The Department of Insurance is looking to change the way adjusting is done in Florida. Two weeks ago, I posted about the how problematic some of these proposed changes could be to the industry. On Thursday, May 9, 2013, the Department will have a hearing about the proposed changes. One of the changes our readers are concerned about is to the definitions of direct supervision of apprentice public adjusters. When the State started the apprentice program, many public adjusters sought clarification regarding requirements for supervising pubic adjusters and limits and restrictions imposed on apprentices. A need for clarification was obvious, but the proposed language change may not be what public adjusters had in mind.

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The Department of Insurance is looking to change the way adjusting is done in Florida. Rule changes to 69B-220.051 and 69B-220.201 have been proposed. Here is the summary from the Department:

The proposed changes to Rule 69B-220.051, F.A.C., clarify the responsibilities and requirements of public adjusters and public adjuster apprentices, define the terms “direct supervision” and “adjusting services,” specify the terms and conditions of public adjuster contracts, require the license number on advertisements, delete provisions that reiterate or paraphrase statutory materials, and prescribe practices to ensure fair dealing between public adjusters and claimants. The proposed changes to Rule 69B-220.201, F.A.C., update the code of ethics for all adjusters, delete provisions that reiterate or paraphrase statutory materials, and clarify the responsibilities and requirements of all adjusters.


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Two recent posts, The Current State of Appraisal and How Mutual Terms Can Prevent Appraisal and Ethics of Appraisers—Just Wishful Thinking? raise the question whether the appraisal process and appraisers should be regulated. In my speech at the Windstorm Insurance Conference last week, I predicted regulation was certainly coming because neither insurers nor policyholders should risk significant sums without some semblance of due process and fairness. Sometimes, appraisers take advantage of consumers.


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With 2013 just around the corner, many are looking forward to the start of a New Year, and we begin to make resolutions for 2013. If you are a public insurance adjuster getting ready to close out your business for the year, it is important to remember that staying organized and going paperless are great resolutions, but pursuant to the January 1, 2012, changes to Florida Statute 626.854, certain information needs to be retained from files opened in the past year.


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In an effort to get Super Storm Sandy claims handled faster, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order making it easier for out-of-state public insurance adjusters to work in New York and help policyholders with their Sandy claims. The goal of this executive order is to increase the number of qualified adjusters available to New Yorkers. Prior to this order, New York’s requirements for temporary public adjusting licenses were more extensive and time consuming than most other states.


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Last week, I discussed how Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations §2695 outlines time limits in California for an insurer when it comes to claims handling. This week, I am elaborating on this consumer friendly code section. When trying to figure out how long an insurer has to adjust a loss or respond to inquiries, this is the section of the Fair Claims Settlement Practice Regulations that an insured should review.


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This past week, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) settled an enforcement action against an insurer over claims handling practices from the November 2008 Sayre wildfire. The insurer charged with wrongdoing was New Hampshire Insurance Company (“New Hampshire”), a subsidiary of AIG. The Sayre fire burned in Sylmar, California, and was the eighth most damaging wildfire in California history in terms of structural damage. It destroyed over 600 structures.


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California is known to have consumer friendly laws when it comes to insurance. With all the codes and regulations, it’s good to know the California Department of Insurance (CDI) published "Fair Claims Settlement Practice Regulations" under Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations. Although Title 10 encompasses many facets, the regulations provide a concise time limit for claims handling.


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Professor Daniel Schwarcz has called for regulatory reform of the homeowners insurance market as noted in yesterday’s post, "Insurance Regulators and Lawmakers, Judges and Insurance Consumer Advocates Should Study Professor Daniel Schwarcz’s Work." Unlike many who point out problems with no suggested solutions, Professor Schwarcz offered simple solutions that would dramatically improve consumer protections in personal lines property and casualty insurance.


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