Public Adjuster vs. Independent Adjuster: What’s The Difference?

When your business or home suffers significant damage, you instantly look into the process of filing insurance claims and need someone familiar to take care of it for you. For policyholders, the first step is to decide who should represent them and make investigations to settle the case in their favor – a public adjuster or an independent adjuster?

Are These Just Different Titles For The Same Profession?

Many think that public adjuster and independent adjuster are just the different titles for the same person and profession, but that’s not the case.

There’s a major difference between public and independent adjusters as they do not work with the same motive. However, their basic job is the same as they manage or adjust insurance claims, determining the settlement amount that applies.

Remember here that public adjusters are also known as private adjusters. Yes, that might be confusing, but the two refer to the same professional.

The Difference Between Public Adjusters And Independent Adjusters

The key difference between the public adjuster companies and the independent adjusters is that they represent the different parties. Here’s a detailed explanation of who they are.

Independent Adjusters

Independent adjusters represent the interests of the insurance company. Even though they have ‘independent’ in their name, they are not. Independent adjusters are contracted by the insurance company, and their goal is to protect their employer’s rights.

They are under no obligation to represent the policyholder. Technically, their role is to represent both parties, but ultimately they favor the company that bears their paycheck – your insurance company. They are hired for specific claims and often work for an independent adjustment company contracted by the insurer. Typically, they are paid a certain percentage of the insurance claim.

Public Adjusters

Public adjusters work for you – the policyholders. Their ultimate goal is to help you through the intricacies and technicalities of the claim process. Especially if you are a policyholder making your first claim and have a large amount of money at stake, public adjuster companies help ensure that you get the exact compensation you are owed according to the terms of your policy. They can negotiate on your behalf if the insurance company is not offering an adequate amount and get you a better offer.

Why Is It Important To Hire A Public Adjuster To Represent You?

Generally, policyholders don’t have a say in appointing the insurance adjuster, and the insurance company hires an independent adjuster who serves their interests. However, most states allow you to hire a public adjuster to protect your interests. Filing an insurance claim and managing the process is not straightforward.

Documenting an insurance claim and listing all the damaged/destroyed items and their repair or replacement costs needs time, effort, and expertise. Unfortunately, most policyholders don’t have that. Therefore, unless you have the experience and the expertise required to negotiate with an independent adjuster, your insurance claim can quickly become your worst nightmare. A public adjuster has the skills and experience to act on your behalf and get you the best deal possible.

Now that you understand the difference between a public adjuster and an independent adjuster, hire a public adjuster and have someone on your side to protect your interests and get you a better offer for your next insurance claim.


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