Note: This guest post is by Brian S. Goodman. Brian is a partner at the law firm Baltimore in Goodman & Donohue, LLC. He is also the General Counsel for NAPIA.
As a guest blogger for Chip Merlin, I am honored to write a little about the history and purpose of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA), an organization I have served for. as general councilor for over two decades.
NAPIA was founded in 1951 by a group of visionaries who knew that the growing industry of adapting public insurance needed to become a profession with strict rules, a code of conduct and a cogent. governing philosophy. So they gathered at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1
What exactly is NAPIA doing to protect and promote the profession? To begin with, through our licensing work, public adjusters are now fully licensed in 46 of the 50 states plus DC. This is rising sharply from 15 years ago, when the state was only about 33. The profession is now recognized and accepted throughout the country, thanks in large part to our efforts to draft and implement NAIC Model Act No. 228 for public adjusters. That law, or any iteration of it, has been adopted as the license bill in 20 or so of the 46 licensing states. One cannot exaggerate its influence and significance for the profession.
Speaking of NAIC, NAPIA, through our amazing NAIC contact person Ann Frohman, attends all NAIC meetings and has a presence at the table. We are now in the "Room where it happens" with all state insurance commissioners and regulators for issues affecting the profession. While fifteen years ago the very idea of these many may have seemed like a nightmare, we now have a place at the table, and NAPIA trusts it as a resource for government insurance departments when they pass laws and deal with issues relevant to public adjusters. . Such recent editions include, but are not limited to, handling issues of unauthorized public adjustment (UPPA), benefit allocation (AOB), solicitation rules, and the like. I have spoken and spoken to various committees at NAIC, and if a problem arises in a particular state, NAPIA will no doubt have contacts with that state's insurance department to address any issues.
Throughout its history, NAPIA has also developed scholarly articles on relevant and hotkey issues that affect general adjustment. We have issued white papers on UPPA, evaluation and insurance terms excluding an insured's right to employ a public adjustment. The Cordish Competition at the University of Maryland School of Law, in honor of my predecessor, generates a scientific paper each year in an area relevant to public adjudicators. NAPIA's own code of ethics is contained in the Model Bill and has consequently been adopted in a number of state permit rules for public adjustment.
NAPIA has also written many amicus cards that address issues of appeal that arise that affect the profession. In recent years, these documents have been filed in many states, namely Texas, Colorado, Connecticut, and even the United States Supreme Court, on subjects as varied as UPPA, evaluation, matching statutes, and the like. We consider it our responsibility to analyze an issue on appeal, and if it has an impact on public adjusters on a national basis and / or affects the ability to practice this profession, we do our best to state our position in the Court of Appeal.
In addition to being a resource for government insurance departments, we are also a resource for our members across the country. Whether it's an interpretation of our statutes or ethical rules, or an opinion on an issue or assistance with a potential legal issue, NAPIA's mission is to protect and help the profession grow and to ensure that general adaptation is exercised in a correct and ethical manner. ways to benefit the profession and the insured our members help.
NAPIA is dedicated to the public adaptation profession, making public adjustment services available to policyholders. Public adjusters who want to improve their skills and protect their profession can join this link: www.napia.com