Nothing hurts the average American adult as much as paying taxes and paying your insurance bill every month, to cite a few examples. Unfortunately, these pains are necessary. Particularly for homeowners who need to safeguard their homes against unexpected accidents.
Catastrophes like windstorms, hurricanes, fires, explosions, and collapses could happen at any time, leading to the destruction of your home.
These disasters sometimes cause serious roof destruction. With your roof gone, the interior of your house will be wide open to costly collateral damage.
This is why a roof is important…And why we need to pay insurance bills; so we don’t go bankrupt trying to recover from unforeseen disasters.
However, negotiating your claims with an insurance agent can be a hassle. You may feel you deserve more payment for coverage on a loss and the insurance company says you deserve less. How do you come to an agreement that favors you? This is where public adjusters are meant to come in.
Who is a Public Adjuster?
A public adjuster is a professional claims handler/claims adjuster who advocates for the insured/policyholder in assisting and negotiating that insured’s insurance claim.
In simpler terms, it’s a public adjuster’s responsibility to help you get the most amount of money from your insurance company in the event of a loss.
“No Such Thing As a Free Roof”
You’ve heard the saying: “There’s no such thing as a free __________.”
Well, the same holds true for roof replacements.
Recently in Florida, there have been fraudsters pretending to be public adjusters and cheating homeowners out of their insurance claims.
These fraudsters are often building contractors, and what they do is take advantage of vulnerable homeowners who’ve just suffered a huge loss and offer to fix their roofs and handle their insurance claims for free. In return, they tell these homeowners to sign what’s known as an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) contract.
Now the problem with this, and the reason we called these contractors fraudsters are:
- It’s against the law in Florida to be a contractor and public adjuster covering the same loss.
- When you sign an AOB, you lose all rights to your insurance claim, along with the benefits that come with it. DO NOT lose control of your claim!
- By getting you to sign t he AOB, these contractors charge unreasonably high fees and sue your insurance company when they refuse to pay. Which essentially means their profit is your loss.
So What Do You Do?
Well first and foremost, never sign an AOB for just any reason. Anyone who makes you do it might be attempting to steal from you.
Secondly, it’s important to note that a public adjuster is not a house contractor. And by law, they are not permitted to work as contractors in the insurance claims they’re settling. You guessed it…that’s what’s called a conflict of interest. Think of it this way: if a contractor can’t work as a public adjuster, then a public adjuster shouldn’t work as a contractor either.
Lastly, each roof damage case indeed comes with its own set of unique circumstances, but the one thing it does not come with is a free roof!
In the event of roof damage, the first thing you should do is call a reputable licensed and insured roofing contractor in your area. Do extensive research – ask your family and friends for recommendations and ask the roofing contractor to supply you with a list of homes in the area they recently re-roofed. They have the expertise to handle all your roof concerns and will provide a fair cost estimate of your roof repairs which will be useful when you’re handling the insurance claim.
If you require an expert and honest South Florida roofing company that won’t steal from you, contact us here for a FREE estimate.
Palm Beach: 561-469-7930