Written by: Chris Rich - Property Licensed Consultant

The fire department has just left the scene, and suddenly people surround you and offer to board up and secure your home or business. They promise to work directly with your insurance adjuster, and some tell you they are preferred vendors with various insurance companies. The Better Business Bureau warns consumers to be cautious about contracting with restoration companies and contractors. There are no licensing requirements to regulate roofers, contractors, and restoration companies in many states.

After reviewing the authorization contracts of many companies, I have found that most of them give the contractor permission to completely rebuild your structure, remove all of your contents, and store them in their warehouse, for which you will incur storage fees. In addition, does the direct pay authorization language included in the contract allow them to deposit your settlement check on the account without your endorsement?

If you have experienced a fire in your home or business, it is wise to carefully consider the many tasks and requirements needed for a full and fair settlement. Measuring and documenting the loss and damage from smoke and water is a painstaking, labor-intensive process. Once the “scope of loss” is submitted to the adjuster, negotiations can begin. Of course, you can replace or restore your property, but at what cost? You could spend hours detailing your claim, leave it up to the insurance company adjuster and restoration companies to decide how to spend your money, or hire a public adjuster to work as your advocate toward a settlement that is best for you.

Some insurance company adjusters and contractors will tell the insured that hiring a public adjuster will delay their claim and is unnecessary. This is untrue. Your insurance company aims to settle your claim quickly and limit your financial exposure. A professional public adjuster will provide in-depth analysis, tough negotiation, and years of expertise to produce a fair and complete settlement for you. They will work to move claims along quickly while simultaneously advocating for you. Most state insurance departments require that public adjusters be licensed and take continuing education classes. In addition, public adjusters undergo a rigorous background check and are bonded in each state where they practice. Public Adjusters from Jansen/Adjusters International represent you, the policyholder. Therefore, we are motivated to dig into a claim, find hidden damages, and determine your best possible settlement and restoration plan.