It’s nearly impossible to get through a California summer (or fall) without the threat and worry of wildfires. Already we’ve seen horrible fires across the state. It seems fire, earthquakes, and natural disasters of all kinds are inevitable and so is the need for the insurance industry to be able to respond quickly, often including an influx of independent insurance adjusters from other states. Recently, the CA Department of Insurance has taken steps to make this process easier and more efficient so that Californians get the help then need when they need it most.

In March of this year and again in August, Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, published notices regarding insurance adjusting when a state of emergency has been declared. Both of these notices outline the requirements for out-of-state, non-CA licensed claims adjusters to work in the disaster areas. They must be registered with the DOI within 15 days of beginning work and they must be knowledgeable of all CA laws that pertain to claims adjusting and disaster situations. This notice from the DOI has a helpful breakdown of these laws. 

Just this week, the Commissioner announced he has approved a Universal Claims Certification (UCC) program from Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) that is designed to simplify and streamline the licensing process for independent insurance adjusters. The UCC is not a license and does not replace an independent insurance adjuster license. It is a certification that will allow independent insurance adjusters to move more quickly among participating states (AL, FL, GA, MS, TX, CA) and better manage licensure in each.

UCC has its own education requirements that exceed individual state requirements. Unlicensed individuals can apply for UCC after completing a 40-hour online pre-certification education program and exam. Licensed independent adjusters must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years, including five hours of insurance law and ethics, in order to maintain the UCC.

So what does this mean for CA? When disaster strikes, and it seems it always will, it will be easier for independent insurance adjusters and insurance companies to respond. It also means there might be more opportunity coming for independent insurance adjusters who are interested in acquiring the UCC and working in states where it is approved. Affordable Educators will be looking into the full education requirements for UCC.

For more information on acquiring the UCC from CLM visit https://www.theclm.org/UCC

To read the Commissioner’s full press release visit http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2018/release121-18.cfm