Michigan Director of Insurance Anita Fox

The Michigan Director of Insurance recently issued the following bulletin:

MICHIGAN INSURANCE BULLETINS AND RELATED MATERIALS
BULLETINS
Bulletin 2019-07-INS
April 17, 2019

FROM: Anita G. Fox
Director Of Insurance
DATE: April 17, 2019

RE: RESIDENTIAL PUBLIC ADJUSTER CONTRACT

This bulletin supersedes Bulletin 2018-22-INS, dated November 20, 2018.

The Director has approved a new residential public adjuster contract. The effective date of the new contract is May 15, 2019. All licensed public adjusters must begin using the new contract on that date; and must file the new contract with DIFS no later than June 30, 2019.


Here is a copy of the new Michigan Residential Public Adjuster Contract.

Anita Fox is a former accomplished insurance defense counsel and was recently appointed Michigan’s Director of Insurance. Despite her name and background, her appointment does not necessarily mean that an insurance company fox is guarding the insurance henhouse. Time will tell and many experienced insurance defense counsel certainly know how insurance companies can make policies and procedures which are not in the public interest.

The mandated insurance contract has two parts which I found interesting. It requires the parties to indicate which coverages the public adjuster is adjusting and charging a fee. This is important. Some public adjusters wrongly do no adjustment work on the contents or living expenses and instead make their own policyholder customers do all the work, and then charge for it. This contract makes it clear what the public adjuster is required to do, and I applaud this requirement.

The second item is the recognition that the public adjuster is still required to be paid for work even if litigation, arbitration or mediation is necessary. I applaud this as well because the issue comes up every now and then and after the public adjuster does work and disputes arise regarding the amount owed or coverage owed. This contract mandate expressly raises the issue so there is no misunderstanding.

Thought For The Day

A prince must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.
—Machiavelli

  • I like these “clarifications” as well. I often don’t charge for ALE or contents, especially if I do little or no work on the coverage.

  • Peggy Mead

    I applaud the new contract which is a revision from the first mandated change in November of 2018 which restricted how a Public Adjuster can be paid and caused harm to our profession. Through the efforts of Michael Fabian (Fabian, Sklar, King & Liss) and Ethan Gross of MAPIA the version you highlight came into force.
    Your review misses the pertinent change to the contract that they worked hard to effect. Our mandated contract had always had selections for the scope of coverage we were representing and the language as to the second item you noted. What changed was language put in by DIFS that prevented any “alternate payments agreement” and specifically prohibited any “addenda or changes to the approved contract” – EVEN if agreed and signed by insured and Public Adjuster. The previous version also created ambiguity as to the involvement of the Public adjuster, the timing of payments and the ability to collect on the entire settlement.
    I do agree that the points you highlight in our contract are of much benefit to both the insured seeking assistance as well as protecting the work of the Public Adjuster representing them. At the end of the day we are advocates for the insured and most of us are very passionate about our representation of them in a loss. Blessings~