Hurricane season brings about a time of uncertainty regarding financial, as well as physical safety. Unfortunately, those in Florida know first-hand that a powerful storm can cause catastrophic property damage. Once the hurricane is over, the process of damage assessment and clean-up begins. A public adjuster can be an invaluable ally when it is time to assess the damage and rebuild.
Public adjusters are defined as any person, aside from an attorney, who, for money, commission, or any other thing of value, prepares, completes, or files an insurance claim form for an insured individual. The term can also refer to someone who acts on behalf of a third-party claimant in negotiating the settlement of a claim. They are insurance professionals who are not associated with an insurance company and are instead hired by insured individuals to help with all aspects of the claims process.
Unlike public adjusters, independent adjusters represent an insurance company and will not work for a private customer. Independent adjusters focus work in the best interests of the company they represent, as opposed to customers, which is why public adjusters are so important to the general public when disaster strikes.
The Florida Department of Financial Services requires public adjusters to meet several requirements prior to obtaining a license.
Licensed Florida public adjuster checklist:
Florida public adjusters have to provide a number of materials when applying for a Florida public adjuster license. Any individual looking to work as a Florida public adjuster will need to meet the following requirements before handling insurance claims:
- Provide proof in the form of a driver’s license, state-issued ID, or birth certificate showing the individual is at least 18 years old
- Be a resident of Florida or maintain a principal business location, such as headquarters, in Florida
- Be a United States citizen or legal alien who possesses a work authorization from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Services
- May not hold a resident license in another state
- Hold a license in this state as an all-lines adjuster, and be appointed on a continual basis for the previous 6 months as a public adjuster apprentice, as an independent adjuster, or as a company employee adjuster
- File a $50,000 public adjuster surety bond, using the Department’s bond form, DFS-H2-72
How much does it cost to apply for a license?
There are several fees associated with obtaining a Florida public adjuster license:
- $50 application fee
- $5 license ID fee
- $45.80 fingerprint fee
- $42 state examination fee
The cost of a Florida public adjuster bond is $500 for $50,000 of coverage, meaning the total cost to apply for a license is $642.80. However, applicants may be exempt from the $50 fee if they or their spouse are members of the United States Armed Forces, or if they have retired from the military within the last 24 months.
More information on additional fees that vary from applicant to applicant can be found by visiting theDivision of Insurance Agent and Agency Services website.
Where should the license application be submitted?
Applicants will need to submit their Florida public adjuster applications to the Department of Financial Services’ Bureau of Licensing online portal. The applicant will also need to mail their surety bond and employment records to the Bureau of Licensing at the following address:
Department of Financial Services
Bureau of Licensing, Room 419
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0319
Where do I get a Florida public adjuster surety bond?
If you’re ready to purchase a Florida public adjuster bond, visit SuretyBonds.com! Your $50,000 bond can be purchased instantly online for just $500—no underwriting required. You can also speak to a surety expert 7am-7pm CST, Monday-Friday by calling 1 (800) 308-4358.