69B-220.201 Ethical Requirements Independent and Company Adjusters
(a) “Adjuster,” when used without further specification, includes all types and classes of insurance adjusters, (company employee, independent, and public), subject to Chapter 626, F.S., regardless of whether permanent, temporary, apprentice, or emergency licensees.
(b) “Department” means the Florida Department of Financial Services.
(c) “Person” includes natural persons and legal entities.
(a) Violation of any provision of this rule shall constitute grounds for administrative action against the licensee.
(b) A breach of any provision of this rule constitutes an unfair claims settlement practice.
Withe the exceptio of (3)(l) below, The following statutes apply to independent, company, and public adjusters.
(3) Code of Ethics. The work of adjusting insurance claims engages the public trust. An adjuster shall put the duty for fair and honest treatment of the claimant above the adjuster’s own interests in every instance. The following are standards of conduct that define ethical behavior, and shall constitute a code of ethics that shall be binding on all adjusters:
(a) An adjuster shall not directly or indirectly refer or steer any claimant needing repairs or other services in connection with a loss to any person with whom the adjuster has an undisclosed financial interest, or who will or is reasonably anticipated to provide the adjuster any direct or indirect compensation for the referral or for any resulting business.
(b) An adjuster shall treat all claimants equally.
- An adjuster shall not provide favored treatment to any claimant.
- An adjuster shall adjust all claims strictly in accordance with the insurance contract.
(c) An adjuster shall not approach investigations, adjustments, and settlements in a manner prejudicial to the insured.
(d) An adjuster shall make truthful and unbiased reports of the facts after making a complete investigation.
(e) An adjuster shall handle every adjustment and settlement with honesty and integrity, and allow a fair adjustment or settlement to all parties without any compensation or remuneration to himself or herself except that to which he or she is legally entitled.
(f) An adjuster, upon undertaking the handling of a claim, shall act with dispatch and due diligence in achieving a proper disposition of the claim.
(g) An adjuster shall not negotiate or effect settlement directly or indirectly with any third-party claimant represented by an attorney, if the adjuster has knowledge of such representation, except with the consent of the attorney. For purposes of this subsection, the term “third-party claimant” does not include the insured or the insured’s resident relatives.
(h) An adjuster shall not advise a claimant to refrain from seeking legal advice, nor advise against the retention of counsel or the employment of a public adjuster to protect the claimant’s interest.
(i) An adjuster shall not attempt to negotiate with or obtain any statement from a claimant or witness at a time that the claimant or witness is, or would reasonably be expected to be, in shock or serious mental or emotional distress as a result of physical, mental, or emotional trauma associated with a loss. The adjuster shall not conclude a settlement when the settlement would be disadvantageous to, or to the detriment of, a claimant who is in the traumatic or distressed state described above.
(j) An adjuster shall not knowingly fail to advise a claimant of the claimant’s claim options in accordance with the terms and conditions of the insurance contract.
(k) An adjuster shall not undertake the adjustment of any claim concerning which the adjuster is not currently competent and knowledgeable as to the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage, or which otherwise exceeds the adjuster’s current expertise.
(l) No person shall, as a company employee adjuster or independent adjuster, represent him- or herself or any insurer or independent adjusting firm against any person or entity that the adjuster previously represented as a public adjuster.