We at AAPIA appreciate NAPIA’s attempt to clear up their position on fee caps, since maybe you have been as confused as we are about NAPIA’s actual position. The latest email communication from counsel Brian Goodman
dated Friday March 1st, states that “My letter of Jan 2 supported the planned 12.5% fee cap….. NAPIA, like the New Jersey Association came out in support of this proposed fee cap. I do not regard a 12.5% fee cap as being too small.” However, the recent NAPIA legislative blog states quite emphatically that “we do not advocate or lobby for fee caps”. NAPIA LEGISLATIVE BLOG Setting Standards by Supporting State Statutes
By Brian S. Goodman, Esq., NAPIA Counsel, PESSIN & KATZ, P.A Wednesday, February 20, 2013
We at AAPIA are understandably befuddled by NAPIA’s position. NAPIA is lobbying and advocating for fee caps in New Jersey. The recent email cited above does lobby for fee caps, and just a few weeks ago NAPIA sent a letter to Assemblyman Green in New Jersey, lobbying and advocating for him to amend his Bill in New Jersey to impose a 12.5% fee cap: “We have carefully reviewed the position of the New Jersey Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, advocating a 12.5% fee cap, identical to the one in force in New York. This would mean that there is a statuary cap of 12.5% of any gross insurance settlement from dollar one, which works well in New York and other states. We are in complete agreement and support of this legislative amendment and wanted to get a letter to you articulating our support for the position of the New Jersey Association.” Letter to Assemblyman Green, dated January 2, 2013
This amendment was not part of the original Bill, which was drafted by Assemblyman Green in response to Superstorm Sandy issues, and was not proposed by the Department of Banking and Insurance. This was an amendment that sprang from the collective minds and pens of the NJ Association of Public Insurance Adjusters and NAPIA. This position on fee caps was presented by the Board of NJPIA with a marginal vote of the Board and was never brought to the membership of the Association for a vote. In fact, Jonathan Wilkowsky, counsel to NJPIA publicly stated at the NJPIA general membership meeting that this matter did not require the full vote of the membership, and that the Board had the authority to lobby for a 12.5% fee cap in New Jersey, which will greatly harm the consumers of New Jersey.
Response to this Bill from public adjusters has been overwhelmingly negative. Perhaps NAPIA should send a letter to the legislature withdrawing their support if they want a law that is “fair and reasonable to the profession and the consumer”, as they profess. NAPIA legislative blog. 2-20-13, (see above link).
We have been consistent in our position. The fee caps proposed by NAPIA and NJPIA will hurt the public adjusters and the consumers of New Jersey since public adjusters will not be able to help those with small claims. We appeal to you as members of NAPIA and NJPIA to contact the current Board and challenge them to defend their reasons for advocating for fee caps which will hurt their industry and the policyholders they are supposed to represent, and to instead support only laws that truly are fair and reasonable to all concerned.
Please support our efforts to defeat S 2472.