Florida Statutes Regulating Public Adjusters
Important changes have been made to the Florida Statutes regulating the
business of public adjusters in the past couple of years. Below are some
that are the most important, including ones that became effective January 1,
Customer and Insurer Contact
- Public adjusters may not solicit an insured or claimant except on Monday
through Saturday and only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- Public adjusters must provide the claimant or insured a written estimate of
the loss to assist them in the submission of a proof of loss or any other claim
for payment of insurance proceeds. This estimate must also be available to the
insurer or department should they request a copy. The written estimate must be
maintained in the public adjuster's records for at least 5 years.
- The law states that company adjusters, independent adjusters, attorneys,
investigators, or others acting on behalf of the insurer must give the insured,
claimant, public adjuster or legal representative of the insured at least 48
hours notice that they need access to the damaged property. The insured or
claimant can waive this notice.
- Public adjusters must provide prompt notice to an insurer for which the
public adjuster is handling the claim for a claimant or insured. In addition to
the notice, a public adjuster must include a copy of the contract; ensure the
property is available for inspection and that the insurer has an opportunity to
interview the insured directly about the loss. A public adjuster's actions must
not obstruct or prevent an insurer or company adjuster or other person acting on
behalf of the insurer from having reasonable access to the insured, claimant or
the insured property. If a public adjuster is unavailable and it would delay the
insurance company's timely inspection of the damaged property, the public
adjuster or the insured must allow the insurer access to the property without
the public adjuster or insured's participation.
- The Florida Supreme Court issued a ruling on July 5, 2012, finding that the ban on solicitation by public adjusters during the first 48 hours after a loss is unconstitutional. The ruling can be found on the Court’s website by clicking here.
Due to this ruling, the Department can no longer enforce subsection 626.854(6), Florida Statutes.
- A public adjuster may not charge a fee unless a written contract was
executed prior to the payment of a claim.
- A public adjuster can contract with a Citizens policyholder at any
time allowed by law but is prohibited from charging, receiving or
collecting any fee or other compensation based on the amount of the
original offer actually paid by Citizens. A public adjuster cannot
charge more than 10% of any amount paid in excess of the originally offered
amount by Citizens. [See ss. 627.351(6)(a), F.S.]
- Public adjusters are prohibited from charging more than 20 percent
of the insurance claim payment on claims not based on a declared emergency and 10 percent
of the insurance claim payment on claims based upon a declared emergency for claims made
during the first year after the declaration of the emergency. These fee
caps apply only to residential property insurance policies and
condominium association policies as defined in s. 718.111(11), F.S., that are
not issued by Citizens.
- The fee cap on re-opened or supplemental claims is 20% of the
claim, excluding the 10% caps mentioned above; however, the fee cannot be based on any payments made by the
insurer to the insured prior to the time of the public adjuster
- An insured or claimant can cancel a contract with a public adjuster without penalty or obligation within 3 business days after the date it was executed or within 3 business days after the date the insured or claimant notified the insurer of the claim, whichever is later.
- The adjuster's contract must disclose to the insured or claimant his or her right to cancel the contract and advise the notice of cancellation must be submitted in writing and sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or other form of mailing which provides proof, to the public adjuster's address specified in the contract.
- However, during any state of emergency as declared by the Governor and for a period of 1 year after the date of loss, the insured or claimant will have 5 business days after the execution date to cancel a contract with a public adjuster.
- Public adjuster contracts must be in writing and must display an anti-fraud statement.
- A public adjuster contract related to a property and
casualty insurance claim must contain the full name of the public adjuster and
public adjusting firm, the business address, license number, and other specified
- There are several important statutory changes pertaining to
contracts made by public adjusters:
- Must state the type of claim, including an
emergency claim, non-emergency claim or supplemental claim.
- Requires the signatures of all named insureds.
- If the signatures of all named insureds are not
available, the public adjuster must submit an affidavit signed by the
available named insureds attesting that they have authority to enter
into the contract and settle all claim issues on behalf of the named
- An unaltered copy of the contract must be remitted
to the insurer within 30 days after execution. This means the contract
provided to the insurer must also contain the agreed upon fee
- Subsection 627.706(5), F.S., was created to limit the time period a policyholder can present an initial, supplemental or reopened claim under an insurance policy that provides sinkhole coverage. Under this subsection, these claims are barred unless notice was given to the insurer in accordance with the terms of the policy within 2 years after the policyholder knew or reasonably should have known about the sinkhole loss.
Section 626.854, Florida Statutes]
Revised July 10, 2012