United Adjusters, LLC

A Grouping of Connecticut's Finest Public Insurance Adjusters

Member Firms

Tancreti, Phipps, Hoffman & Biller • Biller Adjusting by Jon • P.A. Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I need a public adjuster?

In today's complicated world, specialty professions are becoming more and more a necessity. Most people are extremely busy with their normal life and do not have the time to deal with the intricacies of putting a claim together and bringing it to fruition. Perhaps the best analogy would be the fact that few people would ever appear in court representing themselves against experts in matters of law; therefore it stands that you would not fair well representing yourself against experts in matters of insurance.

Q: When is the best time to get a public adjuster involved?

The best time to contact a public adjuster is as soon as the claim happens. We have resources available to us to comply with policy conditions immediately and begin the mitigation and protection process of property. This eliminates the possibility of failing to comply with policy conditions thereby diminishing a claim. Additionally, with our expertise, we are aware of exactly what needs to be done to property in order to protect and mitigate damages and prevent further damages or another loss from occurring.

Q: What are the benefits of using a public adjuster?

Public Adjusters are experts in the field of policy interpretation, coverage application, building estimate, contents inventories, business interruption and additional living expense claims. This expertise allows a policyholder to maintain their normal life and not miss work in order to do inventories, compile data, meet adjusters, meet experts etc. Public Adjusters are often able to review a policy of insurance and find coverages for which many people are unaware exist and make claim for losses and recover for losses that a lay person may miss.

Q: Why not use my attorney instead of a public adjuster?

Attorneys are seldom necessary from the onset of a claim with respect to the preparation, estimating, presentation and negotiating of a claim. Attorneys, on average, charge a 1/3 fee for their work while public adjusters charge on average, a 10% fee for their work. Additionally, attorneys are experts in law, statutes, procedures etc. where public adjusters have the expertise in policy review, claims preparation, negotiation, settlement, etc.

Q: Will my insurance company get mad if I hire a public adjuster?

Most insurance companies welcome a public adjuster on the claim. Often times company adjusters are completely inundated with work and are unable to spend the proper time explaining procedures etc. With a public adjuster handling your claim, it is our job to convey all of the conditions, procedures etc. to you and it takes the burden off of the company adjuster. Additionally, company adjusters understand that public adjusters know how to put a claim together and they can expect a proper submission in a timely manner.

Q: What is the difference between a public adjuster and a company adjuster?

A public adjuster represents the interests of a policy holder and will research a policy to maximize your damage recovery. A company adjuster represents the insurance company and has no legal duty to advise you how to maximize your benefits under your policy.

Q: How soon after I have a claim can I expect payment?

There is no specified time limit to conclude a claim. Most insurance companies desire to move a claim along as quickly as possible and make payment as quickly as possible. This speed, however, often is at a cost for lack of attention to detail and completeness of claim presentation and quick, easy settlements are often in the best interest of an insurance company. While we strive to settle claims as quickly as possible, we do not wish to compromise value for speed. It is best to thoroughly inspect and examine a claim, make the proper presentation and settle the claim properly.

Q: What is a "Reservation of Rights" letter?

The insurance policy outlines rights of both the Insured and insurance company. Often, insurance companies will write a "reservation of rights" letter to a policy holder or their representative. The intent of this letter is to allow the insurance company to continue their investigation and if they find reason to diminish or deny a claim, they have reserved their right to do so in that correspondence.

Q: What is a "Non-Waiver" form?

When the insurance companies suspect that there would be no coverage for a claim, but need to do an investigation in order to make that determination, they often require the signing of a "non-waiver" agreement. This allows an investigation into the cause and origin of a claim and allows the insurance company to deny a claim if that is their findings. It also allows the Insured to file a lawsuit if they feel they have been wronged.

Q: What is a "Proof of Loss"?

A "proof of loss" is merely a form that comes in various formats, that outlines the specifics of a claim. There is a requirement in most policies to submit a "proof of loss" within 60 days after the insurance company makes a request for the submission of a "proof of loss". There are instances where a "proof of loss" form must be submitted within 60 days after the date of the loss or the right to pursue your claim can be forfeited.

Q: What is a "Guaranteed Replacement Cost (GRC)" endorsement?

A GRC endorsement usually provides for an additional amount of insurance over and above the base limit of liability on the building form. Most policies provide for a specific percentage over and above the base limit as shown on the declaration sheet.

Q: What are "Extensions of Coverage"?

Most homeowner's policies and some commercial policies have extensions or additional coverages built-in to their form. These can include "ordinance or law" coverage, "guaranteed replacement cost", "additional debris removal", "additional trees, shrubs, plants". Most of these additional coverages are based on a percentage of the amount of the building coverage in a policy. In most cases these additional coverages need to be incurred before they can be collected.

Q: What is the definition of "Replacement Cost Value" (RCV)?

Most insurance policies require the determination of a replacement cost value of the building as well as a replacement cost value of a claim. First, the establishment of the replacement cost value of the building is often required, specifically when there is a replacement cost percentage required in the policy in order to collect replacement cost damages. This is established by use of different methods, taking into consideration the size, type of construction, quality of construction of a building and applying building cost data to establish what it would cost to replace the structure in question with like, kind and quality materials, using today's construction methodologies. Often times this is confused with "market value"; however the replacement cost value of a building is simply construction and does not take into consideration land values, landscaping, driveways etc.

The Actual Cash Value (or depreciated value) is normally a negotiated percentage taken off of each item, or each trade applicable to a loss. This percentage is based on the age of an item, its use, occupancy as well as maintenance condition.

Q: What is a holdback?

While most policies today provide for replacement cost coverage for both building and contents, insurance companies are not required to pay the replacement cost value upfront, but rather the depreciated or actual cash value. In order to collect withheld depreciation on either building or contents the requirements are that the building be repaired or replaced, contents be repaired or replaced and the replacement cost claim be spent on those repairs or replacement.

Q: How much do we charge for our services?

We cannot charge a fee greater than 10% of the actual or final settlement of the loss.