When an insurance company denies a claim, homeowners may seek the assistance of a public insurance adjuster to help them get the money they need to pay for a repair. Homeowners also hire public insurance adjusters to negotiate the claim if the insurance company offers less than they expect. In states that deal with severe weather, public insurance adjusters can stay busy helping homeowners with their claims after a hurricane, tornado, or fire damages their property.
What Does a Public Insurance Adjuster in Texas Do?
A public insurance adjuster in Texas is a licensed professional who understands insurance law and the claims process. They use their knowledge of the insurance industry to negotiate on behalf of the homeowners who hire them. In exchange, the homeowner pays them a fee — up to 10% of the amount they receive in the settlement.
Although public insurance adjusters can help homeowners get the funds they need to recover from a natural disaster or similar situation, hiring one does not automatically mean the homeowner will get the amount of money they’re seeking. Sometimes the negotiations are unsuccessful. When that happens, the homeowner still has to pay the adjuster for their work. Adjusters also do not have the ability to negotiate the policy’s deductible. The homeowner is responsible for paying that on all claims.
How To Become an Insurance Adjuster in Texas
To become an insurance adjuster in Texas, you have to pass an exam, submit for a background check, and apply for licensure. The Texas Department of Insurance reviews applications and issues licenses for individuals who meet the agency’s requirements. Working as a public adjuster without the proper license is against the law in Texas.
Texas does not offer temporary or emergency licenses for public insurance adjusters. Provisional permits are not available for these professionals. To work in Texas legally, adjusters must get a standard license.
Public adjusters from other states can apply for a non-resident license if they have a current public insurance adjuster license in their home state. The license must be in good standing, and the adjuster needs to apply online and pay the $50 application fee. All others must go through the following process to get a license in Texas.
Pass the Insurance Adjuster Exam
Before you can apply for an insurance adjuster license, you have to pass the licensing exam. This exam covers topics like types of insurance policies, procedures for underwriting and delivering policies, and Texas statutes and rules governing the insurance industry. The test also includes questions about insurance terms, policy provisions, and contract law.
You can take the exam through the testing company Pearson. It offers online proctoring that lets you sit for the exam in the comfort of your home or office. The test is available in English and Spanish, and Pearson has study guides available for download through its website. If you plan to take the test in Spanish, you have to complete a request form.
The next step in the licensing process is submitting fingerprints for a background check. You can submit either digital fingerprints or hard ink fingerprints. When scheduling an appointment for fingerprinting, applicants must use a service code provided by the Texas Department of Insurance. The state waives this requirement for individuals who have already submitted fingerprints for a background check.
Apply for Licensure
After successfully passing the exam and submitting fingerprints, you can apply for the insurance adjuster license. The application is available online. You’ll also need to pay the $50 application fee.
Who Needs an Insurance Adjuster Bond in Texas?
Public insurance adjusters need an insurance adjuster bond to meet the financial responsibility requirement outlined in the state’s statutes. The bond amount must be a minimum of $10,000 and payable to the Texas Department of Insurance.
The Texas public insurance adjuster bond helps protect the interests of the homeowners who hire them and the insurance companies they negotiate with. Their primary responsibility is to assign a value to a claim. This process requires careful investigation, attention to detail, and an understanding of the cost of materials and labor to complete the repair.
If a public insurance adjuster makes a mistake, it can be costly for the homeowner and the insurance company. The insurance company may have to pay more than necessary to cover the cost of repairs. The homeowner may not receive the full amount they need — and are legally entitled to — if the adjuster’s figures are too low.
The bond is an agreement between the public insurance adjuster, the state insurance agency, and the bond company. This agreement indicates that the adjuster will follow the law and work ethically to help the insurance company and homeowner come to an agreement. If the adjuster breaches the agreement through error, fraud, negligence, or omission, their clients can file a claim to recover their damages.
Say, for example, the homeowner discovers the public adjuster’s calculation for a roof replacement is $20,000 less than the actual cost. If the homeowner finds out the adjuster is a partial owner of a roofing company, they can file a claim because of the conflict of interest. The bond company will investigate the claim and determine whether the public adjuster broke the agreement. If that happens, the homeowner can receive a payment up to the amount of the bond.
How To Get a Public Insurance Adjuster Bond in Texas
To get a public insurance adjuster bond, complete an online application and receive an instant approval! The application is simple and won’t take more than a few minutes of your time.