The Top 10 Common Mistakes Public Adjusters Make
Hello everybody and welcome back to my blog. In today’s article, I will cover some of the most common mistakes PAs make throughout the claim’s process.
Mistakes are oftentimes made by rookie adjusters with little to no experience.
However, even the experienced adjusters who’ve been in the industry for some time can also make these same mistakes.
I’m here to point those mistakes out and help you avoid them any way possible.
Therefore, let’s not waste any more time and let’s get down to analyzing those top ten common mistakes.
10. Insufficient Estimates
When you go out to inspect the loss, it’s vital that you put together estimates that cover everything. By everything, I mean every little detail for every single thing that needs to be addressed during the repair process.
It doesn’t matter if you’re putting together an estimate, or if you’ve hired a professional estimator to do it for you, you must ensure that it’s efficient and that everything is thoroughly analyzed.
One of the main reasons is that you will have to back up and defend your estimate some time during the claims process.
Also, your client may be asked to sign a POL (Proof of Loss) later on, based upon this estimate.
Furthermore, you have to have solid arguments for everything that you’ve included. Make sure you have a good reason for every single line item in your estimate so that you can argue it with whomever you need to.
9. Not Documenting the Loss
When you’re conducting an initial inspection, you want, or better yet, you need to document everything.
That includes taking photos, collecting invoices, collecting proposals and so on. Gathering this stuff as soon as possible is crucial.
For instance, if the repairs need to be made, get a proposal from a legitimate repair company. Also, if new materials need to be bought to make any temporary repairs, tell the client to get the invoices from the store.
On that note, I have started providing consultations courses as a part of a mentorship program and I can help you understand how to document everything properly, among other things. If you’re interested, make sure you check it out here https://www.commercialclaimsadvocate.com/public-adjuster-consulting-course/
8. Not having Documentation ready for the Initial Inspection.
As mentioned before, gathering the documentation is crucial.
However, you should have all the evidence ready to go upon the initial inspection. That means you should attend the initial inspection with all of the evidence, invoices, estimates, proposals, etc ready to hand to the insurance company’s adjuster.
Whether it’s a file you’ll hand out or a folder you’ll email to them, just make sure that it’s ready to go. I personally prefer to do it the night before the inspection or the night of the inspection.
Why does this matter you ask?
Well, this can push things along a bit faster, and it may even give your client a more favorable resolution. For example, the insurance company may finalize the claim faster and for more money just because there’s nothing left to investigate.
7. Not Following up with the Insurance Company
Follow-ups are a must in this industry.
Therefore, once you’ve finished with the initial inspection and gathering of documentation, make sure you follow up with the insurance company on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Why is this a good thing?
I’ll tell you why. In case the insurance company doesn’t respond to you after you’ve provided them with everything, it doesn’t look good on their part, and they can be held accountable for their lack of responsibility.
It can even be considered as “bad faith” on their part.
So, in case they refuse to pay or they decide to severely underpay, you have evidence of email correspondence that proves that the insurance company refused to play ball.
This, of course, can be used in legal claims and in the appraisal processes.
6. Record Statement Assistance
Oftentimes, your clients will be asked to provide a recorded statement about the accident that occurred, which prompted them to file an insurance claim.
That’s all well and fine but clients tend to get really nervous when giving such statements.
As a PA, I believe it’s our duty to help the client prepare for the questions that will or may be asked during the statement.
Just help them prepare, give out some advice and make sure you let them know that there’s nothing to be nervous about.
5. Being Disrespectful to the Adjusters
Yes, in many cases we play tug-o-war with the insurance companies and yes, they will send out their own adjusters and field adjusters to try and counter your estimate.
However, there’s no reason for you to be disrespectful to the insurance company’s adjusters. No reason at all.
Like you, they are just doing their job. They might work for the other side but it’s a job nonetheless.
And, of course, they might be difficult to handle but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a better person.
Look at it this way, you wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of disrespect so don’t do the same to others.
4. Not Putting everything in Writing
I prefer to have various things in writing and I strongly recommend you do the same.
For example, the things that were said during the initial inspections and things you went over with the field adjuster.
I like to send this out in my weekly follow up emails just to ensure that some things don’t get skipped out on.
If it’s going to help your client, you might as well have it in writing and mention it in an email.
3. Allowing Others to Negotiate Your Claim
Negotiating the claim is your responsibility and your’s only.
A home or a business owner may decide on how much they want to settle for, but you should never ever allow anyone else to do the negotiations for you.
This is especially true for someone who’s not experienced enough to negotiate, in the first place, such as a contractor or a roofer, for example.
This is your job and you know best for how much the claim should be settled for.
2. Release Warnings
Not reading or warning clients about releases is a big mistake.
Take extra heed in this Pas, because when you get a release sent to you, be aware that that is it. This is a strong leverage, however, if you’re willing to settle in exchange for a release it takes the insurance company off the hook.
In other words, they no longer have to pay anything in the future. A release settles the claim and it can no longer be disputed after that.
Therefore, if you decide to settle make sure you and the policyholder both agree, and do read the draft to ensure that everything is in order.
1. Lack of Systematic Approach
Handling the workload inappropriately can become your worst enemy. Being organized is the best advice I can give you to avoid this mistake.
My ace in the sleeve is an organized calendar I live by and you should have one as well.
Therefore, find a systematic approach to your workflow. Whether it’s a CRM software or a simple Excel spreadsheet, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it works for you.
The biggest mistake PAs make is that they quit!
No matter what.
Yes, things can get tough. You won’t find work right away, your finances will fluctuate, you’ll get frustrated, but it will all be well worth it in the end.
It took me about five years to get things going for me. So whatever you do, whatever you go through, don’t quit and stay strong at all times.
That’s it, the common mistakes PAs make, as well as the bonus tip. I hope this article helps all of you in your careers and that it will motivate you to go on.
If you’re ever in need of advice or someone to talk to, you know where to find me.
It’s time to take full control of your claims. Of your business. Of your life.
A community can help you get there faster. It can offer support during these tough times. Inspiration. Guidance.
Together, we can get you to where you want to be.
What are you waiting for?