The Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting (UPPA)
May 2, 2017
Affecting Insurance Companies and Policyholders Alike
To quote Robert Baker’s published piece on the Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting (UPPA), “The unlicensed practice of public adjusting is a vehicle of consumer fraud that preys on some of the most vulnerable elements of our society. The disaster-stricken, the elderly, the unsophisticated and those for whom English is a second language. Individuals losses range from a couple of thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. And frequently, victims are left without a remedy, because UPPA offenders just disappear or are not worth suing.”
Our experts discuss this timely issue – what it is, who is affected, and what can be done to stop it – in this episode.
[01:52] What is the unauthorized practice of public adjusting and how and when did it start?
[05:46] How did the practice of UPPA develop and get worse over time?
[10:00] Do insurance agents ever assist in claims and does it cause confusion?
View All [13:19] How prevalent is the problem and are some states worse than others? [15:25] In terms of dollars, what does this practice cost policyholders and/or the insurance industry? [22:18] What has been done to counteract this practice and who is doing it? [25:42] How are the insurance industry and public adjusters united in addressing this issue? [27:35] Have insurance companies taken a position on this topic? [32:08] Once claims have been settled, do homeowners have any recourse? [34:14] Real world examples of unlawful public adjusting activity. [38:28] Recommended resources for home and building owners who may experience the illegal activity. [40:00] What is being done to educate consumers about this issue? [42:04] Additional thoughts from the panel. Close
[13:19] How prevalent is the problem and are some states worse than others?
[15:25] In terms of dollars, what does this practice cost policyholders and/or the insurance industry?
[22:18] What has been done to counteract this practice and who is doing it?
[25:42] How are the insurance industry and public adjusters united in addressing this issue?
[27:35] Have insurance companies taken a position on this topic?
[32:08] Once claims have been settled, do homeowners have any recourse?
[34:14] Real world examples of unlawful public adjusting activity.
[38:28] Recommended resources for home and building owners who may experience the illegal activity.
[40:00] What is being done to educate consumers about this issue?
[42:04] Additional thoughts from the panel.
Art Jansen is a past president of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA), a past president of the Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (TAPIA) and one of only two public adjusters to sit on the Texas Department of Insurance’s Adjuster Advisory Board. He has helped thousands of businesses, public corporations, and government entities recover from natural and man-made disasters for over 25 years.
Jim Beneke is a strong and effective advocate for commercial property owners in the aftermath of a devastating property loss. A third-generation public adjuster, he has a reputation for honesty and integrity in negotiating a fair and proper insurance settlement for his clients. Jim’s 36 years of experience, combined with this rich family tradition, shapes his knowledge and deep appreciation for the history and growth of the public adjusting profession.
In 2003, he led the Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjusters’ (TAPIA) successful legislative effort resulting in Texas’ first public adjuster licensing law. He worked closely with the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on the creation of a model licensing act for public adjusters. Completed in October of 2005, the model act is now the law in fifteen states and is the basis of legislation in the few remaining states that do not license public adjusters.
Brian Goodman is a trial lawyer and principal at the firm. He represents clients in the defense of civil claims, including serious personal injury and products liability claims. Brian also represents churches and other religious institutions in the defense of sexual misconduct claims. In addition to his active trial practice, Brian represents a national insurance-industry trade association in regulatory and licensing matters, and, as such, has been and continues to be very active with the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners). He lectures extensively for continuing education credit in numerous states on first-party property insurance matters and authored a chapter in the ABA book on First Party Property Litigation.
Steve represents the commercial property insurance industry, both as a plaintiff in large loss catastrophe subrogation matters and as a defendant in coverage matters involving roofing and other construction issues.
A highlight of Steve’s career was his work on a $5 billion subrogation action arising from the 9/11 Terrorist Attack. Leading the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, Steve was involved in directing all aspects of the action on behalf of the entire group of property damage plaintiffs. The litigation was recently settled for $1.2 billion, reportedly the largest subrogation recovery ever obtained by the insurance industry.
Todd Thomas was recently brought on as Adjusters International’s new Director of Special Projects. He is also the Chief Consultant and Partner of Adjusters International’s affiliate Sigma Consulting Corp. He has worked in the Management Consulting industry for 24 years. Currently, he works with Adjusters International’s strategic partners to offer the highest quality Risk Management and Disaster Recovery consulting services possible. Thomas has worked in a management capacity on high-profile FEMA, insurance and construction projects since 1996. Thomas regularly serves as an expert witness and Special Master to courts in the area of finance & insurance.
Thomas’ experience assisting public entities, non-profits and other organizations with risk management and insurance includes but is not limited to broker selection, insurance marketing, total cost of risk, risk identification, risk allocation, underwriting, claims, financial risk management, FEMA obtain & maintain compliance, risk analysis, risk management information systems and enterprise risk management.
Brianna collaborates with AI’s nationwide firms to create robust social media campaigns while assisting the firms with updates to their websites regarding new search engine optimization techniques, content, imagery, the latest technology, and more. She regularly reports to management and the firms while measuring the effectiveness of different strategies. Brianna monitors the latest trends in social media and web design to keep AI on the cutting edge.
Ms. Moyer writes content for the websites which include blogs, web news stories, and landing pages. She has also been instrumental in creating Standard Operating Procedures for various AI initiatives such as trade shows and disaster plan protocols.