Notice to All Public Adjusters and Apprentices
Declaration of Emergency - Executive Order 14-144
On April 30, 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 14-144, declaring a state of emergency for the following Florida counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty, Franklin, Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy, and Alachua. A copy of the executive order can be found here: Executive Order 14-144 - Emergency Management-Severe Weather and Flash Flooding.
The Division of Agent and Agency Services' Bureau of Investigation reminds public adjuster licensees of the following important laws related to adjusting claims located in the counties named in the Executive Order during a state of emergency declared by the Governor:
- Section 626.854, Florida Statutes, provides specific direction regarding fees and the insured's right of cancelation of a public adjusting contract.
- Subsection (7) provides that during any state of emergency as declared by the Governor and for one year after the date of loss, the insured or claimant has five business days after the date on which the contract is executed to cancel a contract for public adjusting services. The five day cancellation period applies to only those contracts related to damages from this recent heavy weather event.
- Subparagraph (11)(b)1 states that a public adjuster may not charge, agree to, or accept any compensation, payment, commission, fee, or other thing of value in excess of ten percent of the amount of insurance claim payments made by the insurer for claims based on events that are the subject of a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor. This provision applies to claims made during the year after the declaration of emergency.
- Section 626.8796, Florida Statutes, provides additional information regarding public adjusting contracts:
- Subsection (2) states in part: "An unaltered copy of the executed contract must be remitted to the insurer within 30 days after execution."
Note: The requirement to provide the insurer with an unaltered copy of the contract is also a requirement for non-emergency claims.
Please govern yourself accordingly.
You may direct any questions you have regarding this to askDFS@MyFloridaCFO.com.
Updated May 2, 2014