July 5, 2022

Archives for June 2022

Insurance Defense Attorneys – Avoid DEFCON-3 Through Situational Awareness

Astute attorneys who do coverage or insurance defense work vigilantly monitor their business environment and potential threats to their flow of cases from adjusters and other claim professionals.

Various “trigger events” can be yellow (or red) flags portending jeopardy in your business relationship with an insurer or its claim staff. Examples:

• New claim management or personnel bring with them from a prior job new preferences in outside law firms;

• The insurer undergoes a “reorganization,” which shakes up reporting relationships or imposes new cost-cutting criteria that could risk future outside counsel assignments;

• The insurer closes its claim office in your territory, “regionalizing” in the interest of consolidation and cost-cutting;

• The insurer decides to handle more legal work in-house, hoping to trim costs and increase control;

• The insurer creates a “captive” law firm to handle legal needs, legal needs it once farmed out to the likes of YOU!

• The insurer reports negative results and is in financial straits, triggering a new round of draconian steps to trim costs – like legal fees.

View any of these developments – and countless others – as trigger events that could upset your relationship and flow of cases. The point is not to be paranoid. (Although Intel’s ex-CEO Andrew Grove famously said, “Only the paranoid survive.”) The implications are twofold.

First, be aware and sensitive to changes in your external business environment, not just yours but – perhaps more importantly – changes in the insurer’s environment.

Second, proactively contact clients to address concerns before situations reach the DEFCON-3 stage, before you get a phone call or letter saying, “We will not be able to use your services anymore due to …”

Watch for “trigger” events and act on them.

Maybe then you’ll see fewer clients and sources of business pulling the trigger (or trapdoor) on you!

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Thanks for reading. I am an insurance consultant who helps clients assess claim-handling and improve outcomes through expert evaluation and testimony in high-stakes insurance disputes. I am particularly interested in optimizing claim professionals’ productivity, litigation management, and expert witnessing. If you have a comment or a request for a future topic, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at kevin@kevinquinley.com

Busting the Bad Faith Myth of Adjuster Bonuses….

The following URL should lead you to a PDF of my article in the latest issue of CPCU INSIGHTS, the quarterly publication (and this month’s cover story) of the CPCU Society and Insurance Institute of America.

We tackle the common myth embraced by many consumers and bad-faith attorneys that adjusters somehow receive a financial bonus for underpaying claims. A corollary theme advanced in many institutional bad-faith cases is that adjusters should simply never be bonus eligible because of the bad-faith problems.

This article refutes those notions and events as reasons why, if anyone deserves bonuses, it’s the claim professionals and all of the challenges that they must encounter and navigate in the course of their work.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BPGGehZelwMJtqhIXwohzn-r3G5KvtOm/view?usp=sharing

Raising a toast to adjusters and every hard-earned, well-deserved penny that they garner from what they have to put up with!

The Adjuster as Cognitive Athlete: G-Y-M or I-C-U?

Claim professionals at the top of their games need a base of physical fitness as well as mental acuity.

Claim professionals, as knowledge workers, are cognitive athletes. An oft-overlooked dimension of adjuster productivity is health and fitness.

Invest in your health, not just to perform as a cognitive athlete, but to boost your odds of longevity and functionality.

Your greatest ability is your AVAILability.

An active lifestyle, investing in your body and fitness, is a golden daily investment. Good health is THE foundation for your ability to do your job at a top-level.

You cannot adroitly handle claims or other people if you feel crappy. Deciding on how to embrace a daily, keystone habit of fitness is up to you.

It’s a lifestyle, not a “program.”

I work out 40-50 minutes a day to forestall the inevitable.

I start each morning with a short bike ride around my neighborhood before circling back to pick up my newspapers. (Remember those?). After breakfast, I walk my two dogs — a hound and a Rottweiler. Then, 2000 meters on a Concept2 ERG. Later in the day, maybe 30 minutes of Pickleball with my wife Jane or with neighborhood friends. Or a lap swim. Or a walk/jog ramble on trails at Pocahontas State Park. This gets me to my “minimum daily dosage” target of 40 minutes of aerobic activity. These are sprinkled throughout the day — some in the morning, others after work, and a few mini-workouts during work breaks.

I hit the G-Y-M (at home) to delay the day when I’ll need an I-C-U.

There are no guarantees. But I’m playing the odds.

Warren Buffet at 91 eats cheeseburgers and sucks down Cherry Coke. Amazing, and good for him.

You can do the right things (diet, exercise, sleep, etc.) and still gork out, like Jim Fixx. Or avoid fitness and live to be a nonagenarian like the Oracle of Omaha.

What do you do today to benefit you tomorrow?

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Thanks for reading. I am an insurance consultant who helps clients assess claim-handling and improve outcomes through expert evaluation and testimony in high-stakes insurance disputes. I have a particular interest in optimizing time productivity among claim professionals, litigation management, and expert witnessing. If you have a comment or a request for a future topic, please contact me at kevin@kevinquinley.com

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