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

August 25, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 25, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

Updates from BP Czar Ken Feinburg from Louisiana Town Hall Meeting 8/18/10 about Gulf Coast Claims Facility/New Website for BP Claim Filing as well

August 19, 2010

Well it is finally out=========the BP Claims process through BP ended as of yesterday on August 18, 2010 and will reopen Monday August 23, 2010 under the Gulf Coast Claims Facility administered by Ken Feinburg at http://www.gulfcoastclaimsfacility.com As of a few minutes ago, it just has an announcement posted that it will open 8/23/2010.

This article from yesterday’s townhall meeting in Louisiana provides many more clues to how Feinburg intends to administer the settlement of these claims and is becoming a little more clear and more sensible as well from the standpoint he is now saying BP is providing them the documentation received on the claims that were reported directly to BP from April 20, 2010 date of loss through the close of BP’s own administration of the claims which ended yesterday.

The process sounds like an improvement but I cannot fathom how they possibly are going to make the first six months emergency payments within 48 hours for personal claims and 7 days for businesses as alleged. 1600 or so claims personnel divided by the 151,000 claims reported to BP that are in the process of movig to Gulf Coast Claims Facility doesn’t even sound humanly possible as anyone running a catastrophe claims operation can tell you.

We’ll keep a hopeful watchful eye as things develop and wish the Gulf Coast Claims Facility nothing but the best in restoring these claimants to some semblance of normalcy after their lives have been in ruins from this BP oil spill.

Here is the link to the the news article out of Louisiana quoting Ken Feinburg with more clues to how the claims will be administered:

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/08/gulf_of_mexico_oil_spill_claim_1.html

BP’s claim site lists the following new information about filing claims under the new facility at www.bp.com/claims which says in part:

Update: Individual and Business Claims

Claims previously filed with the BP Claims Process related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are transitioning on August 23 to the new Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) for review, evaluation and determination.

  • Access the GCCF website at www.GulfCoastClaimsFacility.com.
  • Call the toll-free number 1(800) 916-4893 to receive a copy of the claim form by U.S. Mail (TTY: 1 (866) 682-1758).
  • Visit one of the GCCF Claims Site Offices, locations of which can be found at the above web site.
In order to ensure the orderly transition of data to the GCCF, BP will not accept claims into its system between August 19 and August 22.

 
The claims statistics link on their BP site is not up today so I can’t get an update yet on exactly how many claim loss reports they ended up with to move to the GCCF so the last I knew was 151,000 claims and 348 million paid which this new article quoting Feinburg says is not a dollar amount that will be included in the 20B fund to be paid on claims.
More news to follow- click on the RSS Feed at the bottom of the right hand column of our blog to follow new postings or subscribe by email to this blog in the top right column if you want to follow this and other hot topics in the claims industry.

For existing claimants only: The Immediate Action Claims Team will continue to operate through Sunday, August 22, and can be contacted at 1(800) 573-8249. This team will work only with those who have real emergencies.

GCCF is the only authorized organization managing business and individual claims related to the Deepwater Horizon Incident.

Effective August 23, 2010, to file a claim, you can do one of the following: