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!


Realtor Associations in Multiple Gulf States Advise Gulf Coast Claims Facility will pay their claims-NCA Adjusting firm to act as Third Party Administrator of their fund

August 25, 2010

Nothing but surprise after surprise with the terms of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility!

Ken Feinburg has been quoted all over the gulf coast in townhall meetings as stating that there were questions as to whether indirect losses from many different segments and industries were going to be covered under the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

Blog AL quotes NCA owner Jim Pearlman as saying this fund allowed for realtors is only going to apply to lost sales and lost commissions to realtors and he also announces the website where real estate agents should report claims to as www.gulfreclaims.com.

Now the Sun Herald posts news  that Realtors Associations in the 5  gulf coast states will be paid by the BP facility for lost sales and lost commissions and that they have selected National Catastrophe Adjusters (NCA) to handle the  “up to $60 million dollar fund” (quote from Ken Feinburg Sunday)  for them as awarded by Ken Feinburg as a third party administrator for the associations.

I have called the NCA Group who I am familiar with and have been advised by those in the know in the HR Department that they confirm they will be administering the fund for these realtor associations but claims are slow to come in as they all have to be reported to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and the announcement on the payment to the Realtor Associations is new information this week. The folks in HR advise they do believe they will be fully staffed with their own members so they are not soliciting additional resumes for these losses at this time. Their website is www.ncagrp.com  if you want to continue to follow up at a later date for claim job opportunities.

The BP claims press release dated August 23, 2010 doesn’t specify exactly how many realtor claims they had received but does show how much has been paid out to the Real Estate profession as 4 million in lost real estate sales ( is this the individual homeowners who lost sales or is this realtor lost sales we don’t know ) and 48  million in rental dwelling lost rental claims so it is hard to say with any validity how much these losses will truly come to. It is my assumption that lost rental income is not part of the amount being paid by the funds set aside for the Real Estate Associations based on the quote from Pearlman of NCA and based on the info on the new website for Real Estate Agents.

Updated Thursday 8/27/2010: Here is NCA’s press release through Business Wire with a few more details:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100824006058/en/National-Catastrophe-Adjusters-Partners-State-REALTORS%C2%AE-Associations


Many Critics post articles blasting BP Czar Ken Feinburg’s BP Claims Process

August 25, 2010

Articles abound all over the internet regarding the terms of emergency BP claim payments which began August 23, 2010 by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility in the 20B fund administered by Ken Feinburg in attempts to bring closure to the pending 154,000 claims moved to the GCCF.

Here is a sampling of some of the more important news located this week which criticize the new claims process.

Daily Finance hosted by AOL Finance on 8/24/2010:

Oil Spill Claims Czar Feinberg Blasted on First Day of Overseeing BP Payments

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/dDBsSK

The Donovan Law group writes an excellent blog article August 23, 2010 regarding the Gulf Coast Claims Facility limiting BP’s liability:
http://donovanlawgroup.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/the-gulf-coast-claims-facility-limits-bps-liability-and-guarantees-the-oil-companys-continued-operation-in-the-gulf-of-mexico/
The Wall Street Journal  posts that only 5,000 of the 154,000 claims which had been reported directly to BP’s initial claim process were reported to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility as of Monday 8/23/2010 their first day of operation in this article although all claimants must again file a new claim through this facility/ The article addresses criticism of the oil spill compensation terms outlined by Feinburg :
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704340504575447802502224486.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection
FL and AL Attorney Generals Cry Foul about Feinburg’s compensation terms blog by Michael J. Evans:
http://www.mjevans.com/oil-spill-claims-2/ken-feinberg-issues-rules-for-bp-claims-state-ags-cry-foul
FL Attorney General Bill McCullom complaints as GCCF starts administration of fund:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/bp-escrow-fund-payments-start-today-amid-controversy
I’ll add to this later in the day but wanted to address these concerns all over the news on the new BP Claims Process.

BP 8/17/10 Press Release explains transition this week to Gulf Coast Claims Facility for individuals and businesses/ See info as well on Worley adjusting firm involvement in government entity BP claims

August 17, 2010

The BP press release for August 17, 2010 explains how claims will transition from their BP Claims operation to Ken Feinburg’s Gulf Coast Claims Facility program.

Here is the link to their press release with all of the details:

http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7064522

The BP Claims Statistics page is updated through 8/17/10 and shows  151,000 claims reported and only 44,000 of them have received one payment thus far. They also show the current claim staff at 1,650 which is an increase of about 400 since I last blogged about this a few days. That is quite interesting as I personally made a call to Worley’s deployment department to see what status was on deployments and they said that deployments had slowed down and they were fully staffed right now. Considering that Ken Feinburg when in Pensacola last week said all claim will have to be reported again to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility so that is going to be quite a feat to take 151,000 claim assignments and requiring the claimants resubmit all paper work to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

Here is also a link to a good Bloomberg article published 8/16/10 quoting Feinburg on the economic losses that are not directly on the coast:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-16/bp-spill-claims-from-50-states-confront-administrator-feinberg.html

It is interesting to read his comment that hotels more than 50 miles from the coast are unlikely to recover economic losses. Just as one example, immediately it came to mind to me that if you exit off of interstate 10 to Panama City you automatically see signs that it is 51 miles to the beach………………need I say more?

I do believe we have a long road ahead of us before we hear the last of these claims.

I’ll update the blog immediately when Feinburg releases the information this week as this BP press release says he will.

I’ll leave you now with a link to a video of Feinburg in Pensacola, FL at a townhall meeting explaining the GCCF transition by WEAR TV 3 in Pensacola, FL:

http://www.weartv.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wear_vid_10234.shtml?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


Claims Magazine confirms role of Crawford and Company and continuing role of Worley adjusting company in BP Claims with Feinburg

August 13, 2010

Claims Magazine published a breaking news story about the newly appointed role of Crawford and Company in the BP oil spill claims with Feinburg in this breaking news story:

http://www.claimsmag.com/News/2010/8/Pages/BREAKING-Crawford-Confirms-New-Role-in-Oil-Spill-Claims.aspx

This story also confirms Worley Catastrophe Adjusting firm will remain working in the claims offices on these claims.


New Orleans Judge Carl Barbier named to handle multidistrict BP Claims litigation announced Tuesday 8/10/10

August 10, 2010

Business Insurance news today has posted an article announcing the decision to appoint a New Orleans Federal Judge Carl Barbier to oversee the BP multi district claims litigation. For the full article see link below:

http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20100810/NEWS/100819992

It is interesting to see this judge was involved in the Vioxx settlements and 1 of the 2 firms- Brown Greer law firm or Garden City group – who have been named by Ken Feinburg also are handling the Vioxx settlements as discussed in the following  blog earlier this week:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/will-the-real-ken-feinburg-bp-pay-czar-on-20b-bp-fund-please-advise-who-is-handling-the-claims-when-you-take-over-2-entirely-different-quotes-from-you-this-week/


BP deposits first 3B of 20B Fund for BP Oil Spill Claims and explanation of timing of additional forthcoming fund deposits

August 9, 2010

Just a short entry today to link you to the news that BP has now deposited the first 3B of the 20B BP Oil Fund. This article also names the trustees involved in the trust:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2010/08/09/112299.htm

Here is a 2nd article from Business Insurance news which explains that an additional 2B will be deposited in 4th quarter then 1.5B each quarter until they reach the 20B:

http://www.businessinsurance.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100809/NEWS01/100809930/1246

http://www.businessinsurance.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100809/NEWS01/100809930/1246


Will the real Ken Feinburg- BP Pay Czar on 20B BP Fund please advise- Who is handling the claims when you take over- 2 entirely different quotes from you this week

August 6, 2010

This is just unbelievable! If it isn’t strange enough that hundreds of experienced adjusters have applied to work BP claims and can get no where the hopes were out there in the adjusting community that as soon as Ken Feinburg who has been appointed to take over the BP 20B fund administration this month that possibly more opportunities would present themselves for experienced adjusters to deploy to handle these claims.

In two different sources this week, we have Ken Feinburg alleged to be quoted with two entirely different versions of who will be handling the claims! It sure would be nice to clear this up and let the claims industry know – do we stay or do we go?

The first article published August 5, 2010 by Claims Magazine quotes Ken Feinburg as saying he will continue to use ESIS to handle the claims and expand that service if necessary in this article:

http://www.claimsmag.com/Exclusives/2010/8/Pages/Our-QA-With-Ken-Feinberg.aspx

It says in part on page 3 of the 4 page web exclusive article:

” Who will work for you on this project? Will you hire contract or independent adjusting companies?  

Right now, we are going to use the people that BP has contracted with and put into place. If we need more [personnel], then we will simply add to the resources that they are using now. (*Editor’s Note: BP is currently using Worley Catastrophe) I am sure that we will add the staff as we need to in the future as we improve the process. 

Next we have the website Pro Publica (their motto is Journalism in the Public interest) publishing an article only a few hours later on August 5, 2010 also quoting Ken Feinburg saying he is replacing ESIS with two other firms (non adjusting firms) who helped in prior mass claim settlements. The article in part quotes a BP spokes woman who confirms and says:

” Patricia Wright, a spokeswoman for BP, confirmed that ESIS would be replaced, and said that the decision was made by Feinberg without BP’s involvement. She said that BP was continuing to pay claims and that ESIS would stay on the job while BP retained control of the process. “Our contractors will continue to work until we transition,” Wright said.

The companies that will replace ESIS, Garden City Group and the law firm BrownGreer, both specialize in the resolution of mass claims. BrownGreer was previously hired by Feinberg [3] as a fee and expense analyst during his tenure as the executive pay czar overseeing compensation at banks that were bailed out by the federal government. “

Here are the links to the two companies named if you want to do your own further research:

Garden City Group headquartered in Melville, MY- Business week shows them as a subsidiary of Crawford and Company :

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=1004650

and Crawford and Company also has information up on their website about Garden City Group here:

http://www.crawfordandcompany.com/content.aspx?CID=374&SID=2

  http://www.gcginc.com/pages/case_archive_search.php  (Says they are a class action law firm- this links takes you to an archive of numerous cases they have handled. Their home page says they employ over 400 nationwide).

Law Firm BrownGreer: Their website as well shows proactive involvement in claims administration of class action settlement cases to include Vioxx.

http://www.browngreer.com/who.htm

Contact information for BrownGreer:

BrownGreer plc

115 S. 15th Street
Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23219-4209

Main Number: 804.521.7200
Fax: 804.521.7299

Email: information@browngreer.com

Employment Opportunities: hrdept@browngreer.com

Now here’s another new twist- while researching BrownGreer who apparently has worked with the Feinburg firm before, I found a June 25, 2010 news release quoting the business manager for BrownGreer who confirmed back in June that Feinburg had hired them to take incoming claims information from the BP claimants. Here’s what she says in part in the article:

” Lynn Greer, a partner at BrownGreer, emailed a brief statement about her firm’s involvement in the BP claims process.

“BrownGreer PLC is assisting Ken Feinberg as the Administrator of the Independent Claims Facility established for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” Greer said in the email.”

Here is a link to this full article out of Richmond where BrownGreer is home based:

http://www.richmondbizsense.com/2010/06/25/local-firm-lands-bp-claims-work/

VIP- BrownGreer does have a job posting up on their career link looking for a claims reviewer here (requires a Bachelor’s degree) and it says they are accepting applications until August 12, 2010:

http://www.browngreer.com/images/pdfs/claimsreviewer_072910.pdf

I’ve made contact with a few sources working in BP claims offices and they knew that ESIS was going but have been told that does not apply to Worley that they are aware of. The adjusters there now do wear badges saying they work for ESIS.

Well, hopefully we will all know soon if independent adjusters through Worley and/or through these two new firms above will be used. The BrownGreer firm already shows they have analysts and claims reviewers on their staff on their career link.

More tomorrow on BP Claims statistics and more conflicting information on what will or will not be paid based on additional news articles under the new 20B BP Oil fund Ken Feinburg will be administering.

So- Should I stay or should I go- enjoy the video!


Kris Ogden, FL Panhandle resident puts BP Oil Crisis sorrow to music we can all appreciate! Please pass this link on

July 22, 2010

A special friend of mine in the Florida panhandle passed on this link tonight of a you tube video of a friend, Kris Ogden, who wrote new words to an old favorite “Blowing in the Wind” with words about the BP Oil Spill. I hope you’ll pass this on to other friends suffering from the oil spill. I know all of our hearts are full of sorrow over this.

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/kris-ogden-fl-panhandle-resident-puts-bp-oil-crisis-sorrow-to-music-we-can-all-appreciate-please-pass-this-link-on/

Kris- you have done a wonderful job putting this together! Thank you!


“The Independent Adjuster and the Oil Spill; Opportunity or a Trap” Guest Blog by CPLIC Risk Management- Errors and Ommissions Coverage for Adjusting Firms and Adjusters

June 22, 2010

Each year since founding ClaimSmentor, I have turned to CPLIC  for advice to share with our members on Errors and Omissions coverage for independent adjusters. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have members of this firm participate on our site. This year is especially important due to the added complications we may be facing this hurricane season with the oil in the gulf coast. I cannot thank them enough for their support providing this information for our members and all of you in the independent adjusting community. Their specialty is dealing only with Errors and Omissions (known as E & O ) coverage for the claims industry.

The following statement to their members is reprinted with permission from the Claim Professionals Liability Insurance Co., a Risk Retention Group created by independent adjusters for the risk management of independent adjusting companies.  See WWW.CPLIC.NET for more details:

Urgent Message from

CPLIC Risk Managment Concerning Oil Spill in Gulf Coast.

The Independent Adjuster and the Oil Spill;

Opportunity or a Trap?

The June 14 edition of the Wall Street Journal ran a full page ad on page A18, the back page of the first section. It outlined how BP wants claimants to file a claim, and their claims philosophy.

This is prior to the meeting at the White House, in which BP put $20 billion into the hands of an independent commission. How that will affect the present operation BP is now running we do not know.

All of us want more work, and we all, probably, would be willing to be involved in this claim settling process. But there are some pitfalls.

At CPLIC, we have analyzed the situation, and would like to offer some insights, suggestions, and comments. Remember, this is all prior to the White House meeting.

The Present Situation

Our understanding is that Worley has been engaged to handle claims on behalf of BP. Crawford & Co. represents Transocean. We are not aware of how the work is being spread between the two, or if it is only BP/Worley that is processing claims at this time.

How the $20 billion fund, now in play, will be handled is anybody’s guess. However, this could mean some opportunity for independents.

Geographical Areas

Obviously, the area covered is the Gulf Coast from Louisiana around to Florida. Considering the number of claims that are going to come out of this spill, you probably do not need to be in that area to be involved.

If you are in that area, here?s a word of caution. Forecasters predict this to be the most active hurricane season since 2005, and the Gulf Coast could very well be affected. If you get a chance to be involved in the BP claims, please be judicious in resources you commit to BP. Remember that a hurricane will also stretch you, and that you have regular clients who depend on you. These situations always stretch and challenge us, but do not get so overloaded that things get out of control. When this happens, the chance of E&O claims goes up. Using resources wisely protects your deductible.

Type of Claims

At first blush, you would think these claims would be third party claims, and so they are. However, determining liability will not be the issue. Damages will be the issue.

Many of these third party claims will handle just like business interruption claims. Make sure you use adjusters knowledgeable in this area. You may also encounter some hull claims, as well as other kinds of property damage claims.

There may not be many first party claims. The pollution exclusion may see to that. There also may be trigger problems. One of our members thinks that fire or explosion may be the trigger. In the end, this may be a decision for a court.

If the claims are first party, you will be working for a carrier, not BP. If there are questions of coverage, do not forget to take a non-waiver, or a reservation of rights. Those cases where you should have reserved rights, and did not, are hard cases to defend. If you are not sure, talk to your principal. If you are still not sure, or cannot get an answer from your principal, reserve your rights anyway. It is better to be safe than sorry.

If there is coverage in your claim, subrogation will be in order. This leads to a potential trap.

The Trap

If you find your regular client base sending you work that leaves you subrogating against BP, and you are taking BP cases in addition, you may find yourself in a conflict of interest situation. Be very judicious in the work you accept.

For those of you doing work for governmental entities in the Gulf area, be especially careful, particularly if your client has a shoreline. They may have cleanup costs, and ask you to handle their subrogation. Certainly, BP will be the target. You may run afoul of Public Adjuster laws.

CPLIC can offer no hard and fast rule here. Be judicious, use good judgment, and err on the side of caution.

What To Do At The Beginning

Even if you take every precaution, you will be sued. We are dealing with a highly politically charged situation. The plaintiff’s bar will be running ads soliciting clients. We will draw some suits. How do we protect ourselves?

This is the situation our insureds and CPLIC faced after Ike/Rita. First remember this is an agency situation. We all understand the principle of agency. In any contracts you sign with clients in association with this (or, if possible, any) work, make sure there is a clause under which the principal agrees to defend and indemnify you, absent a specific count of negligence against you.

This is a partnership here. Make sure your client understands this. Your client wants you on his side when the yelling starts. Do not give the plaintiff?s lawyer the opportunity to separate you. Even if there is a specific count against you, your principal may still defend you, depending upon the allegation.

Make sure you have your lawyer look at the hold harmless agreement in this light. If you need help in this area, contact us.

Closing Comments

What is written above may sound scary. It is not intended to scare. It is intended to make us wise about the opportunities out there, and to prepare us to meet them. It comes out of CPLIC’s six years of experience defending you. And there are opportunities, hopefully for many of us.

As you go forward, let us know of problems you encounter in following our suggestions. If you think we are off base, or missed something, let us know. It will help us serve you better.

K. M. Johns III CPCU, ARM AIM

Risk Management Committee Chair

Major contributors to this article were:

Alan Mayfield & Bruce Mountjoy

All Rights Reserved

© CPLIC 2010

*******

 

Please view their Q & A they did for us in 2009 here. Most importantly note the recommendation that independent adjusters have their own E & O policy for their own protection:

CPLIC 2nd E & O Info

Here is also a link to our first guest in August 2008  blog post by Dale Moore and Michael Hale of CPLIC with additional FAQ:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/errors-and-omissions-coverage-guest-bloggers-dale-moore-client-relations-director-for-cplic/

During my 50 Hour Fundamentals of Claims class, we cover Error and Omission Coverage with new adjusters. I am constantly amazed at their answers to questions on adjusters E & O coverage. Most state that they would rely on the coverage of an adjusting firm to protect them. When I question them further, it is interesting to see that I have never had one adjuster be able to tell me who the adjusting firm’s E & O policy is with, what the policy number is, how to contact the E & O carrier, what the E & O policy covers them for, if the E & O policy provides for defense costs for them if they are named individually in a lawsuit. In other words,  they are working without even knowing about their coverage.

In recent years, many carriers, especially state run insurers like Texas Windpool and Citizens Property of Insurance in their RFP 08-0016 had terms stating they did not protect adjusting firms or independent adjusters so they were basically out on their own as far as providing an Answer to a Complaint (lawsuit) which is a costly proposition. I especially disagree with this position as the majority of claims litigation issues post hurricanes Katrina and Ike involved disputes insurance consumers had due to insurance company coverage decisions on wind/ water issues, wind debris to shingle issues, and other coverage or carrier guidelines an independent adjuster is required to follow.  It is long past due that  insurers,  the government,  and now BP and the Ken Feinburg group administering the BP Escrow fund  grant independent adjusting firms  and independent adjusters a  fair and meaningful defense and indemnity agreement.

This guest blog is a great example of what ClaimSmentor is all about. It is not about what I think as a former staff adjuster and claims manager nor about my experience as a participant in the independent claims industry. It is all about bringing together a professional group of reputable resources to provide proper advice and information to the independent claims adjusting community who have a most difficult time gathering current industry information applicable to claims assignments and catastrophe operations except when they are out on assignment.

I urge anyone who does not have their own E & O policy to run not walk to CPLIC to address your questions and check on your own E & O coverage.

Thanks again from ClaimSmentor to CPLIC for allowing us permission to share their 2010 Urgent message with our members.


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/


Guest Blog- by Michael Wiley “A Crude Awakening” Cleaning oil on Personal Watercraft

June 18, 2010

Special thanks to Pensacola, FL  experienced marine adjuster, Michael Wiley, for sharing the research he did for himself on Boatowner claims clean up  for damage to watercraft as a result of exposure to BP oil spill.  While  he did this research for himself, he did not keep a list of the many sources he found to gather this information so I cannot provide links but this paper is outstanding for adjusters not familiar with handling personal watercraft damage. Even those who are experienced most likely have not had to deal with the oil coating boats as they go through the gulf coast water oil spill and chemicals in the gulf used to disperse oil spill slick.

Thank you for your most gracious offer to share this information with the victims of the gulf oil spill and claims adjusters who may be faced with claims for oil damage to their watercraft!

Please click below for the full pdf  titled  “A Crude Awakening ” by Mike.

Oil spill affected boats[1]


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

 

 

 


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, or Get the Heck out of our Way!!!!

June 7, 2010

My father, a dedicated retired Navy Commander, now deceased would be rolling over in his grave today if  he  were here to witness the disaster in the claims process now 50 or so days beyond  the BP Oil Spill. This applies as well to all of us living along the coast and anxious claims industry members on the independent adjusting side of things….yes the very ones who can contribute to immediate processing of the BP oil claims and working in your claims offices yet we hear NOTHING.

Why would I include mention of my dad in a BP oil spill claims process  blog?  First of all he was my friend, my mentor throughout my career, and he was known well in his naval career for his business motto “Make Things Happen”. Second, I’ve researched now retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen. He definitely looks like he was the right man to be appointed to head up the federal response to the oil spill disaster. I found out today that he was also in charge of the Katrina response and found a good article commenting on his diligent research during Katrina he did BEFORE making a decision. We only ask that you include Independent Adjusting firm owners in that equation for the federal response on claims processes. We are the answer to improving the claims process as we do work for many companies where staff adjusters and insurance companies can respond only to the policyholders with their company. Here is a link to the bio of Admiral Allen and to an article commenting on his outstanding skills in conducting research.

Here is a link to his most impressive bio and dedication to a career in disaster response since retiring from the USCG:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thad_Allen

Here is also great information documenting the date he was appointed to head the command of the federal response. This helped me have an inkling of understanding as to why he would have suggested the national guard involvement in the claims process- he has more knowledge of their skills than we do but I still don’t understand why in claims offices versus oil clean up operations when we can do that as independent adjusters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thad_Allen#Hurricane_Katrina

Here is a link to the Washington Post blog explaining the four leadership lessons we all can use by following Admiral Allen which I really enjoyed.

Rumors on the streets or email highway  in the independent adjuster world are saying that BP has instructed the ONE adjusting firm assigned to handle the claims not to deploy anyone experienced in handling the Exxon Valdez oil spill claims. Please look into this and assure us that is not true and the thousands upon thousands of independent adjusters sitting at home not deployed to help are not being excluded because they have experience handling claims. That is just unimagineable and I hope proves not to be true. The numbers of people who have applied directly to ESIS and to independent adjusting firms who have heard nothing might prove what you are told when investigating this that it is a fact. Let us know please. Rumors can destroy you. Facts posted on the ever popping up response websites would be helpful. Also, I suggest you not believe one rumor that we have run out of  independent adjusters available. A quick check of the number of licensed resident and non resident independent adjusters will prove this is impossible even if 10,000 are already deployed yet we hear less than 1,000 are now in the BP field claim offices. *Update 6/9/10- we have now heard of numerous more EXPERIENCED adjusters who were deployed today to Worley- this dispels the rumors that experienced are not going.

This blog displays links for search terms adjusters use that leads them to our blog. Since the BP oil crisis, search terms for BP oil adjusters and adjusting firms are atleast 50% of all search hits on this site  where adjusting firms and adjusters are looking for information as to who is handling the BP Oil spill claims.

Thus far the information circulating in our discussions  is that ESIS has only appointed ONE adjusting company to assist their personnel. ONE-and that firm fortunately is a very reputable adjusting firm- Worley Catastrophe www.worleyco.com . Rumor on the street is that they are inundated with resumes flowing in but many many of us have not even gotten  a reply to  email and resume submissions yet.

I am extremely disappointed in the comments regarding the claims process problems by Gibbs  and Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen in today’s press conference. While I am very happy to know plans are to improve the claims process, I could not be more disappointed to hear you are considering National Guard personnel to work the claims office when we have the skills necessary to create a professional  claims image for BP and for the Federal government of their claims process. National Guard members need to be used for what they do best which is protecting Americans. Send them to guard our borders to protect our west coast neighbors in AZ, CA and other states with border issues. Have them assist with patrolling our beaches if coastal residents are forced to evacuate when oil spill makes their homes unlivable and let US- the Independent Adjusting community- do what we know best which is  responding to claims disasters. * This too was dispelled in news that the AL National Guard is being used in the field for three weeks to notify residents of where they can report a claim to.

We will waive  our fees to help you or assigned independent adjusting firms send in staffing to employ independent adjusters. ESIS can disburse them to claims offices.

What else can the government do?

1) You can help claims personnel find reasonable housing to reduce per diem costs to BP  so all claimants can be paid  by providing temporary quarters for housing for independent claims personnel. Rumors have it that BP is reimbursing 100.00 per day for costs incurred to find housing and every bit of that will be needed by independents for hotel rooms to stay in claim office territories while working in area damage zones. Can’t you use your influence to negotiate discounted hotel rates? To prohibit price gouging on hotel rates as state insurance commissioners do following major disasters? A very good argument for state regulations on disasters involving claims.

2) While we definitely support the use of displaced workers in the fishing industry…don’t you have things a bit reversed?  The great people in the fishing industry have the physical stamina to work in beach and ocean environments like field claims adjusters do. Why not put them to work on the clean up efforts to stop the spread of this oil and use trained inside independent claims adjusters in the claims offices. They are experienced  to deployment within 24 hours of assignments nationwide and experienced  to working 10 to 12 hour shifts  6 or 7 days a week and that will go far in speeding up the claims process.

3) What are the licensing requirements for the claims office “adjusters” ?  I hear FL’s Crist has already declared FL Emergency declarations  to prepare FL for the incoming oil spill damage spreading our way. Once that happens on normal major disasters, this allows emergency adjusters to enter states with a temporary emergency adjuster license. I sure hope that is going on here with one exception I will address next. Why can’t President Obama declare a special emergency order allowing this in all coastal states experiencing oil spill claims or if this is only the perogative of State Insurance Departments then please immediately approve the use of emergency licenses for any independent adjuster who can prove an active license in another state. Atleast by running all claims personnel through the state insurance departments (with BP picking up the cost of the emergency licensing and state required fingerprints) BP claimants would not be exposed to potential scams if convicted  felony offenders get involved in claims or entering homes and businesses. I have no doubt Worley is handling this for the adjusters they are sending in as most independent firms do now but what about the folks being plopped right into the claims offices by other sources without proper criminal background checks (if that is happening) ?

Speaking of state regulation- are state insurance commissioners going to be involved? Will the individual state statute of limitatons apply by state or is there a federal statute that will provide one standard  statute of limitations giving all BP claimants the same time frame and deadline for filing a suit should that become necessary. You can see they are very clearly different in coastal states:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-29941.html

Chip Merlin, a consumer attorney wrote a blog this week suggesting BP use CPA’s and accountants on the loss of income claims. While he provides good reasons, we in the claim industry are plenty capable of helping issue the $5,000 advances and there are thousands of adjusters trained in business interruption claims for loss of rents, tourism cancellations, and much more but I do agree CPA firms are often used by insurers for proper determination of amounts due for large commercial business interruption claims. In fact, my brother in law is a retired IRS CPA and has huge resources to other CPA’s who are also interested in deploying. In fact, this week I will post a large number of online business interruption links for some great information on business interruption claim training.

BP- please ensure that your hiring process for claims office personnel excludes any public adjuster currently licensed in ANY state in the USA. They are the driving force for referrals to plaintiff attorneys and more importantly we need to resolve claims prior to litigation consideration so a vast number of BP claimants do not suffer loss of settlement dollars by signing contracts with firms charging excessive attorney fees to represent them on these claims. Here is a good example of problems addressed by California’s proactive Insurance Commissioner Poizner warning CA consumers on his April 16, 2010 Scam artist warning  press release to be leary of unlicensed public adjusters and unlicensed contractors. His feelings seem to be clear in this press release about this group of potential public adjuster unlicensed adjusters.

How about using this link above as a template for a great posting for gulf coast residents warning them of the same potential to get taken advantage of by scam artists?  You can post this warning on each of the 4 state sites now shown in your Area Plans at http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com ?

Admiral Allen and President Obama, please protect all parties operating at the claims offices. Use your national guards to protect them from frustrated residents in coastal communities who might take out their frustrations on the face of the disaster response- the personnel in the claims offices. I also would like to make sure to enact provisions prohibiting plaintiff attorneys from naming adjusting firms and individual “adjusters”  from being named  in lawsuits unless they have absolute proof that a firm or particular adjuster deviated from BP or ESIS instructions for claims handling. We had untold numbers of independent adjusters named in TX claims litigation  (note cases on this link filed by the Mostlyn law firm in Jefferson County, TX ) who in most cases were merely following insurance company  instructions which they are not allowed to deviate from. This increases our premiums for required Error and Ommissions coverage they are going to need to cover their extensive expenses to be removed from a lawsuit. BP should be providing blanket E and O coverage for all claims office personnel because in most cases, they will not even qualify for E & O coverage since they have no experience. This is going to drive up the cost of E & O coverage for all independent adjusters for years to come. Please check with www.cplic.net who specializes in error and ommisions coverage for independent adjusting firms and independent adjusters. Insurance companies do provide the defense and costs for staff claims personnel. Many contracts by state insurance such as TWIA in Texas and Citizens Insurance in Florida   included terms in RFP’s stating  (scroll down to public information on RFP08-0016) that they would not provide a defense. In fact ,TWIA sent out an email post IKE that specifically told adjusting firms and independent adjusters to hire their own attorneys as they were overwhelmed with the responses to Complaints they had to file on behalf of TWIA leaving adjusting firms and independent adjusters to get this handled.  Additonally, let us know who we need to contact with our Congressman to have bills introduced to prohibit state agencies and insurance companies from imposing hefty fines (go back to link above to RFP08-0016 ) on adjusting firms and individual independents for unreasonable expectations as we too suffer from unreasonable expectations on time service when resources do get stretched thin during major disasters. This should include establishing standards to restrict insurance commissioners from imposing the same fines. Here is a link to the 2007 Citizens of FL Claims Manual  still up on the Citizens Task Force on Claims Handling which includes an example of unrealistic expectations during times of major disasters. This should also include prohitibing carriers from fining adjusting firms who fall short of being able to deploy numbers they committed to on RFP’s (request for proposals for laymen) which they can prove they have on the rosters prior to a major disaster but those same resources won’t be at their finger tips as they scatter for other opportunities servicing claims – especially based on the whether the fee billing is reasonable or not. The adjusting firms have no control over this as we are talking about independent adjusters with no benefits operating on 1099′s. They have to go where they can find a guarantee of work when it is offered. Please help us out here!

My dad’s common quote “Lead, Follow, or get the Heck out of my way” is certainly applicable here. President Obama is not in the claims business, carriers’ cannot provide their staff adjusters under present processes where they handle their own claims and only involved in Flood claims processing for the government. We as independent adjusters can help BP and Admiral Allen who is overseeing the government response to the oil spill. So….if you are just deploying ONE adjusting firm, then please contact me. I’ll freely share my information for some great additional adjusting firms based on members I have personally come to know over the past five years through their participation on ClaimSmentor.

Please do not tie up Worley’s executives. They are well respected in the claims industry- you have assigned them claims- let them do their job following your claims handling guidelines but do not put another black eye on the independent claims industry- we can’t take the blame when you will not even deploy us. Seems like today’s news release is starting the claims blame game which isn’t helping resolve the issue. Months ago I wrote blog about the claims game for insurance company disaster responses. Can the USA government with their vast agency resources not  “make things happen” ?

President Obama, I know your wife is a strong supporter of Education. I am as well and have now volunteered my time for 4.5 years creating the first online e-mentoring group ( CADO first with forums and links for firms- our site hosts the actual classes now ) for independent adjusters to provide them educational information for professional claims training throughout the USA. We have access to excellent sources of claim trainers as well who are very experienced in deployments and training at disaster induction centers.

A  last suggestion for federal government and BP claims response- COME OUT OF HIDING- locating available adjusters or the firms handling claims shouldn’t be a where is Waldo’s game trying to track down the information.  As a fellow Golfer…you can choose this city BEFORE the oil spill arrives to dispel rumors you are making  trips to the gulf coast only for photo opportunities. Here’s your chance!

 Heck- I’ll be glad to “Make Things Happen” and host a group of reputable independent adjusting firm leaders to gather here in Jacksonville in our beach community of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. We have a great location overlooking the Players Club here at Sawgrass…..the same location where Tiger Woods gave his return speech. We invite you to follow his lead- is all you need to do is show up and meet these great leaders. They would be more than willing to make reliable suggestions. They just hold back due to the fear of carriers retaliation if they go public under normal circumstances. We are used to this media restriction in the claims industry due to insurance company carrier Code of Conduct forms. The purpose would be a townhall meeting for positive suggestions by independent claim firm owners and head managers.

You show up- I’ll host the conference center. Smile- I know that is a simplistic offer with the involved security you need. However, Sawgrass  home of  Tournament  Players Championship  since 1977 is well equipped to plan for your arrival and we’ll meet you there!

We’ll make the same offer to work with any news agency like CNN, HLN, Fox News, or any state news reporters interested in talking to a group of claim managers  even if  news agencies have to allow participants to remain anonymous with voice overs and protection of their identity so they can provide truthful evaluations of the claims process and stories about what they have heard in response to their efforts to get through to ESIS claims executives as it isn’t great news although we recognize they too are overwhelmed with the situation.

 This is not acceptable time service for any insurance company, claims adjusting firm nor an individual adjuster and definitely should not be acceptable response time with BP with  their huge profits -come see us independent claims folks who are regularly following the insurance crisis in coastal communities.

We- the Independent Adjuster community- are the group who can help professionally improve the BP claims process- just do what you say you will do…….create jobs, take people off the unemployment lines but please use the RIGHT PEOPLE for the RIGHT positions where our  skills can best service the claimants of these disasters. There is a link to my prior blogs in response to this blog posting about the claims blame game, hopefully we won’t just need to substitute the ridiculous blame game organization chart  very soon and substitute the parties now involved in the BP oil claims because right now my honest evaluation is we need one to follow the BP oil spill blame game parties. Let’s reverse this quickly. Insurance commissioners never stand by and merely observe what insurance companies do. Instead they monitor them regularly and require weekly status reports on the number of claims procecessed during major catastrophes.

In Florida during the 4 hurricanes in 04, carriers and adjusters were held up to stringent deadlines which were unreasonable given the repeated events here. How about talking with our former FL Insurance commissioner for reasonable expectations. Alex Sink has also done an excellent job as current FL Insurance Commissioner and is another reliable source on reasonable expectations and time lines on loss of income claims deadlines as they require a much longer pending tail for closure due to the ongoing losses. Heck, go straight to all insurance commissioners for a prompt discussion to help make your decisions- respected members of the NAIC  National Association of Insurance commissioners  and get their valued input. I’d also recommend you talk to the NACA  past President Woody Britton who is a weath of information on catastophe deployments.

There is much more I can add to my suggestions but no one is asking me nor valued members and managers in the independent claims industry from the independent adjusting firm side with the exception of ONE independent adjusting firm. If there  are more, please respond and let us know the name, website, contact phone number for each adjusting  firm with a definite contract to handle these claims.

We also request you stop the bleeding and announce this on your websites so independent  adjusters aren’t on standby with false promises to go to work on BP oil spill claims by firms not even under consideration by BP or ESIS to handle claims. Independents are already on standby with many firms and we have no idea what the likelihood is of ever deploying.

We want to help and know you are facing oil spill disaster claims of untold proportions. Please let us know just how we can apply our training and skills to assist you to speed up the claim process.

President Obama and respected Admiral Allen, our intention is not to be critical of the response, the intent is to move forward from this moment forward to speed up the claims process and stop the spread of this historic oil spill. We don’t mind your use of a telepromters, we’d love you to bring your daughters to experience our pristine beaches and let your daughters learn the joy of collecting sharks teeth on the beaches at Mickler’s landing. I assure you they are not attached to the shark (smile) and it’s much healthier than them being exposed to picking up tar balls on the beaches. We want you to select this area as a pre-oil spill venue where you are proactive coming before the oil spill reaches us. You can take time (yes we do understand work/ life issues for emergency responders) while here to take the kids to explore the Naval Aircraft carriers at Mayport Naval Air Station, a follow up with a visit to our oldest city of St Augustine and especially the old fort and the Fountain of Youth tour. It will help your family have a good grasp on what living in a continental USA beach community is all about before we incur damages coming our way.

By the way- one last story about my dad- my hero- you talked yesterday about determining whose A** to kick- well we have a military award plaque still up at my parents wall at home here in Jacksonville where they awarded “my dad” with a replica of his well known A** kicking boots while serving out at sea as an Aircraft Maintence Commander. He had 2 shoes in yellow and he painted a different colored dot on each toe to indicate which parties he was holding responsible  for a problem and the dot showed if it was an enlisted man or an officer under his command. Your family will understand the significance of the colored dots if they can view the take off and landing of military aircraft on landing decks while out at sea. It is a trip they will never forget as I never have when going out on a family cruise day which allowed us to see what my dad was up to all of those years he was at sea. The guys look like MnM’s running around so quickly as the planes take of f and land when you get to watch it from above. Heck, if you don’t have time- send someone out to video this in action when one of the carriers near you are hosting one of these events.

To independent adjusters : If you missed the White House press conference  6/7/10 , CNN now has it posted. Watch the claims process comments for  yourself as well. 

 Here is the link:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/07/gulf.oil.spill/index.html?hpt=T1

Sign me- a regular CNN , HLN, and FOX news BP Oil spill news follower …..Deb


BP Gulf Oil Spill Claims Update- Claims Process, Claims Manual, Claims Forms and much more

June 6, 2010

Here is a link to the Deep Horizon website claim forms and the 1-800- numbers: 

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/542307 

Bp Claims process guidelines: 

http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9033791&contentId=7062345 

Here is the new BP Claims manual with how to claim loss of rental income- a very simple process unlike an insurance claim for same thing:

 http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/downloads_pdfs/BP_DWH_CLAIMS_MANUAL_1.pdf

Lots of great video here of the booms they are using to prevent oil from hitting beaches: 

http://bp.concerts.com/gom/oilspilltraining052410.htm

Another great site my sister sent tonight is to Beach Webcams for all Florida beaches to track Beach oil spill conditions here-except Pensacola is missing for some reason:

http://www.floridalink.com/webcam/beach.htm

Here is the link to the DeepWater Horizon response website with information specific to FLorida response . They now have seperated the updates for AL, MS, LA, and FL and have another link for all 4 states: 

http://ocean.floridamarine.org/ACP/STPACP/StartHere.html

Here’s the link to all of the different gulf coast state updates and area plans:

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/542307#

Later this week we will be posting Business Interruption training links and a special edition on Claims Litigation on BP lawsuits. I’ve been saving numerous articles with important informaton on claims litigation and BP claims.

If you have any information you wish to share with those that have claims, please reply to this topic and we’ll approve professional comments about liability claims handling as far as BP oil spill claims so we stay on topic.

I will also be adding a page to the blog where I link to all BP oil postings as this is going to be a very long process with regular updates needed. You can also enter tag search of “BP Oil Spill claims” which will also take you to all blogs I’ve made on this topic.

This informaton is not just for adjusters but for my friends and family who reside along the Gulf Coast and need information about filing claims they have for various losses. If you wish to be notified of new postings to follow this blog, you can either add it as an RSS feed or you click on Blog Info at the top of all blog pages and enter yor email address to receive notifications when we have new postings. You will find the link for the RSS feed or to sign up for emails there is a link at the top of the right hand column of all blog pages.


June 1, 2010- Hurricane Season begins- Excellent article by Linda Sterns of CBS Money Watch

June 2, 2010

I can’t go to bed without linking to this blog post at CBS Money Watch by Linda Stern on Daily Money blog which summarizes how I think we are all feeling with the start of hurricane season.

Here’s the link:

http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/blog/daily-money/hurricane-season-starts-today-could-be-worst-since-katrina/675/

Also, I have to say that Anderson Cooper at www.AC360.com has been doing outstanding coverage on the BP Oil Spill each night at 10pm ET. If you haven’t been watching his investigation and reporting on the BP oil spill and the outstanding video footage, I highly recommend it. It’s the best news coverage I’ve seen with interviews from the locals and politicians in the areas thus far effected by the gulf oil spill. 

As Linda Sterns ends  her blog——it truly is looking biblical when you consider hurricanes and the wind and water issues and even considering oil problems in the mix.

I heard a quote on a local radio station here in Jacksonville, FL today with a caller saying this will be the hurricane season from Hades should a major hurricane hit the gulf coast in the oil spill damaged areas. That too sums up how we are feeling in the claims industry with concerns for adjuster safety on top of the other horrors residents in the gulf coast are already feeling.


Very Important Information- BP Warns of Employment Scams- Please read

June 1, 2010

I know many adjusters have been privy to emails circulating by firms on the Hazwoper Certification and signing up for classes for BP oil claims jobs.

May 31, 2010 BP released a scam warning on employment jobs. Thank God- this is very timely as people are looking for BP oil jobs.

To read the complete BP employment scam release from yesterday- view this link:

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/575903/

Please be careful! The last thing that adjusters need is more training mills and request for their high costs for classes that BP is not even requiring they take. The news on the radio yesterday when announcing this scam release said if BP requires training they provide it and do not charge those working for them for those classes.

Check the BP site at www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com for information direct from BP before paying for classes or accepting employment to be sure it is a legitimate BP oil company opportunity.


Hurricane Season starts 6/1/2010- Must read article for Claims- Hurricane Plus Oil Equals More Problems

May 28, 2010

I highly recommend reading this article in addition to yesterday’s blog on CDC recommendations for those working in the oil spill zones which may end up effecting many of us in the claims industry this coming hurricane season if we have a hurricane make landfall in the gulf coast.

Here’s a link to the article which makes it clear we will be operating in unknown territory should we suffer damage in the gulf coast:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/27/hurricane.season.worries/index.html?hpt=T1

We had a beautiful afternoon collecting sharks teeth on the beach at Mickler’s landing today here in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL  but it was hard not to feel guilty about having such a great beach knowing what’s been on the news about Grand Island in LA.

Our hearts and prayers are with the residents suffering from this disastrous oil spill. We also wish safe travels and assignments for all adjusters heading out to new hail storms and bp oil service assignments.

Here is a link to the claim statistics from the BP Oil Spill for today indicating over 26,000 claims thus far reported to BP with over 11,000 paid and over 96,000 calls into their claim operation:

http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7062470

*update added 5/29/10: More information on the BP Oil Spill Claims Process- BP to Appointment Independent Mediator-BP Claims Process and update on federal court hearing on BP Oil Claim Litigiation:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-26/bp-to-appoint-independent-mediator-for-claims-process-update1-.html

Here is an article by medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta regarding health concerns and the BP oil spill. I’ll also try to find a link to a video he did in Louisiana this week while exploring the spill that was also excellent:

http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/06/how-will-the-oil-disaster-impact-our-health/


How will the BP Oil Spill damage effect insurance adjusters during hurricane season? Read about reports of locals getting ill performing work in spill zones-CDC Recommendations for Safety in Oil Spill areas

May 27, 2010

I have been regularly following the updates on the BP Oil Spill and what seems like regular updates about claims litigation with BP and others involved in the loss which I’ll report on more tomorrow.

For now, this post concerns the illness local fisherman working the clean up are reporting due to disperal of chemicals to fight the oil spill. This sure concerns me as to what safety measures carriers are planning in their catastrophe planning to keep adjusters safe when working coastal hurricane damage that could spread this chemical as well as the oil into neighborhoods adjusters will be working in. Any of you that worked Katrina remember the talk of the “Katrina cough” many reported getting within weeks of working Katrina losses.

I think these are some must read articles and a video from Fox News on the chemicals being sprayed over the oil spill areas in the gulf as well as the discussions of government health clinics being set up and protective gear recommendations. I don’t know how our claims industry will be addressing these serious health issues. I  also check edCDC to see if they have added information yet on the oil spill safety recommendations and found a wealth of information on safety concerns for those working around oil spills here:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/oilspillresponse/?s_cid=3ni7d2TW1005042231

Here is also a prior blog done on CDC recommendations for shots for those working in flood zones:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/16/what-shots-does-cdc-recommend-for-disaster-workers-watch-for-more-flood-adjuster-training-info-this-week/

First here is a short update about the new numbers of claims BP  has received as of 5/26/2010 and BP’s plan to appoint an independent claims mediator:

Business Insurance News Story: BP to appoint independent claims mediator
—————————————————————

Story Link: http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20100526/NEWS01/100529936

Here’s the article about local fishermen getting sick who are trying to help with the clean up:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/25/louisiana-fishermen-reportedly-getting-sick-cleaning-gulf-bp/Biden

Here is a new article out this morning about Louisiana recalling 125 boats out working oil spill clean up due to illness:

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/27/crews-involved-in-oil-recovery-feeling-sick-boats-recalled/

 Here is a Fox news video from yesterday about the toxic nature of this chemical. It makes me wonder what this means for adjusters this hurricane season trying to inspect coastal storm damaged properties:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4212284/less-toxic-oil-dispersants-unavailable?playlist_id=86856#/v/4212284/less-toxic-oil-dispersants-unavailable/?playlist_id=86856

I checked my favorite career site for Hazwoper jobs yesterday and came up with over 1,455 jobs:
http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=hazwoper

Also- the Twitter posts on BP Oil Claims is unbelievable- just go to www.Twitter.com and enter #BP or enter #hazwoper in search and you will be amazed at the number of firms offering training or job opportunities. Matter of fact, my husband got a call about our boat which is still over in the panhandle saying someone from an agency stopped by and asked if he would be interested in the opportunities for clean up duties in the gulf with his boat which was quite a surprise to hear they are still looking for boat owners to work clean up.

If you haven’t read and seen enough yet, I highly recommend you view this CNN Anderson Cooper video from his trip today on the Louisiana shore- it is just devastating to watch for those coastal lovers like we are:

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/26/video-ac-its-just-dead-out-there/

More to follow tomorrow!


BP Oil Spill Claims- Their update as of 5/17/2010-BP Oil Spill Claims Center Info as well

May 17, 2010

Bp is providing regular daily updates on the oil spill.

Today’s report shows 15,000 claims thus far reported and 2,600 claims settled. Here’s the link:

http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7062147

Here is some excellent information adjusting firms may wish to contact to see if work is available through the Coast Guard’s site which lists the types of claims available for compensation from the National Funds Pollution Center:

http://www.uscg.mil/npfc/Claims/claims_contacts.asp

Make sure to see the great info there about loss of income and how it just pays for loss of profits not loss of revenue using the example of a boat captain who operates out of a now closed marina:

http://www.uscg.mil/npfc/Claims/damages_lost_profits.asp

Here also is a link to Forms you might be interested for claims to include a general guide on Interim Claim Regulations for claims under the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund:

http://www.uscg.mil/npfc/Claims/claims_docs.asp

Here is a link updated as of yesterday listing all of the BP Claim Centers in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana:

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/542307

Here is an informative Claims Journal article quoting the Insurance Information Institute on preliminary information on claims and damages insurers can expect from the BP Oil Spill:

http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2010/05/05/109588.htm

Adjusters are definitely searching for updated job opportunities. Thus far the only two firms we know of who have put independent adjusters on standby are Worley and Crawford and Company. Our sources are telling us thus far that Worley is the main adjusting firm handling these and Crawford is putting people on standby lists. From those deployed on the BP Oil claims thus far we are hearing the daily rate is $450 per day to the adjuster plus BP is paying per diem as well which is unusual in the independent adjusting business so they are very thankful for this excellent treatment at a time when independents are suffering reduced fee schedules from many carriers as we blogged about yesterday. The folks I’ve heard from so far are working business interruption losses and are being required to have adjuster licenses although as far as I’ve heard thus far these are BP claims not insurance carrier claims. I also found IAS Claims advertising training for adjusters on their site but do not have information if they are currently receiving assignments or simply preparing for the possibility of assignments as it sounds in the Breaking News section of their home page.

http://www.catcrew.com/main/index.php

I will update the news I’m getting from those getting these assignments once we know information for sure and once things settle down.

Tomorrow I’ll post links to excellent Business Interruption training material as well.

As far as other job opportunities involving the oil spill- the adjuster world is buzzing about the HAZWOPER certification and sources are pointing two Hazwoper Certification training sites for those wanting to work mitigation assignments :

Here are links to websites that offer the Hazwoper training. Training ranges fees range from $350-$400.

http://www.oshacampus.com/hazwoper-training/

http://www.natlenvtrainers.com/main.htm

 
I’ve been told the second firm is now offering it for $275.00 with the discount code OIL. Rumors later today also said they are offering it now to some groups for only $150.00. I have no information on this program but atleast these links might take you to a place to start if your interested in work they may offer. As far as I have heard, this Hazwoper Certification is not being required by the adjusting firms for the claim assignments. From the information I’m getting this certification is being done for those interested in the Safety Monitor and Mitigation damage firms but will update this as I learn more.

****Update 6/1/2010- See BP Oil Employment Scam blog post- don’t know if that applies to the above training we had heard about or not but adjusters need to check this scam warning before taking any training:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/very-important-information-bp-warns-of-employment-scams-please-read/

Here are FAQ from OSHA on the Hazwoper Certification if you want more information:

http://www.osha.gov/html/faq-hazwoper.html

Here’s a link to all kinds of other sites offering Hazwoper certs and even some salary info for positions requiring HAZWOPER certification:

http://www.bing.com/search?q=hazwoper+certification&mkt=en-us&FORM=MSNTSS&PC=MSNTDF


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