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Friday, June 14, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak has issued a bulletin to all Oklahoma-licensed public adjusters advising them not to charge customers more than 10 percent of the total claim settlement.
“Oklahoma storm victims need alternatives and assistance, but they also need to keep as much of their insurance claim as possible,” said Doak. “The consumer comes first. This is just another way the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) is protecting them.”
Since the beginning of the tornado outbreak on May 19, OID has received several inquiries regarding the use of public adjusters in negotiating property insurance claims. A public adjuster is any person who acts on behalf of the insured in negotiating or settling a property claim for compensation. A public adjuster must first be licensed with the OID before representing a property owner in the claim process and collecting a fee on the claim payout.
“The services provided by public adjusters can be extremely valuable,” said Doak. “But they need to understand that higher fees are not acceptable and that all fees need to be clearly discussed upfront.”
OID strongly advises public adjusters working the recent Oklahoma storms to:
The OID expects that all public adjusters will act in a professional and responsible manner with due consideration toward the hardships and disruptions being experienced by property owners affected by the recent storms. Many property owners have experienced losses that exceed policy limits or that may not be eligible for coverage under applicable insurance policies. OID cautions public adjusters to refrain from charging fees that do not reasonably reflect the actual amount of adjusting services being provided. The OID will closely monitor all fees.
Policyholders with questions are encouraged to call the consumer assistance hotline at 1-800-522-0071.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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