Hot Topics — Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting

There are lots of hot topics in the insurance claims industry, but none is hotter than the unauthorized practice of public adjusting (“UPPA”) performed by roofers and contractors. Other than attorneys, licensed public adjusters are the only type of claim specialist who can represent an insured concerning an insurance claim.

After a catastrophe, homeowners are particularly susceptible to fraud and are searching for real help. Public adjusters are claim experts and work exclusively for the policyholder. Unfortunately, it has become more and more popular for what we call storm chasers – unsavory contractors, roofers, and others – to flood into an area after a catastrophe hits. Not that all contractors and roofers do this, but, like every other profession, there are always the bad apples.

These guys promise they will work with the insurance company to obtain the best settlement possible on the claim and will also do the rebuild/repair to the damaged property. Contractors with obvious conflicts of interest, much of which is not disclosed, target property owners who just don’t know any better and just want to expedite the settlement and payment of their claims.

Those contractors feel like they can settle claims faster than a public adjuster. The truth is, they may be able to get the claim settled quicker, but that usually means they have to compromise on the amount being paid to get the deal done. When a contractor or other tradesman attempts to act as a public adjuster, without being licensed to do so, this IS the unauthorized practice of public adjusting and is knowingly breaking the law.

Licensed public adjusters are regulated and undergo training, examination, and certification. They also are subject to ongoing state oversight and must keep up with some continuing education requirements as well. directs the insured not only to the licensed public adjusters in your state and immediate area, but also directs you to an entire industry of claim professionals whose purpose is resolving claims for the insured.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official policy or position of any agency. Suggestions and advice provided in this writing are for informational purposes only.