After a Florida hurricane or other major disaster, the sad fact is that unlicensed and unscrupulous public adjusters crawl out of the woodwork. Noble Public Adjusting Group wants to make sure Florida homeowners and commercial property owners are on the lookout for these scoundrels and know how to spot the difference between an unlicensed and a licensed Florida Public Adjuster.
But how can you tell the difference? An unlicensed Florida public adjuster may be dressed well, and well spoken. After a hurricane or other disaster, the mind of a homeowner or commercial property owner is concentrated on their loss, and emotionally fragile. However, you MUST take the time to check the credentials of anyone in a professional capacity who approaches you during these trying times. That includes not only Florida public adjusters, but also contractors. Dishonest and disreputable contractors also come out of the woodwork after a disaster. They are hoping to take advantage of your situation, make a quick buck, and disappear.
After a Florida Hurricane Beware of Unlicensed Public Adjusters
In an earlier blog post, Noble Public Adjusting Group talked about how you should check the credentials of any Florida public adjuster. In that blog post, we quoted the following statement from an article in Claims Journal titled Erasing the Abuse of Unlicensed Public Adjusters. “They surface in the wake of any catastrophe or run-of-the-mill claim generating-event. Contractors, tradesmen, restoration companies or others emerge, offering not only to repair damage to homes or property but to also negotiate on behalf of the policyholders with their insurance company. The proposition offered to policyholders by these unlicensed or “non-public” adjusters is enticing at first glance. They promise insureds that they’ll handle the entire process – beginning with estimating the damage, to filing your insurance claim, to handling repairs, to an ultimate settlement with the carrier. This would leave the policyholder unburdened by the perceived hassle of haggling with the insurance company.”
In Florida, public adjusters like Noble Public Adjusting Group are state regulated professionals. We undergo training, examination, and certification to ensure adherence to specific professional regulations. A Florida Public Adjuster, in fact, must put up a $50,000 bond, pass a background check and be insured before they can practice in Florida. Licensed public adjusters in Florida must also receive ongoing, continuing education in state insurance regulations to maintain their licenses. Should they stray, they are subject to state punishment or penalties.
Unlicensed public adjusters, on the other hand, undergo no training, examination, certification or review by state regulatory authorities. After a Florida hurricane or other disaster, you could be approached by one of these people. Unlicensed public adjusters who also serve as contractors are motivated strictly by profit, not by aiding their insured client. Since they effectively “double-dip” in the insurance proceeds, claiming both a commission on the insurance proceeds and a fee for the work delivered, no guarantee ensures the work will be completed. As has been seen in many markets following catastrophes, many are opportunists who arrive, collect their proceeds, and move on to the next catastrophe.
After a hurricane in Florida or other disasters, as a responsible homeowner or commercial property owner, you need to take the reigns and not let yourself be at the mercy of unlicensed, unscrupulous people posing as Florida public adjusters. In fact, don’t wait for anyone to approach you at all. Once you discover damages to your home or business property after a Florida hurricane, you should call Noble Public Adjusting Group. We are a team of well-respected, licensed, insured and bonded Florida public adjusters. Noble is a member of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, The National Insurance Restoration Council, and the Chamber of Commerce of Panama City Beach, Destin, Pensacola, and Walton. We are very active in these organizations, as well as sponsoring several worthy causes in the Florida Panhandle.
Note that you may also be approached by unlicensed and dishonest contractors after a Florida hurricane, aiming to make a quick buck and disappear. Noble keeps an updated list of contractors in Florida that we have personally vetted. Call us before you hire anyone to do repairs or replacements to your home or commercial property.
Noble’s main office is in Panama City Beach, but we can handle an insurance claim after a hurricane anywhere in Florida. We also have offices in Texas and Georgia. Call us today to further discuss unlicensed Florida public adjusters, or for any other concern or question, you may have. Please note that Noble offers FREE insurance policy reviews. Let’s go over yours before the next Florida hurricane.
Noble Public Adjusting Group
107 Amar Place Suite 103
Panama City Beach (West End), FL 32413