Topic: Anyone use a public adjuster for a big (6-figure) insurance claim?

One of our commercial buildings burned yesterday. Thankfully it was not the Duff Beer Global Center For World Domination, but another building a few miles away. It looks like the tenants were diagnosing a fuel pump and caught a tank of gas on fire, which ignited their waste oil storage tank and a large stock of tires, and completely destroyed the building. The steel beams are sagging and all of the aluminum melted and ran in streams to form pools in the parking lot. We're going to have to demolish it and start over.

Before I even knew about it (the tenant had left me a VM that I should call them about something, but I hadn't called back yet), I had a public adjuster calling me to try to represent me to the insurance company. These guys appear to be the ambulance chasers of the insurance industry, calling owners after any major fire. They basically do the same thing as the insurance company adjuster, but they work for the claimant to try to get a higher settlement. They work on commission. 

It makes sense, especially for a large claim. I've worked with insurance company adjusters on smaller claims, and they try to pay out as little as possible, which seems like it would be their job. Having an adjuster that works for me seems like a good idea, but I've never made a major insurance claim before. 

Have any of you guys/gals ever used a public adjuster for a large claim?

Roger from Duff Beer

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Anyone use a public adjuster for a big (6-figure) insurance claim?

They are like roaches on spilled wort when a hail storm comes through any Midwestern state that allows them.

I do not doubt there are good ones that are looking out for you best interest while making a decent living by I associate them with fly-by-night roofing companies after a tornado.

One question, is it fair to say that any competent human with eyes would call yours a total loss?  If so, I thinka third-party adjuster is unlikely to be required as your entire negotiation is original value of real property and contents...not value to repair (unless you have an unusual commercial policy).

Re: Anyone use a public adjuster for a big (6-figure) insurance claim?

It is almost definitely a total loss. I'll have to read my insurance policy tonight; it's still sitting on the coffee table at the house. I called another, less sketchy public adjuster who lives nearby and he said that he'd have to see the building and the policy to determine if he could provide any value to the process. I'm leaving for Romania tomorrow afternoon and won't be back for a few weeks, so he agreed to take a look at it tomorrow morning. We just bought this place a month ago and added it to our existing policy on one of our other similar commercial policies. It was being used as an automotive repair facility, and we have to get more expensive insurance on our repair shops than on our other buildings. Now I see why.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Anyone use a public adjuster for a big (6-figure) insurance claim?

rmcdaniels wrote:

.........I'm leaving for Romania tomorrow afternoon and won't be back for a few weeks

Romania!

http://www.murileemartin.com/UG/LBW14/070-Butt14-IMG_7591.jpg

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
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1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: Anyone use a public adjuster for a big (6-figure) insurance claim?

Thank God you only showed the portion above the waist!  smile
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6 (edited by rmcdaniels 2016-11-13 04:10 AM)

Re: Anyone use a public adjuster for a big (6-figure) insurance claim?

The insurance company adjuster got back to me and said it was a total loss, then offered the full amount of our policy, plus all of the extra money from the extra stuff like demolition, debris removal, loss of rent, etc. So it looks like we'll just go with that.


After 10 days in Romania, I have a new dream car. I really, really want a Daewoo Matiz.

http://www.carolinahondas.com/members/roger-albums-stuff-picture6617-daewoo-matiz-front-small.jpg

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Anyone use a public adjuster for a big (6-figure) insurance claim?

Yeah, I figured that would be the case by your description.  When it is totaled, it is totaled and they just pay the max.

Re: Anyone use a public adjuster for a big (6-figure) insurance claim?

Yeah, I forgot to update this, but the second public adjuster that I called came out and looked at the building and said the same thing, basically that I probably wouldn't need his services.

They've given me 80% of the value of the building up front and will give me the remaining 20% when I rebuild or replace it. Now we're deciding whether to clear the lot and sell it to buy a new place or to rebuild. I was going to scrap the property and sell it, but I talked to a steel building contractor, and he said that if we are putting a similar structure (i.e. another steel building in the same spot) in place to replace the damaged structure, then we don't have to have an architectural design/build process or zoning review boards; I can just walk a building permit application through the city like I did when I built a shed in my back yard and then contract the work out directly. That would actually let me build a larger and much nicer building than the one that burned.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!