By Brian S. Goodman, Esq., NAPIA Counsel, PESSIN KATZ LAW, P.A Wednesday, February 20, 2013
It is now legislative season throughout the country and this means that NAPIA is busy on many fronts in numerous states dealing with legislative and regulatory issues to protect the Public Insurance Adjusting profession. There are always hot button issues, and this year is no different than most years. Here are a few:
1) SOLICITATION — A number of states have solicitation rules, and NAPIA in general will support these if they are reasonable. We will agree to and support reasonable hours restrictions, as are seen in some states, but we oppose restrictions that unfairly curtail access. We assisted in the recent Florida case which saw that state’s 48-hour solicitation ban after a loss declared unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court, and we are currently assisting to reverse a 36-hour ban in Maine, the only remaining state with such a ban.
2) FEE CAPS — Currently, 14 states impose reasonable fee caps of some sort on public adjuster contracts. As a policy, NAPIA does not advocate for fee caps. We prefer to see the markets determine the proper fee, knowing that NAPIA members adhere to high ethical standards in dealing with insureds and insurers. Our position has been and remains consistent. We do not advocate or lobby for fee caps. However, when caps are presented as a requirement by a state DOI or legislature, we accept them and work with regulators and legislators to assure that they are fair and reasonable to the profession and the consumer. For instance, when licensing was enacted in Mississippi post Katrina, the proposed legislative and DOI requirement was a 7 per cent fee cap. NAPIA worked with regulators in Mississippi to consider a higher cap, which ended up at 10 per cent. This is consistent with what we are doing now in other states.
3) RESCISSION — Some states have this — others do not. The standard in most states and under the NAIC Model Public Adjuster Act is 3 days, which is reasonable. We are working to see that this remains the standard.
In legislation and regulation, choices often must be made. NAPIA always does its best to assure that these choices are measured and consistent with the proper and ethical practice of public adjusting. We have been and remain the gold standard of the industry. As we work in the various states and with the NAIC, you can be proud that we are viewed this way due to our ethics and efforts.