For the most part workers’ compensation claims adjusters are aware of the need to complete state-mandated educational requirements every two years in order to continue to perform their job duties. However, we ask, “Who is overseeing and enforcing the educational rules?”
Insurance Code 11761 directs the commissioner of the California Department of Insurance (CDOI) to create and develop the requirements of state-mandated workers’ compensation education. Subsequently, Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations, Sections 2592.02 and 2592.07 were developed by the CDOI to address educational issues. Again, it is important to note that under Ins. Code 11761 the CDOI is required by law to oversee state mandated workers’ compensation adjuster education, the regulations associated therewith, annual reporting, use of mandatory forms, compliance enforcement, and penalties.
In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused claims adjusters to begin working from home, we twice asked the CDOI if state-mandated adjuster education requirements would be suspended during the pandemic. After all, education was no longer readily available. Offices were closed with classes and seminars suspended. Much to our surprise the CDOI refused to address our inquiry. Instead, they directed us to contact the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Despite claims adjuster education falling under CDOI jurisdiction, they punted our inquiry to a totally different government entity having absolutely no jurisdiction whatsoever over the issue. We deliberately made it a point to bring to the CDOI’s attention their apparent dereliction of duty. This time they never bothered to respond. In addition, we contacted the DIR as directed, but they too never replied, probably because it was beyond their jurisdiction. In other words, it appears nobody is monitoring workers’ compensation claims adjuster education compliance either at the CDOI or DIR. This actually does not come as a surprise as we are unaware of any insurance administrator being audited for education compliance dating back to the inception of mandatory education in June 2006.