Important Things to Remember After a Disaster
If an adjuster asks you to sign a contract for a fee or a percentage of your claim payment to adjust your claim, you’ve probably been approached by a public adjuster. A public adjuster does not work for nor represents your insurance company. Public adjusters will represent you by adjusting your claim and presenting it to your insurance company for a fee.
A public adjuster must be licensed by DFS; ask for their license number, which you may compare to their government-issued photo ID (such as a driver license).
- Solicitation by public adjusters is limited to Mon. - Sat., 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- For claims caused by a disaster that results in a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor, the fees public adjusters can charge are limited to 10 percent of the claim payment for one year after the declaration of an emergency, thereafter the fee limit is 20 percent.
- Public adjusters cannot charge fees for claim payments paid to you before the date they enter into a contract with you or for services not performed.
- An insured or claimant may cancel a contract with a public adjuster within ten (10) business days after it is executed. If the contract was entered into based on an event that is the subject of a declaration of state of emergency by the Governor, then an insured may cancel the contract without any penalty or obligation within 30 days after the date of loss or 10 days after the date on which the contract is executed, whichever is longer.
Entering into a contract with a public adjuster legally obligates the insurance company to add the public adjuster as an additional payee on the claim check.
If you suspect an adjuster is working without a license, or if they urge you to overstate an insurance claim, or if you otherwise suspect fraud, call the Insurance Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.
A public adjuster must put fair and honest treatment of the claimant above their own interests. For more information, read the Public Adjuster Code of Ethics, Public Adjuster Contract Checklist.
For more information download the Disaster Assistance Insurance Helpline brochure.