Insurer Compliance with Law Prohibiting Engagement with Unlicensed Public Adjusters

This Bulletin is applicable to all property and casualty insurers issuing insurance contracts that insure the real or personal property of an insured (other than automobile) to residents of Rhode Island. This Bulletin is written pursuant to a 2017 amendment to the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act which prevents insurers from negotiating claims with unlicensed public adjusters. R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-9.1-4(26). The department’s position is that all insurers should have an implemented procedure to ensure compliance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-9.1-4.

The department has become increasingly aware of consumer and industry concerns surrounding the distinction of the role of a public adjuster and the role of a contractor/estimator with regards to property damage that is claimed on an applicable insurance contract.

The purpose of this Bulletin is to both reinforce the applicable statutes and to provide guidance on activities that can only be performed by a licensed public adjuster.

Guidelines for Insurer compliance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-9.1-4, prohibited practices of unlicensed individuals, and the definition of the public adjuster under R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-10-1.1 are detailed in the Bulletin below.