Adjusters- Read about Class Action lawsuit in OK on Overhead and Profit issues

April 2, 2008

The majority of adjusters on our rosters handle property versus auto claims or a combination of both thus I believe many of you would be interested in knowing about the Class Action lawsuit going on in OK against Farmers Insurance styled Burgess et al. v. Farmers Insurance Company, Inc. et al.

An excerpt taken from the Class Action website for this case says that:

This is the website for the Burgess et al. v. Farmers Insurance Company, Inc. et al. class action lawsuit.  Homeowners have sued Farmers saying that they improperly withheld payments for general contractor’s overhead and profit (“O&P”) from amounts paid on claims under homeowner’s insurance policies to citizens of Oklahoma.   The Court has not decided if the Defendants did anything wrong. You need to decide whether to stay in the Class or exclude yourself, and you need to decide this by May 16, 2008.

This is an important case and you may wish to share a link to this blog with your claim managers at the adjusting firm level or if your an independent claim manager, you might wish to share this with your insurance carrier management as they may wish to discuss this with their corporate legal departments to review their current position on the overhead and profit issues discussed in this case.

Here is a link to the first article with links to all of the court documents to include the complaint:

Click here

A link to the lawyers representing the class members:

Click here

Here’s also an article about it from a negative anti-Farmers site with their posting on the case:

Click here

It seems we are hearing more often about suits involving these issues. Here is an example from a 2007 article  addressing the standard 20% and the belief by some that 20% was not enough for Katrina claims in a case against State Farm and one against Travelers (any lawyers viewing- any updates on these cases would be great!): Click here for that article

Contractors are also discussing these issues on some of their forums and blogs: Click here for an example

These articles and developments are just one topic example of why it is utmost important that you obtain your training on estimatics and claims handling by reputable firms that are up to date with current events with issues which could effect our claims industry. Too often I hear about new adjuster turned estimating school with no understanding of claim management issues or current issues going on that students need to know about. Always check out the experience and qualifications before you sign up for the multitude of estimating classes out there these days on the market!