(a) Public adjusters shall ensure that all contracts for their services are in writing and contain the following terms:
(1) Legible full name of the adjuster signing the contract, as reflected in the records on file with the commissioner;
(2) Permanent home state business address and phone number;
(3) Tennessee public adjuster license number;
(4) Title of “Public Adjuster Contract” or its substantial equivalent;
(5) The insured's full name, street address, insurance company name and policy number, if known;
(6) A description of the loss and its location, if applicable;
(7) Description of services to be provided to the insured;
(8) Signatures of the public adjuster and the insured;
(9) Date contract was signed by the public adjuster and date the contract was signed by the insured;
(10) Attestation language stating that the public adjuster is fully bonded pursuant to this part; and
(11)(A) Full salary, fee, commission, compensation or other considerations the public adjuster is to receive for services. If the compensation is based on a share of the insurance settlement, the exact percentage shall be specified. Initial expenses to be reimbursed to a public adjuster from the proceeds of the claim payment shall be specified by type, with dollar estimates set forth in the contract and with any additional expenses to first be approved by the insured;
(B) Compensation provisions in a public adjusting contract shall not be redacted in any copy of the contract provided to the commissioner.
(b) If the insurer, not later than seventy-two (72) hours after the date on which the loss is reported to the insurer, either pays or commits in writing to pay to the insured the policy limit of the insurance policy, the public adjuster shall:
(1) Not receive a commission consisting of a percentage of the total amount paid by an insurer to resolve a claim;
(2) Inform the insured that the amount of any recovery amount might not be increased; and
(3) Be entitled only to reasonable compensation from the insured for services provided by the public adjuster on behalf of the insured, based on the time spent on a claim and expenses incurred by the public adjuster, until the claim is paid or the insured receives a written commitment to pay from the insurer.
(c) A public adjuster shall provide the insured a written disclosure concerning any direct or indirect financial interest that the public adjuster has with any other party who is involved in any aspect of the claim, other than the salary, fee, commission or other consideration established in the written contract with the insured, including, but not limited to, any ownership, other than as a minority stockholder, in a publicly traded entity, or any compensation expected to be received from any construction firm, building appraisal firm, motor vehicle repair shop, or any other firm that provides estimates for work, or that performs any work, in conjunction with damages caused by the insured's loss on which the public adjuster is engaged. “Firm” includes any corporation, partnership, association, joint-stock company or person.
(d) A public adjuster contract may not contain any contract term that:
(1) Allows the public adjuster's percentage fee to be collected when money is due from an insurance company but not paid, or that allows a public adjuster to collect the entire fee from the first check issued by an insurance company, rather than as percentage of each check issued by an insurance company;
(2) Requires or requests the public adjuster's name on the issuance of the check;
(3) Imposes collection costs or late fees in violation of Tennessee law; or
(4) Precludes an insured from pursuing civil remedies.
(e) Prior to the signing of the contract, the public adjuster shall provide the insured with a separate disclosure document regarding the claim process that states:
(1) An insured is obligated to present the insured's claim to an insurance company in the manner set forth in the insurance contract as required by law. The insured and the insurer shall act in good faith toward the other as required by law. There are three (3) types of adjusters that could be involved in that process. The definitions of the three (3) types are as follows:
(A) “Company adjuster” means the insurance adjusters that are employees of an insurance company. The adjusters are paid by the insurance company and will not charge the insured a fee;
(B) “Independent adjuster” means the insurance adjusters that are hired on a contract basis by an insurance company in the settlement of the claim. The adjusters are paid by the insured's insurance company and will not charge the insured a fee; and
(C) “Public adjuster” means the insurance adjusters that do not work for any insurance company. The adjusters work for the insured in connection with the insured's claim against the insured's insurance carrier. The insured hires the adjusters by signing a contract agreeing to pay the adjusters a fee or commission based on a percentage of the settlement, or other method of compensation;
(2) The insured is not required to hire a public adjuster to help the insured meet the insured's obligations under the policy, but has a right to do so;
(3) The insured has the right to initiate direct communications with the insured's attorney, the insurer, the insurer's adjuster, and the insurer's attorney, or any other person regarding the settlement of the insured's claim;
(4) The public adjuster is not a representative or employee of the insurer;
(5) The salary, fee, commission or other consideration is the obligation of the insured, not the insurer; and
(6) An insurance company has the right to communicate with its insured, even if the insured has hired a public adjuster; but, if requested by the insured, the insurance company will make a concerted effort to include the public adjuster in communications with the insured.
(f) The insured shall be given a copy or the original of the contract with the public adjuster. The public adjuster's original contract, or a copy, shall be available at all times for inspection, without notice, by the commissioner.
(g) The public adjuster shall provide the insurer a notification letter, which has been signed by the insured, authorizing the public adjuster to represent the insured's interest.
(h) The insured has the right to rescind the contract within three (3) business days after the date the contract was signed. The rescission shall be in writing and mailed or delivered to the public adjuster at the public adjuster's address in the contract within the three-business-day period.
(i) If the insured exercises the right to rescind the contract, anything of value given by the insured to the public adjuster under the contract shall be returned to the insured within three (3) business days following the receipt by the public adjuster of the cancellation notice.
(j) Nothing in this part shall prevent a public adjuster from requesting an insured to request the insurer to include the public adjuster's name as a payee on any check.
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