One of the many resources for policyholders with Hurricane Harvey damages and those persons assisting policyholders is the “Help After Harvey” page on the Texas Department of Insurance (“TDI”) web site.1
This website contains a series of bulletins that TDI has issued related to Hurricane Harvey.
One of the bulletins is titled “Hurricane Harvey – Claims Adjusting and Adjusters” No. B-0011-17, dated August 26, 2017.
This particular bulletin provides important reminders to Texas licensed public insurance adjusters handling claims for insureds, including the following:
- Insurance Code §4101.251 prohibits licensed adjusters from adjusting a loss related to roofing damage on behalf of an insurer if the adjuster is a roofing contractor or otherwise provides roofing services or roofing products for compensation, or is a controlling person in a roofing-related business. The section also prohibits a roofing contractor from acting as an adjuster or advertising to adjust claims for any property for which the roofing contractor is providing or may provide roofing services, regardless of whether the contractor holds a license under this chapter.
- Chapter 4102 of the Insurance Code requires all persons acting as public insurance adjusters to be licensed by the department. The Insurance Code provides for both civil and criminal penalties for violating this license requirement.
- Insurance Code §4102.001(3) defines a public insurance adjuster as:
(A) A person who, for direct, indirect, or any other compensation:
(i) acts on behalf of an insured in negotiating for or effecting the settlement of a claim or claims for loss or damage under any policy of insurance covering real or personal property; or
(ii) on behalf of any other public insurance adjuster, investigates, or settles, or adjusts or advises an insured with a claim or claims for loss or damage under any policy of insurance covering real or personal property; or
(B) A person who advertises, solicits business, or holds himself or herself out to the public as an adjuster of claims for loss or damage under any policy of insurance covering real or personal property.
- Insurance Code §4102.151 prohibits public insurance adjusters from soliciting or attempting to solicit clients for employment during the progress of a loss-producing natural disaster occurrence.
- Insurance Code §4102.158 prohibits public insurance adjusters from participating directly or indirectly in the reconstruction, repair, or restoration of damaged property that is the subject of a claim adjusted by the license holder or engaging in any other activities that may reasonably be construed as presenting a conflict of interest, including soliciting or accepting any remuneration from, or having a financial interest in, any salvage firm, repair firm, or other firm that obtains business in connection with any claim the licensee has a contract or agreement to adjust.
- Insurance Code §4102.163 prohibits a roofing contractor from acting as a public adjuster or advertising to adjust claims for any property for which the contractor is providing or may provide roofing services, regardless of whether the contractor holds a license under this chapter.
- Contractors are not listed among the persons exempt from the licensing requirement in Insurance Code §4102.002.
- Chapter 4102 does not prohibit contractors from providing estimates or discussing those estimates and other technical information with an insurer or its adjuster.
This was just one of the bulletins TDI has issued so far regarding Harvey. There are several others regarding topics such as vacancy provisions, denial of wind losses, recommending building and repair contractors, and property and casualty rating and underwriting. As new bulletins are issued relating to Harvey, you can count on our blog to keep you informed.