Public Adjuster Licensing
The public adjusting profession has changed and grown over the last few years. Public adjusting firms are becoming more common and accepted in the international adjusting and risk management community. Following the tragedy of 9-11 and other catastrophic events, our National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) initiated effort to create a national licensing bill that would create a model licensing bill for state insurance commissioners to use as they implemented public adjuster licensing laws in their state. Working alongside the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), NAPIA, continues to work together to establish these laws.
Many states, (including most recently, the state of Texas), implemented public adjusting licensing laws. The provisions of these laws are to set forth background checks, testing, financial bonding and continuing education requirements for the public adjuster. In Texas, as enforced through the Texas Department of Insurance, the law seeks to create better protection for the public and improve the professionalism and experience level of those that hold themselves out as public adjusters in the state.
Many other states and countries have similar licensing laws. Make certain that anyone approaching you after a loss presents his or her license before speaking with you. By ensuring the individual is licensed, you should be comfortable that your public adjuster is a licensed professional and fully qualified to perform the service promised to you.
It should be noted that while there may be a restoration company or contractor that will tell you they will handle your claim, in licensed states, they are prohibited from this practice. It is clear, in the laws of the State of Texas, that a public adjuster may not participate or engage in the reconstruction of damaged property when they are acting as a public adjuster in the claim. Furthermore, a contractor is prohibited from being a public adjuster if they are hired to rebuild the property. To engage in both is against the law and is clearly a conflict of interest. And, the contractor is not a licensed adjuster, use your contractor to rebuild your property, not as a consultant in an area they are unfamiliar. Finally, your insurance company representatives will ignore any individual handling a claim on your behalf if they do not produce an approved retainer for service, including language required by law, with license numbers on the document.
Many states offer on-line license verification through their respective insurance departments. To verify if someone is a licensed adjuster and is authorized to solicit you and/or adjust a claim on your behalf please visit these sites: