With only 3 days (nay…less than 72 hours!) to go before the ghosts, goblins, witches and warlocks of Halloween descend upon us, hundreds of licensed Florida adjusters come to grips with Florida’s new reality…the mandatory 5 Hour Law & Ethics Update course. The number of Florida-licensed adjusters whose license/CE requirements are due on the last day of October, 2014 number well into the thousands. Those who need to, but haven’t taken, this new course by midnight, October 31st, will face some very serious consequences.
For two years, the Department of Financial Services and providers all over the state have given explanation and warning of what was to come since the most significant change in Florida adjuster licensing and CE laws since 1989, when the CE requirements for Florida adjusters first began. Few listened, and when they did, they didn’t listen well…preferring to procrastinate and expecting the vendor population to continue providing their CE “for free”. Claims employers, most of whom choose to ignore CE requirements as “the adjuster’s problem and responsibility”, are now also finding that they cannot depend on the vendor population to supply their claim staff with the new requirement…a course that is filled with specific content and time requirements that defy traditional “in-house” delivery methods. Now, a mere 3 days away from the witching hour of Florida Adjuster CE, adjusters are scrambling and crying, “Where can I get the course? I can’t find anyone offering it. You mean it all has to be taken at once? Why haven’t I heard of this before? How much does it cost? I can’t take off work!” …and on and on and on and on they go…
Every day I am amazed by the phone calls we get from adjusters who haven’t even learned how, or cared to try, to access their “MyProfile” account on the Florida DFS website and see where they stand on their CE requirements. In an era when technology is so prevalent in our lives, the most common response we receive to the MyProfile question is, “No. I’ve never heard of it. I don’t do this Internet thing. How do I get there? What do I do? I’m not real good with computers. Can you help me?”
I’m not kidding! There’s more of this response than you would believe. Unfortunately, it is doubtful that those folks will ever read this post.
It’s time for adjusters, old and young, to get serious about their obligations for professional development and the need for personal responsibility over their occupation and future. No one is going to do it for you. But…truth be told, the blame for the current state of attitude toward licensing and CE is more a product of 1) you get what you pay for, and 2) the overall insurance industry’s shift away from the importance of ongoing claims training and professional development for its adjusting force. Those claims employers and adjusters who DO care are in good shape. Those who don’t care will learn the hard way…and it’s usually a lesson learned once and learned well.
$250 out of an adjuster’s pocket hurts, and that pain is remembered for a long time.