January 8, 2018
Florida House Bill 911, “An Act Relating to Insurance Adjusters” became law on January 1, 2018. In large part, the new legislation deals with the internal operation of public adjusting firms. For example:
- A “public adjuster apprentice” must be bonded ($50,000, payable to the Department of Financial Services);
- A public adjusting firm cannot have more than four apprentices (formerly twelve) at any one time;
- A supervising public adjuster cannot supervise more than one apprentice at any time (formerly three), and;
- The deductible cannot be included when the public adjuster’s fee is calculated.
Fla. Stat. §626.8695, however, deals with all adjusting firms, including independent adjusting firms, and sets forth several internal management requirements. Among them are:
- A “primary” adjuster must be designated at each “business location,” and he or she is responsible for the supervision of subordinate adjusters;
- A person may be designated as “primary” at more than one business location, but an adjuster must be physically present when any adjusting activity takes place at any location;
- An adjuster licensed as a public adjuster may not be simultaneously licensed as an all-lines adjuster;
- The primary adjuster is accountable for misconduct or violations of this code committed by the primary adjuster or by any other person under his or her direct supervision while acting on behalf of the adjusting firm. However, this section does not render a primary adjuster criminally liable for an act unless the primary adjuster personally committed the act or knew or should have known of the act and of the facts constituting a violation of this code.
The lists above do not address all of the requirements of the new law, and a complete copy of HB 911 is linked here. While there are other requirements addressed by the new law, the main takeaway is this: Each adjusting office needs ahead honcho!
Please address any questions to one of our Florida Property Partners or contact W. Douglas Berry.