An insurance adjuster is someone responsible for investigating and settling claims submitted to an insurer.
Insurance adjusters process claims for many types of small business insurance policies. Their job is to:
There are three main types of insurance claims adjusters:
Company adjusters are employees of the insurance company. Since company adjusters work for your insurer, they primarily serve the needs of their employer. Although they consider your concerns, they’re largely focused on settling claims quickly and reducing claim payouts for their companies.
Independent adjusters are self-employed adjusters whom insurers hire in certain circumstances. Independent insurance adjusters also work for insurers, except on a freelance or consulting basis. Companies may use them in cases where they don’t have a claims employee in a geographic area, are overloaded with claims, or lack an adjuster with experience in a certain type of claim.
Public adjusters are similar to independent adjusters, except they work for the insured, not the insurer. Because insurance consumers hire them, public adjusters are in a better position to provide objective advice on settlements, a percentage of which serves as their fee. And since larger settlements increase their compensation, a public adjuster’s interests will usually align with yours.
If your small business insurance claim is relatively small – a few hundred or thousand dollars – then it probably doesn’t make sense to hire a public adjuster.
If you have a larger claim but have faith that your insurer will handle it fairly, it makes sense to let your company adjuster determine the claim payout.
However, if you suffered a major loss that could be catastrophic to your business or personal finances, it may make sense to hire a public adjuster at the outset.
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