A Public Adjuster, sometimes referred to as a PA, is an insurance adjuster that is licensed by the State Department of Insurance and works directly for you, not your insurance company. Just as your insurance company employs Company Adjusters that serve their best interest, you are permitted to hire a Public Adjuster to act as your advocate and to negotiate the settlement of your insurance claim. This ensures that you receive every insurance policy benefit available to you when dealing with an insurance loss.

A Public Adjuster will examine the damage to your property, determine an accurate scope of repairs, set the replacement cost value of your claim, and negotiate with your insurance company to obtain a settlement for you.

Public Adjusters are paid fees based on you the settlement of your claim. Caps on fees are set by your State Department of Insurance and vary from state to state (in Texas, fees are capped at 10% of the total replacement cost value, less the deductible). If you have already been offered a settlement by your insurance company, you may elect to pay your Public Adjuster a percentage-based fee on the increase of the settlement.

Although your Public Adjuster will charge you a percentage of the total amount adjusted, the fees are greatly outweighed by the additional amount of funds you receive from your insurance carrier.

Many circumstances throughout a property insurance claim lend themselves to hiring a Public Insurance Adjuster. As with most situations surrounding large or complex claims, timing is everything. It is always best to engage a Public Adjuster at the onset of the loss. When you hire a Public Adjuster, it can be seen as a turnkey claim solution. From the beginning of a claim, a Public Adjuster will reduce stress, save a policyholder’s time, and will result in higher claim settlement figures.

Most insurance claims settled by True View Commercial realize a claim settlement increase of 100 % to 150%.

Our Public Adjusters are experts in the identification of damage, leveraging superior technology to provide an accurate scope of damage and material identification, providing large loss insurance claim management, and promptly and accurately negotiating and settling claims. With a proven history of substantially increasing insurance claim settlements for our clients, we strive to make policyholders whole again while reducing stress and insurance claim cycle time.

A contractor and a Public Adjuster have separate responsibilities that are clearly defined by law and detailed by your state’s Department of Insurance. Although a contractor may be qualified to survey property damage and estimate repair costs, BY LAW they cannot manage insurance claims, negotiate with a Company Adjuster, or speak on your behalf.

If a Public Adjuster finds a claim to require specific restoration needs pertaining to custom cost estimating, he/she can decide to consult with a contractor for a second opinion in order to obtain pricing for bid items.

Most Homeowner’s policies and Business Owner’s policies are written as Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policies. RCV refers to the amount of money needed to repair your home at today's prices of building supplies; or replace your personal property at today's cost of the exact or similar item.

This means the insurance company will pay you the current market value it takes to replace your damaged property, less your deductible.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the amount of money required to repair your home or replace your personal property, minus the decrease in value of your property because of age or use. This is sometimes referred to as Depreciated Cash Value.

The insurance company will reduce the initial payment for your property, the Replacement Cost Value (RCV) payment, by applying depreciation upfront. This initial payment is referred to as the Actual Cash Value (ACV) payment. Once the item is repaired or replaced, the insurance company will issue you a subsequent check for the depreciated amount.

Depreciation is the loss in value that your home and personal property experience over a period of time. The amount of depreciation is then deducted from your insurance settlement upfront. This deduction upfront prevents the insured from making a profit from their insurance loss should they choose not to repair or replace the damaged property. The concept of insurance is to share risk and be made only whole should you suffer a loss.

A supplement is a calculation of additional charges sent to an insurance company after the initial estimate was created. Supplements often occur due to price fluctuations for material and labor or if additional damage was discovered.

If additional damage is discovered to your property, it may be eligible to claim by submitting a supplement to your insurance company. It is not uncommon for a contractor to discover additional damage once a project begins.

A Public Adjuster can work with your contractor in order to correctly document and estimate the new damage. Once correctly documented, a supplement can be sent to the insurance company for review. However, each policy lists time limitations that supplement must be sent in by.

Insurance policy limits are set by your insurance company and vary depending on the specific policy purchased. The policy will set a cap on the insurance benefits that the insured can receive should a loss arise.

For example, if you insure your home on a policy that has a limit $500k on the dwelling and a fire causes $650k worth of damage, the most you can collect is the policy limit of $500k.

The term “Total Loss” generally means that the total amount of repairs exceeds the value of the damaged property. In some cases, when the policy limits are exceeded, it can be referred to as a total loss with respect to the policy.

Additional Living Expenses (ALE), sometimes referred to as Loss of Use, are additional costs that an insured incurs if they must be displaced from their home as a result of a covered loss. Most policies will include coverage for ALE, subject to specific limits, that will cover costs for housing, food, travel, etc. until the home is repaired or the policy limits for ALE are reached.

A deductible is simply the amount an insured must pay out of pocket before the insurance company will pay any expenses in the event of a covered loss. The deductible can be either a stated dollar amount or a percentage amount of the policy value.

You and your insurance company agree that in order for them to cover your property, you must share in the risk by personally bearing some burden financially by way of paying your deductible.

The “Dwelling” is the physical structure of your home. This includes the roof, walls, floors, foundation, etc. A good rule of thumb when trying to determine what is considered part of the structure is to imagine your house is flipped upside down; anything that does not fall is considered part of the dwelling structure. Another analogy is that if something is screwed or glued to the house, it is part of the dwelling structure.

“Other Structures” covered in your insurance policy refers to structures other than the dwelling/livable space. Other structures include fences, decks, pergolas, pools, sheds, detached garages, and items of the like.

“Contents” refers to any of your personal property or the personal property of others held under your care. Personal property consists of anything that is not screwed, glued, or affixed to the dwelling structure. Contents are items such as couches, beds, clothes, electronics, dishes, tools, and appliances that are not built-in.

Public Adjusters do not handle auto claims, third-party claims, or claims involving bodily injury.

Xactimate is the software used for estimating construction costs associated with structure damage, repair, and rebuilding costs. Xactimate has become the most widely used insurance loss estimating program used by insurance companies, Public Adjusters, and contractors.

At True View Commercial, we use the latest versions of Xactimate and stay current on all training and best practices.

True View Commercial currently serves the entire state of Texas and Oklahoma.