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!


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/
 

 


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.