I was just talking on a panel with Steve Badger and Jon Held. I would like to thank the management of Windstorm Insurance Network so that we can give this presentation. My hope was to get individuals in the insurance industry with deep experience and who are leaders in the field on the panel. Held and Badger come from Central Casting as the best people for it. I felt we could talk about all the issues based on our national experience. Having a policyholder advocate like me in a panel in such a discussion is what the Windstorm Conference is all about. I learned a lot and hope that readers of this blog who participated did so as well.
An impression that stood out to me was how much Steve Badger hates evaluations where the amounts increase significantly. I feel the exact opposite. I'm not talking to Steve, but he seemed to think that if the previous adjusters, the public adjusters and the person who estimated the claim missed items or did not do their jobs completely, the policyholder would not be able to collect for provable amounts. I think Jon Held felt the same way. I suggested that they do so because they are in line with the interests of insurance companies, but their views are important and should be addressed. firmly asserted. He had a chart and then questioned how public adjusters would miss a claim by so much. The problem, especially with large losses, is that many public adjusters do not pay for all expert costs, nor does the policyholder. I can say that when it comes to my law firm, we hire experts and claims can go up, a lot or down. New eyes and opinions correct mistakes. My opinion is that Steve Badger's client may pay in full for the policyholder and not if they simply pay more in assessment.
Still, if Badger believes that people make the loss amount, it is not right. But to condemn the policyholder because the first set of eyes lacked the forest from the trees is another mistake. I remember my mother saying something about "two mistakes never do right." Getting the policyholder paid in full as quickly as possible is something I bet Steve Badger and Jon Held agree in public. They may not be happy when that number goes up in rating because their customer will not make their winning numbers for the quarter and complain to them that they lack their personal bonus, but that's life. The insurance company should not have such types of incentives for severity or loss ratio.
My second impression is that the audience can see why it is important to sit in the other's shoes. An example is the "competition for the courthouse". I agree with Badger that people should not compete with a letter or a trial to name a judge. I must admit that I was guilty of this 25 years ago when judgment was not required as much as it is now. But it is very important to have an honest, fair and process-oriented judge who can control people who advocate their position. The judge is impartially briefly noted Jon Held in my post, The judge is biased based on his company's work for a party ̵
For policyholder advocates and all public adjusters, my last impression is that we need to place ourselves in insurance company adjusters and managers when considering how we can help our customers. It is easy to say that an insurance company wants to avoid paying an increased amount, but they may be upset that previous information has led them to believe that a proper reserve should be much smaller than what can happen in an assessment. Even an estimated reserve with a warning of any increased amounts based on investigation not brought by the adjuster is much better than "surprise, here is the new higher number that no one examined and took up." This makes the adjusters and their experts look like fools. If you like this game and make people look bad, also be ready for those surprises for you. Most of us are not that much smarter than another.