Q: I don’t understand what a Public Adjuster can do for me that I can’t do myself.
A: Your insurance policy is a contract. It imposes very specific obligations on you as the policyholder and also on your insurance company as the insurer. The most important of these is the fact that, in order to get your insurance company to pay you a single dime, you have to prove your claim to them.
If you try to do this yourself, you may as well face it: you are going to have to change professions and become a professional claims adjuster. You’ll have to become an expert in pricing everything from roofing nails to original artwork, and you will have to develop organizational and negotiating skills miles beyond any you have ever had to use in the past.
What is more, in many cases, this will become your full time job for months to come, sometimes even years – unless, that is, you hire an experienced Public Adjuster like The Baldwin Company to help you document and prove your claim. Having us on your side helps level the playing field and keeps you from having to play David to your insurance company’s Goliath.
Q: The insurance company’s adjuster seems very knowledgeable about the claims process. Why should I be concerned about him misleading me?
A: It’s usually not so much a question of a company adjuster deliberately trying to mislead you as it is a matter of his expecting you to already know how to do everything required to convince him and his employer, your insurance company, that they ought to pay you for what you say you have lost. You always need to bear in mind that insurance companies are profit-making businesses, and to keep their bottom line as healthy as possible, they usually try not to pay out any more than the bare minimum on as many claims as possible.
That is why you need to talk to one of us at The Baldwin Company: we are Public adjusters, which means we are licensed to represent and assist you, as a member of the public, in the intricacies of documenting, presenting, and negotiating with the company’s representatives, to make sure you achieve not only what you deserve but also what you have faithfully been paying your premiums for: the maximum amount your coverage entitles you to.
Q: I still don’t see why I need a Public Adjuster – I already have an Independent Adjuster working on my claim.
A: Many consumers get these two types of adjusters confused. The word “independent” means that an adjuster is licensed to represent more than one insurance company. But he does represent those companies and not the policyholder: his income/commissions are paid by the companies he represents, and that is where his loyalty must lie. On the other hand, a Public Adjuster, like The Baldwin Company, is licensed to represent an individual like you who has purchased a policy from an insurance company. You as the consumer are part of the Public, and the only adjuster who can actually represent the Public is the one with the word public in his title: PUBLIC ADJUSTER.
Q: How is a public adjuster paid, and how much?
A: Our fee is usually a small percentage of the total amount that you receive when your claim is settled. We are not paid anything until you are paid. However, it is important to note that we generally are able to help you take full advantage of your policy’s benefits in such a way as to more than make up for our fee.
Q: How long will it take to settle my claim?
A: Our goal is to expedite your claim so as to put you back to the way things were prior to your loss. We at The Baldwin Company are trained, experienced professionals who know how to put your claim together far more quickly than someone who has never suffered a catastrophic loss before. If there is any delay in settling your claim, more often than not, it has to do with the insurance company’s lack of urgency regarding claims payments, and we are well-versed in dealing with such delay tactics.
Q: Do Public Adjusters have to be licensed or certified?
A: Most states do require Public Adjusters to be licensed and bonded by each state’s Department of Insurance. Additionally, reputable Public Adjusters belong to The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) and operate under that organization’s strict ethical code of conduct. Wes Baldwin, owner and founder of The Baldwin Company, not only belongs to NAPIA but has also served as President of that internationally recognized association, and continues to chair several of its nationwide committees as well as serve on its Board of Directors in an advisory capacity.