The property insurance claims industry is increasingly turning to independent adjusters rather than company adjusters. The number of independent adjusters calling, texting, and literally confessing to me about unethical conduct has exploded over the last few years. My thought is that insurance companies are hiring independent adjustment firms and then placing financial pressure on those entities to reduce claims severity. Insurers trying to make their financial claims goals will simply hire a competitor of the independent adjusting firm if those numbers are not met. Those independent adjustment companies, in turn, have their claims managers place more emphasis upon closing claims for less than what is owed—damn regulatory ethics requirements and good faith treatment.
Continue Reading Do Independent Property Claims Adjusters Need More Legal Protection From Unethical Managers

Most policyholders have never been educated about what their property insurance adjuster is supposed to do following a hurricane loss. Most policyholders never read their insurance policy before the hurricane. Their attempt to read the verbiage and understand the policy after the hurricane usually results in failure. They should not feel bad since adjusters spend weeks and even months in training, with experts explaining what the policy wording means.
Continue Reading What Should a Policyholder Expect From a Hurricane Property Insurance Adjuster?

The National Flood Insurance program is hosting an adjuster briefing today at 4 pm EST. While I have a number of criticisms of the program, I commend them for providing their claims manuals online and having public disclosures explaining how they intend to adjust flood claims.

Here is the link:

Thought For The Day

Today, I was at a property claims seminar that described the multiple adjuster problem as a game of “adjuster musical chairs.” Policyholders, contractors, and public adjusters with Hurricane Ian claims will often be faced with multiple insurance company adjusters who will be the primary adjuster before being replaced or going back to their other job. I hate to say this, but I have been involved with catastrophe fee claims since 1985, and this is a much more common problem today than in the past.
Continue Reading Multiple Catastrophe Adjusters—What Policyholders, Contractors, and Public Adjusters Should Do

Following a speech about claims ethics and claims practice lawsuits, one of the questions I get asked is whether the insurance company’s adjuster can be sued for bad faith. The answer is that it depends on the state law. But I often ask the question—“Why do you want to sue the individual adjuster when the adjuster is already an agent of the insurance company?”
Continue Reading Can The Individual Adjuster Be Sued For Statutory Bad Faith? Can The Adjuster Be Sued In Colorado?

“Not with Hurricane Michael claims” is the answer to these questions being screamed by policyholders, contractors and public adjusters. The blog title and questions were plucked from CJW’s website which also says most adjusters have a difficult time making accurate estimates but CJW does not because their adjusters “work ‘round the clock” to make accurate estimates:

Accuracy: how easy it is to claim (and most adjusters do). How difficult it is to fulfill.

At CJW, high accuracy and precise teamwork are a way of life. From in-depth analysis of the policy to determine the limits of coverage…to daily reviewing of exposures and minimizing the risks of over- or under-reserving. CJW’s seasoned TPA managers will work ’round the clock, if necessary, to make sure all data, files and reports are as close to the mark as is humanly possible.

But then, isn’t that just what you’d expect from masters of the craft?1
Continue Reading Are Insurance Company Adjusters Really Working Around the Clock and Making Accurate Estimates?

An excellent and successful insurance company defense attorney, Bill Berk and I were on a panel presentation at the 2019 Windstorm Insurance Conference earlier this year. Berk reminded the audience of adjusters that under Florida law, they should not be saying or implying bad things about each other. He noted this Florida regulation:

A public adjuster shall not represent or imply to any client or potential client that insurers, company adjusters, or independent adjusters routinely attempt to, or do in fact, deprive claimants of their full rights under an insurance policy. No insurer, independent adjuster, or company adjuster shall represent or imply to any claimant that public adjusters are unscrupulous, or that engaging a public adjuster will delay or have other adverse effect upon the settlement of a claim.
Continue Reading Are There Ethical Conduct Standards Between Public Adjusters and Independent or Company Adjusters?

While Hurricane Lane threatens Hawaii with huge storm surge, high wind and heavy rain, officials are preparing for the impact of insurance claims after the Category 2 Storm.
Continue Reading Prepping for Hurricane Lane, Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Permits Temporary Use of Non-Resident Unlicensed Independent Adjusters

An older retired Florida Circuit Court judge once told me that his first job out of law school was in the claims department of an insurance company. He told me that all the company’s “adjusters” were licensed attorneys and that it was common for attorneys to act in that capacity during the 1930’s.
Continue Reading A Short History Lesson About How Adjusters Do Not Need to Be Licensed Attorneys