Your Better Business Bureau
is hearing from northwest Florida residents who have received phone calls from
public adjustors offering to help with insurance claims made after Hurricane
Ivan. Callers, likely public adjusters – or scam artists claiming to be public
adjusters – say there is a five-year statute of limitations to file claims or
appeals after a disaster and that individuals should use their services to
reopen claims filed in 2004.
adjusters typically ask you to sign a contract for a fee or a percentage of
your claim payment to adjust your claim. A public adjuster must be licensed by
the Department of Financial Services (DFS), and does not work for or represent
your insurance company. Public adjusters will represent you by adjusting your
claim and presenting it to your insurance company.
recommends that you contact them prior to signing a contract to re-open older
claims as claims should be filed as soon as possible after a loss is
incurred. In many cases, consumers are able to work directly with the
insurance company regarding any unpaid claims they feel are still pending
payment. Consumers should also ask to see a valid Public Adjuster photo
license prior to signing any contract. In most cases, the contract you sign is
legally binding, so review it carefully before signing it. Public adjustors
must be licensed to work in the state of Florida.
Verify the public adjuster’s licensing and ask for a review of the contract
prior to signing it by calling DFS at 877.693.5236.
advises those considering hiring a public adjuster to do their homework before
signing a contract. Get a free BBB Reliability Report™ online at bbb.org or by
calling 850.429.0002 or 800.729.9226.
additional information and advice you can trust on insurance issues, start with