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Insurance Agents and Adjusters: What’s the Difference?

An insurance agent is a person who is responsible for obtaining insurance coverage on your behalf, whether it be auto liability insurance or homeowner’s insurance. These agents are obligated by law to act in the best interest of the buyer. For example, if you decide that you need insurance to help protect your home from extreme weather, you would reach out to your insurance agent, who would then either write a policy for that coverage themselves or find someone else who would do it. When you make a request to your insurance agent to obtain a certain type of insurance, that agent now is required to make sure that they obtain the coverage you have requested. If an insurance agent fails to fulfill this duty—or does so in bad faith—then they may be held liable in the event that something happens to your home that would have fallen under the coverage requested.

On the other hand, an adjuster is different from an agent because they are responsible for determining how much the insurance company will pay as a result of your claim. In general, there are two different types of adjusters – a desk adjuster and a field adjuster. A desk adjuster works on your claim from an office, while a field adjuster makes visits to the location of the incident and inspects it for possible damages. Although most people with homeowner’s insurance trust the adjuster to make a fair assessment of the amount they tell the insurance company to pay on your claim, that is not always the case. Adjusters work for the insurance companies and, therefore, may have a motive to pay as little as possible on your claim. Not only is this immoral, it is also unfair to the homeowner who may have been paying insurance premiums for years.

Why Hire an Attorney?

Many people understand that if you are injured due to another person’s negligence, it is important to hire an attorney. What you may not know, however, is that hiring an attorney when something happens to your home can be just as important. In these situations, the primary difference from an injury claim is the fact that you would be working with or against your insurance company, rather than another person.

It is important to remember that your insurance company may not treat you as fairly as you would expect, and may proceed in bad faith. Just like all businesses, insurance companies still aim to save as much money as possible, potentially at the expense of your claim. In the event that something horrible were to happen to your home, having an experienced lawyer on your side might help to ensure that you are fully paid what you are owed under your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Even if you have already filed an insurance claim for damage to your home, you might still have a case. No matter what stage of the process you are in, the insurance company is still required to treat you fairly and abide by other duties under North Carolina Law. At Whitley Law Firm, our attorneys are highly experienced in dealing with these bad faith claims. If you believe you may be a victim of bad faith, do not hesitate to reach out for a free consultation.