Oklahoma’s governor has signed legislation proposed by the state insurance department that specifies certain required and prohibited actions of public adjusters.
According to Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak, Senate Bill 439, signed by Gov. Mary Fallin aims to protect Oklahoma storm victims, and ensure transparency and accountability in the insurance adjusting process.
Public adjusters are licensed insurance claims adjusters who appraise and negotiate an insurance claim on behalf of the policyholder. Unlike an insurance company adjuster, public adjusters advocate for the claimant.
SB 439, written by Sen. Marty Quinn, R-Claremore, and Rep. Randy Grau, R-Oklahoma City, sets requirements for contracts used by public adjusters.
Under some of the new rules:
- A public adjuster cannot charge more than 10 percent of the total claim on a non-commercial claim after a disaster.
- A public adjuster must hold any insurance proceeds on behalf of the policyholder in a non-interest bearing account in a FDIC-insured bank.
- Claim records must be kept for at least five years and are subject to inspection by the insurance commissioner.
The new law also states that unauthorized adjusting practices in the state of Oklahoma will be considered a misdemeanor.
The legislation was supported by Commissioner Doak as well as “two national public adjusting organizations, local public adjusters and consumers,” Rep. Grau said.
The law goes into effect November 1.
Source: Oklahoma Insurance Department
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