Public appraisers must have a license to conduct business in North Carolina. You can check the status of the license by calling N, C. Find out the permanent address of the public appraiser. A recommendation from an acquaintance can be very valuable.
If you don't know anyone who can recommend an adjuster they've worked with personally, ask your prospective adjuster for the contact information of some of their previous customers. Make sure that others have had a good experience working with them. The insurance company can afford to hire appraisers who have extensive experience in the field. The adjuster needs to know everything from plumbing, heating, cooling and electricity, to finishing work such as drywall and painting.
In North Carolina, the licensing process for insurance adjusters can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months (pre-exam education, pre-licensing exam, background check, license application, and application review). Most states have created the position of public appraiser, that is, a licensed insurance adjuster who represents you, to the public. These steps cover the process of applying for a standard insurance claims adjuster license (sometimes known as an independent adjuster license). There will likely be more back and forth negotiations between the public appraiser and the insurance adjuster.
To become an insurance adjuster in North Carolina, simply complete the steps below to obtain your insurance adjuster license. The big difference between these different types of appraisers is who pays them and, in the case of the public appraiser, who they defend. It's probably too late to go to a public appraiser if you've signed a definitive authorization or if your claim period has been extended beyond the statute of limitations. Public appraiser fees are usually a percentage of the amount that the insurance company pays for the policyholder's claim.
Many homeowners decide to hire a public appraiser if the damage is extensive or if it is difficult to determine the magnitude of the damage that has occurred.
Public appraiserscan file and negotiate claims for damage caused by floods, fires, smoke, wind and hurricanes, as well as for damage caused by other hazards and even for loss of business income if caused by property damage. Chances are, if you've suffered significant damage (such as fire or smoke damage) or have been involved in major damage due to a windstorm, several public appraisers are likely to ask you for help. Some public adjustment firms send one appraiser to make an estimate and another to follow up and thoroughly analyze a claim.
Often, public appraisers are members of their professional organization, which requires certain standards of aptitude.