What is an (Public) Loss Adjuster and what is their role?
In simple terms there is absolutely no difference between the Loss Adjusters who are appointed by your insurers and Public Loss Adjusters, other than who they work for! It is this simple change in perception which YOU need to consider when reviewing any submissions from the insurer’s Loss Adjusters.
Whenever an insurance claim event such as fire damage, flood damage, escape of water, theft or any of the many other buildings / contents related insurance perils occurs at your home or business the event is often traumatic for YOU the policyholder and during this stressful period YOU need help.
The scale of the insured loss will determine YOUR needs in the days, weeks and sometimes the months following the claim event. There are an enormous amount of things to consider regarding the claim itself, including the arrangement of surveyors, building estimates for the repairs to the property, alternative accommodation and emergency payments are all items to be dealt with on a claim by claim basis.
In the case of commercial claims, consideration has to be given to the effects on production, sales and operations in general. It is of paramount importance for YOU to be able to return to ‘business as usual’ as quickly as possible.
Public Loss Adjusters are there to help and if appointed will take over the entire claim for and on YOUR behalf, as professional Chartered Loss Adjusters we provide the same level of expertise and professional advice which is always sought by your insurers when a claim is submitted.
Public Loss Adjusters will, once appointed, head up a team of qualified and professional specialists who will ALL WORK ON YOUR BEHALF, these professionals may include surveyors, vetted building contractors, specialist drying and restoration / cleaning companies and with the expert handling of the claim by YOUR Public Loss Adjusters and their presentation of the full details claim on YOUR behalf, Public Loss Adjusters in many cases actually reduce the length of time required to place YOU back into your property with all aspects of the claim settled.
What is an (Insurance) Loss Adjuster and what is their role?
In the event of a claim, the insurance company will almost always appoint a professional representative, usually a Loss Adjuster, to protect the interests of the insurance company. It is important for the policyholders to be aware that these appointed representatives work for the insurance companies NOT for the insured, their fees are paid for by the insurers. In most cases, the policyholder is usually left to deal with insurance loss adjuster, who has gained a wealth of experience over many years. Usually they will simply tell the policyholder, what in their opinion, is the extent and value of any claim assuming they have determined that a valid claim exists.
What is not identified in many cases is the fact that although the policyholder has every right to assume that the insurance company will honour the terms of the insurance contract and pay them out with the same speed that they require them to pay insurance premiums, sadly that is not the case and very rarely happens as a matter of fact. Often the insurance company may rely upon the various clauses of the policy to mitigate, or reduce the extent of a claim and in some cases simply reject the claim in its entirety.
Even when a valid claim is accepted, the policy holder will usually be required to act as a project manager regarding the preparation of building works estimates, the reinstatement works and also deal with other aspects of the claim. You could find that you will be expected to do this without any assistance from the insurers even though the principle based guidelines agreed by the FCA state that they MUST do so! In many cases the insurers Loss Adjuster will simply tell the policyholder what they are prepared to authorise on behalf of the insurance company and will then appoint a contractor from one of THEIR OWN preferred contractor networks, possibly creating a major conflict of interest.
These contractors may be required to work at a ‘national rate’ which may, in certain parts of the UK be well below the level required for a qualified contractor to be able to carry out quality reinstatement works. This leads to warranty and ‘snagging’ problems which the policy holder is left to deal with, via the insurers Loss Adjusters, who will have probably closed the file, resulting in time consuming and frustrating periods for the policyholder to deal with. Often these issues lead to formal complaints, another area of stress and emotional upset for the policyholder.