Florida Public Adjuster Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
March 14, 2023
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Florida Public Adjuster bond
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: Between $375 to $3,500 of the bond amount per year based on the applicant’s credit
- Bond Amount: $50,000
- Who Needs it: All public adjusters and public adjuster apprentices operating in Florida
- Purpose: To ensure insureds receive compensation for financial harm if the public adjuster commits fraud or engages in unfair business practices
- Who Regulates Public Adjuster Bonds in Florida: The Florida Department of Financial Services
Florida Statute 626.865 requires all public adjusters operating in the state to obtain a license from the Department of Financial Services. The Florida legislature enacted the licensing requirement to ensure that public adjusters do not engage in unethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, public adjusters and public adjuster apprentices must purchase and maintain a $50,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensure.
What is the Purpose of the Florida Public Adjuster Bond?
Florida requires public adjusters and public adjuster apprentices to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a license. The bond ensures that insureds will receive compensation for financial harm if the public adjuster fails to abide by the regulations outlined in Florida Statute 626.865. Specifically, the bond protects insureds if the public adjuster engages in any acts of fraud or unfair business practices. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects insureds if the public adjuster violates the terms of their license.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Florida Public Adjuster Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Florida Public Adjuster bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “adjuster” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Gain access now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the Florida Public Adjuster Bond?
Surety companies will run a credit check on the public adjuster to determine eligibility and pricing for the Florida Public Adjuster bond. Applicants with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. Applicants with poor credit may be declined by some surety companies or pay higher rates. The credit check is a “soft hit”, meaning that the credit check will not affect the applicant’s credit.
How Much Does the Florida Public Adjuster Bond Cost?
The Florida Public Adjuster Bond can cost anywhere between $375 to $3,500 per year. Insurance companies determine the rate based on several factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. The chart below offers a quick reference for the cost of the $50,000 bond requirement.
$50,000 Public Adjuster Bond Cost
|Credit Score*||Bond Cost (1 year)|
|625 – 719||$500|
|600 – 649||$1,250|
|575 – 599||$1,500|
|550 – 574||$2,500|
|500 – 549||$3,500|
*The credit score ranges do not include other factors that may result in a change to the annual premium offered to your customers, including but not limited to, years of experience and underlying credit factors contained within the business owner’s credit report.
Who is Required to Purchase the Florida Public Adjuster Bond?
Florida requires public adjusters to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a business license. To paraphrase Florida Statute 626.854, a public adjuster is a person who prepares, completes, and/or files an insurance claim for an insured or third-party claimant or assists them in doing so.
Exemptions to this definition include:
- Licensed attorneys
- Healthcare providers and their employees
- Licensed health insurance agents performing their normal duties
- Persons filing a health insurance claim on behalf of another without receiving any compensation
How do Public Adjusters Apply for a License in Florida?
Public adjusters in Florida must navigate several steps to obtain a license. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants refer to the Department of Financial Service’s application guide for details on the process.
License Period – Florida Public Adjuster Licenses will only expire if the adjuster has been unappointed for 48 consecutive months
Step 1 – Meet the Initial Requirements
To be eligible for licensure, public adjusters in Florida must satisfy all of the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a Florida resident or have a principal place of business in the state
- Be a US citizen or possess a valid work authorization
Step 2 – Become Qualified
Florida requires public adjusters to meet one of the following conditions before applying for licensure:
- Has been licensed and appointed in Florida as a nonresident public adjuster on a continual basis for the past 6 months
- Has been licensed as an all-lines adjuster and has been appointed on a continual basis for the past 6 months as either a public adjuster apprentice, an independent adjuster, or a company employee adjuster
Public adjuster apprentices must also purchase and maintain a $50,000 surety bond. Agents can learn more about the requirements for becoming a public adjuster apprentice here.
Step 3 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Public adjusters must purchase and maintain a $50,000 surety bond. Adjusters that purchased a bond before becoming an apprentice do not need to purchase another one.
Step 4 – Complete the Application
All Florida Public Adjuster License applications can be completed online here. Public adjusters must complete the application in its entirety, and pay a $50 fee.
Step 5 – Get Fingerprinted
After submitting their application, public adjusters must become fingerprinted. Detailed instructions for the fingerprinting process can be found here.
Step 6 – Pass the Exam
Once their license application has been approved, public adjusters will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule an appointment to take the required public adjuster exam. Public adjusters must pass this exam before receiving their license.
Do Florida Public Adjusters Need to Renew Their Licenses?
No, as all Florida Public Adjuster Licenses are perpetual unless the adjuster is unappointed for 48 consecutive months. However, public adjusters must complete 48 hours of continuing education every two years which are due on the last day of the adjuster’s birth month.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Public Adjusters in Florida?
Florida does not require public adjusters to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a license. Public adjusters and public adjuster apprentices must purchase and maintain a $50,000 surety bond.
How Do Florida Public Adjusters File Their Bonds?
Public adjusters should mail their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the following address:
NC Dept. of Insurance
Agent Services Division
ATTN: NIBE Team
1204 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1204
The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company, public adjuster, and a notary public that witnesses their signature. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Date the bond is signed
- Date the bond goes into effect
What Can Florida Public Adjusters do to Avoid Claims Made Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims against their bonds, public adjusters in Florida must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not commit fraud
- Do not engage in unfair business practices
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Public Adjusters in Florida?
Most reputable public adjusters will purchase business liability insurance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Florida Public Adjusters?
Florida conveniently provides a public database of active public adjusters in the state. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.