Montana Title 33. Insurance and Insurance Companies § 33-17-302. Public adjuster contracts--financial disclosure

(1) A person licensed as a public adjuster may not act as a public adjuster unless the person has a written contract with the insured.  Written contracts must be filed with the commissioner and must contain all of the following:

(a) legible full name of the adjuster signing the contract as specified in records held by the commissioner;

(b) business address and telephone number of the public adjuster;

(c) license number of the public adjuster;

(d) title specifying “public adjuster contract”;

(e) insured's full name, street address, insurer name, and policy number, if known or upon notification;

(f) description of the loss and its location, if applicable;

(g) description of services to be provided to the insured;

(h) signatures of the public adjuster and the insured;

(i) date the contract was signed by the public adjuster and the date the contract was signed by the insured;

(j) attestation language stating that the public adjuster is fully bonded pursuant to state law;  and

(k) full salary, fee, commission, compensation, or other consideration the public adjuster is to receive for services.

(2) A public adjuster contract may not contain any contract term that:

(a) allows the public adjuster's percentage fee to be collected when money is due from an insurer but not paid or that allows a public adjuster to collect the entire fee from the first payment issued by the insurer rather than as a percentage of each payment issued by an insurer;

(b) requires the insured to authorize an insurer to issue payment only in the name of the public adjuster;

(c) imposes collection costs or late fees;  or

(d) precludes an insured from pursuing civil remedies.

(3) If the insurer either pays or commits in writing to pay the insured policy limits of the insurance policy within 72 hours after the date the loss is reported, the public adjuster may not:

(a) receive a commission consisting of a percentage of the total amount paid by an insurer to resolve a claim;  or

(b) inform the insured that loss recovery amount will likely not be increased by the insurer.

(4) A public adjuster shall provide the insured with a written disclosure document concerning any direct or indirect financial interest that the public adjuster has with any other party involved in any aspect of the claim or services rendered by the public adjuster.  The document must include a disclosure of any ownership interest in an entity that performs work in conjunction with the claim on which the public adjuster is engaged, including but not limited to any:

(a) construction firm;

(b) salvage firm;

(c) building appraisal firm;

(d) motor vehicle repair shop;  or

(e) other entity that provides estimates for work or that performs any work.


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