FAQs - Public Insurance Adjusters for Residential Home Damages
MLA Claims explains what a public insurance adjuster actually is and how they can help you with residential property damages and homeowners insurance claims.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a public insurance adjuster?
A public insurance adjuster is an expert on the preparation, presentation and adjustment of real property, business interruption and extra expense insurance claims on behalf of policyholders. Unlike staff or independent adjusters who are sent and employed by the insurance company, the public adjuster is dedicated to serving only the interests of the insured public.
Why do I need help in filing an insurance claim?
A typical insurance policy contains hundreds of provisions and stipulations as well as various riders that are constantly changing. Insurance policies also hold insureds to numerous contractual obligations following a loss, including but not limited to preparing a detailed claim. The burden of properly documenting an insurance claim can be as traumatic as the loss itself. Insurance companies hire experienced adjusters, forensic accountants, construction professionals, and other loss specialists to evaluate every aspect of your claim. Naturally, these experts work with your insurance company’s best interests in mind. Most claimants find themselves at a severe disadvantage without a claims specialist on their loss recovery team. Policyholders who attempt to decipher complicated insurance policies and document detailed claims are often overwhelmed and under-compensated by insurance companies.
How does MLA Claims help?
We will analyze your insurance policy, advise you of your contractual obligations, coordinate emergency restoration services to protect your property from further damage, assemble estimates of loss, compile supporting documentation, and attend meetings and inspections with insurance company representatives. In fact, MLA Claims will advise and assist you throughout the entire claims adjustment process. This will allow your claim to be negotiated on an even playing field with the insurance company's experts and enable you to focus on other recovery or non-related issues. At MLA Claims we pride ourselves on our ability to prepare and resolve complex claims resulting from large-scale property losses, including personal property and extra expense issues.
When should I call MLA Claims?
Immediately! Critical decisions must be made quickly and correctly since your financial recovery depends on a timely and satisfactory settlement. In fact, MLA Claims’ prompt and thorough service often protects evidence that may otherwise be destroyed or overlooked. MLA Claims will coordinate the deployment of appropriate emergency services equipment and personnel. MLA Claims also offers immediate on-site inspection and advice following a loss at no cost or obligation. This includes a review of applicable insurance policies, inspection of physical damages and answers to any questions that you may have.
How do I protect my property from further damage?
Following a loss, your property is vulnerable to further damage from the elements (wind, rain), from weakened infrastructure, from vandalism, and often from water remaining in the building after a fire has been extinguished. Protecting your property may involve drying walls, floors, equipment and other personal property, boarding up windows, temporarily patching roofs, shoring up infrastructure, or erecting perimeter fences. MLA Claims works with emergency services contractors who can provide the required equipment, personnel and knowledge to protect your property. They will also keep a record of the emergency services performed to be submitted as part of the claim to the insurance company.
How will hiring MLA Claims affect the amount of time necessary to process my claim?
Since the insurance claims process includes negotiating a settlement, the amount of time it takes to resolve a claim varies. However, an experienced public adjuster can save the policyholder invaluable time. An MLA Claims adjuster will know exactly what steps to take in order to expedite partial payments and/or a settlement from the insurance company. Our experts will begin preparing estimates, completing inventories, and gathering the necessary information immediately after our engagement. With your cooperation, we will quickly have a detailed claim filed and will have initiated the settlement process.
Can I prepare my own claim?
Sure, but it stands to reason that a public insurance adjuster who has years of experience and training can do so with more competence than the policyholder. More specifically, an MLA Claims public insurance adjuster will assist you in the preparation of inventories, estimates and other factual proofs of loss. He or she will handle all the necessary details for compiling and filing claims, as required by the terms of your insurance policies. Your MLA Claims public insurance adjuster will also confer, on your behalf, with insurance company representatives and handle all matters essential to a proper and satisfactory adjustment.
What is the fee for your services?
Our fee varies based on location and complexity of the claim; generally our fee is based on a small percentage of the recovery. In other words, we do not get paid until you get paid, or in cases where coverage is questionable, if you get paid. At MLA Claims we believe that we provide a value-added service by seeking to maximize your settlement and you will therefore find, at the conclusion of the claim, that our service has been financially beneficial to you.
Does MLA Claims handle claims other than fire?
Yes. MLA Claims traditionally handles losses caused by windstorm, flood, explosion, earthquake, hail, theft, vandalism, computer failure, terrorism, lightning, and other insured perils. Moreover, with the advent of All Risk insurance policies, we will handle all legitimate losses except those that are specifically excluded from coverage. We truly believe it is in your best interest to contact us first following any loss to specifically discuss coverage issues.
Is MLA Claims affiliated with any insurance company?
No. We are employed exclusively by you—the policyholder—not by an insurance company.
What is NAPIA?
NAPIA stands for the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. NAPIA members are experts in the profession of public insurance adjusting who have joined together for the express purpose of professional education, obtaining certification and promoting a rigid code of professional conduct and ethics.
Does MLA Claims sell insurance or act as insurance agents?
No. If we did so, we would become a representative of the insurance company and would no longer represent you.