President's Letter
Greetings fellow GAPIA Members and Associates,
As most of you know, I sent my most recent President’s letter from the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, held in San Antonio, Texas.  It was an incredible event and provided a great many networking opportunities for me as a representative of GAPIA.  I would encourage you and your associates to consider joining NAPIA, as they are looking to become more involved with the regional associations in 2018; the future or our profession has never been brighter.
Assignment of Benefits & Fictitious Business Names 

Assignment of Benefits & Fictitious Business Names - What Public Adjusters Need to Know when Working with Contractors  

By: J. Remington Huggins, Esq. and Dale S. Shelton, Esq. , The Bush Law Group, LLC 

Many states have made it illegal for contractors to file a claim on behalf of the policyholder, meet with an insurance adjuster to discuss coverage of a claim, or negotiate to effectuate the settlement of an insurance claim. Among other reasons, many contractors have begun using Assignment of Benefits (“AOB”) (also known as Assignment of Claim) to get around these laws. Some states have gone even further to stop the contractors from using the AOB to settle claims and proposed legislation to make it illegal for anyone other than a licensed public adjuster or an attorney to negotiate to effectuate a settlement of an insurance claim. This has provided many public adjusting firms with an opportunity to assist the contractor with claims that it has signed under an AOB. 

The Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting
by Ashley Harris, Esquire, Merlin Law Group
The Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting (“UPPA”) is one of the most important issues facing public adjusters.  UPPA occurs generally when contractors and other tradesmen hold themselves out as competent to represent a policyholder in negotiations with their insurance carrier.  Allowing unlicensed intermediaries between the policyholder and an insurance company harms both the licensed and regulated public insurance adjuster profession and the public at large.
Contractors Need to Use Carefully Drafted Contracts and Not Practice Public Adjusting


I discussed the Lon Smith Roofing class action case against a contractor accused of practicing public adjusting in, Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting and the Lon Smith Roofing Case Should Scare Contractors and Roofers with Contingent Contracts. An appellate court reaffirmed the dangers contractors face when negotiating claims and benefits with insurance companies and contracting to do what many consider either the unauthorized practice of law or the unauthorized practice of public adjusting.

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