The Covenant of Good Faith & Fair Dealing Will Only Be Fulfilled by Trained & Experienced Claims Personnel
Insurance is a business of utmost good faith. Each party to the contract of insurance must do nothing to deprive the other of the benefits of the contract of insurance. To fulfill the covenant the insurer’s representative must understand contracts, the law of interpretation of insurance contracts, the law of torts, what is needed to prove a claim for the insured to obtain the indemnity promised by the policy.
As the Baby Boom generation retires insurers are obligated to hire new, young and inexperienced claims personnel out of a employment market where there are more jobs available than people needed to fill them. Insurers are faced with an effort to bring a new crop of graduates into the insurance profession. Since most insurer based insurance training departments have been eliminated there is a need for other means to train a new generation of claims professionals.
To assist the insurance industry Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, an insurance coverage and claims expert and consultant, has created a library of insurance claims books and internet based training programs to make it possible for insurers to develop a claims staff of insurance claims professionals.
The books described in this post need a home in each law office, each insurance company. each independent adjuster’s claims office and in the offices of every public insurance adjusting firm.
Barry Zalma’s Insurance Claims Library provides the insurance law and insurance claims information needed by every claims person and insured. They are available on amazon.com and at http://zalma.com/blog/insurance-claims-library/ or the individual links at each described book and web based training at experfy.com and illumeo.com.
The Compact Book on Adjusting Liability Claims, Second Edition; The Compact Book of Adjusting Property Claims, Second Edition; and Insurance Fraud & Weapons to Defeat Insurance Fraud
“Insurance Fraud & Weapons to Defeat Insurance Fraud”
In Two Volumes
Insurance fraud continually takes more money each year than it did the last from the insurance buying public. No one knows the actual amount with any certainty because most attempts at insurance fraud succeed. Estimates of the extent of insurance fraud in the United States range from $87 billion to more than $300 billion every year.
Insurers and government backed pseudo-insurers can only estimate the extent they lose to fraudulent claims. Lack of sufficient investigation and prosecution of insurance criminals is endemic. Most insurance fraud criminals are not detected. Those that are detected do
so because they became greedy, sloppy and unprofessional so that the attempted fraud becomes so obvious it cannot be ignored.
No one will ever be able to place an exact number on the amount lost to insurance fraud. Everyone who has looked at the issue knows – whether based on their heart, their gut or empirical fact determined from convictions for the crime of insurance fraud – that the number is enormous.
When insurers and governments put on a serious effort to reduce the amount of insurance fraud the number of claims presented to insurers and the pseudo-government-based or funded insurers drops logarithmically. Since the appointment of Attorney General Sessions, the effort to stop insurance fraud against Medicare and Medicaid has increased.
This book contains appellate decisions regarding insurance fraud from federal and state appellate courts across the country and full text of many insurance fraud statutes.
It is available as both a legal research tool and a product to assist insurers, insurance company personnel, independent insurance adjusters, special investigation unit investigators, state fraud investigators and insurance lawyers to become effective persons involved in the attempt to defeat or reduce the effect of insurance fraud.
“The Compact Book of Adjusting Property Insurance Claims – Second Edition”
A Manual for the First Party Property Insurance Adjuster
The insurance adjuster is not mentioned in a policy of insurance. The obligation to investigate and prove a claim falls on the insured. Standard first party property insurance policies, based upon the New York Standard Fire Insurance policy, contain conditions that require the insured to, within sixty days of the loss, submit a sworn proof of loss to prove to the insurer the facts and amount of loss.
The policy allows the insurer to then, and only then, respond to the insured’s proof of loss. The insurer can then either accept or reject the proof submitted by the insured.
Technically, if the wording of the policy was followed literally the insurer could sit back, do nothing, and wait for the proof. If the insured was late in submitting the proof the insurer could reject the claim. If the insured submits a timely proof of loss the insurer could either accept or reject the proof of loss. If the insurer rejected the proof of loss the insured could either send a new one or give up and gain nothing from the claim. Suit on the policy would be difficult because the policy contract limited the right to sue to times when the proof of loss condition had been met.
Insureds and insurers were not happy with that system. It made it too difficult for a lay person to successfully present a claim. The system, as written into the standard fire policy seemed to run counter to the covenant of good faith and fair dealing that had been the basis of the insurance contract for centuries. Most insurers understood that their insureds were mostly incapable of complying with the strict enforcement of the policy conditions. To fulfill the covenant of good faith and fair dealing insurers created the insurance adjuster to fulfill its obligation to deal fairly and in good faith with the insured.
The Second edition adds new material from 2018 and 2019, is easier to use and more compact than the original.
“The Compact Book on Adjusting Liability Claims, Second Edition”
A Handbook for the Liability Claims Adjuster
This Compact Book of Adjusting Liability Claims is designed to provide the new adjuster with a basic grounding in what is needed to become a competent and effective insurance adjuster. It is also available as a refresher for the experienced adjuster.
The liability claims adjuster quickly learns that there is little difficulty with a claimant (the person alleging bodily injury or property damage against a person insured) if the claim is paid as demanded. The insured may be unhappy if the claimant’s claim is paid as presented since most do not believe they did anything wrong or fear an increase in premiums charged for subsequent policies.
The adjuster must be prepared to salve the insured’s emotions, explain why in the law and the policy it was appropriate to pay the claimant and that the settlement is in the best interest of both the insured and the insurer the adjuster represents.
The adjuster knows, and must be prepared to explain to an insured, that if a claim is resisted or denied the claimant will be unhappy, will probably file suit. If not promptly settled the claimant’s lawyers will rake the insured over the coals to prove that the insured is liable for the claimant’s injuries. The litigation will take time, effort, and money to establish the extent of the injuries and who is responsible for the injuries. Failure to settle promptly can cost the insured his or her reputation and will certainly cost the insurer much more than the claim could have been resolved for had it been resolved before the claimant retained a lawyer.
© 2019 – Barry Zalma
Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 50 years in the insurance business. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the last 51 years Barry Zalma has dedicated his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to make it possible for insurers and their claims staff to become insurance claims professionals.
Excellence in Claims Handling Courses From Experfy.com
The Excellence In Claims Handling program provides everything a person or entity presenting a claim needs to effectively present the claim and provides the insurance claims person with everything he or she needs to properly represent the insurer.
The insured, risk manager, or corporate counsel will be able to present a first party property claim – whether a fire, theft, or windstorm or some other insured against cause – with little difficulty and professionalism and present a sworn proof of loss acceptable to an insurer.
The insurance claims person completing the course will be able conduct a thorough investigation of the policy and claim. The insurance claims person will also be able to assist an insured to fulfill all of the promises made by the insured to the insurer and the insurer to provide the indemnity promised by the insurance policy.
The series of courses was designed so that the student can obtain the needed information easily while he or she sits down in the morning for a first cup of coffee or any other time in the day in short, easy to consume lessons. For instance “Insurance and Claims” is made up of three modules and 27 lectures while “Investigating the Property Claim” is made up of four modules and 65 lectures. You can review each course, each module and each lecture at the links below.
Each person completing the course will be able to claim that he or she is a professional first party property claims person ready to provide excellence in claims handling and be ready to resolve any claims problem that arises for the benefit of the insurer and the policy holder.
Insurance and Claims: https://www.experfy.com/training/courses/insurance-and-claims
Investigating the Property Claims: https://www.experfy.com/training/courses/investigating-the-property-claim
Insurance Law: https://www.experfy.com/training/courses/insurance-law
Solving Claims Problems: https://www.experfy.com/training/courses/solving-claims-problems