Policyholders must beware of roofers and contractors acting as insurance adjusters
A rising problem that we in the public adjusting profession have been dealing with for years seems to finally have caught the attention of Florida officials. That is, the practice of insurance adjusting without a license by roofers and restoration contractors who sometimes are also unlicensed. A recent article, Illegal for roofers to act as insurance adjusters, experts warn perfectly illustrates the growing problem that takes advantage of homeowners who are in a stressful situation trying to repair their property and get a fair settlement. Hats off to Nancy Dominquez of The Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters who states, “when you have individuals or companies trying to convince homeowners that their contracting or roofing license permits them to handle insurance claims, that's incorrect. Not only is it incorrect, it's against the law.”
The issue has gotten so bad, that the Florida Department of Insurance has even issued a Contractor Warning about the requirement to handle insurance claims. Sarasota County law enforcement even set up a sting operation recently, Sarasota sting operation targets unlicensed contractors and more operations like this are sure to follow.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Most of the contractors and roofers we deal with are ethical businessmen who understand their role in the insurance claim process. When we work together along with the insurance company, the homeowner wins and in the majority of cases any claims disputes can and are settled out of court. But as they say, a few bad apples can spoil it for the entire bunch just as we have seen in the Public Adjusting profession.
Cracking down on unlicensed contractors is a step in the right direction. But policyholders with insurance claims need to be educated by their insurance carriers, the media, consumer organizations and adjusters alike. This is especially true during large storm events when policyholders are most vulnerable. Let’s help the policyholders make informed decisions so they can get their claims settled and move on with their lives.
Finally, the enforcement of the unlicensed practice of public adjusting rest solely in the hands of both elected officials and career services folks in the various local and state offices that have jurisdiction and responsibility to enforce the rules, regulations, and laws of the State. As we have seen, some have stepped up from time to time and others need to. When illegal practices are allowed, it sends a message and encourages others all to the determent of the hard working insurance premium paying policyholder.
Let us know what you think.
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.