September 22, 2021

New Claims Book Advocates “Back to Basics” as a Blueprint for Adjusting Success

As Vince Lombardi began building his iconic gridiron dynasty in Green Bay, WI, legend has it that he assembled his players for their first practice session, held a pigskin aloft and intoned, “Gentlemen — this is a football.”

“Back to basics” is a familiar recipe for success, often one we hear from the realm of public schools and childhood education.  A return to the fundamentals is sorely needed in the claims profession as well, according to claims consultant and author Chris Tidball in his latest book, Blocking & Tackling.  Anyone who is off-put by sports metaphors may be tempted to check out now, as Tidball likens building a top-flight claims unit to coaching world-class sports teams.  He feels that there at least four ingredients for success.

Hiring practices.  First, upgrade adjuster hiring practices. Tidball likens staffing a world-class claims organization with developing a top-level pro sports team. He is of the view that you draft the best athlete available. He discounts somewhat the value of years of experience and gray hair. Instead, he embraces the model utilized by companies such as Southwest Airlines, which hire for attitude and train for skill.  Like a coach on NFL draft day looking for the best player, Tidball’s philosophy is to hire the best candidates available. He definitely seems to believe that your attitude determines your altitude in the claims business. He would take an eager and inexperienced person who was receptive to learning over a jaded but seasoned adjusters who feel that they have learned all or know enough.

Leverage technology.  A second area Tidball advocates is leveraging technology to maximize financial gains. This might include automating low severity claims. It might involve using databases to assist in detecting patterns that indicate fraud. In other areas, it might involve technology that makes evidence -gathering more efficient.

Pursue Subrogation.  The third area that Tidball espouses is vigorous subrogation pursuit. He believes that millions of dollars are left on the table and forgone by insurance companies for failure to recognize and to doggedly pursue subrogation opportunities. He believes that this is an area that deserves greater focus from claims people and managers.

Spot Contributory Negligence.  Fourth, Tidball believes that liability assessments are often flawed and that adjusters often fail to factor in contributory negligence. Taking the path of least resistance, adjusters often you accidents as either 100% fault situations or 0% fault situations, with little gray area in between. He believes that thorough and in-depth investigation will create arguments and talking points that adjusters can utilize to argue comparative negligence and to save literally millions of dollars in payouts.

Tidball’s book deftly weaves together themes which he develops in his blog. Blocking & Tackling is a thoughtful book which deserves to be read by claim supervisors and managers everywhere and demands a place on their bookshelf.

With a renewed emphasis on the basics of blocking and tackling is applied to the claims realm, insurance companies can distinguish themselves in a competitive marketplace and maximize their financial reports. As a byproduct, a return to these basics will enable claim managers to assemble their own Dream Team of claim adjusting superstars!

Blocking & Tackling will empower you to block many impediments in claims improvement and to tackle challenges standing between you and claims excellence.  Of course, none of the ideas work if you don’t implement them.

(For your own copy of Blocking & Tackling, order the book at for $12.99 plus shipping.)




  1. Good write-up. I absolutely love this site. Continue the good work!

Speak Your Mind


YouTube You Tube     Facebook Facebook     Twitter Twitter     Linked In Linked In
Disclaimer   |   Sitemap   |   CLM Advisors
Quinley Risk Associates, LLC © 2012. All Rights Reserved.
Website support provided by Aivilo Web Solutions, LLC.