While Hurricane Lane threatens Hawaii with huge storm surge, high wind and heavy rain, officials are preparing for the impact of insurance claims after the Category 2 Storm.

On August 21, 2018, Hawaii’s Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito issued a declaration allowing non-resident unlicensed independent adjusters to temporarily handle the number of claims expected by Hurricane Lane.

According to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Insurance Division, “the Insurance Commissioner wants to ensure that adjusters and insurance companies can and will timely respond to homeowners’ needs.”

Hawaii state law allows out-of-state claims adjusters to work in Hawaii without a state license following a catastrophe if the insurance commissioner decides that adjusters who are residents of and licensed in the state cannot handle the volume and timely adjust claims from a natural disaster.

The declaration authorizes non-resident independent adjusters to operate in Hawaii without a license for up to 30 days from the date of registration if they provide the insurance commissioner with:

  1. A certified copy of the adjuster’s current license issued by another state that has licensing requirements substantially similar to Haw. Rev. Stat. § 431:9-222, and
  2. A letter, on the letterhead of the insurance company, independent adjusting company, or producer using the adjuster, that satisfies the following requirements within three working days after the nonresident independent adjuster begins work:
  • The name of the nonresident independent adjuster;
  • The nonresident independent adjuster’s Hawaii mailing and business addresses and phone numbers, and;
  • The nonresident independent adjuster’s permanent home and business addresses and phone numbers.

At this time non-resident public adjusters are specifically excluded from the declaration until Commissioner Ito decides whether additional public adjusters will be needed.

The Commissioner’s declaration remains in effect for 60 days but can be extended beyond 60 days at the Commissioner’s discretion.