The Florida Division of Monetary Companies (DFS) issued an Order dismissing a petition on whether or not people should be licensed as adjusters or public adjusters to be named appraisers to an insurance coverage appraisal. I beforehand wrote about this difficulty in Who Ought to Be Appraisers to an Appraisal Panel? NAPIA Takes a Stand. I additionally famous an insurance coverage trade chief agreed with my view in Jonathon Held Argues That Appraisers Ought to Not Have To Be Licensed Adjusters

The present DFS Order got here after a petition for declaratory reduction was filed by three teams searching for clarification about their educating that appraisers didn’t must be licensed. Certainly, not one state requires appraisers to carry an adjuster or public adjuster license.  

Residents Property Insurance coverage filed a movement to intervene within the motion. Residents argued that appraisers must be licensed adjusters or public adjusters. 

The Order dismissed the petition and Residents movement, stating partially: 

THIS CAUSE got here on for consideration upon receipt of a Petition for Declaratory Assertion Earlier than the Division of Monetary Companies (‘Petition’) from Windstorm Insurance coverage Community, the Insurance coverage Appraisal and Umpire Associates, and the Property Loss Appraisal Community (‘Petitioners’), acquired by the Division of Monetary Companies, Division of Insurance coverage Agent and Company Companies (‘Division’), on February 23, 2023. On March 21, 2023, Citizen’s Property Insurance coverage Company filed a Movement to Intervene in Petitioners’ Petition for Declaratory Assertion. 

Upon consideration of the Petition, and being duly suggested, the Division finds as follows:

1. The Division of Monetary Companies has jurisdiction over the subject material.

2. This denial is premised upon the assertions of reality set forth within the Petition. Any modification to these assertions of reality might alter the conclusions on this denial. Not one of the assertions of reality are admitted by the Division as being true and Petitioner’s questions are being answered as purely hypothetical.

[P]ursuant to Rule 28-102.001, Florida Administrative Code, ‘[a] petition for declaratory assertion could also be used solely to resolve questions or doubts as to how the statutes, guidelines, or orders could apply to a petitioner’s specific circumstances. A declaratory assertion just isn’t the suitable means for figuring out the conduct of one other individual.’…The questions posed by Petitioners search a declaration that may handle the conduct of many different unlicensed people working as appraisers, licensed adjusters appearing as appraisers, and entities that make use of both. The conduct of these third events just isn’t related to Petitioners’ specific set of circumstances set forth within the Petition. Furthermore, the Petition expressly implicates the conduct of a particular particular person not associated to Petitioners and their specific circumstances.

Accordingly, the Petition for Declaratory Assertion and Movement to Intervene are DENIED.

One unusual quirk is that I’ve attended tons of of insurance coverage claims seminars taught by attorneys and claims specialists about appraisal. But, no person has ever said that the legal guidelines require an appraiser to be licensed as an adjuster or public adjuster. I might hope these on the Division of Monetary Companies take into account this reality in the event that they intend to push ahead with prosecutions. I might have thought someone would have no less than raised the problem as a result of no lawyer I do know has ever hinted at this view of the legislation till the DFS raised the problem in a prosecution.  

The view expressed by the DFS in its prosecution just isn’t said in any guide, treatise, or seminar materials wherever. You’ll suppose specialists educating this topic of insurance coverage can be declaring that the insurers and policyholders partaking non-licensed individuals to behave as appraisers are aiding and abetting in legal conduct if the DFS place is right. 

The individual signing off on the Order for the DFS, Gregory Thomas, is definitely a discovered and skilled one who will need to have a ardour for seeing insurance coverage work. I discovered an article describing his appointment in 2011 as follows: 

CFO Atwater additionally appointed Gregory Thomas because the Director of the Division’s Division of Agent and Company Companies.  Mr. Thomas most not too long ago served because the Bureau Chief of Schooling, Advocacy and Analysis within the Division’s Division of Shopper Companies.  He has intensive expertise within the insurance coverage trade and holds six skilled designations in insurance coverage, together with Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and Chartered Life Underwriter.

Maybe these training claims and having data of the historical past of licensing legal guidelines for adjusters can have a frank dialogue with the DFS about why the insurance coverage claims trade has by no means required appraisers to carry an adjuster’s license. 

I will likely be speaking about this difficulty with Steven Badger and Bob Norton on the upcoming IAUA convention on June 7-8. Sadly, I feel it could be bought out, so these wishing to take a look at different IAUA occasions later this summer time. 

Thought For The Day 

I’m consistently making an attempt to take a look at issues from a unique view and to place myself into some new views to evolve myself, develop myself, and reinvent myself.

—Kali Uchis


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