Ok to use a public insurance adjuster?
December 23, 2009 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Flood! Will it be worthwhile for me to use a licensed public adjuster to handle a flood insurance claim?

A neighbor, who has been in this position with both his own home and his rental properties recommended I consider a public insurance adjuster. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. I'm trying to be a good mefite and honor the 'if it sounds too good to be true' axiom, but I need to make sure. We took on some damage (and two cars were totaled because of interior flooding) and I want to make sure I'm treated fairly.
posted by neilkod to Work & Money (2 answers total)
The utility of a PA will depend on the nature and extent of your claim.

If it is not significant, or if you will have no problems establishing the cost to repair or replace the damaged property on your own, then a PA will not add much.

If you use a PA, find out how they are compensated - do they get a cut of the recovery (maximizing their incentive to put up a big number for the insurer) or is it a flat rate?
posted by minimii at 6:16 PM on December 23, 2009

Having gone through a flood myself (Hurricane Katrina), there was a "flood" of public insurance adjusters in the area. In the state of Louisiana, the PA must charge a flat rate, your state may differ.

I do not recommend using a PA. If you are willing to put forth just a little effort, you can do most of the work yourself.

The autos were easy, I received retail blue book value. The home was a little harder. I was unhappy with my initial flood damage estimate to repair my home and for contents. I requested a second adjuster, disagreed with him, then had a third adjuster. We finally settled on an amount.

If you can have a contractor give you a written estimate for the repairs to your home, that will help you fight any low ball estimates the insurance adjuster may make. For the contents, I recommend photos of the damaged pieces, then find comparable items with prices on the internet, print them out and submit to insurance adjuster.

In the state of Louisiana, accepting and cashing the check for flood damage does not end further negotiations. I wound up receiving a total of 7 different checks.

Sorry for your loss
posted by JujuB at 7:53 PM on December 23, 2009

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