The Client Advocate - What you think you are buying could cost you time and money

A recent visit with a homeowner who had the misfortune of dealing with a very bad fire in his home prompts me to write about folks who are out there selling what they may not be licensed or trained to do.

In this case, the homeowner said he had previously worked for a restoration contracting company. After the fire, he contacted his old employer who said they would help with his repairs and the adjustment of his claim. When he inquired about the services of a public adjuster he was told not to worry. They (the contractor) had a public adjuster working for them. Curious about whom that could be, especially since there are Florida State rules that you cannot do both contracting and public adjusting on the same job, we did a little a digging. Sure enough, there was a guy who briefly was a public adjusting apprentice who did not complete his apprentice ship requirements now listing himself as a “client advocate” on the contractor’s website.

I have seen some strange things in my years as a public adjuster and heard of a lot of made up titles, but “client advocate” is a new one.  If you are advocating for someone, it sure seems to me that there should be some oversight and professional licensing requirement. If anyone out there is aware of the “client advocate” profession, I would like to know the details and where to apply.

If you decide to involve yourself in property insurance matters in Florida, following the rules is critical. The Florida insurance market is a heavily regulated industry and adjusters are required to undergo a background investigation, testing, licensing, and continuing educating updates, just to mention a few of the regulatory oversights.

Meanwhile, this homeowner is living in a travel trailer in his driveway while he waits for his contractor friend and its “client advocate” to settle his claim. I wish him the best of luck!

If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or insurance claim experts.

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"On Property" Insurance Claim Tips Blog

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Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters, Inc.
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