Public adjusters have been calling our Florida offices regarding Hurricane Matthew. One of the frequent questions asked is if they can practice public adjusting in the Bahamas. Only the Almighty knows for certain where Hurricane Matthew is going, and I would not count out anywhere from Florida and up the eastern seaboard of the United States. But in the event Bahamian policyholders need help, public adjusters can do so.
V. PUBLIC ADJUSTERS
1. Public Adjusting Firms (Public Adjusters) must be incorporated under the Companies Act (Ch. 308).
2. All Public Adjusting Firms are required to register with the Commission, and are subject to ongoing supervision. Registration and supervision of these entities are intended to provide an acceptable level of protection for consumers and policyholders.
3. Public Adjusters must employ at least one Registered Adjuster. Further, the firm must be able to demonstrate that it is financially sound and well-managed.
4. Public Adjusters are not required to maintain a statutory deposit. However, a Public
Adjusting firm must maintain a minimum capital of not less than $50,000.
5. Public Adjusters must maintain adequate books and records. These should be retained for a period of no less than 5 years. These records must be accessible to the Commission. The Commission may inspect the records of the Adjuster, as necessary.
6. A Public Adjusting firm must obtain professional indemnity insurance with a minimum limit of indemnity of $2 million for any one claim.
7. Public Adjusters are required to file audited annual financial statements and renew their registration with the Commission on an annual basis.
8. A Public Adjusting firm must have an internal complaints handling process.
So, public adjusters can practice in the Bahamas. They should be careful to not practice law or violate any other business laws in the Bahamas.
Hurricane Matthew is a dangerous storm and should be watched by everybody in Florida, the Caribbean, and Eastern Seaboard this weekend. The water is warm and conducive to accelerating the growth of tropical cyclones if the upper wind patterns allow.