Oklahoma Increases Public Adjuster Bond Amount

public adjuster bond

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law a bill increasing the required bond amount for public adjusters from $10,000 to $25,000. SB-439 is an amendment to the Insurance Adjusters Licensing Act and will become effective November 1, 2015. The bill also contained a number of added provisions for public adjusters to avoid license suspension or revocation:

  • failing to respond to inquires from the Department of Insurance within 30 days
  • forging someone’s name
  • obtaining a license through misrepresentation or fraud
  • committing any insurance unfair trade practices
  • having an adjuster license revoked or suspended in another state or province
  • failing to inform the Department of Insurance of a change of address, legal name or information submitted on application within 30 days
  • providing services as public adjuster, company adjustor or independent adjustor on same claim

Anyone guilty of any of the above or existing practices in the Insurance Adjusters Licensing Act can be subject of a fine up to $1,000 per violation. The bill also establishes that anyone acting as a public adjuster without an authorized license will be guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition to the violations explicitly mentioned, the legislation prohibits contract terms that induce the following:

  • allows public adjuster’s percentage fee to be collected before an insurance company has paid
  • requires insured to authorize an insurance company to issue a check solely in the public adjuster’s name
  • imposes collection costs or late fees
  • precludes any party from pursuing civil remedies

Finally, the bill includes a measure that prohibits public adjusters from charging more than 10% of the insurance settlement claim paid by the insurer on any claim resulting from a catastrophe. This bill aims to increase accountability among Oklahoma public adjusters and help protect insured victims of catastrophes.

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