There is still time to register for the Georgia Seminar on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. The Georgia Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (GAPIA) is hosting their annual conference at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta.

Click here to register online.

Click here for a detailed agenda, including the educational presentation topics.

I asked GAPIA’s president, Judith Vickers, to tell me more about how GAPIA was started since it is a young organization in years, but a group of very experienced public adjusters.

Here is the background story on how GAPIA was formed, as told by Judith:

The concept of GAPIA was originally formed at the First Party Claims Conference in Providence, Rhode Island in October 2011. After speaking to board members at the NAPIA conference, Judith Vickers met with Brandon Lewis and Anita Taff and the concept of GAPIA was born. In November, 2011, the three met in Alpharetta, Georgia to discuss forming a statewide association for public adjusters in which competitors would unite so they could be heard as one voice. However, it took an unexpected legislative initiative formed against all Public Adjusters in Georgia to perform services on a contingency basis early in 2012 to create a real sense of urgency to move forward with the formation. In September 2012, eight people from local firms united to become the founding members of GAPIA.

In August 2012, Judith Vickers and Anita Taff met in Atlanta with NAPIA’s counsel, Brian Goodman, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens and his assistant at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners meeting. The group was advised by Commissioner Hudgens to meet with the insurance carriers’ lobbyist to come up with a revised public adjuster bill. Following that meeting, local attorney John Hipes assisted GAPIA with the development of legal viewpoints for inclusion in the bill to protect the profession and consumers.

Many of the GAPIA founders dug deep into their pockets to fund the launch of the association. In 2013 GAPIA incurred the expense of a lobbyist originally funded by NAPIA to address the need for public adjusters to protect consumer’s rights.

In 2014 a law (HB 610) was passed and enacted.

Currently, GAPIA exists to keep an ear to the ground on any pending actions against the profession and consumers. It’s goals include educating the public, protecting consumers (insured’s) and providing continuing education to Georgia’s public adjusters wherein they can earn CE credits thus ensuring the opportunity to become more proficient with their adjusting skills. GAPIA also seeks to combat the unauthorized practice of public adjusting (“UPPA”) which is rampant in the outlying areas of Metro Atlanta wherein predatory contractors and vendors sell themselves as claim experts.

GAPIA seeks the support of all resident and non-resident licensed public adjusters. The Association needs the dedicated commitment of its Members, both financially and intellectually. Georgia is a large state and its population continues to grow. Volunteers are needed for open board nominations, and new ideas on how to grow this essential association are always welcome. Now is the time to strengthen GAPIA’s foundation to ensure stability and security for decades to come.

We are encouraging all licensed Georgia public adjusters to join GAPIA and come see two Chip Merlin presentations: Use of Experts: What to Watch For, How to Vet Them, and How to Marginalize Insurance Company Experts, followed by Advanced Topics in Business Interruption.

We hope to see you Tuesday.