Insurance Advisory for Home Improvement Contractors and Salesmen

Insurance Advisory for Home Improvement Contractors and Salesmen

If you are a contractor and a customer asks you to help with an insurance claim, here is what you can and cannot do according to the law*:
 
What contractors can do:
 
• Prepare an estimate of the loss.
• Discuss the estimate with their customer.
• Answer questions the insurance company has about the estimates.
 
What contractors cannot do, unless they are licensed as a public adjuster by the Maryland Insurance Administration:
 
• Investigate, appraise, evaluate, give advice or assist their customer in adjusting a claim.
• Prepare the insurance claim for their customer.
• Negotiate the claim with the insurance company on their customer’s behalf.
• Advise their customer on the insurance policy’s coverage.
• Advertise or provide written materials that they can negotiate or investigate a claim on their customer’s behalf.
 
*An individual who is hired by a property owner to help resolve a property insurance claim directly with an insurance company is known as public adjuster.
 
Maryland law states that a public adjuster is anyone that:
 
1. solicits business or represents itself to the public as an adjuster of first party insurance claims for losses or damages arising under insurance contracts that insure the real or personal property, or both, of an insured;
2. receives compensation for investigating, appraising, evaluating, or otherwise giving advice or help to an insured in the adjustment of claims for losses or damages arising under insurance contracts that insure the real or personal property, or both, of an insured; or
3. for compensation, directly or indirectly, solicits business, investigates or adjusts losses, or advises an insured about insurance claims for losses or damages arising under insurance contracts that insure the real or personal property, or both, of an insured for another person engaged in the business of adjusting losses or damages arising under insurance contracts that insure the real or personal property, or both, of an insured.
 
In order to become a public adjuster, one must obtain a license from the Maryland Insurance Administration. To find out more about what public adjusters do and how to become licensed, please refer to the Public Adjuster Uniform License Application located at the Public Adjuster page on the Insurance Administation website.