Property Loss Professionals: Who Are They and How Can They Help You?


Are they licensed?

Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have some form of statute or regulation in place that licenses public adjusters. The five states that do not are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota andWisconsin. Most licensing states also require that public adjusters complete a certain amount of continuing education each year.

How are they trained?

Public adjusters have special training and expertise in appraising, preparing and negotiating property damage and business interruption losses. Types of disasters they help policyholders recover from include fire, windstorm, flood, hail, earthquake, structural collapse, business interruption and extra expense claims.

Training is provided by several different organizations including state departments of insurance, insurance companies and local industry groups. Membership associations such as the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) also offer educational programs for public adjusters. Additionally, NAPIA has engaged The Institutes to administer their Senior Professional Public Adjuster (SPPA) designation exams.

The American Educational Institute offers both the Senior Claims Law Associate and the Property Claim Law Associate educational and designation programs for all claims professionals, including public adjusters. From a regulatory standpoint, the NAIC adopted the Public Adjuster Licensing Model Act (MDL-228) which recommends a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education per year.

What do they do?

Following a disaster, filing a complicated property insurance claim is one of many monumental tasks a business or homeowner faces — and it is a process with which most are unfamiliar. On the other side sits the insurance company, with experts who adjust claims daily and who are always watching out for the company’s interests.

A public insurance adjuster levels the playing field, placing a professional with similar knowledge, experience and expertise on the policyholder’s side. Public adjusters work exclusively on behalf of the policyholder throughout every aspect of the claims process, helping them achieve the most favorable settlement possible.

The public adjuster’s main responsibilities are to: