Clarke & Cohen is a 4th generation family-run, licensed Public Adjuster and Property Loss Consultant.
We are here to help our clients navigate the tough challenges of property loss brought on by a hurricane. The trauma and shock after a storm is difficult as it is, so we are here to lend our gentle care, expertise, and guidance to get you through the aftermath.
We have extensive hurricane damage experience with Hurricane claims beginning with Hurricane Gloria in 1971, through Hugo in 1989, Andrew in 1992, Katrina 2005 and most recently Irma and Maria in 2017.
We have a strong network nationwide, further allowing us to support the loss after hurricane damage, wherever it occurs.
In addition to our significant experience with windstorm claims, our public adjuster hurricane damage team includes former NFIP catastrophe adjusters who are extremely knowledgeable with the ever-changing flood policies and intricacy of coverages.
Senior Professional Public Adjuster
Richard Cohen, our CEO, holds the designation of Senior Professional Public Adjuster (SPPA) – a designation overseen by the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA). Cohen is a Past President of NAPIA. He was also an officer of NAPIA from 1997-2004, and spent the three previous years on the board of directors. Cohen also has served as the president of the Pennsylvania Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. He is also a member of the New York and New Jersey Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. He currently holds licenses in California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Our job at Clarke & Cohen, is to manage the claim for the client, sort through the complicating factors of each unique loss. We support our clients with a sense of order and calm to the chaos of property damage. This strategy helps the claims process work favorably for the property owner.
We provide prompt and comprehensive response and proactive outreach. Our goal is to minimize the interruption and inconvenience caused by the loss, and expedite the relief that the settlement allows.
Through the successful management and settlement of scores of diverse commercial and residential claims since 1921, we have developed a proven and proprietary recovery process.
WHY: Established in 1921, Clarke and Cohen is a fourth generation, family-owned Philadelphia based public insurance adjusting firm. The Cohen family, led by Rich and his son Brett Cohen and nephew Blake Zucker are public adjusters and property loss consultants with decades of experience successfully managing complex residential and commercial claims in the Philadelphia region, South Jersey including the Jersey shore, and throughout the country.
The team has helps clients manage stress, grief and anxiety as they work tirelessly to recover the property that the client has lost.
Rich Cohen developed the Beach Yoga event as an annual way to bring together the community for a peaceful way to destress and support good causes that are important. The inaugural event in 2021 raised money for the Glioblastoma Foundation. This year, we are raising money to provide smoke detectors to distressed neighborhoods.
Liza Jayne Cohen is Rich’s daughter and is a certified yoga instructor who visits family on the holiday weekend.
The entire insurance industry has for years past been talking “public relations,” but it is obvious that this term has no significance to the average person. There is no mystery to public relations. It is the art of good behavior and reaping its benefits; the disposition of a pleased customer to return to the place where he has been well treated; it is simply the building of good will so necessary to the expansion of any business. So what is a public adjuster?
Insurance companies have placed too much emphasis on the selling of insurance and not enough on the proper handling of loss adjustments, forgetting that only a small percentage of the insuring public has occasion to call upon their insurance contracts to perform.
The Danger of Inexperience
Insurance companies generally have failed to completely lay proper background for public acceptance of some of the methods of loss adjustments. They have frequently clothed the inexperienced adjuster with the authority and responsibility of accomplishment. Incompetent adjusters representing insurance companies are often accused of “driving for a good bargain,” that it, offering in settlement an amount less than the assured claims he is entitled to receive, and attempting to force this adjustment on the assured with the result that all the money spent for public relations programs is wasted because the insuring public believes that actions speak louder than words.
Losses should be assigned to men acknowledged to be professionals, and the industry should require the raising of standards of adjusters, make the qualifications more exacting, and advocate the enactment of proper state regulatory laws in states where they do not now exist (that is, laws fair to the public, the insurance companies and to the industry) thereby eliminating any unqualified, inexperienced or unscrupulous adjusters now in practice.
What is to be done about the adjusters who could not qualify? The answer is simple; the process, difficult but fruitful. They must be educated. Through study and application, they must improve their standing in the business or the profession will go forward, leaving them far behind. By this means the vast expanding insurance industry keeping before it primarily the public interest, forgetting selfish expediency and personal gain, can acquire a magnificent reward; public acclaim and industry advancement.
One of the heaviest responsibilities of the insurance business is the fair, reasonable and equitable adjustment of fire loss claims. A satisfied claimant is the best advertisement an insurance company can have, and here lies the greatest public relations opportunity ever afforded, for it has been demonstrated often that goodwill can make or the lack of goodwill can break any business. This is particularly true of the insurance business, and especially so in the adjustment of fire losses.
What is a Public Adjuster
A public adjuster is a person engaged in the highly specialized profession of adjusting losses in fire and allied lines for and in behalf of the assured. He devotes his entire time to his work, maintains a permanent office for such purposes and specifically serves to advise and assist the general public in connection with claims arising from losses which are protected by various forms of insurance contracts. He is called a “public” adjuster in order to distinguish him from those engaged in the adjusting of losses for insurance companies. In several states the profession is regulated by law and licensed as are other professions. Where such regulatory statutes exist he is variously known as a “Licensed Adjuster,” “Certified Public Adjuster” or “Adjuster for the Assured” and is required to maintain a high reputation and to perform his activities faithfully with a deep sense of public trust. For any breach of such trust he is held fully responsible, and his license to engage in the profession is always subject to suspension, limitation or revocation for any misconduct, breach of ethics or unprofessional act on his part.
Generally speaking, a public adjuster should be of unquestioned moral character and wholly conversant with and thoroughly familiar with the standard fire insurance policy, and its various forms, clauses and permits, use and occupancy, commissions and profits, rents, improvements and betterments, reporting forms, and extended coverage endorsements commonly in general use in connection with same. He should comprehend fully all aspects and implications of the forms of insurance contracts in general use, and be able to give sound, intelligent, and accurate advise regarding fire and allied lines of insurance. In particular, he must be able to compute properly and apportion fire insurance policies that are concurrent and non-concurrent, with or without coinsurance clause, and must be completely cognizant of the various accepted methods of apportionment of losses.
Inasmuch as the public adjuster is engaged in an activity requiring the highest public confidence and trust, he must measure up to unimpeachable standards of integrity, and fairness in his dealings with clients and insurance companies. He must be a specialist in all phases of fire loss adjustments, who serves the public without fear of favor. Experience has demonstrated that only those who are unbiased and can see both sides of a question, who reach sound conclusions and adhere to them, who are independent and accept no dictation, who place devotion to their profession above gain by questionable means, and who have a natural aptitude for the manifold requirements of adjustment possess the qualifications which are essential for a successful public adjuster. Sound education, extensive practical experience, courteous deportment, unquestionable reputation and integrity, community respect, and business ability are all indispensable prerequisites.
The public adjuster must be the master of all businesses, must know commercial laws, rules and usages, must be familiar with sound accounting methods and principles, must possess a highly developed sense of values and understanding of mechanics and machinery. In short, he must have an orderly, logical, resourceful, discriminating mind and must have the capacity for reaching sound and decisive conclusions in presenting clearly all of the salient facts concerning an adjustment. No public adjuster can hope to reach the top of his profession unless he understands also the fundamentals of building construction, repairs, rebuilding, estimates, depreciation, obsolescence and building codes. In addition, it is essential that he understand merchandising methods, the making of inventories of damaged and undamaged personal property and the preparation of out of sight losses, and the cost and methods of the repair and installation of machinery.
The public adjuster, until the past several decades, was little understood by the general public, but today he is recognized and appreciated by the community.
Changing conditions and varied viewpoints in policy contracts and forms will, at the time of a loss, sometimes present difficult problems which must be faced and must be solved. Experience has proved the public adjuster invaluable in settling just such problems. For example, it has been necessary for the public adjuster to help educate the assured on the question of application of co-insurance, apportionment of a loss, replacement value and depreciation, and to reconcile the misunderstandings between the principals in the application of the policy contract.
The public adjuster, trained and experienced in his work, knows what data is necessary and how to compile it, and is in a position to develop the adjustment clearly and with probative force. The insurance agent and broker are vital servants of the assured, but the public adjuster has the responsibility of rendering a service to the assured far more specialized. The assured’s interest in his coverage is slight until he has a loss, and then his interest becomes acute and a source of expert help and advice is the public adjuster.
The public adjuster serves to promote the confidence necessary for the smooth running of an adjustment, and to instill confidence in the assured at a time when he is under great stress, and to bring about increased understanding and cooperation between the insurance company and the assured. A competent and reputable public adjuster not only has the confidence of his client but also that of the company adjuster who realizes that he is negotiating with a worthy and friendly adversary. Confidence can be well entrenched if based on the firm foundation of facts with a spirit of cooperation among the assured, the insurer, the public adjuster and company adjuster.
Cooperation with Lawyers
In the past, lawyers have frequently expressed the opinion that the work of the public adjuster is an encroachment on the practice of law. This issue was recently raised by the bar association of one state which then considered the problem fully. It was concluded that the functions of the public adjuster are distinctly apart from the practice of law, and that he practiced a highly specialized profession for which there is a definite need. Lawyers are increasingly calling upon the public adjuster to assist them in handling and preparing schedules and claims in connection with fire losses sustained by their clients, and to advise them and aid them in the successful conclusion of fire loss adjustments.
The public adjuster has a profound respect for the strength and solvency of the expanding insurance business of which he is an integral part. His respect is extended to the companies, their executives, special agents and brokers and last, but not least, to the qualified company adjuster with whom he is constantly in contact. It is through the public adjuster that loss adjustments negotiated by and between the public adjuster on behalf of the assured and the company that publicity, advertising and propaganda, the three elements of public relations, are perpetuated.
Cooperation with Agents
The importance of cooperation between the agent or broker and the public adjuster cannot be underestimated. Each has his specific functions and each is important. There is no exact dividing line which determines where the place of the agent broker ends and that of the public adjuster begins at the time of a loss. Both the agent or broker, on the one hand, and the public adjuster, on the other, have a common interest and common responsibilities in the adjustment of a fire loss for the insured.
There are many more agents and brokers than there are public adjusters, and their position in the insurance industry is a continuing one. They serve the insured at all times in connection with his insurance coverage. But when a loss occurs the public adjuster becomes just as vital and necessary as the agent or broker. At such times the highly specialized character of the profession becomes apparent, and the agent and broker should so accept it. The public adjuster has come to stay because he is a vitally important cog in the smooth operation of the vast insurance machinery. Likewise, the agent and broker can be helpful in cooperating with the public adjuster in solving difficult problems arising in the course of loss adjustment.
Origin and History
To comprehend fully the present status of the public adjuster or to predict his future it is necessary to consider the origin and the historical background of his profession. Prior to 1880 there were no public adjusters, and when the profession appeared on the scene at the turn of the century, it was disorganized and composed of persons of varying reputations and scruples. No ethical code of conduct then existed, and while many of the early practitioners were capable and reputable and left a heritage of good will, others were untrained and their conduct was redolent of that lack of discipline which is so universally characteristic of the early days of all professions. These latter individuals caused insurance companies and their representatives to look upon all public adjusters with suspicion. They were accused of giving the assured bad advice, presenting exorbitant claims, and of employing methods and devices of dubious nature in making adjustments for their own gain. The passing of time brought stability and professional status, and many states passed regulatory laws to license and control the profession and insure honest dealings, fair play, and proper conduct. For the last several decades the profession has been composed in increasingly large numbers of thoroughly trained, experienced, conscientious, honest and reputable men. Today the public adjuster is zealous to maintain his reputation and that of his profession, and is fair to his assured, and to the insurance company.
The public adjuster has earned for himself a definite and necessary place in the insurance world, and the public’s confidence in him has been fully established. The profession is an expanding one, just as the insurance field itself is growing and becoming more complex. It can be stated without hesitation that the opportunities of the public adjuster are continuously increasing, and the extent of these opportunities is limited only by the capacity of its practitioners to adapt and prepare themselves for the increasing calls upon their knowledge.
Progress Must Be Maintained
The profession having attained the high standards which it now possesses, cannot rest on its achievements. Eternal vigilance is the price of progress in any field of activity, and it is vital that all states having no regulatory laws should enact statutes regulating the public adjuster, and should enforce these laws capably and impartially. Societies should be formed with strict ethical codes and should be highly selective in their membership. Membership in such organizations should be the goal of every public adjuster and the symbol of professional character, ability and achievement. This has been successful in other professions and will work equally well to insure the future of the public adjuster and the continuing respect of the public for his work.
Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from Best’s Insurance News, February 1951, Fire and Casualty Edition. William Goodman was the founder of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. In this essay he introduced what a public adjuster is and discusses the industry’s key problems and opportunities. His observations remain salient nearly 70 years later.
What does this all mean for you? Now is the time to contact your agent or broker.
Many insurers have increased their rates based upon the growing housing market. However, this doesn’t mean your home is completely covered.
If your house is underinsured and you experience severe property damage or devastation due to a fire, a weather event, theft, flood, leak, mold or a catastrophic event, your insurance may not cover a complete rebuild or even a partial renovation.
Think about this.
Not only has the price of your home increased. Building supplies are scarce. The price of lumber and other construction costs are up significantly, and there’s a supply chain issue with getting materials.
Investopia definescoinsurance as thehomeowner policy’s formula that determines the amount of reimbursement that a homeowner will receive from a claim. The coinsurance formula in a replacement cost policy becomes effective when a homeowner fails to maintain coverage of at least 80% of the home’s replacement value. Those who are in this situation who file a claim could only receive partial reimbursement according to the formula.
Coinsurance is another reason why homeowners should revisit their policy sooner than later.
The bottom line.
Take the call from your agent when they want to talk to you about a policy review.
It may make sense to increase your coverage. This will give you the assurance you need that you don’t fall into the trap of being underinsured. And, if there is a major disaster where you need to file a claim, you’ll be able to get full replacement value where it’s warranted.
That’s the idea behind having insurance. To make sure you are covered, if and when the unknown occurs and destroys your property.
About Clarke & Cohen Public Adjusters:
Clarke & Cohen Public Adjusters and Loss Assessors are licensed, highly experienced professionals who manage every aspect of your residential claim services. We service Bala Cynwyd, PA, and the surrounding areas including Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware Counties, New Jersey, including the Jersey shore, and areas throughout the United States.
Find out more about State Farm’s Class Action Lawsuit.
“A proposed class action alleges State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, in an attempt to save money, has wrongfully used “new construction” numbers when generating through industry-standard software cost estimates for projects more properly considered “reconstruction,” resulting in the underpayment of policyholders’ claims.” (classaction.org)
Blake Zucker, Licensed Public Adjuster with Clarke & Cohen, states that “State Farm is improperly using the new construction feature in Xactimate instead of the reconstruction feature. This causes them to purposefully underpay claims to their insureds.”
Xactimate is a widely used insurance claims estimating software in the insurance repair industry. It is specially designed for insurance adjusters.
“The new construction feature should be used when a building needs to be completely rebuilt from the foundation up. This should not happen when making repairs to a home that has salvageable materials remaining. Throughout the Xactimate program, the new construction feature offers a lower price than the reconstruction feature. This has allowed State Farm to save money on thousands, if not millions of claims,” continues Zucker.
“When you use a public adjuster, the adjuster can prove to State Farm which is the correct version of Xactimate to be used. If you do not understand the Xactimate program, which most people outside of the industry do not, you are most likely being taken advantage of by State Farm. In turn, you will not be properly compensated.”
This is a high level issue which most adjusters on the ground have no control over. Without the knowledge a public adjuster brings to an insurance claim, the insured faces a very big disadvantage.
As the class action states, State Farm is in the business of “making money, not losing it,” therefore they have found a way to cheat their policyholders.
We will continue to update this issue as information becomes available.
This year has been another one for the record books. With crazy, severe weather events happening nationwide and regionally, in the midst of a global pandemic, and during a very divisive political time in our country, our community continues to rally and help one another.
The essence of Clarke & Cohen’s business is to help others in a time of need. Typically, we see you, our clients, at your lowest point, after a property loss from wind, fire, flood, trees, hail, theft, and other destructive events.
For our 100th Anniversary, Clarke & Cohen celebrates the spirit of hope that guides people in trying times. We continue to invest in acts of hope that bring health, happiness and joy to fellow Philadelphians.
Here’s what we’ve accomplished this year so far:
~Every month on a Friday, we donated food from an independent, local small business to local Fire Stations throughout Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, including the Jersey Shore.
~Sponsor of InLiquid’s “Sculpture in the Glen” event, a pop-up sculpture garden in Gladwyne.
~School Supply Backpack Stuffing Event
Over 1,000 backpacks will be packed with essential school supplies by volunteers and donated to students in need. This year, each bag includes a mask donated by Clarke & Cohen.
~As a supporter of the Magical Mila fundraiser, Clarke & Cohen added a sweet surprise with Johnson’s Popcorn.
~At the Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) Flower Show preview event, Bloom Philly!, Clarke & Cohen participated as a prize sponsor and judge.
~Clarke & Cohen matched proceeds from Tag Time Happy Hour benefiting LUNGevity, a non-profit organization changing outcomes for people with lung cancer through research, education, support & advocacy.
~We reached out to the local community surrounding Clarke & Cohen and collected children’s books, baby formula/wipes & feminine products. These were delivered to Mighty Writers, a local non-profit providing food and literacy to children.
Listen to this podcast with Rich Cohen, talking all about our family business.
“Pennsylvania-based public insurance adjusters firm Clarke & Cohen is a 100-year family business that has already reached the fourth generation.
In this episode, John and Michael Parise sit down with public adjuster and the firm’s CEO, Richard Cohen, SPPA. Today, Richard reviews his family and the business journey that’s closely related to the building and continuous success of Clarke & Cohen.
In this episode, you will learn:
The role of the four generations in positively contributing to Clarke & Cohen’s growth
Helping people out: Richard’s motivation to get into the family business
The “prerequisites” to get into the public insurance adjusting business
How Richard and his family separate family and business conversations
Networking and having an open mind: Traits that have contributed to Richard’s success at the firm
Listen in to learn about the family, business, logistic components that have helped Clarke & Cohen successfully grow!”
Clarke & Cohen participated in the Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) Flower Show preview event, Bloom Philly!, as a prize sponsor and judge.
PHILADELPHIA (June 2, 2021) —
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) announced the winners for its annual Bloom Philly! Contest, its regional competition that invites businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area to join the excitement of the upcoming PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. More than 60 businesses throughout the city and suburbs created festive, flower-filled displays and menu items inspired by the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show theme, “Habitat: Nature’s Masterpiece.”
The Bloom Philly! contest ran April 26 through May 28 and served two purposes — to raise awareness for the Philadelphia Flower Show and to spread joy and cheer throughout the region with beautiful, floral-inspired décor and menu items that pay homage to the Flower Show’s legacy. “This year more than ever, businesses have helped spread the excitement, joy, and wonder of the Philadelphia Flower Show,” said Sam Lemheney, Chief of Shows and Events for PHS. “We are so inspired by the creativity and bold style that our businesses imagined for the contest and the enthusiasm for our new categories. Bloom Philly! has engaged businesses who want to show their love for this year’s Show. We thank them for their creativity and support of the Flower Show.”
The Flower Show
2021 offers a new venue for the Philadelphia Flower Show — for the first time in its almost 200-year history, the Show will take place outdoors. Traditionally held in March to mark the start of the Spring planting season, this year’s Show will be held Saturday, June 5 – Sunday, June 13 at FDR Park in South Philadelphia. Tickets are on sale at www.phsonline.org/flowershow.
This year Bloom Philly! expanded its contest categories with new categories and welcomed participation from food and beverage businesses to enter fun and tasty Flower Show-inspired menu items and streetery décor. Collaborations with professional florists and event designers competed in their own unique category.
ABOUT BLOOM PHILLY SPONSOR/CLARKE & COHEN
For the first time in the history of the contest, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is rewarding winners in key categories with cash prizes of $500, thanks to the generosity of our sponsor Clarke & Cohen. Established in 1921, Clarke & Cohen is a fourth generation, family-owned Philadelphia public insurance adjuster and property loss consultant. The company has decades of experience successfully managing complex claims in the Philadelphia region, South Jersey (including the Jersey shore), and throughout the country. Clarke & Cohen supports clients with 24/7 emergency service, immediate response and a consultative approach that aims to settle claims to the utmost value for both residential and commercial claims. The team has extensive experience with all types of property loss and is thoughtful and sensitive, efficient and tenacious. More than just technical expertise, clients find a supportive team that manages stress, grief and anxieties, while working tirelessly to recover the property that has been lost. This strategy helps the claims process work favorably for the property owner. The original location of the company still stands in Old City, located at Chestnut and Bank Streets.
Clarke & Cohen is a 100 year old, fourth generation public adjusting company helping people manage their insurance claim when they have a property loss due to fires, floods, bad weather or other disasters.
We are honoring our centennial with acts of kindness in a yearlong philanthropic campaign called #DoingWellbyDoingGood.
Philadelphia Public Adjuster Doing Good
For our 100th Anniversary, in the midst of a pandemic and social justice crisis, Clarke & Cohen celebrates the spirit of hope that guides people in trying times. The company is investing in acts of hope that bring health, happiness and joy to fellow Philadelphians.
Beginning in February with deliveries of hearty lunches to firehouses in the communities that we serve, our team travels on the first Friday of every month to deliver to firehouses throughout the city and suburbs.
On #NationalRandomActsofKindnessDay in February, we partnered with Mighty Writers to level up our efforts. We set up an Acts of Kindness POD in our parking lot on Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd—conveniently located just off City Avenue and the Expressway.
We partnered with our local schools from Lower Merion School District to spread the word and are collecting kids books, feminine products and baby formula—three items specifically needed by the families in the Mighty Writers community.
The public may bring donated items our office, located at 510 Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd. Items may be left in the storage pod at the front of the property, Monday Wednesday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Mighty Writers is in need of:
New or gently used books for children, ages 0-10
Baby formula and baby wipes
Feminine products (pads, tampons)
Monetary donations, via mightywriters.org
Clarke & Cohen is choosing to support entrepreneurial and inventive causes and institutions that serve the public as well as local firehouses throughout the region. The company has always been philanthropic, but aims to support more people than ever, as part of their “Doing Well by Doing Good” initiative. We are a Philadelphia Public Adjuster Doing Good by performing Acts of Kindness.
“We meet our clients in times of extreme distress. Their property is ruined by a fire, flood or extreme weather. Their plans are upended, their investments have been ruined and they feel hopeless. Our company has been operating this way for 100 years,” said Rich Cohen, CEO, Clarke & Cohen.
“Through four generations and 100 years, it became obvious, that the thing we like most about our work is that we have the privilege of bringing hope to people when they need it most.”
Click here for the 6abc Action News Video (3-minute mark) about our campaign.