A public adjuster is not an independent adjuster, a private adjuster, a contractor, or a restoration company.
There are many tasks a public adjuster can do and there are many tasks they cannot do. A public adjuster is an insurance adjuster who does not work for any insurance company. They work for the insured, the homeowner, to assist in the preparation, presentation, and settlement of the claim. The insured hires them by signing a contract agreeing to pay them a fee or commission based on a percentage of the settlement, or other methods of compensation.
Public adjusters are sometimes mistakenly called Independent Adjusters. This could be because neither public nor independent adjusters work as an employee of the insurance company. Both adjusters also work on numerous claims and communicate with several insurance companies however, they are not the same. Independent adjusters work on behalf of the insurance company and represent the interest of the insurance company they are handling a claim for and not the insured. A public adjuster works on behalf of the insured not the insurance company and works on behalf of the insured.
Another name public adjusters are mistaken for is a private adjuster. It seems that people think of public adjusters as having a role similar to secret agents working for the FBI or private investigators. In a way, public adjusters are like private investigators. Both look closely into their subject/claim and follow leads that others may have missed. Public adjusters dig deep into claims and can recognize any missing pieces because reviewing and understanding claims and policies is their specialty.
Public adjusters review estimates, write estimates and understand construction. Nonetheless, they are not contractors. Insurance company adjusters are also not contractors. They do not repair homes, write trade estimates, nor have a license, training, or experience that a contractor should have. Often homeowners contact public adjusters wanting to know when work will begin on their home or have specific questions about the repairs. While public adjusters understand the construction process, a licensed contractor is the best contact for those specific types of questions. Additionally, a public adjuster cannot be a contractor and vice versa. If a contractor tells you that they can adjust your claim for you that is not true just like a public adjuster cannot construct your home.
It is also common for homeowners to call their public adjuster wanting to know when contents from their home will be removed and clean. This is actually a job that a restoration company does. Restoration companies concentrate on restoring homes and personal belongings. Insureds can hire a restoration company to be their contractor and repair their home. They can also only hire them to restore their personal belongings that were damaged. Restoration companies are the ones who pack up the home and clean those items at their facility. They can clean and restore furniture, clothing, décor, and electronics.
As you can see there are several portions of a claim and multiple entities can be involved. Public adjusters perform all the same tasks a company or independent adjuster and all three are different. Company and independent adjusters are also not contractors nor restoration companies. If you are having issues with your insurance claim, call a public adjuster to review everything to make sure you are paid properly and treated fairly through the process. Public adjusters have your back and best interest in mind. They do not get paid a penny if they cannot get you paid a dime.