2017 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 59A - Insurance Code
Article 13 - Adjusters
Section 59A-13-15 - Contract between public adjuster and insured.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 59A-13-15 (2017)

59A-13-15. Contract between public adjuster and insured.

A. Public adjusters shall ensure that all contracts for their service are in writing and contain the following terms:

(1) legible full name of the adjuster signing the contract, as specified in the office of superintendent of insurance records;

(2) permanent home state business name and phone number;

(3) office of superintendent of insurance license number;

(4) title of "Public Adjuster Contract";

(5) the insured's full name, street address, insurance company name and policy number, if known or upon notification;

(6) description of the loss and its location, if applicable;

(7) description of services to be provided to the insured;

(8) signatures of the public adjuster and the insured;

(9) date the contract was signed by the public adjuster and date the contract was signed by the insured;

(10) attestation language stating that the public adjuster is fully bonded; and

(11) full salary, fee, commission, compensation or other considerations the public adjuster is to receive for services.

B. The contract may specify that the public adjuster shall be named as a co-payee on an insurer's payment of a claim.

C. If the compensation is based on a share of the insurance settlement, the exact percentage shall be specified.

D. Initial expenses to be reimbursed to the public adjuster from the proceeds of the claim payment shall be specified by type, with dollar estimates set forth in the contract and with any additional expenses first approved by the insured.

E. Compensation provisions in the public adjusting contract shall not be redacted in any copy of the contract provided to the superintendent.

F. If the insurer, not later than seventy-two hours after the date on which the loss is reported to the insurer, either pays or commits in writing to pay to the insured the policy limit of the insurance policy, the public adjuster shall:

(1) inform the insured that, due to the insurer's payment or commitment to pay the policy limit, the loss recovery amount might not be increased by the insurer;

(2) not receive a commission consisting of a percentage of the total amount paid by an insurer to resolve the claim; and

(3) be entitled only to reasonable compensation from the insured for the time spent and expenses incurred on the claim by the public adjuster, until the claim is paid or the insured receives a written commitment to pay from the insurer.

G. A public adjuster shall provide the insured a written disclosure concerning any direct or indirect financial interest that the public adjuster has with any party that is involved in any aspect of the claim, other than the salary, fee, commission or other consideration established in the written contract with the insured, including any ownership of, other than as a minority stockholder, or any compensation expected to be received from, any construction firm, salvage firm, building appraisal firm, motor vehicle repair shop or any other business entity that provides estimates for work, or that performs any work, in conjunction with damages caused by the insured loss on which the public adjuster is engaged.

H. A public adjuster contract may not contain any contract term that:

(1) allows the public adjuster's percentage fee to be collected when money is due from but not yet paid by an insurance company;

(2) allows a public adjuster to collect the entire fee from the first check issued by an insurance company, rather than as percentage of each check issued by an insurance company;

(3) requires the insured to authorize an insurance company to issue a check only in the name of the public adjuster;

(4) imposes collection costs or late fees; or

(5) precludes a public adjuster from pursuing civil remedies.

I. Prior to the signing of the contract, the public adjuster shall provide the insured with a separate disclosure document regarding the claim process that states the following:

"(1) Your public adjuster is forbidden by law from acting as your contractor on this claim.

(2) You must notify your insurance company of your loss and submit a claim. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to handle your claim. You may allow their adjuster to handle your claim or you may hire a public adjuster at your own expense.

(3) Public adjusters do not work for insurance companies. They work for you to assist you in the preparation, presentation and settlement of your claim. You hire them by signing a contract agreeing to pay them a fee or commission. Their compensation is often based on a percentage of the settlement.

(4) You are not required to hire a public adjuster, but you have the right to do so.

(5) You have the right to contact your attorney, your insurance company, your insurance company's adjuster or attorney, or any other person regarding the settlement of your claim.

(6) The public adjuster does not work for your insurance company and is not paid by your insurance company. You are solely responsible for paying the public adjuster.".

J. Subsection I of this section shall not apply to a public adjuster providing public adjuster services on behalf of a financial institution, a mortgage company or other default servicer.

K. The contract shall be executed in duplicate to provide an original contract to the public adjuster and an original contract to the insured. The public adjuster's original contract shall be available at all times for inspection without notice by the superintendent.

L. The public adjuster shall provide the insurer with a notification letter, which has been signed by the insured, authorizing the public adjuster to represent the insured's interest.

M. The insured has the right to rescind the contract within three business days after the date the contract was signed. The recession shall be in writing and mailed or delivered to the public adjuster at the address in the contract within the three-business-day period.

N. If the insured exercises the right to rescind the contract, anything of value given by the insured under the contract will be returned to the insured within fifteen business days following the receipt by the public adjuster of the cancellation notice.

History: Laws 2017, ch. 76, 9.

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