John Pappas is a tough litigator and very bright. I’ve known him since I helped him get his position at the 100 plus insurance coverage defense firm eventually known as Butler Pappas way back in 1982 when only a handful of attorneys worked there. Bill Berk was a tough prosecutor before he became a principal of his South Florida defense firm and a person I have been battling since Hurricane Andrew.
The three of us have been through countless ethical and bad faith claims quagmires. It would be hard for me to imagine three outside counsel dealing with more of these issues from different perspectives in Florida. Yet, stating what we believe is the proper ethical processes for handling claims is something I thought a more experienced and engaging panel could make a significant contribution at the Windstorm Insurance Conference, which engages the best of the best.
So, here is the PowerPoint of our presentation. Yet, claims and insurance professionalism and ethics is a study many would rather avoid because it is usually boring and most do not look at it as being central to making more money or progressing in advancement. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The ability to be a true claims professional and act ethically always advances you in the claims field. To make more money and advance your position, public, independent or company adjusters succeed in the long run to the degree of technical expertise they have and interpersonal skill sets those adjusters possess. Going to seminars and discussions like the ones we presented last week help those wanting to be the best get there faster. It is not an easy road, but one everybody has to climb. Education is the quickest way and far superior to the school of hard knocks learned on your client’s dime.
When researching this topic, I found an old publication from the 1960s on the topic of insurance claims professionalism and ethics that I invite all to read. It stated, in part:
Each person in the insurance business is subconsciously, if not consciously, searching for a guide to respectable or ethical behavior which will provide for him a feeling of personal satisfaction and contentment thereby allowing him to lead a more successful and rewarding life. And, as indicated above, the universal principle embodied by the golden rule will produce, in all probability, precisely what every person is searching for.
I will have more to discuss about this topic, but I would suggest that the Golden Rule is a great place to start with professional and ethical claims behavior. Hope to see you at the 2020 Windstorm Insurance Conference next year—assuming the Young Turks let me or us speak.
Thought For The Day
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.