Homeowner Insurance is an idea that most people understand in theory: pay an insurance company an agreed upon amount in exchange for protection from large, serious property occurrences. However, in practice many people are unaware of the pitfalls that may await them when they are forced to deal with their insurer under stressful circumstances. This is when the services of a public adjuster can be invaluable. Here is why.
First, how many policyholders have read and understood their insurance policy? At the time they purchased the policy their agent may have given a brief description of what is covered and what to do in the event of a loss. But many, if not most policyholders do not give their contract the attention that they should. A public adjuster is well-versed in understanding insurance policies, and insurance companies are aware of this. Therefore, they are far less likely to treat the policyholder unfairly.
Second, the homeowner’s insurance policy contains “exclusions”, or what is not covered. As much as the insurance company may say you are protected, remember this: the policy was written for the company by attorneys who work for the insurance company. This doesn’t mean that the company will always work against the interests of the policyholder. But the company has a vested interest in minimizing payouts – and the policy has many hidden areas that allow them to do that.
However, many of these exclusionary clauses are open to interpretation, and courts have repeatedly intervened to stop the one-sided nature of some policies. This is where a public adjuster can be of help. Public adjusters are current in all areas of legal insurance rulings, and will quickly know if the policyholder has a legitimate complaint.
In the event of property damage, there is a third area that a public adjuster can be worth their weight in gold: depreciation and natural wear and tear. If an older building is damaged, the insurance company will not, as a rule, be paying full replacement costs. They will determine the condition of the property and deduct that amount. A public adjuster experienced with property damage will be able to make sure that the policyholder is not being hit with excessive depreciation costs.
For all of these reasons, along with peace-of-mind, a policyholder would be well-served to consider retaining the services of an experienced, competent public adjuster.
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