The State of New Jersey amended the Public Adjuster's Licensing Act, N.J.S.A. 17:22B-1 et seq. in early January, 2011. The new amendments take effect on July 5, 2011 and make 3 substantial changes in the law.
Term is 2 years. The new law states that "the term of all public adjuster licenses shall be for a period of two years." This applies to both new and renewal applications.
Solicitation ban. The new law adds a prohibition against soliciting the adjustment of a loss or damage occurring in this State from an insured, whether by personal interview, by telephone or by any other method, between the hours of six p.m. and eight a.m. during the 24 hours after the loss has occurred. This tracks the language with which you are familiar prohibiting signing an insured during that same time period. The amendment now goes further to prevent solicitation during the same time period. Thus, no insured who suffers a nighttime loss should arrive at the loss location at 8 a.m. along with a public adjuster who has provided services prior to that time.
Mandatory Continuing Education. The new law requires a renewal application to include proof of completion of not less than 15 hours of continuing education. Thus you have to complete 15 hours of continuing education every two years. Historically, the Department has allowed one full licensing cycle for those affected by changes to comply with them. In this instance, that would mean two years from July 2011.
The amendment also requires the Commissioner to establish standards for continuing education; approve educational programs offering continuing education credits and the qualification of instructors; and approve other equivalent educational programs and establish procedures for the issuance of credit upon satisfactory proof of the completion of these programs.
The new law also permits the Commissioner to waive requirements for continuing education on an individual basis for reasons of hardship such as illness or disability, retirement or other good cause.
Importantly, the Commissioner may also waive, in his discretion, the continuing education requirements for a public adjuster who is a non-resident if the licensee satisfactorily completes the continuing education requirements for a licensed public adjuster in the state in which he resides that are equivalent to New Jersey continuing education requirements. Thus New York and Pennsylvania residents who hold New Jersey public adjuster licenses may be able to satisfy the New Jersey renewal requirements with courses taken to fulfill the requirements of their home states for licensure.
Note: The State has not yet adopted the administrative regulations necessary to implement the changes required by the new law.The Department website will have more information as it becomes available. You can access the site at www.njdobi.org. On the left side of the welcome screen, click "Insurance Division." On the drop down menu, click "Licensing and Education." If you still have a question or need more information, the person responsible for this area is Joseph McDougal who can be reached by email (which is preferred) at email@example.com or directly at 609-292-5316, ext. 50552.
I will be happy to email you a copy of the new amendment if you would like one. Please feel free to contact me at 973-538-4100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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