Public Adjuster(s)…Raising of the Ire!

Legislatively speaking the last couple of years haven’t been good for Public Adjusters (PA’s).  New laws specifically restrict their activities, advertising, contracts with clients, their fee’s, dealings with companies and much more.

Their revenue’s may have taken even bigger hits from indirect changes that encourage consumers to drop sinkhole coverage or that eliminated the moral hazard created by the prohibition against replacement cost “hold back”, and, again…much more.  

But…the real ire raiser appears to be the provision in SB-408 that limited their fee’s for Citizens claims to 10% of the difference between the original offer and the final payment.

In my post “Good for the Goose, Great for the Gander”, I suggested this concept should be expanded to the private market as well–which, of course, contributed to even more raising of the ire.

The reason (for the ire) is simple, in my opinion.  The Citizens fee limitation is not only a cost saver for consumers but, it’s hard to argue against.  While I’m sure they’ll find a way, how do you argue against being paid based on the value you brought to the consumer rather than on an amount the consumer was going to be paid even if you didn’t intervene?

Anyway, one PA, Frank Fortson  with Tutwiler & Associates out of Palm City, not only took umbrage with my comments but took time to share it with me in writing.

In addition to accusing me of being on the take for Citizens (can’t wait till Citizens staff hears that one) he put words in my mouth; namely, that I said “…carriers do no wrong”.

He also took pot shots at Citizens, suggesting unethical, maybe even illegal activity with…

“I’ve even read internal emails from your beloved Citizens Property Insurance instructing the independent adjuster to cut the carrier’s contractor estimate by 75%!!”

I thought I’d reproduce what Mr. Fortson had to say about me, the adjusting profession, company adjusters, “my beloved Citizens” and more, so you can respond by telling me what you think about what he said, or better… what public adjusters are/were doing that caused all these new laws to be passed in the first place.

If you want to respond directly to Mr. Fortson, that’s fine. He graciously included his email address below. Or,  if you prefer to remain anonymous just enter your comments at the end of this blog.

Mr. Johnson:

You’re obviously reporting from a biased perspective. It is apparent that you’ve not sat across from insured’s who have been victimized by their carrier.

Accused of crimes they didn’t commit in an attempt to void their claims. Low-balled on the repairs to their property. Stiff-armed in an effort to settle a claim for less than is required to repair. These are some of the issues we face daily as we sit at makeshift tables in the damaged insured properties.

I have enough stories to fill a book on the treatment insured’s endure when they file a legitimate claim. I won’t get into specifics of the individual claims, but there are egregious actions taking place daily, and if you believe, as you espouse that the carrier’s do no wrong. And that the Public Adjuster is simply there to take the insured’s money, then sir you are truly misguided.

Maybe you are paid for the information you write, and expected to demonize public adjusters. I don’t know your agenda other than what I read on your website, which appears to be biased to a degree that I’ve only seen with some of the adjusting I previously alluded to.

Claims adjusting has drastically changed in the last few years. Independent adjusters are neither “independent” nor “adjusters” anymore. Most are reduced to picture taking and information gathering ; then, they are ultimately sacrificed by the carrier’s they serve. I’ve worked with some very proficient adjusters who have been used and abused by the carrier’s they represent, in an organized ruse to deceive their insured. 

Now adjusting is done by an examiner or committee in another city, with the photos and information supplied by the independent adjuster. It is all about the bottom line.

I have a great deal of respect for many of the Independent and Company adjusters who attempt to complete their duties of adjustment, only to have the carrier insist they negotiate the damage amount by half!

I’ve even read internal emails from your beloved Citizens Property Insurance instructing the independent adjuster to cut the carrier’s contractor estimate by 75%!!

Why would they do this? Greed?

Or maybe Citizens did this to pay you to write your half truths that may be considered fiction by some!


Frank G. Fortson, Licensed Public Adjuster


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