Name: Nick Galyean, 55, of Vineland
Education: attended University of Maryland
Company: Metro Public Adjustment
Position: Senior claims representative
Metro Public Adjustment, based in Bensalem, Pa., was founded in 1993 by Steve McCaffrey. One of the reasons he started the company was he was having trouble with an insurance settlement. He got involved with legislation to try to protect homeowners.
The business is quite an eye-opener, because most people accept payouts for less than they should because they’re not informed. The truth is there are different levels of homeowner’s policies and most people don’t know what they have. For instance, they’re categorized by numbers — HO1, HO2 and HO3 — and each covers different levels of peril.
Part of my service as a public adjuster is to offer free policy reviews. I point out things that are not so good, such as hurricane deductibles … those are terrible and relatively new. If a named hurricane hits, a new percentage deductible goes into effect instead of your chosen dollar deductible. You can wind up paying 2 (percent) to 5 percent of the damage.
Metro Public Adjustment operates in just about every state, and we public adjusters work as independent contractors through Metro. We have a lot of flexibility on where we can help folks, limited only by where we’re licensed.
We look out for the interests of the homeowners. The insurers have their own adjusters who try to help them pay as little as possible. We take the anxiety out of settling a claim for homeowners.
Entry: I’ve been in transportation most of my life, and I was a safety supervisor for a couple of corporations. When I moved here with my fiancee, I saw an ad in the paper for public adjusting and thought it was a great line of work helping people.
Making people understand what you have to offer can be difficult, and some assume we’re trying to sell them something. Our compensation is a percentage of the claim payoff, which varies depending on the size of the claim.
There are a lot of shady public adjusters, too, just like any profession. So if someone comes to your door and asks for money up front, you should kick them out.
About me: I love to build things and I’m an avid part-time carpenter. I also like to landscape and ride motorcycles.