Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee

ESSB 6306

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Regulating crop adjusters.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance (originally sponsored by Senator Schoesler; by request of Insurance Commissioner).

Brief Summary of Engrossed Substitute Bill

  • Establishes a crop adjuster category of insurance adjusters.

Hearing Date: 2/16/10

Staff: Jon Hedegard (786-7127).


An "adjuster" is a person who, for compensation, investigates or reports claims arising under insurance contracts. An adjuster must be licensed or otherwise authorized under the Insurance Code. An adjuster may work solely for either the insurer (an "independent adjuster") or the insured (a "public adjuster"). Each category requires a separate license. A license requires a pre-license test specific to adjusters. There is also a requirement of experience or special education or training that can be met if the adjuster works as a trainee for a specified amount of time.

Crop insurance is a type of insurance that may protect producers from losses due to a variety of possible perils, or from a loss of revenue due to declines in the prices of agricultural commodities. A number of different types of policies are offered for a wide variety of crops via the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, a government-owned corporation managed by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The RMA has indicated that it will preempt state authority to oversee the licensing of crop adjusters on July 1, 2011, unless the state has recognized crop insurance as a special line of business, and the majority of the material in the education and testing of a crop adjuster is related to crop-related issues and procedures. A number of states, including this state, were recognized as possible candidates for preemption.

Summary of Bill:

"Crop insurance" is defined as "insurance coverage for damage to crops from unfavorable weather conditions, fire or lightning, flood, hail, insect infestation, disease, or other yield-reducing conditions or perils provided by the private insurance market, or multiple peril crop insurance that is reinsured by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, including but not limited to revenue insurance."

"Crop adjuster" is "an adjuster, including: (1) an independent adjuster, (2) a public adjuster, and (3) an employee of an insurer or managing general agent, who acts as an adjuster for claims arising under crop insurance. Salaried employees of an insurer or of a managing general agent who are certified by a crop adjuster program approved by the risk management agency of the United States Department of Agriculture are not deemed to be a crop adjuster for the purpose of this chapter. Proof of certification must be provided to the commissioner upon request."

An insurance producer or title insurance agent must not act as a crop adjuster or investigate or report upon claims arising under crop insurance without first obtaining a crop adjuster license. If the insurance producer or title insurance agent is a salaried employee of an insurer or of a managing general agent, the insurance producer or title insurance agent may be certified by a crop adjuster proficiency program approved by the RMA.

The Insurance Commissioner (Commissioner) may, by rule, establish requirements for crop adjusters to:

Applicants for a license as a nonresident crop adjuster must:

A license is not required of a nonresident crop adjuster for the adjustment in this state of a single loss or of losses arising out of a common catastrophe if the nonresident crop adjuster is:

The application and renewal fees for a crop adjuster license are the same fees as required under a public adjuster or independent adjuster license.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect on June 27, 2011.