Now accepting new registrants for our 50 Hour Fundamentals of Claims course (10 sessions LIVE online)-take our self assessment exam and see if this is for you.

April 16, 2012

We are in the mist of the 2012 tornado and hail season with hurricane season soon to follow June 1, 2012.

As a result of the massive number of tornadoes and hail storms, we are already beginning to receive roster placement requests from numerous newly licensed property adjusters who believe the fact they have a license and perhaps an xactimate class and/ or a cat 101 class under their belt that they are ready to go out and service claims for carriers as a result of damage from these storms.

Check again- take our annual self assessment exam (free) to see how you fare on this exam and see how many of these basic claim handling questions for property claims you can actually answer:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/have-license-ready-to-go-not-so-quick-take-this-self-assessment-test/

If you find your knowledge lacking after taking the exam, I highly recommend you register for our LIVE online 10 session Fundamentals of Property Claims adjusting class which will start up the first week of May. We will meet on Tuesday and Thursday nights LIVE online from 6:30 to 9:30 pm ET for five weeks to accomplish this training.

New in 2012 we will also be going on the road with an extended version of this course in a five week Monday-Friday to include many practical application workshops, guest speakers, and field trips to enhance your basic claim knowledge. These live classes will initially be offered in Jacksonville, Florida, Huntsville, TX, and Nashville, TN.

For complete details on our reasonable registration fees, course syllabus information, etc email dkmoroy@dimechimes.com for further details.

 

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Xactimate Training Options through Xactware Why take it anywhere but directly from the source!

August 17, 2011

Let’s talk Xactimate training!

I continue to be annoyed each and everytime I see another outrageous charge for Xactimate training by many sources who have little under their belt besides a few months to a few years of catastrophe adjusting.

First and foremost, before you pay any fee to any organization you need to verify through Xactware whether or not they are even Xactware certified to vouch for their expertise in the Xactimate programs. It is simple to do so, here is a link at Xactware where you can find instructors and verify if they have certified with them to teach a course to assure you are learning from a true and TESTED expert in this field: View list here

The second most important reason to take your training from an Xactimate certified instructor is due to the fact only XACTWARE can actually certify you in your training by truly testing your skills to verify you are adept at using their software. They offer Level I,  Level II, and Level III online certification tests. I have seen variations in requirements by adjusting firms asking adjusters to obtain their Level I and Level II and sometimes Level III certification. Thus, even if you paid an outrageous price from a non certified vendor and haven’t taken the certification level testing, it is worthless from the standpoint of securing the required Xactware certification.

You will also note that Xactware lists Certified users on their website which you can view here . It is without a doubt if I owned an independent adjusting firm and searching for qualified adjusters, I’d definitely start with this list which even shows the adjuster state of residence as well- what a find for an independent firm looking for good daily property adjusters!

The contact I received that prompted this blog post was from one of my favorite claims associations. They were proposing offering of Xactimate training by a source offering the class for $5,500.00 to the group thus the cost per participant would be apparently divided among the participants. The name of the trainer was not revealed in the email received and they could or could not be Xactware certified but I have let the group know my thoughts which was the very reason for the existence of ClaimSmentor to prevent the training abuses I have witnessed in the independent field by, in some cases, very poor trainers and very worthless certificates for attendance being given to class attendees. As a claim manager and knowing the problems existing out there with many of the training firms, a certificate of attendance at training is worthless when it isn’t backed up by proper testing to make sure you can actually produce a professional estimate and claim file.

It is almost certain trainee adjusters are spending upwards towards $10,000 dollars attending claim conferences, seminars, insurance carrier certification workshops and in the majority of their cases they have yet to receive their first assignment. It is actually shocking. More on this subject later.

In the meantime, I cannot stress enough that you should take your Xactimate training directly from the source. It is more cost effective, it accomplishes the need to properly get certified to your own advantage, and with all of the new options they have available through webinars, online training, self study training, and opportunities to take field classes you obtain the proper workbooks so you’ll have them on the road with your first assignments, but also find step by step guidelines to reference as needed.

The most common complaints I hear constantly from adjusters taking Xactimate courses from numerous other sources include but not limited to the fact that the trainer to student ratio is very poor, that hours into the first day are wasted while instructors have to load Xactware on adjusters computers who didn’t follow instructions to do so before classes, and that they walked away with no training material whatsoever for future references which is greatly needed when it may be months between your class instruction and when you actually receive your first assignments.

Listen folks, do yourselves a favor and take this training seriously. It isn’t he with the cheapest class or the class most convenient to your home that matters. If your estimates are not professional and properly formatted, as an independent you will earn NOTHING as your files will continue to be rejected for corrections. Over the years of running ClaimSmentor, I’ve heard countless number of stories from trainee adjusters who couldn’t cut it in the field and were released and sent home due to poor estimatics, poor estimating skills, and many other reasons we discuss in our Fundamentals of Claims courses.

Do the right thing for your own career.Here is the list of all programs Xactware offers on webinars and Xactimate training….run don’t walk to register through Xactware for all of your Xactimate training needs. I just cannot stress this enough. You can prevent becoming a victim of poor training without certification and have all of the options to meet your individual learning styles such as instructor lead, self study, webinars, etc all the while saving on those costly traveling expenses to attend field classes.

We continue to thank Xactware for the ever continuing effort they make with great progess I’d say in the last year or two to making Xactimate training options even more user friendly for adjusters today than ever before!

To all of you Xactimate users who have obtained your Level I, Level II, and even your Level III certification- my hat’s off to you for taking the professional route to learning the software. I understand there is a fee for each level of testing which is outlined on the Xactware site but for what it can do for your career and opportunities as well as your own comfort level- BRAVO to you!


ClaimSmentor Property and Casualty Group- Join us on Linkedin! Social media updates and stats for ClaimSmentor

August 17, 2011

We continue to grow our ClaimSmentor Property and Casualty group by leaps and bounds!

Thank you to all of our members participating at all of our various social media outlets.

Here is where we are today in our efforts to grow our membership in support of professional training and education opportunities as well as current event updates of interest to Property and Casualty claims personnel from the trainee adjuster to the claim executive level:

Here at our blog at www.dimechimes.wordpress.com which is our ClaimSmentor blog we have now surpassed 236,000 views with the hottest topic always adjuster salaries. I’ll post our 25 hottest topics by number of views which are often directed our way through search engines in the next few days.

My favorite social media site is at Linkedin where you will find us for networking in two locations. First is my own personal profile at:

www.linkedin.com/in/claimSmentor

as well as our ClaimSmentor Property and Casualty group which we’d love to have you also join us for news you can use as well as posting of many job opportunities. Here is the link to our Linkedin group (note you first have to become a member of Linkedin yourself. We only approve those with completed linkedin profiles to verify they are “linkedin” to the claims industry:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/ClaimSmentor-Property-Casualty-Claims-Group-1820952?gid=1820952

We have almost reached 1600 members on my personal Linkedin profile and almost 1,000 now in our new ClaimSmentor P & C group on Linkedin.

Twitter- now at over 1,200 followers at http://www.twitter.com/ClaimSmentor

Facebook- www.facebook.com/dimechimesclaims

Please note you can also subscribe to this blog to be notified of new posts if you wish to follow along with important news in the claims industry! Just look for the FOLLOW button at the top of our blog to sign up!

Thank you to all of our members for networking with us!

 


New Social Media Marketing Classes being hosted for Claims Adjusting Firm Managers and Associates

February 2, 2011

We have spent over a year now with all of the social media marketing options through Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and of course this blog which has been in operation since 2007.

We have narrowed down our preferences to this blog of course but also to Linkedin and Twitter for marketing in social media arenas with Insurance company claim executives.

Thus, we are now offering a three day seminar limited to 5 attendees and their administrative assistant to walk you through taking advantage of social media marketing when obtaining adjusting firm contracts. I have watched adjusting firm sites on these markets and find errors basically from left out steps that prevent the parties you need following your firm as well as your adjusters to increase your rosters, create loyalty among your roster members, and to keep all of those interested in your membership on social media sites.

Our course will not just teach you to use these tools but you will leave connected to over 1,000 important claims industry executives and adjusters as well as service vendors as well as being set up with your roster members on your individual sites. We have created the templates to allow you to achieve in three days what it has taken me over one year to achieve by daily working with these tools unlike so many courses where you walk away with no time to actually process systems from tools learned in classes.

These seminars can be hosted individually for your adjusting firm at your location or at our training facility. Please email dkmoroy@dimechimes.com for complete details or give me a call at 850-797-5067 to discuss your needs.

I cannot begin to say enough great things about the fantastic adventure this past year has been networking with claims industry members I never otherwise would have had an opportunity to meet through social media interactions. It is my definite belief that those who refuse to use these new tools will soon find themselves left behind when it comes to connecting with new adjusters for your firms and in roads to making marketing connections with carrier claims executives.


Must see video of BP’s Ken Feinburg at AL Townhall meeting yesterday- Hope to meet many of you this morning at the Fort Walton Beach Townhall Meeting

January 19, 2011

Here is some must see video footage of the Orange Beach, Alabama townhall meeting held yesterday with BP’s Ken Feinburg:

http://wkrg.com/1204118/

We will be attending today’s townhall meeting along with other independent adjusters in the Florida panhandle this morning being held here today in Fort Walton Beach, FL along with the founder of the Pensacola, FL Gulf Coast Claims Association and several other independent adjusters in the area. I’ll blog on that either later today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, I am putting together an article on the fruitless efforts made by hundreds if not thousands of adjusters like myself who applied to work these BP claims jobs from TX to FL  and were not utilized to work these claims. I have heard from hundreds who have applied and were not used being told that they were saving the experienced adjusters for hurricane season which never did cause damage in 2010. Information I’ve learned from many adjusters who were in the operation says that Ken Feinburg had changed the job title to “evaluator” from “adjuster” when he took over. Why? Is that so non adjusters could work the claims?

We’d like to piece together our side of the BP claims story by hearing from the many of you who applied and did or did not work claims. You can reply to this blog and I’ll approve the comments or if you wish to remain anonymous you can email me at dkmoroy@dimechimes.com and I will not use your name in any article or upcoming blog on the subject.

Thanks!


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

June 22, 2010

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

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

Urgent Message from

CPLIC Risk Managment Concerning Oil Spill in Gulf Coast.

The Independent Adjuster and the Oil Spill;

Opportunity or a Trap?

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

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

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

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

The Present Situation

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

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

Geographical Areas

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

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

Type of Claims

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

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

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

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

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

The Trap

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

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

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

What To Do At The Beginning

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

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

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

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

Closing Comments

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

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

K. M. Johns III CPCU, ARM AIM

Risk Management Committee Chair

Major contributors to this article were:

Alan Mayfield & Bruce Mountjoy

All Rights Reserved

© CPLIC 2010

*******

 

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

CPLIC 2nd E & O Info

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Let’s Compare Florida’s 2004 & 2005 Bad Hurricane Seasons with the Current Number of BP claims as of 6/12/2010 and Currently deployed Claims Adjusters- Part II- Open Letter to Obama and Admiral Allen

June 14, 2010

The news as you know is just full of news organizations analyzing BP response to the claims resulting from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill disaster.

It might help, without throwing accusations around,  to just compare a few numbers and several major differences between the disastrous 2004 and 2005 hurricane season in Florida and the Gulf Oil spill numbers as of  yesterday, June 12, 2010.

Let’s look at this  article  dating back August 2008 by the Florida Insurance Council. The article  states in part that:

” The Department’s Bureau of Licensing issued 17,488 Emergency Adjuster licenses for the four-storm 2004 hurricane season and 12,284 Emergency Adjuster licenses during 2005. Florida was again impacted by four hurricanes that year, but most of the damage was from Hurricane Wilma. In addition to adjusters working with emergency licenses, hundreds, if not thousands, of resident adjusters handled claims from the 2004/2005 hurricanes. “

Keep in mind that they are talking about emergency adjuster license numbers only. This does not include FL resident independent adjuster licenses, FL non resident independent adjuster licenses, nor staff adjusters (those who work directly for the carrier as employees) so you can just imagine how many more thousands of independents and staff adjusters just FL required in 2004 and 2005. Now add the Katrina claim statistics and number of adjusters also out working in 2005. Louisiana did not have adjuster licensing in 2005 so I’m not sure where I can get the 2005 statistics on Katrina as a comparison.

Emergency adjuster licenses are temporary licenses  that allow a non resident adjuster to work in the issuing state without an adjuster’s license in that state. The other way to work out of state is to obtain a permanent non-resident license. In addition, of course, we have permanent resident licenses. Normally, if your state of residence requires a resident license, FL and other states requiring an adjuster’s license will allow you to work for a short period of time in the disaster zone under an emergency license. These are typically only approved by a state department of insurance once a Governor has Declared a state of emergency. They are normally good for anywhere from 60-120 days and can be renewed if the state licensing department extends the deadline. The limiting factor is an adjuster operating under a temporary emergency license can only work claims for a particular declared disaster. They cannot be utilized to work non disaster related losses.

Recent trends have carriers, thus independent adjusting firms, requiring adjusters obtain a number (usually 7-15 different storm prone states) of non resident licenses. The reason being that the carrier can deploy an out of state adjuster into a state when there is NOT a Disaster Declaration by the state Governor should they have a permanent non resident license. The advantage is they can be deployed out of state to help with the smaller storms like small hail storms and the like. Worley adjusting company who is the firm appointed by ESIS to handle the BP oil spill claims and their site on the home page  shows a typical example of the non resident licenses required of independent adjusters. Each non-resident license requires a fee typically about $65.00 and reporting on CE so this is a large burden and expense for independent adjusters.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners had proposed a Model  Independent Adjusters license back in 2007. While we were all hopeful it would be adopted by state insurance commissioners, the NAIC committee looking in to it later scrapped the proposed recommendation. What a darn shame considering what we are facing today handling BP oil spill claims along multiple gulf coast states. It is needed for more prompt deployment of adjusters during major disasters rather than having delays caused by waiting on emergency adjuster licenses. Adjusters seem to think the issue is the fees acquired by each state are substantial considering the thousands upon thousands of resident, non resident, and emergency licenses each year. However,  it was not to be. The American Association of Independent Claims Professionals, AAICP still has the documents up on their site  to include their letter to NAIC requesting they reconsider passing of this model act. The Winter 2010 newsletter on AAICP’s site  provides an update on adjuster and producer national licensing and where we stand today on this pending model act for a national license. It cannot be passed too soon as far as independent adjusters are concerned. I also wrote about the independent adjuster license issues in this blog in July 2007 when NAIC cancelled further recommendations for the act and here in my “Who Moved my Claims Cheese” blog.

Should time permit,  look back on my blog “ Are Independent Adjusters a Dying Breed or Fungible Billing units ” ? This is definitely applicable SHOULD BP/Esis or others be placing non licensed adjusters in BP or ESIS claims offices. I should definitely hope this is NOT happening. Those I’ve talked to this week that are being deployed atleast by Worley  have all been very seasoned experienced adjusters who have been highly complimentary of  Worley’s induction and training process prior to deploying them to ESIS claims offices (ESIS is the insurance company for BP as explained in other blogs here the past two weeks).

Going back to my open letter to President Obama and Admiral Thad Allen, I still recommend some kind of emergency order be made waiving non resident emergency licenses as long as it can be documented that an adjuster is properly licensed in their home state. In cases where a state does not require an adjuster’s license like Tennesee  and Colorado,(this is unimaginable), most independent adjusters have obtained a Texas or FL non resident license so they can then apply to multiple other states who will accept those non resident licenses to then provide them a reciprocal license in their state.  See info in this blog about Model Independent Adjuster Act recommendations for immediate implementation as a further suggestion to improve the BP Oil Spill claims process.

Now let’s move to look at the deaths and damage from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons:

2004: click here 

This says in part:

“The season was notable as one of the deadliest and most costly Atlantic hurricane seasons on record in the last decade, with at least 3,132 deaths and roughly $50 billion (2004 US dollars) in damage.”

2005: click here

The initial sentence outlines the 2005 damage and death statistics as follows:

“The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history, repeatedly shattering numerous records. The impact of the season was widespread and ruinous with an estimated 3,865 deaths and record damages of about $130 billion (2005 USD).”

Also, it is very interesting to look back at this Insurance Journal article on “Lessons learned from the 2004 hurricane season“. In spite of the horrible hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, what we are facing as a nation and as adjusters is unprecedented. This is due to several factors and many potential unknowns as this oil spreads along our coastal communities:

1  )  Hurricanes, for the majority of claims, are first party claims meaning they are claims to an insured’s property. The insured has signed an insurance contract with an insurance company while the oil spill cases are considered third party liability claims meaning that one party is responsible for the damages to another if their actions are the proximate cause of the third party (non contract) has suffered as a result of their negligent actions.  Adjusters from the BP side of claims do not have policy terms in the contract to fall back on such as “An Insured’s Duties after a Loss” in the Conditions section of a first party policy. We will be at the mercy of following directions for handling these liability claims from the instructions of ESIS and I guess BP. In addition, Admiral Thad Allen and President Obama have their hands necessarily involved in this national disaster so we just do not know how the claims handling will proceed or these claims will be settled. There are many acts such as pollution acts, EPA clean water acts, and many more that control what type of damage BP is responsible for. We’ll expand on that information in a later blog. Many of these requirements are far outside the typical experience adjusters have so leadership direction is crucial for training adjusters unfamiliar with handling oil spill damage and losses.

2) Hurricane losses may take a very long time to settle  depending on the amount of damage to a property and the period it will require to restore the property. These BP claims on the other hand are going to be continuing open claims with a long period of time in pending status. We do not have a known “period of restoration” for the clean up in the gulf coast, we have no definite date as to when the oil will stop entering the ocean, we do not know what hurricane season may bring as far as further moving the oil contamination and disperants inland, it is unknown what illness and bodily injury will be related in the long term to the disperants or for that matter how it will affect properties.  We do not know the ramifications of the oil spill on ripple effects as businesses close, lost income for the gulf coast workers and now the oil rig workers who may be laid off now that off shore drilling is being addressed by President Obama and a six month moratorium on off shore drilling.

3) Even insurance companies may be suffering greatly this hurricane season as massive numbers of independent adjusters may be deployed to handle oil spill claims and not be available as expected for hurricane season (whoa to those carriers 80% or more whose catastrophe plan relied in the majority on independent adjusters).  Unless they become reasonable in their fee schedules and consider paying a daily per diem, they are going to have a very tough time competing for independents getting per diem and a good daily rate on the BP oil spill claims as insurance companies do not normally pay per diem allowances for independent adjusters.  The other consideration independents will have to make are whether they are willing to walk away from a long term BP assignment to go for a month or two of  wind losses for an insurance company especially given that those hurricane losses may require exposure to oil and disperants when inspecting field losses. No amount of pay can make up for exposing yourself to the possiblity of  permanent damage or death from these unknown exposures. The paid statistics on claims for BP claims does not mean these claims are settled. Far from it, from most news sources, claimants are very unhappy that $2,500 and  $5,000 advances is what they have received thus far.

4) In addition, this update on the Deep Water Horizon response site  shows that Admiral Allen has issued instructions for BP claimants unhappy with their BP claim to notify the Coast Guard. What????? Will the coast guard then be just passing these complaints on to the ESIS claims offices handling the BP claims or will they then just pass them on to the Departments of Insurance who normally handles complaints on insurance claims for insureds (yet again we are dealing with claimants here). I haven’t seen any instructions from the insurance company side on how they are going to deal with this but they need to know while they have time in their disaster planning before a hurricane hits.

5) On the same link in #4 above,  near the bottom, you will find Admiral Thad Allen’s new Media Access requirements in this Media Access pdf strongly encouraging media access and prohibiting  responders from denying access to the press unless they would be endangered in a prohibited area. Will this change insurance companies Code of Conduct forms adjusting firms and adjusters must abide by to allow media discussions by adjusting firms and adjusters  with the media which are also prohibited as oil spill workers alleged they were prohibited by BP for responding?  Something else to be reviewed by insurance company attorneys before a major hurricane hits this season.

 I cannot even begin to list all of the effects and costs incurred by claimants (third parties) with their loss of property values in areas seriously impacted by oil. This weekend, we saw a new for sale sign up at the beach here in Jacksonville that said “Marshfront” property for sale. I told my husband it might as well have shouted ” swamp land for sale due to looming oil spill expected to make the bend up the east coast of Florida” because I cannot even imagine an interested buyer until we know if oil will or will not make it’s way to the Florida east coast.

The trauma on all Americans, especially those on the gulf coast, are real. Even for those of us far from the current and ever spreading damage, it is traumatic just watching the wildlife covered in oil and tar, the grown men crying outside of their homes, offices, and claim centers. God be with them all and with the adjusters working at the claim offices and also those that are going to be handling hurricane losses should a major hurricane make landfall in any of these zones.

The June 09 2010 update by Huffington post  on BP claims states that  18,000 claims have been paid, and $84 million  has been paid out. It does not provide the total numbers  of claims received thus far. According to this article, only 600 adjusters were currently working in claims offices. No wonder this article quotes a policyholder saying they have called numerous times and get no answer on the phones! Look back and compare this to the 2004 and 2005 numbers just for Florida  where over 10,000 emergency licensed independent adjusters worked both of those years not counting thousands more deployed who were staff adjusters and you decide……..how would you rate the BP claims response on as of  today? This updated article found on the BP website  dated 6/14/10 states a total of 51,000 claims received and about 26,000 payments made totalling $62 million dollars. There is no mention in the current update on the number of currently deployed adjusters since the 6/9/10 stats I had above.

Make sure to read this  this article by www.Money.CNN.com indicating predications are that BP will spend between 3 billion and 40 billion in their response to this disaster while at the same time predicting Florida alone will have a 10.9 billion dollar economic loss along with potential for the loss of 195,000 jobs. The current top prediction at 40 billion is just 10 billion shy of the cost of damages in the 2004 hurricane season and about one third of the damage costs in the 2005 hurricane season thus far. 

Reuters news service is reporting that President Obama will require BP open an Escrow account when they meet June 16, 2010  to meet their obligations on claims. Here’s the link to this story.

God be with us all. Amen.

It is now 2:35 am ET so it will be tomorrow after A.M.  liability classes before I can go back and review this for grammar, etc so bear with me.