Both the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) and the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (AAPIA) support Maryland’s House Bill 136. For the past six months drafting has been going on to come up with a bill that Gene Veno says will act as a consumer property protection bill.
Testimony this week before the Economic Matters Committee went well. You can see Mr. Veno and Mr. Neil Kahn on behalf of Goodman, Gable, Gould and NAPIA speak starting at the nine-minute mark. The testimony must have been persuasive to legislators because the bill passed the committee with a unanimous vote.
The bill defines the role of a public adjuster and discusses available marketing efforts, fee sharing, contract requirements, prohibited contract terms, the availability of an electronic signature, and other obligations.
Here is a section sample:
(A) A PUBLIC ADJUSTER IS OBLIGATED TO:
(1) SERVE WITH OBJECTIVITY AND COMPLETE LOYALTY THE INTEREST OF THE CLIENT ALONE; AND 1
(2) RENDER TO THE INSURED THE INFORMATION, COUNSEL, AND SERVICE THAT WILL BEST SERVE THE INSURED’S INSURANCE CLAIM NEEDS AND INTERESTS, WITHIN THE KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING, AND OPINION IN GOOD FAITH OF THE PUBLIC ADJUSTER.
(B) A PUBLIC ADJUSTER MAY NOT ALLOW AN UNLICENSED EMPLOYEE OR REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PUBLIC ADJUSTER TO CONDUCT BUSINESS FOR WHICH A 20 LICENSE IS REQUIRED UNDER THIS SUBTITLE.
(C) UNLESS FULL WRITTEN DISCLOSURE HAS BEEN MADE TO THE INSURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH § 10–411 OF THIS SUBTITLE, A PUBLIC ADJUSTER MAY NOT HAVE A DIRECT OR INDIRECT FINANCIAL INTEREST IN ANY ASPECT OF A CLAIM, OTHER THAN THE SALARY, FEE, COMMISSION, OR OTHER CONSIDERATION ESTABLISHED IN THE WRITTEN CONTRACT WITH THE INSURED.
(D) A PUBLIC ADJUSTER MAY NOT ACQUIRE ANY INTEREST IN SALVAGE OF PROPERTY SUBJECT TO A PUBLIC ADJUSTER CONTRACT WITH THE INSURED UNLESS THE PUBLIC ADJUSTER OBTAINS WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE INSURED.
10–415. 16 HOUSE BILL 136
(A) A PUBLIC ADJUSTER SHALL ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING GENERAL
(1) A PUBLIC ADJUSTER MAY NOT UNDERTAKE THE ADJUSTMENT OF ANY CLAIM IF THE PUBLIC ADJUSTER IS NOT COMPETENT AND KNOWLEDGEABLE AS TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INSURANCE COVERAGE, OR THAT OTHERWISE EXCEEDS THE PUBLIC ADJUSTER’S CURRENT EXPERTISE;
(2) A PUBLIC ADJUSTER MAY NOT MAKE A STATEMENT THAT THE PUBLIC ADJUSTER KNOWS TO BE FALSE OR WITH RECKLESS DISREGARD AS TO THE STATEMENT’S TRUTH OR FALSITY CONCERNING THE QUALIFICATIONS OR INTEGRITY OF ANY PERSON ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF INSURANCE TO ANY INSURED CLIENT OR POTENTIAL INSURED CLIENT;
(3) A PUBLIC ADJUSTER MAY NOT REPRESENT OR ACT AS A COMPANY ADJUSTER OR AS AN INDEPENDENT ADJUSTER ON THE SAME CLAIM;
(4) THE PUBLIC ADJUSTER CONTRACT MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED TO 15 PREVENT AN INSURED FROM PURSUING ANY CIVIL REMEDY AFTER THE RESCISSION OR CANCELLATION PERIOD UNDER § 10–411(H) OF THIS SUBTITLE; AND
(5) (A) A PUBLIC ADJUSTER MAY NOT ENTER INTO A CONTRACT OR ACCEPT A POWER OF ATTORNEY THAT VESTS IN THE PUBLIC ADJUSTER THE EFFECTIVE AUTHORITY TO CHOOSE THE PERSONS WHO SHALL PERFORM REPAIR WORK.
(B) A PUBLIC ADJUSTER MAY NOT AGREE TO ANY LOSS SETTLEMENT 22 WITHOUT THE INSURED’S KNOWLEDGE AND CONSENT.
With new advancements or bills affecting property insurance coverage claims and policyholder representatives, we will keep you posted if this bill becomes the law of Maryland. A special thank you to Gene Veno of AAPIA for giving us the updated information on HB 136 vote.