Nobody calls my office telling me what a great job their adjuster has done to fairly maximize their recovery in a prompt manner. Why should they? Risk managers, property managers, insurance agents, attorneys, public adjusters and policyholders, generally call our firm because they need help with claim delay or a denial. Their stories usually have derogatory, but colorful, language describing the insurance company representatives.
Last week, the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s General and Assistant General Counsel met with me regarding a number of claims topics. At the time, I knew my blog regarding recent complaints about Citizens and TWIA was about to be published. I told them about the complaints. They seemed bewildered. They explained their belief that the recent change in claims management had been very positive and a good move towards improving Citizens. I promised to send them examples of our findings so we could determine if what I was hearing from others is accurate.
The point is that my views are largely shaped by an upset or wronged policyholder’s view. My livelihood is made representing them. My most significant daily activities are trying to figure out how to prove that insurance companies act in bad faith and why our firm’s clients are entitled to more money.
Comments to this blog, are often "atta boy" cheers from policyholders and colleagues when I write about or expose instances of insurance company misconduct. Sometimes, my colleagues criticize my comments regarding the good business of insurers or when I empathize with an insurer point of view. I am certain that these cheers and jeers have some impact upon my view.
I am writing this at the 2009 Windstorm Insurance Conference. It is the most diverse claims conference in the country because the 1,300 plus attendees represent both sides of the claims process. The debates and viewpoints regarding claims handling and insurance coverage interpretation are fascinating because the panelists and attendees are policyholder representatives and the insurance industry. To the extent possible, the ability to share different views makes the Windstorm Conference a fair and balanced opportunity to learn and share information about windstorm coverage and claims.
My viewpoint is not so balanced. If you make your living from insurance companies, you probably will never admit it is fair–at least not publicly. I receive plenty of private "atta boy" praise from insurance adjusters and attorneys for writing and saying what some are afraid to say. Many insurance company adjusters, attorneys and vendors will not be seen with me or acting friendly towards me because they fear retribution by their insurance company clients. Some insurance executives view the claims world as an "us versus them" scenario; the customer with a claim problem and the customer’s attorney is "them."
So, similar to Bill O’Reilly, I am making a fair and balanced report on the world of insurance. If the insurance industry would show more instances of good faith claims conduct for me to write about, I am certain it would seem more balanced. Perhaps the executives running the insurance companies should adopt my view and see things from the view of their customers. What a novel approach to running an insurance enterprise that would be.