Reasons to Hire a Public Adjuster

It would appear you are in need of a Florida public adjuster's assistance on your claim. So, how do you decide who to hire? When choosing a public adjuster to represent you on your loss, which one of the Character traits or values is the most important to you?

A public adjuster who will always...

  1. do whatever it takes to secure the largest payout.
  2. Be less than honest with the insurer, when it is in your best interest.
  3. Write the highest estimate possible to submit the insurance company.
  4. Treat you fairly and keep you informed on the claim's progress.
  5. Deal professionally with your insurance company.
  6. Always be truthful and honest with you and the insurer.
  7. Honor Lord Jesus Christ in all actions, words, and deeds.

If number 7 is the most important quality for you, I would recommend you seriously consider hiring me. Why? I am a born-again Christian, who loves the Lord and places Him first in my life. Secondly, I am also a very good public adjuster who understands insurance policies and the claim process. While nice websites are important, they do not always give a precise indication of what the public adjuster is really like. I recommend you hire someone who will be honest with you and fair with your insurance company. Someone who will bring your claim to closure both in a timely manner and when it is your best interest. Listed below are 6 reasons why I believe AA Florida Public Adjusting Agency, LLC may be your best choice when hiring a Florida public adjuster.

  1. I am a seasoned adjuster. That means I have been around for a while. I was first licensed as a an insurance adjuster in 1997. I attempt to anticipate the next move of your insurance company. In this business, when a particular insurance company tries to deny or underpay your loss unfairly, they may use the same method or venue to derail somebody else's claim in the future. On the other hand, I try to remember what combination of letters, estimates, and supporting documents got a claim paid expeditiously, and attempt to handle a similar type of claim in the same fashion. Having this type of past-experience and knowledge, allows me to serve you better.
  2. I am industry trained. That means, I at one time handled claims for insurance companies. They trained me how they wanted a claim scoped, estimated, and presented for payment consideration. I learned to follow the process and close the claim. While I no longer follow all the same view-points taught by my former employers, some methods and techniques never change; the policy dictates how a loss should be valued and when payment should be made. I use what I have learned to benefit you. Furthermore, having the industry education under my belt allows me to know when the carrier may not be handling your claim in the manner indicated by their own Claim Handling Guidelines. This information sometimes provides the edge to get your claim settled.        
  3. I stay educated. I am required to take at least 20 hours of CE courses every two years, but I generally take a lot more courses than that. I attempt to be acquainted with current building code requirements and to be aware when changes happen. I familiarize myself with the latest Florida Statutes changes and how they might affect your loss. This type of knowledge is far more important than most policyholders realize. In some cases, this knowledge has added thousands of dollars to my client's claim. I endeavor to acquaint myself with various policy and policy changes when they occur. Knowing what language and endorsements are contained in your policy is imperative in maximizing your claim payment.
  4. I am highly motivated. In other words, I only get paid when you do. I have a motivation for working diligently on your loss. I would also like to get paid for the hard work I put into your claim. I try not to take on more claims than I can reasonably handle. Even if your claim is small, I still give it the attention it deserves. However, let me interject an important comment at this point. While I do get paid a percentage of the insurance settlement, I will still only value your loss at an amount which I believe to be correct. I do not write an estimate with the expectation that you will not pay a deductible. I do not write my estimate, so there will be sufficient funds left over so, my fee will be covered. Both of these practices are in opposition to ethical requirements outlined within Florida Statutes. If a public adjuster is willing to be dishonest in one area, he or she may also be less than honest with you.   My motto is a fair price for all damages.
  5. I am courteous and professional. Seldom do I get excited and talk with a raised voice to the opposing side. This style has worked well for me over the years, and I hope I will not change. If you need someone to shout, scream, and threaten your insurance company, hire someone more versed in this area. I have found that I get a larger settlement for my clients using "honey" rather than vinegar. I try to remember to say or to write words that I do not mind being read before a jury. This quality is important. Generally, if I present your claim in a professional manner, I get a professional response from your carrier.
  6. I am a Christian, and I value integrity. That means I will not be dishonest or lie, and I expect you to do the same. While I have listed this quality last, it is really # 1 in my mind. Never tell me anything that you would not wanted repeated in deposition. While I am not required to tell the carrier every single word of our conversations, I will answer all questions truthfully when question by your insurer in deposition. While some may not appreciate this   moral value, I am not interested in working for those people who think I would lie when it is in their benefit.

If you are looking to be paid a fair price for your claim, I would like to work for you. If I believe you can get your claim settled without my assistance, I will tell you same and recommend you attempt settlement without my services. If you value knowledge, experience and integrity, please give me a call.

Xactware User Certification Directory

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Filip, Adrian Liberty Mutual Insurance Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2018-03-05 GARDEN GROVE, CA
Nolan, Shay Independent Adjuster Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2018-03-02 GRAND ISLAND, NE
Vandegraft, Mark Selective Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2017-11-12 Branchville, NJ
Shumock, Sr., Stephen Independent Adjuster Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2017-08-08 LAFAYETTE, LA
Ahrens, Gary Ahrens Appraisal Service Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2017-07-16 ARCADIA, FL
Stevens, Lindsay Adjusterteam Incorporated Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2017-06-30 HAMMOND, LA
Stevens, Lindsay Adjusterteam Incorporated Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2017-06-30 HAMMOND, LA
Deener, Keith Selective Insurance Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2017-05-04 Branchville, NJ
Capers, Leon Worley Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2017-02-21 GLENDALE, AZ
Rainey, Josh Kentucky Farm Bureau Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2016-11-17 HOPKINSVILLE, KY
Nolan, Adam Independent Adjuster Xactimate 27 Certification Level 3 2016-11-04 HAMDEN, CT

Florida Public Adjuster licensing

When a person wishes to transact business as described in 626.854, he must first procure a license as a Florid public adjuster and pass a test. According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, before you may take the examination you must do one of the following:

  • Completed the Employment Report Form verifying you have satisfied the public adjuster apprentice employment requirement set forth in Florida Statute 626.8541 and 626.8651.Or
  • Held a license previously as an All Lines Public Adjuster or an all-lines adjuster (company or independent) in the state of Florida.See the exact wording.

If you have to serve as an apprentice, you will have to do so for 12 months before qualifiing to take the exam.  Prohibitions regarding licensing and the procedures to acquire that necessary license are listed below.

626.112  License and appointment required; agents, customer representatives, adjusters, insurance agencies, service representatives, managing general agents.—

(1)(a)  No person may be, act as, or advertise or hold himself or herself out to be an insurance agent, insurance adjuster, or customer representative unless he or she is currently licensed by the department and appointed by an appropriate appointing entity or person.

(3) No person shall act as an adjuster as to any class of business for which he or she is not then licensed and appointed.

(9)  Any person who knowingly transacts insurance or otherwise engages in insurance activities in this state without a license in violation of this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.775.082, s.775.083, or s.775.084.

626.171  Application for license as an agent, customer representative, adjuster, service representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance intermediary.—

(1)  The department may not issue a license as agent, customer representative, adjuster, service representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance intermediary to any person except upon written application filed with the department, meeting the qualifications for the license applied for as determined by the department, and payment in advance of all applicable fees. The application must be made under the oath of the applicant and be signed by the applicant. An applicant may permit a third party to complete, submit, and sign an application on the applicant’s behalf, but is responsible for ensuring that the information on the application is true and correct and is accountable for any misstatements or misrepresentations. The department shall accept the uniform application for nonresident agent licensing. The department may adopt revised versions of the uniform application by rule.

(2) In the application, the applicant shall set forth:

1(a)  His or her full name, age, social security number, residence address, business address, mailing address, contact telephone numbers, including a business telephone number, and e-mail address.

(b)  A statement indicating the method the applicant used or is using to meet any required prelicensing education, knowledge, experience, or instructional requirements for the type of license applied for.

(c)  Whether he or she has been refused or has voluntarily surrendered or has had suspended or revoked a license to solicit insurance by the department or by the supervising officials of any state.

(d)  Whether any insurer or any managing general agent claims the applicant is indebted under any agency contract or otherwise and, if so, the name of the claimant, the nature of the claim, and the applicant’s defense thereto, if any.

(e) Proof that the applicant meets the requirements for the type of license for which he or she is applying.

(f) The applicant’s gender (male or female).

(g) The applicant’s native language.

(h) The highest level of education achieved by the applicant.

(i) The applicant’s race or ethnicity (African American, white, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, or other).

(j)  Such other or additional information as the department may deem proper to enable it to determine the character, experience, ability, and other qualifications of the applicant to hold himself or herself out to the public as an insurance representative.

However, the application must contain a statement that an applicant is not required to disclose his or her race or ethnicity, gender, or native language, that he or she will not be penalized for not doing so, and that the department will use this information exclusively for research and statistical purposes and to improve the quality and fairness of the examinations.

(3) Each application shall be accompanied by payment of any applicable fee.

(4)  An applicant for a license as an agent, customer representative, adjuster, service representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance intermediary must submit a set of the individual applicant’s fingerprints, or, if the applicant is not an individual, a set of the fingerprints of the sole proprietor, majority owner, partners, officers, and directors, to the department and must pay the fingerprint processing fee set forth in s.624.501. Fingerprints shall be used to investigate the applicant’s qualifications pursuant to s.626.201. The fingerprints shall be taken by a law enforcement agency, designated examination center, or other department-approved entity. The department shall require all designated examination centers to have fingerprinting equipment and to take fingerprints from any applicant or prospective applicant who pays the applicable fee. The department may not approve an application for licensure as an agent, customer service representative, adjuster, service representative, managing general agent, or reinsurance intermediary if fingerprints have not been submitted.

(5) The application for license filing fee prescribed in s.624.501is not subject to refund.

(6)  Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement.

What is a Florida Public Adjuster?

A Florida public adjuster is a person, who for a fee, assists the policy holder in preparing an estimate of damages, negotiating with the insurer, and effecting settlement of their claim. However this is the simplistic description of the public adjuster and his duties and job description are defined much broader and more thoroughly in Florida Statute.

626.854 defines the Public Adjuster in the following manner:

626.854(1)  A "public adjuster" is any person, except a duly licensed attorney at law as exempted under s.826.860, who, for money, commission, or any other thing of value, prepares, completes, or files an insurance claim form for an insured or third-party claimant or who, for money, commission, or any other thing of value, acts on behalf of, or aids an insured or third-party claimant in negotiating for or effecting the settlement of a claim or claims for loss or damage covered by an insurance contract or who advertises for employment as an adjuster of such claims. The term also includes any person who, for money, commission, or any other thing of value, solicits, investigates, or adjusts such claims on behalf of a public adjuster.

Within this statute, the narrow job description of the Florida public adjuster lies. For a public adjuster to perform a broader job description than outlined above, may cause harm to the insured's claim. On the other hand, if the Florida public adjuster fails to perform his full duties as outlined in this statute, his client's settlement may not be fully realized. To understand what a Florida public adjuster is, you need to know what he is licensed to perform.

When is a Person Required to Licensed as a Florida Public Adjuster?

A person is required to be licensed as a Florida public adjuster if he does the combination of these three well defined tasks. First, he has to perform the task for money, commission, or anything of value. Secondly, the task has to be performed for or on behalf the insured or third-party. Thirdly, he must complete his task by carrying out one of the following:

Prepares, completes or files an insurance form.
Acts on behalf of, or aids in negotiating for or effecting the settlement of a claim or claims
Solicits, investigates, or adjusts such claims on behalf of a public adjuster.

1. When a Person Prepares, Completes, or Files an Insurance Form Claim.

Unfortunately, this statute does not define what a claim form is, so we are left to speculate. Any person who completes these forms for a fee, may need to be licensed as a public adjuster. It is possible the following are considered a claim forms:

A sworn statement in proof of loss
A Coverage A and B damage estimate
A Coverage C personal property inventory form
An ALE estimate or worksheet.

2. When a Person Acts on Behalf of or Aids the Policyholder

A Florida Public Adjuster acts on behalf of and aids the policyholder or third-party in negotiating for or effecting the settlement of a covered claim under the insurance contract. Other than a lawyer, a public adjuster is the only adjuster that can legally represent the insured during the claims process. Although you, the insured, may have an independent or company adjuster assigned to your claim, those adjusters are not licensed to negotiate with the insurance company in your behalf. They are either employed by the insurance company or are employed by an independent adjusting agency and have been hired to determinethe amount of the claim on behalf of the insurance company. A pubic adjuster is hired by you to determine the amount of your claim loss. While theoretically, both the independent adjuster's and the public adjuster's estimate should be similar in scope and pricing, I have not found this always to the case. 626.877 states "every adjuster shall adjust or investigate every claim, damage, or loss made or occurring under an insurance contract, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract and of the applicable laws of this state". This statute requires both the public adjuster and the all-lines adjuster to adjust your claim according to your policy of insurance and the applicable laws of the state.

3. When Persons Solicit, Investigate, or Adjust a claim on behalf of a public adjuster.

I would image this portion of the statute is attempting to outline who is required to hold a public adjuster's license when in the employment of another Florida. public adjuster. While a receptionist or a bookkeeper may not require a PA license, any person who solicits, investigates or adjusts a claim would require a license. Additional statutes and rules assist in understanding this requirement. I strongly recommend you contact the DFS and inquire if  your particular situation requires you to solicit or investigate a claim.

Our Mission is to assist you to recover quickly and fully from your loss with the least amount of stress possible. We expect our clients to be truthful and honest in presenting their claim and demand that their insurance company be fair and expeditious in the settlement of the claim. We believe that the insurance policy dictates coverage as opposed to differing opinions of an insurance adjuster. Let us assist you to gain a fair settlement for your honest claim.

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