(215 ILCS 5/1510)
In this Article:
"Adjusting a claim for loss or damage covered by an insurance contract" means negotiating values, damages, or depreciation or applying the loss circumstances to insurance policy provisions.
"Business entity" means a corporation, association, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or other legal entity.
"Department" means the Department of Insurance.
"Director" means the Director of Insurance.
"Fingerprints" means an impression of the lines on the finger taken for the purpose of identification. The impression may be electronic or in ink converted to electronic format.
"Home state" means the District of Columbia and any state or territory of the United States where the public adjuster's principal place of residence or principal place of business is located. If neither the state in which the public adjuster maintains the principal place of residence nor the state in which the public adjuster maintains the principal place of business has a substantially similar law governing public adjusters, the public adjuster may declare another state in which it becomes licensed and acts as a public adjuster to be the home state.
"Individual" means a natural person.
"Person" means an individual or a business entity.
"Public adjuster" means any person who, for compensation or any other thing of value on behalf of the insured:
(i) acts or aids, solely in relation to first party
claims arising under insurance contracts that insure the real or personal property of the insured, on behalf of an insured in adjusting a claim for loss or damage covered by an insurance contract;
(ii) advertises for employment as a public adjuster
of insurance claims or solicits business or represents himself or herself to the public as a public adjuster of first party insurance claims for losses or damages arising out of policies of insurance that insure real or personal property; or
(iii) directly or indirectly solicits business,
investigates or adjusts losses, or advises an insured about first party claims for losses or damages arising out of policies of insurance that insure real or personal property for another person engaged in the business of adjusting losses or damages covered by an insurance policy for the insured.
"Uniform individual application" means the current version of the National Association of Directors (NAIC) Uniform Individual Application for resident and nonresident individuals.
"Uniform business entity application" means the current version of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Uniform Business Entity Application for resident and nonresident business entities.
(Source: P.A. 96-1332, eff. 1-1-11.)
(215 ILCS 5/1515)
(a) A person shall not act, advertise, solicit, or hold himself out as a public adjuster or to be in the business of adjusting insurance claims in this State, nor attempt to obtain a contract for public adjusting services, unless the person is licensed as a public adjuster in accordance with this Article.
(b) A person licensed as a public adjuster shall not misrepresent to a claimant that he or she is an adjuster representing an insurer in any capacity, including acting as an employee of the insurer or acting as an independent adjuster unless so appointed by an insurer in writing to act on the insurer's behalf for that specific claim or purpose. A licensed public adjuster is prohibited from charging that specific claimant a fee when appointed by the insurer and the appointment is accepted by the public adjuster.
(c) A business entity acting as a public adjuster is required to obtain a public adjuster license. Application shall be made using the Uniform Business Entity Application. Before approving the application, the Director shall find that:
(1) the business entity has paid the required fees
to be registered as a business entity in this State; and
(2) all officers, shareholders, and persons with
ownership interests in the business entity are licensed public adjusters responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of this State.
(d) Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (c) of this Section, a license as a public adjuster shall not be required of the following:
(1) an attorney admitted to practice in this State,
when acting in his or her professional capacity as an attorney;
(2) a person who negotiates or settles claims arising
under a life or health insurance policy or an annuity contract;
(3) a person employed only for the purpose of
obtaining facts surrounding a loss or furnishing technical assistance to a licensed public adjuster, including photographers, estimators, private investigators, engineers, and handwriting experts;
(4) a licensed health care provider, or employee of a
licensed health care provider, who prepares or files a health claim form on behalf of a patient; or
(5) a person who settles subrogation claims between
(Source: P.A. 96-1332, eff. 1-1-11.)
(215 ILCS 5/1525)
(a) Before issuing a public adjuster license to an applicant under this Section, the Director shall find that the applicant:
(1) is eligible to designate this State as his or her
home state or is a nonresident who is not eligible for a license under Section 1540;
(2) is sufficiently rehabilitated in cases in which
the applicant has committed any act that is a ground for denial, suspension, or revocation of a license as set forth in Section 1555, other than convictions set forth in paragraph (6) of subsection (a) of Section 1555; with respect to applicants with convictions set forth in paragraph (6) of subsection (a) of Section 1555, the Director shall determine in accordance with Section 1550 that the conviction will not impair the ability of the applicant to engage in the position for which a license is sought;
(3) is trustworthy, reliable, competent, and of good
reputation, evidence of which may be determined by the Director;
(4) is financially responsible to exercise the
license and has provided proof of financial responsibility as required in Section 1560 of this Article; and
(5) maintains an office in the home state of
residence with public access by reasonable appointment or regular business hours. This includes a designated office within a home state of residence.
(b) In addition to satisfying the requirements of subsection (a) of this Section, an individual shall:
(1) be at least 18 years of age;
(2) have successfully passed the public adjuster
(3) designate a licensed individual public adjuster
responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of this State; and
(4) designate only licensed individual public
adjusters to exercise the business entity's license.
(c) The Director may require any documents reasonably necessary to verify the information contained in the application.
(Source: P.A. 100-286, eff. 1-1-18
(215 ILCS 5/1550)
(a) The Director and the Department shall not require applicants to report the following information and shall not collect or consider the following criminal history records in connection with a public adjuster license application:
(1) Juvenile adjudications of delinquent minors as
defined in Section 5-105 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, subject to the restrictions set forth in Section 5-130 of that Act.
(2) Law enforcement records, court records, and
conviction records of an individual who was 17 years old at the time of the offense and before January 1, 2014, unless the nature of the offense required the individual to be tried as an adult.
(3) Records of arrest not followed by a formal charge
(4) Records of arrest where charges were dismissed
unless related to the duties and responsibilities of a public adjuster. However, applicants shall not be asked to report any arrests, and any arrest not followed by a conviction shall not be the basis of a denial and may be used only to assess an applicant's rehabilitation.
(5) Convictions overturned by a higher court.
(6) Convictions or arrests that have been sealed or
(b) The Director, upon a finding that an applicant for a license under this Act was previously convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving dishonesty or fraud, shall consider any mitigating factors and evidence of rehabilitation contained in the applicant's record, including any of the following factors and evidence, to determine if a license may be denied because the prior conviction will impair the ability of the applicant to engage in the position for which a license is sought:
(1) the bearing, if any, of the offense for which
the applicant was previously convicted on the duties, functions, and responsibilities of the position for which a license is sought;
(2) whether the conviction suggests a future
propensity to endanger the safety and property of others while performing the duties and responsibilities for which a license is sought;
(3) if the applicant was previously licensed or
employed in this State or other states or jurisdictions, then the lack of prior misconduct arising from or related to the licensed position or position of employment;
(4) whether 5 years since a felony conviction or 3
years since release from confinement for the conviction, whichever is later, have passed without a subsequent conviction;
(5) successful completion of sentence and, for
applicants serving a term of parole or probation, a progress report provided by the applicant's probation or parole officer that documents the applicant's compliance with conditions of supervision;
(6) evidence of the applicant's present fitness and
(7) evidence of rehabilitation or rehabilitative
effort during or after incarceration or during or after a term of supervision, including, but not limited to, a certificate of good conduct under Section 5-5.5-25 of the Unified Code of Corrections or certificate of relief from disabilities under Section 5-5.5-10 of the Unified Code of Corrections; and
(8) any other mitigating factors that contribute to
the person's potential and current ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a public adjuster.
(c) If a nonresident licensee meets the standards set forth in items (1) through (4) of subsection (a) of Section 1540 and has received consent pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1033(e)(2) from his or her home state, the Director shall grant the nonresident licensee a license.
(d) If the Director refuses to issue a license to an applicant based on a conviction or convictions, in whole or in part, then the Director shall notify the applicant of the denial in writing with the following included in the notice of denial:
(1) a statement about the decision to refuse to issue
(2) a list of convictions that the Director
determined will impair the applicant's ability to engage in the position for which a license is sought;
(3) a list of the convictions that were the sole or
partial basis for the refusal to issue a license; and
(4) a summary of the appeal process or the earliest
the applicant may reapply for a license, whichever is applicable.
(Source: P.A. 100-286, eff. 1-1-18
(215 ILCS 5/1555)
License denial, nonrenewal, or revocation.
(a) The Director may place on probation, suspend, revoke, deny, or refuse to issue or renew a public adjuster's license or may levy a civil penalty or any combination of actions, for any one or more of the following causes:
(1) providing incorrect, misleading, incomplete, or
materially untrue information in the license application;
(2) violating any insurance laws, or violating any
regulation, subpoena, or order of the Director or of another state's Director;
(3) obtaining or attempting to obtain a license
through misrepresentation or fraud;
(4) improperly withholding, misappropriating, or
converting any monies or properties received in the course of doing insurance business;
(5) intentionally misrepresenting the terms of an
actual or proposed insurance contract or application for insurance;
(6) having been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor
involving dishonesty or fraud, unless the individual demonstrates to the Director sufficient rehabilitation to warrant the public trust; consideration of such conviction of an applicant shall be in accordance with Section 1550;
(7) having admitted or been found to have committed
any insurance unfair trade practice or insurance fraud;
(8) using fraudulent, coercive, or dishonest
practices; or demonstrating incompetence, untrustworthiness, or financial irresponsibility in the conduct of business in this State or elsewhere;
(9) having an insurance license or public adjuster
license or its equivalent, denied, suspended, or revoked in any other state, province, district, or territory;
(10) forging another's name to an application for
insurance or to any document related to an insurance transaction;
(11) cheating, including improperly using notes or
any other reference material, to complete an examination for an insurance license or public adjuster license;
(12) knowingly accepting insurance business from or
transacting business with an individual who is not licensed but who is required to be licensed by the Director;
(13) failing to comply with an administrative or
court order imposing a child support obligation;
(14) failing to pay State income tax or comply with
any administrative or court order directing payment of State income tax;
(15) failing to comply with or having violated any of
the standards set forth in Section 1590 of this Law; or
(16) failing to maintain the records required by
Section 1585 of this Law.
(b) If the action by the Director is to nonrenew, suspend, or revoke a license or to deny an application for a license, the Director shall notify the applicant or licensee and advise, in writing, the applicant or licensee of the reason for the suspension, revocation, denial, or nonrenewal of the applicant's or licensee's license. The applicant or licensee may make written demand upon the Director within 30 days after the date of mailing for a hearing before the Director to determine the reasonableness of the Director's action. The hearing must be held within not fewer than 20 days nor more than 30 days after the mailing of the notice of hearing and shall be held pursuant to 50 Ill. Adm. Code 2402.
(c) The license of a business entity may be suspended, revoked, or refused if the Director finds, after hearing, that an individual licensee's violation was known or should have been known by one or more of the partners, officers, or managers acting on behalf of the business entity and the violation was neither reported to the Director, nor corrective action taken.
(d) In addition to or in lieu of any applicable denial, suspension or revocation of a license, a person may, after hearing, be subject to a civil penalty. In addition to or instead of any applicable denial, suspension, or revocation of a license, a person may, after hearing, be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each cause for denial, suspension, or revocation, however, the civil penalty may total no more than $100,000.
(e) The Director shall retain the authority to enforce the provisions of and impose any penalty or remedy authorized by this Article against any person who is under investigation for or charged with a violation of this Article even if the person's license or registration has been surrendered or has lapsed by operation of law.
(f) Any individual whose public adjuster's license is revoked or whose application is denied pursuant to this Section shall be ineligible to apply for a public adjuster's license for 5 years. A suspension pursuant to this Section may be for any period of time up to 5 years.
(Source: P.A. 100-286, eff. 1-1-18
(215 ILCS 5/1560)
Bond or letter of credit.
(a) Prior to the issuance of a license as a public adjuster and for the duration of the license, the applicant shall secure evidence of financial responsibility in a format prescribed by the Director through a surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit, subject to all of the following requirements:
(1) A surety bond executed and issued by an insurer
authorized to issue surety bonds in this State, which bond:
(A) shall be in the minimum amount of $20,000;
(B) shall be in favor of this State and shall
specifically authorize recovery by the Director on behalf of any person in this State who sustained damages as the result of erroneous acts, failure to act, conviction of fraud, or conviction of unfair practices in his or her capacity as a public adjuster; and
(C) shall not be terminated unless at least 30
days' prior written notice will have been filed with the Director and given to the licensee; and
(2) An irrevocable letter of credit issued by a
qualified financial institution, which letter of credit:
(A) shall be in the minimum amount of $20,000;
(B) shall be to an account to the Director and
subject to lawful levy of execution on behalf of any person to whom the public adjuster has been found to be legally liable as the result of erroneous acts, failure to act, fraudulent acts, or unfair practices in his or her capacity as a public adjuster; and
(C) shall not be terminated unless at least 30
days' prior written notice will have been filed with the and given to the licensee.
(b) The issuer of the evidence of financial responsibility shall notify the Director upon termination of the bond or letter of credit, unless otherwise directed by the Director.
(c) The Director may ask for the evidence of financial responsibility at any time he or she deems relevant.
(d) The authority to act as a public adjuster shall automatically terminate if the evidence of financial responsibility terminates or becomes impaired.
(Source: P.A. 96-1332, eff. 1-1-11.)
(215 ILCS 5/1575)
Contract between public adjuster and insured.
(a) Public adjusters shall ensure that all contracts for their services are in writing and contain the following terms:
(1) legible full name of the adjuster signing the
contract, as specified in Department records;
(2) permanent home state business address and phone
(3) license number;
(4) title of "Public Adjuster Contract";
(5) the insured's full name, street address,
insurance company name, and policy number, if known or upon notification;
(6) a description of the loss and its location, if
(7) description of services to be provided to the
(8) signatures of the public adjuster and the insured;
(9) date and time the contract was signed by the
public adjuster and date and time the contract was signed by the insured;
(10) attestation language stating that the public
adjuster is fully bonded pursuant to State law; and
(11) full salary, fee, commission, compensation, or
other considerations the public adjuster is to receive for services.
(b) The contract may specify that the public adjuster shall be named as a co-payee on an insurer's payment of a claim.
(1) If the compensation is based on a share of the
insurance settlement, the exact percentage shall be specified.
(2) Initial expenses to be reimbursed to the public
adjuster from the proceeds of the claim payment shall be specified by type, with dollar estimates set forth in the contract and with any additional expenses first approved by the insured.
(3) Compensation provisions in a public adjuster
contract shall not be redacted in any copy of the contract provided to the Director.
(c) If the insurer, not later than 5 business days after the date on which the loss is reported to the insurer, either pays or commits in writing to pay to the insured the policy limit of the insurance policy, the public adjuster shall:
(1) not receive a commission consisting of a
percentage of the total amount paid by an insurer to resolve a claim;
(2) inform the insured that loss recovery amount
might not be increased by insurer; and
(3) be entitled only to reasonable compensation from
the insured for services provided by the public adjuster on behalf of the insured, based on the time spent on a claim and expenses incurred by the public adjuster, until the claim is paid or the insured receives a written commitment to pay from the insurer.
(d) A public adjuster shall provide the insured a written disclosure concerning any direct or indirect financial interest that the public adjuster has with any other party who is involved in any aspect of the claim, other than the salary, fee, commission, or other consideration established in the written contract with the insured, including, but not limited to, any ownership of or any compensation expected to be received from, any construction firm, salvage firm, building appraisal firm, board-up company, or any other firm that provides estimates for work, or that performs any work, in conjunction with damages caused by the insured loss on which the public adjuster is engaged. The word "firm" shall include any corporation, partnership, association, joint-stock company, or person.
(e) A public adjuster contract may not contain any contract term that:
(1) allows the public adjuster's percentage fee to be
collected when money is due from an insurance company, but not paid, or that allows a public adjuster to collect the entire fee from the first check issued by an insurance company, rather than as a percentage of each check issued by an insurance company;
(2) requires the insured to authorize an insurance
company to issue a check only in the name of the public adjuster;
(3) precludes a public adjuster or an insured from
(4) includes any hold harmless agreement that
provides indemnification to the public adjuster by the insured for liability resulting from the public adjuster's negligence; or
(5) provides power of attorney by which the public
adjuster can act in the place and instead of the insured.
(f) The following provisions apply to a contract between a public adjuster and an insured:
(1) Prior to the signing of the contract, the public
adjuster shall provide the insured with a separate signed and dated disclosure document regarding the claim process that states:
"Property insurance policies obligate the insured to
present a claim to his or her insurance company for consideration. There are 3 types of adjusters that could be involved in that process. The definitions of the 3 types are as follows:
(A) "Company adjuster" means the insurance
adjusters who are employees of an insurance company. They represent the interest of the insurance company and are paid by the insurance company. They will not charge you a fee.
(B) "Independent adjuster" means the insurance
adjusters who are hired on a contract basis by an insurance company to represent the insurance company's interest in the settlement of the claim. They are paid by your insurance company. They will not charge you a fee.
(C) "Public adjuster" means the insurance
adjusters who do not work for any insurance company. They work for the insured to assist in the preparation, presentation and settlement of the claim. The insured hires them by signing a contract agreeing to pay them a fee or commission based on a percentage of the settlement, or other method of compensation.".
(2) The insured is not required to hire a public
adjuster to help the insured meet his or her obligations under the policy, but has the right to do so.
(3) The public adjuster is not a representative or
(4) The salary, fee, commission, or other
consideration is the obligation of the insured, not the insurer, except when rights have been assigned to the public adjuster by the insured.
(g) The contracts shall be executed in duplicate to provide an original contract to the public adjuster, and an original contract to the insured. The public adjuster's original contract shall be available at all times for inspection without notice by the Director.
(h) The public adjuster shall provide the insurer with an exact copy of the contract by the insured, authorizing the public adjuster to represent the insured's interest.
(i) The public adjuster shall give the insured written notice of the insured's rights as a consumer under the law of this State.
(j) A public adjuster shall not provide services until a written contract with the insured has been executed, on a form filed with and approved by the Director. At the option of the insured, any such contract shall be voidable for 5 business days after execution. The insured may void the contract by notifying the public adjuster in writing by (i) registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address shown on the contract or (ii) personally serving the notice on the public adjuster.
(k) If the insured exercises the right to rescind the contract, anything of value given by the insured under the contract will be returned to the insured within 15 business days following the receipt by the public adjuster of the cancellation notice.
(Source: P.A. 96-1332, eff. 1-1-11; 97-333, eff. 8-12-11.)
(215 ILCS 5/1585)
(a) A public adjuster shall maintain a complete record of each transaction as a public adjuster. The records required by this Section shall include the following:
(1) name of the insured;
(2) date, location and amount of the loss;
(3) a copy of the contract between the public
adjuster and insured and a copy of the separate disclosure document;
(4) name of the insurer, amount, expiration date and
number of each policy carried with respect to the loss;
(5) itemized statement of the insured's recoveries;
(6) itemized statement of all compensation received
by the public adjuster, from any source whatsoever, in connection with the loss;
(7) a register of all monies received, deposited,
disbursed, or withdrawn in connection with a transaction with an insured, including fees transfers and disbursements from a trust account and all transactions concerning all interest bearing accounts;
(8) name of public adjuster who executed the contract;
(9) name of the attorney representing the insured, if
applicable, and the name of the claims representatives of the insurance company; and
(10) evidence of financial responsibility in a format
prescribed by the Director.
(b) Records shall be maintained for at least 7 years after the termination of the transaction with an insured and shall be open to examination by the Director at all times.
(c) Records submitted to the Director in accordance with this Section that contain information identified in writing as proprietary by the public adjuster shall be treated as confidential by the Director and shall not be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
(Source: P.A. 96-1332, eff. 1-1-11.)
(215 ILCS 5/1590)
Standards of conduct of public adjuster.
(a) A public adjuster is obligated, under his or her license, to serve with objectivity and complete loyalty for the interests of his client alone, and to render to the insured such information, counsel, and service, as within the knowledge, understanding, and opinion in good faith of the licensee, as will best serve the insured's insurance claim needs and interest.
(b) A public adjuster may not propose or attempt to propose to any person that the public adjuster represent that person while a loss-producing occurrence is continuing, nor while the fire department or its representatives are engaged at the damaged premises, nor between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
(c) A public adjuster shall not permit an unlicensed employee or representative of the public adjuster to conduct business for which a license is required under this Article.
(d) A public adjuster shall not have a direct or indirect financial interest in any aspect of the claim, other than the salary, fee, commission, or other consideration established in the written contract with the insured, unless full written disclosure has been made to the insured as set forth in subsection (g) of Section 1575.
(e) A public adjuster shall not acquire any interest in the salvage of property subject to the contract with the insured unless the public adjuster obtains written permission from the insured after settlement of the claim with the insurer as set forth in subsection (g) of Section 1575 of this Article.
(f) The public adjuster shall abstain from referring or directing the insured to get needed repairs or services in connection with a loss from any person, unless disclosed to the insured:
(1) with whom the public adjuster has a financial
(2) from whom the public adjuster may receive direct
or indirect compensation for the referral.
(g) The public adjuster shall disclose to an insured if he or she has any interest or will be compensated by any construction firm, salvage firm, building appraisal firm, board-up company, or any other firm that performs any work in conjunction with damages caused by the insured loss. The word "firm" shall include any corporation, partnership, association, joint-stock company or individual as set forth in Section 1575 of this Article.
(h) Any compensation or anything of value in connection with an insured's specific loss that will be received by a public adjuster shall be disclosed by the public adjuster to the insured in writing including the source and amount of any such compensation.
(i) In all cases where the loss giving rise to the claim for which the public adjuster was retained arise from damage to a personal residence, the insurance proceeds shall be delivered to the named insured or his or her designee. Where proceeds paid by an insurance company are paid jointly to the insured and the public adjuster, the insured shall release such portion of the proceeds that are due the public adjuster within 30 calendar days after the insured's receipt of the insurance company's check, money order, draft, or release of funds. If the proceeds are not so released to the public adjuster within 30 calendar days, the insured shall provide the public adjuster with a written explanation of the reason for the delay.
(j) Public adjusters shall adhere to the following general ethical requirements:
(1) a public adjuster shall not undertake the
adjustment of any claim if the public adjuster is not competent and knowledgeable as to the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage, or which otherwise exceeds the public adjuster's current expertise;
(2) a public adjuster shall not knowingly make any
oral or written material misrepresentations or statements which are false or maliciously critical and intended to injure any person engaged in the business of insurance to any insured client or potential insured client;
(3) no public adjuster, while so licensed by the
Department, may represent or act as a company adjuster or independent adjuster on the same claim;
(4) the contract shall not be construed to prevent an
insured from pursuing any civil remedy after the 5-business day revocation or cancellation period;
(5) a public adjuster shall not enter into a contract
or accept a power of attorney that vests in the public adjuster the effective authority to choose the persons who shall perform repair work;
(6) a public adjuster shall ensure that all contracts
for the public adjuster's services are in writing and set forth all terms and conditions of the engagement; and
(7) a public adjuster shall not advance money or any
valuable consideration, except emergency services to an insured pending adjustment of a claim.
(k) A public adjuster may not agree to any loss settlement without the insured's knowledge and consent and shall, upon the insured's request, provide the insured with a document setting forth the scope, amount, and value of the damages prior to request by the insured for authority to settle the loss.
(l) A public adjuster shall not provide legal advice or representation to the insured or engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
(m) A public adjuster shall not represent that he or she is a representative of an insurance company, a fire department, or the State of Illinois, that he or she is a fire investigator, that his or her services are required for the insured to submit a claim to the insured's insurance company, or that he or she may provide legal advice or representation to the insured. A public adjuster may represent that he or she has been licensed by the State of Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 96-1332, eff. 1-1-11.)