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CFO Patronis: DFS is Now Licensing Adjusting Firms

12/13/2021

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 13, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

CFO Patronis: DFS is Now Licensing Adjusting Firms
~The New License Supports the Department’s Efforts in Fighting Fraud and Protecting Consumers~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has implemented new licensing requirements on adjusting firms in Florida. While individual insurance adjusters, both public and independent, have been required to be licensed by the department, their firms were not. Last legislative session, CFO Patronis advocated for vital consumer protection measures included in Senate Bill 1598, which provided DFS with the authority to license adjusting firms that employ public and independent adjusters, providing the department with an important tool to crack down on fraud that impacts consumers and insurance rates.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “While there are a lot of great adjusters, I saw firsthand from Hurricane Michael how a bad adjuster can ruin families’ lives. The AOB reforms we passed a few years ago were important, but we knew we could do more. That’s why last session we pursued consumer protection initiatives that provide our agency with greater powers for cracking down on fraud. It’s not enough to yank a bad adjuster’s license, we needed the authority to go after their entire business organization, otherwise we couldn’t get to the root core of some of these fraudulent activities. We didn’t have that authority before, and now we do. Ultimately, bad actors and their fraudulent activities affects the price of premiums that all of us pay, so to the degree we can crack down on fraud, the better for the policyholder.”      

Currently, DFS licenses more than 174,900 adjusters. Since the new adjusting firm licensing requirements were implemented in November 2021, more than 400 adjusting firms have been licensed, adding prudent measures into the Department’s regulatory framework that gives DFS more tools to further support the CFO’s mission of protecting consumers and cracking down on insurance fraud in Florida.

Senate Bill 1598 passed during the 2021 legislative session and was signed into law. As a result, independent and public adjusting firms are now required to be licensed in Florida. Per section 626.112(9)(a), Florida Statutes, an individual, a firm, a partnership, a corporation, an association, or any other entity may not act in its own name or under a trade name, directly or indirectly, as an adjusting firm unless it complies with section 626.8696, Florida Statutes, with respect to possessing an adjusting firm license for each place of business that engages in an activity that may be performed only by a licensed insurance adjuster.

The announcement comes on the heels the CFO’s speech at the Florida Chamber Insurance Summit where he announced that DFS has two new property insurance fraud fighting squads dedicated to combat property fraud in Florida. The new squads are comprised of 13 total personnel including ten sworn law enforcement detectives. CFO Patronis also highlighted a Residential Resiliency Tax Relief proposal, which provides a tax exemption for retrofit improvements so Floridians can further protect their homes and businesses from storm damage while saving money.

For more information, visit the Department’s website here.

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).