What Kind of Insurance Does Your Public Adjuster Need?
Many states require public adjusters to be licensed. It includes having the necessary “insurance” in the form of a surety bond.
Licensing procedures vary from state to state but public adjusters will typically have to comply with the following requirements:
- Apply for a public adjuster license to the state insurance commissioner
- Take a licensed public adjuster course
- Gain experience by working as an apprentice public adjuster
- Pass a state licensing exam
- Go through FBI background check – LiveScan
- Obtain a public adjuster surety bond
Check with your state insurance department for the specific requirements that a public adjuster must have in your state. Note that some states have reciprocal agreements, meaning that public adjusters licensed in one state are automatically licensed in another.
Note: Special attention will be paid to the state of California where Avner Gat, Inc. is a licensed public adjuster.
What Is a Surety Bond?
Surety bonds are technically a form of insurance, but they’re more similar to a line of credit.
A public adjuster surety bond is similar to any other surety bond. It’s a contractual agreement between three parties, namely a principal, obligee, and surety.
- Principal – Your public adjuster who needs to post the bond.
- Obligee – The state authority that requires the public adjuster to post a surety bond.
- Surety – The bond provider or issuer.
When a claim is made against a surety bond, and found justifiable, the surety will pay the cost of the claim up to the amount of the bond, and the principal has to reimburse the surety. This is in stark contrast to a typical insurance policy where no reimbursement is required.
Public adjuster bonds don’t cover the public adjuster. Instead, they safeguard the interests of the client. If your public adjuster does not comply with their legal obligations, you can file a claim against the surety bond.
The Surety Bond Amount
The required surety bond amount for a public adjuster varies from state to state.
$1,000 – New York and Ohio
$5,000 – Georgia
$10,000 – Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, and Minnesota
$20,000 – California, Colorado, D.C., Idaho, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina
$25,000 – Oklahoma
$50,000 – Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana
The surety bond amount is not what a public adjuster pays to obtain the bond. The bond premium is a lot less, and premiums will differ from public adjuster to public adjuster and from one insurance company to another.
Note: Although not always required by law, public adjusters can take out business insurance, including general liability, professional liability, and other types of coverage that can be added to policies to suit their professional needs.
California Department of Insurance
The Bond of Public Insurance Adjuster requires public adjusters and apprentice public adjusters to act in a faithful and honest manner:
“That if the PRINCIPAL shall conduct business, including adjusting claims for fire and
allied coverages, burglary, flood and all property claims both real and personal, and loss of
income in a faithful and honest manner, then this obligation shall be null and void; otherwise it
shall remain in full force and effect.”
Many states, such as California, require public adjusters to be licensed and have a surety bond to safeguard the interests of their clients. If your public adjuster does not comply with their legal obligations, you can file a claim against the surety bond.
At Avner Gat, Inc. our team of experienced, reputable, and licensed public adjusters can help you overcome the challenges of managing your homeowners insurance claim. We comply with all the legal requirements of the California Department of Insurance.
Avner Gat, Inc. has 17+ years of experience as a public adjuster in Southern California. We protect homeowners from the games and fine print that insurance companies are known for.
Call us at (818) 917-5256 to find out how we can assist you.