A recent article in the Insurance Journal, Florida Bills Offer Broad Attack on Insurance Costs: Legal Fees, AOBs, Reinsurance, certainly raises the question of public adjusters being on the chopping block during the next session of the Florida legislature. The article noted:
Somewhat surprisingly, the measures do not address two elements that public officials and insurers have said are crucial to putting the brakes on claims litigation and outsized loss adjustment expenses: limits on public adjusters, and on ways to make it easier for insurers pay actual cash value, as opposed to replacement value, for damaged structures.
Florida’s chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, and others have said that southwest Florida was practically overrun with public adjusters just days after Hurricane Ian damaged thousands of homes in the area, and he called for slashing fees that adjusters can charge and for more prosecutions of those who violate the law.
‘Florida’s problem won’t be completely solved until you get public adjusters out of there,’ Johnson said.
The actual-cash-value issue was partly addressed in May, when lawmakers revised statutes that had required full replacement of roofs when only small parts were damaged.
The insurance industry provided its dream of legislation to Florida’s political leaders, and the Republican controlled legislature is simply passing it without debate at this week’s special session. The question is what the industry will write for those Republicans next time because the Florida Republican Party and the Florida Insurance Industry seem to be in bed with each other.
For what it is worth, I am a registered Republican. I just do not know what has happened to the Republican concept of accountability for wrongdoers because the current Republicans in Florida’s leadership seem to have no sense of that when it comes to wrongdoing insurance companies.
The bottom line is that insurance lobbyists, insurance media, and Florida’s elected official in charge of overseeing public adjusters are publicly stating in advance that they are going to pass laws about the practice of public adjusting.
What kind of legislation can be passed? An example is Delaware, which has a fee statute for public adjusters that states.
A licensee shall not charge the client a fee that exceeds 2.5% of the first $25,000 of the total insurance recovery of the client. A licensee may charge the client a fee of up to 12% of the amount of the total insurance recovery of the client that exceeds $25,000
My advice to public adjusters is to become active with the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters and the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. It is obvious that the insurance industry is trying to make it economically impossible for policyholders to hire professional help so that the policyholders are forced to take what is offered by the insurance company.
Thought For The Day
Community organizing is all about building grassroots support. It’s about identifying the people around you with whom you can create a common, passionate cause. And it’s about ignoring the conventional wisdom of company politics and instead playing the game by very different rules.