Retention of Experts

Retention of Experts image


Retention of Experts


At Kennedy Insurance Law, we put emphasis on the preparation of your claim so we can make the best arguments on your behalf to resolve your claim prior to litigation, if possible. To do this, Mr. Kennedy taps upon his vast network of insurance professionals to assist in the documentation, estimation, investigation, and expert analysis of your claim. We utilize these tools to provide your association or ownership group with the best possibility of success. While no result can be guaranteed, our track record speaks for itself. Please review the Case Studies tab for more information on some of our recent claim resolutions. A few categories of the professionals we consult with on your claim are below:

Commercial Contractors and Restoration Companies

Kennedy Insurance Law has a network of trusted, local contractors who will provide actual bids to replace your damaged property. Most contractors utilize the Xactimate estimating system, which is the insurance company standard. By doing so, these contractors can often circumvent many of the insurance company’s defenses regarding inflated pricing. We personally meet and vet local contractors to ensure they are worthy of being considered by your association or ownership group for your reconstruction project. Our primary goal is complete indemnification of your covered loss.

Public Adjusters

Public Adjusters play a crucial role in the estimating process as well as in the presentment of your claim. After years of working for insurance companies, I believe it is pivotal for a policyholder to have the initial findings reviewed by an insurance professional who will advocate for the policyholder, not the insurance company. Public adjusters assist by evaluating the damage at your property and determining what damage is covered under your specific policy of insurance. In most markets, public adjusters charge a fee of between 10-20% of the amount they recover for your association or ownership group. A free consultation from an attorney or a public adjuster is easily done and will cost you nothing for a second opinion. Remember that the attorney or public adjuster should only be paid a percentage of any additional payments and only paid when you are paid (unless you retain an hourly attorney) so your risk is minimal should additional damages be found by whomever you choose to consult with.

Many attorneys have difficulty working with public adjusters due to the perceived duplication of work and due to an additional contingency fee, that may cause the policyholder to request the attorney’s contingency fee be reduced. However, at Kennedy Insurance Law, we welcome public adjuster involvement on our claims. We find that when a public adjuster is involved in a claim from its outset, the claim is better prepared for escalation, to include litigation if necessary. Unfortunately, public adjuster fees are not recoverable by Florida law.

In contrast, insurance companies often pay our attorney fees separately from your recovery due to a fee-entitlement provision under Florida law. Should we be successful in recovering fees directly from the insurance company, the fee you owe to our firm is reduced, and in many cases, absolved altogether. If you would like to hear more about our fee structure and how we do business, please contact me directly.

Mr. Kennedy prefers a “hand-in-hand” collaborative approach with public adjusters as the work of evaluating and estimating a loss is not an easy task. Working on both sides of the fence so to say, I’ve found that a competent, honest public adjuster is an extremely effective way to obtain additional payments, for a cost less than most attorneys will charge. However, public adjusters cannot do everything that an attorney can do, so if your claim is particularly complex, an attorney may be your best option.

Engineers, Building Consultants and Subject Matter Experts

In large losses, such as the losses our firm represents, expert opinions are often necessary to rebut the insurance company’s findings. Large loss claims are handled differently from residential claims because the insurance company has much more money to lose, and the insurance policies vary significantly. Due to the amount of coverages, sub limits and potential defenses that insurance companies may employ to underpay your claim, engineers, building consultants, and other subject matter experts may need to be retained to strengthen our arguments when negotiating or litigating your claim. We seek competent, independent, and honest third-party evaluations from experts. We have utilized experts in the past who have worked for both insurance companies and policyholders alike because this experience lends itself to honest practices and expert reports we can stand behind when escalating your claim. We cannot understate the importance of trustworthy evaluation and representation and we sleep well at night knowing that we are advancing claims that seek scientifically verifiable expert opinions to support your claim.