Next 40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class ONLINE-begins April 7, 2008

March 29, 2008

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We will begin our next 40 hour ONLINE Fundamentals of Claims class to be held on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6-9pm CST at ClaimSmentor on Monday April 7, 2008 through May 1, 2008.

This is 24 hours of online  LIVE instruction and 16 hours of pre-class reading material on general insurance carrier requirements for Property claim assignment handling. We touch on Additional Living Expense training and worksheets, Contents Claim handling and contents estimating software and depreciation, jewelry losses, common contents claim limits and coverage issues, estimate reconciliation issues, dealing with attorneys and public adjusters, coverage claim handling, complaint resolution handling, insurance department complaint handling, carrier/adjuster codes of conduct and ethics expectations, independent contracts and things to watch for when signing on with a new adjusting firm, and the favorite portion of the class is always our mock disaster assignment where you learn about agency relationships and carrier management expectations of you as well as  fee bill samples and discussions regarding the various fee billing types you may be asked to work under so you understand what benefits YOU as the adjuster the most. We close the class out with file requirement/documentation requirements and open question and answer sessions so trainees feel welcome to ask questions as they are in all classes. Much more is covered as well as numerous claim current events you need to be aware of before dealing with the public this storm season.

New adjusters often make the mistake of thinking obtaining  an adjuster’s license and an estimatic class is all that is necessary to go out on catastrophe or to begin handling claims. That is only a very small portion of what is necessary before you should EVER consider accepting assignments. One only has to view many of the lawsuits against adjuster’s and adjusting firms that have taken place in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to understand it is more important now than ever to have a much more indepth understanding of claim file handling PRIOR to going out on claims. The consequences for unprofessional claim handling are higher now than ever and it’s most important you obtain as much detail and understanding as you can before you accept assignments.

This course can be taken alone or in conjunction with our Career Coaching services where we personalize your resume customized for a new claims career as well as a detailed review of your background and assess your best possibilities for gainful employment in the claims industry according to your educational background. We include a roadmap to success by goal setting outlining courses you need, certifications that are a must, and other things you personally need to do to fill missing gaps to get you noticed by adjusting firms and carriers as well during our career coaching session. Just email us if you are interested in individual career coaching along with the class to maximize your future career potential. (Contact info found on About page on this blog)

If you are not a member of ClaimSmentor, you are welcome to register and join us for this next class if you are an independent or staff adjuster trainee or fairly new adjuster looking for more in depth training.  (Registration info found on About us page on this blog)


Cori Rigsby January 2008 Deposition- Hoped to Remain Anonymous -Let’s Compare

March 29, 2008

Attorney David Rossmiller  has posted a newer January 2008 deposition for Cori Rigsby taken after her loss of income from the Katrina Scruggs Group (now Katrina Litigation Group).

This should provide interesting weekend reading and comparision to an earlier deposition we’d posted taken in November prior to Scruggs indictment and all the events which have taken place. At the time of the earlier deposition, they were still being paid going into their second year.

I’ll post any interesting comparisons between the two if there are any major discrepancies between the two. See Rossmiller’s 3/28/2008 post (click here) for his comments regarding her January 08 testimony that she hoped to remain anonymous (hard to believe when her earlier deposition said she reported it to State Farm the day after the data dump weekend…also consider the number of associates they brought in to help with the data dump weekend). Here is a link to our prior blog on Rigsby’s earlier deposition if you want to read both for yourself to compare the two. Wouldn’t it be great to have a copy of ALL of the depositions they both have given (Kerri and Cori) and compare the details of ALL of the depositions? I’d volunteer my time to compare them all if anyone has links to all of them for viewing. There remains a big question as I believe Rossmiller points out as to when they began their relationship with Scruggs- December 2005 or February 2006 as they testified to although this differs with other info available. That would be a major development if they pin down the fact they have provided inaccurate information on the initial meeting dates as many suspect (two additional months of their access to files and documenting their allegations?)

So what do you think about this more current deposition? As an adjuster or adjusting firm, are you glad to see these whistleblowing sisters have lost their income they were getting at a time that many experienced claim adjusters and managers were without income after no major storms in 06/07 while the Rigsby’s were drawing 150K for little to no work as they testified to in earlier depositions? Do you agree or disagree with Rossmiller’s guess that the Rigsby’s careers are “radioactive” in the independent adjusting or staff adjusting/management field? How about as public adjusters should they make a decision to flip if they cannot get employment again on the independent/staff side of claims?


Dickie Scruggs- Navy Fighter Pilot? Carl Horowitz article about Scruggs Career Up in Smoke

March 29, 2008

I ran across this article today by Carl Horowitz– very colorful by the way- summarizing the Dickie Scruggs saga and fall from grace. It’s an excellent detailed summary. I was very disappointed to read about his history as a Naval fighter pilot which I wasn’t aware of. I’m curious if anyone knows if he did 20 years in the Navy and if so if his military retirement and medical benefits would be jeopardized by the felony he’s pled guilty to? This article was written pre- son Zach Scruggs pleading guilty in the case but is still an outstanding summary of major litigation in the Scruggs law firm history.

Many of you who are members over at ClaimSmentor know that this mentoring project was started and dedicated in honor and memory of my mentor and best friend, my dad who served proudly for 35 years in the Navy as an aviation maintenance officer- AIMD- and I hate to think that anyone with a similar background and training could have done what Scruggs has plead guilty to. Here’s a link to the ClaimSmentor ABOUT US  page dedicating the project in my father’s honor if you aren’t aware of that.

Please comment if you know more about the number of years Scruggs served in the Navy and if it was 20 years if his retirement would be withheld as a result of this conviction (the loss of the income would be minor to Scruggs I’m sure but it’s the honor of it all I’m curious about). I’ve read alot about his history as discussed in this article with Presidential candidate John McCain and wonder now if they met while serving in the Navy.


Branch Consultants Whistleblower Case- Appeal Filed on the Dismissed case

March 28, 2008

We had previously blogged about the Dismissal of the Whistleblower case filed by unknown adjusters under the Branch Consultants group. We have just located info over at FOLO that the Branch Consultant group has now filed an Appeal on the case. Here is a link to our former blog with all the details on this Whistleblower case alleging adjusters improperly filed claim damages under NFIP.

Here is a link to both the FOLO blog updating information on the Appeal and a link to the news article from yesterday over at www.nola.com with updated information on the appeal. We’ll provide a link to any additional news articles and to a pdf of the appeal filed as soon as we locate it.

Thank you all for your patience with the absence of new blogs recently as we finish the marathon of radiation treatments for my daughter’s tumor leading to my absence the past few weeks. We should finish up a week from today and are looking forward to a much improved recovery for her afterwards. We thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers as we deal with this.


Rigsby Whistleblower RICO case- Motion to Dismiss 3 of Insurance Carriers to Focus on State Farm

March 6, 2008

There have been more news stories and blogs covering all of the recent legal activity and investigations on Scruggs to the point it is impossible to keep up with blogging about them but I am still updating information on the Kerri Rigsby and Cori Rigsby whistleblower cases due to the high interest expressed in the activities on those claims and their actions.

We have viewed new articles alleging that the Rigsby’s in the RICO lawsuit alleging wrongdoing by multiple carriers has had new filings to drop carriers other than State Farm in RICO allegations/suit.

To find the updates on this new development, click on the links below:

Sun Herald March 5, 2008 story: click here

David Rossmiller at the Insurance Coverage blog 3/6/08 explains it all with humorous comments: click here 

Folo blog provides more info on the case and a good explanation of qui tam terms if you aren’t familiar with them: Click here

More on this case to follow along with the link on our prior blogs. This is an outstanding case for even new adjusters to follow as there are links to numerous adjuster file documents you can view to see real file samples. It’s been an excellent teaching tool for file samples for training new adjusters.

Adjusters interested in this whistleblower story may also be interested in viewing numerous documents about the 2006/2007 activity on the old OK tornado cases (1999) where State Farm executives were deposed and provided testimony in 06. The opposing counsel has posted all of their depositions which are quite interesting reading as they question their executives on Katrina claim issues. Especially take time to read the deposition of their Claim VP Susan Hood regarding use of independents and Haag Engineering. Here’s the link to that firm’s postings with the deposition links: Click here. She comments on the claim manager pleading the 5th and other interesting information to hear the carriers position on the Katrina claim file handling. I found it fascinating but will let you read it for yourself.

We’ll talk more about those links when I’ve completed reviewing them all myself and I will post additional information on the new dismissal motion as it becomes available.

Update 3:25 pm CST 3/6:

New Sun Herald story saying the 3 carriers they are asking to dismiss are Allstate, Nationwide, and USAA. Click here for the story


National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters Membership Drive to 3/15/08

March 6, 2008

The National Association of Catastrophe adjusters has changed their membership drive deadline to a new deadline of March 15, 2008 for new and experienced adjusters as well as adjusting firms wishing to join (prior deadline was this past November).

I’ve written about this organization before after becoming quite impressed with them while attending the 2006 yearly convention. I was quite pleased to find such a professional organization holding a meeting that was equal in value to annual carrier claim conventions with their professionalism, opportunities to obtain CE credits for adjusters and I note this coming year (Jan 09) they will offer the National Flood NFIP certification classes as well as the California Earthquake certification.

Here is a link to their membership information! Won’t you consider joining this very worthwhile group? By getting your application in prior to the March 15, 2008 deadline, you will have the opportunity once approved for membership to be in their 2008 directory.

Again we appreciate the 2007 President, Woody Britton, for letting us know about the extension of this year’s registration deadline. We also wish a very successful year to incoming 2008 President, Angelo Cassanese.