The report (No. 10-06), released yesterday, shows that consumers working with public adjusters received 747 percent higher compensation for claims filed in 2008 and 2009 related to the 2005 hurricanes. For non-catastrophe claims (those not related to a declared state of emergency), policyholders received 574 percent higher compensation when working with public adjusters.
“This report definitively shows that public insurance adjusters play a vital role in making sure that Florida consumers receive full and fair compensation on their insurance claims,” said Lenny Bauman, president of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA). “Public insurance adjusters are the only individuals licensed by the State of Florida to represent the insured and assist clients with estimating, documenting and filing insurance claims.”
To compile the comprehensive report, OPPAGA examined 14,997 catastrophe claims filed between March 2008 and June 2009 related to the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes, and 61,324 non-catastrophe claims during those same months.
The report shows that policyholders who used public adjusters for non-catastrophe claims received an estimated $9,379, compared to $1,391 for those who did not use a public adjuster. For catastrophic claims related to the 2005 hurricanes, the numbers were $17,187 and $2,029, respectively.
“We were glad to see that the report further shows a low occurrence of complaints or regulatory actions involving public adjusters, which is reflective of the strict ethical requirements in our industry,” said Bauman.
The report also compared regulation of public insurance adjusters in Florida to other states, and found that Florida’s public adjuster licensing requirements “appear to be similar to or more stringent than those of other states.”
“We have worked closely with the Florida Legislature to ensure that licensing requirements demand high professionalism of adjusters,” said Bauman. “This report shows that this has been achieved, and that further regulation is unnecessary.”
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FAPIA was founded in 1993, and consists of nearly 500 members and associate members who join together to protect the interests of insured homeowners and businesses who have suffered an insurance loss. Where company and independent adjusters represent the insurance companies, Public Adjusters represent the Insured. The association is based in Maitland, Fla., and its members are located everywhere from the Panhandle to the Keys.