(1) The department shall issue a license as a public adjuster apprentice to an applicant who is:
(a) A natural person at least 18 years of age.
(b) A United States citizen or legal alien who possesses work authorization from the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and is a resident of this state.
(c) Trustworthy and has such business reputation as would reasonably ensure that the applicant will conduct business as a public adjuster apprentice fairly and in good faith and without detriment to the public.
(2) All applicable license fees, as prescribed in s. 624.501, must be paid in full before issuance of the license.
(3) An applicant must pass the required written examination before a license may be issued.
(4) An applicant must have received designation as an Accredited Claims Adjuster (ACA) after completion of training that qualifies the applicant to engage in the business of a public adjuster apprentice fairly and without injury to the public. Such training and instruction must address adjusting damages and losses under insurance contracts, the terms and effects of insurance contracts, and knowledge of the laws of this state relating to insurance contracts.
(5) At the time of application for license as a public adjuster apprentice, the applicant shall file with the department a bond executed and issued by a surety insurer authorized to transact such business in this state in the amount of $50,000, conditioned upon the faithful performance of his or her duties as a public adjuster apprentice under the license for which the applicant has applied, and thereafter maintain the bond unimpaired throughout the existence of the license and for at least 1 year after termination of the license. The bond shall be in favor of the department and shall specifically authorize recovery by the department of the damages sustained in case the licensee commits fraud or unfair practices in connection with his or her business as a public adjuster apprentice. The aggregate liability of the surety for all such damages may not exceed the amount of the bond, and the bond may not be terminated by the issuing insurer unless written notice of at least 30 days is given to the licensee and filed with the department.
(6) A public adjuster apprentice shall complete at a minimum 100 hours of employment per month for 12 months of employment under the supervision of a licensed and appointed all-lines public adjuster in order to qualify for licensure as a public adjuster. The department may adopt rules that establish standards for such employment requirements.
(7) An appointing public adjusting firm may not maintain more than 12 public adjuster apprentices simultaneously. However, a supervising public adjuster may not be responsible for more than three public adjuster apprentices simultaneously and shall be accountable for the acts of all public adjuster apprentices which are related to transacting business as a public adjuster apprentice.
(8) An apprentice license is effective for 18 months unless the license expires due to lack of maintaining an appointment; is surrendered by the licensee; is terminated, suspended, or revoked by the department; or is canceled by the department upon issuance of a public adjuster license. The department may not issue a public adjuster apprentice license to any individual who has held such a license in this state within 2 years after expiration, surrender, termination, revocation, or cancellation of the license.
(9) After completing the requirements for employment as a public adjuster apprentice, the licensee may file an application for a public adjuster license. The applicant and supervising public adjuster or public adjusting firm must each file a sworn affidavit, on a form prescribed by the department, verifying that the employment of the public adjuster apprentice meets the requirements of this section.
(10) In no event shall a public adjuster apprentice licensed under this section perform any of the functions for which a public adjuster’s license is required after expiration of the public adjuster apprentice license without having obtained a public adjuster license.
(11) A public adjuster apprentice has the same authority as the licensed public adjuster or public adjusting firm that employs the apprentice except that an apprentice may not execute contracts for the services of a public adjuster or public adjusting firm and may not solicit contracts for the services except under the direct supervision and guidance of the supervisory public adjuster. An individual may not be, act as, or hold himself or herself out to be a public adjuster apprentice unless the individual is licensed and holds a current appointment by a licensed public all-lines adjuster or a public adjusting firm that employs a licensed all-lines public adjuster.