Many years ago, I worked for insurance companies. I started my career as an independent adjuster for a major independent adjusting firm, and was paid to go out to inspect property damage and quickly reach an agreement with policyholders. Because policyholders received quick and fair insurance settlements, this worked quite well, until some shifts in the insurance industry in the early 1980s when insurance companies started realizing that claims could be a potential revenue stream.
What this meant was that policyholders’ claims were now strategically handled from the top down—as upper-management orchestrated how claims would be handled. This included a preplanned set of guidelines that benefits the insurance company more than the policyholder. This new micromanaged approach to claims handling meant that there were many more people involved in a claim, and just like too many cooks might spoil the cooking, too many claim adjusters would spoil the claim experience for the policyholder.
In fact, the people now ultimately in charge of providing compensation for home damage are far removed from the process, and typically don’t have much or any experience in the field, inspecting damage itself. They also don’t need to look policyholders in the eye after a traumatic event has disrupted their lives.
Thus, the role of the independent adjuster has been reduced to merely an estimator and picture-taker, with little influence on how much policyholders ultimately received from their insurers in the claim settlement. The real problem is that very few of these desk adjusters had direct insurance claim experience, and they did not have to look the customers in the eye when delivering their decisions.
It wasn’t long before I decided to start advocating for policyholders by serving as a Palm Beach public adjuster, something many highly regarded former insurance adjusters are now doing. Unfortunately, the insurance industry has noticed this trend, and it likes to paint us public adjusters in a negative light. They know that it’s in their best interests to work with consumers who don’t have anyone on their side, and thus hope to discredit public adjusters’ important work.
To be sure, insurance claims handling has become incredibly complex. Insurance policies today are peppered with legalese designed to stump consumers and give insurers wide leverage to deny or reduce claims on various grounds. And while consumers across the U.S. realize the benefit of working with a professional for tax matters or divorce issues, they tend to believe that their insurance companies have their best interests at heart. But that’s not the case at all, and millions of home and business owners have had to deal with poor claim results.
If you are dealing with damage to your home or business, I urge you to strongly consider consulting a Palm Beach public adjuster. This will give the opportunity to stand up for your rights as a consumer, as you’ll have a knowledgeable professional on your side who can help you get a fair result for your claim.
Steven Venook and Advocate Claims Public Adjusters serves clients in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington, Delray Beach, Hollywood and the rest of Florida. Call us today at 1-954-369-0573 or contact us online.