Illinois Licensed Public Adjuster – What You Need to Know
Illinois, have you experienced any fire, water, storm or vandalism damage to your home or business? Are you looking for someone to help make sure that you are getting enough money from your insurance company to pay for these repairs? Not sure where to start?
Hiring a licensed public adjuster may be one of the best investments that you can make during such a hard time. But how do you know which public adjuster to choose?
What is a Public Adjuster?
A public adjuster is a professional claims handler. They are an advocate for the policyholder in negotiating the insurance claim. Unlike insurance companies and independent adjusters who work for the insurance companies, public adjusters represent the rights of the policyholder and NOT the insurance company.
Public adjusters are experts in the area of insurance claims and are able to interpret the homeowner’s policy, look through the specific damage and calculate the cost of the repairs. With this information, they are able to properly negotiate the highest claim settlement possible with your insurance company and they do this only on behalf of the homeowner or property owner. If you would like to learn more, read our article titled What is a Public Adjuster?
Why Hire a Licensed Public Adjuster?
Policyholders can feel assured that a licensed public adjuster markets themselves as specialists who act solely on behalf of the insured. They help make sure that homeowners or property owners get the money that they are entitled to under their policy. This means that they will help go through the excessive documents and policy regulations with the insured to make sure that all information is accurate. Some public adjusters are better than others because they have more experience and were former lawyers. These public adjusters are the ones you need to find.
While allowing an adjuster referred by the insurance company (independent not to be confused with public adjuster) to handle the claim only the independent adjuster (outside adjuster hired by the insurance company) is more likely to side with the insurance company instead of the policyholder and, therefore, provide a lower return in the claim settlement. A public adjuster must be paid out-of-pocket by the property owner or homeowner, and therefore are much more likely to help the policyholder receive a much higher settlement for repairs. Simply put the more the policyholder receives the greater the fee earned by the public adjuster.
Finding a Good Qualified Public Adjuster
First and foremost, the Illinois Public Adjusters Act requires public adjusters to be licensed. Property owners in Illinois and other states should always ask to see the proper license, years of experience, other schooling and qualifications. Ask to speak to the owner and make sure they are also licensed as well. Make sure the Illinois public adjuster contract is properly approved by the department of insurance.
One place to start your search for a public adjuster is at the Illinois Public Adjusters Association. Another place for information can be found at the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s license lookup. Look to the Illinois Department of Insurance for more information on hiring and creating contracts with public adjusters.
Keep in mind that having a license alone does not guarantee that you are hiring the best public adjuster. Make sure that they have a bond, properly insured, have attorneys on-staff, and have years of experience with your particular claim. Ask for references as well from prior clients. It’s also helpful to check with the Illinois Department of Insurance and the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints filed against the adjuster you’re about to hire.
All public adjusters at Harris Claims Services are licensed, in good standing, and continue their education related to the ever-evolving issues occurring in Illinois. Our founder, Jason Harris, not only has this experience but is also a practicing attorney focused on these issues. Contact us to learn more about our public adjusters, our company, and how we assist the communities of Lincolnwood, Skokie, Northbrook, Deerfield, Chicago, and other neighboring cities in Illinois. HCS guarantees to get you up to 35% more on your claim than what the insurance company wants to give you!