TWIA to settle 2400 Hurricane Ike Slabbed Claims for $189M

July 18, 2010

While I’ve been off for a few weeks enjoying company over the July 4th holidays there has been lots of important claims news I need to catch up on. Here is one of the most important developments indicating settlement negotiations resulting in planned settlement of hundreds of TWIA hurricane Ike claims.

The Mostlyn law firm has several media releases from 7/13-7/16/10 here:

http://www.mostynlaw.com/media/media-news.asp

The Merlin Law group has a new blog up with more details here:

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2010/07/articles/hurricane-ike/texas-windstorm-insurer-settles-2400-hurricane-ike-slab-claims/


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/
 
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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/


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.


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!


Coming in July 2010- The ANFI- Associates in National Flood Insurance Designation through AICPCU

May 14, 2010

http://www.aicpcu.org has recently announced a new designation that will be equally as important as the AIC designation.  It is for adjusters interested in handling flood claims.

The name of the designation is ANFI – Associates in National Flood Insurance. It is to be available beginning in July 2010 as a 3 part course. Here is a link to it as well as to the AIC designation we’ve previously discussed in several prior blogs.  I have completed AIC and all but my last part of CPCU and the information gained has been of significant value throughout my claims career. These designations are especially important should you be looking to advance in staff claims opportunities as continuing insurance education is usually preferred for staff claim and staff management positions.

Here are the links:

ANFI designation: http://www.aicpcu.org/comet/programs/anfi/anfi.htm
AIC designation: http://www.aicpcu.org/comet/programs/aic/aic.htm

We also published a blog entry just yesterday on universities also offering degrees in insurance. I highly recommend pursuing this if you are serious about a career in claims as it opens many avenues. The AICPCU program has been accepted by most universities to award college credit for these designations such as AIC, ANFI, and CPCU as well so your completing several important continuing education goals at the same time. I see you already have a degree but Ill post the link anyway for others viewing this topic which may not have a Bachelors Degree.

Here is a link to the blog:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/universities-offering-insurance-degrees-where-to-get-yours-for-a-staff-career-in-claims-adjusting-or-claim-management/

We also had an article published by Claims Education Magazine in their Winter 2008 publication titled “Luck- Where Preparation Meets Opportunity in 2008 that also provides information and links to how to obtain college credit for your AICPCU completed courses. Here is a link to that article:

http://www.claimseducationmagazine.com/pdfs/CEM_Winter_08_v1.pdf


Obama signs NFIP National Flood Insurance Extension Through 3/28/10- Just a ClaimSmentor moment post

March 3, 2010

http://www.businessinsurance.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2010100309975