How Does the New Senate Bill Change the Playing Field for Public Adjusters in Florida
What’s up, public adjusters!
This time we have a hot topic on our plate.
In this week’s blog post, you will read about my thoughts on changes brought about by the new senate bill here in Florida.
Specifically, public adjusters and homeowners now have to deal with;
👉 No more assignments of benefits.
👉 Attorney fees and costs are no longer covered by the insurance companies.
Most public adjusters and attorneys see the new senate bill as a negative occurrence.
And I can agree that the AOB was truly beneficial in the claim process, as well as attorney fees.
However, there are some positive aspects, or at least there are things you can do to secure your position in the industry.
Ready? Let’s dive into it!
But First, a Little Reminder About the AOB for New Public Adjusters
Feel free to scroll down to the following subheading if you are a seasoned public adjuster confident in your skills.
However, if you are a new kid on the block and don’t want to pass up an opportunity for improvement, here’s a bit more information on the AOB.
The AOB, or assignment of benefits, is a document that the homeowner signs to allow third-party contractors like roofers and water mitigation companies to seek their payment directly from the insurance companies.
The key here is the mitigation part.
A homeowner might need help from a mitigation company early in the insurance claim process.
But, without the AOB, the homeowner is responsible for paying that company instead of them seeking payment on their own.
Nothing changes in settlement amounts or estimates with the AOB gone.
However, the claim process becomes even more complicated for the homeowner.
And unnecessarily so.
Okay, with AOB behind us, let’s discuss the new senate bill.
You Will Notice Fewer Insurance Lawsuits in Florida
The new senate bill states that policyholders should cover attorney fees and costs, regardless of who wins the case.
As a result, the homeowners will now be very reluctant to take the claim to litigation.
Imagine if you had a $30 000 claim and you have to pay $5000 or more in attorney fees. And you also need to pay the public adjuster.
You are not left with much to get your house in order.
As a result, there will be fewer insurance lawsuits in Florida.
Which isn’t that bad, because there were too many lawsuits.
However, covering attorney fees and costs takes a significant toll on the homeowner, who is already having a hard time.
Many Attorneys Will Leave the Restoration Industry
Naturally, attorneys understand fewer claims will go to litigation, and many will leave the industry.
In other states with a similar law, attorneys only accept cases with estimates above $100 000, because anything less than that is not worth their time.
New Senate Bill Makes the Job Harder for Public Adjusters
Litigation was the last resort for many public adjusters. It was the ace in our sleeves.
If you tried everything, you show your documentation, you know your estimate is correct, you have support from other estimation experts, and it still doesn’t work, you go to litigation.
It happened to me a lot of times that an insurance company accepted my estimate just because I threatened to go legal.
Because, if the claim went legal, and the policyholder won, they would have to pay legal fees as well.
However, with our last resort taken from us, public adjusters will now have to find different solutions to make their arguments more credible to the insurance companies.
For example, upgrade your skills and get more certificates.
Many Public Adjusters Will Leave the Industry as Well
With AOB and attorney fees gone, the job will become more difficult for public adjusters.
Many will leave the restoration industry.
I already had quite a few such conversations.
And I understand their thinking process.
However, I am stuck here and not going anywhere.
So, instead of whining, I thought about what we can do to improve our chances of getting new claims and settling them successfully.
Well, we can get more certificates and licenses.
For example, you can get more IICRC certificates for inspection or repair, or both.
You can also get the HAAG licenses for residential and commercial roofs and water damage.
The more licenses you have, the more credible you appear to the policyholders and the insurance companies.
There are Benefits for Those that Remain Strong
Not everything is so gray. You just have to look at what is happening from a different angle.
I believe this bill will elevate the public adjusting industry.
With attorneys not taking as many cases, and many public adjusters leaving, there will be more work for those that stick around.
Clients will look for public adjusters even more because now we are the only ones that can help them.
It is still illegal for contractors to discuss policy and coverages with policyholders.
Therefore, public adjusters are the only ones who can help homeowners get the money they need to repair their homes.
What will also happen is that many shady public adjusters and attorneys hoping to prolong cases will have nowhere to go but out of the industry.
In my opinion, the new senate bill takes the restoration industry to a new level.
And public adjusters will still be needed, just in a slightly different capacity.
It’s time to take full control of your claims. Of your business. Of your life.
A community can help you get there faster. It can offer support during these tough times. Inspiration. Guidance.
Together, we can get you to where you want to be.
What are you waiting for?