We once were approached by a potential client with a pretty big damage case. He was thorough and aggressive in his talks with us. A very smart person. He asked, “Why pay a public adjuster 20% of what I can get for myself?” He couldn’t accept the idea of public adjuster fees.
Sometime later called to let us know he’d just deposited a check for $400,000 from his insurance company. He was doing an end zone dance. See? – he chuckled. Who needs a public adjuster? He noted that if he’d hired us and we’d gotten the $400,000 for him, he’d have deposited on $320,000 that day. Our fee being 20% of what we recover. Why pay an adjuster 20% for a recovery you can get for yourself?
PUBLIC ADJUSTER FEES?
Well, we were shocked. Shocked, because we’d become familiar with the case details during our earlier talks with him. After which he’d declined to engage us. Shocked, because we knew he’d been had. His claim was worth much more than $400,000.
We told him this and explained why. Now, it was his turn to be shocked. We then repeated our standard offer for closed claims, and he gratefully accepted. We’d re-open his claim, and take the standard 20% of any additional funds we recovered on his behalf. Naturally, he agreed. It’s a no-brainer. The client has nothing to lose.
He’s now over $800,000 better off for making that call. That’s right, his insurance company had shorted him by a little over $1 million. He told us later that in addition to the $800,000, he’d learned a lesson of potentially even greater value than that.
Intelligence is not a substitute for experience. This man is, as noted, a highly intelligent individual. He’s always known that. We saw it in him right away. But he made the critical mistake of reckoning his brains could level the playing field with his insurance company.
The insurance company’s highly trained, experienced adjusters have handled hundreds, thousands of claims. He’d handled zero. The other team’s players, of course, earned their salaries by saving money for their employer. They get up every morning with that foremost in their minds. They’re a formidable adversary. Our client was, in contrast, an untrained, unequipped army of one.
THE TWENTY PERCENT SOLUTION
In our experience, over 90% of clients’ do-it-yourself claims are underpaid. It’s important to realize that insurance companies profit from this. We know the game at least as well as the insurance company adjusters. And we, without a doubt, play harder because we only get paid if we win. We like to win big. We need to win. And when we win, it’s because our client has won.
The 20% figure, by the way, is not some made-up number. As a matter of fact, Florida state law establishes it. That’s why Florida Loss Public Adjusters are worth every cent of our 20% contingent fee. Just ask our clients.