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The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on July 8, 2003 representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Procedure for Handling Threats Made Against Independent Adjusters

Question Presented:

Does New York State have a formal procedure specifically to deal with threats made against independent adjusters resolving property and casualty insurance claims?

Conclusion:

No. An intimidating or harassing threat made against an independent adjuster should be referred to the adjuster's employer and/or to local law enforcement authorities.

Facts:

An insurance company is compiling a list of states that have formal procedures in place for handling threats made against adjusters. In New York, an adjuster employed by an insurer is known as an independent adjuster, as opposed to a public adjuster hired by claimants.

Analysis:

We have not found any relevant statutes or regulations on this particular issue. Accordingly, an intimidating or harassing threat made against an independent adjuster should be referred to the adjuster's employer and/or to local law enforcement authorities. The Department regulates the conduct of its licensees so that if an adjuster were the one who made a threat to an insured, for example, such adjusters would be subject to disciplinary measures following due process.

For further information you may contact Associate Attorney Jeffrey A. Stonehill at the New York City Office.

 

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