Property Loss Professionals: Who Are They and How Can They Help You?


When do they enter the process?

The earlier a public adjuster is brought into the process, the better the opportunities are for helping the policyholder obtain a more favorable claim settlement. A public adjuster can be hired the day of the loss and is normally involved until all settlement monies are paid out on the claim.

The public adjuster does not supervise construction or oversee rebuilding; however, he or she will remain involved in the claim process until full repairs are completed and final claimmonies are paid.

Insurance Producers (Agents and Brokers)

Who are they?

Property and casualty insurance producers (agents and brokers) sell policies that guard individuals and businesses from financial loss stemming from events that cause property damage, such as floods, fires and storms. The duties of a property and casualty producer vary from state to state. Although they have a business relationship with the insurance company, they may have certain duties owed to the insured. Generally, agents represent insurance companies and brokers represent policyholders.

What role do they play?

Policyholders normally purchase property insurance policies through an agent or broker. These producers assist insureds in completing applications, selecting coverages, issuing certificates of insurance, making changes to policies, invoicing and filing claims with the insurance company.

How are they compensated?

Most producers are paid a commission by the insurance company based on the premium billed to the insured.

Are they licensed?

Yes, insurance brokers and agents are regulated, usually by state departments of insurance.

How are they trained?

Training varies from agency to agency. Larger firms have internal training programs. Smaller, local or regional firms use resources such as The Institutes or The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. Both of these organizations offer certification programs. Membership organizations such as the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), and Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters Society also offer educational programs for insurance producers.

Public adjusters work exclusively on behalf of the policyholder throughout every aspect of the claims process, helping them achieve the most favorable settlement possible.