Insurance companies and their attorneys bet they can beat me for a living – they are professional litigators and have a frequent motive to deny or underpay claims. My firm and I are in their way from profits and bad publicity for their manner of delay and denial way of life in the insurance claims business. It is a high stakes game and a very competitive forum where winning is everything – to prove who is “right.”
Many extraordinarily talented attorneys get “bought out” by insurance companies. There is nothing wrong with that because advocates are “for sale.” That is the nature of my profession. I almost got bought out for the long term into the insurance industry, but I left a good property insurance defense law firm in 1985 to form a policyholder’s firm. I wanted freedom and to do what I thought was right for people. That does not mean all people are “right” against their insurance companies. It also does not mean I am a Saint for helping people and businesses against insurance companies. But, I am not stuck singing the company tune and looking the other way when they are not doing right.
One of the first problems for policyholder advocates is finding great experts that are not “bought out.” For example, I had an arson expert tell me in the 1980’s that he could be an expert so long as it was a first party insurance case or he would get “blacked balled” from the insurance industry. All experts doing insurance company defense work know exactly what I am talking about. They get deselected if they give opinions that make not paying impossible or paying “too much,” whatever “too much” is in the eyes of the retaining adjuster. They may claim innocence, but I do not believe it. All insurance company experts know the pressure I am talking about and some have truly become “bought and paid for.”
Experts are not advocates. The almighty dollar has bought out many otherwise “good” experts and that is the reality today. The insurance industry auditors should dig into this ethical issue if they honestly want to do what is right for customers and what is required by regulation. I am not exactly certain how to do that. State Farm once sent out letters asking their experts if they had ever been pressured by adjusters and gave out false opinions. Who is going to answer that question honestly?
I thought about that a few weeks ago when Rocco Calaci was telling me, “this case you are considering had……” No way was the weather science backing up what I thought had happened and when I thought it happened. From my viewpoint, better to know sooner than later. Calaci said I was wrong without ever saying it. Case closed before ever filed.
Some insurance company attorneys, adjusters, and experts may not want to read more of this post, but we know that is going on in the field – just send a comment if you disagree and I will send more proof. Why can’t we just be honest that some really smart insurance experts play with their opinions to meet a market demand and not lose business?
At a recent hail damage seminar we held in Dallas, we invited Rocco Calaci to be our featured meteorologist. We did it because we think he is one of the best at what he does. He is honest and works hard at the evidence and knows what he is talking about. Insurance companies and their attorneys do not like him because he explains why their experts are wrong – insurance companies typically hire “cheap” meteorologists that advertise that they can save insurers money. Sometimes, they hire “bought for engineers” to say what in general happened with the weather. Engineers usually do not know where to find the weather data. They sometimes cite less severe sources in their opinions because those are not harmful to their analysis.
Rocco Caltaci is one of the best. To be fair, I have spoken of Rocco for at least five years – starting with my post, Hidden Causes of Hurricane Damage: Meteorologist Rocco Calaci Explains That Hurricanes Are More Than Just High Winds And Water. He also made predictions of hurricanes in Rocco Calaci Contemplates the 2010 Hurricane Season.
At the hail damage seminar, he made two predictions: A 2014 hurricane hitting between Savannah and the Carolina Outer Banks, and a hurricane hitting between New Orleans and Mexico Beach, Florida. Last week, he made 50% of his prediction.
Are you betting against the rest?
Here is his PowerPoint he gave to governments this Spring. They listen to him as well – even if the insurance industry and their attorneys do not want to.
For what it is worth, I noted this last year: 2013 Hurricane Season Officially Ends–Prognosticators Flunk. I also noted this warning in Psychic Predicts No Hurricanes On Florida’s Treasure Coast.
If Rocco misses the last part of his prediction, I will note it here.
Positive thought for the day:
“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”
– Mahatma Gandhi