Special NFIP Flood Conference 9/19/12 in New Orleans- good news for those who missed the 2012 NFIP Adjuster Workshops!!

September 12, 2012

We just received notice from FEMA that they are now hosting a Special NFIP Adjuster Certification class September 19, 2012 for those who missed attending the Adjuster Certfication workshops held each year between January and May.

Here are the complete details we got in their email notfication if you need to register:

SPECIAL 2012 NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshop Seminar conducted by the National Flood Insurance Program
This is an NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshop, not a Flood Emergency Briefing

September 19, 2012 New Orleans, LA

8:30am – 4:30pm

Intercontinental Hotel 444 Saint Charles Avenue Ballroom A New Orleans, LA 70130

REGISTER

In response to the flooding associated with Hurricane Isaac, the NFIP will present a special Adjuster Certification Workshop in New Orleans on September 19, 2012 for qualified adjusters to become certified for the current NFIP Adjuster Certification term ending May 31, 2013.
Registration for this final 2012 NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshop is now open.
Adjusters seeking to renew certification must attend an NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshop. Adjusters seeking to become certified or to upgrade their certification prior to 2013 must attend the certification workshop and also submit an Adjuster Certification Application (FF81-110). This form can be found at www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=2581.

To sign up to receive NFIP Training Bulletins regarding the 2013 NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshop schedule, please go to www.govdelivery.com.
The seminar is from 8:30am – 4:30pm. Sign-in begins at 8:00am.

Dress is business casual.

Refreshments will be available for purchase inside the hotel.

CONTINUING EDUCATION There will be NO CE credits offered for this workshop.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION This workshop is FREE, but seating is limited so register early.

To register, please use the link above.

Please do not reply to this email. If you have questions regarding NFIP Training, please write to nfiptraininginfo@h2opartnersusa.com or visit www.fema.gov/business/nfip/wshops.shtm.Sign Up for NFIP Adjuster Training Bulletins

FEMA NFIPThe National Flood Insurance Program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

National Flood Insurance Program Training | www.fema.gov/business/nfip/wshops.shtm nfiptraininginfo@h2opartnersusa.com | (800) 427-4661


Excellent info provided by Xeneros about Lessons Learned post Isaac on Louisiana Adjuster licensing issues

September 9, 2012

We had posted a blog with information about Louisiana adjuster licensing as Isaac was approaching the Louisiana coast as the rules regarding working claims in Louisiana had totally changed after Katrina hit which was the last time many independent adjusters had worked there. If you missed that blog, here is the link:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/louisiana-claim-licensing-claim-regulations-breaking-news-more-on-hurricane-isaac/

Xeneros who provides nationwide insurance claims adjuster licensing services for all of your needs has written an excellent blog here outlining problems adjusters, independent adjusting firms, and carriers faced post Isaac landfall as they were unaware of the new licensing procedures in Louisiana.

Great and important information we wanted to share with our readers!


2012 Hurricane season- Tropical Depression 11 now forms in Eastern Atlantic as Isaac approaches Gulf Coast

August 28, 2012

When it rains it pours!

The Hurricane Center reports in the 5pm ET report that Hurricane Isaac winds are now 80 mile per hour as it approaches the Louisiana coast.

You will also notice on the NOAA link that they have now issued the first advisory for Tropical Depression Eleven in the Eastern Atlantic expecting it to soon research Tropical Storm status.

You can locate both here:

www.nhc.noaa.gov

For wonderful graphics, I also recommend viewing Ralph Tropical Weather’s hurricane site on both on this link:

http://ralphstropicalweather.homestead.com/RalphTropicalWeatherOut.html


What a great resource for Carriers and Adjusting firms during Hurricane season- Emergency Fuel Source!

August 27, 2012

Gas is always an issue during a major hurricane and your firm may find this source very helpful if gas availability becomes an issue post Isaac making landfall:

http://www.suncoastresources.com/emergency-fuel-supplier-for-isaac-and-other-hurricanes-available-247/


Louisiana Claim licensing, Claim Regulations, Breaking news, more on Hurricane Isaac

August 27, 2012

Here are resources claim professionals will need for working claims in Louisiana for Hurricane Isaac:

Louisiana Licensing Bulletin effective 2010:

http://www.ldi.la.gov/Licensing/Producer/ApplicationInformation.html

**Make sure to see comments on Page 3 of the below

info on emergency adjuster licenses

http://www.ldi.louisiana.gov/Documents/Licensing/Adjuster/BecomingALicensedAdjusterInLA.pdf

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declares emergency for LA:

http://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=newsroom&tmp=detail&articleID=3586

Claim handling legislation for Louisiana as posted on PC360″

http://publish.sbmcloud.com/media/pdf/pc360/claims-guidelines/Louisiana.pdf

Louisiana Windpool known as Citizens of LA website and frequently asked questions (note what it says about your claim being handled by an independent adjuster and home page saying they are closed until 8/31/12- yikes!):

http://www.lacitizens.com/ClaimFAQ.aspx

Greater New Orleans breaking news on Issac through Times-Picayune news at (note this website was well known for it’s consumer blogs on claims during Katrina):

http://www.nola.com/

Here’s an important case you should know about with Louisiana Citizens on the massive class action they lost there as a result of claim handling delays in 2005:

http://news.yahoo.com/louisiana-citizens-loses-state-high-court-fight-202946833.html


Mississippi Adjuster Licensing and Claim Handling Regulations for Hurricane Isaac, News, and More

August 27, 2012

Here are important links claim professionals will need for working Hurricane Isaac claims in Mississippi. We also posted information for Alabama already and will post for Louisiana next:

MS Department of Insurance link for all independent adjuster and independent entity licenses as well as Public adjuster licenses:

http://www.mid.state.ms.us/licensing/adjuster_licensing.aspx

See what Sircon has to say about MS emergency licenses in this post:

http://www.sircon.com/campaigns/emergency-adjusters.html

Mississippi Claim Handling Regulations as posted on PC360.com:

http://publish.sbmcloud.com/media/pdf/pc360/claims-guidelines/Mississippi.pdf

Updated Mississippi Department of Insurance Regulation updates by year to include Arbitration info:

http://www.mid.state.ms.us/pages/laws_bulletins_regulations.aspx

Mississippi’s Biloxi- Gulfport Sun Herald for local news and closures on Isaac:

http://www.sunherald.com/

Mississippi Emergency Management Website:

http://www.msema.org/

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s disaster emergency declaration order for MS as a result of Isaac:

http://www.governorbryant.com/gov-bryant-declares-state-of-emergency-ahead-of-isaac/

Mississippi Windpool Reinsurance info 2012 and info about 41,000 MS Windpool policies:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2012/05/01/245469.htm

Mississippi Windpool Website:

http://www.msplans.com/MWUA/Index.htm


Hurricane Rina- Now a Category 2 Hurricane- see projected path- Is Florida a Potential Target?

October 25, 2011

Here is the latest 11 am statistics for Hurricane Rina and projections for a possible Florida target location from Central Florida news:

http://www.cfnews13.com/article/news/2011/october/333804/Could-Florida-be-a-potential-target-for-Rina-and-new-low-in-tropics

I’ll have the selected Citizens of Florida 2011 Vendor link posted later today for those looking for legitimate Florida assignments from assigned vendors. As anyone who follows my information, I do not recommend ANY adjuster work for anything but a Level I adjusting firm- meaning a firm who has the direct assignment with a carrier- not a 2nd, 3rd, or more tier adjusting firm for your own protection getting paid. More on all of this in a later post today.


Here is a link to North Carolina Windpool Independent Adjusting firms for Independents Looking for Work

August 24, 2011

Here is the link to the NC Wind pool Association’s list of 2011 Independent Adjusting firms for those wanting to get their resumes in early as Huricane Irene, now a Category 3 hurricane, approaches the projected North Carolina coast for those wishing to submit their resumes ahead of landfall:

http://ncjua-nciua.org/claims/2011%20Approved%20Adjusters%2020110404.pdf

Best Regards and be safe as you travel and work your new assignments!


2011 Updates to Temporary Housing Links for Claims Adjusters and ALE for Insureds

February 9, 2011

We have previously published two blogs on sources for Temporary Housing for claims adjusters departing for catastrophe duty or long term daily assignments and for adjusters handling additional living expense claims needing housing for insured’s in uninhabitable living situations.

I ran across several new sources to consider for nationwide services you might want to give a try to include:

Temporary Housing Directory ( an exhibitor at the upcoming ACE convention in NOLA) at www.temporaryhousingdirectory.com. I’m expecially impressed that they have both hotel and more long term housing options due to the fact they state they can have an insured relocated with a place within one hour! Now that truly is outstanding service if they meet their mission goal!

I am also becoming a big fan of  www.militarybyowner.com which also lists homes for rent (or sale if you are looking) as they have some great listings for rental property especially in areas near military bases. 

Another site where I’ve been able to locate temporary housing with good results in the http://www.vrbo.com/ site which is a vacation rentals by owner listing firm. Although I initially thought this applied only for vacation short term rentals, after exploring the site, I have found many posters listing more long term options. The great thing from an Additional Living expense claim standpoint is the option to extend the rental to meet the repair completion extensions when that happens but also the ability of the insurance company to avoid having to pay long term leases beyond the reasonable and necessary restoration period since long term leases are not required. This also is a great way to reduce ALE expenses since these rental customarily provide cooking facilities thus discontinuance of the need for meals out while an insured is in a temporary hotel.

Here are links to the prior two blogs on Temporary Housing service firms. Hopefully, I’ll get time soon to combine the now three blogs:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/new-source-for-temporary-housing-in-houston-tx-area-for-adjusters-and-insured-additional-living-expense-temporary-housing-part-ii/


FEMA sets the 2011 NFIP Adjuster Workshop Schedule- Released 12/31/2010

December 31, 2010

I received the following information via email from FEMA today with the schedule for the 2011 NFIP certification workshops. I used the link to the training website and they are not yet up on the website so here is the info:

    2011 Adjuster Seminar Schedule

Registration for the 2011 NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshops is now open. Adjusters seeking to renew certification must attend an NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshop. Adjusters seeking to become certified or upgrading their certification must attend the certification workshop and also submit an Adjuster Certification Application, (FF81-110). This form can be found at www.fema.gov.

Below please find this year’s workshop schedule with links to each sponsor’s registration site. Please direct questions related to registration to the appropriate sponsor for your chosen workshop. Contact information for the sponsors can be found by following the registration links listed here.

To be notified of additional workshops that may be scheduled, please sign to up receive email Bulletins at www.govdelivery.com.

Seminars are from 8:30am-4:30pm. Sign-in begins at 8:00am.

 
 
DATE
CITY
VENUE NAME
REGISTRATION
Jan 10
Daytona Beach, FL
35th Annual NACA Convention
Convention Registration Required
Register Here
Jan 27
Houston, TX
2011 Windstorm Insurance Conference
Convention Registration Required
Register Here
Feb 3
Tampa, FL
Tampa Convention Center
Feb 9
Sunrise, FL
Holiday Inn Suites
Mar 3
Syracuse, NY
Oncenter Complex
Mar 8
Stamford, CT
Holiday Inn
Mar 17
Humble, TX
Humble Civic Center
Mar 21
Des Moines, IA
Embassy Suites on the River
Mar 31
Southaven, MS
Desoto Civic Center
Apr 6
O’Fallon IL
The Regency Conference Center
Apr 8
Pittsburgh, PA
Doubletree Hotel, City Center
Apr 11
Lexington, KY
Kentucky Theater
Apr 13
Cayce, SC
South Carolina Farm Bureau
Apr 19
Kenner, LA
The Ponchartrain Center
Apr 21
Virginia Beach, VA
Doubletree Hotel, Virginia Beach
Apr 26
Hammond, IN
Ramada Conference Center
May 4
Orlando, FL
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
May 9
Jacksonville, FL
Marriott Jacksonville
May 17
Sacramento, CA
Radisson Hotel, Sacramento
May 19
San Diego, CA
San Diego Conference Center
May 21
Waco, TX
Wardlaw Claims Service
May 23
Seattle, WA
Embassy Suites, Tacoma Airport
May 25
Mobile, AL
Mobile Convention Center

“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.


Eternal Father Strong to Save- A prayer for Americans during the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill Recovery- Open Letter 3 to President Obama and Admiral Thad Allen

June 15, 2010

President Obama is speaking from NAS Pensacola, FL as I write this. It is the most support I have seen him express to the brave men and woman serving in the US Armed Forces  since he began his Presidency. I am taking this particular speech very personally as my father, my brother, and my brother in law are all buried at Barrancas National Cemetary at NAS Pensacola.  I cannot bear the thought of the memories of our childhood being destroyed with the gulf oil tar nor of disturbing the area so others can  grow up with the same wonderful memories our family shares from the area during our youth when my father was stationed there.

I still  have family in the area including my nephew Ryan who is attending college at the University of West Florida  following in the foot steps of my wonderful father and brother who also attended the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL. His degree is going to be in the marine industry. He too is watching his dreams disturbed by the worst environmental disaster in Amercian history as he faces unemployment working part time in the beach restaurant industry as a means of income to help cover his expenses while in college.

President Obama- thank you for doing us proud with your military speech in Pensacola and for finally showing our military of all branches the respect and honor they so much deserve. As a military brat as us military children are known as, we do know the sacrifices having watched our fathers depart on Naval aircraft carriers, departing for war, and the fear and sadness we experience as we support our brothers, sisters, neices, nephews, sons, daughters, and our fathers as they protect Amercians at assignments both at home and have to regularly leave us to go abroad to protect us around the world.

I’ll end this thanks with the words of my very favorite navy hymn heard every Sunday growing up on military bases and attending church at military chapels where our father was stationed.  If you really listen and read the words, I think you will agree this song represents all of our prayers for our military, our national guard members, our claims adjusters who will have to work in these coastal environments during hurricane season, and our BP responders constantly exposed to the oil spill tar and disperants as they clean up our beaches and marshlands and experiencing illness as a result. We also extend this as a prayer to all gulf coast residents suffering from this oil spill :

             Eternal Father Strong to Save – Original Version

             The original words are:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee 
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

For links to the origins and history and other more modern versions of this song, visit this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Father,_Strong_to_Save#Lyrics

**Note the Episcopal version is also very appropriate and shown on the link above

I find the following musical version very comforting at times like these and hope you will enjoy the music and pictorial vision as well:

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/e/t/eternalf.htm

Please pass this on in hope it brings a focus to the faith that God will protect us and keep us safe. Especially for the families of the victims killed in this BP Oil explosion. Our prayers are with you every single day. Just click on the title to this blog today and you can then copy and paste it into an email to your friends and family suffering through this disaster or serving in recovery efforts.

Respectfully,

Debbie Moroy, AIC,IIA  ClaimSmentor Founder www.claimSmentor.com

 

 

 


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.

 


Special Announcement- KMConDemand in Final Phases of Property Technical Certification Testing for Adjusters- Will we finally get 1 Certification Test?

June 10, 2010

It sure has been tough holding this back from everyone for the past several months.

You all know I have alot of respect for one of  our sponsor ‘s KMConDemand the online training arm of Crawford.  In fact, I had my husband take their package training  program- I think it was called Charter program and it was only$ 135.00 and gave him 5 WC classes, 5 Auto, and 5 property classes and then he sat through my Fundamentals of Property claims which covered other issues on insurance department complaints, agency relationships, claims negotiations and much more on and off since he is a newly licensed adjuster in 2009.

Several months ago,  KMConDemand, brought me in on a committee for the new proposed Property Technical Certification program with our  hopes this will replace all carrier certifications independents are having to take one day. It can’t be one day too soon as far as I am concerned. I understand the important need to certify for a carrier so they know you are competent to handle their claims and for the protection of their policyholder’s. However, what independents currently deal with is traveling to locations nationwide for basically the exact same kind of certification on construction, estimating, with really the only major difference being the carrier specific policy information. I am so hopeful this will change the way this is done- once you’ve tested that you have all the property knowledge on the estimating skills needed- wouldn’t it be so easy if the carrier’s would approve acceptance of this then just a policy quiz and estimating guidelines they want specifically?  To me the present process with carriers seems like someone telling you to sit for the AIC- Associates in Claims program a zillion times. If you have a well carrier / KMC proctored exam ONCE it would be simply heaven.

That would be exactly what I do on our Fundamentals of Property adjusting course ( 10 lessons on other property topics outside of estimating and scoping) where we teach them carrier requirements in general but always advise them to take the material I’ve trained them on and add notes at each assignment to alter any minor carrier deviations for a particular storm.

This is just in the committee phase and testing  just started on the certification this June. He is also in the process of obtaining CE’s in numerous states which I don’t think you get now on certification tests from any carriers.

As you will see on the committee members link, I am honored to be included. They  allowed me to bring some other ClaimSmentor members who could bring valuable critique of the proposed material as well. Thus  you will also see Woody Britton, twice past President of NACA, Eric Gilkey- head editor of Claims Magazine, and Dr Michael Birzon head of the UCF Insurance school as well as some others  I am not at liberty to disclose yet . I am very thankful these valued members all agreed to serve on the committee as well. Here is a link to all of the other committee members as well:

http://www.Kmcondemand.com/ptc

*Look at the carrier execs on the list as well as major players in the Independent management side

Thankfully, I think some of the 3 day school issues will be history by next year and hopefully the requirements  that you have to take so many individual carrrier certification tests.
 
The new Property Technical Certification program is presently  in  the testing phase  now through August through KMConDemand the online training arm of Crawford and Company. This is to go live in September now that minor questions are resolved on proctor issues and other things.  There are 3 different certfication levels similar to the Xactimate Level 1,2, and three.
 
Just take a look at the committee list with executives from major carriers on the committee as well as major players from large independent firms. I post this link with the permission of the head of KMConDemand since I now have approval to release the information:
 
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc              This link has all the info on the current plans consisting of PTC 1, PTC 2, PTC 3  agendas.
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc/index.php?Page=dynamic&id=66  * This link has the link to all committee members.
 
The material is outstanding and a far cry from some of the problems adjusters complain of at outside vendor schools.  I am most hopeful the insurance carriers agree to this replacing all of the individual carrier certifications so we anxiously await the testing period results  at the end of August 2010 so this can go live.
 
My husband is a newly licensed adjuster so I got to watch while he did the classes when I had time for the regular series of online classes. They had 15 programs at that time and I think have now added 6 more. For  $135.00, he was able to take 5 classes in WC, 5  in auto and 5 in property. All contained CE’s.
 
I have  been 100% sold on them since. I am also glad they are backed by Crawford who we all know has an outstanding reputation. Colm knows I’m probably his biggest fan and thrilled at what KMC has brought for such a reasonable cost to independents saving their travel costs. In addition, as a claims manager it brings me much comfort or safety net if you will to know they will be tested and the passing standards are high as well as proctored exams.
 
This should take us a long way in helping improve the public perception and carrier perception of independent adjusters. Can you also just imagine how great this will be for independents no longer having travel costs to certify for multiple vendors and do these online. I’m sure keeping my fingers crossed for the independents that this does succeed and hope you will as well.
 
Thankfully, I think some of the 3 day school issues will be history by next year and hopefully the requirements that that you have to take so many individual carrrier certification tests.

 
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc This link has all the info on the current plans consisting of PTC 1, PTC 2, PTC 3  agendas.
 
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc/index.php?Page=dynamic&id=66  
 * This link has the link to all committee members.
 
The material is outstanding and a far cry from some of the problems adjusters complain of at outside vendor schools.  I am most hopeful the insurance carriers agree to this replacing all of the individual carrier certifications so we anxiously await the testing period results so this can go live.
 
This should take us a long way in helping improve the public perception and carrier perception of independent adjusters. Can you also just imagine how great this will be for independents no longer having travel costs to certify for multiple vendors and do these online. I’m sure keeping my fingers crossed for the independents that this does succeed and hope you will as well.
 
Speaking of that- I hope you will share this blog post as well as the link below with other independents. We are trying to move mountains in getting BP to use more independent firms. Thanks so much to the claims managers and adjusters who have read it and written to let me know they have sent the link to politicians and news connections asking they get the word out that independents are the solution to clean up the BP Oil spill claims process:
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/an-open-letter-to-admiral-thad-allen-president-obama-white-house-news-correspondents-esis-insurance-and-all-involved-in-the-bp-oil-response-we-can-help-address-your-claims-concerns-lead-follow/
 
************

 
Speaking of that- I hope you will share this blog post with other independents. We are trying to move mountains in getting BP to use more independent firms. Thanks so much to the claims managers and adjusters who have read it and written to let me know they have sent the link to politicians and news connections asking they get the word out that independents are the solution to clean up the BP Oil spill claims process:
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/an-open-letter-to-admiral-thad-allen-president-obama-white-house-news-correspondents-esis-insurance-and-all-involved-in-the-bp-oil-response-we-can-help-address-your-claims-concerns-lead-follow/


An Open Letter to Admiral Thad Allen, President Obama, White House News Correspondents, ESIS Insurance, and All involved in the BP Oil Response- We Can Help Address Your Claims Concerns- Lead, Follow, or Get the Heck out of our Way!!!!

June 7, 2010

My father, a dedicated retired Navy Commander, now deceased would be rolling over in his grave today if  he  were here to witness the disaster in the claims process now 50 or so days beyond  the BP Oil Spill. This applies as well to all of us living along the coast and anxious claims industry members on the independent adjusting side of things….yes the very ones who can contribute to immediate processing of the BP oil claims and working in your claims offices yet we hear NOTHING.

Why would I include mention of my dad in a BP oil spill claims process  blog?  First of all he was my friend, my mentor throughout my career, and he was known well in his naval career for his business motto “Make Things Happen”. Second, I’ve researched now retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen. He definitely looks like he was the right man to be appointed to head up the federal response to the oil spill disaster. I found out today that he was also in charge of the Katrina response and found a good article commenting on his diligent research during Katrina he did BEFORE making a decision. We only ask that you include Independent Adjusting firm owners in that equation for the federal response on claims processes. We are the answer to improving the claims process as we do work for many companies where staff adjusters and insurance companies can respond only to the policyholders with their company. Here is a link to the bio of Admiral Allen and to an article commenting on his outstanding skills in conducting research.

Here is a link to his most impressive bio and dedication to a career in disaster response since retiring from the USCG:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thad_Allen

Here is also great information documenting the date he was appointed to head the command of the federal response. This helped me have an inkling of understanding as to why he would have suggested the national guard involvement in the claims process- he has more knowledge of their skills than we do but I still don’t understand why in claims offices versus oil clean up operations when we can do that as independent adjusters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thad_Allen#Hurricane_Katrina

Here is a link to the Washington Post blog explaining the four leadership lessons we all can use by following Admiral Allen which I really enjoyed.

Rumors on the streets or email highway  in the independent adjuster world are saying that BP has instructed the ONE adjusting firm assigned to handle the claims not to deploy anyone experienced in handling the Exxon Valdez oil spill claims. Please look into this and assure us that is not true and the thousands upon thousands of independent adjusters sitting at home not deployed to help are not being excluded because they have experience handling claims. That is just unimagineable and I hope proves not to be true. The numbers of people who have applied directly to ESIS and to independent adjusting firms who have heard nothing might prove what you are told when investigating this that it is a fact. Let us know please. Rumors can destroy you. Facts posted on the ever popping up response websites would be helpful. Also, I suggest you not believe one rumor that we have run out of  independent adjusters available. A quick check of the number of licensed resident and non resident independent adjusters will prove this is impossible even if 10,000 are already deployed yet we hear less than 1,000 are now in the BP field claim offices. *Update 6/9/10- we have now heard of numerous more EXPERIENCED adjusters who were deployed today to Worley- this dispels the rumors that experienced are not going.

This blog displays links for search terms adjusters use that leads them to our blog. Since the BP oil crisis, search terms for BP oil adjusters and adjusting firms are atleast 50% of all search hits on this site  where adjusting firms and adjusters are looking for information as to who is handling the BP Oil spill claims.

Thus far the information circulating in our discussions  is that ESIS has only appointed ONE adjusting company to assist their personnel. ONE-and that firm fortunately is a very reputable adjusting firm- Worley Catastrophe www.worleyco.com . Rumor on the street is that they are inundated with resumes flowing in but many many of us have not even gotten  a reply to  email and resume submissions yet.

I am extremely disappointed in the comments regarding the claims process problems by Gibbs  and Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen in today’s press conference. While I am very happy to know plans are to improve the claims process, I could not be more disappointed to hear you are considering National Guard personnel to work the claims office when we have the skills necessary to create a professional  claims image for BP and for the Federal government of their claims process. National Guard members need to be used for what they do best which is protecting Americans. Send them to guard our borders to protect our west coast neighbors in AZ, CA and other states with border issues. Have them assist with patrolling our beaches if coastal residents are forced to evacuate when oil spill makes their homes unlivable and let US– the Independent Adjusting community- do what we know best which is  responding to claims disasters. * This too was dispelled in news that the AL National Guard is being used in the field for three weeks to notify residents of where they can report a claim to.

We will waive  our fees to help you or assigned independent adjusting firms send in staffing to employ independent adjusters. ESIS can disburse them to claims offices.

What else can the government do?

1) You can help claims personnel find reasonable housing to reduce per diem costs to BP  so all claimants can be paid  by providing temporary quarters for housing for independent claims personnel. Rumors have it that BP is reimbursing 100.00 per day for costs incurred to find housing and every bit of that will be needed by independents for hotel rooms to stay in claim office territories while working in area damage zones. Can’t you use your influence to negotiate discounted hotel rates? To prohibit price gouging on hotel rates as state insurance commissioners do following major disasters? A very good argument for state regulations on disasters involving claims.

2) While we definitely support the use of displaced workers in the fishing industry…don’t you have things a bit reversed?  The great people in the fishing industry have the physical stamina to work in beach and ocean environments like field claims adjusters do. Why not put them to work on the clean up efforts to stop the spread of this oil and use trained inside independent claims adjusters in the claims offices. They are experienced  to deployment within 24 hours of assignments nationwide and experienced  to working 10 to 12 hour shifts  6 or 7 days a week and that will go far in speeding up the claims process.

3) What are the licensing requirements for the claims office “adjusters” ?  I hear FL’s Crist has already declared FL Emergency declarations  to prepare FL for the incoming oil spill damage spreading our way. Once that happens on normal major disasters, this allows emergency adjusters to enter states with a temporary emergency adjuster license. I sure hope that is going on here with one exception I will address next. Why can’t President Obama declare a special emergency order allowing this in all coastal states experiencing oil spill claims or if this is only the perogative of State Insurance Departments then please immediately approve the use of emergency licenses for any independent adjuster who can prove an active license in another state. Atleast by running all claims personnel through the state insurance departments (with BP picking up the cost of the emergency licensing and state required fingerprints) BP claimants would not be exposed to potential scams if convicted  felony offenders get involved in claims or entering homes and businesses. I have no doubt Worley is handling this for the adjusters they are sending in as most independent firms do now but what about the folks being plopped right into the claims offices by other sources without proper criminal background checks (if that is happening) ?

Speaking of state regulation- are state insurance commissioners going to be involved? Will the individual state statute of limitatons apply by state or is there a federal statute that will provide one standard  statute of limitations giving all BP claimants the same time frame and deadline for filing a suit should that become necessary. You can see they are very clearly different in coastal states:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-29941.html

Chip Merlin, a consumer attorney wrote a blog this week suggesting BP use CPA’s and accountants on the loss of income claims. While he provides good reasons, we in the claim industry are plenty capable of helping issue the $5,000 advances and there are thousands of adjusters trained in business interruption claims for loss of rents, tourism cancellations, and much more but I do agree CPA firms are often used by insurers for proper determination of amounts due for large commercial business interruption claims. In fact, my brother in law is a retired IRS CPA and has huge resources to other CPA’s who are also interested in deploying. In fact, this week I will post a large number of online business interruption links for some great information on business interruption claim training.

BP- please ensure that your hiring process for claims office personnel excludes any public adjuster currently licensed in ANY state in the USA. They are the driving force for referrals to plaintiff attorneys and more importantly we need to resolve claims prior to litigation consideration so a vast number of BP claimants do not suffer loss of settlement dollars by signing contracts with firms charging excessive attorney fees to represent them on these claims. Here is a good example of problems addressed by California’s proactive Insurance Commissioner Poizner warning CA consumers on his April 16, 2010 Scam artist warning  press release to be leary of unlicensed public adjusters and unlicensed contractors. His feelings seem to be clear in this press release about this group of potential public adjuster unlicensed adjusters.

How about using this link above as a template for a great posting for gulf coast residents warning them of the same potential to get taken advantage of by scam artists?  You can post this warning on each of the 4 state sites now shown in your Area Plans at http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com ?

Admiral Allen and President Obama, please protect all parties operating at the claims offices. Use your national guards to protect them from frustrated residents in coastal communities who might take out their frustrations on the face of the disaster response- the personnel in the claims offices. I also would like to make sure to enact provisions prohibiting plaintiff attorneys from naming adjusting firms and individual “adjusters”  from being named  in lawsuits unless they have absolute proof that a firm or particular adjuster deviated from BP or ESIS instructions for claims handling. We had untold numbers of independent adjusters named in TX claims litigation  (note cases on this link filed by the Mostlyn law firm in Jefferson County, TX ) who in most cases were merely following insurance company  instructions which they are not allowed to deviate from. This increases our premiums for required Error and Ommissions coverage they are going to need to cover their extensive expenses to be removed from a lawsuit. BP should be providing blanket E and O coverage for all claims office personnel because in most cases, they will not even qualify for E & O coverage since they have no experience. This is going to drive up the cost of E & O coverage for all independent adjusters for years to come. Please check with www.cplic.net who specializes in error and ommisions coverage for independent adjusting firms and independent adjusters. Insurance companies do provide the defense and costs for staff claims personnel. Many contracts by state insurance such as TWIA in Texas and Citizens Insurance in Florida   included terms in RFP’s stating  (scroll down to public information on RFP08-0016) that they would not provide a defense. In fact ,TWIA sent out an email post IKE that specifically told adjusting firms and independent adjusters to hire their own attorneys as they were overwhelmed with the responses to Complaints they had to file on behalf of TWIA leaving adjusting firms and independent adjusters to get this handled.  Additonally, let us know who we need to contact with our Congressman to have bills introduced to prohibit state agencies and insurance companies from imposing hefty fines (go back to link above to RFP08-0016 ) on adjusting firms and individual independents for unreasonable expectations as we too suffer from unreasonable expectations on time service when resources do get stretched thin during major disasters. This should include establishing standards to restrict insurance commissioners from imposing the same fines. Here is a link to the 2007 Citizens of FL Claims Manual  still up on the Citizens Task Force on Claims Handling which includes an example of unrealistic expectations during times of major disasters. This should also include prohitibing carriers from fining adjusting firms who fall short of being able to deploy numbers they committed to on RFP’s (request for proposals for laymen) which they can prove they have on the rosters prior to a major disaster but those same resources won’t be at their finger tips as they scatter for other opportunities servicing claims – especially based on the whether the fee billing is reasonable or not. The adjusting firms have no control over this as we are talking about independent adjusters with no benefits operating on 1099’s. They have to go where they can find a guarantee of work when it is offered. Please help us out here!

My dad’s common quote “Lead, Follow, or get the Heck out of my way” is certainly applicable here. President Obama is not in the claims business, carriers’ cannot provide their staff adjusters under present processes where they handle their own claims and only involved in Flood claims processing for the government. We as independent adjusters can help BP and Admiral Allen who is overseeing the government response to the oil spill. So….if you are just deploying ONE adjusting firm, then please contact me. I’ll freely share my information for some great additional adjusting firms based on members I have personally come to know over the past five years through their participation on ClaimSmentor.

Please do not tie up Worley’s executives. They are well respected in the claims industry- you have assigned them claims- let them do their job following your claims handling guidelines but do not put another black eye on the independent claims industry- we can’t take the blame when you will not even deploy us. Seems like today’s news release is starting the claims blame game which isn’t helping resolve the issue. Months ago I wrote blog about the claims game for insurance company disaster responses. Can the USA government with their vast agency resources not  “make things happen” ?

President Obama, I know your wife is a strong supporter of Education. I am as well and have now volunteered my time for 4.5 years creating the first online e-mentoring group ( CADO first with forums and links for firms- our site hosts the actual classes now ) for independent adjusters to provide them educational information for professional claims training throughout the USA. We have access to excellent sources of claim trainers as well who are very experienced in deployments and training at disaster induction centers.

A  last suggestion for federal government and BP claims response- COME OUT OF HIDING- locating available adjusters or the firms handling claims shouldn’t be a where is Waldo’s game trying to track down the information.  As a fellow Golfer…you can choose this city BEFORE the oil spill arrives to dispel rumors you are making  trips to the gulf coast only for photo opportunities. Here’s your chance!

 Heck- I’ll be glad to “Make Things Happen” and host a group of reputable independent adjusting firm leaders to gather here in Jacksonville in our beach community of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. We have a great location overlooking the Players Club here at Sawgrass…..the same location where Tiger Woods gave his return speech. We invite you to follow his lead- is all you need to do is show up and meet these great leaders. They would be more than willing to make reliable suggestions. They just hold back due to the fear of carriers retaliation if they go public under normal circumstances. We are used to this media restriction in the claims industry due to insurance company carrier Code of Conduct forms. The purpose would be a townhall meeting for positive suggestions by independent claim firm owners and head managers.

You show up- I’ll host the conference center. Smile- I know that is a simplistic offer with the involved security you need. However, Sawgrass  home of  Tournament  Players Championship  since 1977 is well equipped to plan for your arrival and we’ll meet you there!

We’ll make the same offer to work with any news agency like CNN, HLN, Fox News, or any state news reporters interested in talking to a group of claim managers  even if  news agencies have to allow participants to remain anonymous with voice overs and protection of their identity so they can provide truthful evaluations of the claims process and stories about what they have heard in response to their efforts to get through to ESIS claims executives as it isn’t great news although we recognize they too are overwhelmed with the situation.

 This is not acceptable time service for any insurance company, claims adjusting firm nor an individual adjuster and definitely should not be acceptable response time with BP with  their huge profits -come see us independent claims folks who are regularly following the insurance crisis in coastal communities.

We- the Independent Adjuster community- are the group who can help professionally improve the BP claims process- just do what you say you will do…….create jobs, take people off the unemployment lines but please use the RIGHT PEOPLE for the RIGHT positions where our  skills can best service the claimants of these disasters. There is a link to my prior blogs in response to this blog posting about the claims blame game, hopefully we won’t just need to substitute the ridiculous blame game organization chart  very soon and substitute the parties now involved in the BP oil claims because right now my honest evaluation is we need one to follow the BP oil spill blame game parties. Let’s reverse this quickly. Insurance commissioners never stand by and merely observe what insurance companies do. Instead they monitor them regularly and require weekly status reports on the number of claims procecessed during major catastrophes.

In Florida during the 4 hurricanes in 04, carriers and adjusters were held up to stringent deadlines which were unreasonable given the repeated events here. How about talking with our former FL Insurance commissioner for reasonable expectations. Alex Sink has also done an excellent job as current FL Insurance Commissioner and is another reliable source on reasonable expectations and time lines on loss of income claims deadlines as they require a much longer pending tail for closure due to the ongoing losses. Heck, go straight to all insurance commissioners for a prompt discussion to help make your decisions- respected members of the NAIC  National Association of Insurance commissioners  and get their valued input. I’d also recommend you talk to the NACA  past President Woody Britton who is a weath of information on catastophe deployments.

There is much more I can add to my suggestions but no one is asking me nor valued members and managers in the independent claims industry from the independent adjusting firm side with the exception of ONE independent adjusting firm. If there  are more, please respond and let us know the name, website, contact phone number for each adjusting  firm with a definite contract to handle these claims.

We also request you stop the bleeding and announce this on your websites so independent  adjusters aren’t on standby with false promises to go to work on BP oil spill claims by firms not even under consideration by BP or ESIS to handle claims. Independents are already on standby with many firms and we have no idea what the likelihood is of ever deploying.

We want to help and know you are facing oil spill disaster claims of untold proportions. Please let us know just how we can apply our training and skills to assist you to speed up the claim process.

President Obama and respected Admiral Allen, our intention is not to be critical of the response, the intent is to move forward from this moment forward to speed up the claims process and stop the spread of this historic oil spill. We don’t mind your use of a telepromters, we’d love you to bring your daughters to experience our pristine beaches and let your daughters learn the joy of collecting sharks teeth on the beaches at Mickler’s landing. I assure you they are not attached to the shark (smile) and it’s much healthier than them being exposed to picking up tar balls on the beaches. We want you to select this area as a pre-oil spill venue where you are proactive coming before the oil spill reaches us. You can take time (yes we do understand work/ life issues for emergency responders) while here to take the kids to explore the Naval Aircraft carriers at Mayport Naval Air Station, a follow up with a visit to our oldest city of St Augustine and especially the old fort and the Fountain of Youth tour. It will help your family have a good grasp on what living in a continental USA beach community is all about before we incur damages coming our way.

By the way- one last story about my dad- my hero- you talked yesterday about determining whose A** to kick– well we have a military award plaque still up at my parents wall at home here in Jacksonville where they awarded “my dad” with a replica of his well known A** kicking boots while serving out at sea as an Aircraft Maintence Commander. He had 2 shoes in yellow and he painted a different colored dot on each toe to indicate which parties he was holding responsible  for a problem and the dot showed if it was an enlisted man or an officer under his command. Your family will understand the significance of the colored dots if they can view the take off and landing of military aircraft on landing decks while out at sea. It is a trip they will never forget as I never have when going out on a family cruise day which allowed us to see what my dad was up to all of those years he was at sea. The guys look like MnM’s running around so quickly as the planes take of f and land when you get to watch it from above. Heck, if you don’t have time- send someone out to video this in action when one of the carriers near you are hosting one of these events.

To independent adjusters : If you missed the White House press conference  6/7/10 , CNN now has it posted. Watch the claims process comments for  yourself as well. 

 Here is the link:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/07/gulf.oil.spill/index.html?hpt=T1

Sign me- a regular CNN , HLN, and FOX news BP Oil spill news follower …..Deb


BP Gulf Oil Spill Claims Update- Claims Process, Claims Manual, Claims Forms and much more

June 6, 2010

Here is a link to the Deep Horizon website claim forms and the 1-800- numbers: 

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/542307 

Bp Claims process guidelines: 

http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9033791&contentId=7062345 

Here is the new BP Claims manual with how to claim loss of rental income- a very simple process unlike an insurance claim for same thing:

 http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/downloads_pdfs/BP_DWH_CLAIMS_MANUAL_1.pdf

Lots of great video here of the booms they are using to prevent oil from hitting beaches: 

http://bp.concerts.com/gom/oilspilltraining052410.htm

Another great site my sister sent tonight is to Beach Webcams for all Florida beaches to track Beach oil spill conditions here-except Pensacola is missing for some reason:

http://www.floridalink.com/webcam/beach.htm

Here is the link to the DeepWater Horizon response website with information specific to FLorida response . They now have seperated the updates for AL, MS, LA, and FL and have another link for all 4 states: 

http://ocean.floridamarine.org/ACP/STPACP/StartHere.html

Here’s the link to all of the different gulf coast state updates and area plans:

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/542307#

Later this week we will be posting Business Interruption training links and a special edition on Claims Litigation on BP lawsuits. I’ve been saving numerous articles with important informaton on claims litigation and BP claims.

If you have any information you wish to share with those that have claims, please reply to this topic and we’ll approve professional comments about liability claims handling as far as BP oil spill claims so we stay on topic.

I will also be adding a page to the blog where I link to all BP oil postings as this is going to be a very long process with regular updates needed. You can also enter tag search of “BP Oil Spill claims” which will also take you to all blogs I’ve made on this topic.

This informaton is not just for adjusters but for my friends and family who reside along the Gulf Coast and need information about filing claims they have for various losses. If you wish to be notified of new postings to follow this blog, you can either add it as an RSS feed or you click on Blog Info at the top of all blog pages and enter yor email address to receive notifications when we have new postings. You will find the link for the RSS feed or to sign up for emails there is a link at the top of the right hand column of all blog pages.


June 1, 2010- Hurricane Season begins- Excellent article by Linda Sterns of CBS Money Watch

June 2, 2010

I can’t go to bed without linking to this blog post at CBS Money Watch by Linda Stern on Daily Money blog which summarizes how I think we are all feeling with the start of hurricane season.

Here’s the link:

http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/blog/daily-money/hurricane-season-starts-today-could-be-worst-since-katrina/675/

Also, I have to say that Anderson Cooper at www.AC360.com has been doing outstanding coverage on the BP Oil Spill each night at 10pm ET. If you haven’t been watching his investigation and reporting on the BP oil spill and the outstanding video footage, I highly recommend it. It’s the best news coverage I’ve seen with interviews from the locals and politicians in the areas thus far effected by the gulf oil spill. 

As Linda Sterns ends  her blog——it truly is looking biblical when you consider hurricanes and the wind and water issues and even considering oil problems in the mix.

I heard a quote on a local radio station here in Jacksonville, FL today with a caller saying this will be the hurricane season from Hades should a major hurricane hit the gulf coast in the oil spill damaged areas. That too sums up how we are feeling in the claims industry with concerns for adjuster safety on top of the other horrors residents in the gulf coast are already feeling.


Very Important Information- BP Warns of Employment Scams- Please read

June 1, 2010

I know many adjusters have been privy to emails circulating by firms on the Hazwoper Certification and signing up for classes for BP oil claims jobs.

May 31, 2010 BP released a scam warning on employment jobs. Thank God- this is very timely as people are looking for BP oil jobs.

To read the complete BP employment scam release from yesterday- view this link:

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/575903/

Please be careful! The last thing that adjusters need is more training mills and request for their high costs for classes that BP is not even requiring they take. The news on the radio yesterday when announcing this scam release said if BP requires training they provide it and do not charge those working for them for those classes.

Check the BP site at www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com for information direct from BP before paying for classes or accepting employment to be sure it is a legitimate BP oil company opportunity.


Hurricane Season starts 6/1/2010- Must read article for Claims- Hurricane Plus Oil Equals More Problems

May 28, 2010

I highly recommend reading this article in addition to yesterday’s blog on CDC recommendations for those working in the oil spill zones which may end up effecting many of us in the claims industry this coming hurricane season if we have a hurricane make landfall in the gulf coast.

Here’s a link to the article which makes it clear we will be operating in unknown territory should we suffer damage in the gulf coast:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/27/hurricane.season.worries/index.html?hpt=T1

We had a beautiful afternoon collecting sharks teeth on the beach at Mickler’s landing today here in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL  but it was hard not to feel guilty about having such a great beach knowing what’s been on the news about Grand Island in LA.

Our hearts and prayers are with the residents suffering from this disastrous oil spill. We also wish safe travels and assignments for all adjusters heading out to new hail storms and bp oil service assignments.

Here is a link to the claim statistics from the BP Oil Spill for today indicating over 26,000 claims thus far reported to BP with over 11,000 paid and over 96,000 calls into their claim operation:

http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7062470

*update added 5/29/10: More information on the BP Oil Spill Claims Process- BP to Appointment Independent Mediator-BP Claims Process and update on federal court hearing on BP Oil Claim Litigiation:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-26/bp-to-appoint-independent-mediator-for-claims-process-update1-.html

Here is an article by medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta regarding health concerns and the BP oil spill. I’ll also try to find a link to a video he did in Louisiana this week while exploring the spill that was also excellent:

http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/06/how-will-the-oil-disaster-impact-our-health/


How will the BP Oil Spill damage effect insurance adjusters during hurricane season? Read about reports of locals getting ill performing work in spill zones-CDC Recommendations for Safety in Oil Spill areas

May 27, 2010

I have been regularly following the updates on the BP Oil Spill and what seems like regular updates about claims litigation with BP and others involved in the loss which I’ll report on more tomorrow.

For now, this post concerns the illness local fisherman working the clean up are reporting due to disperal of chemicals to fight the oil spill. This sure concerns me as to what safety measures carriers are planning in their catastrophe planning to keep adjusters safe when working coastal hurricane damage that could spread this chemical as well as the oil into neighborhoods adjusters will be working in. Any of you that worked Katrina remember the talk of the “Katrina cough” many reported getting within weeks of working Katrina losses.

I think these are some must read articles and a video from Fox News on the chemicals being sprayed over the oil spill areas in the gulf as well as the discussions of government health clinics being set up and protective gear recommendations. I don’t know how our claims industry will be addressing these serious health issues. I  also check edCDC to see if they have added information yet on the oil spill safety recommendations and found a wealth of information on safety concerns for those working around oil spills here:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/oilspillresponse/?s_cid=3ni7d2TW1005042231

Here is also a prior blog done on CDC recommendations for shots for those working in flood zones:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/16/what-shots-does-cdc-recommend-for-disaster-workers-watch-for-more-flood-adjuster-training-info-this-week/

First here is a short update about the new numbers of claims BP  has received as of 5/26/2010 and BP’s plan to appoint an independent claims mediator:

Business Insurance News Story: BP to appoint independent claims mediator
—————————————————————

Story Link: http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20100526/NEWS01/100529936

Here’s the article about local fishermen getting sick who are trying to help with the clean up:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/25/louisiana-fishermen-reportedly-getting-sick-cleaning-gulf-bp/Biden

Here is a new article out this morning about Louisiana recalling 125 boats out working oil spill clean up due to illness:

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/27/crews-involved-in-oil-recovery-feeling-sick-boats-recalled/

 Here is a Fox news video from yesterday about the toxic nature of this chemical. It makes me wonder what this means for adjusters this hurricane season trying to inspect coastal storm damaged properties:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4212284/less-toxic-oil-dispersants-unavailable?playlist_id=86856#/v/4212284/less-toxic-oil-dispersants-unavailable/?playlist_id=86856

I checked my favorite career site for Hazwoper jobs yesterday and came up with over 1,455 jobs:
http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=hazwoper

Also- the Twitter posts on BP Oil Claims is unbelievable- just go to www.Twitter.com and enter #BP or enter #hazwoper in search and you will be amazed at the number of firms offering training or job opportunities. Matter of fact, my husband got a call about our boat which is still over in the panhandle saying someone from an agency stopped by and asked if he would be interested in the opportunities for clean up duties in the gulf with his boat which was quite a surprise to hear they are still looking for boat owners to work clean up.

If you haven’t read and seen enough yet, I highly recommend you view this CNN Anderson Cooper video from his trip today on the Louisiana shore- it is just devastating to watch for those coastal lovers like we are:

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/26/video-ac-its-just-dead-out-there/

More to follow tomorrow!