Insights from NAIC 2019 Summer Meeting
By: Jeff O’Connor, SPPA (Vice President)
Alex N. Sill Company, LLC
North America’s Leading Public Adjuster and Loss Consultant
I am very proud to have represented NAPIA at the recent NAIC 2019 Summer Meeting in New York. Our NAPIA team consisted of Ann Frohman, NAIC Liaison; Brian Goodman, General Counsel; Chris Aldridge, Vice President and myself as President. We had the opportunity to discuss issues involving first-party property claims with representatives from the Department of Insurance from many states. For instance, we discussed such issues including but not limited to:
- Updating the public adjusters model act
- Licensing in states not yet providing licenses
- Policy language excluding professional fees by public adjusters
- The unauthorized practice of public adjusting (UPPA)
- Assignments of benefits (AOB’s)
On Saturday evening we had the unique opportunity to make a presentation to the members of all the states that comprise the NE Zone (Maryland to Maine). We spoke about some of the myths surrounding public adjusting and our desire to work with each DOI to protect consumers from the abuses of UPPA & and AOB’s, the model act and other topics. Our audience was receptive and enthusiastic to our goals of promoting public adjusting and protecting policyholders and their right to achieve fair and equitable claim settlements.
You may have questions about several terms I have used, so below are some definitions and additional information that might help clarify:
The National Association of Public Adjusters (NAPIA) is the oldest and largest association of its kind in the United States serving the public adjuster profession. NAPIA was formed in 1951 to stimulate excellence in the practice of public adjusting and to ensure the best representation of the policyholder in the claims process. Its members have united to promote professional education, certifications and a rigid code of ethics and conduct.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the U.S.
Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting (UPPA) is when someone other than a licensed claims adjuster works on behalf of a policyholder to settle a first-party property insurance claim.
Assignment of Benefits (AOB) is an agreement that transfers the insurance claims rights or benefits of the policy to a third party. An AOB gives the third-party authority to file a claim, make repair decisions, and collect insurance payments without the involvement of the policyholder. In short, when used correctly AOB’s can be helpful with navigating the claims process, but if misused, it can lead to harmful consequences for the policyholder. AOB’s can be used to circumvent public adjuster licensing laws and result in UPPA.
NAIC Public Adjuster Model Act The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) develops model laws to provide a uniform basis from which all states can deal with regulatory issues. In 2005, NAIC and NAPIA worked together to develop Model Act 228 for Public Adjusters. Approximately 20 states have incorporated all or significant portions of the model act in their state regulations regarding public adjusters.
The NAIC has put together a video recap of the event with highlights of some of the major topics covered during the event as well as an overview from each of the committee’s sessions.
As part of NAPIA and leadership at the Sill Company, it was a great opportunity to represent the public insurance adjuster industry and play a part in the continued advancement and regulation to benefit insureds across the United States. If you are interested in learning more about NAIC or NAPIA email me today. To learn more about what Sill Company does and how a public adjuster can help you click here.