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Public Insurance Adjusters - Money Magazine

When disaster strikes – fire, flood, nature gone wild – sorting out the insurance aspect of your property loss can be like reliving the tragedy. A public insurance adjuster assesses the damage to your home or business, organizes your claim and then works with your insurance company to maximize the return on your policy. “There are honest differences of opinion as to what is damaged and what is a legitimate claim,” says Ron Papa, chairman of National Fire Adjusters in Amherst, N.Y. “We level the playing field for the insured.” Members of the National Association of Insurance Adjusters must pass a certification course and follow a code of ethics. “They don’t sell insurance products or represent anyone else but the insured,” says director David Barrack.

How Much?
You typically pay them a percentage of the claim, often 10%. Because public insurance adjusters are regulated by the states, fees will vary.

How to find them

How to check them out
Call your state government’s insurance commission for a background check on any public adjuster you’re considering.