Ron Harsch 500wIt has been a busy first quarter in 2017 as The Rocky Mountain Association of Public Insurance Adjusters were very active in legislative efforts in New Mexico and Colorado. The good news to report is that New Mexico has passed the first public adjuster licensing law in state history which will distinguish our industry from independent adjusters. This distinction has been long overdue and the new law is consistent with the national model bill for public adjuster licensing. RMAPIA's Governmental Affairs Liaison Greg Serio was very influential in the Bill's final wording and approval.

The disappointing news comes from the efforts made in Colorado to pass a bill that would create more clarity regarding who can and cannot act as an appraiser or an umpire in the appraisal process. Recently the industry is experiencing insurance companies objecting to who can act as an appraiser in the appraisal process and they are claiming that undefined terms like "impartial" are the basis for objection to a property owner's named appraisers. Of course, those same insurance companies continue to rely on the same people over and over again as their chosen appraisers but they do not believe those relationships violate the undefined term of "impartial" under the same policy language. Following primarily the language created by the Colorado Division of Insurance in Bulletin B5.26, House Bill 1319 was introduced with a bipartisan sponsorship to provide an outline of what would constitute a conflict of interest for an appraiser or umpire under the appraisal provision of the policy. Unfortunately, very little testimony was heard by the House Judiciary Committee on this Bill and it was postponed indefinitely towards the last few days of the legislative session. While this was a disappointing outcome for the efforts that were made, the matter will be revisited again by the Association for further consideration.

There is a lot more for RMAPIA to accomplish so I would encourage all members to stay active in the organization. Our next RMAPIA conference is scheduled for one full day on Friday August 25, 2017 in downtown Denver and it is an opportunity to get to know each other better and to assist each other in many common causes. These seminars are also opportunities to learn more about the industry from experts from all over the country who can offer tools and resources needed to perform this occupation at the highest level. Many of these experts are sponsors of RMAPIA as well so I would encourage everyone to always visit first when in need of technical or legal expertise.

Thank you.

Ronald M. Harsch, CPPA