LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES MAXIMUM FEE PUBLIC ADJUSTERS MAY CHARGE RESIDENTIAL INSUREDS
Lieutenant Governor Osbert E. Potter, who is also the Territory’s Commissioner of Insurance, announces to public adjusters and residential property owners that Rules and Regulations governing the actions of public adjusters in the Territory, which were promulgated in 1995 by then Lieutenant Governor Kenneth E. Mapp following Hurricane Marilyn, are still in effect.
These regulations are needed for the protection of all residential policyholders who contract with a public adjuster for the purpose of representing their financial interests in an insurance policy by preparing, completing or filing their insurance claim form and negotiating the settlement of a claim for loss or damage covered by a homeowners insurance policy.
Lieutenant Governor Potter stated, “In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, numerous public adjusters have come into the Territory and have been licensed by the Commissioner of Insurance.”
Lieutenant Governor Potter further advised that no public adjuster may charge a fee or receive any compensation from you, the residential property owner, which exceeds 5% of the residential insurance settlement. “My office is receiving telephone calls and emails from a few residents who want to pay a public adjuster more than 5% of the insurance settlement. Know that if this is done, you as the residential policyholder, will have no right to appeal before the Commissioner of Insurance should there be a disagreement between you and the public adjuster with the outcome, because the maximum amount set by Regulation is 5%.” stated Lieutenant Governor Potter.
In concert with the provisions of Title 22, Section 781 (a) (2) and (b), Virgin Islands Code, each public adjuster shall have readily available at his business address, for inspection by the Commissioner or the employees of the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation, a statement of any fee or compensation received from a homeowner or residential insured, as well as a detailed record of the adjustment related thereto.
Failure to comply with the provisions of these Regulations shall subject a public adjuster to the penalties set forth in Title 22, Section 776, Virgin Islands Code, or any other penalty as may be provided for by law.
Customers with questions regarding an insurance policy or about an adjuster, should contact the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Division of Banking, Insurance, and Financial Regulation at 340-774-7166 (for St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island) or 340-773-6459 on St. Croix. Customers may also come to the Division’s office on St. Thomas in Nisky Center, 2nd Floor, or St. Croix at 1131 King Street, 3rd Floor.