Steve Badger was a good sport before and after our presentation at TAPIA’s Fall meeting last week. Here’s a picture of us after the event:

Steve Badger vs. Chip Merlin

I personally think it is difficult to keep saying "no" to almost anything or anybody. Insurance claims adjusters seem to find a way to do it when the result is a second disaster for the policyholder. Some insurance company attorneys seem to sadistically enjoy it – I guess it is because they enjoy taking that position. Others look at it as a job and a way to make money with the rationalization that everybody deserves the best lawyer they can afford. There are other motivations, but these are at the top of the list. And, I am not implying that every claim is payable or that the claimed amount should always get paid. I am just commenting on the human motivations for why people pick one side or the other.

Maybe I am wrong, but I do not feel Steve Badger fits into either category. I think the public adjusters in the audience gave Steve somewhat of a pass because they had the same perception. To his credit, he seemed apologetic to some examples public adjusters raised. But, I think his perception is that most of his clients in the vast majority of circumstances never act in bad faith or with malice.

Early in the debate, I asked Badger a number of rhetorical pointed questions that seemed to imply a response of "no coverage" although the equities certainly favored the policyholder. The audience gave very vivid clues of how they thought about Steve’s responses by folding their arms and some shook their heads. But I knew what was in the heart of each audience member—"I sure am glad I am not on Steve Badger’s side, and policyholders really need me with guys like him helping insurance companies."

The lesson I have been preaching in my last four presentations to public adjusters and policyholder attorneys is that what we do helps folks obtain what they deserve, but we have to be the best we can to beat the Steve Badgers of the world and those ingenious insurance company adjusters I noted in yesterday’s post, Cosmetic Damage is Physical Damage.

How do you do that? Let me give two easy examples:

1. Become a Certified Estimating Software user. If you are negotiating construction costs, it is simply wrong not to have credentials to back up your client’s position.

2. Get an AIC accreditation. A CPCU is even better, but first things are first.

I suppose the title to this post should have been: Representing and Helping Policyholders is Good for the Soul When You are The Best You Can Be.

Do not delay, click your way to doing what you know is best for yourself and the people you are promising to help to the best of your ability.

If you feel good about what you do now, you will feel even better when you can proudly raise your hand in my presentations to say you bettered yourself. Keep doing God’s work, because my God is a lot more concerned about humans than the pieces of paper that the other side represents. Trusted Choice insurance agents agree with me when they advertise, "You’re a Person, Not a Policy."

Positive Thought For The Day

"Make the most of yourself…….for that is all there is of you."
      – Ralph Waldo Emerson

How about the All Time Best Motivational Song to Psych You Up?

//www.youtube.com/embed/xSmYAdiXb5M?rel=0

  • SHIRLEY HEFLIN

    Dear Chip:

    Great Blog today, Sir! Kudos to you for calling a spade a spade and I’m specifically referring to the following quote from above:

    “…Some insurance company attorneys seem to
    sadistically enjoy it – I guess it is because
    they enjoy taking that position. I am just
    commenting on the human motivations for
    why people pick one side or the other…”

    Call me Plaintiff oriented, Plaintiff biased, or any name that implies I’m “for the Plaintiff/Policyholder” because I am!! Geez, fighting for the Plaintiff and being in their corner is all I’ve ever done. Not to date myself or anything, but when I was 18, my first job was as a Receptionist for a Plaintiff’s law firm in Tampa. To date, I’ve never “changed sides” and/or never even had the yearning to experience the other side. Instead, I’ve been on the “right side” for over 30 years now and will remain on this side.

    Finally, I’ve been exposed to quality, competent professionals in our legal world representing both sides of the fence and consider myself fortunate to work and cross paths with them.

    Sincerely,
    Shirley A. Heflin
    Tampa, Fla.

  • Chip Merlin

    Shirley,

    Thanks for the comments. Everybody knows what side you are on. I am happy you are not passionately with the insurers.

  • Steven Thomas

    I thought the dialogue between you a Steve Badger was very informative! Both of you bring a hi degree of integrity to the debate! We should do this with experts sometime!