Book/Movie Reviews- Adjuster Stories- “Black House” and “Crazy Fool Kills Five”

February 23, 2008

Looking for light hearted (ok- the movie may be tough viewing!) books and movies about adjusters?

We came across two we had not heard about before you may be interested in checking out:

Book Review- Review by Norm Goldman- “Crazy Fool Kills Five” by Gwen Freeman about Adjusters/ Insurance Executives/ Settlements. Here’s the book review- click here.

Movie Review- ” Black House”- Story of Adjuster investigating home finding suicide/murder history (how scary is this!)

http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/11344

‘Black House’ Gets Unrated Release From Genius Products
Friday, February 22, 2008

 
By: MrDisgusting
0 Comments

 

 

Today we received the full specs and DVD cover art for Yoshimitsu Morita’s Korean horror film, BLACK HOUSE, which arrives unrated on DVD April 22 from Genius Products. An insurance claims adjuster investigates a decrepit house and discovers horrific secrets inside involving suicides and murder. The more he learns the more the terror mounts, building to a blood-soaked ending that is beyond any level of fear you can handle. Extra feature include: Truth about psychopaths in “making of” documentary, a production design feature and deleted scenes. Read on for the cover art.********

Just a little more amazing info thanks to Google Alerts! Let us know if you read the book or watch the show! I’d be interested to hear  what you thought about them via reply to this topic!


State Farm Vs Hood- Part III/ Hood/ Rigsby commendation?- An interesting news alert today?

February 23, 2008

You just never know what you’ll get with a news alert and here’s an interesting one received on the Rigsby’s today:

Google Web Alert for: Kerri Rigsby

SC 574 (As Introduced) – 2007 Regular Session
WHEREAS, Hood’s efforts were aided by Cori and Kerri Rigsby, two sisters from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, who worked for a State Farm contractor that

Here’s what it linked to which was quite surprising to see that Senators Dawkins and Williamson presented this Senate Concurrent Resolution 574 in 2007:

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE2007 Regular SessionTo: RulesBy: Senator(s) Dawkins, Williamson

Senate Concurrent Resolution 574

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE ACTIONS OF CORI AND KERRI RIGSBY FROM OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI, FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE IN THE INVESTIGATION AND SUBSEQUENT LAWSUIT AGAINST THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY FOR FAILURE TO PAY CLAIMS FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE CAUSED BY HURRICANE KATRINA.

     WHEREAS, on Monday, August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, originally designated a Category Four Hurricane, crashed with unrelenting and violent force onto the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast, making landfall at or around Waveland, Mississippi.  In one day, the worst natural disaster in our state’s history struck us a grievous blow, leaving a 90-mile swath of destruction along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and causing severe damage throughout Central and North Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, after the damage from the hurricane was assessed, there were numerous disputes surrounding insurance claims or allocating wind damage and water damage, where the insurance industry denied homeowners and business property coverage; and

     WHEREAS, Mississippi suffered its greatest damage from Hurricane Katrina in sections of coastal communities where some residents were equipped to fight back.  Senator Trent Lott and Congressman Gene Taylor were among the plaintiffs and urged Congress to repeal insurers’ federal anti-trust exemption and investigate their post-storm claims practices before a national audience.  Mississippi’s legal system also allowed plaintiff’s attorneys to threaten punitive damages, and allowed the state’s Attorney General Jim Hood to hire extra lawyers on contingency to press his criminal investigation; and

     WHEREAS, in Mississippi, Attorney General Jim Hood opened a grand jury criminal investigation into insurers’ claims handling practices just a few weeks after the storm.  His probe focused on the wind-versus-flood debate in which some property owners were denied homeowners insurance payouts because insurers chalked the damage up to flood, which is covered by a separate policy that often pays out less; and

     WHEREAS, Hood’s efforts were aided by Cori and Kerri Rigsby, two sisters from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, who worked for a State Farm contractor that managed teams of adjusters.  The “whistle-blowers” left their employment with 150,000 pages of documents that they say shows that State Farm defrauded policyholders by manipulating engineering reports to deny claims.  The Rigsby’s turned them over to private attorneys, the Attorney General and Dunn Lampton, the U.S. Attorney in Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, using the engineering information suggested by Cori and Kerri Rigsby, Attorney General Jim Hood has obtained concessions from State Farm Fire and Casualty Company regarding how it will handle policyholder claims resolved through an historic settlement agreement.  Attorney General Hood has dropped the civil lawsuit against State Farm in his quest to seek full payment of Katrina claims from insurers, but the lawsuit still stands against Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and United Services Automobile Association; and

     WHEREAS, the result was a well-coordinated assault in Mississippi, as compared to homeowners in Louisiana who were left to their own devices advocates say.  There was no high-ranking enforcement official investigating the insurance industry as in Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, especially where many of the victims are low-income groups, the leadership of elected officials and employees such as Cori and Kerri who are willing to testify really matters, and we recognize these efforts on behalf of the citizens of our state:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the actions of Cori and Kerri Rigsby from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, for their assistance in the investigation and subsequent lawsuits against the insurance industry for failure to pay claims for property damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Cori and Kerri Rigsby and Attorney General Jim Hood and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.

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Doing further research to see if I could find more on this proposed resolution presented, I found this wikipedia report that says in part:

Results

In February 2007, Mississippi state senators Dawkins and Williamson submitted a resolution, Mississippi Senate Concurrent Resolution 574, ,to the state legislature commending the Rigsby sisters for their actions. The resolution died in committee and the Rigsbys garnered no formal recognition by the legislature.

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If you don’t know how Wikipedia works, here is a link explaining how information is added. Note also here that someone has contested the information in March and June 07 mentioning charges are pending involving the documents and asking that the Wikipedia info be deleted. If you think it should too- maybe you should add your comments as well! There are links to all types of documents on the Wikipedia info on the Rigsby’s if you haven’t already seen it before. Here’s the link once more. Make sure to note the top comments about “the neutrality of this article is disputed”. Not sure what that means but atleast it’s being disputed.

Some interesting observations- 150,000 pages of documents? Haven’t all the news and litigation documents indicated 15,000 pages? What happened to the other suits against Farm Bureau, USAA, and Allstate which we don’t hear anything about in the news? Two senators praising the Rigsby’s for stealing documents? I’m at a loss for words after reading this. Any comments? I hope State Farm  and/or EA Renfroe Adjusting firm has seen this document…if not, pass it on to someone there if you know some folks who might be interested!

If you missed State Farm Vs Hood Part I and II blogs, just click here and here.

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The blogs and news stories have been actively discussing issues related to AG Hood and donations promised from the five million dollar settlement State Farm made in Jan 07 that you’ll find quite interesting. First- here is the Sun Herald news story. This blog entry over at www.Statenewsshot.com ties the donations to AG Mike Moore (lots of ties to Scruggs ongoing discussions) and the Cal Ripken Foundation($200,000 donation) as well as Morgan Shands who ran Hood’s first campaign for AG in 2003 and the $800,000 donation to the Boys and Girls Club of MS. For lots of other current discussions, view blog entries over at Yall Politics and Folo.


6.0 Earthquake rocks NV, UT, parts of CA 2/21/08- Adjuster Information

February 21, 2008

Fox news has a breaking news story that a 6.0  EQ just hit Elko, NV. It is listed in this Fox news story as 430 miles from Las Vegas and 230 miles from Salt Lake City, UT. It also says folks as far away as southern CA felt the quake.http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331649,00.htmlThis report in the Salt Lake City Tribune is saying the worst damage is in Wells, NV:http://www.sltrib.com/ci_8323975

Here is more news on Reuters confirming Wells, NV worst damage:

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN21267529

Looking at the statistics, Elko has a population of, 16,708 and 3,880 owner occupied dwellings and 2,320 rental tenant occupied dwellings for a total of 6.948 according to this demographic report of the area. The demographics for Wells, NV shows a population of about 1,300:

http://www.muninetguide.com/states/nevada/municipality/Wells.php

http://www.ci.elko.nv.us/econdev/area_description.htm#demo

Here are some demographics in Salt Lake City with over 1.2 million in the area with 181,000 in the immediate area.

http://www.saltlakecityutah.org/salt_lake_demographics.htm

Here are the links to :

NV Insurance Department on emergency Adjuster licenses:

Main licensing link:

http://www.doi.state.nv.us/Form-FormsIndex.htm#Producer%20Licensing%20Section

If you look at the 1/5/08 Press release at the Nv Dept of Ins website, you’ll see they have to declare a disaster to allow emergency adjusters to handle claims. They do not have one for the EQ today up as of this writing:

http://doi.state.nv.us/Press-Press2008Index.htm

Here is a link to some other state licensing info (scroll down to Insurance Adjuster) but it may be outdated since it says 2001 and some of the info on the Ins Dept website on the 1st link has pdf’s dated 06 and 07. If anyone finds the direct link to emergency adjuster licenses, please provide the direct link. This 2nd link shows that the fine is 1,000 per violation for handling claims unlicensed but I’m not finding the direct info to emergency licenses. Note, while they addressed resident and non resident adjuster licenses, there was no clear link to emergency adjuster license applications that I could find.

http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Statutes/71st/HtoL.html

These items came from the doi.state link above

1) This PDF provides info on 3 types of adjuster licenses and the fees involved:

KENNY C. GUINN STATE OF NEVADA ALICE A MOLASKY-ARMAN

Governor Commissioner of Insurance

SYDNEY H. WICKLIFFE, C.P.A.

Director

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS & INDUSTRY

DIVISION OF INSURANCE

788 Fairview Drive, Suite 300

Carson City, Nevada 89701-5491

(775) 687-4270 Fax (775) 687-3937

http://doi.state.nv.us

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2006

Effective January 1, 2006 the fee for the Recovery Account will be reduced from $15 to $10.

This reduction will be reflected in the total fees as follows :

FEE SCHEDULE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2006 ONLY FOR THOSE LICENSE TYPES THAT REQUIRE THE RECOVERY ACCOUNT FEE. There will be no refunds for overpayment of fees.

License Type Total Fees Affiliation Fee (if applicable)

Producer of Insurance $135.00 ($125 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)

(includes-limited credit, travel/baggage, fixed annuities and rental car agency)

Producer Agency $135.00 ($125 + $10)

 

Title Agent $135.00 ($125 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)

Escrow Officer $135.00 ($125 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)

Fraternal Agent $135.00 ($125 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)

Independent Adjuster $135.00 ($125 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)

Public Adjuster $135.00 ($125 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)

Associate Adjuster $135.00 ($125 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)

Insurance Consultant $135.00 ($125 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)

Motor Club Agent $88.00 ($78 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)

Surplus Lines Broker $135.00 ($125 + $10)

$60.00 ($50 + $10)


THE FEE FOR ADDING LINES OF AUTHORITY TO THESE LICENSE TYPES WILL BE $60.00 ($50 + $10

Here is also a PDF with Fingerprinting info:

JIM GIBBONS STATE OF NEVADA ALICE A. MOLASKY-ARMAN

Governor Commissioner of Insurance

MENDY K. ELLIOTT

Director

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS & INDUSTRY

DIVISION OF INSURANCE

788 Fairview Drive, Suite 300

Carson City, Nevada 89701-5491

(775) 687-4270 Fax (775) 687-3937

Website: doi.state.nv.us

E-mail: insinfo@doi.state.nv.us

NOTICE

To: All Insurers, Insurance Producers, and Other Interested Parties

Date: September 7, 2007

RE: Fingerprint card processing fee increase

Effective October 1, 2007, the fee for fingerprint cards will increase from $45.00 to $51.25 because of the increased fees charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for the processing of fingerprint cards from Nevada.

The Department of Business and Industry, Division of Insurance (Division) requires an individual to submit two complete sets of fingerprints which are ultimately forwarded to the FBI to conduct a background search.

Any cards processed by the FBI after September 28, 2007 must include the appropriate fee. Accordingly, any application or submission received by the Division after September 28, 2007 must include the new fee of $51.25. Applications or submissions that do not include the appropriate fee will be deemed incomplete and will not be processed until the correct fee is paid.

The Division cannot guarantee cards will be processed at the lower fee.

Persons with questions regarding this information may contact the licensing section of Division at (775) 687-4270 in Carson City or (702) 486-4009 in Las Vegas.


DOC 324 C Fingerprint Fee Increase 09.07.07 jm

Note this info is also found on a PDF on the NV Ins Dept website with contact numbers of some of the major carriers in NV for adjusting firms marketing efforts:

ADDITIONALLY, HERE ARE A FEW TELEPHONE NUMBERS FOR CLAIMS

SERVICES FOR SOME OF THE INSURERS. WE WILL UPDATE THIS LIST AS

INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.

Updated 1/7/2008

AAA NEVADA (homeowners) – (800) 922-8228

and CSAA (auto)

ALLSTATE INSURANCE – (800) 547-8676

AMERICAN FAMILY – (800) 374-1111

CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES – (800) 282-6848

and CSE SAFEGUARD

COAST NATIONAL – (800) 274-7865 (1-800-Bristol)

COUNTRYWIDE INSURANCE – (800) 846-0100

FARMERS INSURANCE – (800) 435-7764 (1-800-HelpPoint)

GEICO – (800) 941-3000 or (866) 435-1968

HARTFORD CLAIMS SERVICES – (800) 243-5860

IDS PROPERTY CASUALTY – (800) 872-5246

LIBERTY MUTUAL – (800) 225-2467

METLIFE AUTO & HOME – (800) 854-6011

NEVADA CAPITAL – (800) 986-9974 or (775) 321-1770 or (800) 381-2445

NEVADA GENERAL – (800) 840-4400

PERMANENT GENERAL ASSURANCE – (800) 280-1466 option 3

PROGRESSIVE – (800)-925-2886

SAFECO – (800) 332-3226

SHELTER INSURANCE – (800) 743-5837 (1-800-Shelter)

STATE FARM – (800) 732-5246 (1-800-SFClaims)

NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM – (888) 225-5356 (1-800-CallFlood)

Here is all the info I could find on the Adjuster licenses and application found on the Producer Licensing Link on their site:

STATE OF NEVADA

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

DIVISION OF INSURANCE

Procedures effective January 1, 2006

INDEPENDENT OR PUBLIC ADJUSTING FIRM & INDIVIDUAL FORMS & FEES

DOCUMENT #307

MAILING ADDRESS FOR PHYSICAL MAILING ADDRESS:

APPLICATIONS WITH FEES:

 

Nevada Division of Insurance Nevada Division of Insurance

P.O. Box 98572 788 Fairview Drive # 300

Las Vegas, Nevada 89193-8572 Carson City, Nevada 89701-5491

Any corporation that will be doing insurance business in the state of Nevada must be licensed by the Division of Insurance and qualified with the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office. If you have not already done so, you will need to contact the Secretary of State at (775) 684-5708. Your name and purpose must be approved by this office prior to filing your Articles of Incorporation (NRS 78) or submitting the Foreign Corporation Qualification to Do Business in Nevada (NRS 80). Any corporation that fails to maintain their qualification forfeits their right to do business in this state and must immediately surrender any licenses issued to them by this Division.

Domestic corporations must include the insurance clause in the purpose of their Articles of “TO ENGAGE AS AN ADJUSTER IN ALL CLASSES OF INSURANCE NOW AND HEREAFTER PERMITTED BY STATUTE.” THE LANGUAGE “ALL LAWFUL ACTIVITY” IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

You can now access our forms and laws on our Internet website located at http://doi.state.nv.us. Our laws are found under Title 57 of the Nevada Revised Statutes.

INDEPENDENT OR PUBLIC ADJUSTING FIRM FORMS & FEES

REQUIRED FORMS:

1. BUSINESS ENTITY LICENSE APPLICATION:All portions of the application must be completed to be acceptable. All claims and records pertaining to Nevada risk must be administered and maintained in Nevada. The fee for the firm is $135.00. http://www.doi.state.nv.us/Form-PL-DOC325.pdf. If there are additional locations the fee for each additional location is $10.00. http://www.doi.state.nv.us/Form-PL-DOC322.pdf

2. AN INDIVIDUAL LICENSE APPLICATION MUST BE COMPLETED FOR EACH PERSON THAT WILL APPLY AS AN INDEPENDENT, PUBLIC OR ASSOCIATE ADJUSTER UNDER THE FIRM. List your agency affiliation on question 32. The fee is $195.00. Residents of Nevada must comply with Nevada’s fingerprint requirements.

3. Independent or Public Adjuster qualifications: The adjuster must be a resident of Nevada for at least 90 days prior to the submission of the license application. The adjuster must be 21 years of age and have 2 years recent (within the past five years) experience handling and adjusting claims. The adjuster must take and pass Part I and Part II of the “Producer” property and casualty PROMISSOR exams. You can access information on the exam by contacting PROMISSOR at 1-800-274-2609. The fee for an independent or public adjuster under a firm is $195.00.

4. Associate Adjuster qualifications: An associate adjuster must be 21 years of age. They are not required to take and pass the exam and they may be a resident or nonresident. They must be employed by a Nevada licensed independent or public adjuster. Residents must comply with Nevada’s fingerprint requirements. The fee is $195.00.

5. DOCUMENT 324 Resident’s requirements for Criminal History Search. The State of Nevada requires a criminal history report for applicants that are residents of Nevada. Complete 2 fingerprint cards with the detailed information required in DOCUMENT 324. You must attach the cards to your licensing application with a $51.25 cashiers check or money order made payable to the Department of Public Safety. The money order or cashiers check should be in a sealed envelope marked “DPS”. We will forward to the Nevada Department of Public Safety to obtain the criminal history report.

NRS 686A.225 Certain insurers to retain adjuster who resides in this state.

1. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 684A.060, any insurer who:

(a) Transacts property, casualty or surety insurance in this state; and

(b) Retains an adjuster to investigate and settle any claim arising under an insurance contract,

􀂬 shall retain an adjuster who resides in this state.

2. As used in this section, “adjuster” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 684A.020.

FEES: PLEASE PROVIDE ONE CHECK PAYABLE TO “NEVADA INSURANCE DIVISION.”ALL FEES ARE DEEMED EARNED UPON RECEIPT PURSUANT TO NRS 684A.110. NO REFUNDS WILL BE MADE.

DOC 307 Independent or Public Adjuster (rev 09.09.07 jm)

STATE OF NEVADA

Department of Business & Industry—DIVISION OF INSURANCE

Individual Resident and Non-Resident Insurance License Application

Mailing Address: P O BOX 98572, Las Vegas, NV 89193-8572 Office Delivery: 788 Fairview Dr #300, Carson City, NV 89701

(Please Print or Type)

Soc. Security Number

If applicable, NASD Individual Central Registration Depository (CRD) Number

Are you affiliated with a financial institution/bank?

Last Name JR./SR. etc

First Name

Middle Name

Date of Birth

Residence/Home Address (Physical Street)

P.O. Box

City 0

 

State 1

 

Home Phone Number

( ) –

Gender (Circle One)

Male Female

 

Are you a Citizen of the United States? (Check One)

Yes No (If No, of which country are you a citizen?)

Personal Business Name (dba) (Provide Nevada County Clerk Filing if you have a physical location in Nevada)

 

Business Address (Physical Street)

P.O. Box

City

Zip or Foreign Country

Business Phone Number

( ) –

Business Fax Number

Business E-Mail Address

Business Web Site Address

Applicant’s Mailing Address

City

Zip or Foreign Country

If Applicable, beginning date of residency in the State of Nevada: Nonresidents:

“Home State” where you hold a Resident License

Fein # ____________________________ Name of Agency

Fein # ____________________________ Name of Agency

Fein # ____________________________ Name of Agency

Employment History

Account for all time for the past five years. Give all employment experience starting with your previous employer working back five years. Include full and part-time work, self-employment, military service, unemployment and full-time education.

To

Position Held

Name

City State

Name

City State

Name

City State

Name

City State

Name

*********

New Procedures Effective 10/01/07

Submit to the Division of Insurance with your licensing application:

1. 2 completed cardsfingerprint cards completed as instructed below 2. In a separate and sealed envelope labeled DPS, a cashier’s check or money order for $51.25 made payable to Nevada Department of Public Safety Do not combine criminal history report fees with licensing fees.

The Division of Insurance will forward both fingerprint cards and the $51.25 cashier’s check or money order to the Nevada Department of Public Safety. The results will be returned directly to the Division of Insurance.

• Fingerprints may be done at the Promissor examination centers, local law enforcement office or from an authorized fingerprint vendor. All personal information boxes must be completed and

the following information must be written in the appropriate boxes on both cards.

Note
: Any criminal history report requested directly from the Nevada Highway Patrol will be accepted if previous procedures were followed until 4/1/04. If an applicant has had no criminal history, as indicated and certified on their application for a license, the commissioner may issue a license before the actual report is received.

The commissioner may suspend, revoke or refuse to continue the license if the applicant’s criminal history report shows a conviction or other criminal activity that was not disclosed on their licensing application.

F:/S/M/DOC 324 Fingerprints (rev 09.09.07 jm)

UT Insurance Department on emergency Adjuster licenses:Very interesting to see they waive the licensing exam for those with portions of the AIC program completed. This link provides their licensing fees and fingerprinting fees:   Adjuster License:  The exam is waived if the following qualifying conditions have been met:

  • Adjuster license applicants who have earned the Associate in Claims (AIC) designation, or have successfully passed AIC Exams #33 and #34, or #33 and #35, or #33 and #36. The AIC examinations are administered by the Insurance Institute of America.
  • Adjuster license applicants who are members of the Utah State Bar.

http://www.insurance.utah.gov/LicensingProc.html#licensing

I was able to find the emergency adjuster license info for Utah here:

http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE31A/htm/31A1A016.htm

and other licensing info here which does say it was updated in 2008:

http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE31A/31A1A.htm
 

____________________
“LUCK is where PREPARATION meets OPPORTUNITY”
Author unknown

“I’m not afraid of storms
for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”

Louisa May Alcott, Author (1832-1888)

 
 
   

Again, I apologize that the font size tool still can’t be found to consistently size font when combining information from several sources but I wanted to get this info out to you asap. I do recommend calling the UT and NV Dept of Insurance to be sure the information we could locate on the web is their latest guide regarding licensing BEFORE you go all the way out there without being properly licensed.


State Farm VS Hood- Part II- So what happened 2/19? New developments

February 20, 2008

Just when we thought that the MS AG Jim Hood and State Farm had resolved their differences with the dismissal of the case involving Hood’s attempts to reopen criminal investigations against State Farm based on a “new focus” (carrier alleges NFIP files instead of Katrina HO claims), things came back into the headline news and blogs 2/19/08 with a big bang. We wrote about the dismissal earlier this month in this blog..click here.

The dismissal included sealed settlement documents so we thought that would be the end of the news on the case. The blogs at numerous sites have been hot and heavy debating the sealed documents and the rights of the citizens of MS to know what Hood agreed to. Yesterday’s major developments began with articles posted at the MS Clarion Ledger news where MS AG Hood spoke with them regarding the settlement. This was followed by a major goof by an attorney representing State Farm who replied to a Hood’s office email release on the story failing to realize that the recipients included among them AP reporters.

Without going back through all the details, I’ll point you to several ongoing blogs and news links to read it all for yourself. I’ll be doing the same later this week on all of the developments in the Scruggs alleged bribery case and developments happening the past two weeks or so on the contempt case (Rigsby/EA Renfroe). Things on all things Scruggs are moving at a rapid fire pace making it impossible to keep up with the updates as far as new blogs are concerned while dealing with other responsibilities at the moment. I’ll link you later this week to some of the best of the best reporting on blogs and in the news I’ve come across the past few weeks.

I do have one question I can’t get off of my mind that will require lots more research regarding “the dump weekend documents”…where did Gene Taylor get the document he shared with the congressional hearings? How would he have had such intimate details on insurance cases? Yes, it’s all been in the news but it would be interesting to know how he came to know about the cases he presented to the hearings and where he got the legal documents from. He’s got them posted on his website. I have a real problem with the fact the committees heard testimony about NFIP claim handling problems from Lott, Taylor, and Hood and Hood’s testimony in court on the State Farm vs Hood case was pathetic concerning his alleged “lack of knowledge” on file particulars even though he admits to having the Rigsby documents. More on that later when I can dedicate a day to looking back through the congressional testimony documents vs documents in court on several other cases. It just seems awful strange that we hear little from Lott or Taylor these days since all of the Scruggs cases have exploded. Here is a link to Gene Taylor’s web page– click on the link on the top right hand side of the web page where he refers to Insurance Fraudulent Practices (and why has he not updated this to include the fact GAO initial studies found no evidence of wrongdoing?)

Now getting back to the Hood/ State Farm fiasco yesterday:

David Rossmiller had 3 seperate blogs on the incident which link you to all of the news articles in the Clarion Ledger and providing actual information on the email details to which the State Farm attorney had replied to yesterday in these 3 blogs. I can’t get the headline to click to allow a link for some reason today so just look for these 3 blogs on 2/19 to read all of the information posted at www.insurancecoverageblog.com :

Reality takes a holiday on High Street

Hood denies there is a settlement in State Farm v. Hood

State Farm attorney mistakenly sends query about having Hood held in contempt to reporters, Hood’s press spokesperson

Forbes.com was the first report I’d read on the email fiasco with the State Farm attorney in this article.

Ya’ll Politics-2 articles posted yesterday- click here for this article captioned:

Is this guy for real?
by Alan Lange
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Also- be sure to read about this Sid Salter 2/18 blog from the Clarion Ledger about Hood- click here to see some ridiculous comments by AG Hood about prosecuting some of the attorney’s involved that have plead guilty/or been involved in the bribery allegations:
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Moving over to the FOLO blog (at new location) be sure to review this blog entry titled. You won’t want to miss the now 154 comments below the entry. Click here to view it. 

Jim Hood whistles past the graveyard

February 18th, 2008 – by NMC · 154 Comments

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Now something I don’t see anyone discussing as it relates to the State Farm vs Hood case is the comments by State Farm in this motion filed 2-14-08 on the McIntosh vs State Farm/Forensic case where they are seeking to have the remaining members of the Katrina Litigation group dismissed from the case in the Reply Memorandum in Further Support of Defendent’s Second Motion to Disqualify the Barrett, Nutt & McAlister, and the Lovelace law firm. See page 16 in this Reply Memorandum for their comments about the State Farm vs Hood case and sealed documents. You can find that Memorandum over at Rossmiller’s 2/19 blog about half way down  in the blog titled:
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Update on State Farm motion to disqualify Katrina Litigation Group

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Again, I apologize I’m not getting the font link to fix these copy pastes  so the post sizing is consistent but still want to get the information out to adjusters in spite of that problem. Hopefully, I’ll get that issue figured out with the wordpress folks help soon as time permits. It’s not a matter of just moving it to a word document then reloading it because it is quite time consuming to go back and enter the links all over again so you can click on items and I don’t have that kind of time right now with daily visits to the radiation clinic for my daughter’s 6 weeks radiation treatments for her tumor so bear with me here.
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I’ll leave you today with this link to the Clarion Ledger video interviewing Hood on prosecuting those involved in the bribery case. Sometimes a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Click here to view it.
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Speak out in reply to this blog- what ramifications do you think will follow Hood’s discussion with the Clarion Ledger as well as the carrier’s attorneys email fiasco in light of the sealed agreement? How are adjusters out in the field feeling about the open/close/reopen investigations on this case?

ClaimSmentor Upcoming Classes are scheduled!

February 14, 2008

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We have our next three courses now scheduled for new adjusters. All classes take place LIVE ONLINE at our ClaimSmentor site. You must register for the site first to register for the classes. These are open to newly licensed insurance adjusters looking for file specific training.

40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class- Begins March 3, 2008 and will be held for four weeks on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6-9pm CST. There are 16 hours of pre-class self study and homework problems and 24 hours of online LIVE classroom sessions to go over the subject material. This course is for property adjusters planning to work residential homeowner and condo losses. We do not cover estimatics in the course with the exception of estimate reconciliation issues to include carrier general guidelines for scoping. The course covers claim career issues such as dealing with adjusting firm contracts, resume recommendations, ethics, contents claim handling, additional living expense claim handling, mock disaster zoning assignments and organization, correspondence handling, file requirements and forms common to property claim handling, attorney and public adjuster handling issues, carrier time service expectations, and much much more (all details listed in our class posting on ClaimSmentor). Course includes numerous self study guides for your use in the field after you’ve taken the course.

Contents Claim Handling- Class online 2/25/08. Course includes our self study guide for contents claims handling. Covers issues on contents software estimating, depreciation guides, salvage handling, and methods for documenting contents claims to meet carrier expectations. Common forms needed while handling contents claims and hot topics on current litigation issues involving contents claims handling. The class will be held from 6-9pm CST LIVE ONLINE.

Additional Living Expense Claim Handling- everything you need to know about handling ALE claims. Self Study guide included. You will work through mock ALE scenarios once trained on carrier general guidelines for all types of expenses submitted on claims such as housing, hotels, meals out, abated expenses and much more.  This class will be held in a two part session on 2/27 and 2/28/08.

Once you are registered for the site, you will receive a login id and  temporary password for accessing our forums. You will then find all class information in our Training Sessions- Roots and Wings program. All website/registration info is shown on our About page here on the blog.

We also offer one on one Career Coaching services to those new in the claims industry that prefer one on one mentoring for career success. If you are interested in those services, please email us for further information. The career coaching services can be combined with our online 40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class for a substantial discount on the cost of combining the career coaching services with our basic claim instruction courses. Contact info on the About page on this blog.


Citizens RFP for Daily Independent Adjusters -CANCELLED! The “Claims Cheese” is on the move again!

February 13, 2008

We’ve written in prior blogs about the problems Independent adjusting firms and independent adjusters faced over the RFP (Request for Proposal) for Catastrophe adjusters months ago. I’ll post the links to prior Citizens of FL blog entries at the end of this post. We were most hopeful that things had improved on Citizens/ Independent Adjusting firm planning when they posted the RFP for Daily Adjusters. The deadline for completing the excessive amount of forms and information for consideration came and went February 5, 2008.

Well- guess again folks! Citizens cancelled the RFP 2/11/08 per the announcement (Addendum 4) on their purchasing site and the responding adjusting firms were notified by email 2/12/08 that the RFP has been cancelled after much expense and time has been devoted by independent adjusting firms wishing consideration. This also involved the many calls those of us with Florida adjusters licenses received to  “see if we were available” for daily claims by many of the participating adjusting firms as they had to provide numbers of independents they could supply. The indication on the announcement says that they will repost at a later date with new specifications.

It will be interesting to see what the new specifications are after reading the Citizens Board of Governors Board meeting notes from the 2-8-08 meeting (see links to the many documents on the left column of this web page here for the documents. The RFP cancellation notice is addendum 4.

Here are also the 2-1-08 Citizens Task Force meetings notes addressing the usage of independents and TPA’s as well as notes found on the Board meeting notes above. So what is going on here? According to these task force and board notes, Citizens plans to implement a Claim School by March 2008 for their internal staff with plans to complete that training by 3rd quarter 2008. They also indicate independents will be required to be certified (presently they must pass online courses-here’s a link-look at upper right hand corner for current online classes they have to take). They also plan to handle 80% of the non catastrophe claims with internal staff by the end of 2009.

If you take a look at Addendum three on this page at Citizens (note I’m sure this will move to the Closed RFP’s  or Awarded RFP’s shortly as they normally do once an RFP is closed) you’ll see a Q & A for responding adjusting firms where they were answering their questions about the RFP that was due in on 2/5/08.  This addendum answering their questions was dated 1/22/08. The task force claim committee documents indicate they are dated 1/30/08 only 8 days later (presented 2/1/08). I point that out to be sure you compare the two. Here is an example:

From Addendum 3:

4. Q. The RFP requires the submission of the number of full-time and part-time

employees committed specifically to Citizens Daily claims. However, the RFP

provides no estimates, projections or ranges of claim volume from which a

respondent can reasonably project commitments. Staffing levels for 100 claims

per month are significantly different than for 1,000 claims per month. Can you

please provide some guidance in responding to this question?

A. Citizens anticipates that there will be an estimated 3,300 new claims a month with

approximately 100 of the claims being attributed to liability and 120 claims

attributed to the cause of loss of sinkhole. South Florida represents approximately

70% of Citizens reported claims. Citizens’ policy counts can be found on

Citizens website at www.citizensfla.com.

8. Q. Is their a minimum number of adjusters Citizens requires for the dedicated unit?

A. It is expected that selected vendors will maintain appropriate staff to service

assigned claims volume.

9. Q. Is it expected that field adjusters be dedicated to only handle Citizens claims?A. Yes.

10. Q. Will geographical areas be assigned to IA firms or will this be determined by the

areas serviced by the IA firms?

A. It is expected that firms will have statewide coverage.

11. Q. Is it required that the manager responsible for general oversight of the dedicated

unit be dedicated only to Citizens?

A. Yes.

12. Q. Does Citizens require the dedicated unit to be located in a particular area?

A. Citizens highest claims volume occurs in South Florida. It is expected that the

vendor will have statewide coverage to service Citizens policyholders.

13. Q. Is there a caseload requirement for examiners of the dedicated unit?

A. No. However it is expected the firm will maintain an appropriate examining staff

to meet Citizens quality and service standards.

17. Q. Will Citizens guarantee a certain volume of claims to the IA firm?

A. No.  (note- I have bolded 17 for this blog)

32. Q. The language in the RFP for Daily Property Claims/ Full Assignments on page 7

states “….which Services shall be performed by a claims administration unit

created and dedicated solely to adjusting and administering Citizens Claims.” The

terms “dedicated solely to” implies that that claims administration unit could not

service any other carriers. Are we interpreting that correctly?

A. Yes. Your interpretation is correct.

54. Q. What is your method of referrals to vendor/vendors? Is it on a rotating basis? Is

there a maximum volume per vendor?

A. Claim Assignments to firms is on a rotating basis with no guaranteed claim

volume per firm

56. Q. Can you provide a current or anticipated policy count and/or claim volume by

county? Alternatively, please provide any available information on concentration

of policies by area.

A. Please see question 4.

57. Q. In the case of turnover or staffing changes in a particular service area, will a

vendor be allowed to reject an assignment? If so, is there any penalty to the

vendor for this action?

A. It is expected that selected firms will maintain proper staffing levels to service the

Citizens account with statewide coverage.

******

Now compare these answers to the information the Citizens Claims Dept presented to the Citizens Board of Gov and to the Citizens Task Force where they could both provide claims volume as well as presentations on their expected reduction in the use of Independents in these reports. Here are just a few excerpts from these reports:

This came from the Task Force presentation on 2/1/08:

The Claims Organization currently totals 198 Citizens employees,with 67 adjusters dedicated to non catastrophe claims handling.


Citizens’Claims Operations currently handles approximately 36% of all non catastrophe claims

  1.  


    1. By year end 2008, we will handle 50% of all non catastrophe claims

Staff increase of inside adjusters to 60


Staff increase of field estimators to 28

  1.  


    1. By year end 2009, we will be handling 80% of all non catastrophe claims

Staff increase of inside adjusters to 100

Staff increase of field estimators to 53

**********

Here’s another one- the Board of Gov meeting report shows that 39,890 2007 non catastrophe claims were received and indicates with modest growth that they are expected 42,000 claims in 2008 (non cat). 20% of that if you put the math to it would be 8,400 claims. Now- the Q and A above says that the number of independent firms to handle these on a rotational basis statewide is undetermined. So for argument sake, let’s take the number 45 which is the number of firms they selected (ok 46 now with the 1 firm who appealed yet they’ve never added their name on the IA firm list) out of 78 or so who submitted RFP’s for the cat files (although I know several firms who posted RFP’s for daily that did not for the catastrophe). 8200/45 firms would be a grand total of 182.22 files each adjusting firm might get on rotation.Now you tell me folks…..is this a mess or what?

Take the Q & A and compare it to what they are telling the task force about the claim volume and expected reduction in numbers of independents used in 2008 and 2009 and tell me if you think Citizens gave our nationwide adjusting firms the proper treatment? How in the world could they commit dedicated adjusters and managers to handle Citizens ONLY claims when Citizens is not willing to use a reasonable number of adjusting firms first of all (45 is ridiculous and the mess they went through with the ever changing directives for training on Cat is proof positive that is an uncontrollable number!). No adjusting firm is going to get independent adjusters to commit to work Citizens claims ONLY under this proposal. If you take the numbers further at 182 per firm …just how many files is an adjuster likely to get? Give me a break!

 Citizens…on behalf of adjusting firms who of course cannot speak out nor adjusters who fear being blackballed in the adjusting community, we ask that you please tell us ALL of the information you are considering so the adjusting firms nationwide can make proper decisions on staffing. Adjusters are tired of false promises for work by adjusting firms who have been promised work from carriers such as yourself. Atleast with Citizens, we have the Task Force documents and the Board of Governor meeting notes to find the true facts that you are not sharing when asking Independents to service your claims!

Speaking of Board of Governor notes- I’m quite impressed that the February 08 Claim committee just approved the Claim meeting minute notes of June 2007.  I’ve written Citizens before about the constant delays in getting the minutes posted and they say they are only posted once the claim committee meets and approves it. Well, I sure hope the task  force  makes some inquiries about these constant delays. That is an 8 month delay- how very impressive! The independent side of the adjusting community relies on those Claim Committee meeting minutes to know what is going on but I guess that isn’t a consideration in allowing enough time in your claim meetings to get them approved timely? While the task force is at it- Can you PLEASE post the websites of the 46 selected adjusting firms so independents know who to apply to? You’d think this would be simple. Atleast your Adjuster Resource page now has the RFP award list up(but you haven’t even added the 46th firm you approved to it) but no contact information. You have many of the adjusting firm names listed incorrectly and some names are so common it was difficult to find them. I have listed all of the firms in a Citizens Research paper on the training page at our staffing firm website  if you’d like a copy so you don’t have to look them up Citizens! (Website info on the About page here on the blog)

Let’s look at one more math formula before we go…..if Citizens only plans on having 53 field adjusters handling 80% of the daily claims in 2009 and 100 inside (projected at 42,000 claims by the end of 08 according to these reports)…then how many independents do you actually think are going to be getting the other 20% of the claims? Hmmmmmm……..

On to another side issue- Adjuster training- these documents all contain information about training and plans for a Citizens Claim School in March 2008 with expectations their staff adjusters will complete this by 3rd quarter 08. There are further indications independents will be “certified”(how many more conferences will you need to go to and pay for!). Here are some of the excerpts:

Page 17 of this 2/1/08 presentation  to the Task Force says as they increase their staff that they will be having a claim school- here is what page 17 says:

Current main delivery channel for training is via online modules. 

As we continue to build our internal claims force we will:

  1.  


    1. Launch a claims training school
  1.  


    1. Provide advanced specialized training
  1.  


    1. Refine our metrics to gain further insight on our claims workflow, productivity

and efficiency

  1.  


    1. Enhance our QA process as a feedback/developmental tool forour adjusters

 

  1.  

From page 19:

http://www.claimsclass.com/

Page 19 seems to indicate the Claim School will be up March 2008 with their staff adjusters training completed by 3rd quarter 08 and says IA firms will be “certified” so I assume that is the certification we’d read about in other task force documents I’d posted about months ago. Here’s what it says:

In March 2008, a new claim school will be launched.

  1.  

       

    1. Successful completion will be a condition of employment for existing and new Citizens staff involved in the handling and oversight of claims.

  1.  

       

    1. Core competencies will include, Customer Service, Ethics, Policy, Estimatics, and File Quality Standards.

     

  2.  

 

  1.  

       

    1. Each session of claim school will be 1 full week in length; entire Citizens’claim staff will be trained by 3rdQuarter 2008.
    2.  

     

  2.  

  1.  

       

    1. Ongoing QA will monitor file handling standards.
  1.  

       

    1. Third party administrators and/or Independent Adjusters doing Citizens work will need to be certified in our core competencies

And here are the notes from the 2-8-08 Board Executive summary:

February 8, 2008 (Claims Committee)

Executive Summary

We are launching a Claims Training school in March, 2008. The goal is to train all personnel, staff and independents to Citizens standards.

Upon completion of the training, they will be required to pass examinations and be certified to do Citizen’s work.

Here is another note from another one of the documents:

Here is another comment about Customer Service training found in another document uploaded below:

7. Provide Customer Service training curriculum used to train Citizens’ daily

claims adjusters and Independent adjusters.

Please see attached on-line course curriculum for the following courses: Citizens

101,

Policyholder Declaration of Rights, Ethics, and Avoiding E-mail Pitfalls

This comments comes from page 12 under a chart on time service in a Task force presentation by claims:

The bottom of page 12 on the First Task Force report contains this statement at the bottom of the chart on service:

􀂃As our internal staff has grown, we have seen cycle time, quality and service improvements as well as a downward trend in average paid amounts.

 

They include a Contractor report (in the 2-1-08 Task force docs) evaluating the service of several of the independent firms where they reviewed 10 files of each firm on time service issues. I have to admit the findings aren’t favorable on time service issues but as an experienced adjuster points out- Citizens says in these reports that the majority of the clams are in South Florida and we all know that those normally come in with high PA (public adjuster) activity which could delay the claim. The time service report also doesn’t say if those 10 files per firm were cat or daily-non-cat files. 10 files per firm is hardly representative of the over 60% of daily files they allege were handled by independents in 07 (39,890 was total number of non cat files altogether). Too bad their chart did not include information on how the files were selected and if a random data analyzer was used or if they cherry picked to get the results they wished. Time service can’t be evaluated in the simple format of the report they gave the Task Force. To determine if those are or are not good time service records on closures, you’d need to know the claim dollar amounts in the survey and if public adjusters were involved in the handling which often delays a claim. A simple severity “3” type claim with less damage could be closed very quickly while a field adjustment on a large loss would take several weeks if not months while repairs progress.

Citizens has 1,277,266 policies in force as of 1/31/07 (why are they showing 07 as latest stats on the home page?) per the stats on their site. This is an important issue folks not just for Floridians but also for independent adjusters. I continue to be simply amazed that they can get away with rate freezes we will all pay for later after a major storm but also with the fact that they can be so clueless about claim staffing needs and working with independent adjusters. By the time they ever get this latest fiasco on the Daily RFP for Independents revised, I’ll be surprised if most firms even consider applying.  I hope for sure that they and their independent adjusters pay very close attention to this question in Addendum 3 Q & A if they do apply:

64. Q. Regarding Insurance Requirements: Will you consider proposals from

respondents with the following limitations:

1. It is our policy to provide concurrent coverage (not primary) with any other

valid and collectible policies.

2. Professional Liability coverage is provided for Respondents personnel

without Citizens as an additional insured on the Professional Liability (E

& O) coverage.

A. No as to 1 and 2.And this one:

59. Q. If our coverage denial is challenged, will Citizens handle the litigation to

conclusion and indemnify GAB? If a Bad faith action is filed against GAB for our

coverage denial, will Citizens defend and indemnify GAB?

A. The level of indemnification and Citizens’ duty to defend, would depend on the

level of negligence (culpability) of the vendor/claims administrator

If you haven’t already- read our Guest Blog entry from last week with CPLIC recommending YOU as the adjuster carry your own E and O which was also recommended in a Roughnotes.com E and O article posted in that blog. Based on the Q & A above- it sure doesn’t sound like you can plan on Citizens supporting you on a claim with 100% confidence! Here is a link to that blog here.

Here are links to prior blog entries on Citizens:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/hot-topic-for-independent-adjusters-opportunities-to-work-citizens-insurance-of-fl-claims/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/update-on-citizen-fl-training-direct-from-citizens/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/enough-is-enough-citizens-fl-claim-reserve-problem-to-the-tune-of-300-million/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/citizens-of-fl-adds-46th-adjusting-firm-tornado-damage-in-pensacola-fl/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/30/who-moved-my-claims-cheesedealing-with-change-in-the-insurance-adjusting-community/

This is also a link to the TAG for WordPress- Citizens FL which also includes some other blogs I”ve written that included references to Citizens:

http://wordpress.com/tag/citizens-insurance-of-fl/

*********

We also just got word from Eric Gilkey of Claims Magazine that they too have done a breaking news story on this issue today. I’ve located it for you here:( he has the best way of summarizing things and you have to love the title about leaving firms at the altar)!

http://www.claimsmag.com/cms/Claims/Breaking%20News/2008/02/13-Citizens%20Leaves%20Independents%20at%20the%20Alter

I apologize for the Font size problems on this blog post but for some reason the Font size tool isn’t showing in the system today so the copy paste entries from various reports are posting funny. The information is more important than worrrying about delaying this blog post for “pretty” work!

If you too are concerned and want to play an active role in waking up the Citizens Task Force on Claim Handling to the plight of the Independents (especially when they report they are counting on over 6,000 of you on the catastrophe side from the 46 adjusting firms), here is a link to the Task Force committee members. If you don’t want to write your own letter, feel free to attach a link to this post and simply say ” I AGREE YOU NEED TO LOOK INTO THIS” . I’ve also copied the email address from their site to two of their liasons that you can also ask to forward an email to the members:

http://taskforceoncitizensclaimshandling.org/tfm.htm

For staff support and assistance, please contact:

 Staff Director Vicki A. Twogood, CPM
Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate, Dept. of Financial Services
850-413-2970
Vicki.twogood@fldfs.com

Gloria M. Strickland
Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate, Dept. of Financial Services
850-413-2862
Gloria.strickland@fldfs.com


Errors and Omissions Coverage- Guest Bloggers- Dale Moore and Michael Hale for CPLIC

February 8, 2008

We’d like to thank Dale Moore, Client Relations Director and Michael Hale, President of CPLIC at www.cplic.net for providing answers to initial E & O questions posed by members at ClaimSmentor which we share with our blog readers as well today. Please feel free to pose additional questions in reply to this blog posting and we’ll get Dale to answer them in reply to this guest blog entry!

1)    Question:  Is Errors and Omissions (E & O) occurrence based?  Does it only cover what happens during the policy period?

Answer:  A few companies do offer E & O on an occurrence form but most professional liability insurance, of which E & O is a part, is written on a claims made basis and has been since around 1985.  On a claims made policy you can purchase retrospective coverage back for as long as you have been continuously insured.  Since this cost money you should look at the statue of limitations where you do your work and buy what you need.  Then as long as the inspection that you made or the event occurs that brings about a claim is within the retrospective period and you report to your carrier as soon as the claim is made against you, coverage at the time of your report would apply.

 2)    Question:  How long should the policy be kept in effect to cover one?

Answer:  The coverage should be in effect when you first start handling claims and should remain in effect by annual renewals until you retire or leave the business.  Most companies will offer you a one, two or three year extended reporting period after you cease handling claims for any reason which will apply to any claims brought against you during that time as long as the error occurred before you elected to start that extension. 

3)    Question:  What are the normal limits of Liability?

Answer:  Most companies offer limits from $500,000 to $5,000,000.  Most adjusters buy limits that are required by their clients as they do not have those size assets to protect. 

4)    Question:  What are minimum and maximum limits?

Answer:  A few companies will insure you for limits lower than $500,000, say $100,000 or $250,000 but not many above $5,000,000.  To obtain limits above you would buy an excess policy. 

5)    Question:  Do the different states regulate E & O?

Answer:  If you insure with a traditional insurance company that is admitted in the state that you do business then your state would regulate that insurance company.  Increasingly, adjusters are choosing to belong to and be insured by the only Risk Retention Group specifically created for adjusters. As a Risk Retention Group it is regulated by the state of domicile and registered in all other states. 

6)    Question:  What are the policies for Florida?

Answer:  Many of the traditional insurance companies would use the ISO forms to support their policies.  Some of the surplus lines companies may use some type of manuscript.  Claim Professionals Liability Insurance Company, RRG uses a manuscript policy written specifically for independent claim professionals and it may be viewed at www.cplic.net by clicking on the bar for policy.

 7)    Question:  If I already have E & O and work a storm for a company that offers E & O, what happens then?

Answer:  Your E & O is to protect you.  The company you are working for may also have a program that will protect you but you will have to see and read their actual policy to be sure.  However, their policy would not normally protect you from claims brought by them against you.  You are always better protected to have coverage specifically in your name.

 8)    Question:  Are attorney fees and court costs covered by E & O?

Answer:  A primary policy would cover defense costs if the claim against you is covered.  Defense costs would include both.

 9)    Question:  Are costs to travel to a different jurisdiction for depositions or court appearances covered?

Answer:  When your insurance company instructs you to travel that cost is generally covered; however, your lost income is not generally covered.  You will have to look at the specific language to be sure.  

10)    Question:  Is E & O higher when you are new and does it go down with experience?     

Answer:  The basis for charging for the coverage is generally the revenue you produce.  Therefore, your premium will generally increase as you become more productive.

 *******************

Note that we also think this article  from Sept 2007 which includes quotes by another CPLIC representative to be excellent info on E and O as well over at the Roughnotes.com site:

http://www.roughnotes.com/imp_cybercast/Archives/v004_September2007/index.htm

Direct contact information for Dale if you are more comfortable directly contacting them is: 

 

Dale Moore, CIC
Director Client Services
CPLIC, RRG & Carter Claims
17742 Irvine Blvd., Ste 102
Tustin, CA 92780
Tel: 877-572-7542
Fax: 714-731-4605
www.cplic.net
**************
CPLIC is endorsed by both the National Assn of Independent Insurance Adjusters (NAIIA) and the National Assn of Catastrophe Adjusters (NACA) based on information on both of their websites.
There is also informative information found on the Claim Professional Liability Insurance Company (CPLIC) website.
Here is also a link to their E & O survey application form found on their website.
http://www.cplic.net/Short_App.pdf
***********************************
Again, feel free to post your additional questions on E & O by replying below or in the ongoing topic at ClaimSmentor for replies by CPLIC. We’ll be sure to get the links to your additional questions to them for a response.
I’ll start off the first additional questions I’ve recently received below:
**********************
1) What should an adjuster ask the adjusting firm for IF they are going to use their E & O carrier for coverage? At minimum, I would think they should get the carrier appropriate information such as policy number and limits and contact information. How about the coverage forms? Do you know if this is normally supplied by the Adjusting firms?
2) You mentioned the limits available. What do you recommend as a minimum for adjusters?
3) Is it hard for a new adjuster to be approved with no experience for E & O coverage?
4) What are some of the common reasons for claims…i.e..mistakes of adjusters/adjusting firms that bring forth claims under their policies?
5) Do attorney fees/ court costs mentioned in your Q & A reduce the E & O limits to pay a claim?
6) What are common exclusions on an E & O policy and typical reasons besides non payment for cancellation of an E & O policy?
7) Do needs differ for catastrophe adjusters who travel nationwide vs a daily adjuster working claims in a fixed territory?
8) Given the large number of adjusters named in lawsuits after Katrina, have you seen a large increase in E & O claims since 05 creating a need for higher limits and a definite higher priority that adjusters carry their own individual E & O policy?
9) If an adjuster does carry their own E & O policy and they are covered on an adjusting firms E &O, what is a typical “other” insurance clause as to which policy would be primary?
10) Should an adjuster work claims for multiple adjusting firms, would that change their coverage needs?
**********************************************
Stayed tuned for E & O Part II when we get responses to the 10 new questions we’ve received!

 


McKinsey Allstate Documents continue to be requested…why did FL Ins Comm McCarty want them in 2008?

February 8, 2008

 Why are we still talking about the McKinsey documents prepared for Allstate back in 1995?

Adjusters need to stay abreast of current issues in the news as issues such as these are constantly in the news and insureds, public adjusters, and attorneys constantly bring up these issues while you are out there in the field handling claims. You need to understand these hot topics to deal with the constant comments from the public. As staff employees, it’s amazing how little the insiders handling these claims are told about what is going on. A typical scenario might involve a very brief “talking points” type corporate email advising of an upcoming press release so they can be prepared for questions a day or moments before the press release goes out but day-to- day, claims folks hear very little about ongoing current litigation on files. The internet has done much- especially with blogs and forums- to reveal court documents and news articles we rarely would have seen years ago at the regional claim management or adjuster level. Even today, speaking with former co-workers/management associates and adjusters alike, I’m amazed that they are not aware of current issues at all in many cases. If it is this difficult for staff claim employees to know, how are independent adjusters to be aware of current issues they will have thrown at them in the field?

Checking regularly the websites of many independent adjusting firms, they may have news reels going to some of the major news sites but rarely is anything published on their websites with details and court documents,etc… I continue to be amazed at the lack of information available for adjusters and try to provide links to important documents that they would care to know about if they had the time to do all of this constant research. How are adjusters to improve their claim file quality without a better understanding of what is happening in claim litigation? There is much to be desired about the current events education needed for insurance adjusters and claim managers out here. The majority of court documents on high profile claim lawsuits these days is coming from blogs and the press articles covering some of the major issues, not from the carriers or in claim training classes independents are attending.

If you are not familiar with the Allstate McKinsey documents issues, here are links to some links to many summaries by various law firms that explain them to bring you up to speed on the issue. They have even been the subject of a book as Merlin’s blog points out.

Although these documents were allegedly produced by McKinsey for Allstate back in 1995- they continue to come up repeatedly in lawsuits involving claims for Allstate and most recently that I am aware of during the FL Insurance carrier rate hearings in January and February of 2008. I find this particularly interesting that Fl Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty jumps right into asking Allstate during the rate hearing atleast 3 times if I count correctly about production of the McKinsey documents. Recent news stories indicate that Allstate has begun to produce them. Allstate during the hearing- prior to production (if they have in fact supplied them or in the process of doing so) was looking for assurances they would not be turned over into others hands. When you read the link below to the hearing transcript, note where McCarty seems to be using the fact Allstate is being fined by the MO Insurance Dept for not turning over the documents….seems to me he was using that fact as an example of why he thought Allstate was delaying submitting documents to the FL committee?

I’m curious about this since McCarty has now been named as the 2008 Committee chair for the Property and Casualty committee for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). I’ve written to Attorney David Rossmiller who had previously written three blog entries over on his blog to see if he can provide some opinion as to why these are being requested at the rate hearing. From reading the January and February 2008 blogs over at the Merlin Law Group blog, it possibly has to do with asking for higher rates after allegedly low balling claim settlements. Is it more to do with the fact he is over the Property committee for NAIC? You review these current activities and you decide. Personally, I think that they will become subject of even more Insurance Dept inquiries with McCarty’s new position. They are the subject of inquiries in NM, KY, MO, CO, and FL in recent years also though either lawsuits on claim files or insurance department inquiries. To anyone in claims- especially catastrophe adjusters- asking for 10 year old plus documents is inconceivable when you consider that things on catastrophe assignments can change as often as hourly as far as carrier guidelines for adjusters. Your lucky if your closed file can hit the closed basket and management review before estimating or file handling guidelines have changed!

Should Rossmiller find time to review the links I sent him and provide some clarity to the recent activities, I’ll provide an update and link to the new blog as an update to this topic.

According to this Merlin Law Group article, Allstate is paying fines in MO and CO for NOT turning over the McKinsey group documents for a substantial amount of fines:

http://merlinlawgroup.wordpress.com/2008/01/19/states-seek-mckinsey-reports/

Merlin also wrote two other recent blogs on the McKinsey reports and the hearing here:

http://merlinlawgroup.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/66/

http://merlinlawgroup.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/allstate-testifies-today/

Regarding the NAIC committee, here is the NAIC press release on McCarty and other committee chair announcements:

http://www.naic.org/Releases/2008_docs/2008_committee_leadership.htm

Here is a recent blog from the Charlotte Injury board reporting that Allstate is now producing the McKinsey documents to the Florida rate review committee:

http://http://charlottesville.injuryboard.com/defective-products/allstate-finally-begins-handing-over-important-mckinsey-documents-to-florida.php?googleid=14809

In this 2007 case in KY, Rossmiller writes about Allstate’s win in this case that involved the McKinsey documents:

http://www.insurancecoverageblog.com/archives/bad-faith-mckinsey-documents-smoking-gun-or-blowing-smoke.html  

Here us a link to Rossmiller’s list of McKinsey document blogs:

http://www.insurancecoverageblog.com/admin/search?IncludeBlogs=20&search=McKinsey+documents&Search.x=13&Search.y=4

Here is the link to the FL Allstate rate hearing transcript (initial hearing that drove McCarty to trying to suspend Allstates writing of new business):

http://www.flsenate.gov/data/committees/Senate/meeting_packets/spa.pdf

Thus far, the FL Senate recommendations have not again mentioned the McKinsey documents and I have not seen a link to the 2nd Allstate hearing this past Monday and will post when I do locate it on one of the blogs if it again brings up the McKinsey documents they were to produce like the first hearing did.

I expect we’ll be hearing much more this year in new cases about requests for the documents in spite of the KY win for Allstate linked to above.

So….what are your thoughts on the McCarty connection and request during the hearing? Interesting to say the least!


State Farm vs MS AG Hood Criminal Investigation case dismissed today per agreement reached on 2/6/08

February 7, 2008

The Sun Herald/AP breaking news story received late this evening in an alert indicates Hood and State Farm resolved their case late today.

You will recall this is the same case that Scruggs was called on for his deposition earlier this week. According to many other news reports out this week, Kerri Rigsby also received a subpeona to appear at this week’s court hearing.

Here’s the link to the breaking Sun Herald/AP article received with more news to follow as it sounds like more details will follow tomorrow:

http://www.sunherald.com/news/breaking_news/v-print/story/352391.html

Here is a similar but shorter news story over at the Clarion Ledger:

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS/80206063

David Rossmiller at the Insurance Coverage blog has been providing great updates this week on the case at The Insurance Coverage blog  as well some interesting comments and even a LIVE blogger in the court room today over at the FOLO blog at www.folo.wordpress.com.

More on this development tomorrow 2/7 as announcements and details are located.

Update 1:45 AM- Looks like Rossmiller’s been up all night as well and leave it to him to post this informative yet humorous update to yesterday’s events and possible resolution of this case:

http://www.insurancecoverageblog.com/archives/industry-developments-third-update-state-farm-v-hood.html

Update- 9:30 am 2/7/08- Folo comments indicate the court is back on at 10 or 10:30 am this morning so we’re watching for the court announcements on many sites

http://folo.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/state-farm-v-hood-deal-or-no-deal-by-nmc/#comments


Update 12:05pm 2/7-

Here is another Sun Herald article announcing the dismissal and the case under seal. Make sure to note the info in this news story about another case pending between Hood and State Farm on a civil case in another MS county though- only the Criminal investigation suit is dismissed according to this article:

http://www.sunherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/355138.html

 Update 9:15 pm 2/7:

Rossmiller has the dismissal order up here:

http://www.insurancecoverageblog.com/State%20Farm%20v.%20Hood,%20order%20sending%20case.pdf

Update 2/8/08: The settlement may be sealed but they now have the hearing transcript of 2/6 and 2/7 up on Rossmiller’s blog:

http://www.insurancecoverageblog.com/State%20Farm%20v.%20Hood%20transcript%20of%20February%206-7%20hearing.pdf

I’ll blog on that hopefully by Monday after taking 4 hours to read it this evening. Anyone in claims will be totally amazed (digusted?) at Hood’s testimony at the hearing. His figures about EA Renfroe handling 85% of the carriers claims, his testimony that he was trying to force the carrier to no longer use their anti concurrent cause exclusion in the agreement, admissions that the initial subpeona on the 1st criminal investigation had included requests for production also of the NFIP files,etc….no wonder this thing settled so quickly. He looks pretty bad across the board in his testimony and also lacked MUCH knowledge for someone called to testify before congressional hearings yet admitting in his testimony he knew little about flood policies. I could go on for hours but it’s Friday night. More on this later but I wanted to get it posted for any of you wanting the latest updates.

**Update 2/11/08- It appears I’m not the only one thoroughly disgusted about Hood’s testimony last week. You’ll just have to run over to the Insurance Coverage blog and read Rossmiller’s detailed evaluation ..you’ll love this “stupid T shirt” comments..I’m still smiing. (look at 2/11/08 posting)


Storms in TN, KY, AK, AL, IN, MO, MS of 2/5/08- Adjuster Information on Emergency Licensing and Damage

February 6, 2008

We are already receiving reports of adjusters deploying to the February 5, 2008 storms. We are providing some information to assist you in assessing damage and claim potential as well as for emergency adjuster licensing issues. You will also find some other interesting developments from 2006 and 2007 posted below that may come up while out on assignment:

Adjuster Licensing/ Insurance Carrier- Adjusting Firm emergency licensing forms

AL

AL emergency adjuster license form:

http://www.aldoi.gov/PDF/Licensing/EmergencyAdjustersApp.pdf

Here is current 2/08 info about AL- interesting info about the passes and that they will overnight them. This is an online form and looks like it must be completed by the company to register an emergency adjuster

http://www.aldoi.gov/Licensing/EmergAdjustForm.aspx

AK:

http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/License/forms.htm

http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/License/LicenseFormfiles/adjuster_application.pdf

KY:

KY Adjusters license application info- for resident and non resident- see info on the pdf about emergency adjusters/90 days info: (this is last update from June 2007)

http://doi.ppr.ky.gov/kentucky/Documents/Agent/AdjusterApprenticeAdj06072007.pdf

Here is more info on Ky emergency adjusters on this form for companies sending in emergency adjusters:

http://doi.ppr.ky.gov/kentucky/Documents/Agent/catloss83071104REV05272005.pdf

MS

Links to applying for MS license:

On-line License Applications

MS first-time licenses or reinstatements available through Sircon as of Jan. 1, 2007

Go to http://www.sircon.com/Mississippi  “Apply for a License”

Agents/Producers

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/licensing/update.html

Test scores for residents

The Mississippi Insurance Department now has the capability to receive test scores electronically for resident agents/producers. The Testing Service submits the test scores to Sircon on a daily basis. As a result, resident applicants for first-time Life & Health, Property & Casualty and Adjuster licenses are no longer required to submit test scores with their applications. Our processors will verify the test results upon receiving the application, license fee and pre-licensing certificate.

Note that this link had some emergency PA rules too but MS has a new Ins commissioner so no telling how this will all pan out these storms:

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/bulletins/20067bull.PDF

Info on MS Emergency adjusters licenses is found in this former bulletin on emergency adjusters in MS during Katrina:

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/bulletins/20067bull.PDF

which says in part that Ms Code 83-17-409 authorizes emergency adjuster authorization by the state

I’m curious if this bulletin on PA’s in MS which expired in May 2007 will be renewed:

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/bulletins/20058bull.PDF


TN:

New Public Adjuster Regs in 07:

TN new Public Adjuster licensing provisions that were in effect in 2007:

http://tennessee.gov/commerce/insurance/documents/PublicAdjusterLicPkt052107.pdf

TN Insurance Division – can’t find any info on state license or emergency licenses for adjusters- it’s my understanding resident adjusters are not licensed here but you will want to verify that before coming yourself since I am not familiar with emergency licensing standards here and nothing posted on their site:

http://www.state.tn.us/commerce/insurance/index.html

Miscellaneous Info adjusters might need/be interested in:

MS- See this bulletin about Auto total loss claims bulletin found on DOI site:

Bulletin from 6-07 about sales tax and license fees if a carrier totals an auto on a loss which says a carrier has not made an insured whole if they do not include tthese fees for title, sales tax and license fees:

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/bulletins/20074bull.PDF


 

TN- see note above on new PA licenses required in case you must deal with a PA there

Also – interesting problem contractor listing found on the TN state consumer division site updated 1/31/08:

TN – Problem Contractor listing for Contractors who have failed to respond to complaints in case any of you run into them: (list of 1/31/08 found on Consumer Affairs site on Tn site

http://www.state.tn.us/consumer/documents/ProblemContractorsList.pdf

TN Building Code info – an update from TN Dept of Ins of 1/25/08 some of you may need to be aware of if working TN storm claims:

http://www.state.tn.us/commerce/documents/pr2008EmergencyRules_01252008.pdf


Storm Reports:


NOAA Storm reports over 60 tornado reports yesterday and over 100 hail damage reports:

Here is the NOAA Storm reports link for yesterday to check back for updates for those of you new in claims that don’t have this link:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/yesterday.html

Last 3 hours reports more tornados in AL and TN:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/last3hours.html

Here is the one cumulative called TODAY’s reports (note the ones above in the last 3 hours aren’t showing up yet on the site:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/today.html

Photo Galleries of Storm Damage you might want to view:

Photo gallery of damage in Jackson,TN:

http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=DQ&Dato=20080205&Kategori=PHOTOGALLERIES01&Lopenr=802060801&Ref=PH

Gallery of photos posted at the Tennessean (Nashville) on damage throughout the state:

http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=DN&Dato=20080206&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=802060802&Ref=PH

News reports of the dead and destruction: 

Here is  a sampling of damage reports around the states from last night and this morning reporting 44 deaths and numerous injuries as well as much damage. The initial news reports here in TN were indicating 4 states involved but the NOAA reports show many others suffered hail damage as well like IN, MO, TX:

Some early reports indicating 31 dead:

http://gulfcoast.cox.net/cci/newsnational/national?_mode=view&_state=maximized&view=article&id=D8UKQ7681&_action=validatearticle

5 dead in Sumner Co, TN:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS/80206008

Reports of 3 dead in Shelby/Memphis TN:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS/80206012

Madison/Jackson,TN damage:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS/80206014

4 killed/20 injured- Madison/Jackson:

http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS01/802060331/1002

Arkansas- 13 dead/damage in 9 counties:
http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2008/feb/06/tornadoes-rip-state-kill-8/?news/arkansas

An earlier report out of Arkansas:

http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2008/feb/05/severe-thunderstorms-were-forecast-arkansas-tuesda/?news/arkansas

4 deaths reported in AL this am:

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2008/02/at_least_two_dead_in_storms_in.html


I’m sure by the time this blog is reported these numbers have risen. Our prayers go out to all damaged communities and families who have suffered losses. We also pray for the safety of all adjusters reporting to these storms. It is most difficult to work losses with these numbers of fatalities involved.

For those of you who are members at ClaimSmentor, we’ll post additional claim stats on the damage in our Storms Forum.

Don’t forget there is also a roster by state of residence of participating adjusters which now includes hundreds of experienced adjusters with their resumes uploaded which participating adjuster firms can use at no charge (it also indicates if the adjuster has uploaded their resume as well as their experience level directly on the state alpha list).

We are also available 24/7 to assist with any carrier or adjusting firm staffing needs. There is a charge for our services. Note our new office number now that we have relocated to TN is 615-435-4177 or Cell 850-496-7831 if you need additional staffing assistance.


Luck…Where Preparation Meets Opportunity- Published 2/08 in Claims Education Magazine

February 5, 2008

Here is my article published by Claims Education Magazine in the February 2008 Edition. Eric Gilkey advises that there is not an online version of this magazine produced by National Underwriter’s on a Quarterly basis ( a supplement to Claims Magazine monthly issues). I really appreciate Eric inviting me to contribute to the February issue. The article follows:

Luck: Where

Preparation Meets

Opportunity

 

By Deborah K Moroy, AIC, IIA

he New Year is only weeks behind us: A time of reflection on our lives and the choices we have made which lie behind us and the future at our doorstep with many new forks in the road and new decisions to make regarding our future careers.

 

So what is your chosen preference when making those life altering decisions in your claims career? Will you leave your fate to a game of chance, of lucky breaks and opportunities? Do you prefer a more effective planned approach to advancing your career with your present employer or gaining new positions through effective planning?

 

It is truly amazing that the more you plan, prepare, and proactively participate in both formal and informal career enhancing opportunities the luckier you get! A favorite quote of mine via an unknown author is “Luck: where preparation meets opportunity.” This has stuck with me throughout my career in claims as I watched this come true time and time again in the lives of fellow adjusters and managers. Today, through my online volunteer project with ClaimSmentor , I have constant interaction with both experienced and inexperienced adjusters and claim managers and the findings haven’t changed. Those putting their best preparation foot forward are the same individuals with all the luck! Sure there may be those rare occasions where the “who you know is more important that what you know,” but those gems are few and far between.

 

What can you be doing to turn your luck around? Prepare. It’s that simple. Apply yourself to the many opportunities available for gathering educational achievements, for obtaining a mentor, for completing continuing education that is important to adjusting firm owners and, more importantly, to the insurance carriers they serve.

 

Other steps necessary if you are truly going to make a difference in your career success this year include removing excuses, planning a path to remove obstacles in your way that have stopped you from achieving your dreams in the past, assessing what courses and job opportunities are out there and what requirements they include, and being determined to make 2008 your lucky year. We all have issues, both minor and major, which stand in our way if we let them. It’s those folks who overcome these issues who succeed.

 

I am one of the fortunate folks who had a father with a strong commitment to education and overcoming all odds, who supported me and my career goals. Every time life got in the way and I wanted to quit college where I attended night school as a single parent while holding down a full-time claim adjuster position, he encouraged me to go one more quarter. He walked the talk himself by beginning a military career in the Navy at the lowest entry level seaman position, retiring 35 years later as a commander. Was it luck that got him that far? Hardly! With a growing family of eight children, the death of one of our siblings during those years, and many military deployments, including Vietnam, he struggled through the hard times, not only achieving his Bachelor’s but also a Master degree, all of which sure made him one lucky man as he progressed up the ranks. Following his lead, I had the same results during my 28-year career with a major carrier, progressing from a mail and file clerk up 16 positions to my last position as a National Catastrophe Claim Team Leader, all due to making continuing education an ongoing priority in my life. I watched this same “luck” as my daughter, at age 24, marched across the stage, graduating number one in her law school class of 500. She had major obstacles and three children less than five years of age to boot! Yes, her friends also told her she was “lucky” to be earning such a great salary.

 

You will run in to other adjusters who tell you obtaining your college degree is not necessary. While this may be partially true for those pursuing careers as independent adjusters, it is not so true should you be interested in a more stable position as a staff adjuster or claim manager. The majority of carriers in the property and casualty industry still require a degree to even get your foot in the door. This is only the beginning. Carriers also expect adjusters and claim managers to be very proactive in continuing education, not only to meet minimum state insurance department continuing education requirements, but also to take what they consider substantial courses, especially through the American Insurance Institute, such as obtaining your Associates in Claims Designation (AIC) or your Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)  designations. These are the most highly coveted designations and requirements to progress up the corporate ladder in the claim-handling industry.  So don’t let others who are not making the decisions about your career persuade you not to take educational steps that are required to progress in this industry.

 

Look for opportunities to kill two birds with one stone. For example, the Associates in Claims program through the Insurance Institute at http://www.aicpcu.org not only provides you with the AIC designation, but also the opportunity to obtain college credits at the same time. To learn all about this important program that provides you with a good overall background about claims, you can view the program specifics at http://www.aicpcu.org/flyers/aic.htm.  The institute has programs for national college credit through the Academic Credit Recommendations through the American Council on Education (ACE) program. Here is a chart of the semester hour credit recommendations for your undergraduate and graduate degree programs found at:  http://www.aicpcu.org/doc/ace.pdf . They also have a good list of accredited universities they have formed partnerships with for applying your credits towards your degree found at http://www.aicpcu.org/Students/ace.htm.

 

Better yet, do you realize that the majority of carriers and most employers provide funds to overcome the obstacle of affordability by either paying for these courses in advance or reimbursing you upon successful completion of a course or designation? Another great advantage is the fact you can self study for these programs, which allows you substantial more time with your friends and family while at the same time achieving these important claim designations so you too can become one of the lucky ones!

 

What other formal opportunities should you be taking part in so you  can meet opportunities? In addition to obtaining your degree and your AIC or CPCU designations, many experienced claim professionals are members of SCLA, The Society of Claim Law Associates, obtaining their SCLA designation. You can learn more about this valuable program at http://www.sclasociety.org/. My personal experience is that more carriers request the CPCU designation versus the SCLA, but the SCLA is most definitely an impressive qualification to obtain to increase your odds of successful employment and advancement opportunities.

 

Be sure you are investing your time and your budget into designations such as these that will get you the recognition you deserve. You’ll hear of many others in the industry but those listed above are the most coveted by human resource personnel looking for strong candidates for current opportunities. We’ve watched hundreds of adjusters using their entire budget attending independent adjusting firm yearly conferences. These are valuable for networking opportunities and enhancing your technical skills for estimating programs and carrier required certifications, but they do not substitute when applying for a job that requires first your adjuster’s license and your college degree.

 

I had the opportunity to recently review the deposition of an adjusting firm owner given in a Katrina lawsuit. It was interesting to note their criteria for determining those independents deployable, which included in the following order their preference. First and foremost was those independents meeting the qualifications (time, certifications for the carrier, experience level, skills) then came seniority and last, availability. Qualifications was first on the list, as it is in all cases. I didn’t see luck on the list anywhere although they did mention that those meeting the qualifications and referred by others they deploy were also considered. The “who you know” didn’t matter if you first did not meet the qualifications.

 

There are outstanding informal opportunities to also improve your odds. An interesting article I read recently even mentions taking up golf due to the excellent friendships and networking opportunities provided. Any adjuster reviewing claim conference agendas, whether at a large conference or a vendor seminar, will see they always include a golf outing.

 

We strongly recommend memberships in your local claim association. You will find invaluable opportunities to meet claim managers and other adjusters in your local community who have the inside track on current opportunities in your area. These associations also are an excellent source for obtaining your continuing education credits required by your state licensing bureau. For a complete list of claim associations, you can find one near you on this link at http://www.claimspages.com/data/associations.asp.

Consider attendance at the some or all of the following important claim conventions for outstanding informal opportunities to meet others in the industry while at the same time achieving educational objectives for state CE credits:

 

K   Florida Windstorm conference: http://www.windnetwork.com

K   ACE annual convention: cms.nationalunderwriter.com/cms/ace/website/About+the+Event/

K   National Catastrophe Adjusters:  http://www.nacatadj.org/Convention08/Conv08TopPage.aspx

K   PLRB  Conferences:  http://www.claimsconf.org/

K   NAIIA National Assn. of Independent Adjusters: http://www.naiia.com/evitem.cfm?ID=788

K   III Institute Claims Education Conference: claimseducationconference.com/2008/.

 

Most importantly, be sure to tie your accomplishments adequately into the information provided in your resume. During the course of interviews with many candidates, we are able to secure many valuable facts regarding their background we had no idea about based on their resume document. It is significant that you include all information outlining your accomplishments and the types of claims you have experience handling. Don’t assume anything. It is important that you spell out the assignments you have had, the carriers you have worked for, the carriers you have obtained claim certifications for, the estimating programs you are capable of using, the specifics on the types of claims you have handled, such as residential, commercial, inland marine, steep/two story, manufactured homes, small retail and business, condominium, and automobile losses. If you don’t tell them, you may be quickly overlooked for a “luckier” adjuster who was more thorough providing information regarding their background and what they could bring to the table.

 

So what will you do with 2008? Sit back and let luck and fate have it’s way with your claim-handling career, or will you too make a commitment to yourself to be more proactive in making your preparation make you the “lucky “ one selected for the next opportunity you are interested in being considered for?  

Deborah Moroy , AIC, IIA, is president of Dimechimes Corp., a nationwide claim staffing and recruiting company for independent adjusting firms and insurance carriers. She can be reached at 850-502-4261, Dkmoroy@dimechimes.com.

 

**********

If you are interested in subscribing to the Claims Education magazine, feel free to contact Eric Gilkey- the Managing Editor- his login id is EGilkey or his direct email is egilkey@NUCO.com. Eric- should there be a preferred method of subscribing, please post below. Thank you AGAIN Eric! Deb

For links to our other previously published articles click here:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/about/

Thank you all for your patience as I’ve been absent from blog entries due to a 2nd round of operations on my daughter due to the recurrence of her tumor. Blogs should be back on track regularly we hope from now on. We appreciate all of the prayers for her rapid recovery.