A woman in a red shirt running her hand alongside a vehicle to assess the damage for a claims report

Things to Consider Before Hiring a Public Adjuster in NJ or PA

If you experience a loss or damage to your home, you may be approached by a public adjuster in NJ or PA before or after submitting a claim with Plymouth Rock.

A public adjuster is an insurance claims adjuster who advocates for the policyholder in appraising and negotiating an insurance claim. They are hired and compensated by the policyholder.

You should be aware that they are not employees of your insurance company, nor are they assigned to your claim by your insurance company.

Hiring an insurance claims public adjuster is a personal choice. It’s important to understand the terms and costs prior to getting locked into a contract.

Below are considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  • Plymouth Rock has staff adjusters that are available to you at no extra cost. Our adjusters are long-term employees with years of claim handling knowledge and adjusting experience. Your adjuster can work with a contractor of your choosing to secure an agreed price. You can trust our adjusters to provide superior care and service. Working with one of our adjusters does not prohibit you from hiring and paying for a public adjuster at any point during the process.
  • There are other no-cost alternatives to public adjusters, like requesting a second look by your adjuster’s supervisor, utilizing the appraisal process offered by your policy, and working with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance or the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Insurance regarding any disputes. These options have been used by other customers to resolve a variety of settlements at no cost.
  • Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania require public adjusters to be licensed.
  • The State of New Jersey regulates public adjusters. The state requires them to respectfully avoid soliciting homeowners who have recently experienced a loss or damage to their homes. Specifically, they cannot solicit an adjustment of a loss or damage between the hours of 6 pm and 8 am during the 24 hours after the loss or damage has occurred. The state also requires them to be licensed. You may verify licensure here.
  • A public adjuster’s fee could range from 3% to 30% of your settlement, or higher. This amount is deducted from your insurance claim settlement. It is important to realize that this deduction could cause you to not receive enough compensation to fully complete necessary repairs to your home. They cannot obtain monetary compensation greater than what the policyholder is legitimately entitled.
  • When hiring a public adjuster, you will be asked to sign documents. Make sure you fully understand what they are before signing. They may include: a retainer agreement; contracting and cleaning/restoration documents wherein you agree to pay the full amount due regardless of your insurance settlement amount; and other papers.
  • You have the right to select your own contractor. A public adjuster may ask you to hire a restoration company or contractor to repair your home. You are not required to use a public adjuster’s preferred vendors. Additionally, you may also be advised to begin work immediately, before your insurance company has assessed damages. Read more about what temporary repairs to make and what not to do.

For additional information please consider this list of frequently asked questions we have received from our policyholders.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about public adjusters, please feel free to Contact Us or call 800-437-3535.