Florida Public Adjuster Laws Create an Uphill Battle Toward Settling Insurance Claims

Introduction

New Florida Home Owner's LawNew state laws largely impact the help that homeowner’s insurance holders can expect from a Florida public adjuster. Legislation has reduced the typical claim that a homeowner could be awarded from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a state-backed insurer. Many Florida public adjusters feel that the changes are unconstitutional.

Duties of a Florida Public Adjuster

A policyholder who has suffered a real property or an automobile-related loss may seek representation from a Florida public adjuster. If you have property damage that resulted from occurrences such as a storm or a sinkhole, an adjuster can advocate for a fair reimbursement of your loss. Using written details, photographs and other forms, a Florida public adjuster will submit a claim to the policyholder’s insurance company.

Licensed Professionals

As licensed professionals, Florida public adjusters have met the state’s requirements to earn fair compensation for insurance-related claims. Most adjusters must pass a background check, successfully complete an examination and supply a surety bond. Adjusters may need to obtain a designation such as an Accredited Claims Adjuster or a Certified Claims Adjuster. Florida public adjusters are knowledgeable experts who must provide proof of various levels of continuing education before obtaining or renewing a state-issued license. New laws may hurt the profession for insurance adjusters.

Changes That Limits the Compensation for a Florida Public Adjuster

Homeowner’s policyholders may sign a fee agreement or a contract during a consultation with a Florida public adjuster. New laws require an adjuster to present a signed contract before any compensation is considered. Insurers must verify a copy of the written contract between a policyholder and a Florida public adjuster. An insurer must receive a copy of the contract within 30 days of the agreement. New legislation limits an adjuster to 10 percent of an original claim that a state-backed insurer offered. The concept of an original offer is view as ambiguous, as the term has various interpretations that are overwhelmingly misleading. Interestingly, the laws are more relaxed for private insurers versus a state-backed insurer. A Florida public adjuster can earn up to 20 percent for most claims against private insurers, with the exception to hurricane–related claims that are capped to 10 percent in the first year.

Issues that Concern the Response Time for a Florida Public Adjuster

State laws prevent a Florida public adjuster from contacting a property owner within 48 hours of a disastrous occurrence. Lawmakers believe that the 48-hour time frame allows policyholders to have a relaxation period before dealing with financial issues. Many homeowners may experience stress-related emotional conditions during the period that immediately follows a hurricane or other type of disaster. State laws insist that policyholders should have an opportunity to contact their insurer, before an adjuster appears on the scene. Many homeowners appreciate an adjuster’s quick response to provide assistance during a difficult time. During a time of devastation, a homeowner might not seek immediate help from their insurer. Policyholders who are able to respond proactively may not have the ability to complete the required forms. A Florida public adjuster can help a family regain use of their home or other items that may have been damaged by a storm.

Marketing Requirements for Florida Public Adjusters

Generally, a Florida public adjuster works as an independent business professional. Most owners of other service-oriented businesses have the option to use selective promotional methods. New laws require Florida public adjusters to boldly display a printed marketing message as an advertisement. Many adjusters view this requirement as a violation of their freedom of speech. If a Florida public adjuster mentions the word advertisement, a policyholder may unintentionally avoid the message. Policyholders may settle for less favorable representation or delay the processing of their claim. The new laws may negatively impact the homeowners who the legislation was designed to protect. The law also directly reduces an adjuster’s ability to operate a in a highly competitive environment.

 

Summary

At the end of a storm, disaster clean up companies and other contractors are not required to wait 48 hours before contacting a homeowner. Some homeowners might throw away damaged items that an adjuster could have filed a claim against. If the state law enabled Florida public adjusters to contact policyholders sooner, larger settlements may be obtained. Policyholders or insurers can contact a Florida public adjuster at anytime. Florida public adjusters are not permitted to give a homeowner legal advice.

 

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