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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXXVII
INSURANCE
Chapter 626
INSURANCE FIELD REPRESENTATIVES AND OPERATIONS
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F.S. 626.8796
626.8796 Public adjuster contracts; disclosure statement; fraud statement.
(1) All contracts for public adjuster services must be in writing in at least 12-point type, be titled “Public Adjuster Contract,” and prominently display the following statement on the contract in minimum 18-point bold type before the space reserved in the contract for the signature of the insured: “Pursuant to s. 817.234, Florida Statutes, any person who, with the intent to injure, defraud, or deceive an insurer or insured, prepares, presents, or causes to be presented a proof of loss or estimate of cost or repair of damaged property in support of a claim under an insurance policy knowing that the proof of loss or estimate of claim or repairs contains false, incomplete, or misleading information concerning any fact or thing material to the claim commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes.”
(2) A public adjuster contract relating to a property and casualty claim must contain the full name, permanent business address, phone number, e-mail address, and license number of the public adjuster; the full name of the public adjusting firm; and the insured’s full name, street address, phone number, and e-mail address, together with a brief description of the loss. The contract must state the percentage of compensation for the public adjuster’s services in minimum 18-point bold type before the space reserved in the contract for the signature of the insured; the type of claim, including an emergency claim, nonemergency claim, or supplemental claim; the initials of the named insured on each page that does not contain the insured’s signature; the signatures of the public adjuster and all named insureds; and the signature date. If all of the named insureds’ signatures 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 insureds. An unaltered copy of the executed contract must be remitted to the insured at the time of execution and to the insurer, or the insurer’s representative within 7 days after execution. A public adjusting firm that adjusts claims primarily for commercial entities with operations in more than one state and that does not directly or indirectly perform adjusting services for insurers or individual homeowners is deemed to comply with the requirements of this subsection if, at the time a proof of loss is submitted, the public adjusting firm remits to the insurer an affidavit signed by the public adjuster or public adjuster apprentice that identifies:
(a) The full name, permanent business address, phone number, e-mail address, and license number of the public adjuster or public adjuster apprentice.
(b) The full name of the public adjusting firm.
(c) The insured’s full name, street address, phone number, and e-mail address, together with a brief description of the loss.
(d) An attestation that the compensation for public adjusting services will not exceed the limitations provided by law.
(e) The type of claim, including an emergency claim, nonemergency claim, or supplemental claim.
(3) The public adjuster shall not receive compensation for services provided before the date the insured receives an unaltered copy of the executed contract or the date executed contract is submitted to the insurer. Proof of receipt by the insured and proof of submission to the insurer must be maintained by the public adjuster for not less than 5 years.
(4) The insured may rescind the contract for public adjuster services if the public adjuster has not submitted a written estimate to the insurer within 60 days after executing the contract, unless the failure to provide the written estimate within 60 days is caused by factors beyond the public adjuster’s control.
(5) The cancellation period for failure to provide a written estimate terminates on the date the estimate is provided.
(6) Before the signing of the contract, the public adjuster shall provide the insured with a separate disclosure document to be signed by the insured, on a form adopted by the department, regarding the claim process which accomplishes the following:
(a) Defines the following types of adjusters who may be involved in the claim process: company adjuster, independent adjuster, and public adjuster.
(b) Explains that the public adjuster is not a representative or employee of the insurer.
(c) Explains that the insured is not required to hire a public adjuster but has a right to do so.
(d) Explains that an insured has a right to initiate direct communications with the insured’s attorney, the insurer, the company adjuster, the insurer’s attorney, or any person regarding the settlement of the insured’s claim.
(e) Explains that the public adjuster’s salary, fee, commission, or other consideration to be paid to a public adjuster is the insured’s responsibility.
(f) Explains that the public adjuster is required to provide the insured an unaltered copy of the executed contract at the time of execution.
(g) Explains that if the contract was entered into based on events that are the subject of a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor, an insured or a claimant may cancel the public adjuster’s contract to adjust a claim without penalty or obligation within 30 days after the date of loss or 10 days after the date on which the contract is executed, whichever is longer.
(h) The public adjuster shall provide an unaltered copy of the executed disclosure document to the insured at the time of execution.
(7) A contract that does not comply with this section is invalid and unenforceable.
(8) The department may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section, including rules to adopt forms required by this section.
History.s. 18, ch. 2008-220; s. 80, ch. 2009-21; s. 9, ch. 2011-39; s. 47, ch. 2012-209; s. 10, ch. 2023-130.