Public Adjusters as Appraisers–How Interested are the Disinterested?

I’m sure it’s just me, but…it often seems like the courts spend disproportional amounts of time litigating the obvious.

Case in point. The appraisal clause in most homeowner’s policies is constructed to resolve disputes regarding the amount of a claim.  This article examines the absurdity of allowing Public Adjusters (PA’s) to act as both a “disinterested” appraiser while also being paid a contingency fee by the policyholder. (See NOTE #1 below)

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SEAN SHAW… for which people?!

Sean Shaw, a Democrat from Tampa and Florida’s former Insurance Consumer Advocate (ICA) now favored to win the District 61 house seat (See Note #1 below), appears to have completely sold out.

True. His leanings were never much in question. Even as the ICA he pushed for free access to “Citizens”, meaningless sound-bite regulations like Insurer Report Cards and subsidies over sound premiums. The Charlie Crist Plan.

Occasionally dispensation is due statewide advocates representing inland policyholders and wealthy coastal homeowners simultaneously.

But, not anymore. Not for Shaw. [Read more…]

PA’s & Claim Inflation…it happens!

After my May 28 post titled “PA’s & Chip Merlin; “…until proven guilty!” I was contacted by a Miami public adjuster. He was “fed up” with his “entire profession.” He wanted to quit and do something else.

He talked about fraud and corruption. He spoke of fancy cars PA’s drive and how they couldn’t afford them if they acted ethically. He talked about how fraud is motivated by exorbitant contingency fees subtracted from amounts otherwise due the claimant.

Except for the anecdote on “fancy cars” I thought he was reading from one of my blogs. [Read more…]

PA’s & CHIP MERLIN; “…until proven guilty!”

Despite declining ranks, a decade of reform and record level prosecutions, news of dishonest public adjusters hasn’t abated.  Prompting one subscriber to comment on my “failure” to report recent arrests.  A bit strong I thought. Frequency, after all, can jeopardize classifying some occurrences as news.  Besides most public adjusters are honorable. [Read more…]

Public Adjusters…fee caps & red herrings!

Red herring, definition: noun; from the practice of drawing a red herring across a trail to confuse hunting dogs;  something that distracts attention from the real issue; something unimportant that is used to stop people from noticing or thinking about something important. [Read more…]

Policyholder Rights & a 10% PA fee cap!

You’ve read my posts on the abuse of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) by emergency remediators, contractors, roofers,  Emerging legislative shenanigans might be better understood if you read them again–especially one titled “Another Rip-Off”.  [Read more…]

PA FEE’S…Florida Consumers pay too much!

I’m sure you picked up on it. The proposed 15% cap on public adjuster (PA) fee’s in HB-743 is precisely midpoint between the existing 20% for non-catastrophic claims and 10% for catastrophe claims. (See NOTE #1 below)

The archetypal compromise. Between some PA’s and some insurer’s avoiding a fight by agreeing to reduce a cap they both know is too high–the highest in the entire United States. [Read more…]

Public Adjusters Fee’s… consumer advocates fail consumers!

Improving legal or regulatory landscapes often requires a careful survey.  Who wants to change?  What change do they want?  And, the always elusive political query… who is willing to go on the record one way or the other?

Such is the case with Florida’s statutory cap on public adjuster fee’s. [Read more…]

PA Contingency Fee’s–NAPIA Responds

Response to my last post alleging that Florida’s contingency fee system for public adjusters is the “quintessential moral hazard” generated more than the usual commentary; all of it expected and much of it worthy of exploration.  None, however, was more worthy than a four page letter from the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) penned by Brian S. Goodman, General Counsel. [Read more…]

Contingency Fees–A Moral Hazard?

Last week I participated in a panel discussion at a conference of carrier claim representatives; The Sunshine Claims Conference. Before, during, and after the program panel, I had numerous informal discussions about general insurance fraud–all of which eventually narrowed to comments about the public adjuster contingency fee system being  part of Florida’s problem. [Read more…]