At the recent annual FAPIA conference, a dedicated course specific to public adjusters was presented for the five-hour Law and Ethics Update Course. Every Florida public adjuster must take a course of this duration on these topics during their two-year cycle and this course was specific to public insurance adjusters. If you missed it, you should sign up at the next offering. Keeping on top of the rules and requirements of your license must be a priority for you.
In the meantime, here are a few tips and reminders that could be sent around at your next weekly meeting or in your email updates.
1. Advertising: Make sure you use disclaimers on your written advertisements, but business cards are the exception to the rule.
Advertising 626.854- Florida Statutes
For purposes of this paragraph, the term “written advertisement” includes only newspapers, magazines, flyers, and bulk mailers. The following disclaimer, which is not required to be printed on standard size business cards, must be added in bold print and capital letters in typeface no smaller than the typeface of the body of the text to all written advertisements by a public adjuster:
“THIS IS A SOLICITATION FOR BUSINESS. IF YOU HAVE HAD A CLAIM FOR AN INSURED PROPERTY LOSS OR DAMAGE AND YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH THE PAYMENT BY YOUR INSURER, YOU MAY DISREGARD THIS ADVERTISEMENT.”
2. Recordkeeping: Remember the three-year rule and five-year rule on estimates when it comes to record keeping and make sure that your staff is well aware of what needs to be retained.
See Section 626.561, Florida Statutes – Insurance Field Representatives and Operations – Reporting and Accounting for Funds
3. The Estimate Rule: Sounds basic but it must be included in Florida cases.
a. Each public adjuster must provide to the claimant or insured a written estimate of the loss to assist in the submission of a proof of loss or any other claim for payment of insurance proceeds. The public adjuster shall retain such written estimate for at least 5 years and shall make the estimate available to the claimant or insured, the insurer, and the department upon request. Florida Statute Section 626.854 (12)
4. The Address Rule: You have an obligation as a licensed public adjuster to update your address promptly with the Department of Financial Services in Florida when you move or relocate. Don’t let this slip your mind during a busy time of transition.
5. Education is the key to success. Make sure you know your Continuing Education requirements because a new update came out just last year. There is zero down side to having too many credits rather than scrambling for an extension.
626.2815 – Continuing education requirements (Effective June 30, 2015).
Next week, I will post about a few educational opportunities for public adjusters nationwide that should not be missed and can be done from the comfort of your own laptop! And as always, you can click the link to any author’s name on the blog and email them about questions or post your comments below.