Analysis of the recent HB 912 regarding insurance adjusters that the Florida House passed earlier this week.
Chapter 626, F.S., regulates insurance field representatives and operations. Part VI of the chapter governs insurance adjusters. Current law provides for five adjuster licenses: public adjuster, all-lines adjuster, temporary license (all-lines adjuster), public adjuster apprentice, and catastrophe or emergency adjuster. A licensed all-lines adjuster may be appointed as an independent adjuster, or company employee adjuster. An “all lines adjuster” is defined as a person who acts on behalf of an insurer to determine the amount of and settle a claim. In addition, the law authorizes, but does not require licensure of adjusting firms, unless the person operating the firm fails to designate a primary adjuster within specified timeframes.
The bill eliminates licensure for public adjuster apprentices, substituting instead a requirement to be licensed as an all-lines adjuster and appointed as a public adjuster apprentice, and requires licensure for adjusting firms. The bill also eliminates the temporary license, which is not currently used. The bill revises the requirements for public adjusters to:
- Expressly prohibit unlicensed public adjusting that is done directly or indirectly;
- Delete a provision of law related to contacting policyholders which was held unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court;
- Exclude deductibles from the calculation of an adjuster’s fee; and
- Reduce the time a public adjuster apprentice must be supervised before becoming eligible for licensure as a public adjuster.
In addition, the bill makes numerous changes to part VI of ch. 626, F.S., and other statutes applicable to adjusters to improve the efficiency of licensure and enforcement.
The bill does not appear to have a fiscal impact on state or local government. It does have a fiscal impact on the private sector.
The bill provides for an effective date of January 1, 2018.