During the First Party Claims Conference last week, New York attorney Jonathan Lerner and I discussed the new public adjuster regulations that had just come into effect in New York on October 8. The New York Department of Financial Services listed the following in a press release announcing these new regulations:
Continue Reading New York Public Adjusters Have New Consumer Protections To Follow

The Rocky Mountain Public Insurance Adjuster Association (RMAPIA) will hold its Fall Meeting starting on Wednesday, November 3, in Denver. Yours truly will have two special Merlin Law Group attorneys, Larry Bache and Jon Bukowski, explaining what we see as the top property insurance claims trends throughout the Rocky Mountain states and the coverage gaps issue causing more problems for policyholders.
Continue Reading Rocky Mountain Public Insurance Adjusters Meet on November 3 & 4 in Denver

The Insurance Journal recently ran a story about a Florida insurance company dropping its administrative petition1 that asked whether a public adjuster working on a claim violates Florida statutes when the public adjuster’s relatives own the remediation or restoration company performing work on the claim.
Continue Reading Can Relatives or Spouses of Florida Public Adjusters Own the Remediation or Restoration Company Retained By the Policyholder?

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Scott and Amy Newcomer, the founders and power-couple behind ATI Training. For over 30 years, the Newcomers have been helping home inspectors learn the industry and become qualified, not just certified. Realizing the cross-over potential between the home inspection and public adjusting worlds, the Newcomers expanded the ATI Training program to include the training of public adjusters.
Continue Reading Forging a New Path: ATI Training Expands to Support Public Adjusters

Louisiana policyholders have suffered through their share of destructive storms, hurricanes, and floods over the past five years. Many of these policyholders need the services of quality restoration contractors and great public insurance adjusters. Recently, Hurricane Ida has led to a number of public adjusters asking for advice about doing work in Louisiana. I tell public adjusters “do not do business as usual and do not have a contingent agreement.
Continue Reading Louisiana Public Adjusters Should Not Have Any Form of a Contingent Agreement

As a Merlin Law Group Texas attorney, I have the distinct privilege of working directly with Rene Sigman, the Regional Litigation Manager running the firm’s Texas operation. As a mentor, Rene has gone above and beyond to show me the complex ropes for handling first-party property insurance cases in Texas. Rene’s unparalleled work ethic coupled with her passion for our clients’ best interest was more than apparent recently when we recovered multiple favorable settlements for commercial and residential policyholders. During this time, we noticed something interesting about one of the insured’s contracts with her public adjuster. The contract was incomplete and did not comply with the Texas Administrative Code, which governs public insurance adjuster contracts.
Continue Reading Texas Public Insurance Adjuster Contract Requirements

Public adjusters serve a critical ally to policyholders throughout the claim adjustment process. In Nevada, public adjusters are regulated under the provisions of chapter 684A of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and chapter 684A of the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC).1 The Nevada Division of Insurance outlines what is required of public adjusters in the Silver State.
Continue Reading Nevada Public Adjuster Requirements and Regulations

Public adjusters cannot practice law. Every state in the union has this restriction. Every public adjuster should read Merlin Law Group attorney Larry Bache’s 2014 post, The Big Don’t for Public Adjusters: Practicing Law Without a License. He noted:

[I]t is clear that a Texas licensed public adjuster is authorized to negotiate claims on behalf of policyholders on a contingent basis. However, a public adjuster should not argue existing case law or statutes and make clear to the policyholder that an attorney may be needed if a dispute over coverage manifests itself.

The most common example that I see is a public adjuster citing case law in letters to the carrier. Even worse, I have seen public adjusters disagreeing with an attorney’s application of a case in writing. This will get a public adjuster in trouble.
Continue Reading Public Adjusters Who Write Civil Remedy Notices Can Lose Their Licenses

Note: This guest post is by Brian S. Goodman. Brian is a partner at the Baltimore law firm of Goodman & Donohue, LLC. He is also General Counsel to NAPIA.

As a guest blogger for Chip Merlin, I am honored to write a bit about the history and purpose of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA), an organization for which I have served as General Counsel for over two decades.
Continue Reading The History of NAPIA and Its Importance to the Public Adjusting Profession