National Adjuster License vs. Reciprocal Exchange Agreements
The subject of national adjuster licenses created quite a bit of buzz. WorkCompCentral published an article on this very subject a few weeks ago.
California was moving towards the national adjuster license standard. I then read on into the article.
The national adjuster license seemed to be more of a certification process administered by an organization referred to as CLM (Claims and Litigation Management Alliance).
Five states signed onto the UCC (Universal Claims Certification) process: Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The licensing requirement of the UCC will be more stringent than a state-based licensing program.
The UCC is not meant to replace an adjusters license. The UCC would streamline the process. Various versions of a Bill to advance a national adjuster license standard has died in Congress.
From the CLM website:
The process of licensing independent and staff insurance adjusters has been unnecessarily complex for decades. Most adjusters handle claims in multiple states and are burdened with maintaining multiple licenses and tracking the different renewal criteria for each license. The current system also limits the flexibility needed when a natural disaster occurs and a large number of adjusters are needed promptly in a specific state. Many qualified adjusters are unable to assist in these situations until they can go through that state’s licensing process.
This concept looks like a great idea. I am not sure if it would work for workers compensation adjusters. As an all lines adjuster in 12 states and a consultant in the other 38, some issues would have to be addressed with a workers compensation national adjuster license.
Many lines of insurance adjusting do not change that much when a state line is crossed concerning a claim. An adjuster from Minnesota handled my loss from Hurricane Michael. He did a great job – very professional.
One of the main characteristics of multi-jurisdictional workers compensation claims is when adjusting a claim in another state, a whole new pile of laws and rules come into play.
A workers compensation adjuster always has two governing bodies over their claims, not just one. The Industrial Commission (Workers Comp Board) and the respective Department of Insurance in that state.
At one time I juggled 7 states in my adjusting career simultaneously. That was a challenging, yet at times, confusing task.
What would one standard look like for all workers compensation adjusters in every state? Would 40 hours of education actually cover enough to update the adjuster’s knowledge to begin immediately adjusting claims in a new state overnight?
ACORD Form 4 started to become a nationalized form for reporting injuries. The form covers most incident reporting situations very well. A few states still accept the form. This form was my first exposure to a nationalized workers compensation form of any type. The form came with five pages of instructions.
The reciprocal exchange environment can be confusing. I count myself fortunate as all the states I have ever applied to as an out-of-state adjuster accepted the hours that I had earned for my resident state license as appropriate for their respective state.
A national adjuster license may save confusion when it comes to the time of renewal. Remembering what license renewal was required on what date caused me to have to completely re-apply to one state. The only detriment was the extra fees when the license lapsed.
The idea of a national adjuster license remains a great idea. The Institutes (think CPCU, ARM, etc.) bought the website and program from its creator. This article was not to say the idea was unworkable. The task will be a challenge to administer a national adjuster license for workers compensation.
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