“Insured” means a person whose real or personal property is insured under 4
an insurance policy against which a claim is or will be made.
“Public adjuster” means an individual who is registered with the 6
commissioner under s. 629.02.
7629.02 Registration. (1) Requirement to register
. (a) No individual may 8
engage in any of the following activities unless the individual is registered as a public 9
adjuster under this section:
1. Perform, offer to perform, or publicly represent himself or herself as 11
performing an adjusting service with respect to a first-party claim.
2. Directly or indirectly solicit business, investigate or adjust losses, or advise 13
an insured about a first-party claim for a person engaged in the business of providing 14
an adjusting service.
(b) No person may utilize the adjusting services of an individual if the person 16
knows, or should know, that the individual is not registered under this section.
(c) A contract entered into in violation of this subsection is void.
An individual may apply for the registration required under 19
sub. (1) by completing a form prescribed by the commissioner. The form shall require 20
the individual to provide the individual's social security number and all 21
documentation the commissioner determines is necessary and appropriate. The 22
commissioner shall approve the individual's registration application if the 23
commissioner determines the individual satisfies all the following conditions:
(a) The individual has not committed any act that warrants the denial, 25
suspension, revocation, or nonrenewal of a registration under s. 629.13.
(b) The individual provides proof that he or she is trustworthy, reliable, 2
financially responsible, and of good reputation.
(c) The individual pays the fee under s. 601.31 (1) (z).
(d) The individual maintains a home office in the individual's state of residence 5
and is available to the public at that office through reasonable appointment hours 6
or regular business hours.
(e) The individual is at least 18 years of age.
(f) The individual meets the requirement of s. 629.03.
(g) The individual supplies a bond that meets specifications established by the 10
commissioner to guarantee faithful performance of the individual's duties and 11
obligations as a public adjuster.
(h) If the individual is not a resident of this state, the individual agrees to be 13
subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner and the courts of this state and to the 14
commissioner's rules and orders with service of process as provided under ss. 601.72 15
. Subsection (1) does not apply to any of the following 17
(a) An attorney admitted to practice in this state while acting in the 19
professional capacity as an attorney.
(b) An individual who negotiates or settles claims arising under a life or 21
disability insurance policy or an annuity contract.
(c) An individual employed solely for the purpose of obtaining facts 23
surrounding a loss or furnishing technical assistance to a public adjuster, including 24
a photographer, estimator, private investigator, engineer, or handwriting expert.
(d) An individual who settles subrogation claims between insurers.
(e) An individual who is licensed as an intermediary under s. 628.04 or 628.09 2
while acting in the professional capacity as an intermediary.
. A registration under sub. (2) shall remain in effect for 2 years 4
from the date of issuance, unless it is revoked or suspended by the commissioner 5
under s. 629.13. An individual may renew a registration by submitting, prior to the 6
registration's expiration date, a request for renewal to the commissioner in the form 7
prescribed by the commissioner. The request shall include evidence of compliance 8
with s. 629.11 and payment of the fee under s. 601.31 (1) (zb). An individual who fails 9
to renew a registration prior to the expiration date may reapply for registration 10
under sub. (2).
11629.03 Examination. (1)
Prior to the commissioner approving an 12
individual's registration under s. 629.02 (2), the individual shall pass a written 13
examination that tests knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of a public 14
adjuster and the insurance laws and regulations of this state. The examination shall 15
be conducted as prescribed by the commissioner and require payment of the fee 16
under s. 601.31 (1) (zc). The commissioner may contract with an outside testing 17
service for administering the examination and collecting the fee.
An individual who is not a resident of this state and who is a licensed or 19
registered public adjuster in the individual's state of residence and was required to 20
pass a written examination to obtain that license or registration may request the 21
commissioner to accept proof of the examination's passage as fulfilling the 22
requirement under sub. (1). The commissioner may approve the request if the 23
individual's license or registration in that state is in good standing.
24629.04 Contract requirements. (1)
A public adjuster may not perform any 25
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 2
filed with the commissioner under s. 631.20 (1m). The contract shall include all of 3
(a) The public adjuster's full name, state of residence, permanent principal 5
business street address, telephone number, and registration number assigned by the 6
(b) The insured's full name, street address, insurer name, and policy number.
(c) A description of the loss and its location.
(d) The date and time the contract was signed by the public adjuster and the 10
(e) An attestation by the public adjuster that he or she is fully bonded pursuant 12
to state law.
(f) A disclosure of the compensation the public adjuster is to receive in 14
accordance with s. 629.05.
(g) A provision allowing the insured to void the contract in accordance with sub. 16
(h) A statement that the contract shall constitute the entire agreement 18
between the public adjuster and the insured.
A contract under sub. (1) may not require the insured to do any of the 20
(a) Authorize an insurer to issue a check only in the name of the public adjuster.
(b) Pay collection costs or a late fee to the public adjuster.
(c) Limit the insured's right to pursue any civil remedy against the public 24
At the insured's option, the insured may void a contract under sub. (1) no 2
later than 5 business days after the contract's execution, except that the insured may 3
void a contract no later than 10 business days after execution if the contract is 4
executed no later than 5 business days after conclusion of the loss-producing 5
occurrence. The insured may void the contract by sending notice by registered or 6
certified mail, return receipt requested, to the public adjuster at the address on the 7
contract or by personally serving notice on the public adjuster at the place of business 8
identified on the contract. The public adjuster shall return anything of value 9
provided under the contract by the insured no later than 15 business days following 10
receipt of the notice. Nothing in this subsection prevents an insured from pursuing 11
any civil remedy against a public adjuster.
A contract under sub. (1) shall be executed in duplicate with an original 13
provided to the public adjuster and to the insured. The public adjuster shall make 14
the contract available to the commissioner at all times for inspection without notice.
A public adjuster shall include with the contract under sub. (1) a notice of 16
the insured's right to file a complaint with the commissioner about an insurance 17
problem. The notice shall be on a single piece of paper that is separate from the 18
contract and shall include all of the following:
(a) The information described in sub. (1) (a).
(b) A clear statement of the insured's right to file a complaint.
(c) Information on how the insured may obtain a complaint form by contacting 22
the office of the commissioner or from the office's Internet site.
(d) The office of the commissioner's mailing address and phone numbers and 24
the address of the office's Internet site.
1629.05 Compensation. (1)
In this section, “catastrophic disaster” means an 2
event that results in large numbers of deaths and injuries, causes extensive damage 3
or destruction of facilities that provide and sustain human needs, produces an 4
overwhelming demand on state and local response resources, causes a severe 5
long-term effect on general economic activity, and severely affects state, local, and 6
private-sector capabilities to begin and sustain response activities.
The contract under s. 629.04 shall clearly disclose the compensation the 8
public adjuster is to receive from the insured.
If an insurer pays, or commits in writing to pay, the policy limit no later than 10
5 business days after the date the loss is reported to the insurer, the only 11
compensation a public adjuster may receive from the insured shall be compensation 12
at a reasonable hourly rate for the time spent on the claim.
A public adjuster may not demand compensation from the insured prior to 14
the insured receiving payment from the insurer.
If an insurer pays a claim in installments, the public adjuster shall receive 16
the compensation in equal amounts prorated over the number of checks issued by the 17
insurer and may not demand to be paid entirely from the first check issued.
A public adjuster may not receive compensation in excess of 10 percent of 19
an insured's actual recovery under the insurance policy if the claim is due to a 20
21629.06 Disclosure of additional compensation.
A public adjuster may not 22
directly or indirectly accept compensation or anything else of value from an insured 23
and a person who provides estimates for work or performs work in conjunction with 24
damage or loss under a claim subject to a contract under s. 629.04 unless the public 25
adjuster provides the insured with prior written notice. The notice shall clearly and
conspicuously disclose any direct or indirect financial interest that the public 2
adjuster has in the other person and all amounts to be paid, directly or indirectly, by 3
the other person to the public adjuster. The notice shall be in the form prescribed by 4
the commissioner and be provided prior to the date the insured incurs an obligation 5
to make any payment under the contract or to the other person.
6629.07 Assignment of proceeds prohibited. (1)
A public adjuster may not 7
request or accept an assignment of insurance policy proceeds from an insured with 8
whom the public adjuster has entered into a contract under s. 629.04. An insurer 9
may not be required to honor an assignment of insurance policy proceeds to a public 10
A public adjuster may request that an insurer include both the public 12
adjuster and the insured on a check paying all or part of the proceeds of an insurance 13
policy if the contract under s. 629.04 permits joint payment of proceeds.
14629.08 Escrow of funds.
A public adjuster who, on behalf of an insured, 15
receives, accepts, or holds any funds for the settlement of a first-party claim shall 16
deposit the funds in a noninterest-bearing escrow account in a federally insured 17
financial institution that is located in the state in which the insured resides or the 18
A public adjuster may not require an insured to use a 20
particular contractor or vendor and may not take any action that vests the effective 21
authority with the public adjuster to choose a person to perform work on the insured's 22
claim. A contract under s. 629.04 shall state that the insured may choose any 23
contractor or vendor.
In addition to the other prohibitions in this chapter, a 25
public adjuster may not engage in any of the following activities:
Solicit, or attempt to solicit, an insured during the progress of a 2
loss-producing occurrence, as defined in the insured's insurance policy.
Allow an unregistered employee or representative to perform an adjusting 4
service for which registration is required under this chapter.
Own a direct or indirect financial interest in any aspect of a claim, other 6
than the compensation agreed to under s. 629.04 (1) (f), unless notification is 7
provided to the insured under s. 629.06.
Acquire an interest in salvage of the insured's property unless obtaining 9
written permission from the insured after settlement of the claim.
Refer the insured to a person in whom the public adjuster has a direct or 11
indirect financial interest or from whom the public adjuster may directly or 12
indirectly receive anything of value for the referral unless notification is provided to 13
the insured under s. 629.06.
Solicit an insured outside the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Undertake an adjusting service without being competent and 16
knowledgeable about the terms and conditions of the insured's insurance coverage 17
or if the loss or coverage exceeds the public adjuster's expertise.
Knowingly make a false material statement regarding any person engaged 19
in the business of insurance to a client or potential client.
Act as an adjuster for an insurer or independent adjuster while registered 21
under s. 629.02.
Agree to a settlement without the insured's knowledge and written 23
24629.11 Continuing education. (1)
A public adjuster shall complete, on a 25
biennial basis, a minimum of 15 credits of continuing education, including 3 credits
of ethics. Each credit shall consist of at least 50 minutes of instruction and shall be 2
approved by the commissioner. A public adjuster shall report the credits in 3
conjunction with the registration renewal under s. 629.02 (4).
An individual who is not a resident of this state and who is a licensed or 5
registered public adjuster in the individual's state of residence and complies with 6
continuing education requirements in that state that are substantially similar to the 7
requirements under sub. (1) may submit to the commissioner proof of compliance 8
with that state's requirements. If the individual's state of residence provides credit 9
to the residents of this state on a reciprocal basis, the commissioner shall accept the 10
proof of compliance as meeting the requirement under sub. (1).
11629.12 Reporting of administrative and criminal actions. (1)
A public 12
adjuster shall report to the commissioner any administrative action related to the 13
business of insurance that is taken against the public adjuster by a governmental 14
agency or regulatory body. The report shall be made no later than 30 days after the 15
final disposition of the matter and shall include a copy of the order, consent to order, 16
or similar document.
A public adjuster shall report to the commissioner any criminal prosecution 18
taken against the public adjuster in any jurisdiction. The report shall be made no 19
later then 30 days after the date of the initial pretrial hearing and shall include a 20
copy of the complaint, the order from the hearing, and any other information 21
required by the commissioner.
22629.13 Denial, suspension, or revocation of registration.
commissioner may, after a hearing, deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew an 24
individual's registration under s. 629.02 (2) or (4) or may levy a civil penalty, or both, 25
upon a finding that the individual has done any of the following:
Provided false, misleading, or incomplete information in the registration 2
Failed to comply with any provision in this chapter.
Violated any insurance law or rule or any subpoena or order of the 5
commissioner or insurance regulatory body of another state.
Obtained, or attempted to obtain, registration as a public adjuster through 7
misrepresentation or fraud.
Misappropriated or otherwise improperly handled money or property 9
received in the course of doing business as a public adjuster.
Intentionally misrepresented the terms of an insurance policy.
Been convicted of a felony related to the duties and obligations of a public 12
adjuster or the business of insurance.
Admitted to committing, or is found to have committed, any insurance 14
unfair trade practice or insurance fraud.
Used fraudulent, coercive, or dishonest practices, or demonstrated 16
incompetence, untrustworthiness, or financial irresponsibility, in the conduct of 17
business in any jurisdiction.
Had an intermediary license or public adjuster license or registration 19
denied, suspended, or revoked in any jurisdiction.
Cheated on an examination for a public adjuster license or registration.
Misrepresented to a person that the individual represents or is employed 22
by an insurer in any capacity, including as an independent adjuster.
Failed to maintain evidence of financial responsibility as required by the 24
This act takes effect on the first day of the 4th month beginning after 2