Operation Flames and Flood – Fraud is Unacceptable to Public Adjusters


WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 6, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — The Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) today released the following statements in reaction to the recent reported arrests in connection with the insurance fraud investigation, “Operation Flames and Flood”. The two public adjusters arrested were not and have never been members of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA).

Public record indicates that the subject licensees both received their public adjuster’s license prior to 2006. This was before many of the current rules and statutes were put into place to increase the professionalism of our industry. Today, thanks to FAPIA’s efforts with the Department of Financial Services and Florida lawmakers, there are more stringent requirements to becoming a public insurance adjuster. Today, criminal background checks are conducted, applicants must hold an Accredited Adjuster Certification and the examination, which could previously be taken online must be taken, in person, at a state approved facility. Additionally, applicants must also apprentice under another seasoned public adjuster for a period of at least 12 months before they can even apply for a public adjuster license.

President Paul Handerhan: “FAPIA continues to support CFO Atwater and his department’s efforts to weed out any people who continue to burden our industry by purporting to be reputable public adjusters. We applaud DFS and local law enforcement in their efforts to eliminate all forms of fraud and protect the public. FAPIA members are committed to consumer advocacy and protection, and we remain focused on that role. All licensed public adjusters who are FAPIA members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics. The Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters has a zero tolerance policy on such activity, and the allegations in this case are deeply disappointing to the public adjusting industry. Fraud is unacceptable and remains a great concern to the many ethical, hard-working public adjusters in Florida who follow a strong code of values and standards as they work to help consumers through the claims process. The overwhelming majority of public insurance adjust ers in Florida and throughout the country are focused solely on protecting the rights of consumers to receive fair compensation on insurance claims. It would be unfortunate if the alleged acts of a misguided few were used to paint an inaccurate picture of the industry and of the dedicated professionals who work every day to protect the rights of property owners. We urge home and business owners to report all instances of suspected fraud to the Department of Financial Services.”

About FAPIA – FAPIA was founded in 1992 to protect residential and business policyholders in the wake of devastating Hurricane Andrew in South Florida. Today FAPIA consists of nearly 400 members who are committed to ensuring homeowners who suffer an insured loss receive full and fair compensation from their insurance carriers. FAPIA members are located throughout the state and commit to a strict code of ethics as well as continuing education requirements to ensure policyholders receive the best representation. FAPIA is an advocate for the consumer and for its members, working to grow and enhance the industry by improving laws and regulations that govern public adjusters and their services to policyholders. For more information, visit www.fapia.net .

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