GA HB610 - Is our industry cooked?

Georgia just passed similar legislation to other states, stating that what “we do” is public adjusting without a licence. Those of you who are in states where this is old news, how have you coped? Does simply getting a public adjusters license keep you out of hot water?

Nope. Like other states, statute is clear that PA can’t have any role in construction…

152 (A) Any direct or indirect interest in or compensation by any construction firm, salvage
153 firm, building appraisal firm, storage company, or any other firm or business entity that
154 performs any work in conjunction with damages incident to any loss which the adjuster
155 has been contracted to adjust;
156 (B) Any direct or indirect participation in the reconstruction, repair, or restoration of
157 damaged property that is the subject of a claim adjusted by the adjuster or disclosure
158 of any other activities that may be reasonably construed as a conflict of interest,
159 including a financial interest in any salvage, repair, construction, or restoration of any
160 business entity that obtains business in connection with any claims that the public
161 adjuster has a contract or agreement to adjust; and
162 (C) Any direct or indirect compensation of value in connection with an insured’s
163 specific loss other than compensation from the insured for service as a public adjuster.

As usual, IP is incorrect. It varies state to state. Illinois, for example allows a contractor to also be a PA and work simultaneously in both roles on the same job.

Start getting your customers, the home owners more involved. This law doesn’t prevent you from meeting the adjuster at the inspection or providing them with your estimate. It doesn’t force the policy holder to get 3 bids and accept the low one. If you operate correctly, this law doesn’t prohibit you from being effective in the least.

[quote=“Authentic_Dad”]As usual, IP is incorrect. It varies state to state. Illinois, for example allows a contractor to also be a PA and work simultaneously in both roles on the same job.

[/quote]

Actually, I’m 100% correct and your answer is incomplete. He didn’t ask for a “state to state” analysis or the law in Illinois. He asked about Georgia. I gave him the correct answer for Georgia. I even pulled and quoted the statute.

And I didn’t say “Like all states”, I said “Like other states”, many of which have very similar language to what I quoted. You certainly know that.

Further, your statement of the law in Illinois is incomplete. Illinois does allow a PA to act as a contractor as well on a claim, but only if it is disclosed in the PA agreement.

Thus, in response to his specific question as to whether he can just get his PA license and avoid the new Georgia statute, he clearly can’t. In Illinois, he could but only so long as he discloses it in his PA agreement. Here’s the Illinois statute:

d) A public adjuster shall not have a direct or indirect financial interest in any aspect of the claim, other than the salary, fee, commission, or other consideration established in the written contract with the insured, unless full written disclosure has been made to the insured as set forth in subsection (g) of Section 1575.
(e) A public adjuster shall not acquire any interest in the salvage of property subject to the contract with the insured unless the public adjuster obtains written permission from the insured after settlement of the claim with the insurer as set forth in subsection (g) of Section 1575 of this Article.
(f) The public adjuster shall abstain from referring or directing the insured to get needed repairs or services in connection with a loss from any person, unless disclosed to the insured:
(1) with whom the public adjuster has a financial interest; or
(2) from whom the public adjuster may receive direct or indirect compensation for the referral.
(g) The public adjuster shall disclose to an insured if he or she has any interest or will be compensated by any construction firm, salvage firm, building appraisal firm, board-up company, or any other firm that performs any work in conjunction with damages caused by the insured loss. The word “firm” shall include any corporation, partnership, association, joint-stock company or individual as set forth in Section 1575 of this Article.
(h) Any compensation or anything of value in connection with an insured’s specific loss that will be received by a public adjuster shall be disclosed by the public adjuster to the insured in writing including the source and amount of any such compensation.

Whatever IP. It is clear you’re just as bad as CC except you have a completely opposing opinion. Since you’re accustomed to dealing with so many incompetent contractors, you apparently feel like the one eyed king in the land of the blind. Lack of objectivity equates to low intellect.

A professional construction business contractor wins as fair game a client that has an insurance claim.

How exactly does discussing and proving legally and ethically the established structural damage, make the contractor a “public adjuster” somehow?

How exactly does discussing and legally and ethically establishing safe and sound repair protocols, make a contractor a “public adjuster” somehow?

How exactly does the insured’s legally chosen contractors’ natural market acts of establishing the/their organic reconstruction costs, with an adjuster, make the contractor a public adjuster somehow?

IP and Authentic Dad - Acting “on behalf of the insured” is NOT in those legal and historical construction market business equations.

Intentionally representing in good faith an insured - and intentionally representing in good faith construction business market dynamics – is two clearly different things, legally and ethically.

Intelligently, and with ethically respectful dignity – Prove otherwise, or stop trying to prove otherwise.

Additionally - Does an adjuster trying to unfairly, illegally, and unethically force only default and averaged GC RCV Xactimate “pricing” - (Based on natural “360Value” GC RCV +10% profit premium dollars) - into a construction/insured consumer market – make them a de facto unlicensed and/or incompetent anti-competitive contractor somehow?

Equally important - Does an adjuster that intentionally, or otherwise, avoids or omits insureds GC RCV premium dollars naturally owed them in Actual Cash Value calculations – by way of promoting insurers post-underwriting contrived “one-three specialty trades”, or “damage repair complexity”, or "it’s not reasonably necessary to hire a general contractor " – “rules”, (so as to conceal natural insurable GC RCV loss value premium dollars owed back to insureds and/or their contractors), – make them party to insurers reaping of illegal windfall profits?
tdi.texas.gov/bulletins/1998/b-0045-8.html


14 HB 610/AP
H. B. 610

  • 1 -
    House Bill 610 (AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE)
    By: Representatives Williamson of the 115
    th
    , Brockway of the 102
    nd
    , Shaw of the 176
    th
    , and
    Hugley of the 136
    th
    A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
    AN ACT
    To amend Article 1 of Chapter 23 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
    1
    relating to agents, agencies, subagents, counselors, and adjusters, so as to provide for the
    2
    licensing and regulation of public adjusters; to provide for definitions; to provide for written
    3
    contracts; to provide for standard of conduct; to
    provide for penalties; to amend Code Section
    4
    33-63-3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annot
    ated, relating to guaranteed asset protection
    5
    waivers definitions, so as to expand the definition of guaranteed asset protection waiver to
    6
    include a contractual agreement wherein a creditor agrees for certain charges to cancel or
    7
    waive all or part of certain excess wear and use charges; to provide for related matters; to
    8
    provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
    9
    BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
    10
    SECTION 1.
    11
    Article 1 of Chapter 23 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to
    12
    agents, agencies, subagents, counselors, and ad
    justers, is amended by revising paragraph (13)
    13
    of subsection (a) of Code Section 33-23-1, relating to definitions, as follows:
    14
    "
    (13) ‘Public adjuster’ means any person who solicits, advertises for, or otherwise agrees
    15
    to represent only a person who is insured
    under a policy covering fire, windstorm, water
    16
    damage, and other physical damage to real and personal property other than vehicles
    17
    licensed for the road, and any such representation shall be limited to the settlement of a
    18
    claim or claims under the policy for damages to real and personal property, including
    19
    related loss of income and living expense losses but excluding claims arising out of any
    20
    motor vehicle accident, and who, for compensation on behalf of an insured:
    21
    (A) Acts or aids, solely
    in relation to first-party cl
    aims arising under insurance
    22
    contracts that insure the real or personal
    property of the insured, in negotiating for, or
    23
    effecting the settlement of, a claim for loss or damage covered by an insurance contract;
    24
    (B) Advertises for employment as a public adjuster of insurance claims or solicits
    25
    business or represents himself or herself to the public as a public adjuster of first-party
    26
    14 HB 610/AP
    H. B. 610
  • 2 -
    claims for losses or damages arising out of policies of insurance that insure real or
    27
    personal property; or
    28
    © Directly or indirectly solicits business,
    investigates or adjusts losses, or advises an
    29
    insured about first-party claims for losses or damages arising out of policies of
    30
    insurance that insure real or personal property for another person engaged in the
    31
    business of adjusting losses or damages covered by an insurance policy
    .

    32
    SECTION 2.
    33
    Said article is further amended in Code Section 33-23-1, relating to definitions, by revising
    34
    subsection (b) and by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
    35

    (b) The definitions of agent, subagent, counselor, and adjuster
    and counselor
    in
    36
    subsection (a) of this Code section shall not be deemed to include:
    37
    (1) An attorney at law admitted to practice in this state, when handling the collections
    38
    of premiums or advising clients as to insurance as a function incidental to the practice of
    39
    law or who, from time to time,
    adjusts losses which are incidental to the practice of his
    40
    or her profession;
    41
    (2) Any representative of ocean marine insurers;
    42
    (3) Any representative of farmers’ mutual fire insurance companies as defined in
    43
    Chapter 16 of this title;
    44
    (4) A salaried employee of a credit or character reporting firm or agency not engaged in
    45
    the insurance business who may, however, report to an insurer;
    46
    (5) A person acting for or as a collection agency;
    47
    (6) A person who makes the salary deductions of premiums for employees or, under a
    48
    group insurance plan, a person who serves the master policyholder of group insurance in
    49
    administering the details of such insurance for the employees or debtors of the master
    50
    policyholder or of a firm or corporation by which the person is employed and who does
    51
    not receive insurance commissions for such service; provided, further, that an
    52
    administration fee not exceeding 5 percent of the premiums collected paid by the insurer
    53
    to the administration office shall not be construed to be an insurance commission;
    54
    (7) Persons exempted from licensure as provided in subsection (h) of Code
    55
    Section 33-23-4; or
    56
    (8) An individual who collects claim information from, or furnishes claim information
    57
    to, insureds or claimants, who conducts data entry, and who enters data into an automated
    58
    claims adjudication system, provided that the individual is an employee of a licensed
    59
    independent adjuster or its affiliate where no more than 25 such persons are under the
    60
    supervision of one licensed independent adjustor or licensed agent.
    61
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  • 3 -
    © In addition to paragraphs (2) through (8) of subsection (b) of this Code section, the
    62
    definitions of public adjuster, independent adjuster, and adjuster in subsection (a) of this
    63
    Code section shall not be deemed to include an attorney admitted to practice law in this
    64
    state.

    65
    SECTION 3.
    66
    Said article is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 33-23-4, relating
    67
    to license required, restrictions on payment or receipt of commissions, and positions
    68
    indirectly related to sale, solicitation, or negotiation of insurance excluded from licensing
    69
    requirements, as follows:
    70

    (a)(1) A person shall not sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance in this state for any class or
    71
    classes of insurance unless the person is licensed for that line of authority in accordance
    72
    with this chapter and applicable regulations.
    73
    (2) Any individual who sells, solicits, or negotiates insurance in this state must
    shall
    be
    74
    licensed as an agent.
    75
    (3) Any business entity that sells, solicits,
    or negotiates insurance in this state must
    shall
    76
    be licensed as an agency.
    77
    (4) Any individual defined as an adjuster under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code
    78
    Section 33-23-1 who for a fee, commission, salary, or other compensation investigates,
    79
    settles, or adjusts claims arising under insurance contracts on behalf of the insurer or the
    80
    insured shall be licensed as either an independent adjuster or a public adjuster.
    "
    81
    SECTION 4.
    82
    Said article is further amended by revising s
    ubsection © of Code Section 33-23-43, relating
    83
    to authority of adjusters and penalty for violation, as follows:
    84
    "
    © No public adjuster, at any time, shall knowingly:
    85
    (1) Suggest or advise the employment of or
    name for employment a specific attorney or
    86
    attorneys to represent a person in any matter relating to a person’s potential claims,
    87
    including any motor vehicle accident claims for personal injury, loss of consortium,
    88
    property damages, or other special damages
    Misrepresent to an insured that he or she is
    89
    required to hire an independent or public adjuster to help the insured meet his or her
    90
    obligations under his or her policy
    ;
    91
    (2) Accept or agree to accept any money or
    other compensation from an attorney or any
    92
    person acting on behalf of an attorney whic
    h the adjuster knows or should reasonably
    93
    know is payment for the suggestion or advice by the adjuster to seek the services of the
    94
    attorney or for the referral of any portion of a person’s claim to the attorney;
    95
    (3) Hire or procure another to do any act prohibited by this subsection; or
    96
    14 HB 610/AP
    H. B. 610
  • 4 -
    (4) Advertise or promise to pay or rebate
    all or any portion of any insurance deductible
    97
    as an inducement to the sale of goods or services. As used in this subsection, the term
    98
    ’promise to pay or rebate’ includes:
    99
    (A) granting
    Granting
    any allowance or offering any
    discount against the fees to be
    100
    charged, including, but not limited to, an allowance or discount in return for displaying
    101
    a sign or other advertisement at the insured’s premises,
    ;
    or
    102
    (B) paying
    Paying
    the insured or any person directly or indirectly associated with the
    103
    property any form of compensation, gift, prize, bonus, coupon, credit, referral fee, or
    104
    other item of monetary value for any reason;
    105
    (5) Misrepresent to a claimant that he or she is an adjuster representing an insurer in any
    106
    capacity, including acting as an employee of the insurer or as an independent adjuster,
    107
    unless appointed by an insurer in writing to act on the insurer’s behalf for that specific
    108
    claim or purpose. A licensed public adjuster shall not charge a claimant a fee for
    109
    adjusting a claim when he or she is appointed by the insurer for that specific claim or
    110
    purpose and the appointment is accepted by the public adjuster;
    111
    (6) Solicit, or attempt to solicit, an insured during the progress of a loss-producing
    112
    occurrence as defined in the insured’s insurance contract;
    113
    (7) Have a direct or indirect financial in
    terest in any aspect
    of a claim other than the
    114
    salary, fee, commission, or other consideration established in a written contract with the
    115
    insured which shall incorporate all of the conditions and provisions set out in Code
    116
    Section 33-23-43.1;
    117
    (8) Charge to or collect from an insured any amount, other than reasonable compensation
    118
    for services rendered based on time spent and expenses incurred, in any transaction where
    119
    the insurer either pays or commits in writing to pay the policy limit or limits for all
    120
    coverage under the insured’s policy within th
    ree business days after the loss is reported
    121
    to the insurer;
    122
    (9) Misrepresent to an insured or insurer that
    he or she is an attorney authorized by law
    123
    to provide legal advice and services or that a policy covers a loss or losses outside the
    124
    scope of the coverage provided by the insurance contract;
    125
    (10) Permit an unlicensed employee or representative of the adjuster to conduct business
    126
    for which a license is required; or
    127
    (11) Hire or procure another to do any act prohibited by this subsection
    .
    "
    128
    SECTION 5.
    129
    Said article is further amended by adding new Code sections to read as follows:
    130
    "
    33-23-43.1.
    131
    14 HB 610/AP
    H. B. 610
  • 7 -
    (b) A public adjuster shall faithfully observe
    all of the terms and provisions of the public
    203
    adjuster contract as prescribed in Code Section 33-23-43.1.

    204
    SECTION 6.
    205
    Code Section 33-63-3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to guaranteed asset
    206
    protection waivers definitions, is amended by revising in paragraph (6) as follows:
    207

    (6) ‘Guaranteed asset protection waiver’ means a contractual agreement wherein a
    208
    creditor agrees for a separate charge to cancel or waive all or part of amounts due on a
    209
    borrower’s finance agreement in the event of a total physical damage loss or unrecovered
    210
    theft of the motor vehicle, which agreement must be part of, or a separate addendum to,
    211
    the finance agreement or a contractual agreement wherein a creditor agrees for a separate
    212
    charge to cancel or waive all or part of the excess wear and use charges owed by the
    213
    borrower to the creditor under the lease cont
    ract when the borrower returns a leased
    214
    vehicle to the creditor at termination of the lease, which agreement must be part of, or a
    215
    separate addendum to, the lease contract
    .
    "
    216
    SECTION 7.
    217
    This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2014.
    218
    SECTION 8.
    219
    All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.
    220

The copy of the bill you referenced is outdated and thrown out IP. Please be more relevant. For you, I think that is good advice in general. The bill that was passed simply states that such interests must be made clear on the contract.

Huh? Thrown out by who? See this link and statute below. Looks like exactly the new law…

legis.ga.gov/legislation/en- … 014/HB/610

Please explain.