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Public Adjusters

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  • Public Adjusters

    I remember from a class some time back that in New Jersey there restrictions on when a public adjuster may speak with the insured at a fire scene. I had a slight problem with two adjusters yesterday at a job and I just want to make sure I have the proper information for the next time. If anyone has this information or better yet where it is located so I can referance it, I would greatly appreciate this. Thank you and stay safe!!

  • #2
    The Public Adjuster Licensing Act is found at NJSA 17:22B-13. In part, it states:

    13. No individual, firm, association or corporation licensed under this act shall:

    a. enter into any agreement, oral or written, with an insured to negotiate or settle claims for loss or damage occurring in this State between the hours of six p.m. and eight a.m. during the 24 hours after the loss has occurred;

    b. have any right to compensation from any insured for or on account of services rendered to an insured as a public adjuster unless the right to compensation is based upon a written memorandum, signed by the party to be charged and by the adjuster, and specifying or clearly defining the services to be rendered and the amount or extent of the compensation on a form and with such language as the commissioner may prescribe;

    c. induce cancellation of a duly executed written memorandum between an insured and a public adjuster;

    d. make any misrepresentation of facts or advise any person on questions of law in connection with the transaction of business as an adjuster; or

    e. receive, accept or hold any moneys towards the settlement of a claim for loss or damage on behalf of an insured unless the public adjuster deposits the moneys in an interest bearing escrow account in a banking institution or savings and loan association in this State insured by an agency of the federal government. Any funds held in escrow together with interest accumulated thereon shall be the property of the insured until disbursement thereof pursuant to a written memorandum, signed by the insured and by the adjuster, specifying or clearly defining the services rendered and the amount of any compensation to be paid therefrom. In the event of the insolvency or bankruptcy of a public adjuster, the claim of an insured for any settlement moneys received, accepted or held by the adjuster shall constitute a statutory trust.


    Be very careful. These guys are not all bad. Some of them can be very helpful. Also, they are very well organized and will file a complaint with your agency or sue you at the drop of a hat if you "slander" them.


    • #3
      Thanks George!! It was just minor, they kept interupting me as I conducted my interview with the homeowner. It was after 6 PM, so I guess they shouldn't of been there and she ended up signing with one of them. Thanks for the help and see you soon. Steve


      • #4
        Any time

        Steve, regardless of the time they should not be interfering with your questioning of the homeowner. I'd give them a friendly instruction/request to step back while I'm conducting my investigation. If they come back, sternly advise them they are interfering with my investigation and, if they continue to do so, will be arrested.

        That always works for me and I've never had them push to the point where I did actually have to arrest and charge them.


        • #5
          Posted by George
          Be very careful. These guys are not all bad. Some of them can be very helpful. Also, they are very well organized and will file a complaint with your agency or sue you at the drop of a hat if you "slander" them.
          In my 20+ years as an officer... I have met some public adjusters that were courteous and professional... and I have met some who I considered to be some of the biggest A-holes on God's green earth.

          At the last structure fire I had command of , there were 5 of them badgering the homeowner, who had just been through one traumatic experience only to be subjected to another.

          A sixth adjuster merely left his card with her, and told her that if he could help her to give him a call. Guess who got the call....
          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY


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