Andrew K. Knox & Company
217 Washington St.
Toms River, NJ 08753

North Jersey Branch Office
905 Franklin Avenue
Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

Learning Resource Center

What is a Public Insurance Adjuster?

A public insurance adjuster assists policyholders in the preparation, presentation and adjustment of property insurance claims. You retain a public adjuster to help you fulfill the requirements stipulated in your insurance policy, following a loss to your property.

Related Articles:

In the Wake of Disaster, Help for Hire

"In the Wake of Disaster, Help for Hire"

By Peter C. Beller

From The New York Times, February 6, 2006

Public adjusters, who work on contingency and earn a percentage of the claim, take inventory, hire appraisers and engineers, and negotiate with insurance companies over the extent of coverage and the cost of repairs. Adjusters say they offer practical knowledge based on the kind of familiarity with the claims process that few homeowners ever have. And people who are reeling from the impact of a disaster often appreciate having a consultant to lean on.

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Public Adjusters: Advocates for the Policyholders

"Buyers using loss experts to help maximize coverage for claims"

By Mark A. Hofmann

From Business Insurance, Monday March 20, 2006, Spotlight Claims Management

Following a loss, the daunting task of preparing a complicated insurance claim along with the absolute necessity of keeping one's enterprise up and running can leave a business owner looking for all the help possible in dealing with an insurer.

For some enterprises—often those that are too small to have full-time risk managers, brokers or risk management consultants—the response is to hire public adjusters. A public adjuster acts as an advocate for the policyholder, preparing and presenting the claim to the insurer.

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At Your Job: Public Insurance Adjuster

"At Your Job: Public insurance adjuster"

Leslie Knox, SPPA, Andrew K. Knox and Company

From the Asbury Park Press, 2007, At Your Job spotlight

What differentiates public insurance adjusters from other insurance adjusters is we represent the policyholder. Independent insurance adjusters represent a variety of insurance companies, and staff adjusters represent one company.

We quantify loss and damage. For example, once you have a fire loss, the burden of proof is on you to prove the amount of the loss. You do that by presenting a claim. By hiring a public adjuster, we prepare and present the claim on the insured's behalf. We do a detailed construction estimate of the building, conduct an inventory of the lost property and add up any additional living expenses or loss-of-use costs the insured has suffered.

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Adjuster handles damage from storms, fires, even war-torn Kuwait

"Adjuster handles damage from storms, fires, even war-torn Kuwait"

By Paul Fowler

From the Ocean County Observer, August 9, 1999, Hometown Business

"We quantify loss and damage," said Knox, the company president. "It's a very unusual business. People don't really even know that the service exists."

Andrew K. Knox and Co., 20 Hadley Ave., was founded 40 years ago by Leslie's Father, Andrew. Company representatives tell disaster victims what they need to do after a disaster. They process claims on behalf of their clients.

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How to File for Homeowners Insurance Claim

"How to File for Homeowners Insurance Claim"

By Alex Biese

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 06/3/07

To aid in the claim process, the McNamaras hired Knox's company, an independent adjuster, to work between them and the original insurance company, which still covered the McNamaras through the claims process following the fire.

Among Knox's duties, Walt McNamara said, was taking an inventory of everything in the house, down to how many pairs of socks were in each drawer of every dresser. The company also helped the couple with all of the paperwork that came along with filing a claim.

"The only thing we had to do was when we ended up agreeing on a number (the Knox Co.) would come out and get me to sign a release," Walt McNamara said.

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How can a Public Insurance Adjuster benefit me?

A public adjuster has the ability to prepare accurate, detailed and thorough claims for your property losses. In fact, a professionally prepared claim will be much more detailed and thorough than a claim prepared by most individuals or businesses. This detail oriented claim preparation results in larger, more satisfactory claim settlements than most people would ever achieve on their own.

Related Articles:

Independent Review Proves that Policyholders who Hired Public Adjusters Received Insurance Payments of up to 747% Higher than those who Did Not

"Public Adjuster Representation in Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Claims Extends the Time to Reach a Settlement and Also Increases Payments to Citizens’ Policyholders"

Policyholders with public adjuster representation typically received higher settlements than those without public adjusters… The difference in payments was larger for claims related to 2005 hurricanes, with public adjuster claims resulting in payments that were 747% higher… For non-catastrophe claims, policyholders who used public adjusters received an estimated $9,379 on their claim, compared to $1,391 for those policyholders that did not use a public adjuster (a difference of 574%).

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Hired Guns

"Hired Guns"

By Roberta Wells

From The Asbury Park Press, January 31, 1993

Public adjusters maintain that their services will not only get a claim resolved faster, but that the settlement will be larger by at least the amount of their fee.

Public insurance adjuster Leslie L. Knox, president of Andrew K. Knox & Co., Toms River, said consumers can also benefit because adjusters understand insurance law and the complexities and nuances of insurance policies.

"With insurance law, the burden of proof is on you," he said. "They (insurance companies) are not simply going to say, 'Sorry, here's a check for $100,000.'

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After the Fire

"After the Fire: Insurance Costs"

By Stuart Goldman

From, June 1, 2009

"The damage was great enough that you've got to get a public adjuster involved," Denley says. "An insurance agent is just not going to be in a position to advise and counsel in a catastrophic position. An insurance agent is not trained for that. Public adjusters are. They will attempt to get advance money for the insured. They will attempt to get all of the necessary permits. They'll make arrangements for the debris removal and the reconstruction. They get very deeply involved."

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Hiring an Adjuster for Damage Claims

"Hiring an Adjuster for Damage Claims"

By Andree Brooks

From The New York Times, April 24, 1993, Your Money

"You can usually count on 24 percent more than if you go it alone," said Robert E. Mackoul, a certified financial planner and independent insurance agent in Lynbrook, L.I., who recommends hiring public adjusters to deal with claims that exceed $10,000.

Some claimants do even better, Frank Cottone, a carpenter whose $175,000 single-story home in Cutter Ridge, Fla., suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Andrew last fall, said he received $75,000 after turning to a public adjuster. His insurer had originally offered to settle his claim for $38,000.

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Hire Insurance Help

"Hire Insurance Help"

By Juan Hovey

A good public insurance adjuster can prove to be a valuable ally.

How? A big claim can put you at loggerheads with your insurer; you must prove your loss, and you and your insurer may disagree over the extent of your coverage. In a worst-case scenario, the fight can drag you into court-at the worst possible time for you.

To avoid this, many business owners hire public insurance adjusters to handle big claims. Although few insurers like to see them in the picture, they benefit the business owner in two ways:

• They do the haggling with the insurer, freeing the business owner to concentrate on getting back to work.
• Often they get a bigger settlement out of the insurer.

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What should I look for when selecting a Public Insurance Adjuster?

Consumers should look for a public adjuster that is both accredited and certified by the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA). An accredited public adjuster acts according to a strict code of ethics established by NAPIA and is recognized by the association for their expertise and professionalism. A certified public insurance adjuster is an accredited adjuster that has demonstrated his professionalism by passing a rigorous examination, meeting minimum experience requirements and participating in mandatory continuing education. A certified public adjuster has earned either the designation CPPA, Certified Professional Public Adjuster, or SPPA, Senior Professional Public Adjuster.

Guidelines for How to Pick the Right Adjuster

"Why Public Insurance Adjusters are not the Enemies of Independent Agents"

By Ronald R. Reitz, CPPA

March 8, 2010

Guidelines for How to Pick the Right Public Adjuster
They should:
• Be licensed in the state the loss occurs in
• Be a member of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA)
• Have experience with a range of disasters and worked with many insurance companies
• Possess local knowledge of contractors, repair and remediation prices, building codes, etc.
• Have knowledge of your insurance company - its top adjusters and claims handling processes and policies
• Provide references from satisfied customers

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5 Ways to Find a Reputable Adjuster

"Maybe you need to find a good adjuster to help you. Here's how to find one."


5 ways to find a reputable adjuster

Poll the people you trust. Call your accountant, your lawyer and your neighbor. Ask if they've ever used a public claims adjuster or know anyone who has.
Contact the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. This trade organization, which represents 110 of the industry's largest firms, maintains a searchable database of members who have at least two years of experience and uphold a professional code of conduct, according to David W. Barrack, the group's executive director. In addition, the organization also offers a certification program. A Certified Professional Public Adjuster must have five years of experience and pass an exam, while a Senior Professional Public Adjuster must have at least 10 years of experience and pass a more rigorous test.
Interview the candidates. This should occur once you have a few names that look promising. Ask about rates, references and credentials. Contact their references and quiz former clients on the adjuster's performance. Was the person effective? Available? Fast? Accurate? Did he or she deliver what was promised? If the adjuster claims any kind of certification, get the name of the accrediting body and call it.
Call your state insurance office. Many states license or regulate public claims adjusters. If yours does, make sure your prospect is in good standing with no unresolved complaints. It won't hurt to call the Better Business Bureau while you're at it.
Ask your insurance agent. Sound like a conflict of interest? Not really. You're hiring an adjuster to represent you to the insurance company. So what is this person's reputation within the industry?

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Are there any laws and regulations that govern Public Insurance Adjusters?

Public insurance adjusters are licensed in New Jersey under the auspices of the "Public Adjusters' Licensing Act", NJSA 17:22B-1, and regulated by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. In almost all of the other States in the U.S. public insurance adjusters are both licensed by the individual States and regulated by their respective Departments of Insurance.

New Jersey Public Adjusters' Licensing Act
New Jersey Public Adjusters' Rules & Regulations
Amendment to Public Adjuster Law

What are my rights as a home or business owner? Do any laws exist to protect me against unfair insurance practices?

Homeowners and some business owners in New Jersey are protected from deceptive or unfair claims practices by the New Jersey Unfair Claims Practices Act and Regulations, NJ Admin. Code 11:2-17.1 to 11:2-17.14 (1981/1991) [1,2,3].

New Jersey Unfair Claims Practices Act and Regulations
Synopsis of New Jersey Unfair Claims Practices Act

Industry Articles

Legal Resources

Sample Insurance Claims

Independent Research and Statistical Analysis