Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak has issued a bulletin to all Oklahoma-licensed public adjusters advising them not to charge customers more than 10 percent of the total claim settlement.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) says that since the beginning of the tornado outbreak on May 19, it has received several inquiries regarding the use of public adjusters in negotiating property insurance claims.
A public adjuster is any person who acts on behalf of the insured in negotiating or settling a property claim for compensation. A public adjuster must first be licensed with the OID before representing a property owner in the claim process and collecting a fee on the claim payout.
OID strongly advises public adjusters working the recent Oklahoma storms to:
- Show proof of state license to prospective customers;
- Not require payment in advance for representation;
- Not charge a fee that exceeds 10 percent of the total gross claim settlement.
The OID expects that all public adjusters will act in a professional and responsible manner with due consideration toward the hardships and disruptions being experienced by property owners affected by the recent storms.
Many property owners have experienced losses that exceed policy limits or that may not be eligible for coverage under applicable insurance policies.
OID cautions public adjusters to refrain from charging fees that do not reasonably reflect the actual amount of adjusting services being provided. The OID will closely monitor all fees.
Source: Oklahoma Insurance Department
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