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Has a Home or Business Emergency Left You With Damaged Property? Learn More About Public Insurance Adjusters and How They Can Help Thumbnail

Has a Home or Business Emergency Left You With Damaged Property? Learn More About Public Insurance Adjusters and How They Can Help

Imagine that you have just had a fire at your house or that a burst pipe floods your basement. After you have dealt with the emergency, who do you call? Certainly, most of us would be looking up our homeowner's insurance company contact info, but that may not be the first or only place you want to call. Should a call to a public insurance adjuster be first on your list?

Learn more about how and when a Public Insurance Adjuster may be able to help you as Peabody Wealth AdvisorsKaterina Ferraro presents her recent interview with Melissa Sherwood, President of Panakio Adjusters Inc.

Katerina Ferraro, CPFAKaterina Ferraro, CPFA


I am excited to introduce Melissa Sherwood of Panakio Adjusters. Melissa has been a great resource for Peabody Wealth Advisors. She has the expertise and years of experience to assist and advocate for homeowners when a worst-case scenario occurs with damage to their home or business. Melissa is kind, caring, and nurturing, the best possible personality to help overwhelmed clients with their insurance claims. Let's learn a bit more from Melissa!

What is a public insurance adjuster? 

A public insurance adjuster – is the only adjuster licensed to represent the interest of the insured – not the home insurance company. A public insurance adjuster’s sole function is to help you settle an insurance claim for the full amount due based on your home insurance policy. We advocate and work for you.

When would someone need to hire a public adjuster? 

As soon as the loss occurs. Once you have filed a claim and retained our services, we can start working on your claim immediately. There are many things that need to transpire early on such as mitigation and temporary housing. We are experts in the process after a loss and are equipped to help you with the entire process. 

For example, last February I got a call from a panicked Realtor at 10 am on a Saturday morning.  She was called to the property because a neighbor had alerted the client (who was away) that there was water running out of the back of their property. When the realtor arrived at the property, they found the kitchen flooded with at least three inches of water, multiple pipe breaks, and no heat. In other words, a complete disaster.  

The realtor called me because they knew that when you have a disaster such as this the first thing you should do is call a good Public Insurance Adjuster. A Public Adjuster is an insurance adjuster that is licensed by the state of Massachusetts to protect and advocate for the insured when they have a property claim such as fire, flood, wind damage, tree vs house, car vs house, theft & vandalism. We do not work for the insurance company; we work directly for the homeowner on a contingency fee basis. 

In the above scenario, how was the situation resolved? Did the client receive the funds to make the necessary repairs? 

There is a happy conclusion to that story. The client was thrilled that the Realtor had engaged with me at the very beginning and although the claim itself was tough, we were able to get them paid for everything they deserved. We managed the entire process, wrote estimates for repairs, and negotiated a settlement with the insurance company that benefited the client NOT the insurance company. They were able to rebuild in time to enjoy their home for a beautiful summer in Marblehead.” 

 How do public insurance adjusters get paid?  

Our fee is a small percentage of the settlement amount. We do not require that you pay anything upfront, and we do not request payment from you until you get paid.

Finally, what makes Panakio Adjusters Inc different from other firms? 

Experience, empathy & customer service are the qualities that set us apart from other Public Adjusting firms.  


 Melissa Sherwood is a licensed Public Adjuster and the President of Panakio Adjusters Inc a company advocating for the insured since 1937. Melissa is a native of the North Shore of Boston and currently resides in Marblehead, MA. 

Melissa Sherwood and Panakio Adjusters Inc are not affiliated with Peabody Wealth Advisors and LPL Financial