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Do Public Adjusters have a Code of Ethics that they must follow?


Adjusters and Public Adjusters - Claims Handling, Code of Ethics
Yes; the following applies to all types of adjusters:
  • Public adjusters are held to a Code of Ethics; do you know what that entails?An adjuster must put fair and honest treatment of the claimant above their own interests;
  • An adjuster cannot steer any claimant needing repairs or other services to any person with whom the adjuster has an undisclosed financial interest or who is anticipated to provide the adjuster with any compensation for the referral for any resulting business;
  • An adjuster should not provide any favored treatment to any claimant;
  • An adjuster must adjust claims strictly in accordance with the insurance contract;
  • An adjuster must not approach investigations, adjustments, and settlements in a manner prejudicial to the insured;
  • An adjuster must make truthful and unbiased reports of the facts making a complete investigation;
  • An adjuster must act with dispatch and due diligence in achieving a proper disposition of the claim;
  • An adjuster must report to the Department any conduct by a licensed insurance representative of this state which violates any provision of the Insurance Code or Department rule or order;
  • An adjuster must exercise extraordinary care when dealing with elderly clients to make sure they are not disadvantaged by failing memory or impaired cognitive processes;
  • An adjuster cannot negotiate with a third-party represented by an attorney, if he has knowledge of the attorney. This does not apply to an insured or the insured’s resident relatives;
  • An adjuster is permitted to interview any witness without the consent of the opposing counsel or party. However, the adjuster must avoid any suggestion calculated to induce a witness to suppress or deviate from the truth. If the witness gives a signed or recorded statement and requests a copy the adjuster must provide a copy;
  • An adjuster cannot advise a claimant to refrain from seeking legal advice or retaining legal counsel;
  • An adjuster cannot negotiate with or obtain a statement from a claimant or witness at a time they would reasonably be expected to be, in shock or serious mental or emotional distress as a result of physical, mental, or emotional trauma associated with a loss;
  • An adjuster cannot conclude a settlement when the settlement would be disadvantageous to a claimant who has been traumatized or distressed by a loss; o An adjuster cannot give legal advice;
  • An adjuster must be competent and knowledgeable as to the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage; In addition to the above, the following ethical constraints are specific to Public Adjusters.
  • A PA cannot represent a person or entity whose claim the adjuster has previously adjusted while representing any insurer or independent adjusting firm;
  • A PA must not represent or imply to a client that insurers, company adjusters, or independent adjusters routinely attempt to deprive claimants of their full rights under an insurance policy;
  • A PA cannot represent or act as a company adjuster, independent adjuster, or general lines agent;
  • A PA must advise the client In advance, of their right of legal counsel to represent them and that the choice is to be made solely by them;
  • The PA must notify the client in advance of the name and location of any proposed contractor, architect, engineer, or similar professional, before a bid or proposal can be used by the public adjuster in estimating the loss or negotiating settlement. The client may veto any of these persons, in which case that person cannot be used in estimating costs;
  • The PA must make sure any contractor, architect, engineer, or other professional used in formulating estimates is licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation;
  • A PA cannot prevent or attempt to dissuade a claimant from speaking privately with the insurer, company or independent adjuster, attorney, or any other person, regarding the settlement of the claim;
  • A PA cannot have any interest in salvaged property, except with the written consent and permission of the insured;
  • A PA cannot accept referrals of business from persons whom the adjuster may conduct business or where there is any form of agreement to compensate the person for referring business to the adjuster. No Public Adjuster can compensate another person for the referral of business to them, except from one adjuster to another; this part of the rule has been added to F.S. 626.854(13);
  • A PA’s contract with a client can be cancelled by the client without penalty or obligation within 3 business days after the contract is executed; o A PA cannot enter into a contract or accept a power of attorney which gives them the authority to choose the persons who will perform repair work; and
  • A PA must not restrict or prevent an insurer, company adjuster, independent adjuster, attorney, investigator, or other person representing the insurer from having reasonable access at reasonable times to an insured or claimant or to the insured property that is the subject of a claim.
Bill Voss
Aggressive policyholder attorney that fights hard for his clients and won't stop until he wins.
If No Recovery No Fee Guarenteed

The Voss Law Firm, P.C. represents clients on a local, national and international basis. We proudly serve companies and individuals along the Gulf Coast and around the globe on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm collects nothing unless we recover on our client's behalf.

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