It's no secret that insurance companies will often seek to avoid paying property claims. Public adjusters play a vital role in ensuring that valid property claims are paid. As Section 626.854(11)(a), Fla. Stat., caps a public adjuster’s fees at 20% of the recovery, public adjusters often work for hours on cases without any guaranty of getting paid. To compound matters, there are instances where another party takes credit for the work of a licensed public adjuster, as in the case of Dynamic Public Adjusters, Inc., v. Rodriguez, 155 So. 3d 384 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014).
In Dynamic Public Adjusters (“Dynamic”), Dynamic entered into a fee agreement with a HOA to pay 20% of the gross amount of the collectable loss or damage from Hurricane Wilma recovered from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”). Id. at 385.
At the time the contract was executed, Henry Rodriguez (“Rodriguez”) was working as Dynamic’s apprentice appraiser. Id. Dynamic and Rodriguez had a falling out and Rodriguez settled the HOA’s claim for $2,000,000.00 after the HOA filed suit against Citizens. Id. at 386.
The trial court awarded Rodriguez, not Dynamic, the $400,000.00. Id. On appeal, the Third DCA held that Dynamic had a valid agreement with the HOA and that Dynamic, not Rodriguez, was entitled to the $400,000.00. Dynamic Public Adjusters, Inc., 155 So. 3d at 388. If you are a licensed public adjuster, it's important that you know your rights.
Founded in 1997, Gill Law Firm represents small, medium and large corporations in commercial debt recovery, small business and nonprofit startups throughout the state of Florida. To find out how the firm may help your company, please contact A. Wayne Gill, Esq. via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (561) 454-0301.