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Understanding the Role of Public Adjusters

The role of public adjusters is clearly set forth under Pennsylvania law.  Public adjusters advise and assist policyholders with their insurance claim.  See 63 P.S. § 1601.  Public adjusters do not “represent” anyone.  Public adjusters are not attorneys, nor are they representatives or employees of an insurance company.  The public adjuster-policyholder relationship is regulated by statute. 

Increasingly, contractors are obtaining post-loss assignments of policy benefits from policyholders. Contractors, operating under the assignment of benefits, are then acting on behalf of policyholders during the claim process.  However, a contractor operating under an assignment of benefits is neither a policyholder nor a public adjuster.

Contractors cannot act as public adjusters unless they are licensed, and an adjuster who is also a contractor may only perform one function at a time. Without a license, contractors are not permitted to advertise that they can help with the claims process, interpret an insurance policy, or negotiate with an insurance company on the policyholder’s behalf.

It is important to understand the role of all parties involved in the presentation of an insurance claim.  If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact a member of Horst Krekstein & Runyon LLC.