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Lost Your Home or Business to Disaster?

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Contractors can not adjust fire claims. That’s the Law.

Our Public Adjusters work with contractors because a contractor by law may NOT adjust claims.

Last week we wrote about how Board Up Men are not public Adjusters. What the public should also be aware of is the issues with allowing contractors to adjust a loss. The purpose of this post is not to diminish or trash your contractor of choice. The purpose is simple, qualified public adjusters work with contractors to maximize the claim, get you what you are entitled to and resolve your issues. By law a contractor may not adjust your building claim. The law is clear contractors cannot adjust fire claims. Why. It’s simple.

The law of Public Adjusting.

The following law applies to everyone, including contractors. A reading of the law, when taken as a whole is clear. Contractors may not adjust fire claims.  Here is what it actually says. Contractors are not public adjusters and by law may not adjust fire claims.

215 ILCS 5/1515 License required – Contractors are NOT Public Adjusters

(a) A person shall not act, advertise, solicit, or hold himself out as a public adjuster or to be in the business of adjusting insurance claims in this State, nor attempt to obtain a contract for public adjusting services, unless the person is licensed as a public adjuster in accordance with this Article.
(b) A person licensed as a public adjuster shall not misrepresent to a claimant that he or she is an adjuster representing an insurer in any capacity, including acting as an employee of the insurer or acting as an independent adjuster unless so appointed by an insurer in writing to act on the insurer’s behalf for that specific claim or purpose. A licensed public adjuster is prohibited from charging that specific claimant a fee when appointed by the insurer and the appointment is accepted by the public adjuster.
(c) A business entity acting as a public adjuster is required to obtain a public adjuster license. Application shall be made using the Uniform Business Entity Application. Before approving the application, the Director shall find that:

(1) the business entity has paid the required fees to be registered as a business entity in this State; and
(2) all officers, shareholders, and persons with ownership interests in the business entity are licensed public adjusters responsible for the business entity’s compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of this State.
(d) Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (c) of this Section, a license as a public adjuster shall not be required of the following:
(1) an attorney admitted to practice in this State, when acting in his or her professional capacity as an attorney;
(2) a person who negotiates or settles claims arising under a life or health insurance policy or an annuity contract;
(3) a person employed only for the purpose of obtaining facts surrounding a loss or furnishing technical assistance to a licensed public adjuster, including photographers, estimators, private investigators, engineers, and handwriting experts;
(4) a licensed health care provider, or employee of a licensed health care provider, who prepares or files a health claim form on behalf of a patient; or
(5) a person who settles subrogation claims between insurers.

The law is clear. Contractors are not public adjusters and may not adjust fire claims. By arguing about the loss and applying the circumstances of the loss to your policy will place your contractor into the position of public adjuster. Public Adjusters are licensed and tested and bonded. You can read more about that on this post. So what to do? If you like your contractor keep them. If there is an issue with the numbers, the loss, the circumstances call Harris Claims Services. We will work with your contractor and you to bring resolution and peace of mind.