David Charles contacted me to help him and others regarding Superstorm Sandy flood damages. He is a veteran of many storms. He has been a catastrophe adjuster for over thirty years. There are some old timers in this activity, but David has a way with words to explain what he sees, knows and feels. I always enjoy listening and just listening some more to these guys (and women) as they talk about their experiences. I think it makes me better at what I do. I know I learn.

David Charles responded to my post, "Rocco Calaci – Is Rocco the Best Meteorologist." David has worked for many different catastrophe adjustment companies.

Charles also shared a more limited blog with me that he wrote following Katrina. I am providing it to you with his permission: Click here to read it.

Here is the introduction he wrote to me along with his blog:

Your blog is required reading in my world. Before I became a public adjuster, I was very proud of being a General Adjuster. I worked for 30 years for the insurance companies, and I was proud of our profession.

After Katrina, things changed. I represented Citizens of Florida in several hundred commercial appraisals, and I was broken hearted to see the abuses. The guys I ran with paid their claims.It was a cold slap in the face to see how badly Citizens treated their policyholders, and I switched sides at 55 years old, burning all my bridges behind me.
Before that, as a hobby, and to scratch my writers itch, I was a columnist for a baseball website. They knew I was a disaster relief guy, and they asked me to blog about my experience as I headed in to ground zero on Katrina.

Not all company adjusters and IA’s are evil. Many are good people who do the best they can to help everyone they meet. All of my friends in the business were in that category. Sadly, it’s very rare today.

I think what is in bold and italics is true. I often forget to say that. I sometimes wrongfully throw many great and honest industry people under the bus. I apologize. It is wrong that I do not point out that "many" are good, honest, and trying to help do "the right."

For what it is worth, however, not much has changed for Citizens. If Florida Governor Rick Scott allowed me, or anybody, to audit Citizens, most would find outrageous claims conduct towards Citizens customers and then stupid ignorance about how to combat some forms of fraud. The last thing Citizens would want is a skeptical audit by somebody that understands ethical claims conduct – and, I would point out the crazy frequency and severity of losses in Miami-Dade and Broward counties that could only be caused by fraud and propose a way to stop the problem. Adjusting claims and preventing insurance fraud is not rocket science, although Citizens is now paying rocket science wages to an attorney and his law firm that has never done this line of work. Go figure.

Most people have no idea what is like to live outside in the South during summer without food, fuel, or shelter. Many living in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama did just that following Hurricane Katrina. I will share some of David’s highlights in my blog tomorrow.

  • Darryl Davis

    Chip, been reading your posts for years. Today I took the time to read the blog by David Charles. I was touched. I remember all the storms I have worked over the years. It’s not about the money, its about a feeling of helping. I am proud of David Charles and proud you posted this beautiful blog. I am hopeful all claims people, on both sides, will read this and remember what it is all about. Helping people when they need it the most. Good job to all. DD

  • Chip – Dave Charles is a mutual friend whom I recognize as one of the rare, sincere adjusting warriors in our industry. Compliments to you for posting his blog again. Most of us that do what you and I do rarely see the real trenches of CAT adjusting; we deal with the aftermath as the insurance industry betrays the trust they sold. Dave’s chronicle is a piece of history, well-worth revisiting.
    Best of luck as you and your troops continue the fight to get the benefits due your clients following Hurricane Sandy (rumor has it that it was a hurricane, regardless of what Gov. Christie might have preferred…). Regards, Chris.

  • Insurance Veteran

    As a forty year veteran of the adjusting business myself and having worked many of the same storms its refreshing to see someone who gets the human tragedy and resilience aspect of these disasters. Its really not all about big bad insurance companies, the government or the adjusters its about the victims and their issues. David is truly compassionate and a real credit to the claims handling profession.