Homeowners - Commercial - Condominium
Defined by The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters a Public Adjuster is:
“Public Adjusters are professionals who are employed exclusively by a policyholder who has sustained an insured loss. They handle every detail of the claim, working closely with the insured to provide the most equitable and prompt settlement possible. A Public Adjuster inspects the loss site immediately, analyzes the damages, assembles claim support data, reviews the insured's coverage, determines current replacement costs and exclusively serves the client, not the insurance company.” When hiring a Public Adjuster make sure they have been in business for over 5 years, make sure they have a A- rating or better with the BBB, lastly make sure they are members of NAPIA, the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, NAPIA holds its Public Adjusters to the highest standards possible. www.napia.com. We have assisted thousands of homeowners, business owners and condominium assocations over the years.
Insurance policies contain a provision which stipulates that either the insured or the insurance company has the right to invoke the appraisal clause and have an Insurance Appraisal conducted if that party disagrees as to the amount of damage concerning the insured loss. The Appraisal process is offered bilaterally to both parties as part of the insurance contract or "Policy", is can be see as a a less expensive alternative than using an attorney and going to court. Appraisal has many similarities to binding arbitration but the two processes are not identical. The Appraisal Panel is made up of three parties: the insured and the insurance company each select an Insurance Appraiser to represent them. In the beginning of the process then they both select a neutral Umpire which has to be agreed upon by both parties to serve as the final decision-maker should the two Appraisers not agree on the amount of damage, thus having differences that they cannot resolve.
Mediation is another form of dispute resolution that may be utilized instead of taking a matter to the judicial system or Appraisal for settlement. It is our option that Mediation should be the last alternative before hiring an attorney and paying exorbitant attorneys fees to settle a case. When settling a case Mediation is a non-binding and confidential forum wherein participants can work to improve their understanding of each other’s position and, with the assistance of a neutral mediator, attempt to work out an equitable settlement. United States Adjusters will assist the insured at Mediation in order to settle the claim. Important to notice, not all insurance company's plan to settle claims in Mediation and it can seem as a great waste of time. However it is our opinion that Mediation should be considered before hiring an attorney. Please note that the mediator does not impose any decision on the parties in disagreement, but rather helps the parties to reach an agreement which is mutually acceptable. United States Adjusters has partaken in mediation a great number of times and dependant on the type of claim and all the variables Mediation may be a option, though it is less likely to reach conclude successfully then the Appraisal Process if you have the option of both.
United States Adjusters assists commercial business owners and condominium associations as a damage expert. We have assisted on many of the worst natural and man-made disasters this country has seen, from Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Katrina. United States Adjusters have been called upon to value the destruction of large commercial structures to large residential homes, personal property and industrial structures.
Our extensive experience in large Commercial losses, including Condominium and Homeowner Association insurance claims, allows us to have an advantage of most when it comes to evaluation of damage. Our network of experts, public adjusters and specialists are ready to assist with all circumstances that surround the insurance claim so that documentation and substantiation proceeds quickly as well the settlement.
The Windstorm Insurance Network defines an Umpire as: "a competent, disinterested, impartial individual who is charged with making a decision regarding the value of property or the amount of a property loss. In the property insurance industry an umpire is an appointed professional in an insurance claim dispute who makes a binding decision after the two parties in an appraisal process fail to agree on a loss". In summary, a good Umpire should be a disinterested, well trained and experienced dispute resolution expert that has a vast understanding of insurance adjusting and all its facets. The Umpire is appointed in the beginning of the appraisal process, which can be found in many property insurance policies, although a few insurance companies have actually removed the appraisal claus and this option is not available. The appraisal process will help both sides avoid the cost of litigation while reaching a mutually beneficial resolution. The services of an umpire should be utilized in many appraisals as the insurance company's appraiser in many cases will side with the original insurance company adjusters findings. Our opinion is that there is a inherent conflict of interest in many cases with the insurance company's hired insurance appraiser, that is because he/she receives their work from several insurance company's to do appraisals, thus they do want to upset the insurance company with settlements that hurt the insurance company's bottom line and bite the hand that feeds.