Next month, the Alabama legislature will reconvene and has the chance to license public insurance adjusters. Currently, Alabama is one of the few states that does not recognize public adjusters. But after the devastation last year, the value of public insurance adjusters is coming to light.
The Birmingham News posted an article last week reporting that:
State insurance officials and others are working on legislation that would let Alabamians with insurance claims hire their own adjusters, clarifying what has been a gray area of the law. If passed, there’d be no question Alabamians could hire so-called public adjusters to help establish the scope of their losses and probably get more money from their insurance companies.
Not surprisingly, the insurance industry likes that insureds cannot hire public adjusters. It often makes the claims process a one sided game if the insured is without representation. The horrendous treatment some homeowners and business owners received from their insurance companies after the tornado damage claims last year, may prompt the Alabama legislature to recognize the need for public insurance adjusters.
Legislation was proposed last year to license and regulate public adjusters in Alabama, but it was dropped because of objections from the Alabama State Bar. Now, the Bar is working with state insurance regulators and industry groups on a compromise measure for the legislative session starting in February.
Since the April 27, 2011, tornado struck, Alabama has not received any complaints of actions by public adjusters, but in the past, there were complaints about roofers who improperly negotiated insurance claims. Contractors who act as insurance negotiators are a problem in many areas of the country. Licensing of the profession may make a difference.
Brian Goodman, of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, provided the Birmingham News perspective on how passing a licensing law in Alabama will benefit the state because it will give the state the ability to regulate how these professional assist insureds and protect consumers.
Check back for updates on whether Alabama makes a change this legislative session.