Florida Attorney Chip Merlin posts information on the Florida Public Adjuster right to Free Speech as FL determines 2008 regulation on immediate contact is unconstitutional

July 6, 2012

Here are two very important blogs by Chip Merlin and at his 2nd blog on Florida Condominium claims announcing that Florida has declared the 2008 regulation delaying the Public Adjuster’s right to immediate policyholder contact unconstitutional.

For complete details:

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2012/07/articles/consumer-protection/public-adjusters-win-free-speech-rights-and-ability-to-promptly-help-policyholders/index.html

http://www.condominiuminsurancelaw.com/2012/07/articles/florida/florida-ban-on-public-adjuster-solicitation-ruled-unconstitutional/

 


Citizens of Florida announced Tom Grady as Interim President in March 2012

April 13, 2012

In case you missed this announcement made after Scott Wallace announced his resignation in January 2012, here is a link to the media announcement that states in part:

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Citizens Board of Governors convened on Monday and voted unanimously to appoint Tom Grady, Commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation and former Vice Chairman of the Insurance, Business and Financial Affairs Committee of the Florida House, its interim president beginning March 12, 2012 following the resignation of the current president Scott Wallace. Mr. Wallace will remain with the corporation until April 6 in order to facilitate the transition. “

Here is a link to the entire press release they made on March 6, 2012:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/pressreleases.cfm?show=text&link=/shared/press/articles/new/03_06_2012.cfm&showyear=2012

I think I just might respect Tom Grady if the information quoting him when he resigned from his prior position to take this Interim position at Citizens is correct- he does need to turn the place inside out and I will keep my fingers crossed he consults with top insurance consultants when making decisions as too many people running the show have zero prior claims experience such as the Sr Director and Vendor Management director from an insurance claims department standpoint. More on that in my next blog where I’ll show you my major concern regarding the proposed catastrophe staffing model.

Here is the article I’m referring to from the Miami Herald:

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/03/tom-grady-signs-off-at-office-of-financial-regulation-heads-to-citizens.html


Upcoming Claim Committee Teleconference for Citizens Insurance of Florida is today 4/13/12 9:30-to 11:30 ET

April 13, 2012

I know many of you are certified or in the process of certifying to work Citizens of Florida Insurance Corporation- CPIC- catastrophe and non catastrophe claims as independent adjusters.

Here’s your chance to get a current update on their staffing model in the event of a storm and much more information as outlined on today’s teleconference which takes place from 9:30-11:30 ET. As far as I know, all are still welcome to join in the teleconference. I have seen on prior meeting minutes where folks call in even just as citizens of the state of Florida.

The teleconference information for call in as shown on their Board of Governor meeting link is listed as:

Claims Committee Meeting

When: April 13, 2012 9:30 – 11:30am EDT

Where: Teleconference

Teleconference: 866-361-7525 Code: 5219676193

For a complete list of documents and the agenda, here is the current link on Future Meetings link  here:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/mDetails_boardmtgs.cfm?show=PDF&link=/bnc_meet/docs/445/00A_Claims_Agenda_04_13_2012.pdf&event=445&when=Future

Note that this same information with very informative documents is usually moved to the Past Meetings link  after the meeting so if you are wanting to view this information after today’s meeting, here is the link to Past Meetings here:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/past_boardmtgs.cfm

I’ll make another post later today with my comments regarding the staffing model of 120 days as proposed in the February meeting minutes that is presented for approval today as well as other things mentioned in the well prepared minutes from February.

The advantage of sitting in on the teleconference is not having to wait more than a month to know what happened at the committee meeting as it takes them quite a while to get the minutes posted in preparation of their next scheduled Claim Committee hearing.


List of 2011 Independent Adjusting firms with Citizens of FL Tier One (Direct) Contracts

October 25, 2011

For those of you asking due to approaching Hurricane Rina- here is the link to the list up on the Citizens of Florida website with the list of Independent Adjusting firms with direct assignment contracts with Citizens as of 9/8/11 per the date on their pdf:

https://www.citizensfla.com/shared/purchasing/pdfs/AdjustingFirmsRegisteredWithCitizens.pdf

I see Eberls Claims is on the list who is a ClaimSmentor Sponsor so please let them know we sent you if you apply! There are some great firms to choose from on the list so good luck out there should Hurricane Rina strike Florida!


January 2012 Windstorm Network Conference- Orlando, FL/ Also put to rest the rumor that attendee majority were public adjusters- see stats

September 22, 2011

The 2012 Windstorm Network Conference will be held in January 2012 in Orlando, FL from January 30, 2012 through February 2, 2012.

While researching the 2011 conference and attendees due to an upcoming opportunity to speak on behalf of ClaimSmentor to the 2012 network, I came across a most interesting blog entry putting to rest rumors even I had heard that the Windstorm network attendees are public adjusters in the majority of cases.

This article on the actual statistics put out by Attorney Chip Merlin, current Windstorm Network President,  dispells these rumors and shows that attendees are 4 to 1 dominated by independent claims personnel and staff claims personnel. I hope you find this article interesting when considering both sponsorship opportunities as well as attendance participation. All in all, I find it an outstanding networking opportunity for all parties concerned in wind topics which are important for all of us in the Property and Casualty claims industry:

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2011/03/articles/insurance/windstorm-insurance-networka-dominated-by-independent-and-company-adjusters/

Here is also the link for the January 2012 Membership and Conference Registration:
Membership- Click here

Conference Registration- Click here

 

 


Update on FL Claim Litigation and Appraisal provision on Citizens of FL Case 2/2011- Just a ClaimSmentor Moment Update

February 9, 2011

Here’s a great blog entry  by the Florida Legal Blog you may want to read about a court decision on the Appraisal provision in Florida. The case involved a Citizens of Florida case:

http://www.floridalegalblog.org/2011/02/insurance-appraisal-not-appropriate-if.html


ClaimSmentor newest Sponsor- Action Catastrophe Team to host Citizens of Florida Daily and Catastrophe Team 2011 Certification Classes

January 20, 2011

Thanks to Tom Nowalowski, President and owner of Action Catastrophe Team who I have known and worked with during the major 4 in 04 hurricane season is our latest sponsor on ClaimSmentor. Special thanks to him for supporting our online  e-mentoring program at ClaimSmentor and for sharing his class schedule with our members.

Tom does have one request that you go to their website linked above and fill out the adjuster information sheet which is required to register for their free Citizens of Florida 2011 classes which are listed below:

Action Catastrophe Team

 

 

 

Join Our Mailing List

Upcoming Citizen’s Certification Classes from Action Catastrophe Team

 

Hello Again!!

We hope everyone has has an enjoyable start to what we hope is a very healthy and prosperous 2011.  As we enter the New Year, it’s time for us to start turning our attention to this years’ new, yearly Citizen’s certification classes.

 

A.C.T. is very fortunate to be a vendor for Citizen’s, handling both Non-Cat (Daily) and Catastrophe claims.  We have adjusting positions available for Residential, Commercial, Sinkhole,  Liability, Team Lead, and Inside Examiners for both Daily and Cat claims.

 

The early predictions indicate the 2011 Hurricane Season will be more active than normal and there is a high likelihood that Florida will once again be in the bulls-eye.  Don’t let the less than active last couple of years lull you into a false sense of security. 

 

We could have another 2004 or 2005 season at any time and if you want to participate when it happens, you MUST attend one of the FREE, MANDATORY, Citizen’s Certification Classes we will be offering.

 

Unlike past years, Citizen’s is combining the Cat and Non-Cat classes into one session.  Even if you attended a Citizen’s class in the past, you have to be re-certified every year. 

 

We have scheduled five seperate Certification classses and smaller group sessions in Florida are possible at a later date, along with a possible Miami/Ft. Lauderdale meeting, if demand warrants.

 

To register, simply reply to this e-mail with the location you wish to reserve a seat in.  You will receive an e-mail confirmation.  Also, even if you are currently on our roster, you MUST go to our Website www.actioncatteam.com and visit the “Contact Us” page.  While there, fill out the On-Line Information sheet to ensure we have your current contact information and prior claims experience.  It will only take a couple of minutes to complete and is REQUIRED. 

You will be prompted to forward a resume’ to tom@actioncatteam.com and you will not be admitted into the meeting without us receiving your current resume’ in advance.  Examples of an acceptable resume’ will be sent with the tentative confirmation. 

 

Once you are confirmed to attend, we will send specific information as to the materials you will need to bring to these meetings.  In addition to a current resume’ a Background Check will be done on all adjusters.

 

Feel free to forward this to any adjusters you know that would like to join our Team.  Hope to see you soon.

 

Tom Nowakowski

President/Claim Operations Manager

Office:  800-516-6978

Cell:  940-452-0174

Fax:  207-226-5718

tom@actioncatteam.com

http://www.actioncatteam.com

 

 

 

 

Tallahassee, Florida

We traditionally make the Holiday Inn in Tallahassee one of our first Certification Class locations.  There are several hotels/motels nearby and this year, they have taken over ownership of the old Marie Livingstons Steakhouse that is on the property, and converted it into the Monroe Street Conference Center.  Our Meeting will be held inside the Monroe Street Conference Center.

Event Info

Saturday, February 12, 2011

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Eastern Time)

2714 Graves Rd. Tallahassee, FL 32303

850-536-2005

 

There are special rates for the Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Days Inn if you say you are attending the Citizen’s Training for Action Cat Team.

 

 

 

 

Atlanta, Georgia

We had a GREAT turnout in Atlanta last year and we are happy to provide a location in the Atlanta area again for this year’s classes. 

The meeting will be at the Golden Corral restaurant meeting room.  There is no charge for the meeting, but the restaurant has given us use of the meeting room with the understanding that many of our attendees will want to eat lunch with them. The lunch is under $8.00. If you aren’t familiar with them, they offer one of the best buffets you can buy.  Refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

Event Info – 2 DIFFERENT MEETING DATES AVAILABLE

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 OR Tuesday March 29th, 2011

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Eastern Time)

2155 Riverside Parkway Lawrenceville, GA

 

There are several motels close by if you need one you can Google either Lawrenceville, Suwanee, or Norcross for the motels nearby.

 

 

 

 

Arlington, Texas

Arlington is convenient to several major cities around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and our meeting there will be held at the LaQuina Inns and Suites.  They are offering rooms at special rates which  include breakfast and free airport shuttle service. 

 
Event Info

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Central Time)

825 N. Watson Rd.  Arlington, TX 76011

817-640-4142

 

 

 

 

Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida

Our meeting in the Tampa Bay area is conveniently located not too far off of the main bridge into St. Petersburg.  The Comfort Inn is also offering special rates if you say you are attending our Citizens Training Class.  A single room is $79.99 and 2 Double bed room is only $84.99 + tax.  Free Deluxe Continental breakfast is included.  Please mention “Citizen’s Training Class for Action Catastrophe Team” when you call.

Event Info

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

2260 54th Ave North,  St. Petersburg, FL 33714

727-362-0075

 

 

 

 

Atlanta, Georgia (2nd Meeting Date in Atlanta)

We had a GREAT turnout in Atlanta last year and we are happy to provide a location in the Atlanta area again for this year’s classes. 

The meeting will be at the Golden Corral restaurant meeting room.  There is no charge for the meeting, but the restaurant has given us use of the meeting room with the understanding that many of our attendees will want to eat lunch with them. The lunch is under $8.00. If you aren’t familiar with them, they offer one of the best buffets you can buy.  Refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

Event Info – 2 DIFFERENT MEETING DATES AVAILABLE

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 OR Tuesday March 29th, 2011

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Eastern Time)

2155 Riverside Parkway Lawrenceville, GA

 

There are several motels close by if you need one you can Google either Lawrenceville, Suwanee, or Norcross for the motels nearby.

 

Must see video of BP’s Ken Feinburg at AL Townhall meeting yesterday- Hope to meet many of you this morning at the Fort Walton Beach Townhall Meeting

January 19, 2011

Here is some must see video footage of the Orange Beach, Alabama townhall meeting held yesterday with BP’s Ken Feinburg:

http://wkrg.com/1204118/

We will be attending today’s townhall meeting along with other independent adjusters in the Florida panhandle this morning being held here today in Fort Walton Beach, FL along with the founder of the Pensacola, FL Gulf Coast Claims Association and several other independent adjusters in the area. I’ll blog on that either later today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, I am putting together an article on the fruitless efforts made by hundreds if not thousands of adjusters like myself who applied to work these BP claims jobs from TX to FL  and were not utilized to work these claims. I have heard from hundreds who have applied and were not used being told that they were saving the experienced adjusters for hurricane season which never did cause damage in 2010. Information I’ve learned from many adjusters who were in the operation says that Ken Feinburg had changed the job title to “evaluator” from “adjuster” when he took over. Why? Is that so non adjusters could work the claims?

We’d like to piece together our side of the BP claims story by hearing from the many of you who applied and did or did not work claims. You can reply to this blog and I’ll approve the comments or if you wish to remain anonymous you can email me at dkmoroy@dimechimes.com and I will not use your name in any article or upcoming blog on the subject.

Thanks!


Claim Litigation Update Re: Florida decision on Collateral Source Rule when dealing with a HO and Flood claims

January 17, 2011

Found this blog post over at Merlin’s Law Group blog  today- a must read for all adjusters handling flood claims and homeowner claim in Florida:

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2011/01/articles/insurance/more-on-the-collateral-source-rule/


BP Claim Information Updates through Sunday June 20, 2010

June 20, 2010

The national news is just full of information regarding the status on BP oil claims so I wanted to take a few minutes tonight to post links to some information independent claims adjusters and adjusting firms will be interested in tonight.

First, Worley Adjusting Company  now has information posted on their website that due to the overwhelming number of applications they received, they are temporarily no longer accepting any new applications. View their complete statement here.

Second, the rumor throughout independent adjusting circles is that a second adjusting company has now been deploying adjusters for BP assignments. Here is a link to the GAB Robins website. We have not been able to confirm this directly over the weekend but have heard  this from numerous adjusters. ***Update Monday 6/21/2010- GAB has now confirmed that they are handling and the contact there is the Columbia, SC office- Mr Hubbard. There is a link on their site to office locations for specific info there.

It is our understanding that both firms are paying independent adjusters ( and others with experience unknown) on a daily rate PLUS per diem on an incurred basis for temporary housing. This is a great thing on the housing allowance as insurance companies make no consideration for temporary housing for independents. They provide temporary housing only for staff adjusters. The long term experienced adjusters say the amount of the daily rate is not enough as far as they are concerned in comparison to billing on catastrophe large losses and commercial claims so they are telling me they would not be interested in these BP assignments. Rumor also has it that GAB is paying on an hourly rate plus per diem. The amount I’ve seen would come to slightly more than the daily rate Worley is paying if the amount I was told is accurate.

We will all see how they feel after a major catastrophe as most independents are very displeased with insurance companies reducing fee schedules while at the same time drastically increasing file requirements which I’m hearing on the average take an experienced independent adjusters on average about two more hours per claim to close a file and get management approval.

Should this be the case. this is a good indication that possibly many more independent adjusters will be deployed to assist with the now 61,000 claims of which BP is stating they now have while only about 31,000 of these BP claimants have now been issued an advance.  Here is a link to the June 19, 2010 BP report advising they now have 33 claim offices set up with 1,000 people working in the claims offices. I’d like to say they are all licensed adjusters but I can’t verify that and have heard from some of the adjusters who are deployed that there were unlicensed people in their induction meetings. In CEO Tony Haywards prepared testimony to Congress on page 8 he stated as of that date that 700 adjusters had been deployed and states 600 of those were experienced.

  To compare this assigned adjuster response to hurricane season, I wrote a blog the other day showing that over 12,000 emergency adjuster licenses had been issued in 2005 and over 17,000 in 2004 in FL alone. This does not take into account the regular permanent licensed adjusters and the non resident adjusters who worked those 2 hurricane seasons in FL. Here is also a link to an article post Hurricane Ike on the number of claims adjusters assigned in TX.

The same 6.19.2010 BP update above also states BP has received about 84,000 calls into their call center. Now compare this to news coming out of Houston where the BP call center is set up quoting them as having received over 200,000  calls about claims and quoting some of the 100 BP phone operators as saying the call center is just a diversion and the calls go nowhere . See this second article  by Huffington Post with video quoting a BP operator  as well saying the call center is just a diversion.

Florida Insurance Commissioner, Alex Sink, who is currently running for Florida Governor also jumped into the act on BP claims per these articles  here and here coming out of the Pensacola, FL area where she went into the Pensacola, FL BP claims office with a claimant and news camera in tow. The part I surely do not understand about that is that BP is self insured first of all but secondly that the article says the claimant was attorney represented so I am not sure why the claims manager even talked to the claimant if his attorney was not present. She next met with a group of business owners in Pensacola to discuss their problems with the BP claims office. I do in fact hope that the insurance commissioners do get involved and that only licensed independent adjusters are able to handle these claims. It is a disservice to all BP claimants to have to work with “claims processors” as Tony Hayward called them when testifying to Congress yet I am not sure that these “claims processors” must be licensed if  BP is self insured.

According to an article about Katie Couric’s interview with Ken Feinburg, it states that $600M in claims have been filed and $71M has been paid out. Friday he promised legitimate claims would be paid within 30-60 days:

“Kenneth Feinberg was chosen to oversee the $20-billion compensation fund promised Friday to pay all legitimate claims quickly – in 30 to 60 days. He spoke with CBS News anchor Katie Couric from Baton Rouge, La.”

For those of you in the claims industry….wouldn’t that be quite a feat? Lawsuits still are being filed in TX over hurricane IKE weekly and we are just approaching the statute of limitiations ( deadline period to file lawsuits on property damage) in FL from hurricane Wilma. The part especially misunderstood about this is how in the world can claims be settled within 60-90 days as stated when they do not even expect the escaping oil to finally be capped until sometime in August and by all reports that is a BIG if !  

Most importantly is that you see this Katie Couric video interviewing the newly appointed Ken Feinburg  who will oversee the $20B BP escrow account announced last week by President Obama. It is very helpful for understanding their planned claims process between the BP escrow account and the 1990 Pollution Act claims process these claims were originally solely being processed under. Also view this CBS news article outlining important other traumatic disaster cases Ken Feinburg has handled to include settlements with the victims family for 9/11 and the Virginia Tech shooting case settlements.

This next Bloomberg article  gives the case citations which says in part:

“The multidistrict case is In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, MDL-2179, Washington. The dispersants case is Parker v. Nalco Co., 2:10- cv-01749, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).”

CNN tonight was interviewing a gentleman providing warning about BP job scams and other warnings about firms showing up to offer to help you for a fee which is not necessary. I in fact ran across something that really bothered me tonight just researching for this claims update. To see it for yourself, go to www.bp.com/claims which is the official site for BP announcements. Remembering the exact website for this incorrectly, I first entered www.bpclaims.com and to my surprise it is a public adjusting firm website that defaults and moves you seamlessly to www.publicadjuster.com . I didn’t even bother to read the public adjuster site but my thinking was how bad that is that some innocent claimant would think that they were designated to handle BP claims which is not the case or atleast I have not heard that BP has hired any public adjusters to handle their claims.

**Additional info added  6/21/2010- I meant to include the following link to a Bloomberg article explaining the 232 class action lawsuits on BP claims will be moved/handled by 1 appointed judge:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=aljqY7Nv_AzA

Well, I intended to spend a few minutes updating on the claims status as of 6/20/2010 and now hours later I’ll wrap it up with a  link  to my blog with a prayer and a song to all Gulf Coast residents and recovery workers and adjusters working these claims as promised that I would end every BP blog with this prayer for them:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/eternal-father-strong-to-save-a-prayer-for-americans-during-the-bp-gulf-coast-oil-spill-recovery-open-letter-3-to-president-obama-and-admiral-thad-allen/


To my friends, family, and claims community members- News on the BP Oil spill from the Florida Panhandle

June 17, 2010

Words are useless to express the devastation and sorrow about  how we are all feeling about the approaching oil in the Florida panhandle and the horror we feel for the states preceding us with the oil spill in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama so I will publish this as is updating you on activities that took place with the Okaloosa County Florida Commissioners  meeting this week.

 First, a link to a blog post by Attorney Chip Merlin  who is being extremely proactive in the Destin, FL area where my friends and family are , staying in tune with what is going on and trying to help consumers in that area. Second , is a copy of an email that I got from a very beloved friend in Destin who is and always has been very interested in the beaches and wildlife there. I hope this post helps bring attention to the plight there and helps even one friend in the area find direction in this unspeakable horror.

To my nephew Ryan in Pensacola, my niece Pam in Ft Walton and family,  my nephew Billy and family in Panama City, and to my husband Don’s relatives in Grayton beach and Walton counties,  and to my sister Diana and family who own rental property in Destin, FL- our hearts and prayers are with you all daily as well as to all gulf coast residents, displaced workers, and restoration workers trying to save our beaches. Please read on:

Consumer Attorney Chip Merlin’s blog  about his visit and participation in the Okaloosa County meetings this week:

*Note- yes I recommend first trying to work with the BP claims process but when all else fails, I do highly recommend Chip Merlin be the attorney you resort to to pursue your losses if you are unsuccessful with BP. I have followed his actions- not just his words- since Katrina.

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2010/06/articles/insurance/oil-and-hurricanes-here-comes-the-one-two-punch/

Second, a most heartening email request from a very dear long term friend in Destin, Donna Minton , also emailing her distribution list requesting we support the Okaloosa County Commissioners which I definitely do in their position to take matters into their own hands to protect our way of life in Destin and the Florida panhandle. Her email is copied below with her knowledge and consent. Donna has given a voice to how we are all feeling in her most special way  :

 
 
 
Dear family and friends:
 
This morning while I was listening to the local news, I caught a TV segment on the Okaloosa County Commissioners here making a decision to move forward with taking action to protect our bays and beaches from the oil spill without waiting for the required governmental permission to do so. I thought that action was kind of gutsy for a governmental org and wanted to show support for their decision  and encourage them in this vein of thinking and action.  So, I called and spoke with the secretary at the Okaloosa County Commissioner office and told her that I just wanted to write a letter/send an email to the Board of County Commissioner further encouraging them.  She was very kind and receptive to my call and told me that the Commissioners are getting flooded with emails on the situation, but very few “old-fashioned” letters are being rec’d. She felt like a letter would be great and assured me that she would personally see that each County Commissioner got a copy of it and she knew they all would appreciate words of support in their “maverick” actions to move forward. She said that a written letter would actually garner some better attention rather than one lone email among so many rec’d. It would get lost in the masses, so to speak. So, I wrote my letter.
 
I know that so many of you feel that same love and adoration as I do. I’m not alone in these feelings. This situation is a nightmare to my consciousness as I know it is for all of you.  Since returning from Great Britain and Ireland 10 days ago and learning how the situation has gotten worse and closer to my own beloved beaches, I have not been able to talk much about the  tuition since returning home –  the pain of it just runs so deep in my heart. This may sound strange to many of you – but the way I feel is very similar to the feelings I experienced in the months following my Mom’s passing.  An incredible feeling of deep and heavy sadness and heartfelt longing for life to return back to normal before the tragic event happened.  I worry about all the marine life and wildlife creatures that live in the oceans and on our beaches.  It’s more than a dark cloud on my head….it’s a torrential downpour of grief over what is happening. I limit how watch much of the news on the TV/internet I watch or read  because it just makes me weep and deepens feelings of depression and hopelessness. Does this sound and feel familiar to any of you? I’m working hard to stay positive, upbeat, and optimistic and praying for that “silver lining” in this situation and the greater “good” that has to come out of even the most tragic of situations.  It’s very hard to stay on that optimistic path these days, but definitely the better choice for us all.  
 
So this email is a gentle request of my family friends to consider taking a few minutes of your time and writing a short letter of thanks, support, and encouragement to the Okaloosa County Commissioners office for their decision to move forward  – come hell or high water. I hope they truly “walk the talk” they are broadcasting out to the public. Please join me in encouraging them to do so. A positive word of encouragement is so much better than anger, judgment, and criticism. It does not matter whether you live in Okaloosa County or not  – or even in Florida. Please consider writing a letter anyway.

A very wise person – very  near and dear to my heart – often reminds me to “create love in every situation” so I’m hoping this letter creates a bit of love in this situation. :)  If writing a letter resonates with you, ask your family, friends, and colleagues to do so the same. It just takes a few minutes, some paper, envelope and a stamp. And it may make you feel a bit more hopeful..just the act of writing the letter lifted my spirits a bit.  The more folks that write, the better. As my friend, Jano, just wrote me in an email this week – It takes a village.
 
 So, I’m asking that perhaps each of you consider writing your own letter of support to the County with the thought that the more positive reinforcement they get from the community on their action, the better it will be for the situation and encourage them to continue to move forward and not wait around for approvals.
 
 I’m not a person that airs my political beliefs willy-nilly and this email is not meant to be a political email in any way (there’s enough of those going around) but you all know how passionate I am about the marine and beach wildlife, our beloved ocean and beaches,and the health of our planet. As with many of you, I have grown up with these beaches in all phases of my life  from Gulf Shores,Alabama to Pensacola Beach and now Destin, and Okaloosa Island.  I often tell folks that I have Gulf water running through my veins, quartz crystal sand between my toes, the salty smell of the ocean in my nostrils, and the sound of the surf in my heart.  I love the beach in all of its varied conditions – be it a soft gentle spring rain, a fierce storm during hurricane season, the bright hot sunshine of July, the solitude quietness of winter, or a peaceful foggy mist in the fall. It is beautiful to me no matter the season or time of day. I have solved many a heartache in my life  in long walks and talks with God and the ocean on Okaloosa Island beach, had fun with Sonny on our “date” Sunday beach days snorkeling and swimming, experienced the thrill of finding a “gift from the sea’ on the beaches after a storm, enjoyed the feel of the ocean on my skin while skinny-dipping(surprised you with that one, didn’t I?) and felt the surge of love and admiration in my heart watching herons, pelicans, dolphins, sea gulls,manatees, sea turtle, sandpipers, and crabs make their home here (to name just a few). It’s a boundless love- my love of this area.  I’m a proud coastal girl born and bred and hopefully will be one to my last days.  I have also honored that love of the ocean and beach in my home and office.
 
by Donna Minton, Destin, FL

I will continue to post a link to my prayer and song as long as this gulf coast recovery effort is going on:

Should you wish to send this link on this post to your friends just copy and paste this link:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/to-my-friends-family-and-claims-community-members-news-from-the-florida-panhandle/

To add to Donna’s contact information above,  here’s the link to the Okaloosa Commissioners. If you don’t know what to say to the Commisioners, here is a link to their website which has additional updates from the June 16, 2010 meeting and their fax number so if you do nothing else, print this blog out and fax it to them at 850-651-7142  and add a note to tell them you do support their efforts.

http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/bcc_contact.html

Or forward the following link to your friends and family and to the commissioners by email:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/to-my-friends-family-and-claims-community-members-news-from-the-florida-panhandle/

Each and every day until this oil spill is cleaned up, I intend to  close each blog with the following prayer and song for oil spill victims, especially the families of those who lost their family members in the Deep Water Horizon explosion: 

 

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/eternal-father-strong-to-save-a-prayer-for-americans-during-the-bp-gulf-coast-oil-spill-recovery-open-letter-3-to-president-obama-and-admiral-thad-allen/
 
We appreciate all comments you make to this post if you support the Okaloosa County Commissioners so please post your comments and I will approve them. Let’s  use this blog comments section to keep each updated on what is happening in and around the Florida panhandle to give Donna’s voice further wings to  help the Florida panhandle and keep those of us living outside of the area news on the developments and progress in the Florida panhandle.
 
Here is also a link to another blog I wrote last week with all of the BP claim forms should you need them. You can also follow all blogs I’ve posted about BP by just entering BP in the search field on the right column of this blog to read them all to keep up with the information I am updating on the BP claims status. 

 

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/bp-gulf-oil-spill-claims-update-claims-process-claims-manual-claims-forms-and-much-more/
 
We also ask that you help those of us in the claims industry help you by passing along our plight trying to get assigned to work these claims. It is just a tragedy that only one adjusting firm has been assigned to handle these claims. As of last Friday, BP had only assigned 600 adjusters between Louisiana and Florida to handle these claims and we do not even know if they are experienced adjusters entirely. Compare those numbers to the following numbers required in the 2004 and 2005 hurricane season:
 
http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/lets-compare-floridas-2004-2005-bad-hurricane-seasons-with-the-current-number-of-bp-claims-as-of-6122010-and-currently-deployed-claims-adjusters-part-ii-open-letter-to-obama-and-admiral-allen/
 

 


Eternal Father Strong to Save- A prayer for Americans during the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill Recovery- Open Letter 3 to President Obama and Admiral Thad Allen

June 15, 2010

President Obama is speaking from NAS Pensacola, FL as I write this. It is the most support I have seen him express to the brave men and woman serving in the US Armed Forces  since he began his Presidency. I am taking this particular speech very personally as my father, my brother, and my brother in law are all buried at Barrancas National Cemetary at NAS Pensacola.  I cannot bear the thought of the memories of our childhood being destroyed with the gulf oil tar nor of disturbing the area so others can  grow up with the same wonderful memories our family shares from the area during our youth when my father was stationed there.

I still  have family in the area including my nephew Ryan who is attending college at the University of West Florida  following in the foot steps of my wonderful father and brother who also attended the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL. His degree is going to be in the marine industry. He too is watching his dreams disturbed by the worst environmental disaster in Amercian history as he faces unemployment working part time in the beach restaurant industry as a means of income to help cover his expenses while in college.

President Obama- thank you for doing us proud with your military speech in Pensacola and for finally showing our military of all branches the respect and honor they so much deserve. As a military brat as us military children are known as, we do know the sacrifices having watched our fathers depart on Naval aircraft carriers, departing for war, and the fear and sadness we experience as we support our brothers, sisters, neices, nephews, sons, daughters, and our fathers as they protect Amercians at assignments both at home and have to regularly leave us to go abroad to protect us around the world.

I’ll end this thanks with the words of my very favorite navy hymn heard every Sunday growing up on military bases and attending church at military chapels where our father was stationed.  If you really listen and read the words, I think you will agree this song represents all of our prayers for our military, our national guard members, our claims adjusters who will have to work in these coastal environments during hurricane season, and our BP responders constantly exposed to the oil spill tar and disperants as they clean up our beaches and marshlands and experiencing illness as a result. We also extend this as a prayer to all gulf coast residents suffering from this oil spill :

             Eternal Father Strong to Save – Original Version

             The original words are:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee 
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

For links to the origins and history and other more modern versions of this song, visit this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Father,_Strong_to_Save#Lyrics

**Note the Episcopal version is also very appropriate and shown on the link above

I find the following musical version very comforting at times like these and hope you will enjoy the music and pictorial vision as well:

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/e/t/eternalf.htm

Please pass this on in hope it brings a focus to the faith that God will protect us and keep us safe. Especially for the families of the victims killed in this BP Oil explosion. Our prayers are with you every single day. Just click on the title to this blog today and you can then copy and paste it into an email to your friends and family suffering through this disaster or serving in recovery efforts.

Respectfully,

Debbie Moroy, AIC,IIA  ClaimSmentor Founder www.claimSmentor.com

 

 

 


Let’s Compare Florida’s 2004 & 2005 Bad Hurricane Seasons with the Current Number of BP claims as of 6/12/2010 and Currently deployed Claims Adjusters- Part II- Open Letter to Obama and Admiral Allen

June 14, 2010

The news as you know is just full of news organizations analyzing BP response to the claims resulting from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill disaster.

It might help, without throwing accusations around,  to just compare a few numbers and several major differences between the disastrous 2004 and 2005 hurricane season in Florida and the Gulf Oil spill numbers as of  yesterday, June 12, 2010.

Let’s look at this  article  dating back August 2008 by the Florida Insurance Council. The article  states in part that:

” The Department’s Bureau of Licensing issued 17,488 Emergency Adjuster licenses for the four-storm 2004 hurricane season and 12,284 Emergency Adjuster licenses during 2005. Florida was again impacted by four hurricanes that year, but most of the damage was from Hurricane Wilma. In addition to adjusters working with emergency licenses, hundreds, if not thousands, of resident adjusters handled claims from the 2004/2005 hurricanes. “

Keep in mind that they are talking about emergency adjuster license numbers only. This does not include FL resident independent adjuster licenses, FL non resident independent adjuster licenses, nor staff adjusters (those who work directly for the carrier as employees) so you can just imagine how many more thousands of independents and staff adjusters just FL required in 2004 and 2005. Now add the Katrina claim statistics and number of adjusters also out working in 2005. Louisiana did not have adjuster licensing in 2005 so I’m not sure where I can get the 2005 statistics on Katrina as a comparison.

Emergency adjuster licenses are temporary licenses  that allow a non resident adjuster to work in the issuing state without an adjuster’s license in that state. The other way to work out of state is to obtain a permanent non-resident license. In addition, of course, we have permanent resident licenses. Normally, if your state of residence requires a resident license, FL and other states requiring an adjuster’s license will allow you to work for a short period of time in the disaster zone under an emergency license. These are typically only approved by a state department of insurance once a Governor has Declared a state of emergency. They are normally good for anywhere from 60-120 days and can be renewed if the state licensing department extends the deadline. The limiting factor is an adjuster operating under a temporary emergency license can only work claims for a particular declared disaster. They cannot be utilized to work non disaster related losses.

Recent trends have carriers, thus independent adjusting firms, requiring adjusters obtain a number (usually 7-15 different storm prone states) of non resident licenses. The reason being that the carrier can deploy an out of state adjuster into a state when there is NOT a Disaster Declaration by the state Governor should they have a permanent non resident license. The advantage is they can be deployed out of state to help with the smaller storms like small hail storms and the like. Worley adjusting company who is the firm appointed by ESIS to handle the BP oil spill claims and their site on the home page  shows a typical example of the non resident licenses required of independent adjusters. Each non-resident license requires a fee typically about $65.00 and reporting on CE so this is a large burden and expense for independent adjusters.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners had proposed a Model  Independent Adjusters license back in 2007. While we were all hopeful it would be adopted by state insurance commissioners, the NAIC committee looking in to it later scrapped the proposed recommendation. What a darn shame considering what we are facing today handling BP oil spill claims along multiple gulf coast states. It is needed for more prompt deployment of adjusters during major disasters rather than having delays caused by waiting on emergency adjuster licenses. Adjusters seem to think the issue is the fees acquired by each state are substantial considering the thousands upon thousands of resident, non resident, and emergency licenses each year. However,  it was not to be. The American Association of Independent Claims Professionals, AAICP still has the documents up on their site  to include their letter to NAIC requesting they reconsider passing of this model act. The Winter 2010 newsletter on AAICP’s site  provides an update on adjuster and producer national licensing and where we stand today on this pending model act for a national license. It cannot be passed too soon as far as independent adjusters are concerned. I also wrote about the independent adjuster license issues in this blog in July 2007 when NAIC cancelled further recommendations for the act and here in my “Who Moved my Claims Cheese” blog.

Should time permit,  look back on my blog “ Are Independent Adjusters a Dying Breed or Fungible Billing units ” ? This is definitely applicable SHOULD BP/Esis or others be placing non licensed adjusters in BP or ESIS claims offices. I should definitely hope this is NOT happening. Those I’ve talked to this week that are being deployed atleast by Worley  have all been very seasoned experienced adjusters who have been highly complimentary of  Worley’s induction and training process prior to deploying them to ESIS claims offices (ESIS is the insurance company for BP as explained in other blogs here the past two weeks).

Going back to my open letter to President Obama and Admiral Thad Allen, I still recommend some kind of emergency order be made waiving non resident emergency licenses as long as it can be documented that an adjuster is properly licensed in their home state. In cases where a state does not require an adjuster’s license like Tennesee  and Colorado,(this is unimaginable), most independent adjusters have obtained a Texas or FL non resident license so they can then apply to multiple other states who will accept those non resident licenses to then provide them a reciprocal license in their state.  See info in this blog about Model Independent Adjuster Act recommendations for immediate implementation as a further suggestion to improve the BP Oil Spill claims process.

Now let’s move to look at the deaths and damage from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons:

2004: click here 

This says in part:

“The season was notable as one of the deadliest and most costly Atlantic hurricane seasons on record in the last decade, with at least 3,132 deaths and roughly $50 billion (2004 US dollars) in damage.”

2005: click here

The initial sentence outlines the 2005 damage and death statistics as follows:

“The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history, repeatedly shattering numerous records. The impact of the season was widespread and ruinous with an estimated 3,865 deaths and record damages of about $130 billion (2005 USD).”

Also, it is very interesting to look back at this Insurance Journal article on “Lessons learned from the 2004 hurricane season“. In spite of the horrible hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, what we are facing as a nation and as adjusters is unprecedented. This is due to several factors and many potential unknowns as this oil spreads along our coastal communities:

1  )  Hurricanes, for the majority of claims, are first party claims meaning they are claims to an insured’s property. The insured has signed an insurance contract with an insurance company while the oil spill cases are considered third party liability claims meaning that one party is responsible for the damages to another if their actions are the proximate cause of the third party (non contract) has suffered as a result of their negligent actions.  Adjusters from the BP side of claims do not have policy terms in the contract to fall back on such as “An Insured’s Duties after a Loss” in the Conditions section of a first party policy. We will be at the mercy of following directions for handling these liability claims from the instructions of ESIS and I guess BP. In addition, Admiral Thad Allen and President Obama have their hands necessarily involved in this national disaster so we just do not know how the claims handling will proceed or these claims will be settled. There are many acts such as pollution acts, EPA clean water acts, and many more that control what type of damage BP is responsible for. We’ll expand on that information in a later blog. Many of these requirements are far outside the typical experience adjusters have so leadership direction is crucial for training adjusters unfamiliar with handling oil spill damage and losses.

2) Hurricane losses may take a very long time to settle  depending on the amount of damage to a property and the period it will require to restore the property. These BP claims on the other hand are going to be continuing open claims with a long period of time in pending status. We do not have a known “period of restoration” for the clean up in the gulf coast, we have no definite date as to when the oil will stop entering the ocean, we do not know what hurricane season may bring as far as further moving the oil contamination and disperants inland, it is unknown what illness and bodily injury will be related in the long term to the disperants or for that matter how it will affect properties.  We do not know the ramifications of the oil spill on ripple effects as businesses close, lost income for the gulf coast workers and now the oil rig workers who may be laid off now that off shore drilling is being addressed by President Obama and a six month moratorium on off shore drilling.

3) Even insurance companies may be suffering greatly this hurricane season as massive numbers of independent adjusters may be deployed to handle oil spill claims and not be available as expected for hurricane season (whoa to those carriers 80% or more whose catastrophe plan relied in the majority on independent adjusters).  Unless they become reasonable in their fee schedules and consider paying a daily per diem, they are going to have a very tough time competing for independents getting per diem and a good daily rate on the BP oil spill claims as insurance companies do not normally pay per diem allowances for independent adjusters.  The other consideration independents will have to make are whether they are willing to walk away from a long term BP assignment to go for a month or two of  wind losses for an insurance company especially given that those hurricane losses may require exposure to oil and disperants when inspecting field losses. No amount of pay can make up for exposing yourself to the possiblity of  permanent damage or death from these unknown exposures. The paid statistics on claims for BP claims does not mean these claims are settled. Far from it, from most news sources, claimants are very unhappy that $2,500 and  $5,000 advances is what they have received thus far.

4) In addition, this update on the Deep Water Horizon response site  shows that Admiral Allen has issued instructions for BP claimants unhappy with their BP claim to notify the Coast Guard. What????? Will the coast guard then be just passing these complaints on to the ESIS claims offices handling the BP claims or will they then just pass them on to the Departments of Insurance who normally handles complaints on insurance claims for insureds (yet again we are dealing with claimants here). I haven’t seen any instructions from the insurance company side on how they are going to deal with this but they need to know while they have time in their disaster planning before a hurricane hits.

5) On the same link in #4 above,  near the bottom, you will find Admiral Thad Allen’s new Media Access requirements in this Media Access pdf strongly encouraging media access and prohibiting  responders from denying access to the press unless they would be endangered in a prohibited area. Will this change insurance companies Code of Conduct forms adjusting firms and adjusters must abide by to allow media discussions by adjusting firms and adjusters  with the media which are also prohibited as oil spill workers alleged they were prohibited by BP for responding?  Something else to be reviewed by insurance company attorneys before a major hurricane hits this season.

 I cannot even begin to list all of the effects and costs incurred by claimants (third parties) with their loss of property values in areas seriously impacted by oil. This weekend, we saw a new for sale sign up at the beach here in Jacksonville that said “Marshfront” property for sale. I told my husband it might as well have shouted ” swamp land for sale due to looming oil spill expected to make the bend up the east coast of Florida” because I cannot even imagine an interested buyer until we know if oil will or will not make it’s way to the Florida east coast.

The trauma on all Americans, especially those on the gulf coast, are real. Even for those of us far from the current and ever spreading damage, it is traumatic just watching the wildlife covered in oil and tar, the grown men crying outside of their homes, offices, and claim centers. God be with them all and with the adjusters working at the claim offices and also those that are going to be handling hurricane losses should a major hurricane make landfall in any of these zones.

The June 09 2010 update by Huffington post  on BP claims states that  18,000 claims have been paid, and $84 million  has been paid out. It does not provide the total numbers  of claims received thus far. According to this article, only 600 adjusters were currently working in claims offices. No wonder this article quotes a policyholder saying they have called numerous times and get no answer on the phones! Look back and compare this to the 2004 and 2005 numbers just for Florida  where over 10,000 emergency licensed independent adjusters worked both of those years not counting thousands more deployed who were staff adjusters and you decide……..how would you rate the BP claims response on as of  today? This updated article found on the BP website  dated 6/14/10 states a total of 51,000 claims received and about 26,000 payments made totalling $62 million dollars. There is no mention in the current update on the number of currently deployed adjusters since the 6/9/10 stats I had above.

Make sure to read this  this article by www.Money.CNN.com indicating predications are that BP will spend between 3 billion and 40 billion in their response to this disaster while at the same time predicting Florida alone will have a 10.9 billion dollar economic loss along with potential for the loss of 195,000 jobs. The current top prediction at 40 billion is just 10 billion shy of the cost of damages in the 2004 hurricane season and about one third of the damage costs in the 2005 hurricane season thus far. 

Reuters news service is reporting that President Obama will require BP open an Escrow account when they meet June 16, 2010  to meet their obligations on claims. Here’s the link to this story.

God be with us all. Amen.

It is now 2:35 am ET so it will be tomorrow after A.M.  liability classes before I can go back and review this for grammar, etc so bear with me.

 


Special Announcement- KMConDemand in Final Phases of Property Technical Certification Testing for Adjusters- Will we finally get 1 Certification Test?

June 10, 2010

It sure has been tough holding this back from everyone for the past several months.

You all know I have alot of respect for one of  our sponsor ‘s KMConDemand the online training arm of Crawford.  In fact, I had my husband take their package training  program- I think it was called Charter program and it was only$ 135.00 and gave him 5 WC classes, 5 Auto, and 5 property classes and then he sat through my Fundamentals of Property claims which covered other issues on insurance department complaints, agency relationships, claims negotiations and much more on and off since he is a newly licensed adjuster in 2009.

Several months ago,  KMConDemand, brought me in on a committee for the new proposed Property Technical Certification program with our  hopes this will replace all carrier certifications independents are having to take one day. It can’t be one day too soon as far as I am concerned. I understand the important need to certify for a carrier so they know you are competent to handle their claims and for the protection of their policyholder’s. However, what independents currently deal with is traveling to locations nationwide for basically the exact same kind of certification on construction, estimating, with really the only major difference being the carrier specific policy information. I am so hopeful this will change the way this is done- once you’ve tested that you have all the property knowledge on the estimating skills needed- wouldn’t it be so easy if the carrier’s would approve acceptance of this then just a policy quiz and estimating guidelines they want specifically?  To me the present process with carriers seems like someone telling you to sit for the AIC- Associates in Claims program a zillion times. If you have a well carrier / KMC proctored exam ONCE it would be simply heaven.

That would be exactly what I do on our Fundamentals of Property adjusting course ( 10 lessons on other property topics outside of estimating and scoping) where we teach them carrier requirements in general but always advise them to take the material I’ve trained them on and add notes at each assignment to alter any minor carrier deviations for a particular storm.

This is just in the committee phase and testing  just started on the certification this June. He is also in the process of obtaining CE’s in numerous states which I don’t think you get now on certification tests from any carriers.

As you will see on the committee members link, I am honored to be included. They  allowed me to bring some other ClaimSmentor members who could bring valuable critique of the proposed material as well. Thus  you will also see Woody Britton, twice past President of NACA, Eric Gilkey- head editor of Claims Magazine, and Dr Michael Birzon head of the UCF Insurance school as well as some others  I am not at liberty to disclose yet . I am very thankful these valued members all agreed to serve on the committee as well. Here is a link to all of the other committee members as well:

http://www.Kmcondemand.com/ptc

*Look at the carrier execs on the list as well as major players in the Independent management side

Thankfully, I think some of the 3 day school issues will be history by next year and hopefully the requirements  that you have to take so many individual carrrier certification tests.
 
The new Property Technical Certification program is presently  in  the testing phase  now through August through KMConDemand the online training arm of Crawford and Company. This is to go live in September now that minor questions are resolved on proctor issues and other things.  There are 3 different certfication levels similar to the Xactimate Level 1,2, and three.
 
Just take a look at the committee list with executives from major carriers on the committee as well as major players from large independent firms. I post this link with the permission of the head of KMConDemand since I now have approval to release the information:
 
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc              This link has all the info on the current plans consisting of PTC 1, PTC 2, PTC 3  agendas.
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc/index.php?Page=dynamic&id=66  * This link has the link to all committee members.
 
The material is outstanding and a far cry from some of the problems adjusters complain of at outside vendor schools.  I am most hopeful the insurance carriers agree to this replacing all of the individual carrier certifications so we anxiously await the testing period results  at the end of August 2010 so this can go live.
 
My husband is a newly licensed adjuster so I got to watch while he did the classes when I had time for the regular series of online classes. They had 15 programs at that time and I think have now added 6 more. For  $135.00, he was able to take 5 classes in WC, 5  in auto and 5 in property. All contained CE’s.
 
I have  been 100% sold on them since. I am also glad they are backed by Crawford who we all know has an outstanding reputation. Colm knows I’m probably his biggest fan and thrilled at what KMC has brought for such a reasonable cost to independents saving their travel costs. In addition, as a claims manager it brings me much comfort or safety net if you will to know they will be tested and the passing standards are high as well as proctored exams.
 
This should take us a long way in helping improve the public perception and carrier perception of independent adjusters. Can you also just imagine how great this will be for independents no longer having travel costs to certify for multiple vendors and do these online. I’m sure keeping my fingers crossed for the independents that this does succeed and hope you will as well.
 
Thankfully, I think some of the 3 day school issues will be history by next year and hopefully the requirements that that you have to take so many individual carrrier certification tests.

 
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc This link has all the info on the current plans consisting of PTC 1, PTC 2, PTC 3  agendas.
 
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc/index.php?Page=dynamic&id=66  
 * This link has the link to all committee members.
 
The material is outstanding and a far cry from some of the problems adjusters complain of at outside vendor schools.  I am most hopeful the insurance carriers agree to this replacing all of the individual carrier certifications so we anxiously await the testing period results so this can go live.
 
This should take us a long way in helping improve the public perception and carrier perception of independent adjusters. Can you also just imagine how great this will be for independents no longer having travel costs to certify for multiple vendors and do these online. I’m sure keeping my fingers crossed for the independents that this does succeed and hope you will as well.
 
Speaking of that- I hope you will share this blog post as well as the link below with other independents. We are trying to move mountains in getting BP to use more independent firms. Thanks so much to the claims managers and adjusters who have read it and written to let me know they have sent the link to politicians and news connections asking they get the word out that independents are the solution to clean up the BP Oil spill claims process:
 
http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/an-open-letter-to-admiral-thad-allen-president-obama-white-house-news-correspondents-esis-insurance-and-all-involved-in-the-bp-oil-response-we-can-help-address-your-claims-concerns-lead-follow/
 
************

 
Speaking of that- I hope you will share this blog post with other independents. We are trying to move mountains in getting BP to use more independent firms. Thanks so much to the claims managers and adjusters who have read it and written to let me know they have sent the link to politicians and news connections asking they get the word out that independents are the solution to clean up the BP Oil spill claims process:
 
http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/an-open-letter-to-admiral-thad-allen-president-obama-white-house-news-correspondents-esis-insurance-and-all-involved-in-the-bp-oil-response-we-can-help-address-your-claims-concerns-lead-follow/


Health Care Reform Provisions- Great article outlining how this will effect employers. What about adjusting firms?

March 24, 2010

New Health Care Reform provisions- how are they going to effect independent adjusting firms and carriers?

Excellent article found at Constangy law firm  clearly outlining how the Health care reforms will effect employers is found here:

http://www.constangy.com/communications-275.html

I’m curious how this will effect independent adjusters since some do work as W2 employees versus on a 1099 and are allowed to collect unemployment when they do. Will independent adjusting firms stop allowing it? Will the insurance carriers who require the adjusting firms use them as W2′s either drastically increase fee bills to cover the independent firm thousands of fees they have to pay per employee if they don’t provide their health care?

 This should lead to an interesting discussion and speculation on many of our parts who are involved in the claims industry! We hope to see your comments posted! We do require an email address to approve your comments but you can comment in your first name only so it doesn’t effect your relationships with adjusting firms or carriers!

We do not personally know this law firm and just ran across this through their newsletter. We are not giving legal advice here but recommending you check this out and consider these issues with your own counsel.


Citizens of Florida Independent Adjusting Firm 2010 Training information- Action Catastrophe Team

March 24, 2010

We have received the following training update from Action Catastrophe Team with their training dates and locations for their FREE Citizens of Florida 2010 Claim Certification training for catastrophe and non catastrophe training. Here is a copy of their information posted with their permission.

I have published these in the past for information I could find on all of their approved vendors. For 2010, I have decided to post only those of participating ClaimSmentor adjusting firms as I personally have gotten to know their owners over the past 4.5 years that ClaimSmentor has been in business so I am more comfortable sharing information I know about reputable adjusting firms. Citizens has prequalified all approved vendors so I would think they all would be reputable, it’s just that I do not know them personally and will share information from the ones I do know personally. So….here’s the first opportunity shared for posting with this firms approval:

Subject: Citizen’s Certification Classes from Action Catastrophe Team


 
 

 

Event
Tallahassee, FL
Atlanta, GA
Tampa/St.Petersburg, FL
Arlington, TX

 

Quick LinksMore About A.C.T.

More About Citizen’s FL

 

Upcoming Citizen’s Certification Classes from Action Catastrophe Team

 

Hello Again!!We hope everyone has has an enjoyable start to what we hope is a very healthy and prosperous 2010.  As we enter spring, it’s time for us to start turning our attention to the new, yearly Citizen’s certification classes.

A.C.T. is very fortunate to be a vendor for Citizen’s, handling both Non-Cat (Daily) and Catastrophe claims.  We have adjusting positions available for Residential, Commercial, Sinkhole,  Liability, Team Lead, and Inside Examiners for both Daily and Cat claims.

The early predictions indicate the 2010 Hurricane Season will be more active than normal and there is a high likelihood that Florida will once again be in the bulls-eye.  Don’t let the less than active last couple of years lull you into a false sense of security. 

We could have another 2004 or 2005 season at any time and if you want to participate when it happens, you MUST attend one of the FREE, MANDATORY, Citizen’s Certification Classes we will be offering.

Unlike last year, Citizen’s will be combining the Cat and Non-Cat classes into one session.  Even if you attended a Citizen’s class in the past, you have to be re-certified every year. 

We have scheduled four seperate Certification classses and smaller group sessions in Florida are possible at a later date.

To register, simply reply to this e-mail with the location you wish to reserve a seat in.  You will receive an e-mail confirmation.  Or go to our Website www.actioncatteam.com and visit the “Contact Us” page.  While there, fill out the On-Line Information sheet to ensure we have your current contact information.

Once you are confirmed to attend, we will send specific information as to the materials you will need to bring to these meetings.  You must have a Current Resume’ indicating at least two years experience and a Background Check will be done on all adjusters.

Feel free to forward this to any adjusters you know that would like to join our Team. 

 

 

 

 Tallahassee, Florida

We traditionally make Tallahassee one of our first Certification Class locations.  There are several hotels/motels nearby and this year, they have taken over ownership of the Marie Livingstons Steakhouse that is on the property.  Our Meeting will be held inside the Monroe Street Conference Center that is located inside Marie Livingstons.
Event Info

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Eastern Time)

2725 Graves Rd. Tallahassee, FL 32303

850-536-2007

There are special rates for the Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Days Inn if you say you are attending the Action Cat Team event.

 

 

 

 Atlanta, Georgia

We are happy to provide a location in the Atlanta area for this year’s classes. 

The meeting will be at the Golden Corral restaurant meeting room.  There is no charge for the meeting, but the restaurant has given us use of the meeting room with the understanding that our attendees will eat lunch with them. The lunch is under $8.00. If you aren’t familiar with them, they offer one of the best buffets you can buy.

Event Info

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Eastern Time)

2155 Riverside Parkway Lawrenceville, GA

There are several motels close by if you need one you can Google either Lawrenceville, Suwanee, or Norcross for the motels nearby.

 

 

 

 Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida

Our meeting in the Tampa Bay area is conveniently located not to far off of the main bridge into St. Petersburg.  The Comfort Inn is also offering special rates if you say you are attending our Citizens Training Class.  A single room is $64.99 and 2 Dbl bed room is only $69.99 + tax.  Free Deluxe Continental breakfast is included.

Event Info

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

2260 54th Ave North,  St. Petersburg, FL 33714

727-362-0075

 

 

 

 Arlington, Texas

Arlington is convenient to several major cities around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and our meeting there will be held at the LaQuina Inns and Suites.  They are offering rooms at $85.00  including breakfast and free airport shuttle service. 

Event Info

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Central Time)

825 N. Watson Rd.  Arlington, TX 76011

817-640-4142

 

 

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Links to Blog Post corrected from FL Round table post on Insurance Appraisal Provisions

January 6, 2010

We apologize that yesterday’s post contained some incorrect links which have now been corrected and updated for those wishing to review the blog postings referred to in our post:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/fl-consumer-advocate-round-table-1610-topic-is-appraisal-in-fl-policies-dont-miss-it/

In addition, Merlin’s site has a new post commenting on two additional Florida Insurance Carriers also revising appraisal provisions in their policies. Click here to view


FL Consumer Advocate Round Table 1/6/10 Topic is Appraisal in FL Policies- Don’t miss it!

January 5, 2010

H/t to Attorney Chip Merlin’ for posting information on his blog important to the adjusting community (no matter which side your on!)  that we can call in or watch the January 6, 2010 Florida Department of Financial Services Consumer Advocate Roundtable with an utmost important topic not only to Floridian’s but to insurance adjusters as well on the topic of Appraisal provisions in Fl policies.

Here are links to his posts- I know I for one will be listening to it since Citizens of FL which many of my family and friends are insured with has already removed the appraisal provision from homeowner policies. Here are links on the topic so you can listen in or watch as well:

Post of 1/5/10 at Merlin’s blog with his planned recommendations at the round table: Click here

Post of 1/4/10 at Merlin’s blog with the contact information to call in and/or view the 1/6/10 roundtable: Click here

For a complete list of panelists (impressive group but where are the large independent adjusting firms or representatives from Citizens and why are they not also included on the panel)? Here’s the link to his post on the panelists: Click here

Link to prior post on his site regarding appraisal provision removal on Citizens Property Insurance Corporation of FL removing the appraisal provision: Click here

*Note it is also public information posted on the PAST link for the Citizens of Florida Board of Governor’s meeting notes : Click here to view their direct information

Here is a direct link to Sean Shaw’s press release over at the FL Dept of Financial services website from his 12/17/09 news release with more information on the purpose of the round table and the participants: Click here

Here are the specifics on connecting to tomorrow’s meeting:

January 6, 2010
10:00 AM – 3:30 PM
House Office Building, Committee Room 404

The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida

Conference Call-in Number: 1-888-808-6959 Code: 4132880

WFSU Florida Channel 

See Merlin’s blog for more agenda and attendee info on the above blogs.

 

 


Register now for your 2010 NFIP Adjuster Flood Certification Workshop- all info here

December 31, 2009

We will be posting many 2010 Claim Conferences and Adjuster Seminars next week in the ClaimSmentor Forums. If you know of any coming up, please email a link to the information to Debbie@Dimechimes.com and we’ll include this information in our ClaimSmentor Forums and Certification class lists for 2010.

In the meantime, I didn’t want to wait to get this 2010 NFIP Adjuster workshop schedule posted since their is a new website location for it for 2010:

http://www.nfipiservice.com/training/schedule_adjusters.html

For FAQ on the NFIP claims adjuster certification-here is another useful link:

http://www.nfipiservice.com/training/adjustercert.html

I will be attending the January workshop in Jacksonville, FL…..should you be also, let me know so we can meet there!


Several news stories relate that if Gov Crist in FL signs new regs that State Farm may stay in FL- See articles/ See info on Delay in Exit decision until July 15th and AMBest rating changes for carrier

June 23, 2009

The Insurance Journal today sent out a breaking news story on this today and I’m also linking to the Miami Herald article stating that State Farm may reconsider departure from the FL insurance market if Governor Crist in FL signs new regulation on rates:

Here is the Miami Herald news story:

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090623/ARTICLE/906231038/2055/NEWS?Title=If-Crist-relaxes-rules-State-Farm-hints-it-may-stay

Here is a link to the Insurance Journal article:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2009/06/22/101618.htm

Here is a link to the  Insurance Journal info on AMBEST downgrading of their rating for State Farm of Florida:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2009/06/18/101518.htm

Here is also a link to delays in a decision until July 15th per another Insurance Journal update:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2009/06/15/101413.htm

Should they stay this might provide substantial reconsideration by independent adjusters thoughts about working the Citizens of FL claims if they feel opportunities will exist into the future to work State Farm Florida claims when a major disaster strikes.


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