Public insurance adjusters: An alternative to helping policyholders win claims

Public adjusters draw regulatory scrutiny and some blame for Florida’s property insurance woes

Many homeowners don’t fully understand their property insurance policies and are at a disadvantage when negotiating with insurers about repairs needed after a fire, theft, hurricane or other disaster.

That’s the premise behind the public insurance adjusting industry, which has grown substantially since the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes that left some policyholders looking for help to fight their insurers.

Public adjusters assess damage, review policy coverage, document evidence to support claims and assess the cost of repairs.

They’ve also drawn scrutiny from regulators and criticism from insurers for advertising aggressively and driving up the cost of claims, sometimes inflating them. Higher claims can lead insurers to raise rates or drop policies — key problems in Florida’s stormy property insurance industry.

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