Piggybacking somewhat off of Glenn Rosen’s post, Is Your Association Manager Practicing Law Without a License, this post addresses whether Florida community association managers should be adjusting insurance claims. I recently encountered a situation where a community association manager’s de facto adjustment of an insurance claim jeopardized the insured’s recovery. Distinct skill sets and separate licensing requirements surround the community association management and public adjusting professions, so it seems to me that the professions should rarely (if ever) be blurred.
As for community association managers, Section 468.436(2)(a) of the Florida Statutes brings Section 455.227(1) of the Florida Statutes into play. And Section 455.227(1)(o) prohibits “[p]racticing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law or accepting and performing professional responsibilities the licensee knows, or has reason to know, the licensee is not competent to perform.” As for public adjusters, community association managers may come in handy during the adjustment of a claim (e.g., access to the property for inspections, knowledge of the peril that caused damage, knowledge of the property’s physical condition before and after a peril, access to the community’s repair / maintenance records), but be mindful of this – “[t]he public adjuster shall ensure that if a contractor, architect, engineer, or other professional is used in formulating estimates or otherwise participates in the adjustment of the claim, the professional shall be licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.”1 Part VIII of Chapter 468 of the Florida Statutes addresses community association manager licensing.
Moral of the story – lest you wish to get yourself and/or your client (the community property owner and policyholder) in a dicey situation, stick to practicing what you are qualified to and licensed to practice.
1 Fla. Admin. Code § 69B-220.201(4)(c) (emphasis added).