Montana Public Adjuster Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $100 per year or $10 per month
- Bond Amount: $5,000
- Who Needs it: Public adjusters operating in Montana
- Purpose: To protect insureds from financial harm if the public adjuster commits fraud or fails to pay them all funds owed
- Who Regulates Public Adjusters in Montana: The Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
Montana Code 33-17-301 requires all public adjusters operating in the state to obtain a license from the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. The Montana 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 must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensure.
What is the Purpose of the Montana Public Adjuster Bond?
Montana requires public adjusters 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 Montana Rule 6.6.1611. Specifically, the bond protects insureds if the public adjuster commits fraud or fails to pay them all claims/settlement funds owed. 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 Montana Public Adjuster Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Montana Public Adjuster bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “public 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 at (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the Montana Public Adjuster Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Montana Public Adjuster bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same rate is offered to all public adjusters in Montana regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Montana Public Adjuster Bond Cost?
The Montana Public Adjuster bond costs either $100 per year or $10 per month.
Who is Required to Purchase the Montana Public Adjuster Bond?
Montana requires public adjusters to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a professional license. To paraphrase Montana Statute 33-17-102, a public adjuster is a person who investigates and negotiates the settlement of insurance claims on behalf of insureds.
Exemptions to this definition include:
- Licensed attorneys
- Employees of an insurer or managing general agent (MGA)
- Licensed insurance producers
- Licensed third-party administrators
- Claims examiners
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How Do Public Adjusters Become Licensed in Montana?
Public adjusters in Montana must navigate several steps to obtain a license. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the state’s licensing page for details on the process.
License Period – All Montana Public Adjuster Licenses are valid for two years and expire on the last day of the adjuster’s birth month
Step 1 – Pass the Exam
Public adjusters must pass a state exam before applying for licensure. The exam is administered by Pearson Vue, and public adjusters can register for it online here.
Step 2 – Get Fingerprinted
Montana requires public adjusters to get fingerprinted and pass a background check. Information on how to get fingerprinted can be found here. Additionally, public adjusters must email a signed (can be done electronically) and completed Applicant Rights and Consent to Fingerprint form to [email protected].
Step 3 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Public adjusters must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.
Step 4 – Complete the Application
All Montana Public Adjuster License applications should be submitted online through the NIPR. Public adjusters must complete the application in its entirety, and pay a $50 fee.
How do Public Adjusters in Montana Renew Their Licenses?
Public adjusters in Montana can renew their licenses, and pay the required $100 renewal fee, online here. Public adjusters must complete 24 hours of continuing education each renewal period with at least 1 hour devoted to legislative changes within the state and at least 3 hours devoted to ethics.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Public Adjusters in Montana?
Montana does not require public adjusters to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a license. Public adjusters must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.
How do Montana Public Adjusters File Their Bonds?
Public adjusters in Montana should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, electronically through the NIPR when submitting their license applications. The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company and the public adjuster. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name of the individual buying the bond
- Surety company’s name and state of incorporation
- Entity requiring the bond
- Bond amount
- License being obtained
- Date the bond goes into effect
- Date the bond is signed
What Can Montana Public Adjusters Do to Avoid Claims Made Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims against their bonds, public adjusters in Montana 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
- Pay insureds all claims/settlement funds owed
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Public Adjusters in Montana?
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 Montana Public Adjusters?
Agents can obtain a full list of all Montana public adjusters through the NAIC. However, agents may need to pay a fee to do so. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.