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§33-12B-1. Definitions.

(a) “Automated claims adjudication system” means a preprogrammed computer system designed for the collection, data entry, calculation, and final resolution of portable electronics insurance claims which:

(1) May only be used by a licensed adjuster, licensed producer, or supervised individuals operating pursuant to §33-12B-3(a)(14) of this code;

(2) Must comply with all claims payments requirements of the insurance code; and

(3) Must be certified as compliant with this section by a licensed adjuster that is an officer of the entity which employs the individuals operating pursuant to §33-12B-3(a)(14) of this code.

(b) “Business entity” means a corporation, association, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or other legal entity.

(c) “Company adjuster” means an adjuster who is a staff employee of an insurance company, who is paid by the insurance company, and who investigates, negotiates, or settles claims.

(d) “Home state” means the District of Columbia or any state, commonwealth, or territory of the United States in which an adjuster maintains his or her principal place of residence or business and in which he or she is licensed to act as a resident adjuster. If a person’s principal place of residence or business does not license adjusters for the type of adjuster license sought in this state, he or she shall designate as his or her home state any state in which he or she has such a license.

(e) “Independent adjuster” means a person who:

(1) Is an individual, a business entity, an independent contractor, or an employee of a contractor, who contracts for compensation with insurers or self-insurers;

(2) Is one whom the insurer’s or self-insurer’s tax treatment of the individual is consistent with that of an independent contractor, rather than as an employee, as defined in the Internal Revenue Code, United States Code, Title 26, Subtitle C; and

(3) Investigates, negotiates, or settles property, casualty, or workers’ compensation claims for insurers or self-insurers.

(f) “Individual” means a natural person.

(g) “Insurance emergency” means a temporary situation, as declared by the commissioner pursuant to §33-2-10a of this code, when the number of licensed adjusters in this state is inadequate to meet the demands of the public.

(h) “Person” means an individual or business entity.

(i) “Public adjuster” means any person who, for compensation or any other thing of value on behalf of the insured:

(1) 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 negotiating for, or effecting the settlement of, a claim for loss or damage covered by an insurance contract;

(2) 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

(3) 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 on behalf of an insured.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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