Steve Dykmann has been with Jansen/Adjusters International since 1988. With more than thirty years of public adjusting experience, Steve has helped many home and business owners prepare, estimate, negotiate and settle their property damage insurance claims for fair and just settlement amounts.
A public adjuster works for you, the policyholder — never for the insurance company. In the wake of damaged or destroyed property, handling an insurance claim while juggling a job, family, and regular life can be overwhelming — that is where we come in. We allow you to focus on your own family or business’ recovery by handling the entire claim from start to finish.
A licensed public adjuster will:
- Evaluate your insurance policy to establish the best possible strategy for presenting your claim to the insurer.
- Value, document, and substantiate every detail.
- Keep you informed every step of the way.
- Negotiate on your behalf with your insurance company.
- Ultimately settle the claim for the correct and just amount and with less hassle for you.
Steve says there is a lot more to public adjusting than achieving an adequate insurance claim settlement for property owners. In his words, public adjusting is about advocacy, peace of mind, restoration, and financial recovery.
What is the most memorable property damage insurance claim you worked on?
"In March of 2019, a homeowner in North Houston received the horrific news that their house was severely damaged by a fire. I worked on the contents portion of her claim which involved identifying the cost and quality of all the damaged or destroyed items following the fire, to submit a well-documented insurance claim. It took the next two years to replace all that was lost. She would email me her receipts to collect the depreciation, which had been deducted from the claim. This allowed her to collect the full replacement cost of the contents that were lost. Having us prepare the original claim made a significant difference in the final settlement that she received.
Creating a list of all the contents that were damaged or destroyed in a disaster is a tedious process, but one that is worth taking the time and effort to construct. We pride ourselves on helping our clients recover money that they otherwise may not have been able to collect if they were managing their contents claim on their own.
Last week the homeowner delivered her final two receipts. Her email said: 'This is it, Mr. Steve. Thank you so much for all your help in this matter. You have always been my life jacket in the choppy waters. Thanks again.'"
What should readers know about contents coverage?
"Homeowners do not always understand how much coverage they have, particularly when it comes to the contents of a home. Homeowner's insurance policies include coverage on more than the dwelling itself — contents coverage is one of them. When a covered disaster strikes, homeowners can not only recover the costs of the damage to the building but also for their damaged belongings within it. Contents coverage will cover your personal belongings that are not part of the real estate, including your clothing, furniture, appliances, and so on. However, there are coverage limits on some items such as artwork and expensive jewelry.”
Do you ever work on claims that involve only the structure or only the contents?
"Absolutely. Recently, a Houston homeowner suffered a fire and needed help with the structure portion of his claim. While he was able to settle the contents portion of his claim with his insurer, he needed assistance from our public adjusters with the structure portion of the claim. Initially, the insurance company sent the homeowner a check for several thousand dollars, which was not adequate. We prepared a detailed estimate of the damage, which we were able to support. It took a total of three months, but the homeowner was able to collect a complete structure settlement, which was significantly higher than what they would have received without our assistance.
But the opposite can happen too. Another incident involved a Houston homeowner who suffered a fire. The insurance company settled the structure portion of his claim to the insured’s satisfaction, but the contents portion of the claim proved to be a challenge. The insurance company originally offered an inadequate settlement. Because of our experience and advocacy, we were able to collect another $40,000 providing a settlement that was close to the policy’s limits.
This is an example of how advocacy comes into play. Public adjusters work for a small percentage of the final settlement, so the extra recovery that we were able to obtain for the client, more than offset our fee. Our goal is to always help to get the policyholder the best possible settlement."
Jansen/Adjusters International is a firm of licensed public insurance adjusters representing only the insured in property loss claims.
We are one of the largest loss consulting firms in the United States. We offer public insurance claim adjusting and consultative recovery services to commercial businesses and homeowners throughout the United States and abroad.