Rocco Calaci is presenting a very scientific discussion on severe weather in a webinar at 11 am ET today. While I am fortunate to work with a number of very highly qualified meteorologists throughout the United States, I once wrote an article asking, Rocco Calaci – Is Rocco the Best Meteorologist?. I noted in that article:
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…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 not be an expert so long as it was a first party insurance case, or he would get ‘black-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.’
Rocco has always been straight and honest with me. I even did not call him as a primary witness at trial after he said that his report was correct, and the higher wind speed reported by the insurance company expert was flawed and based on wrong data. I literally called the insurance company expert for testimony regarding wind speed and then Calaci for the wind direction on rebuttal.
Myths are abundant when it comes to meteorology. Calaci has been around long enough to know the real truth and limits of data. In a guest article published 12 years ago on this blog, Hidden Causes of Hurricane Damage: Meteorologist Rocco Calaci Explains That Hurricanes Are More Than Just High Winds And Water, he noted:
Hurricanes are more than just high winds and water. Hurricanes also spawn tornadoes, microbursts, straight line winds, extreme ground turbulence and phenomena that have the definite capacity to destroy houses, rip off roofs, uproot trees and do lots of damage. There are also induced dangers such as funneling winds and wind maxima areas (an area where two wind bands converge together to form a small area of increased wind speeds). These meteorological elements occur during hurricanes, yet everyone focuses on the highest wind speeds and storm surge heights.
The truth is that our ability to measure weather phenomena is getting more exact. Meteorologists can tell us more about what happened and where it happened with greater accuracy than in the past. When it comes to proving damages caused by a weather event, educated and experienced meteorologists can make the difference between getting paid and having an otherwise covered loss denied.
I hope those of you invited to join us will do so for this presentation today. If for some reason you are a public adjuster or restoration contractor and did not get an invitation, please call Will Midtbo at (813) 295-5380 to receive an invitation before this morning’s event.
Thought For The Day
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
—Anthony J. D’Angelo