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The Cat In Your Hat

holding your own

Those who hold high places left you holding a near-empty toolbox ...
or as luck would have it!

A Day Of Reckoning

As a matter of course

by Antone P. Braga

Knowledge is leverage. The more you know, the more you have adjusting power. The real trick in adjusting is to get a good result as quickly as possible, with as little trouble as possible. It is the continued fate of unknowing, unprepared policyholders to deal ineffectively. Their lack of ability, I am sure, is due in part to attitude. However, lack of information and understanding are the real culprits. It is difficult to imagine doing something in an area of which you know little or nothing, no matter how simple the task. This scenario has repeated itself down through the ages.

In today's typical property insurance claim business: the independent or company adjuster represents the insurance company, and also happens to prepare, file and adjust claims for policyholders. However, it is a blatant conflict of interest for the payer to represent the payee in a payment transaction (reference), and can lead to all sorts of problems and litigation.

Reckoning: policyholders themselves, or independent companies that prepare claims for policyholders (public adjusting firms already exist for large claims), prepare all size policyholders' losses, much the same as the HR Blocks of the world, or the public prepares its own taxes. Initially, forms, instructions, claim rights, and recovery rules are made available to the insured public or policyholder representative, as a basic guide. The policyholder, or policyholder representative then presents a prepared statement of loss to the insurance company for consideration. If additional adjustment is needed it should be handled between a company adjuster and a policyholder adjuster, or between a company adjuster and an informed policyholder.

In the end: the insurance company is alleviated from conflict of interest, and can reduce it's claim force dramatically to handle day to day business, giving attention to only those claims that need audit or further adjustment, the insuring public is protected and represented properly, the insurance company saves in adjusting expense, and it can cite insurance consumer protection—gaining good will and market share. A win-win for companies and the public.

Inasmuch that insurance companies' advertising costs, as well as the costs of adjusters who represent the insurance companies' interest are paid from policyholder premiums, perhaps insurance authorities can see, if not the cost of proper policyholder representation be paid from premiums, at the very least, they provide policyholders disaster insurance rights, forms, instructions, and recovery rules at the inception of insurance as a matter of course, so policyholders can protect their interest in dealing with companies' adjusters they paid for, but who do not, and should not profess to, represent them.

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Chagrin, a verse

Help on the way: this content is local to your area in that it affects virtually everyone in your area, indirectly or directly: property insurance policyholders. When the next news stories run having to do with a local disaster such as a hurricane, earthquake, flood, tornado, fire, etc., perhaps think of those disaster survivors and to what extent you may have helped in their preparedness and recovery. Thank you for any help you give.


What is your philosophy: drive or be driven? I happen to think we are wise to keep our drive alive.

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