Enrolled Version - Final Version
House Bill 4260 History
OTHER VERSIONS -
HB4260 SUB ENR
H. B. 4260
(By Delegates Perry, Ashley)
[Passed March 13, 2010; in effect ninety days from passage.]
to repeal §33-12B-2 and §33-12B-13 of the Code of West
Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §33-12B-1,
§33-12B-3, §33-12B-5, §33-12B-9, §33-12B-10 and §33-12B-11 of
said code; to amend said code by adding thereto a new section,
designated §33-12B-10a, all relating to insurance adjusters;
providing definitions; permitting an adjuster to designate a
home state; establishing a new crop adjuster license and its
qualifications; revising the requirements for nonresident
adjusters; revising licensing renewal requirements; requiring
notification by adjusters of legal actions taken against them;
granting the Insurance Commissioner the authority to examine
the business practices of persons holding or applying for
clarifying the hearing process to be used
concerning adverse administrative actions; providing for
placing an adjuster on probation for violation of the
provisions of the chapter or rules; providing for suspension
or revocation of license for failure to pay administrative penalty; increasing maximum administrative penalty for
violations; and providing for judicial review.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §33-12B-2 and §33-12B-13 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, be repealed; that §33-12B-1, §33-12B-3,
§33-12B-5, §33-12B-9,§33-12B-10 and §33-12B-11 of said code be
amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding thereto
a new section, designated §33-12B-10a, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12B. ADJUSTERS.
(a) An "adjuster" is any individual who, for compensation, fee
or commission, investigates and settles claims arising under
property, casualty or surety insurance contracts, on behalf solely
of either the insurer or insured. A licensed attorney who is
qualified to practice law in this state is deemed not to be an
adjuster for the purposes of this article.
(b) "Company adjuster" means an adjuster representing the
interests of the insurer, including an independent contractor and
a salaried employee of the insurer.
(c) "Home state" means the District of Columbia or any state
or territory of the United States in which an adjuster maintains
his or her principal place of residence or business and in which he
or she is licensed to act as a resident adjuster. If a person's
principal place of residence or business does not license adjusters
for the type of adjuster license sought in this state, he or she
shall designate as his or her home state any state in which he or she has such a license.
(d) "Public adjuster" means an independent contractor
representing solely the financial interests of the insured named in
(e) "Crop adjuster" means a person who adjusts crop insurance
claims under the federal crop insurance program administered by the
United States Department of Agriculture.
The commissioner shall license an individual as a company
adjuster, public adjuster or crop adjuster. An individual may be
licensed concurrently under separate licenses but shall not act as
an adjuster representing the interests of the insured and the
insurer with respect to the same claim.
§33-12B-3. Company, public and crop adjusters; concurrency; direct
(a) For the protection of the people of West Virginia, the
commissioner shall not issue, renew or permit to exist any
adjuster's license, except to an individual who:
§33-12B-5. Qualifications for adjuster's license; examinations;
(1) Is eighteen years of age or more.
(2) Is a resident of West Virginia, except for nonresident
adjusters as provided in section nine of this article.
(3) Satisfies the commissioner that he or she is trustworthy
(b)(1) The commissioner may, at his or her discretion, test the competency of an applicant for a license under this section by
examination. However, in order to qualify for a crop adjuster
license, an applicant must pass a written examination that tests the
knowledge of the individual concerning the insurance laws of this
state and the duties and responsibilities of a multi-peril crop
adjuster. In lieu of such an examination, the commissioner may
accept certification that the individual has passed a proficiency
examination approved by the federal Risk Management Agency.
(2) If such an examination is required, each examinee shall pay
a $25 examination fee for each examination to the commissioner,
which fees shall be used for the purposes set forth in section
thirteen, article three of this chapter. The commissioner may, at
his or her discretion, designate an independent testing service to
prepare and administer such examination subject to direction and
approval by the commissioner, and examination fees charged by such
service shall be paid by the applicant.
(c) The requirements of this section do not apply to licenses
issued to emergency adjusters..
§33-12B-9. Licensing of nonresident adjusters.
A nonresident applicant for an adjuster license who holds a
similar license in his or her home state may be licensed as a
nonresident adjuster in this state if the applicant's home state has
established, by law or regulation like requirements for the
licensing of a resident of this state as a nonresident adjuster.
(b) As a condition of continuing a nonresident adjuster
license, the licensee must maintain a license in his or her home state.
(c) If a nonresident adjuster desires to become a resident
adjuster he or she must apply to become one within ninety days of
establishing legal residency in this state.
(d) If a nonresident adjuster has his or her license suspended,
terminated or revoked by his or her home state, the adjuster must
immediately notify the commissioner of that action.
§33-12B-10. Expiration of license; renewal.
(a) All licenses of adjusters shall expire at midnight on May
31 next following the date of issuance and the commissioner shall
renew annually the license of all such licensees who qualify and
make application therefor. However, the commissioner may, in his
or her discretion, establish the dates of expiration of licenses in
any manner deemed advisable for an efficient distribution of the
workload of his or her office.
(b) An adjuster whose license expires may, if application is
made within one year of the expiration date, be reissued a license
upon payment of twice the renewal fee.
(c) The commissioner may waive any renewal requirement for any
adjuster who is unable to comply due to military service, long-term
medical disability or other extenuating circumstance.
(d) As a condition of the renewal of a crop adjuster license,
the commissioner may require that the licensee demonstrate that he
or she has maintained certification of proficiency issued or
approved by the federal Risk Management Agency.
§33-12B-10a. Reporting of actions.
(a) An adjuster shall report to the commissioner any
administrative action taken against the adjuster in another
jurisdiction or by another governmental agency in this state within
thirty days of the final disposition of the matter, including
decertification or other action related to the adjuster's
proficiency to adjust multi-peril crop insurance claims. The report
shall include a copy of the order, consent to order and any other
relevant legal documents.
(b) Within thirty days of the initial pretrial hearing date,
an adjuster shall report to the commissioner any criminal
prosecution of the adjuster in any jurisdiction. The report shall
include a copy of the initial complaint filed, the order resulting
from the hearing and any other relevant legal documents.
§33-12B-11. Denial, revocation, suspension, probation or refusal
to renew license; penalties.
(a) The commissioner may examine and investigate the business
affairs and conduct of persons applying for or holding an adjuster
license to determine whether such person is trustworthy and
competent or has been or is engaged in any violation of the
insurance laws or rules of this state or in any unfair or deceptive
acts or practices in any state.
(b) If the commissioner denies an application for a license,
he or she shall notify the applicant or licensee in writing of the
reason for such action. The applicant or licensee may, within ten
days of receipt of such notice, make written demand for a hearing
before the commissioner to determine the reasonableness of the action, and such hearing shall be held in accordance with the
provisions of section thirteen, article two of this chapter.
(c) Whenever, after notice and hearing, the commissioner is
satisfied that any adjuster has violated any provision of this
chapter or of rules promulgated hereunder, or is incompetent or
untrustworthy, he or she shall place the adjuster on probation or
revoke, suspend, or, if renewal of license is pending, refuse to
renew the license of such adjuster. In addition to placing a
licensee on probation or revoking, suspending or refusing to renew
his or her license, the commissioner may in his or her discretion
order such licensee to pay to the state of West Virginia an
administrative penalty in a sum not to exceed $1000 for each
violation. Upon the failure of the licensee to pay such penalty
within thirty days, his or her license shall be revoked or suspended
by the commissioner.
(d) Orders issued pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this
section are subject to the judicial review provisions of section
fourteen, article two of this chapter.