In January of this year, House Bill. No 1991 was introduced to the Hawaii legislature that—according to the Hawaii’s Insurance Commissioner—would "define the current manner and process in which insurers are able to adjust and make payments on claims."1

The measure, which is being reviewed by the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee, is presently in "deferred" status.

This is what the proposed bill includes in pertinent part:

§431:1OE- Inspections. (a) After a claim is filed by a policyholder, the insurer shall select a claim adjuster, mutually agreed upon by the parties and paid for by the insurer, to conduct an inspection of the damage to the insured property.

(b) If the parties are unable to reach a mutual agreement on the selection of a claim adjuster, then the matter may be submitted to the insurance commissioner, arbitration, or the circuit court to select a claim adjuster.

(c) Any claim adjuster mutually selected or otherwise appointed pursuant to this section shall examine the insured property within forty-five days of receiving notice of the selection or appointment, or otherwise, as soon as possible.

§431:1OE- Settlement offer. Upon receipt of a settlement offer from a claim adjuster, the policyholder shall have the option of selecting a contractor or mandating that the insurer select a licensed contractor to complete all repairs for the monetary amounts specified in the settlement offer, subject to any existing valid deductible.2

The bill takes the adjustment of the claim out of the hands of insurance company adjusters and puts it into those of third-party adjusters. There is strong opposition by the insurance industry to the bill. It will be interesting to see whether the bill becomes law. Stay tuned.

1 Testimony on House Bill No. 1991 – Relating to Insurance, 2/17/2016.
2 Hawaii House Bill No. 1991.