Insurance producer, public adjuster requirements approved

A bill that would amend state law related to insurance producers was approved March 15.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist18' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Brett Lindstrom'>Sen. Brett Lindstrom</a>
Sen. Brett Lindstrom

LB743, introduced by Omaha Sen. Brett Lindstrom, creates regulations for public adjusters—individuals who provide compensated assistance to an insured in the filing and settlement of a property claim against an insurer—through adoption of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners model law.

Among other provisions, the bill:
• establishes criteria for resident and nonresident public adjusters;
• provides for administration of exams and licensure requirements;
• creates a continuing education requirement for public adjusters;
• eliminates a pre-licensing requirement for insurance producers;
• requires public adjusters to secure a minimum $20,000 surety bond;
• provides criteria for a business entity to become a public adjuster in Nebraska;
• removes a paper certificate requirement for insurance producer continuing-education activities and limits approval of those activities to four years; and
• prohibits an individual from acting as a public adjuster without being licensed in accordance with the act, misrepresenting that they work for an insurer or entering an agreement to repair property that the adjuster was engaged to adjust.

The bill was amended to include provisions of LB220, introduced by Omaha Sen. Burke Harr, which provide protections for consumers who assign their property insurance rights or benefits to a contractor following a loss. Those provisions:
• expand the definition of a residential contractor;
• provide that an assignment of rights or benefits to a residential contractor may authorize the contractor to be named as a copayee for payment of benefits under a property and casualty insurance policy;
• expand notice provisions in order to inform an insured homeowner that with an assignment, the residential contractor would be entitled to pursue any rights or remedies that the insured homeowner has under the insurance policy; and
• require that the itemized description of the work, materials, labor, fees and total amount to be paid be furnished to the insured and insurer prior to commencement of repair or replacement work.

In addition, the bill specifies that the itemized description does not limit the insured or a residential contractor from identifying other goods and services necessary to complete repairs or replacements.

The bill passed on a 48-0 vote.

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