If you're like most people, the thought of having to deal with an insurance adjuster fills you with dread. You probably already know that claims adjusters have the best interests of their companies in mind rather than those of the individual policy holders. Insurance adjusters employed by insurance companies are experts in keeping coasts as low as possible for the companies they represent.

However, the services of a public adjuster can be one of your best assets when trying to negotiate an insurance claim in your favor, and should be seriously considered in when damages are suspected to be $10,000 or over. Following are five things about public adjusters that you need to know in order to help you make the best possible decision about using their services.

Public Adjusters Represent Policy Holders

Public adjusters represent the rights and interests of policyholders during the legal negotiation process. The adjuster will prepare your claim and present it to the insurance company when the time comes. Adjusters collect and preserve evidence in a professional manner, including assessing property damage, designed to optimize your chances of getting a favorable settlement from your insurance company. Public adjusters are able to negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf with no conflicts of interest present.

Public Adjusters and Independent Adjusters Are Not the Same

Don't let the language fool you -- independent adjusters are simply independent agents of the insurance companies who are working as contractors rather than as full time employees. Keep in mind that public adjusters are the only type of adjusters who work solely for the person filing a claim. Those working as independent agents usually contract with several different insurance companies at a time.

Most Public Adjusters Got Their Start Working for an Insurance Company

The majority of public adjusters got their start working as a claims agent in an insurance company. This means that they are in possession of inside knowledge about how the claims process works internally and can therefore use this to your advantage. For instance, they'll be aware of all the different ways that insurance company adjusters may attempt to deny or reduce your claim and how to circumvent these actions.

Also, insurance companies themselves may be more amenable to reaching an acceptable settlement in a timely fashion when a public adjuster is a part of the pit cure. In other words, they know they have far less chance of buffaloing a public adjuster during the claims process than they do a private citizen. Public adjusters also understand insurance policy language fr better than the average private citizen, therefore making them less likely to simply give in or give up due to jargon fatigue or general confusion.

Public Adjusters Work on Contingency

Because private adjusters are paid a percentage of your settlement once it is reached, they have a personal incentive to do the best possible job on your behalf. This also means that you won't be paying an hourly rate for their services, so you won't have to worry that perhaps an unscrupulous adjuster is drawing the process out in order to benefit his or her bank account.

Public Adjusters Are Held to Professional Ethics and Standards

The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters requires that members adhere to a strict code of conduct as a condition of continuing membership. You should always check to see if a public adjuster that you are considering hiring is a member of this organization before making a final commitment to using the person's services. You can also check with your state board to see if there have been any complaints filed against the adjuster. 

To learn more, contact services such as Great Lakes Public Adjusting.