First Annual Claims Magazine/Americas Claims Event Legend Award


Barry Zalma Named an Insurance Legend

I was honored on June 24, 2016 to be the first person awarded the Claims Magazine/America’s Claims Event (ACE) Legend Award.BZBACKSUIT3

In the June 2016 issue of Claims Magazine an article explained some of the reasons why they decided to give me the award. It is available on line at Property & Casualty 360.  

Looking back on my 48 years working in the insurance business I continue to believe insurance is an extremely rewarding career.  I never went to work feeling like it was going to be a bad day, although I knew there would be bad days. If you have a job where you enjoy yourself, where you are challenged every day, it doesn’t feel like work. The challenge of dealing with a different claim with different facts, different investigative needs and different legal issues made working in insurance a pleasure.

One of the most disheartening changes I have seen in the insurance industry is the apparent lack of interest in maintaining and training a staff of competent claims personnel and the concurrent rise of unnecessary and expensive bad faith law suits that could have been avoided by adequate claims handling. This is what motivated me to write books, Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter, this blog and my videoblog, webinars and appearance at places like ACE to do what I can to help improve the professionalism of claims personnel.

Whatever success I have had in the insurance industry has everything to do with the excellent initial education my first employer in the insurance business, the old Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. gave me as a trainee and continued to give me as a field adjuster. The Fireman’s Fund did not cut corners. It made me study insurance by reading an insurance claims text like my Insurance Claims: A Comprehensive Guide, sent me out as an observer with experienced adjusters in each field of insurance covered by the insurer, a full month of classroom training in every aspect of insurance claims handling, and then six months of on the job training.

It is my hope that you can take note of the benefits of providing solid training and continuing education for your claims staff.

To qualify for the award it must be found Claims and ACE state that:

The award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the claims sector of the insurance industry through education, professional development and perseverance. This professional has been involved in or supported the industry for much of his or her career. Understanding the premise that improving an industry for one group or segment of the population improves it for all, this person has shared knowledge, resources and expertise for the benefit of an entire industry.
        Selection criteria includes:
        Education efforts – speaking at industry events, teaching courses, promoting the insurance profession across a wide variety of audiences
            Written contributions – submits articles, white papers, expertise to publications and news outlets to educate professionals and the public on the industry
            Professionalism – exhibits business and personal ethics, is an avid promoter and supporter of the industry, mentors other professionals
            Making it better – contributes time and talents to community and industry events, offers pro bono services
        Career should encompass at least 10 years of experience in some aspect(s) of the insurance industry – e.g., claims, subrogation, legal, SIU, supporting vendor services, workers compensation, property & casualty.


About Barry Zalma

An insurance coverage and claims handling author, consultant and expert witness with more than 48 years of practical and court room experience.
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