It’s no secret that public adjusters in Florida are subject to a number of strict rules and regulations. All it takes is a quick glance at Section 626.854 of the Florida Statutes and you’ll see that state law regulates almost every aspect of a public adjuster’s profession – from the days of the week to the time of day a public adjuster can "solicit" work with an insured.
When it comes to obtaining and maintaining their public adjuster’s license, a requirement that often gets overlooked is filing and maintaining "unimpaired" a $50,000 surety bond with the Department of Financial Services ("DFS").
At the time of application for license as a public adjuster, the applicant shall file with the department a bond executed and issued by a surety insurer authorized to transact such business in this state, in the amount of $50,000, conditioned for the faithful performance of his or her duties as a public adjuster under the license for which the applicant has applied, and thereafter maintain the bond unimpaired throughout the existence of the license and for at least 1 year after termination of the license. The bond shall be in favor of the department and shall specifically authorize recovery by the department of the damages sustained in case the licensee is guilty of fraud or unfair practices in connection with his or her business as public adjuster. The aggregate liability of the surety for all such damages shall in no event exceed the amount of the bond. Such bond shall not be terminated unless at least 30 days’ written notice is given to the licensee and filed with the department.1
Public adjusters are not the only ones who must deal with this $50,000 surety bond requirement – Florida law imposes the same obligation on all public adjuster apprentices too.2
An important thing to remember is that filing the surety bond with the DFS is not enough. Public adjusters and public adjuster apprentices should also check on the status of the bond to make sure it remains "unimpaired" at $50,000. If not, you may find yourself receiving a letter from the DFS, which is never fun.