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

January 19, 2011

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

http://wkrg.com/1204118/

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

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

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

Thanks!

Advertisements

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

August 25, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

August 25, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

BP 8/17/10 Press Release explains transition this week to Gulf Coast Claims Facility for individuals and businesses/ See info as well on Worley adjusting firm involvement in government entity BP claims

August 17, 2010

The BP press release for August 17, 2010 explains how claims will transition from their BP Claims operation to Ken Feinburg’s Gulf Coast Claims Facility program.

Here is the link to their press release with all of the details:

http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7064522

The BP Claims Statistics page is updated through 8/17/10 and shows  151,000 claims reported and only 44,000 of them have received one payment thus far. They also show the current claim staff at 1,650 which is an increase of about 400 since I last blogged about this a few days. That is quite interesting as I personally made a call to Worley’s deployment department to see what status was on deployments and they said that deployments had slowed down and they were fully staffed right now. Considering that Ken Feinburg when in Pensacola last week said all claim will have to be reported again to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility so that is going to be quite a feat to take 151,000 claim assignments and requiring the claimants resubmit all paper work to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

Here is also a link to a good Bloomberg article published 8/16/10 quoting Feinburg on the economic losses that are not directly on the coast:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-16/bp-spill-claims-from-50-states-confront-administrator-feinberg.html

It is interesting to read his comment that hotels more than 50 miles from the coast are unlikely to recover economic losses. Just as one example, immediately it came to mind to me that if you exit off of interstate 10 to Panama City you automatically see signs that it is 51 miles to the beach………………need I say more?

I do believe we have a long road ahead of us before we hear the last of these claims.

I’ll update the blog immediately when Feinburg releases the information this week as this BP press release says he will.

I’ll leave you now with a link to a video of Feinburg in Pensacola, FL at a townhall meeting explaining the GCCF transition by WEAR TV 3 in Pensacola, FL:

http://www.weartv.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wear_vid_10234.shtml?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


Ken Feinburg answers many BP Oil Spill questions in Pensacola, FL this week on the new Gulf Coast Claims Facility effective 8/23/2010/ BP Claim Stats through 8/11/10

August 13, 2010

The Pensacola News Journal is running a series of BP Oil Spill articles this week based on meetings held with locals this week on the new Gulf Coast Claims Facility- the name assigned to the 20B BP fund to pay damage claims.

First we have this article published 8/11/2010 about Feinburg’s meeting with 300 people and the University of West FL stating the fund will take over effective August 23, 2010:

http://www.pnj.com/article/20100811/NEWS01/8110338/1056/NEWS10/Feinberg-here-to-clean-up-the-mess

The interesting things picked up in this article is 1) confirmation that Feinburg still intends to issue settlement funds rather than advance funds that have been issued under the BP claims process for up to 6 months loss in exchange for a release 2) people/businesses who have already filed claims will need to update their claim information through the facility 3) they will accept emergency claims for loss up to Thanksgiving then remain open 3 years handling final/full settlements.

I was very surprised to read in this next article that even if you filed a claim through BP, you’ll have to file a new claim with the new facility:

http://www.pnj.com/article/20100811/NEWS01/8110336/1056/NEWS10/Feinberg-answers–oil-spill-claims-questions

This begs the question if the advances and payments previously issued through the BP/ESIS process will in fact be deducted from the facility payments by Feinburg’s group.

For many other articles on the oil spill through the Pensacola News Journal, you can view them here:

http://www.pnj.com/section/NEWS10

Other news sources updating comments from Feinburg and others on what will and will not be paid include:

BP may cut off tourism/restaurant businesses with indirect losses by Naples news:

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/aug/12/bp-stops-paying-tourism-claims-lower-gulf-coast-an/?gulfdrilling=1

From blog Alabama we have news updates on the National Association of Realtors meeting with Feinburg in Washington to discuss loss of realtor commissions indicating Feinburg is going to consider his position on these losses:

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/08/oil_spill_realtors_want_bp_rei.html

Also, Feinburg is quoted as stating the new claim rules won’t be posted until 8/23/2010 to allow adjusters to be trained and to test the report filing systems:

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/08/claims_czar_individual_claims.html

This article also indicates 39,000 BP claims are dangling awaiting Feinburg’s program to determine whether or not payments will be made on the restaurant and tourism claims for those not located near the oil spill. Note the interesting comments from MS AG Jim Hood:

http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/As-39-000-spill-claims-dangle-BP-defers-to-feds-609097.php

BP’s site updates stats through 8/7/2010 with 145,000 claims received, 103,900 claim payments made, and 319 Million thus far paid out.

If the article linked to above from the Pensacola News Journal is right- 145,000 claims is alot of new claim reports to be made through the facility if it is true each claimant will have to file a new claim through Feinburg’s Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

The BP Stats excel sheet on their site shows 1,247 adjusters in the 36 claims offices

Here is a copy of their spreadsheet updated through 8/11/2010:

BP_MC252_Dashboard_Aug_11_2010

You can find this updated daily on BP’s site on the Claims Statistics tab at www.bp.com/claims . Here is also a direct link to the claims statistics worksheets or you can click on the download link right below the summary of key statistics on the statistics page here:

http://www.bp.com//sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9034294&contentId=7063267


BP deposits first 3B of 20B Fund for BP Oil Spill Claims and explanation of timing of additional forthcoming fund deposits

August 9, 2010

Just a short entry today to link you to the news that BP has now deposited the first 3B of the 20B BP Oil Fund. This article also names the trustees involved in the trust:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2010/08/09/112299.htm

Here is a 2nd article from Business Insurance news which explains that an additional 2B will be deposited in 4th quarter then 1.5B each quarter until they reach the 20B:

http://www.businessinsurance.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100809/NEWS01/100809930/1246

http://www.businessinsurance.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100809/NEWS01/100809930/1246


To my friends, family, and claims community members- News on the BP Oil spill from the Florida Panhandle

June 17, 2010

Words are useless to express the devastation and sorrow about  how we are all feeling about the approaching oil in the Florida panhandle and the horror we feel for the states preceding us with the oil spill in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama so I will publish this as is updating you on activities that took place with the Okaloosa County Florida Commissioners  meeting this week.

 First, a link to a blog post by Attorney Chip Merlin  who is being extremely proactive in the Destin, FL area where my friends and family are , staying in tune with what is going on and trying to help consumers in that area. Second , is a copy of an email that I got from a very beloved friend in Destin who is and always has been very interested in the beaches and wildlife there. I hope this post helps bring attention to the plight there and helps even one friend in the area find direction in this unspeakable horror.

To my nephew Ryan in Pensacola, my niece Pam in Ft Walton and family,  my nephew Billy and family in Panama City, and to my husband Don’s relatives in Grayton beach and Walton counties,  and to my sister Diana and family who own rental property in Destin, FL- our hearts and prayers are with you all daily as well as to all gulf coast residents, displaced workers, and restoration workers trying to save our beaches. Please read on:

Consumer Attorney Chip Merlin’s blog  about his visit and participation in the Okaloosa County meetings this week:

*Note- yes I recommend first trying to work with the BP claims process but when all else fails, I do highly recommend Chip Merlin be the attorney you resort to to pursue your losses if you are unsuccessful with BP. I have followed his actions- not just his words- since Katrina.

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2010/06/articles/insurance/oil-and-hurricanes-here-comes-the-one-two-punch/

Second, a most heartening email request from a very dear long term friend in Destin, Donna Minton , also emailing her distribution list requesting we support the Okaloosa County Commissioners which I definitely do in their position to take matters into their own hands to protect our way of life in Destin and the Florida panhandle. Her email is copied below with her knowledge and consent. Donna has given a voice to how we are all feeling in her most special way  :

 
 
 
Dear family and friends:
 
This morning while I was listening to the local news, I caught a TV segment on the Okaloosa County Commissioners here making a decision to move forward with taking action to protect our bays and beaches from the oil spill without waiting for the required governmental permission to do so. I thought that action was kind of gutsy for a governmental org and wanted to show support for their decision  and encourage them in this vein of thinking and action.  So, I called and spoke with the secretary at the Okaloosa County Commissioner office and told her that I just wanted to write a letter/send an email to the Board of County Commissioner further encouraging them.  She was very kind and receptive to my call and told me that the Commissioners are getting flooded with emails on the situation, but very few “old-fashioned” letters are being rec’d. She felt like a letter would be great and assured me that she would personally see that each County Commissioner got a copy of it and she knew they all would appreciate words of support in their “maverick” actions to move forward. She said that a written letter would actually garner some better attention rather than one lone email among so many rec’d. It would get lost in the masses, so to speak. So, I wrote my letter.
 
I know that so many of you feel that same love and adoration as I do. I’m not alone in these feelings. This situation is a nightmare to my consciousness as I know it is for all of you.  Since returning from Great Britain and Ireland 10 days ago and learning how the situation has gotten worse and closer to my own beloved beaches, I have not been able to talk much about the  tuition since returning home –  the pain of it just runs so deep in my heart. This may sound strange to many of you – but the way I feel is very similar to the feelings I experienced in the months following my Mom’s passing.  An incredible feeling of deep and heavy sadness and heartfelt longing for life to return back to normal before the tragic event happened.  I worry about all the marine life and wildlife creatures that live in the oceans and on our beaches.  It’s more than a dark cloud on my head….it’s a torrential downpour of grief over what is happening. I limit how watch much of the news on the TV/internet I watch or read  because it just makes me weep and deepens feelings of depression and hopelessness. Does this sound and feel familiar to any of you? I’m working hard to stay positive, upbeat, and optimistic and praying for that “silver lining” in this situation and the greater “good” that has to come out of even the most tragic of situations.  It’s very hard to stay on that optimistic path these days, but definitely the better choice for us all.  
 
So this email is a gentle request of my family friends to consider taking a few minutes of your time and writing a short letter of thanks, support, and encouragement to the Okaloosa County Commissioners office for their decision to move forward  – come hell or high water. I hope they truly “walk the talk” they are broadcasting out to the public. Please join me in encouraging them to do so. A positive word of encouragement is so much better than anger, judgment, and criticism. It does not matter whether you live in Okaloosa County or not  – or even in Florida. Please consider writing a letter anyway.

A very wise person – very  near and dear to my heart – often reminds me to “create love in every situation” so I’m hoping this letter creates a bit of love in this situation. 🙂  If writing a letter resonates with you, ask your family, friends, and colleagues to do so the same. It just takes a few minutes, some paper, envelope and a stamp. And it may make you feel a bit more hopeful..just the act of writing the letter lifted my spirits a bit.  The more folks that write, the better. As my friend, Jano, just wrote me in an email this week – It takes a village.
 
 So, I’m asking that perhaps each of you consider writing your own letter of support to the County with the thought that the more positive reinforcement they get from the community on their action, the better it will be for the situation and encourage them to continue to move forward and not wait around for approvals.
 
 I’m not a person that airs my political beliefs willy-nilly and this email is not meant to be a political email in any way (there’s enough of those going around) but you all know how passionate I am about the marine and beach wildlife, our beloved ocean and beaches,and the health of our planet. As with many of you, I have grown up with these beaches in all phases of my life  from Gulf Shores,Alabama to Pensacola Beach and now Destin, and Okaloosa Island.  I often tell folks that I have Gulf water running through my veins, quartz crystal sand between my toes, the salty smell of the ocean in my nostrils, and the sound of the surf in my heart.  I love the beach in all of its varied conditions – be it a soft gentle spring rain, a fierce storm during hurricane season, the bright hot sunshine of July, the solitude quietness of winter, or a peaceful foggy mist in the fall. It is beautiful to me no matter the season or time of day. I have solved many a heartache in my life  in long walks and talks with God and the ocean on Okaloosa Island beach, had fun with Sonny on our “date” Sunday beach days snorkeling and swimming, experienced the thrill of finding a “gift from the sea’ on the beaches after a storm, enjoyed the feel of the ocean on my skin while skinny-dipping(surprised you with that one, didn’t I?) and felt the surge of love and admiration in my heart watching herons, pelicans, dolphins, sea gulls,manatees, sea turtle, sandpipers, and crabs make their home here (to name just a few). It’s a boundless love- my love of this area.  I’m a proud coastal girl born and bred and hopefully will be one to my last days.  I have also honored that love of the ocean and beach in my home and office.
 
by Donna Minton, Destin, FL

I will continue to post a link to my prayer and song as long as this gulf coast recovery effort is going on:

Should you wish to send this link on this post to your friends just copy and paste this link:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/to-my-friends-family-and-claims-community-members-news-from-the-florida-panhandle/

To add to Donna’s contact information above,  here’s the link to the Okaloosa Commissioners. If you don’t know what to say to the Commisioners, here is a link to their website which has additional updates from the June 16, 2010 meeting and their fax number so if you do nothing else, print this blog out and fax it to them at 850-651-7142  and add a note to tell them you do support their efforts.

http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/bcc_contact.html

Or forward the following link to your friends and family and to the commissioners by email:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/to-my-friends-family-and-claims-community-members-news-from-the-florida-panhandle/

Each and every day until this oil spill is cleaned up, I intend to  close each blog with the following prayer and song for oil spill victims, especially the families of those who lost their family members in the Deep Water Horizon explosion: 

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/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/
 
We appreciate all comments you make to this post if you support the Okaloosa County Commissioners so please post your comments and I will approve them. Let’s  use this blog comments section to keep each updated on what is happening in and around the Florida panhandle to give Donna’s voice further wings to  help the Florida panhandle and keep those of us living outside of the area news on the developments and progress in the Florida panhandle.
 
Here is also a link to another blog I wrote last week with all of the BP claim forms should you need them. You can also follow all blogs I’ve posted about BP by just entering BP in the search field on the right column of this blog to read them all to keep up with the information I am updating on the BP claims status. 

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/bp-gulf-oil-spill-claims-update-claims-process-claims-manual-claims-forms-and-much-more/
 
We also ask that you help those of us in the claims industry help you by passing along our plight trying to get assigned to work these claims. It is just a tragedy that only one adjusting firm has been assigned to handle these claims. As of last Friday, BP had only assigned 600 adjusters between Louisiana and Florida to handle these claims and we do not even know if they are experienced adjusters entirely. Compare those numbers to the following numbers required in the 2004 and 2005 hurricane season:
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/lets-compare-floridas-2004-2005-bad-hurricane-seasons-with-the-current-number-of-bp-claims-as-of-6122010-and-currently-deployed-claims-adjusters-part-ii-open-letter-to-obama-and-admiral-allen/