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Zach is professional, knowledgeable, honest, and committed to his customers. He takes the time to make sure you understand the process and are comfortable with it. He provides excellent customer service and respects his customers.Pittsburgh Homeowner

At the Time of Your Insurance Loss

Homeowners, condominium complexes and businesses that experience property damage or loss, can find themselves in a very stressful situation as a major property insurance loss can have a paralyzing effect on the normal operation of your business or personal life at home. At the time of your loss, even the most efficient business or family can be overwhelmed with the requirements and burdens placed on them. Corporate executives, commercial property owners, and homeowners do not typically possess the knowledge or experience to prepare for a complex claim and in most cases they do not have the time. That's where a public insurance claims adjuster can help.

The Value of Hiring a Pubic Adjuster

Read what this expert says about retaining the services of a public insurance adjuster

 

Dealing with the requirements of filing a property loss claim with your insurance carrier only adds to uncertainty and critical decisions that must be made. Insurance carriers and their claims representative may request detailed information that seems unreasonable but may be necessary. Understanding exactly what your policy covers and what your duties are can become confusing based on the information an insurance carrier’s adjuster might give you. Detailed research and documentation of the loss are required which includes bringing into action all the various investigative and valuation expertise to develop the pre-loss condition of the property. Today this process, like most things, has become increasingly complex.

An article in Claims Journal that interviewed attorney, author and law professor Mr. Ken Feinberg, who is well known for his administration of the victim funds for both 9/11 and the BP oil spill, has this to say about public adjusters:
And while some insurers might balk, Feinberg is equally complimentary of public adjusters. “Public adjusters fill an important role here … the fact of the matter is that in many, many of these mass cases involving mass disasters, public adjusters are essential. There simply weren’t enough private adjusters in BP; there weren’t enough private adjusters after Hurricane Katrina. So, in those volume cases involving thousands of claims, I think the public adjusters fill an important void just to deal with that volume,” he said.

The article goes on to say that Feinberg thinks empathy, competence and creativity are keys to successful claims negotiations.  “Put yourselves in the shoes of the insured. Make sure that you understand exactly what the policy says, what the exclusions are, what the deductibles are, so that you can sit and explain in an empathetic way exactly what the insurer can do and cannot do,” he said.

And that is exactly what a trained, experienced, and qualified public adjuster should do.  Help the policyholder understand their policy and what options they have in order to make a proper claim under their insurance contract.

When you suffer a property loss, the insurance company will send either a staff adjuster who is employed by the carrier or an independent claims adjuster who is contracted by the insurance carrier. Depending on the situation, they may also operate under certain incentives based on how many claims they can handle or how quickly the claim settles. Regardless, you should understand that both the staff and independent claims adjuster represent and serve the best interest of the insurance company. A public adjuster works for you, the policyholder, to make sure your best interests are represented and the insurance company fairly settles your claim and honors the provisions of the insurance policy.

Some of the biggest benefits clients tell us they experience when hiring a public adjuster include:

 
  • Time Savings: Many homeowners and business people have more important priorities than to deal with the incessant demands for information and documents from the insurance company. A public adjuster will organize and manage your claim and help minimize the time you need to spend dealing with all the claim issues.
     
  • Claims Expertise: Insurance policies can be complex documents and can easily be misinterpreted. Having someone on your side that is familiar with both the language of the insurance policy and how those policies are enforced can mean a great deal to how your claim gets settled. It also helps to have an expert guiding you regarding the proper procedures for repairs and documenting expenses in case a claims denial occurs. Tutwiler & Associates has access to a group of veteran experts and engineers that can be called on if they are needed to substantiate any part of your claim.
     
  • Faster Resolution of Your Claim: Understanding how to organize your claim, process the paperwork that is needed, as well as the proper language to use when communicating with your insurance carrier can help avoid repeated requests for additional information, expedite the claims process and get your repairs underway faster.
     
  • Protect Your Rights as a Policyholder: Having an expert public adjuster who understands the insurance company’s expectations, when documenting and valuing your claim gives you an advantage if your claim is denied. It also gives you a third party resource who can act as a witness in case more aggressive action is required to obtain a just recovery.
     
  • Ensure Fair Value for Your Claim: A recent OPAGGA (Office of Program and Policy Analysis & Government Accountability) study in the State of Florida showed that public adjusters negotiate up to a 747% larger insurance company settlement for commercial business and homeowner insurance property loss claims than the insurance company was planning to pay out. This is especially true during a catastrophic situation when insurance carriers try to process large amounts of claims.

When you add it all up, hiring a public adjuster just makes good practical and financial sense. Add to this Tutwiler & Associate’s strong reputation, our stellar list of client references, plus our longevity in the industry and strong client service commitment and you will be assured of a positive claims outcome. 

FAQs About The Benefits of Hiring a Public Adjuster

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Sometimes you might not. For example; In a total loss situation or if your loss is much greater than your policy limits. If all policy benefits are going to be paid in a timely manner then you may not need professional help.

However it is always good to get a second opinion as we have seen many cases where the adjuster that represents the insurance company may not offer all policy benefits. Also history has shown that most insurance losses are not total losses. Getting a professional to review an offer made or having a well trained and professional public adjuster discuss the facts of your loss on the front-end can be very valuable. Sometimes it is the little things like getting advice to totally document your loss and not just stop at some level that you think will get you your policy limit. Also remember that you may have tax benefits that may allow for an uninsured casualty loss deduction.

We think you should consider the section in your insurance policy that spells out your duties in the event you have a loss. Almost all property policies place duties and responsibility on the insured policyholders. You were most likely busy before the loss. Now you have all of the issues involved in an insurance claim.

You should also consider the financial issues of an insurance claim. For example; Can a public adjuster get you a better settlement than you can get on your own? While it is easy to make big promises in this area, we think it is best to check with prior clients and let them tell you how they feel about the decision they made to hire a public adjuster.

When it comes down to a decision, you need to ask yourself if a public adjuster can do better estimating, servicing and settling your claim for a fair amount than you can do on your own with the limited time and knowledge about property insurance adjusting you may possess. 

Our professional public adjusters will work your loss as if it were their own. We care about our clients and that makes all the difference in the world. We have seen the suffering and trauma our clients go through and we have seen and heard the sense of relief (it feels like a weight has been lifted from our shoulders) when they retain our staff of trained and experienced adjusters.

What should your expectations be if you retain us –total commitment to you, your family, or your businesses at the time of your loss. Our goal as a partner working for you is to get you back in your home, or get your business up and running as quickly as possible. Our reputation depends on it. 26 years of helping clients means you can expect the same level of service and dedication we have given to all of our prior clients. That commitment has allowed us to serve the public year after year after at the time of their loss.

The public adjusters within our firm have many years of in the trenches experience. Some have been on the insurance carrier side and understand what goes on inside the claims department.  They are truly experts in their field.  Many insurance companies will tell you they like working with Tutwiler and Associates.  Our understanding of the claim process has earned us the best reputation in the State of Florida notwithstanding all the work we do throughout the country.  In addition, our clients are some the most well respected, highly educated, and business savvy individuals in the country.  It is not uncommon for an insurance company executive/employee to tell their family or friend to hire a public adjuster following a loss. 

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Local Office

Charles R. Tutwiler & Associates Inc.
Licensed Public Insurance Adjusters & Loss Consultants
Offices: Tampa, Orlando, Hollywood, Palm City, Florida; Dallas, TX; Pittsburgh, PA

Executive Office
4300 W. Cypress St.
Suite 780
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: 813.287.8090
Toll Free: 800.321.4488

Licensed in Florida # W840088 &
Texas #1399706 plus 16 other states
and the Virgin Islands