When choosing a public insurance adjuster, approach this task with the same mentality as when hiring any other professional for a job. Search for credentials, reviews, and references. Most importantly, insurance adjusters must be licensed to practice in the state they’re currently in. So, unless your adjuster is licensed in Texas, you should not consider hiring them. Licensure demands a certain level of skill and qualification in insurance adjusting, so it serves as a good first step in finding an insurance adjuster who can get the job done well.
A reputable source to find licensed and qualified adjusters is the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA). They have a directory with all their members, their locations, websites, and states of licensure readily available and accessible.
When you’ve found an adjuster you feel is reputable, the next step is to contact them. Asking an adjuster for a referral is usually a good way to get a first-hand account of how an adjuster operates and how well they will do the job. Referrals and reviews for adjusters can also be found online and are often a good source to use. When getting in contact with a potential hire, ask them about their prior experience: whether they’ve worked with your insurance company before, how long they’ve been in the business, and what kind of claims they’ve primarily worked on. A lot of this information can be found on their firm’s website, under the specific adjuster’s bio. However, if you can’t seem to find it, asking your potential adjuster is a safe move.
Another thing to check for is how your potential adjuster or their firm practices. Some operate more as a group, sending different adjusters for different parts of the process: some who are better at filing claims, others who are better at assessing damages. Other adjusters will operate on a more personal level, handling the entirety of your case themselves. Depending on what you prefer, you should find a method that better suits you. Some adjusters will also take on the claim alone, while you sit back and wait for results. If you like to be more involved and know the details, find an adjuster you’re comfortable communicating with and who might be more willing to let you stay more involved with your claim.
It’s very important to realize the difference between needing an adjuster or an attorney. Attorneys who may suggest they can do the job of an insurance adjuster are arguably not going to be good enough for the job, and very well might not be licensed to do it. When first sending in your claim, you need an adjuster, not an attorney. If your insurance company gives you less than you think you deserve, you don’t need an attorney just yet, you need an adjuster. Many people hire an adjuster at that point, rather than from the beginning. However, if your adjuster communicates back and forth with your insurance company and seems to be getting nowhere, or if your insurance company refuses to communicate with your adjuster whatsoever, those are situations in which you might need an attorney. Situations in which you’ll need an attorney are generally uncommon, and hopefully for us affected in Texas, nonexistent.