Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 240, which enacts new laws that regulate out of state independent adjusters. The law also addresses claim adjustment for declared emergencies. The new laws, described more fully below, became effective on October 3. 2019.
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My weekend reading found me with a recently purchased 1953 2d Edition of Property Insurance Adjusting. The reading worked pretty well for my unplanned recovery of sleep deprivation during the work week. The publication listed a bibliography with a number of General Adjustment Bureau manuals. Being the nerdy collector of insurance lore, I started a search for those manuals which lead me to an article which is the subject of this blog.
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The Honorable Governor Crist:

I respectfully request that you veto the insurance legislation recently passed in SB 2044. While there are many good provisions in this bill including some of the Public Adjusting proposed changes, other provisions will cause great harm to Florida policyholders particularly when the next big storm or other perils impact already struggling Floridians.


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Public insurance adjusters are hated by most insurance companies. Many insurance claim executives and adjusters have told me in candid moments they believe that many public adjusters engage in borderline, if not outright, fraudulent activity to increase the amount of the claim. Those same claims executives and adjusters are upset when we prove their insurance company representatives improperly handled a claim. Still, there are instances where public insurance adjusters act improperly and illegally.


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The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) has some of the finest minds in the world regarding claims adjustment under property insurance policies.  Our law firm had the opportunity to lead a day long insurance seminar for the Massachusetts Association of Public Insurance Adjusters and NAPIA members last Friday in Boston.  The level of discussion and debate over cutting edge claims handling issues made it one of the finest property insurance seminars I have ever attended. 


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Some of the interesting changes in the public adjuster trade are the increased requirements to obtain and maintain a license.  This past legislative year, the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) lobbied for and obtained an apprentice period as well as specific continuing education requirements for public insurance adjusters.  Some may be surprised that FAPIA pushed for this legislation, but there was an obvious need for it.


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Last week I attended the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) Annual Convention in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.  Tuesday I spent most of the afternoon with the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) in Ft. Lauderdale.  I have been going to NAPIA conventions since I first spoke to that organization in 1985, and I helped form FAPIA in 1993. If there is one trend apparent in both organizations, it is growth.  There may be a number of reasons for this including an ever increasing tendency of insurers to not pay benefits which fully reimburse policyholders for their losses. 


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