CHAPTER 629
PUBLIC ADJUSTERS
629.01   Definitions.
629.02   Registration.
629.03   Examination.
629.04   Contract requirements.
629.05   Compensation.
629.06   Additional compensation.
629.07   Assignment of proceeds prohibited.
629.08   Escrow of funds.
629.082   Bonding.
629.09   Contractors.
629.10   Prohibitions.
629.11   Continuing education.
629.12   Reporting of administrative and criminal actions.
629.13   Penalties.
Effective date note NOTE: Ch. 629 (title) is created eff. 7-1-20 by 2019 Wis. Act 129.
629.01 629.01 Definitions. In this chapter:
629.01(1) (1)“Adjusting service” means an act on behalf of an insured, in exchange for compensation, with the preparation, completion, or filing of a first-party claim, including by negotiating values, damages, or depreciation or by applying the loss circumstances to insurance policy provisions.
629.01(2) (2)“Compensation” means anything of value received directly or indirectly in return for the performance of an adjusting service.
629.01(3) (3)“First-party claim” means a claim for damage or loss to real or personal property located in this state that is filed by an insured.
629.01(4) (4)“Insured” means a person whose real or personal property is insured under an insurance policy against which a claim is or will be made.
629.01(5) (5)“Public adjuster” means an individual who engages in adjusting services in this state and, in the case of an individual who is not a resident of this state, has registered with the commissioner under s. 629.02 (2), but does not include any of the following:
629.01(5)(a) (a) An attorney admitted to practice in this state while acting in his or her professional capacity as an attorney.
629.01(5)(b) (b) An individual who negotiates or settles claims arising under a life insurance policy, a policy of disability insurance, as defined in s. 645.675 (1) (h), or an annuity contract.
629.01(5)(c) (c) An individual employed solely for the purpose of obtaining facts surrounding a loss or furnishing technical assistance to a public adjuster, including a photographer, estimator, private investigator, engineer, or handwriting expert.
629.01(5)(d) (d) An individual who settles subrogation claims between insurers.
629.01(5)(e) (e) An individual who is licensed as an intermediary under s. 628.04 or 628.09 while acting in his or her professional capacity as an intermediary.
629.01(5)(f) (f) An individual who represents an insurer in negotiations for the settlement of a claim against the insurer arising out of the coverage provided by an insurance policy.
Effective date note NOTE: This section is created eff. 7-1-20 by 2019 Wis. Act 129.
629.01 History History: 2019 a. 129; s. 35.17 correction in (5) (intro.) and (b).
629.02 629.02 Registration.
629.02(1)(1)List of registered public adjusters. The commissioner shall maintain on the office's Internet site a list of public adjusters who have registered with the commissioner under sub. (2).
629.02(2) (2)Application. A public adjuster who is not a resident of this state shall register with the commissioner prior to engaging in adjusting services in this state. A public adjuster who is a resident of this state may register with the commissioner. In order to register under this subsection, the public adjuster shall complete an application form prescribed by the commissioner. The form shall request the individual to provide the individual's social security number and all documentation the commissioner determines is necessary and appropriate. The commissioner shall approve the individual's registration application if the commissioner determines the individual satisfies all the following conditions:
629.02(2)(a) (a) The individual has not committed any act subject to penalty under s. 629.13.
629.02(2)(c) (c) The individual pays the fee under s. 601.31 (1) (z).
629.02(2)(d) (d) The individual maintains a home office in the individual's state of residence and is available to the public at that office through reasonable appointment hours or regular business hours.
629.02(2)(e) (e) The individual is at least 18 years of age.
629.02(2)(f) (f) The individual meets the requirements of ss. 629.03 and 629.11.
629.02(2)(h) (h) If the individual is not a resident of this state, the individual agrees to be subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner and the courts of this state and to the commissioner's rules and orders with service of process as provided under ss. 601.72 and 601.73.
629.02(4) (4)Term; renewal. A registration under sub. (2) shall remain in effect for 2 years from the date of issuance, unless it is revoked or suspended by the commissioner under s. 629.13. An individual may renew a registration by submitting, prior to the registration's expiration date, a request for renewal to the commissioner in the form prescribed by the commissioner. The request shall include evidence of compliance with s. 629.11 and payment of the fee under s. 601.31 (1) (zb). An individual who fails to renew a registration prior to the expiration date may reapply for registration under sub. (2).
Effective date note NOTE: This section is created eff. 7-1-20 by 2019 Wis. Act 129.
629.02 History History: 2019 a. 129; s. 35.17 correction in (2) (intro.) and (f), (4) (title).
629.03 629.03 Examination.
629.03(1)(1)Prior to the commissioner approving an individual's registration under s. 629.02 (2), the individual shall pass a written examination that tests knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of a public adjuster and the insurance laws and regulations of this state. The examination shall be conducted as prescribed by the commissioner and require payment of the fee under s. 601.31 (1) (zc). The commissioner may contract with an outside testing service for administering the examination and collecting the fee.
629.03(2) (2)An individual who is not a resident of this state and who is a licensed or registered public adjuster in the individual's state of residence and was required to pass a written examination to obtain that license or registration may request the commissioner to accept proof of the examination's passage as fulfilling the requirement under sub. (1). The commissioner may approve the request if the individual's license or registration in that state is in good standing.
Effective date note NOTE: This section is created eff. 7-1-20 by 2019 Wis. Act 129.
629.03 History History: 2019 a. 129.
629.04 629.04 Contract requirements.
629.04(1)(1)A public adjuster may not perform any adjusting service for an insured prior to entering into a contract with the insured. The contract shall be in writing, be titled “Public Adjuster Contract,” and be on a form filed with the commissioner under s. 631.20 (1m). The contract shall include all of the following:
629.04(1)(a) (a) The public adjuster's full name, state of residence, permanent principal business street address, telephone number, and, if applicable, registration number assigned by the commissioner.
629.04(1)(b) (b) The insured's full name, street address, insurer name, and policy number.
629.04(1)(c) (c) A description of the loss and its location.
629.04(1)(d) (d) The date and time the contract was signed by the public adjuster and the insured.
629.04(1)(e) (e) An attestation by the public adjuster that he or she is fully bonded pursuant to state law.
629.04(1)(f) (f) A disclosure of the compensation the public adjuster is to receive in accordance with s. 629.05.
629.04(1)(g) (g) A provision allowing the insured to void the contract in accordance with sub. (3).
629.04(1)(h) (h) A statement that the contract shall constitute the entire agreement between the public adjuster and the insured.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 184 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on March 28, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after March 28, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 3-28-20)