What Is A Public Insurance Adjuster?

Essentially, we’re licensed professionals in a policyholder’s corner.

More than 99% of property damage claims are resolved without policyholder representation. That’s a massive advantage for insurance companies.

Public insurance adjusters work for you, the insured, not the insurance company. Also known as insurance claims adjusters or property claims adjusters, public insurance adjusters in Minnesota (or states where they work) are state licensed and certified to work exclusively for your benefit to assess damage to buildings, estimate renovation costs, and work with your insurance company to expedite the claim settlement process.

Most policyholders don’t know what a public adjuster does, and they assume their insurance company adjuster is working on their behalf, which isn’t the reality. Gavnat public adjusters work on your behalf when you experience a catastrophic event due to a storm, fire, water damage, natural disaster, vandalism or other adverse events. See the full list of the types of claims we manage for our clients.

Read on to learn about the importance of working with a public adjuster to get the settlement you deserve, how we work with you, how we’re paid, and get policyholder tips and resources for the most common questions.

Whether you already submitted a claim, were previously denied, or have yet to file, Gavnat can help you get a fair settlement outcome. Find out how having a professional in your corner can make a big dollar difference.

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How Does A Public Insurance Adjuster Work With You?

Ideally, we work with you on your claim from start to finish, but we know that’s not always how it goes. It’s never too late to contact us, even if you already received a settlement.

Steps From Start To Finish—And Anywhere In Between

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Step 1: We Assess Your Loss

We start with an inspection and initial assessment to determine if you have a viable claim and how much coverage you’re eligible for under your policy. We’re experienced in assessing your true and total damage to help you get a fair settlement from your insurance company. When you contact us to report a loss, we send a skilled representative to assess and calculate your loss. Losses to commercial properties also impact the operations and earnings of your business and we take those additional losses into account in the assessment.

Iowa Hail Claims | Iowa Fire Insurance Claims | Missouri Public Adjuster

Step 2: We File Your New Claim

When you contact us before filing a claim with your insurance company, we help you document your claim for maximum benefit and help you avoid common mistakes while also preventing delays in the claims process.

Minnesota Fire Insurance Claims | Wisconsin Public Adjuster | Wisconsin Insurance Adjusters

Step 3: We Evaluate Your Insurance Policy

Gavant experts understand the fine print of your insurance policy so we can help you better understand your coverage and your insurance company’s responsibilities. We review your insurance policy to determine all applicable coverage. Remember that adjusters sent by your insurance company represent the best interests of the company, rather than working on your behalf to get the fair compensation you’re absolutely entitled to.

Minnesota Public Adjuster | Missouri Hail Claims | Missouri Fire Insurance Claims

Step 4: We Prepare A Claim Report

We prepare a claim report that meticulously documents structural damage and property inventory and bring in other experts as needed like appraisers, engineers and accountants to further validate your claim. We also document additional expenses, loss of rent and business income as covered by your policy. We then send total claim estimates to your insurance company for evaluation and adjustment.

Minnesota Storm Damage Insurance Claims | Minnesota Hail Claims | Minnesota Fire Insurance Claims

Step 5: We Negotiate Your Settlement

We stay in contact with your insurance company to ensure your claim is being handled, is adjusted fairly and results in the best possible outcome. We also advocate for you during inspections with the insurance company adjuster and keep you informed about the status of your claim throughout the process.

Missouri Insurance Adjusters | Missouri Storm Damage Insurance Claims | Missouri Hail Claims

Step 6: We Help Maximize Your Settlement

If you receive a settlement you don’t think is fair, we have the best advocates and loss experts to support and negotiate for you to ultimately receive the settlement amount you are entitled to under the policy. We provide a free claim evaluation and are paid only if we discover areas of under payment or items that were left out of your original insurance settlement. If we discover you were not properly compensated, we re-document and cross-reference every aspect of your loss and work with your insurance company to increase your settlement.

How Do Public Insurance Adjusters Get Paid?

Gavnat charges a small, fixed fee that’s a percentage of your settlement payable only after you’re reimbursed by your insurance company. In most cases, it’s 10% of the total settlement or 15% of a supplemental claim.

Why It’s Important To Work With A Public Adjuster

Insurance company adjusters represent their own interests—and that means paying out as little as possible. They’re in business to make money and underpaying claims is one way they potentially profit. Often, the claims process is also lengthy, delayed and coverage can even be denied.

The majority of policyholders don’t have the knowledge to navigate the intricacies of insurance coverage and settlement. And when you don’t have an adjuster working on your behalf, chances are your settlement will be lower than what you deserve.

Hiring a public adjuster means you have an advocate in your corner fighting for your best interests. Working for you, not the insurance company.

Say What? Common Insurance Terms To Know

Baffling insurance contract language can be frustrating to navigate. Here are some definitions of common terms that are helpful to know:

Minnesota Public Adjuster | Wisconsin Public Adjuster | Iowa Public Adjuster

Coinsurance

A clause contained in most property insurance policies to encourage policyholders to carry a reasonable amount of insurance. If the insured fails to maintain the amount specified in the clause (usually at least 80%), the insured shares a higher proportion of the loss.1

Minnesota Public Adjuster | Wisconsin Public Adjuster | Iowa Public Adjuster

Conditions

This is the section of a policy document that explains the duties and responsibilities of the insured (policyholder) and the insurance company. It also states the requirements that need to be met for the coverage to be valid. 2

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Cosmetic Damage Exclusion

Damage isn’t covered if it effects only the appearance and not the function of a roof, windows or siding. 3

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Declarations Page

This section of the policy document, also called the dec page, summarizes the details of the policy. It contains the coverages, limits, deductibles and effective date. This page is often located on the front page of the policy. 2

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Deductible

A deductible is the amount the policyholder agrees to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company shoulders the cost. Typically, the higher the deductible, the lower the premiums as the insurers bear less financial risk. 2 Deductibles can work differently for different types of claims. For example, a standard deductible, the dollar amount you chose when you purchased your policy, or a percentage deductible based on the percentage of your properties insured value, more common with wind, hail and hurricane damage.2

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Named Insured

The named insured is the person or business named in the policy, also referred to as the policyholder. An insurance policy can have more than one named insured. The named insureds are listed on the declarations page of the policy document.2

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Rider

A rider, sometimes referred to as an endorsement, is an optional coverage that policyholders can add to their policies.2

Hail No! Gavnat Results For Hail Damage Claims Common in the Midwest

Over $3 Million More For Townhome Association

When a townhome association in Twin Cities suburb, Brooklyn Park, MN, had hailstorm damage to several buildings, the original settlement came in at $1,300,000. They brought us in to work with their insurance provider and we boosted the number to $4,422,191—a $3 million+ increase.

270% Settlement Increase For Apartment Complex

A hailstorm damaged a large portion of an apartment complex roof in Inver Grove Heights, MN. The initial settlement offer from the insurance company was $386,271. The owner of the apartment complex gave our team a call and asked us to look into it. Our assessment determined that damage was far more extensive than the insurance company determined. We worked with the insurance company directly to reach a settlement of $1,444,000.

Over A Million Dollar Settlement Won For Townhome Association Initially Denied

A townhome association in Twin Cities suburb, Woodbury, MN, suffered hail and wind damage to a few of their properties. Their insurance company issued a total denial of all losses and refused to pay a settlement. The association contacted us to review the findings and we managed negotiations with their insurance company and won a settlement of $1,143,000.

Our interest is in the success of your claim and our proven results show the enormous value of working with a public adjuster. Read more about our recent successes.

5 Ways A Public Adjuster Helps Maximize Your Claim Settlement

In a nutshell, the answer is having an expert work on your behalf. Here’s how we do that:

Iowa Insurance Adjusters | Iowa Storm Damage Insurance Claims | Iowa Hail Claims

Understand Coverage Issues

Public adjusters understand coverage issues, which insurance companies can make murky and difficult to comprehend. They’re familiar with terms like “verification of loss” and “reservation of rights” and they request case data, audit the approach and push insurance companies for prompt resolution.

Iowa Hail Claims | Iowa Fire Insurance Claims | Missouri Public Adjuster

Skilled Negotiators

Public adjusters haggle even questionable claim cases and comprehend issues, harms, coverages and any natural claim issues. They’re forthright and articulate issues and correct erroneous results.

Minnesota Fire Insurance Claims | Wisconsin Public Adjuster | Wisconsin Insurance Adjusters

Level Up To Leadership

Insurance agents don’t have the last say when property coverage is contested. Public adjusters don’t waste a moment talking to reps or agents with little to no authority. They go up the chain to speak to a leader in a position to properly address questions.

Minnesota Public Adjuster | Missouri Hail Claims | Missouri Fire Insurance Claims

Understand Insurance Company Settlement Strategies

Public adjusters recognize when you’re being pressured to settle early or for a low figure. They know how to take action on these tactics and work on your behalf to get what you’re entitled to.

Minnesota Storm Damage Insurance Claims | Minnesota Hail Claims | Minnesota Fire Insurance Claims

Know That “Last Offers” Are Debatable

You can be hit with a bunch of official documentation showing depreciation, material costs, prevailing labor rates and other confusing terminology, but public adjusters understand the meaning and goals of the insurance company and they confront last offer situations and work to get a better settlement for you.

You’ve Got Roof Damage. Now What?

Who We Work With

Gavnat specializes in commercial building and homeowner association claims. We also work with contractors to manage claims for their customers so they can focus on what they do best.

Commercial Building Owners

Our experienced public adjusters work with commercial policyholders across the Midwest to ensure claims not only go through, but they recover the damage settlement property owners are entitled to. We also have a mediation service that advocates for commercial building owners when they receive a settlement they don’t think is fair.

Condominium, Townhome and Homeowner Associations

We work with busy property managers and homeowner associations to assess and negotiate master policies that include various coverage chosen by the association’s board. The master policy protects property maintained by the association including common areas, common area buildings, common walls, lobbies, roofs, stairways and elevators.

Gavnat negotiates on the board’s behalf to settle a loss in a timely manner, often working with multiple insurance companies to manage a complex process. We also communicate with homeowners for the property manager and board to collect deductibles and out of pocket costs. In addition, we offer an insurance appraisal and can help advocate for an HOA board to dispute a settlement they don’t think is fair.

Contractors

Gavnat is a resource for contractors who refer us to their customers to assess property damage while they remain focused on the construction project. A contractor provides an estimate to property owners on what it will cost to repair damage and then they do the construction work and repairs. They are not licensed to provide insurance advice or speak to policyholders about contracts, coverage or claims. That’s where we come in to help.

We help contractors offer trust and satisfaction to the customers they refer by managing the insurance claims process and maximizing their settlement.

Gavnat is headquartered in Minneapolis and our team specializes in commercial property and homeowner association claims for policyholders throughout the Midwest. Whether you already submitted a claim, were previously denied, or have yet to file, we can help you get a fair settlement outcome. We have decades of combined experience in the insurance adjustment industry and know the claims process inside and out. We are here to advocate for you.

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Resources

Check out Gavnat on Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest news, updates and what’s happening in the world of public adjusters.
You can also find helpful information about public adjusters and property insurance with these resources:
National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA)
Insurance.com
Community Associations Institute (CAI)

Footnotes

1 NAIC
2 Insurance Business Magazine
3 Insurance.com