A recent article in Insurance magazine, Florida bills offer a broad attack on insurance costs: legal fees, AOB, reinsurance, certainly raises the question of public adjusters on the chopping block during the next session of the Florida Legislature. The article noted:
Somewhat surprisingly, the measures do not address two factors that public officials and insurers have said are critical to curbing claims litigation and excessive claims settlement costs: limits on public adjusters and ways to make it easier for insurers to pay the actual cash value. , as opposed to replacement value, for damaged structures.
Florida Finance Director Jimmy Patronis and others have said Southwest Florida was virtually overrun by public adjusters just days after Hurricane Ian damaged thousands of homes in the area, and he called for lower fees adjusters can charge and for more prosecutions of those who breaking the law.
“Florida̵7;s problems are not going to be fully solved until you get public adjusters out of there,” Johnson said.
The question of the actual cash value was partially addressed in May, when lawmakers revised statutes that had required full replacement of roofs when only small parts were damaged.
The insurance industry gave Florida’s political leaders their dream piece of legislation, and the Republican-controlled Legislature is simply passing it without debate at this week’s special session. The question is what the industry will write for those Republicans next time because the Florida Republican Party and the Florida Insurance Industry seem to be in bed with each other.
For what it’s worth, I’m a registered Republican. I just don’t know what has happened to the Republican concept of criminal liability because the current Republicans in Florida leadership seem to have no sense of it when it comes to malpractice insurance companies.
The bottom line is that insurance lobbyists, the insurance media and Florida’s elected official responsible for overseeing public adjusters publicly state in advance that they will pass laws on public adjustment practices.
What type of legislation can be passed? One example is Delaware, which has a fee statute for public adjusters that states.
A licensee shall not charge the customer a fee in excess of 2.5% of the first $25,000 of the customer’s total insurance claim. A licensee may charge the client a fee of up to 12% of the amount of the client’s total insurance claim in excess of $25,000
My advice to public adjusters is to get active with the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters and the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. It is clear that the insurance industry is trying to make it financially impossible for policyholders to hire professional help so that policyholders are forced to take what is offered by the insurance company.
Community organizing is about building grassroots support. It’s about identifying the people around you with whom you can create a common, passionate cause. And it’s about ignoring the conventional wisdom of corporate politics and instead playing the game by very different rules.
– Tom Peters