Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting (UPPA) has become the predominant discussion among public adjusters at virtually every public adjuster association meeting I attend. Brian Goodman, general counsel for the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA), said that UPPA is now the most important issue facing public adjusters because licensing of the profession is accepted in almost every state and even recognized in Model Legislation with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
On May 11, 2015, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law SB 439, which modifies and changes current laws relating to public insurance adjusters.
The bill, first introduced by the Oklahoma Senate on February 2, 2015, “aims to protect Oklahoma storm victims, and ensure transparency and accountability in the insurance adjusting process.”1
As a follow up to my blog of November 5, 2014, Fair and Impartial Appraisers in Colorado, I wanted to write on DORA Regulation 5-1-14 which deals with penalties against insurance companies for failing to promptly address first party property claims in Colorado.
Should any debtor hold on to money that is agreed owed? It seems like an absurd question, but in the insurance claims world, many insurance companies know that it is very profitable to "play the float." Even the most famous insurer admits that "playing the float" is very profitable, as I noted in Playing the Float and the Wisdom of Warren Buffett.
Yesterday, I was having a discussion with a public adjuster about a claim where the insurance company was depreciating the cost of labor in addition to the damaged property when calculating actual cash value (ACV). In California – and using the parlance of my 11-month year old son – that is a "no no." Under California Code of Regulations section 2695.9(f)(1), "the expense of labor necessary to repair, rebuild or replace covered property is not a component of physical depreciation and shall not be subject to depreciation or betterment."
It is important to note that in some states, Texas being one, insurers are allowed to depreciate labor in calculating ACV.1
Robin Westcott announced through a press release that a Homeowners’ Policy & Claims Bill of Rights Working Group was formed. The press release indicated the following:
I am writing this blog in terminal C at Salt Lake City International Airport after spending two days in conference with my Merlin Law Group colleagues and one of the foremost insurance experts in the nation. This eye opening seminar confirmed that many in the insurance industry are not good neighbors, they are not there to help, and now exist solely for profit. Hurricane Sandy has given New Jersey an education in property insurance claims handling. Many are learning what those in Florida, Texas, and other storm prone states have known for decades.
This spring, a hot topic for Florida public adjusters has been proposed changes to sections of the administrative code that govern public adjusters. Listen to the complete 25-minute audio recording from the recent DFS hearing here. Two of the proposed changes have the Florida Association of Public Adjusters taking action and explaining ramifications that may have been unknown to drafters of the code.
Insurance is a highly regulated industry because insurance companies have a long history of failing to honor promises, going bankrupt or finding unethical novel methods to gain a competitive edge. State insurance commissioners and attorney generals are charged with enforcing laws and regulations protecting consumers. I posed a question about whether state insurance commissioners and attorney generals are doing enough to protect insurance consumers following a discussion about an insurance policy that specifically excluded any benefits for the cost of matching damaged portions of a residential structure with adjacent undamaged portions of the home. The homeowner had fire damage in the kitchen and the insurance adjuster refused to pay to match cabinets, paint and wallpaper.
The Florida Department of Financial Services proposed changes to very important sections of the administrative rules that govern public adjusters and, in part, other adjusters in Florida. I posted about the proposed changes in Take Action Florida Public Adjusters: The Florida Department Seeks to Change the Rules Again.