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Florida Supreme Court Upholds Overturning of Law Against Public Adjusters Contacting Disaster Victims in First 48 Hours in Florida

The Florida Supreme Court on July 5th of this year upheld a lower court’s ruling that a state law barring public adjusters from soliciting business right after a disaster violates free speech.  This ruling, although it went through with little fanfare, has a potential far reaching effect when future disasters occur here in Florida.

 

The law when it was originally enacted seemed to have a well-meaning origin.  The law was enacted with support from The Florida Department of Financial Services to prevent public adjusters from contacting insurance policy holders when they are in the “shock” phase after a disaster, when they haven’t had time to even process their loss.  Furthermore, the Department said that public adjusters are driving up insurer’s claims costs… Which leads to rate increases for all consumers.

 

Certainly the last thing people need when they have seen their lives turned upside down by a disaster is anyone preying on their vulnerability.  No doubt that there are predatory public adjusters out there who will seize any opportunity to make money fast, no matter the cost to their “customers”.

 

The problem is, this law threw a blanket over the entire industry.  And the public adjuster who sued the state, Fred Kortum, argued that the legal restriction against all public adjusters “violates the free speech rights of businesses and the first 48 hours after a catastrophe are critical because a policyholder may make decisions that affect how much they’ll receive from an insurer.  For instance, they might not preserve evidence or find all the damages.”  http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-07-05/features/sfl-public-insurance-adjusters-supreme-court-20120705_1_public-adjuster-free-speech-commercial-speech

 

By upholding the lower court’s ruling, the Florida Supreme Court sided with Mr. Kortum.  Overall, this ruling is very positive for all insured consumers in our state, and here are the reasons why:

 

  1. The insurance companies do not work for you.  Although many insurance claims adjusters are fair-minded people, they are working on behalf of for-profit insurance companies.  It is in their best interest to give you the minimum amount on your claim.
  2. Public adjusters like Fred Kortum and myself work for YOU.  When we arrive on the scene we are not only sensitive to the pain of your loss, we are also there to make sure you take the best course of action to recover as much of your loss as possible.  We are not there to scam anyone… just to get you the money you deserve based upon the insurance policy you have been faithfully paying for.
  3. In more general terms, any time free speech is upheld in a court of law it is a win for everyone, including all of the insured residents of Florida.

 

 

My name is Pete Johnson, and I am proud to be a Florida licensed Public Insurance Adjuster on behalf of my company, Fair Claim Settlement.  We work on your (the insured) behalf to ensure that you receive a Fair Claim Settlement on your homeowners insurance claim, property damage claim, business owners insurance claim, or any property damage insurance claim. Located in Jupiter, Florida, we serve all of South Florida – including Stuart, Jupiter, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and the rest of Palm Beach County, Martin County, Broward County and Miami-Dade County.

 

Whether it’s Hurricane Damage, Fire Damage, Water Damage, Interruption of Business, Commercial or Residential…Whatever Type of Property Damage You Have…Don’t Just Settle Your Insurance Claim. Demand a…FAIR CLAIM SETTLEMENT. Please visit our website at fairclaimsettlement.com or Call Pete today at 866-47 CLAIM, 561-676-922 (cell), pete@fairclaimsettlement.com