Merlin Law Group attorneys have an advantage over other lawyers and law firms because we invest in and have an in-house attorney Knowledge Manager fka Law Librarian, Ruck DeMinico. Ruck has researched more insurance law issues and public adjuster issues than anybody I know.
I asked him for the North Carolina public adjuster contract regulations. As I wrote that post, Public Adjusters Prepare for North Carolina Insurance Claims, I thought it would be good idea to get the South Carolina public adjuster contract requirements. He must have read my mind because they were already in our attorneys’ email boxes. Here is what he found regarding contract requirements public adjusters have with South Carolina policyholders:
SECTION 38-48-80. Written agreement between public adjuster and insured.
Any agreement between the insured and the public insurance adjuster for the services described in this chapter shall be in writing and signed by both parties. The contract shall:
(a) state the full consideration for the public adjuster’s services;
(b) specify in bold and conspicuous language that the consideration, compensation, commission, fee, percentage, or salary due to the public adjuster shall be paid by the insured from any sums the public adjuster assists the insured in recovering and not paid by the insurer;
(c) legibly state the full name and address as specified in the department’s record of the licensed public adjuster;
(d) state the insured’s full name and street address, the address and description of the loss, and the name of the insured’s insurance company and policy number;
(e) disclose to the insured in bold, conspicuous language that (1) it is not necessary for the insured to hire a public adjuster; (2) the insured has the right to communicate directly with the insurer, the insurer’s adjuster(s), the insured’s counsel, or counsel for the insurer; and (3) the public adjuster is not an agent or employee of the insurer;
(f) show the date on which the contract was signed by both parties;
(g) clearly and conspicuously disclose the insured’s right to rescind the contract within five working days or otherwise cancel it as provided by South Carolina law; and
(h) clearly and conspicuously outline the services to be provided by the public adjuster to the insured.
Promptly after the contract of the insured with the public adjuster has been executed, and after the time to rescind has elapsed, the public adjuster shall give written notice to the insurer or its adjuster or representative that the public adjuster has entered into a written contract with the insured.
Public adjusters in South Carolina should be careful about doing any acts in excess of claim valuations. For example, the South Carolina definition of the practice of law precludes many activities including coverage interpretations and providing advice about going to appraisal versus other means to resolve insurance disputes.
Extra Thought For The Day
Make sure that every decision you reach is legal, moral and ethical….Our conduct should always be gauged to avoid any unjust harm to others.
—Bill Wilson, When Words Collide: Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Issues