Changes to Florida’s Insurance, Public Adjuster Licensure Law Effective January 1, 2018

Jan 2, 2018

Public Adjuster, State Representative Sean Shaw

State Representative Sean Shaw

Effective January 1, 2018 as Chapter No. 2017-147, Laws of Florida, HB 911 relating to Insurance Adjusters has amended a Florida statute relating to insurance adjusters.

Originally sponsored by State Representative Sean Shaw, who also formerly served as Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, the new law eliminates licensure for public adjuster apprentices, substituting instead a requirement to be licensed as an all-lines adjuster and appointed as a public adjuster apprentice.  Further, it eliminates the all-lines adjuster temporary license, which is not currently used.

HB 911 also revises State requirements for public adjusters by:

  • Expressly prohibiting unlicensed public adjusting that is done directly or indirectly;
  • Deleting a provision of law related to contacting policyholders that was held unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court;
  • Excluding deductibles from the calculation of an adjuster’s fee; and
  • Reducing the time a public adjuster apprentice must be supervised before becoming eligible for licensure as a public adjuster.

Chapter 626, F.S., regulates insurance field representatives and operations.  Part VI of the chapter governs insurance adjusters.  HB 911 made numerous changes to part VI of ch. 626, F.S. applicable to adjusters to improve the efficiency of licensure and enforcement.

A legislative analysis of HB 911 is attached for review.

Of note, HB 925, which took effect on July 1, 2017, contained several adjuster-related facets, including:

  • A provision that a regular employee of an insurer may handle claims with respect to residential property when the sublimit coverage is less than $500;
  • That, upon a grant of a pardon or the restoration of civil rights, criminal offenses that would otherwise temporarily or permanently bar certain individuals or entities seeking licensure as an insurance agent, agency, or public adjuster do not automatically bar or disqualify the applicant.