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Insurance Disputes in Alabama

The Role of a Public Adjuster in Florida Insurance Disputes

Experienced insurance lawyers understand the pros and cons of working with public adjusters in the Gulf Coast, the Florida Panhandle, and across the state

Florida allows claims adjusters to become licensed public adjusters. In theory, these people act as agents for policyholders. They negotiate on their behalf in return for a fee or a percentage of the recovery. As a general rule, it is much more advisable for policyholders to seek the advice of legal counsel. Experienced lawyers understand the legal challenges, when claims can be brought for bad faith, how to better document and value damages, and the court procedures.

Attorney Gene Warhurst, founder of Warhurst Law, understands many different sides of insurance dispute law. As a former Florida insurance claims adjuster, he understands what steps insurance companies should take to protect their clients and when insurance companies aren’t acting in good faith. As a seasoned insurance lawyer, he understands the need to document claims, fully investigate the damage, and what damages should be paid. He has a strong history of negotiating just settlements. He’s ready to try your case in court, if the insurance company is being unreasonable or delaying payment.

What are public adjusters?

Public adjusters in Florida must fulfill a number of strict requirements to obtain their license. Florida has seen a continual growth in the number of public adjusters due to the increase of natural disasters, such as Hurricane Michael. Some of the basic issues that policyholders should understand about public adjusters are:

  • Public adjusters generally receive a percentage (usually about 10 percent; in some cases, up to 20 percent) of any settlement with the insurance company. Florida caps the amount of the fees.
  • They must continually update their training after they obtain their Florida public adjuster license.
  • The more competent public adjusters have knowledge of construction and contracting – two key elements in claims for structural damage.

Our Case Results

$11 Million Hurricane
Hurricane Katrina property damage of New Orleans apartment complex settled pre-suit.

Katrina Settlement

$2.4 Million Settlement in Commercial Tornado Claim
Warhurst Law secured $2.2 million in additional recovery for a lumber mill damaged in a tornado.

Tornado Claim

$2.226 Million Fire Loss Settlement
Warhurst Law secured more than $2.226 million in additional recovery for a Baptist Church

Fire Loss Settlement

$1.3 Million Car Crash Settlement
Client was in a car accident resulting in severe brain damage.

Car Crash Settlement

$26 Million Hurricane Katrina Settlement
Hurricane Katrina loss of New Orleans Apartment complex previously offered $3 million.

Katrina Settlement

What does a public adjuster do for an insured client?

Pubic adjusters should not work on behalf of the insurance company. Public adjusters should work on behalf of the insured:

  • Inspect the damage after a natural disaster or an accident
  • Evaluate the scope of the damage and what items can be repaired
  • Prepare estimates as to the value of the damage to buildings, inventory, equipment, and other contents of the home or building
  • Help the insured properly document their claim with receipts, statements from appraisers, and other records
  • Help the policyholder present and negotiate his or her claim with the insurance company

The advantages of using a Florida insurance dispute lawyer

While homeowners and business owners generally obtain better settlements with a public adjuster than without one, that doesn’t mean they’ll get the best outcome possible. By working with a Florida insurance dispute attorney, you have the security of knowing that if things go sideways, we can represent you in court. Since we’re already intimately aware of your claim and what you’ve gone through, this can help speed up the process, or even get you a better settlement award.

Some of the things we routinely handle for our clients include:

  • Coverage issues
  • Multi-policy claims
  • Loss valuation
  • Bad faith actions
  • Agent negligence claims
  • Business interruption claims
  • Off-site damages

Experience and legal knowledge do matter. While many cases do settle, many do need to be resolved through a court hearing. Lawyers have the scope to understand that properly handling the early stages of an investigation are critical to winning before a judge, jury, or arbitration panel. Lawyers work step by step to document the damage soon after the event, through videos, photographs, and reports from experts.

If something goes wrong with your claim, a public adjuster can only take you so far. When you work with Warhurst Law, we’re in for the long haul with you. We have the skills, experience, resources, and legal know-how to handle whatever comes our way.

Speak with an experienced Florida insurance dispute lawyer today

There are times where a public adjuster and an attorney can work together. Most times, it is better for to contact a respected insurance lawyer immediately. Lawyers often see the bigger picture than public adjusters. Attorneys often are required to resolve or litigate legal issues on your half. The skilled Florida insurance dispute lawyers at Warhurst Law work with a team of professionals to analyze the damage, review repair and rebuilding options, the need to move to a new location, and the value of the home and its contents. To schedule an appointment now, call 251-694-1932 or complete our contact form. We proudly serve clients in Panama City, Pensacola, Port St. Joe, Destin, Apalachicola, across the Panhandle, and throughout the Gulf Coast.

* Warhurst Law cannot and does not guarantee an outcome to any case.