Public, independent, and company adjusters in Florida must all follow the Adjuster Code of Ethics. The Code is the rules adjusters must follow when adjusting claims. The Code includes additional, specific rules that that apply to public insurance adjusters in Florida.

As explained by Chip Merlin in his post, Adjusters Have Codes of Ethics: Florida’s Are Significant and Need to Be Enforced,

These rules were made to protect the public and consumers of insurance:

Code of Ethics. The work of adjusting insurance claims engages the public trust. An adjuster shall put the duty for fair and honest treatment of the claimant above the adjuster’s own interests in every instance.

FAPIA, the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, requires it members to follow both the Adjuster Code and the FAPIA Code of Ethics. FAPIA also has a committee devoted to enforcing its high standard of ethics. The Florida Department of Financial Services looks to FAPIA and its Ethics Committee for responses on ethical issues relating to public adjusters statewide.

Harvey Wolfman, of The BCH Group, is the current chair of the FAPIA ethics committee. Mr. Wolfman is proud of the work of the committee. As it stands, FAPIA is the largest trade organization of public insurance adjusters in the nation and other public adjuster associations have modeled their groups after FAPIA.

Mr. Wolfman, along with the FAPIA board, recently invited Gary Rowland of AAA Claims Consultants Inc., to join the Ethics Committee. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Gary at the summer conference, and I learned more about Gary and his passion for helping policyholders in Florida.

Gary said that both his past experience working as a contractor and the guidance and principles from his late father have shaped his approach to helping policyholders with insurance claims.

After working more than three decades as a contractor, Gary left Atlanta and began preparing damage estimates after the 2005 storm season. It took only six weeks in Florida for Gary to see that he could use his skills here to truly help homeowners and business owners get their property back to normal. Gary studied to become a public insurance adjuster and put his construction knowledge to work for the benefit of Florida insureds with United States Public Adjusters in Hollywood, Florida.

They trained me in the proper ways to handle a claim, adjust a loss, and work with the insurer’s representative to get my clients their full benefits

When you meet Gary, you can tell right away that he has a love and passion for explaining to others how to fix a problem based on construction principles. When in Atlanta, Gary was the contractor on many renovation projects, including restoring or upgrading some of Georgia’s historical properties. Gary is well respected, and was published in the Journal of Light Construction in 1995.

Gary often focuses on explaining how renovation construction is different from a new construction project. Renovations involve repairs and replacements within an existing framework. Gary uses his background in renovations and restorations when he adjusts claims for Florida policyholders.

In 2008, Gary moved to Tampa and started AAA Claims Consultants. I asked Gary about this business now.

Starting any business from the ground up is difficult, yet basic rules remain. Be true to your client, be vigilant in getting the facts, study to know the ever changing rules, remain calm and be polite to all you meet.

My work is secure, in that we will always be the consumer’s guardian for fair treatment in claims. I know even with all our trials and tribulation in this industry, we are the voice of reason in a world filled with the mantra of business interests. It should be our goal to always have our client’s best interests as our focus and safeguard them from pitfalls that could jeopardize their claim.

I am honored to be in a profession that by its very nature throws a safety net around the consumers we represent. I have heard our job is like herding cats. Yet, in a world gone mad, we must continue to be the consumer’s best weapon.

Whether you are a public adjuster or an adjuster working for insurance companies, a best practice for adjusting claims in Florida is to print the adjuster Code of Ethics, study it, and keep a copy in your briefcase for guidance and reference.