Understanding the Differences Between a Public Adjuster and an Independent Adjuster

April 15, 2019
Home / / Understanding the Differences Between a Public Adjuster and an Independent Adjuster
Business partners are shaking hands over independent adjuster

When it comes to ensuring you have good representation for your claim, it’s important to understand that there are two kinds of adjusters. There are public adjusters and there are independent adjusters. So what’s the difference between the two? 

They Perform Similar Functions

One reason that people confuse public adjusters and independent adjusters is that they perform similar job duties. They both work to adjust your insurance claim,  and they both work to have the claim settled. The similarities between public adjusters and independent adjusters end there, however.

Who Public Adjusters and Independent Adjusters Represent

A public adjuster represents the claimant – you. They work on your behalf, with your best interests in mind. The goal of the public adjuster is to settle the claim in your favor, for as much as possible. 

An independent adjuster represents the insurance company. Their salary is actually paid by the insurance company. So whether they work directly for the insurance company or through an intermediary company, they are working in the interests of the insurance company. The goal of an independent adjuster is to settle the claim in favor of the insurance company for as little as possible. In fact, the best-case scenario for an independent adjuster is when the claim can be denied. When an independent adjuster comes out to inspect the damage, they’re looking for any way possible, any hint of a reason that would give cause for the claim to be denied by your insurance company. Pretty scary, right?

What the Public Adjuster Does

When a public adjuster comes out to talk to you, they’re looking at the damage, inspecting your insurance documents, and finding ways to ensure that you receive the settlement that you’re entitled to. The job of a public adjuster is to help you—the policyholder—understand your policy, and to help you navigate the intricacies of the claim process. Their primary interest aligns with your interests. 

How Public Adjusters Get Paid 

Public adjusters are not paid by insurance companies. That means they have no reason to side with the insurance company.  Most of their salary comes out of your settlement, through a pre-arranged deal between you and the public adjuster. Some public adjusters work for themselves, and some work for a company that has many public adjusters working for them. But public adjusters never get paid by the insurance company, and they are never working on behalf of the insurance company’s interests. 

Are Public Adjusters Certified?

Public adjusters are certified, professionals. Each one must be certified to work in the stage in which they do business. Some states, like New York, have different classifications for public adjusters, with different licenses for each type. The classifications typically have to do with the type of claim that the public adjuster is licensed to handle, such as workers’ compensation or property and casualty. 

When you have an insurance claim, the very first thing you should do is get in touch with a public adjuster. No matter what your insurance company may tell you, this is the only way you can be sure of getting a fair settlement from your insurance company. 

Contact SunPoint Public Adjusters, Inc. today!