02-07: Adjusters in Area Designated as a Disaster Site

To:           All Companies Licensed To Write Property And Casualty Insurance In Missouri, Adjusting Companies                 And Public Adjusters

From:      Scott B. Lakin, Director Missouri Department of Insurance

Re:          Adjusters in Area Designated as a Disaster Site

Date:       October 20, 2002

When disaster strikes, the Department understands that insurance adjusters need to be on the scene as quickly as possible to help insured individuals and businesses put their lives back together. Experience with disasters such as the great flood of 1993, however, has shown us that there are times when the government must limit access to disaster sites in order to protect people and property from looting and other predatory actions by unscrupulous individuals. In order to allow bona fide insurance adjusters access to such disaster sites to conduct their important function, the Department has drafted an emergency rule for promulgation by the Governor in appropriate circumstances.

The provisions of this draft emergency rule closely follow a similar emergency rule promulgated by the Governor during the 1993 flood. Please note that this emergency rule is only a draft. It will not go into effect unless the Governor determines that the nature of a disaster warrants the taking of such action and promulgates the emergency rule in accordance with Section 536.025, RSMo 2000. We anticipate that the Governor will make this determination on a case by case basis. In order to give interested parties advance notice of the emergency rule's provisions and an opportunity to implement procedures to prepare for its possible enactment, we have chosen to distribute copies of the draft via this bulletin.

As drafted, the emergency rule restricts adjuster access to areas designated as disaster sites. After a site has been designated a disaster area, only adjusters who present proper identification will be permitted access to adjust claims in the disaster area. For the first forty-eight (48) hours following the area being designated a disaster, only adjusters with two forms of proper identification will be admitted to the designated area. In order for identification to be considered proper identification, the adjuster must satisfy one of the following:

After the first forty-eight (48) hours following the area being declared a disaster area, Missouri licensed public adjusters shall be authorized to adjust claims in the designated disaster area without registration if they present both the license and a valid state identification card or driver's license. Non-public adjusters with the proper identification, as outlined above, and whose names are submitted to the Department as disaster adjusters will be authorized to adjust claims in the designated disaster area after the initial forty-eight (48) hours. There will be no charge for submitting the names to the Department of Insurance; however, all submissions must be made in an acceptable electronic format.

All name filings should include the name and address of the organization with whom the adjuster is employed or contracted with, the name and telephone number for the contact person of that organization, the name and home address of the individual adjuster, the social security number of the adjuster, and the identification number or the driver's license number of the adjuster.