The 2023 Windstorm Conference is underway. At the Past Presidents dinner last night, the topic of civil discussion and respect for opposing views was raised. It is an excellent topic. It is often on my mind while writing posts critical of others. 

For example, Steve Badger posted a comment to yesterday’s post, The Real Consumer Alert—Is the Georgia Insurance Commissioner In the Pocket of the Insurance Companies?:

Chip, I would respectfully suggest that Commissioner King’s new Bulletin is very pro-consumer. There is nothing derogatory in the Bulletin about public adjusters. He is just advising consumers to be an informed when engaging a public adjuster.

And why did he feel compelled to issue this Bulletin?

As you are aware, public adjuster Drew Aga/Mitchell just stole several million dollars from a Georgia church (and millions more from others in LA and TX). Obviously, that news made it to the Commissioner’s desk. Seems to me that given this recent conduct by a public adjuster, a pro-consumer bulletin was very much in order.

He makes a valid point, in part. This information explains why the warning was written. If this information was made part of the warning from the insurance commissioner and if the Georgia insurance commissioner was not impliedly lumping all public adjusters into a group of people that rip off consumers based on the action of one public adjuster who is crooked, I could even agree more with Steve Badger’s view. 

The title and tone of my post was critical of Georgia’s insurance commissioner making this public warning. After reading the information from Badger, I can appreciate that the commissioner may have written the warning out of sincere and legitimate concern for policyholders. I still think it should have been worded differently to be fair to the vast majority of honest and hardworking Georgia licensed public adjusters. 

The Windstorm Conference is unique because different professionals representing policyholders and those presenting insurance companies are sharing and debating ideas, information, and viewpoints, which are often different. The conference will be a cannot miss event so long as the attendees respect the opposing views no matter how divergent and wrong they may seem to those opposing them. I went so far during the discussion last night to suggest that the terms of Windstorm Network membership require an agreement of civil and respectful discourse to emphasize the point.

If I wanted to learn little, I would always go to events with people that think as I do. However, if I want to grow and learn more, I listen to others with more and different knowledge, ideas, and views. Nothing forces me to accept those different ideas, but it makes me work harder to find the truth and understand the subtleties of issues, making me better at my trade.

Thought For The Day     

This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

—Dwight D. Eisenhower