Reminder to Comply with Florida’s New Adjusting Firm License Requirement
Jan 19, 2022
By Wes Strickland, Shareholder & Michael Billmeier, Partner
During the 2021 legislative session, Section 626.112 of the Florida Insurance Code was amended by Senate Bill 1598 to create a requirement that any entity may not act as an adjusting firm unless it obtains an adjusting firm license for each place of business at which it engages in an activity that may be performed only by a licensed insurance adjuster. This means that any entity that employs Florida-licensed adjusters needs to obtain an adjusting firm license. It is important to note that this license requirement applies to a managing general agency even if the entity has a grandfathered managing general agency license or an agency license with a managing general agent appointment in Florida. Further, there is no exemption for managing general agencies or claims adjusting firms that are affiliated with licensed insurers. All such entities must obtain the adjusting firm license if they employ Florida-licensed adjusters who perform adjusting services.
The law became effective June 16, 2021, but the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) did not implement the adjusting firm licensing process until November 18, 2021. DFS subsequently issued a bulletin to licensed adjusters confirming that entities that employ licensed adjusters will have 180 days from November 18, 2021 to comply with the new license requirement. After 90 days, beginning February 16, 2022, DFS will start reviewing adjusting firms for compliance with the licensing requirement. After 180 days, May 17, 2022, DFS may open formal investigative cases against any adjusting firms not in compliance with the licensing requirement.
There is no license application fee, and the license is perpetual if a primary adjuster is designated. Further information and links to the licensing application for company or independent adjusters can be found here.
If an adjusting firm has multiple locations, please note that a “branch place of business” is not required to be licensed if:
- It transacts business under the same name and federal tax identification number as the licensed adjusting firm;
- It has designated with the department a primary adjuster operating the location; and
- The address and telephone number of the branch location have been submitted to the DFS within 30 days after insurance transactions begin at the branch location.
If you have any questions, please call Wes Strickland or Michael Billmeier at (850) 577-0398 or by e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.