The Florida Department of Financial Services proposed changes to very important sections of the administrative rules that govern public adjusters and, in part, other adjusters in Florida. I posted about the proposed changes in Take Action Florida Public Adjusters: The Florida Department Seeks to Change the Rules Again.

We have now learned the petition filed by the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters for an administrative hearing to challenge the validity of the changes was granted. In a telephonic hearing on Monday, the DFS and FAPIA agreed to a hearing on July 31, 2013, regarding the amendments to Rule 69B-220.001, 69B-220.051, and 69B-220.201., F.A.C. The Division of Administrative Hearings will determine whether the Proposed Rules are invalid pursuant to Florida Statute 120.56(2).

FAPIA’s Petition is available in full here, but the key issues relate to the proposed “physical presence requirement” of the direct supervision rule and the proposed requirement that public adjusters ensure all contractors, architects, engineers or other professionals hired by an insured are state licensed, if applicable. FAPIA’s issue with the latter is that public adjusters evaluate damage and work insurance claims, but public adjusters do not have authority to choose who will perform repair work once the claim is paid or to oversee the repair work. Public adjusters do not even have this authority during a claim. FAPIA also argues this ethical requirement is arbitrary, capricious (no other adjusters have this requirement), and unduly burdensome.

As for the amendments defining direct supervision, FAPIA explains that another section of the Code requires a public adjuster to spend 100 hours supervising each apprentice per month, and a licensed public adjuster can have up to three apprentices. A firm is limited to twelve. The proposed physical presence requirement is an obvious conflict. The physical presence proposal of the supervising public adjuster when soliciting is extremely narrow and limits licensed mentor adjusters.

These two key issues will make a difference to the profession. As always, check back here for updates regarding the proposed changes.