Insurance Academy

A Hint of Light in the Public Adjusting World

October 16, 2019

I recently read an article on Claims Journal about licensing for public adjusters. Here it is.

Public Adjusters Winning Broad Support for Licensing as Carriers Fret About Inflated Claims

Let me quote from a paragraph that was surprising to me.

“This year alone, state legislatures in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Virginia and North Dakota passed bills that limited the circumstances under which anyone but a licensed public adjuster can negotiate property damage claims on behalf of a policyholder. In Wisconsin, the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters is lobbying for legislation to make that state the 46th to require public adjusters to be licensed.”

Where were the surprises?

First, I was surprised that so many states had to take legislative action to make sure that only licensed public adjusters could negotiate on behalf of an insured.

I wasn’t surprised that NAPIA was lobbying a state to require licensing. I was that they had to lobby in a state for licensing of public adjusters.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m not always on the side of the public adjuster. I live in Florida and I’ve seen my share of public adjusters that have worked hard to commit fraud. They usually don’t act alone. They have contractor friends that are corrupt, and they have some attorneys on their sides. These corrupt actors are all looking to bilk insurance companies, and insurance customers out of as much money as possible.

I am also convinced that there are good public adjusters. See prior post Notes on Public Adjusters.

Let me get to the point so that you can prepare your counterarguments.

I want to thank NAIPA for their work to increase the professionalism and competence of the public adjusting field. What do I know about them? You mean other than what was in the Claims Journal article and what I found by reading their website? That’s a fair question. I know that if they’re in favor of proper licensing of public adjusters. I know that they created certification programs and one of them is administered by The Institutes. I know that they have a code of professional conduct and ethics on their website.

That’s enough to make them ok by me. Have they successfully gotten all of the rotten apples out of the bushel? No, but then again, no other professional association has been able to rid their profession of the bad apples. They are doing their part. I’m for associations that set standards of conduct and practice for professionals.

So, bravo to NAPIA and their work to create an environment where the best public adjusters continue to help policyholders in those cases where a public adjuster shines; those large loss claims, those complex determination of causality claims, and those claims where the customer needs that helpful voice on their side.

By the way, if your state doesn’t require public adjusters to be licensed, why not? Don’t they require insurance agents to be licensed? Don’t they require other adjusters to be licensed?

PS – Hey Florida legislature, it might help us out if you would repeal (or fix) Florida Statute 626.860. What makes an attorney-at-law qualified to be an insurance adjuster? Answer: nothing. I wonder how that got added to the law.

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