Penn. Regulators, Public Adjuster Groups Discuss Post-Sandy Issues

November 7, 2012

Pennsylvania insurance department officials recently held a conference call with public insurance adjuster associations to discuss issues that have arisen in the aftermath of Sandy.

The department has had a similar meeting with insurance company representatives to help address many issues regarding the handling of the property damage claims post-Sandy. The department is expected to continue to set up follow-up meetings with insurance company representatives as well as the public adjusters to help prevent industry problems before they start and protect consumers.

For the conference call with public adjuster associations, participants included representatives from the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, and the Massachusetts Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

One of the topics discussed involved out-of-state adjusters coming into Pennsylvania who may not be licensed or may not be familiar with the state’s new Act 21-2012 requirements regarding solicitation, new contract information, and other issues. The associations were asked to help monitor the situation and report back any behavior that violates the law. This same issue may also arise with Pennsylvania adjusters who are not following the procedures set up in Act 21-2012.

The meeting participants also discussed that it would be advisable for public adjusters to carry a paper copy of their license with them while meeting potential clients and other people affected by the storm or on the scene of damaged property.

The two-day notice provision was another topic, and it was generally agreed that the insurance industry has been cooperative, but adjusters were advised to provide a copy of the public adjuster contract to establish representation — especially where not much policy information may be available at the time of the first meeting with the client. Date stamped envelopes, if timely, would be considered evidence of compliance with the notice requirement if fax or email had been unavailable due to power outages.

Another discussion involved storm chasers. The unauthorized practice of public adjusting — known as UPPA — has been an issue in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and public adjusters were advised to contact regulators as well as the attorney general’s office to report any instances of unlicensed activity, and even to report such behavior to local law enforcement. This may be an opportunity to shed light on a problem that has plagued the industry and caused harm to consumers who are taken advantage of by unlicensed and often unscrupulous storm chasers, according to industry groups.

Source: American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters

 

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