parties involved. However, in the case of adjustment, an independent adjuster is actually the individual who defends the insurance company during a claims process. On the other hand, the public adjuster is the everyday individual awarded to policyholders in need of protection and expertise when filing the insurance claim.
To look a little further, let’s break down what each type of adjuster provides their respective clients.
Independent adjusters’ clients will always be the insurance companies. Doesn’t matter how big or how small the company is. Independent adjusters work for the insurance companies, and their bottom line is to represent their employer. They legally represent only the rights of the insurance carrier.
Independent adjusters are paid by insurance companies to adjust the claim on their behalf. When an insurance company is hit with expensive claims regarding property meltdowns, the independent adjusters are called upon to sift through the documentation and legally prove a lower payout to the policyholder. If the policyholder is using a public adjuster, the independent adjuster will be working to directly counter everything the public adjuster is arguing in the policyholder’s favor.
Independent adjusters earn compensation either in a set “daily rate” like $300 per each day of work, or more often through a fee schedule where they receive what amounts to a percentage of the settlement amount. In this scenario, the independent adjusters will earn a much higher compensation rate if they are on a large settlement case.
Public adjusters are paid to specifically work for insurance policyholders and help with the many complex provisions and processes involved with a typical property insurance claim. Since most everyday individuals have no idea how to go about a property insurance claim, they call on public adjusters to stand a chance at a higher payout.
Many of these claimants hire public adjusters to help document, expedite, file their claim, and assist them through the entire claims process. They are tasked with ensuring the claim is handled fairly, quickly, and with a maximum financial restitution.
In order to guarantee this, public adjusters will travel to policyholder’s property, view the damage, chat with the homeowners about their insurance claim rights, process the claims with the insurance company, and follow through on management of the claims until they are settled in a financially fair way.
Like independent adjusters, public adjusters are paid a commission on the final settlement claim for the policyholder. This, therefore, entices them to work harder and levy up a higher settlement amount so their final payout is higher. Though they take a cut of the final amount, they have been proven to increase the settlement claim, making it worth it for the policyholder in the end.
Do you have a better grasp on these terms yet? Hopefully you know which one to call next time you’re in need of adjustment representation.