California Public Adjuster Bond
A public insurance adjuster is a third-party professional who assists policyholders with their insurance claims. In short, they handle a claim on the policyholder’s behalf for a fee. To legally do this job in California, an individual must hold an insurance adjuster license from the California Department of Insurance (CDI).
This professional licensing has many requirements, which include passing an examination, fingerprinting, and getting a California public adjuster bond. This bond is also commonly referred to as a California public insurance adjuster bond.
What is a California Public Adjuster Bond?
A California public adjuster bond is a financial guarantee that an insurance adjuster will act in a lawful and ethical manner. If they fail to do so, the surety bond pays reparations for any damages and losses caused by their misconduct. Wrongful acts are outlined in the California Insurance Code (INS) Division 5, Chapter 2, also called the Public Insurance Adjuster Act.
Like all other surety bonds, a CA Public adjuster bond consists of three parties.
- Principal: The one that needs the bond (the public adjuster).
- Obligee: The one requiring the obligee to get bonded (California Department of Insurance).
- Surety: The surety company that issues and financially backs the bond.
In the event that the Principal acts unlawfully, a claim can be made against their bond up to the full amount of the bond (also known as the penal sum). If the claim is valid, the Surety initially covers it. However, the Principal is then required to pay the Surety back in full.
A CA public adjuster bond protects the people of the state of California—it is not insurance for you or your company. You should avoid bond claims as they can be a financial burden and, in some cases, prevent you from getting a surety bond in the future.
Public Adjuster Bond Requirements
18 years of age or older.
Credit is the main factor determining whether you can get a surety bond and your qualifying rate. Higher credit will get you a lower premium, but you can also get a CA public adjuster bond with bad credit in many cases. See our guide to Bad Credit Surety Bonds for more information.
Additional Licensing Requirements
The only reason to get a California public adjuster surety bond is to get an insurance adjuster license in CA. Therefore, you should also ensure that you meet the other licensing requirements to become an insurance adjuster before applying for your surety bond.
How Do I Get a California Public Adjuster Bond?
Step 1: Pick a Qualifying Surety Company
There are many surety companies and insurance companies that offer bonds, but they are not all created equal. Before diving into the bonding process, ensure that you pick a surety that:
- Is a corporate surety permitted to do business in the State of California.
- Offers a California public adjuster bond.
- Is a-rated with good reviews.
- Bonus: is a larger surety. Larger companies, such as JW Surety, are able to offer the best prices due to the large volume of bonds they underwrite.
Read How to Choose the Right Surety for more information.
Step 2: Apply for the Surety Bond
To get bonded in as little as one business day, use an online bond application—it instantly provides a free quote, and you can apply 24/7. In addition, this application requires only basic information such as your contact information, your bond type, and the bond amount. Prefer to apply over the phone or through mail? Many sureties also offer these options.
Step 3: Sign the Bond Agreement
After your application is approved, your surety will send you an indemnity agreement (bond contract). Sign it and then email or fax it back to them, along with the payment for your invoice. Once everything is processed, you will receive your surety bond. A copy of the bond can be emailed to you, but you will need to wait for the original to come by mail to proceed to Step 4.
Step 4: Submit Your Bond
Sign the original bond of public insurance adjuster form received from your surety and send it to the Producer Licensing Bureau.
How Much Does a CA Public Adjuster Bond Cost?
A California public adjuster surety bond costs anywhere from $200 - $2,000, depending on your financial strength.
While this surety bond must be in the amount of $20,000, it only costs a small fraction of the full bond amount to get bonded—an average of 1% - 3% for those with good credit. If you also need a $2,000 public adjuster bond, you can expect to pay an additional $20 -$200 premium.
Surety Bond Name: California Public Adjuster Bond
Surety Bond Amount: $20,000
|Credit Score||Above 675||Between 600-675||Below 599|
|Yearly Premium||$200 - $600||$600 - $1,000||$1,000 - $2,000|
*Note that the pricing above is an estimate based on an underwriting process that looks only at credit score. Other factors, such as past bonding history and financials, may also be considered for some bond applications. See our guide to Surety Bond Costs for more information, or get a free bond quote to see your qualifying rate.
You can get a California insurance adjuster bond in as little as one business day using an online application. Ensure that all the information on your bond form is correct before submitting as errors can slow down the bonding process.
If a public adjuster’s unlawful or unethical actions cause a client losses or damages, a claim can be made against the adjuster’s surety bond. If a claim happens:
- There will be an investigation to determine if the bond claim is valid.
- The bond holder will be notified and likely asked to supply additional information.
- If the claim is deemed valid, the surety that issued the bond will pay the claim amount.
- The bond holder will then have to pay back the surety in full, plus any legal fees.
Independent adjuster: independent contractor hired by an insurance company.
Public adjuster: a third party employed by the policyholder.
Staff adjuster: works directly for an insurance company.