Follows complaints by carriers
The Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS), the agency charged with fighting insurance fraud and other harmful practices, is going after a South Florida public adjuster that it accuses of a pattern of stonewalling insurance company adjusters, including blocking access to properties. The move comes after complaints from several insurance companies over recent months.
DFS earlier this month filed an administrative complaint against Scott David Thomas, an all-lines adjuster and president of Indemnity Public Adjusters of Weston. The complaint cites eight examples of the various tactics Thomas allegedly used that are in violation of state statutes or rules. Many have to do with attempting to stop insurance company adjusters from inspecting a property after the claim was filed. It includes allegedly changing times of inspections, demanding proof of an adjuster’s liability or workers’ comp insurance to gain access to the property, and demanding documentation from insurance company experts to determine if they had any conflicts of interest.
We’ve chronicled in the pages of this newsletter over recent months and years the questionable practices of some public adjusters. From fraudulently inflating the extent or cost of claims, to serving as both adjuster and appraiser, to having conflicts of interest in recommending family members in the construction business for restoration work they say is needed in their inspection reports. DFS notes in the complaint that neither the Florida Insurance Code nor Florida Administrative Code give Thomas the authority to behave in the way alleged.
Penalties for violations he’s accused of in the DFS complaint could see Thomas have his adjuster’s license suspended, revoked or non-renewed, and he could face fines of $5,000 for each violation of the adjusters’ code of ethics. Thomas has 21 days to request a proceeding to contest the allegations.
LMA Newsletter of 3-14-22