Frequently Asked Questions about Public Adjusting in Virginia
Are there local laws and/or regulations relevant to public adjusting in Virginia?
Public adjusting is a very regulated industry and there is a list of regulations that we are required to follow. The most important of these is licensing. Public adjusters are required to be licensed by the state.
Virginia isn’t a highly litigated state, so there are not a lot of court cases that we can turn to as far as the claims process goes. While the state is actively working to create more laws and make it more regulated, the insurance claims process is often abused by the insurance companies. This is due to the fact that they don’t have situations that pertain to this state regarding how insurance companies need to follow their claims or the claims process.
As licensed public adjusters in the state of Virginia, we have the ability to make a difference. Sometimes, when there are claims we can’t get settled, they need to go for an appraisal or litigation. As a firm, if we believe that’s a warranted response, we have the ability to make it happen; pushing claims further so there will eventually be litigated court cases the state can follow. In other states, such as Texas, Colorado, Florida, pretty much everything has been litigated.
Unfortunately, Virginia doesn’t have these laws and regulations in place yet, but is actively trying to get there. It’s nice to be a part of that and help shape the way claims are handled and make sure that the consumer, or the insured, is always getting what they deserve and aren’t being taken advantage of.
How do I look up a Virginia public adjuster’s licensing?
Although people rarely ask to see our license, especially homeowners, we are happy to send a copy of our state issued license. We can also provide our license number, and you're welcome to call the SCC to verify that we are licensed.
Are there any local resources in Virginia that someone seeking the help of a public adjuster would find useful?
Since we specialize in storm-related damage, we know many reputable contractors in Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley that are extremely experienced in those fields (hail, wind, tornado, fire, water).
The contractors we work with are fair and honest, and understand the need for public adjusting. Most times, they will even come out for free to assess the damage and see if it is worth filing an insurance claim.
Are there resources that a property owner in Virginia is going to need to file an insurance claim?
It's important for homeowners to always be prepared for the possibility of an insurance claim. Many homeowners or policyholders often don't think about it until it's too late and something's happened.
Here are a few things that we recommend that all policyholders do:
1. Keep access to your insurance policy.
In order to file a claim, you'll need to know your policy number and deductible amount. If you'd like a public adjuster to check the endorsements and any coverage you may have, it's always best to have a copy of your policy.
2. Take (or find) pictures of your house or property once a year.
That way, you have documentation of what was in your house and how your house was set up, in case of property damage (fire, water leak, etc.).
3. Take photos of the current damage before your repair anything.
If your home is in need of immediate repairs, it's essential that you take as many pictures as possible of the damage. Time stamped photos of the property, prior to any work being done, are essential.
4. Be sure to avoid any permanent repairs before filing your insurance claim and keep receipts for any temporary solutions.
This way, when the insurance company comes out to evaluate the damage, they'll be able to reimburse you for any fees or expenses you many have incurred while temporarily keeping your property in working capacity. This could include hiring a professional tarping company to cover your roof if the shingles are missing, stopping a leak, fixing a burst pipe, or any other temporary remedies to protect your home from further damage.
Are there any websites that you know of that are helpful in explaining the public adjusting process?
Our website has lots of helpful information. We're constantly working to keep our marketing and educational materials informative and relevant, to help guide you through the claims process. We're also happy to assist you over the phone, view photos of your property, or provide an onsite assessment.
Are there any resources that someone seeking help with a storm-related claim might find useful?
There are many helpful blogs written by local contractors that can serve as helpful guides with storm-related claims. Our website also has many helpful resources and blog posts, related to storm-damage insurance claims.
Often out-of-state contractors will travel to other areas in the aftermath of a storm. You want to find a reputable contractor that's established, has good reviews, and is locally based to evaluate any storm damage.
Frequently Asked Questions about Public Adjusting in General
Can I hire my own insurance adjuster?
Yes; the short answer is yes. Many people don't realize, however, that they actually can have representation on their side of things. Insurance claims are very one-sided, especially if you leave it solely up to the insurance carrier to decide how much money you receive for a claim.
Most states have created the position of a public adjuster, that is, a licensed insurance adjuster who represents you, the public. Our job is to make sure you get a fair settlement and everything that you're owed when filing an insurance claim.
What is the purpose of hiring a public adjuster?
If you pay your insurance company a monthly premium and when you file an insurance claim, they send someone from their company out to decide how much money they're going to give you, it seems a little one-sided. It also opens the door to bias when dealing with an insurance claim. Having somebody that is working on your side and has your best interest at heart is the purpose of hiring a public adjuster.
How do I choose a public adjuster?
The best way to choose a public adjuster is to find someone with the requisite skills and experience to handle your type of claim. It's important that your public adjuster has the competence, proper education (for instance any relevant certifications in roofing or restoration), and experience to handle all sides of your insurance claim.
Allclaims Pro checks all of these boxes.
Additionally, it is always helpful to read their reviews online. Depending on the area of the country you're in, certain public adjusters will handle varying types or amounts of claims. It's best to see how long they've been in business for, what their reviews are, and their experience in handling the specific type of claim that you have. It's very important to vet a public adjuster just like you would any other professional service. You want to make sure that they know what they're doing and have experience in that field of work.
What is the difference between a public adjuster and an independent insurance adjuster?
On the other hand, a public adjuster doesn't work for the insurance companies. Unlike an independent adjuster, they don't represent nor do they get paid by the insurance companies. Public adjusters collect their payment on the back-end, from the settlement they get the homeowner or insured.
Can a public adjuster work for a contractor?
How does a public adjuster get paid?
How much does a public adjuster charge?
It's hard to say how much each specific firm charges, but we typically charge between 10 & 20%, depending on the situation of the claim.