❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly Asked Questions About Public Adjusting Answered!

Q: Will I get a Higher Payment When Using a Public Adjuster?

A: The State of Florida actually did a study examining the differences when a claim was handled by a public adjuster. According to the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA), policyholders who used a public adjuster received an average of 747% higher payouts than those who weren’t represented.

Q: What is a Public Adjuster?

A:A Public Adjuster is a professional claims handler licensed by the State of Florida that advocates on your (the Homeowner, Business owner, Association, etc.) behalf to ensure proper navigation through the many complex provisions and processes involved with a typical insurance claim. A claim that is professionally documented, appraised, and negotiated will to allow you to receive the maximum settlement allowable according to your policy.

Aside from attorneys, public adjusters licensed by the state are the only type of claims adjuster that can legally represent the rights of an insured during an insurance claim process. Please be aware it is illegal for anyone other than a public adjuster or an attorney to assist you in the handling of your claim.

Q: Doesn’t the Insurance Company Provide me with an Insurance Adjuster?

A: Insurance companies are big corporations for profit. Insurance adjusters are employed by Insurance companies, and their loyalty is only to the insurance company. Insurance company profits come from policy premiums minus any money they pay out for claims. Adjusters working for insurance companies are trained to pay as little as possible for claims. Many studies show that hiring a Public Adjuster to represent you with your insurance claim results in much higher claim settlements.

There are two types of insurance company adjusters:

Company Adjuster – A company adjuster is employed as a member of an insurance company’s staff. A company adjuster’s primary goal is to protect the insurance company’s interests. In essence, a company adjuster’s allegiance is to the insurance company – not you.

Independent Adjuster – Independent adjusters are hired by insurance carriers on a contract basis to handle certain claims when their company adjusters can’t handle the volume of claims.

Please remember that neither of these two types of adjusters has your best interest in mind.

Q: What is the Cost of Hiring a Public Adjuster?

A: Public Adjuster fees are regulated by the state and will generally be a very small percentage of the maximum settlement from the insurance company.

Q: How Long do I Have to Report a Loss?

A: In Florida, most cases allow you three years to report a claim from the date that the loss occurred. Each insurance company has provisions in their contracts regarding late reporting of claims that may make the filing of a claim that happened six plus months ago more difficult.

Q: Can the Insurance Company Cancel my Coverage if I Make Multiple Non-Storm Related Insurance Claims?

A: No, it is against the Florida Insurance Statute to cancel you during your policy.

Q: How do I Know if my Claim is Worth Making?

A: Unfortunately, a common mistake made by homeowners is trying to assess the damages themselves and failing to take into account the full scope of repairs. Homeowners historically undervalue the severity of damages. The only way to appropriately answer this question is to contact us to come out to your property and conduct a free inspection.

Q: How Long Will the Insurance Company Take to pay my Claim?

A: By law, all companies, except for Citizens Insurance, are required to pay or deny claims within 90 days.

Please keep in mind that this is the initial payout. The process to get more payouts can take longer. Sentry Public Adjusting has the experience and knowledge to help expedite the process while maximizing your settlement.

Q: Can I get Help with my Denied Claim?

A: Yes, as long as you did not sign a full and final release. Some insurance companies may require you to sign a proof of loss, and in some cases, a partial proof of loss in order to write you a check for your loss. You should also be mindful of the statute of limitations that may apply to an insurance claim. We have found over the years that if you have a legitimate basis for additional claim damages and if documented through a professional public adjuster, insurance companies often will sit down with us and make a good faith attempt to try and resolve any outstanding differences.

Q: I Settled my Claim a Number of Months ago but now Find There are Other Costs and Issues that Resulted From my Damage. Can I Still get a Public Adjuster Involved?

A: Yes, as long as you did not sign a full and final release. Some insurance companies may require you to sign a proof of loss, and in some cases, a partial proof of loss in order to write you a check for your loss. You should also be mindful of the statute of limitations that may apply to an insurance claim. We have found over the years that if you have a legitimate basis for additional claim damages and if documented through a professional public adjuster’s work product, insurance companies often will sit down with us and make a good faith attempt to try and resolve any outstanding differences.

Q: Can I Hire a Public Adjuster if I am Already in the Middle of the Claim Process?

A: Yes, you can. Give us a call or e-mail us. We will start the process which will include a no obligation meeting with you at the loss site to review your unique situation and the issues that are involved. Each loss is different and requires a hands-on approach in order to develop a plan for your recovery.

Q: Are There any Upfront Fees for Services?

A: No. We are not paid until and unless you are paid by the insurance company. In many cases, we spend our own money and time on documenting and resolving your claim before we get paid. Our consultations and claim review is FREE, without any obligation.

Q: Should I Meet with my Insurance Company Adjuster and Their Representatives Before I Retain a Public Adjuster?

A: No. Based on our years of experience, we know that meeting with your insurance company without the representation of a licensed public adjuster will most likely result in frustration, disappointment, dissatisfaction, and discontent.

Q: Which Areas do you Serve?

A: We proudly serve South Florida: South Florida Locations such as: Aventura, Bal Harbour, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Brickell, Cooper City, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Golden Beach, Hallandale, Hillsboro Beach, Hollywood, Kendall, Plantation, Hialeah, Opa Locka, Jupiter, Key Biscayne, Lake Worth, Miami Beach, Miramar, Palm Beach Gardens, Parkland, Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach, South Beach, Sunrise, Sunny Isles Beach, Surfside, Wellington, Weston, West Palm Beach, Monroe County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County.

Q: What is an Appraisal?

A: This is another solution for re-opening a property damage claim that left you without proper compensation for the damages. This is typically used when a claim is a large amount and needs to have an expert appraiser involved. The main point of appraisal is to value the loss; it is also affected by how the insurance policy is written. You will have Sentry Public Adjustingβ€―on your side to appraise the damage to your property and to represent you to your insurance company. We go back in and appraise the damage that was incurred and fight for you to get the correct coverage for your property damages.