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Adjustment of property claims | Zalma on insurance



A webinar available only to subscribers to my local community or my substack publications was posted today

Subscribe for only $50 per year or $5.00 per month. To subscribe and watch the webinar go to https://zalmaoninsurance.locals.com/subscribe or substack at substack.com/refer/barryzalma at substack.com/refer/barryzalma.

The Excellence in Claims Handling program available at my local or through my Substack publications includes a one-hour Property Claims Handling webinar and a webinar on why insurance companies must spend millions on defense and not a dime on tribute.

In addition, the programs contain several insurance claims, insurance laws, and insurance education materials that are sufficient for your claims staff to provide excellent claims management to the insured.

A community created by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE and ClaimSchool, Inc. to help create a community of insurance professionals dedicated to excellence in claims management.

A source for the insurance claims adjuster to become an insurance claims professional who can provide excellence in claims management to the insurance buyer public.

The professional claims manager

In the pursuit of profit, insurance companies have decimated their professional claims staff. They fired experienced staff and replaced them with young, uneducated, unprepared people. A virtual clerk replaced the old professional claims adjuster. Process and computers replaced practical human skill and judgment. Money was saved by paying lower wages. Within three months after the seasoned claims were fired, people’s gross profits increased. The promises of an insurance policy are kept by the professional tortfeasor. It is cost-effective over long periods of time to have a professional claims staff dedicated to excellence in claims handling. A professional and experienced adjuster will save the insurer millions by resolving disputes, paying claims owed quickly and fairly, and thus avoiding litigation.

The professional tortfeasor is an important part of the insurer’s defense against litigation by insureds against insurers for breach of contract and bad faith. Claims professionals settle more claims for less money without either party needing to involve a lawyer. A happy claimant who is satisfied with the outcome of his or her claim will never sue the insurer.

Incompetent or inadequate claims staff force insureds and claimants to public insurance adjusters and attorneys. Every survey conducted on claims determines that claims with an insured or injured party represented by counsel cost more to settle than those where counsel is not involved. Fast, efficient and professional claims handling saves money for both the insured and the insurer and fulfills the promises made when the insurer sold the policy.

Insurers who believe they can handle first or third party claims with young, cheap, inexperienced and untrained claims adjusters should be sued by angry shareholders whose dividends have plummeted or will plummet as a result. When an insurer compromises on staff, profits, however thin they may have been in the past, will quickly enter negative territory. Damages and punitive damages will deplete the reserves. Insurance companies will quickly question why they write insurance. Those who remain in the insurance industry will either adopt a program that demands excellence in claims management from every member of their claims staff, or they will fail.

Insurance is a business. It must change – this time for the better – if it is to survive. It must reconsider redundancies of experienced claims staff and cuts to training to save “costs”. Insurers should, if they want to succeed, adopt a program to promote excellence in claims management that can help insurers deliver on policy promises and avoid allegations of breach of contract and bad faith in both first and third party claims.

Insurers must understand that they cannot adequately fulfill the promises they make to their insureds and their obligations under fair claims settlement procedures without a professional, well-trained and experienced claims staff. An insurer must work vigorously and intelligently to create a professional claims department or face losing its market and all hope of profit.

Professional insurance indemnifiers are people who:

  • can read and understand the policies issued by the insurer.
  • understand the promises made by the police and their obligation, as an insurer’s claims staff, to fulfill the promises made.
  • are competent investigators.
  • have empathy and understand the difference between empathy and sympathy.
  • understand medicine related to traumatic injuries and are sufficiently versed in tort law to deal with attorneys as equals.
  • understand how to repair damage to real and personal property and the value of the repairs or property.

An insurer whose claims staff consists of less than professional people will be subject to multiple instances of expensive, counterproductive litigation.

Some webinars are available to license for your entire staff. If interested, contact Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, 310-390-4455 or zalma@zalma.com.

About Barry Zalma

An insurance coverage and claims management author, consultant and expert witness with more than 48 years of practical and courtroom experience.


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