Floridians are still awaiting a ruling from the Florida Supreme Court in Jeffery H. Atwater v. Frederick W. Kortum. The Court will decide whether the “48 hour rule,” the statute that bars public adjusters from soliciting policyholders until 48 hours after the loss, is a violation of commercial free speech under Article I, § 4, of the Florida Constitution.
The state has argued that the “48 hour rule” protects policyholders at a time when they are vulnerable after a loss. Julie Patel has reported on the 48 hour rule in her series with the Sun-Sentinel. In her article last week, Patel asked her readers to weigh in on how they felt about being contacted by a public adjuster after a loss. At the time of this posting, and after more than a week of collecting data, eighty one percent of those who responded said they were in favor of being contacted right after the loss. Twelve percent of the voters preferred not to be contacted, while six percent preferred written information about the services offered by public adjusters and preferred not to be called or visited right away.
Based on the data collected so far, it appears that the Legislature’s alleged reasoning for protecting insureds with a solicitation ban was off-base. It also appears the public wants to know more about the services a public adjuster can offer when in comes to presenting a claim to an insurance company.
As soon as the ruling is made in Jeffery H. Atwater v. Frederick W. Kortum, we will update our readers.