Have you ever heard of a “Loss Consultant”? This is a new term that originated only a few years ago by unlicensed individuals asserting they can represent policyholders with property damage insurance claims. I bring this up after receiving a call yesterday from a woman seemingly desperate for help. I cannot stress enough and may sound like a broken record, but I wouldn’t be doing you any justice if I didn’t keep reiterating that unlicensed activity is harming Florida consumers and is rampant throughout our state and can be a costly mistake.
She explained that the person representing her with her claim told her he was a loss consultant and she didn’t need a public adjuster. “Loss consultants” don’t exist and only a licensed public adjuster or attorney can legally represent a policyholder with an insurance claim.
To make matters worse, he met with her insurance company and told them what he “thought” was causing the damage. Without fully investigating and determining what really caused the damage, he said it looked like her roof leaked and walked the adjuster through the rooms of damage and said the roof needed to be replaced. Because of his lack of knowledge and understanding, he never read her insurance policy and had no idea what was covered or excluded.
Why would someone act as an adjuster when they are not? I’m of the opinion that many do so to avoid the legal requirements and costs of having to be licensed, bonded and properly educated to represent policyholders. After all, the insurance companies are dealing with them so they are getting away with it and have no incentive to do things right.
She continued to say that after the initial inspection with her insurance company, her consultant then professed that he was a contractor and could repair her home and save her money. Not checking his credentials, and trusting what he told her, she allowed him to repair her roof and the damage inside of her home.
According to the insurance company, the roof was not covered because there was no damage to her roof caused by a covered loss in her policy. Unfortunately for her, the policy also did not cover the ensuing interior water damage from the roof leak and her claim was denied. While the insurance company dealt with this unlicensed individual, they then sent her a letter asking for a roof inspection report that her roof was in good condition and not in need of replacement or they would cancel her insurance. When she called her “loss consultant”, it turns out that he is an unlicensed plumber and not even a qualified roofer and he was unable to provide her with the letter she needed and avoided her calls.
As a consumer myself, it is my obligation to help others and I will continue to bring awareness about unlicensed activity and how harmful it is. Additionally, Loss Consultants legally do not exist and unsuspecting consumers think they are hiring a public insurance adjuster when they are not. You must, must, must always make sure that anyone doing work for you is properly licensed and insured whether they are a contractor, roofer, plumber or electrician and yes, even a public adjuster or attorney!
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