The first thing to consider is whether the individual is licensed as a Public Adjuster. This information is easy to find on the website for the department of insurance within the respective state where your loss is located. Next, while there are many folks out there who maintain a public adjusting license, there are a limited number of highly qualified individuals who practice this profession on a full time basis. The most experienced public adjusters will have been in the profession for many years on a full time basis. It is also advisable to hire only firms who maintain memberships on a national level in organizations like NAPIA and on a state level with organizations such as TAPIA or FAPIA for example. You should ask for references and referrals as well. Finally, you need to ensure that the contracts you are signing comply with any department of insurance rules that may apply.