Universal Claims Certification (UCC)
As of January 1, 2017, 34 states require licensure of independent and staff insurance adjusters. These states have developed minimum standards to equip licensees with the basic skills and competencies to become successful claims professionals. Additionally, the licensing process is complemented by requirements to ensure that applicants are of good character to enter the claims profession. We applaud the efforts of these states to protect their public’s interests.
Accidents, natural disasters and other catastrophes know no geographical boundaries and frequently cross state lines. To provide the best resources to respond to these claims, it is often necessary for people from outside the state to assist those affected. In today’s environment of technological advances, many insurance claims may be efficiently resolved by seasoned insurance claim professionals physically located in another state. As a result, most claims professionals today are licensed in several states.
While there is some uniformity among the states’ licensing requirements, an inefficient system of multi-state licensure exists due to reciprocity requirements, residency restrictions, and other such impediments and obstacles. These issues are fully described by the ACP. The current system is an inefficient waste of time, resources and money, which ultimately hurts the general public and the claims profession. For these reasons, we strongly advocate a uniform approach to multi-state insurance claims professional certification that will maintain and build upon the strong foundation presently in place.
The Universal Claims Certification (UCC) Model
The model we propose is similar to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and other Self-Regulatory Organizations including, for example, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), National Association of Realtors (NAR), American Medical Association (AMA) and American Arbitration Association (AAA). By working with states, these organizations provide uniform national criteria, maintain consistent requirements, governance and continuing education standards. The UCC is not a license. It provides an option for claims professionals and companies for efficient reciprocity.
- Utilizing the most stringent requirements and regulations for each state, we developed the UCC.
- Upon completion of the pre-certification course and successful passage of the examination (if required), an individual will be granted a UCC valid for two years.
- Claims Professionals must be licensed in each state in which they handle/adjudicate claims. To become licensed, the individual must apply and pay the fee designated by each state. Mandatory pre-licensing courses and exams will be waived for those states that recognize the UCC. Registration and payment of state fees may effectively be managed by CLM Tracker, a single, centralized system that connects to states' systems.
- To renew a UCC, individuals must complete the designated number of UCC-approved continuing education hours. Any authorized company, organization or individual may provide continuing education as approved by the UCC CE Team, based upon uniform standards. For states that recognize the UCC, claims professionals will not need to complete individual states' CE requirements.
- This model will maintain a uniform, high level of professionalism, consistency and protect the public’s interests. All UCC recipients will be listed on one website.
- For states that currently require licensure, this model will provide the same level of licensing funding while significantly redeploying overhead costs typically associated with issuing licenses and continuing education.
- Individuals and companies will realize consistency in licensure requirements, gain procedural efficiencies and cost savings. One public website will be maintained for individuals to verify and renew a UCC, and display all continuing education courses completed.