South Carolina Code of Regulations
Chapter 69 - DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
69-16 - Motor Vehicle Damage Appraisers; General Methods by Which Such Appraisers Shall Conduct Their Business; Suspension or Revocation of an Appraiser's License.
69-16. Motor Vehicle Damage Appraisers; General Methods by Which Such Appraisers Shall Conduct Their Business; Suspension or Revocation of an Appraiser's License.
1. As used herein, the word "appraiser" means any person who, or any partnership, association, or corporation which, practices as a business the appraising of damages to motor vehicles insured under automobile physical damage policies or in respect to third party property damage liability claims and who or which is licensed by the Commissioner to act as an appraiser.
1.1 Employees of insurance companies who are licensed as adjusters, and other persons who are licensed as adjusters and who perform loss or claim adjustments in behalf of insurers, are not required to be licensed as appraisers if their activities as appraisers are in behalf of an insurer which directly and for its own account will perform the repairs itself or which will have the repairs effected directly by a repair shop as its agent for its own account and become responsible itself for such repairs and make payment directly to the repair shop for such repairs.
1.2 Employees of insurance companies who are licensed as adjusters, and other persons who are licensed as adjusters and who perform loss or claim adjustments in behalf of insurers, are required to be licensed as appraisers if their activities consist of making appraisals of damaged motor vehicles solely for purposes of arriving at an agreed price for repairing such motor vehicles under circumstances wherein the contract or agreement to repair the damaged motor vehicle is expected to be made between the repair shop and the owner and wherein the insurer assumes no direct responsibility for the adequacy of the repairs or payment therefor or other than inclusion of the repair shop as a joint payee on the settlement check or draft.
1.3 Before being issued a license, an applicant shall stand a written examination to determine that the applicant is qualified as an appraiser. Such examination shall be subject to, and administered in accordance with, the procedures set forth in Regulation 69-23(6)(f). Any examination fees which may be charged by an outside testing authority shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, the annual license fee required by Code § 56-13-20.
2. Every appraiser, while engaged in his duties as such appraiser, shall carry the license issued to him by the Commissioner and shall offer to display it to an owner whose motor vehicle is being inspected, to the repair shop representative involved, or to any authorized representative of the Commissioner.
3. An appraiser may agree on a price for repairing a damaged motor vehicle only with a repair shop.
4. The appraiser shall leave a legible signed copy of his appraisal with the repair shop selected to make the repairs, which appraisal shall contain the name of the owner of the motor vehicle, the name of the insurer ordering the appraisal and its claim number, if known, the number of the appraiser's license and the proper number of the motor vehicle inspected.
4.1. All damage to the motor vehicle which is considered by the appraiser to be unrelated or old damage and which is not included in the repair price shall be clearly indicated on the appraisal.
5. If the appraiser and the repair shop fail to agree on a price for repairs, the appraiser shall not obtain a competitive estimate from another repair shop unless the owner thereof or his authorized agent shall have actually inspected the vehicle. No such competitive estimate shall be obtained by the use of photographs, telephone calls, or in any manner whatsoever other than actual, personal inspection.
6. No appraiser shall request that repairs be made in a specified repair shop.
7. Every appraiser shall reinspect damaged motor vehicles when supplementary allowances are requested by repair shops.
8. Every appraiser shall:
(1) Conduct himself in such a manner as to inspire public confidence by fair and honorable dealing;
(2) Approach the appraisal of damaged motor vehicles without prejudice against, or favoritism toward, any party involved in order to make fair and impartial appraisals;
(3) Disregard any efforts on the part of others to influence his judgment in the interest of any of the parties involved;
(4) Prepare an independent, objective appraisal of damage. 8.1 No appraiser shall:
(1) Receive directly or indirectly any gratuity or consideration in connection with his appraisal services from any person except his employer or, if self-employed, his customer;
(2) Traffic in, or acquire for himself, his employer, or any relative of either, any salvage if such salvage is obtained in any way as a result of, or incident to, appraisal services rendered by him.
9. The Commissioner may suspend or revoke the license issued to an appraiser or refuse to renew such license upon his finding that any such appraiser has violated any law involving moral turpitude, or has violated, or failed to comply with, any law of this State relating to his duties or conduct as an appraiser or any provision of this Regulation.
HISTORY: Amended by State Register Volume 8, Issue No. 7, eff July 27, 1984.