Insurance Claims Adjuster Permit/Placard Credentialing
CT Standard Operating Procedure for Post-Disaster Access
A key component of Connecticut’s post-disaster recovery phase is the ability for citizens and businesses to quickly secure funds for temporary living expenses, property repairs and rebuilding. The faster insurance company catastrophe claims adjusters can get to their customers the sooner customers can have their claims paid.
A credentialing process, administered by the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID), in collaboration with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) will allow licensed insurance company claims adjusters to enter damaged areas that may be temporarily off-limits to the general public using a Connecticut Permit/Placard.
While federal disaster aid is important, it typically is just a small complement to the hundreds of millions of dollars the insurance industry pays out after a disaster. It is these funds that pay for insured losses to homes, businesses and more that can quickly be put back into the local and state economies to get commerce moving again after a disaster. The sooner policyholders have the resources to take care of their families and/or businesses, the sooner government resources can be made available for other purposes.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Terms and Definitions
- Regulatory Requirements
- Reference Documents
- Appendix A: Permit/Placard Design
Section 1. Purpose
This document outlines the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that allow catastrophe (CAT) insurance adjusters the most expedient access to post-disaster sites that are temporarily restricted to the general public.
Section 2. Scope
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP):
- Instructs insurers on how to prepare ahead by having Permit/Placards available before a catastrophe strikes
- It links insurers to the emergency adjuster licensing system and what is required before and during emergencies to have Emergency Adjuster Licensing processes in place
- Details chain of communications to all parties through to recovery phase on identifying CAT adjusters with special access authority
- Provides a visual example of the access credential – a CID-issued placard to be prominently displayed on adjuster’s vehicles.
- Serves as a cooperative framework among entities involved with Connecticut catastrophe response and recovery for which the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) is responsible. These parties include
- The Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS)
- Connecticut State Police
- Connecticut Insurance Department (CID).
Section 3. Terms and Definitions (As used in this SOP)
“Catastrophic Disaster” – An event that results in large numbers of deaths or injuries; causes extensive damage or destruction of facilities that provide and sustain human needs; produces an overwhelming demand on state and local response resources and mechanisms; causes a severe long-term effect on general economic activity; and severely affects state, local and private sector capabilities to begin and sustain response activities. A catastrophic disaster shall be declared by the President of the United States or the Governor of the state or district in which the disaster occurred.
Catastrophic Licensing Program – Recognizing the need for insurance companies to mobilize substantial out-of-state assistance in order to meet the needs of Connecticut residents, the Insurance Commissioner may invoke the following Catastrophe Adjuster Registration.
“Claim” – A request to an insurer for compensation for a loss.
“Company Adjuster” – An insurance adjuster who is an employee of an insurance company.
“Disaster Recovery Center (DRC)” – A central location(s) for insurance companies to set up and operate mobile offices to assist their client base post-disaster event.
“Emergency Adjuster” – A person who is authorized to perform adjusting activities in Connecticut in the event of an emergency, catastrophe or state of disaster declared in the State pursuant to the Connecticut Insurance Department Catastrophe Licensing Program.
“SEOC” – State Emergency Operations Center based in the William A. O’Neill State Armory in Hartford.
“ESF” – Emergency Support Functions that detail the missions, policies, structures, and responsibilities of Federal agencies for coordinating resource and programmatic support to States, tribes, and other Federal agencies or other jurisdictions and entities during Incidents of National Significance.
“Independent adjuster” – An insurance adjuster who is hired on a contract basis by an insurance company to represent the insurance company’s interest in the settlement of the claim.
“Public Adjuster” – Any person, partnership, association, limited liability company or corporation who or which:
(1) On behalf of an insured and for monetary or other compensation or anything of value, (A) prepares, documents and submits a first-party property claim to an insurance company for loss or damage by a covered peril under a personal or commercial risk insurance policy, as defined in section 38a-663, issued by such company, or (B) negotiates, adjusts or effects the settlement of such claim;
(2) Advertises or solicits business as a public adjuster; or
(3) Holds himself or itself out to the public as engaging in the activities set forth in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subdivision (1) of this section as a business. Lawyers settling claims of clients shall not be deemed to be public adjusters.
Note – Only Public Adjusters licensed by the Connecticut Insurance Department are permitted to operate within the state. The temporary catastrophe license program and emergency credentialing Permit/Placard process DOES NOT apply to Public Adjusters.
Section 4. Regulatory Requirements
Connecticut General Statutes § 38a-792 and 38a-792-1 through 38a-792-5 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, provides the legal authority for the establishment of standards and procedures for the issuance of insurance claim adjuster licenses and governs the conduct of insurance claim adjusters.
Pursuant to Connecticut Regulations 38a-792-3, any staff member of any insurance company who has authority to settle losses not exceeding $1,500 when such losses are property damage losses, need not be licensed so long as he/she is a licensed Property & Casualty insurance producer.
In addition, pursuant to this authority, CID has established a Catastrophe Licensing Program in the event of a disaster in the state. These procedures can be found on-line at Catastrophe Adjuster Registration.
Section 5. Procedures
The DESPP and DEMHS, the Connecticut State Police and the CID, will coordinate efforts so that critical damage assessment information is communicated to the insurance companies in a timely manner. When insurance companies know where the areas of heaviest damage are, they can deploy their CAT adjusters with greater efficiency.
Access credential (Permit/Placard): An auto placard, developed by the CID in cooperation with DEMHS and approved by the DESPP, identifies CAT adjusters as credentialed and authorized for access to post disaster sites during emergency situations. A sample Permit/Placard is attached to this SOP.
ID required for adjusters: If authorities declare damaged areas off-limits to the general public but do grant some access to residents, business owners and other essential personnel as soon as safely possible, CAT adjusters may allowed to enter with:
- A CID-issued Permit/Placard, and
- Company identification
- Company ID card and/or
- Authorization on company letterhead).
Assigning placards to adjusters: It is the responsibility of the respective insurance companies to distribute the placards to officially authorized personnel only and to maintain a database that shall include at a minimum:
- The individual’s name
- Contact information
- Connecticut adjuster license number.
It is the responsibility of the respective insurance companies to distribute the placards to officially authorized personnel only and to maintain a database that shall be presented to the CID upon request. It is the insurers’ duty to notify CID immediately of any lost or destroyed placards. Distribution of placards to unauthorized persons will subject the insurance company to regulatory sanctions under Connecticut Law.
Issuing placards to company groups: The Connecticut Insurance Department (in coordination with the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security [DEMHS]) is responsible for tracking what Permit/Placard numbers are issued to each insurer/insurer group. Permit/Placards are available by request immediately; request forms can be found at https://www.ct.gov/cid/lib/cid/Placards_Request_form.pdf. Placards are issued to insurer groups (unless an insurer is not part of a group). The insurer who will represent the group will be responsible for 1) issuing the Permit/Placards to each insurer, and 2) tracking what placard number is issued to which adjuster.
Checkpoint Entrance Procedure
- When approaching the assigned area the authorized placard will be displayed in a manner that is easily viewed and visible to all law enforcement officials when approaching the affected area. In most instances, hanging from the interior rear-view mirror of their automobile.
- Authorized personnel will be required to stop at the checkpoint and produce proper identification (*) and notify law enforcement of their intentions.
Disaster Recovery Centers: Initial damage assessments information shared by DESPP, law enforcement and the CID with the industry will help carriers set up their mobile claims centers or DRCs in areas that are most convenient for their customers. The CID will notify the public of all DRC locations.
Security Escorts: In the event adjusters may require security escorts into locations, all requests for security escorts will be made to the SEOC.
Industry-State Liaison: A pre-determined liaison between the insurance companies and the SEOC/CID will serve as the point of contact for all post-disaster information. The liaison will have a seat at the EOC and will, when necessary, report out relevant information to the Insurance Industry.
Further development of this plan may be applicable to all six New England States through the New England State Police Administrator Compact (NESPAC).
Section 6. Materials
For an example of the placard, see Appendix A.
Section 7. Reference Documents
Section 8. Authors/Contributors
John.G.Gustafson, Emergency Telecommunications Manager, DEMHS
George B. Bradner, P&C Director Connecticut Insurance Dept.
Tony Caporale, Principal Attorney Connecticut Insurance Dept.
Section 9. Appendix A: Placard Design