Claims Management b Y KeViN QUiNLe Y, CpCU, AiC, ArM
FIFTY SHADES OF
a New Book, Template for evolving Demands
New Claims Demands
Brownlee correctly notes that the legal and investigative landscape for the
21st century claims adjuster has changed
radically since the book’s first edition in
1955. In 2012, adjusters face challenges
handling files related to terrorism, cyber
risks, computer hacking, global warming,
nanotechnology, and environmental impairment liability. New types of coverages
offered by insurance companies spawn
new types of claims that merit customized, bespoke investigations with specialized investigative templates.
This is the first update since 2008, and
the authors have incorporated many refinements into the book to make it current and relevant to today’s claims adjusters charged with investigating losses. For
example, Chapter 29 focuses on fraud
investigation and is entirely new content.
There is a new section on investigating
dog- and animal-bite claims. Updated
material also includes a chunk on contractor liability under general liability
policies, day care center claims, and even
a section on claims against colleges and
universities. The latter seems prescient,
given the backdrop of the Penn State Jerry
Sandusky litigation, which will keep lawyers—both on the plaintiff and defense
sides—busy for years. This is just a smattering of the updated content incorporated into the eighth edition of CF&MIC.
adjusters must investigate these claims.
Some of these losses will be litigated. Discovery will train the spotlight on what
adjusters did and did not do. One could
easily see CF&MIC becoming used as a
“standard of care” referenced by those attempting to compare what an adjuster did
versus what an adjuster should have done
on a given claim file.
West Publishing Company has just issued its eighth edition of Casualty, Fire and Marine Investigation Checklists (CF&MIC). It is co-authored by Pat Magarick (posthumously) and Ken Brownlee, our resident iconoclast.
This is a book that no one—not even the most conscientious adjuster or insurance
claims geek—would curl up with and read from cover to cover. Nor is it meant to be
digested that way. It will not give the latest hot seller, Fifty Shades of Grey, a run for its
money on the bestseller list. I doubt that anyone will load this book on the Kindle and
take it to the beach for escapist summer reading.
For starters, the book weighs in at almost 900 gut-busting pages. Nevertheless,
CF&MIC is a useful and authoritative resource guide for claims professionals tasked
with handling a multitude of claims. The book’s updated 29 chapters provide handy
checklists on myriad property and casualty (P&C) claims investigations. For adjusters
seeking blueprints to guide investigative efforts, this book is an invaluable resource. It
should be part of the claim office library in any insurance company or third-party administrator (TPA) branch.
Pat Magarick was once a dean and guru of claims handling. When I began my claims
career in the late 1970s in Norfolk, Va., the adjusting industry viewed him as a towering
figure. After a career as a claims executive at AIU, Magarick died in 1998. Nevertheless,
his impact reverberates through textbooks he authored and which still enjoy multiple
printings. Co-author Ken Brownlee, still very much alive, sustains Magarick’s impressive legacy and builds upon it. Brownlee is or should be well known to those within the
claims community. A seasoned claims professional, he is a former corporate risk manager for Crawford & Company and is a prolific author. Among other things, Brownlee
has written a monthly column for Claims Magazine for many years.
Checklists: Cookbooks and
Of course, CF&MIC is only a guide; it
is not a cookbook. Sensible claims handling involves knowing when to occa-