Iowa Insurance Division to Contractors: Stop Acting as Public Adjusters

June 7, 2010

The Iowa Insurance Division (IID) has issued summary cease and desist orders against two contractors, directing them to stop acting as public adjusters.

The division alleges the firms have been soliciting storm repair business without being properly licensed, in violation of Iowa laws.

The C&D orders were issued to Sean Tierney and Tracy Tierney, doing business as Tierney Brother Construction LLC, of Ramsey, Minn., along with Joe Glaze, who does business as Glaze Roofing and Construction, with business addresses in both Cedar Falls and in Olathe, Kan.

The activities of these contractors came to the attention of the division when individuals in communities hit by spring hailstorms reported receiving letters and door-to-door solicitations that actually mentioned the insurance division in a way that seemed to imply endorsement of the contractors and their activities.

Complaints against a few other repair contractors for similar acts remain under investigation by IID.

Licensed public adjusters act as intermediaries between insurance companies and policyholders in claims situations for a fee, either getting a flat dollar amount for working with an insurance company or more typically by collecting a percentage of the payment made by the insurer.

If the work of the adjuster does not result in any increase in what the insurer pays compared to what they would have paid anyway, the net result is less money for the consumer.

Further, some policies specifically exclude all third parties from settlements, so contracts with public adjusters may significantly complicate and slow settlements made for claims.

Consumers are encouraged to take time before entering into a contract agreement with anyone soliciting repair work or a position in the middle of insurance settlements.

“If anyone claims to have the ability to represent you in insurance adjustments, ask to see their Iowa license,” Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss. “While you’re asking, if they are also acting as contractors, ask to see evidence they are registered with Iowa Workforce Development as well.” Some communitieds also required local licenses for door-to-door solicitors of repair business.

“It’s not impolite for consumers to ask solicitors to prove they are properly licensed,” Voss said. “In fact, the legitimate ones will be proud to show that they are.”

Source: Iowa Insurance Division

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