Claim Ownership


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What obstacles have you had to conquer to pave the way upwards in your career? This week on The Defense Never Rests, we are joined by @Tina Newsome-Lee and @Nicole Suisse – two fantastic career driven lawyers who seemingly have  parallel career progressions. Both these ladies came from humble beginnings without any “headstart” to get them where they are today. They had to utilize their own grit and determination to earn their achievements. But of course not without some help from mentors, colleagues and role models. And they are not blind to those who helped them get to where they are today. And now are in positions that they are paying it forward. Mentoring. Guiding. Leading. I am so honored to be joined by these two ladies who have paved the way to their own success. Do you have a mentor who helped your career path?  Give them a shout out in the comments!
Do you seize new opportunities when they are presented to you? Some of us can be skeptical when we are faced with an opportunity that may be too good to be true. Others jump on it. Story time… When I was looking for jobs during law school I was set on being a transactional attorney. I did not want to do litigation or anything like it. Why?  Who knows, transactional work just seemed “cool”. But when the market was dry and there was not a transactional job to be found, I took a position as a litigation associate. Fast forward to today…I frankly could not imagine NOT being a litigator. The story is not that different for our guest this week. This week on the Defense Never Rests Dale Diamond shares how he began his legal career as a coverage attorney with a little bit of being in the right place at the right time. Turns out, he found his passion! Since then his career has had a few twists and turns, but his passion for coverage is truly the cornerstone to his career. I am sure he is thankful for that first step he took that steered the ship. Do you imagine where you would be if you did not take a certain opportunity when it was presented to you?
What do you think is an emerging area of claims? If we said pet insurance, would that surprise you? Probably! Most of us grew up in a time where pet insurance probably did not even exist! And let’s face, if the family dog fell ill and it was going to cost a lot of money, that treatment was probably not going to happen. But times have changed. Nowadays that does not need to be the case. This week on the Defense Never Rests we are joined by Dylan Whitehead Director of Claims at Pumpkin and discuss how pets are not just pets, they are part of our family. So why shouldn’t they have proper coverage – just like us. Do you have pet insurance for your furry friends at home?
117 - Hot Topics in Comp

117 - Hot Topics in Comp


What trends are you seeing in your workers’ compensation claims? Are you seeing a rise in certain types of claims… Or maybe you are seeing a shift in how claimants seek treatment… Or just a rise (or fall) in claims in general? This week on the Defense Never Rests we return to our worker’s compensation series and are joined by Andrea Emmett to dive into what is trending in WC right now. Spoiler – there are a lot of trends! And they keep evolving. We probably could make this a 5 part series. If you work in comp claims, this is a must listen.  Even if you do not work in comp claims, these trends often spill over to GL, so tune in! What trends are you seeing come across your desk?
Do you immerse yourself into your claims? I mean, do you REALLY know your insured’s business inside and out? This week on the Defense Never Rests we are joined by LaToya Lee who is the Director of Claims at Raising Canes and she talks about the value of understanding the business operations when defending claims. This is down to how to operate the cashier to frying the chickens. Think about it…It pays to know the ins and outs of the operation. To really understand how the day to day operations go is essential to assessing each claim. Not to mention, LaToya is a joy to speak with – her enthusiasm for this amazing company is infectious. It is not surprising, either, she has surrounded herself with a great team at a fantastic and growing company. Have you had Raising Canes yet?
Do you work for a start up insurance company? It seems these days there are A LOT of new insurance companies coming onto the market. Each with specific products and visions and new philosophies as to how to best serve their insureds. Very exciting times indeed. To be somewhere on the ground floor and help build the company, your team, the philosophy is invigorating. But this is not without challenges. Today on the Defense Never Rests we are joined by Corrie Hurm who can speak first hand of the challenges she’s faced while heading the claims department of a start up. Nothing short of exciting, sure. But certainly there are some challenges that some of us may take for granted. Like – do we buy this claims software or pay the electricity bill. Okay, maybe not EXACTLY like that but you get the idea. Do you handle claims for a startup, how has your experience been different from other companies you have worked for?
What was the last team sport you played? Before you answer…if you are in claims I think it was more recent than you may think. In fact, it was probably today. Because claims is a team sport! We are not just working on silos on our own. No way. There is a team involved with every claim. This week on the Defense Never Rests we are joined by Corey Jeffers to discuss how claims are very much a team effort. We are working with outside counsel, the insured, experts…even opposing counsel. Sometimes the team works really well together.  Other times, we are out of synch. But if your team isn’t working well together, do you forfeit the game? NO WAY. What are your strategies to keeping your team together?
What does what do you look for in your defense counsel?      I am willing to bet lots of attorneys are waiting in the wings to find out the answers! Let’s face getting on (and STAYING ON) panel is a giant hurdle. The process can be overwhelming, daunting and discouraging. Not only do you need to find the right person, build a genuine relationship, submit an impressive proposal and get to the point of being accepted on panel… But once you are on panel it does not mean you will see cases. This week on the Defense Never Rests we are joined again by @Matthew Queen who has a lot to say about the metrics and characteristics he looks for when selecting counsel. Spoiler – there is a lot more to it than you may think. But Matthew is brutally honest about what he looks for in counsel and, frankly, what turns him away.  He offers some hard truths as to what works and what does not. For any attorneys out there, this is a must listen. More importantly, for those tasked with overseeing panel counsel, we want to hear from YOU. What do YOU look for in your panel attorneys? Comment below.
What personal attributes are most important when serving clients? I think trust is far up there. Think about it, if a client or insured trusts you they are going to listen to your advice. This is especially helpful before you are even faced with a lawsuit and you are working on risk prevention. This week on the Defense Never Rests, we are joined by Anthony Guzman who is on the broker side of claims and often works with clients to develop the best insurance package for their needs. That includes assessing potential risk and designing a policy that works for that particular business. But he partners with his insureds to ensure they have support if faced with a claim. I think everyone wants Anthony, or someone like him, on their side. Not only is he knowledgeable of the coverages available, but he is just extremely personable and downright likable! But having that personality deliver sometimes news you may not want to hear, softens the punch. These are ingredients for a successful long term relationship. What attributes do you look for?
What do you think of when you hear the term “forensic accounting”? I am willing to venture a guess that your first word associations would not be fascination or excitement. However, during this episode of the Defense Never Rests with Howard Silverstone you will learn that the forensic accounting world is far from mundane! In fact, he has encountered both guns and Prince William and thankfully not at the same time! After having the opportunity to sit down and hear Howard’s experiences from a visit to Buckingham Palace to uncovering fraud within an organization, I found myself wanting to pop a bag of popcorn and hear more. I expect you will want to do the same. Of course, he offers tremendous insight as to when you may want a forensic accounting expert on your side and when is the best time to get one on board. What has your experience been with forensic accounting?
What were some of the lessons you learned early in your claims career? For our guest this week on The Defense Never Rests, Michael Benson, he shares that he learned early on that facts are not always the most important. Which can be a shocking discovery at first. In fact he admits it was one of his biggest failures putting so much stock into facts but not some of the extraneous information that had a significant impact. Interestingly, however, Michael sought out a career in claims after first being a claimant! Having been in that position he learned that he has a passion for working to solve people’s problems. And when you think about it we are all in the problem solving business. That is exactly what he strives to do – solve problems big and small. You do not want to miss this discussion.  Michael is dynamic and insightful on his career path and offers insight as to his experiences and growth from a junior adjuster to now. What valuable lessons did you learn early in your career that helped shape your path?
Have you ever wondered what tactics have the most bang for your buck when trying to resolve a claim? Or….more importantly, what really puts a wedge in early negotiations. This week on the Defense Never Rests I am joined by my law school classmate David Kwalter. Like many of us, Dave had a bob and weave path to where he is now – in fact we even worked together after law school as document review attorneys. Which was a very interesting experience to say the least. But he quickly found his way and built up a successful personal injury practice with his best friend. He graciously agreed to share what adjusters do well, not so well, and what helps getting cases resolved. And some of it is so simple…like picking up a phone. In fact those simple phone calls over the years and cultivated friendships with adjusters. Which can certainly help resolve cases early. What tactics do you believe helps resolve and close your files?
For many the response to that is: “what the heck is a captive?” OR perhaps you are in the position that you are evaluating your loss ratios with your premium costs and maybe you are intrigued with the idea of potentially joining a risk retention group. Maybe you’ve heard the term but really just do not have a full understanding as to how they work and want to hear more. This week on The Defense Never Rests we are joined by Matthew Queen who peels away the layers of captive insurance and gives us a bit of a 101 lesson on the topic. So whether you are at self-insured company, are already part of a risk retention group, work for a carrier or you simply represent entities that fall into any of these categories, his intel on this topic is…well…captivating. Of course, if you know Matthew even a little bit you know he holds nothing back and we appreciate the engaging conversation he continually brings to the table. Is your company part of a captive insurance group?  If so, we would love to hear about it below.
Do you use social media to help promote your professional persona? Well…if you are reading this on Linkedin, chances are the answer to the question is yes. I think we all utilize this platform in similar but also different ways. Some use to gather information that is helpful to their practice. Others use it as a networking and marketing tool. Some of us use it to promote our professional accomplishments or provide discussion of hot issues. But I think it is safe to say that gone are the days that it is simply used as a digital resume. This week on the Defense Never Rests we are joined by Mike Elkins who is a labor and employment attorney but also an avid speaker and content creator who is not afraid to put his name out there on hot issues. And sometimes putting himself out there made other people uncomfortable. But why?  Because it was not “traditional”. Well, in my humble opinion, nothing good ever happened from doing something the same way over and over just because that is how it was done in the past. This applies for social media as well as litigation! Might as well mix it up and that is what Mike does! How do you use social media platforms – are they strictly personal or does your professional life bleed in?
What does outside counsel do that makes you want to pull your hair out? Multiple typos in reports? Retaining experts without consent? Long and wordy reports? Or how about failing to respond to repeated follow up requests? On this week's podcast episode of The Defense Never Rests, we return to discussing the “do’s” and “don'ts'” of defense counsel. From adjusters’ perspectives. And we are joined by Morgan Dooley and Porter Nelms who candidly share what drives them bananas. Because it's important for us to look at what DOESN'T work for clients and claims professionals, so that we can start adopting what DOES. They also share what they appreciate and the lengths they will go to acknowledge that appreciation. Because talking about what DOES work is equally important! If you handle claims, we are fairly confident you have your own do's and don'ts list. So, share yours below. What do you want to see your outside counsel doing more of?
What advice do you give your insureds to mitigate future risk? I think we all have some general line items that we tell insureds or clients that they could be doing differently. But usually, that is after the claim and sometimes that is too late! But what about someone to come in and actually evaluate the business practices and offer real suggestions that can lower future risk. I think that is pretty great, don’t you? This week on the Defense Never Rests we are joined by Riley McManus who is an engineer by trade but a safety management professional who is tasked with assessing insured (or potential insureds) risk. We are talking feet on the ground, walking around a business and scoping out potential problems that could lead to a loss. And then he offers solutions to help prevent that loss. Now that is a safety check that I think we all want to hear about. That does not mean Riley’s job is easy…of course some businesses are resistant to change and that can certainly pose a challenge. But as a claims professional, having someone like Riley on your team is an absolute asset. What do you think are some of the most common risks he sees? 
What do you know about insuring cannabis products and navigating the related claims? Whether it is used for recreational or medical purposes, cannabis has an element of uncharted territory. But is it all that different from insuring another crop? Or how about a pharmaceutical product used for medical purposes? Some say not so much and others believe it is polar opposite. This week on the Defense Never Rests we are joined by Brayden York who is the insurance and risk manager at a cannabis company and we take a dive into the particular challenges of this booming industry. Not only are there challenges because this is a newer industry with regulations and laws that change quite rapidly. But also, while cannabis is a crop it also has pharmaceutical elements and is used for that purpose – thus insert more regulations that require compliance Not to mention how it is permitted to be manufactured, produced and distributed varies widely depending on your country and/or state. There is a lot to pack into this episode and we do our best. What do you think are some of the challenges cannabis industry faces with insurance and claims?
How are the risks of a public entity different? Or maybe the better question to ask is: how does one approach a claim against a public entity differently? This week on the Defense Never Rests, we are joined by Eileen Fay, SVP and Head of Claims at Berkley Public Entity and we dive into the nuances of public entity claims. In some respects, they are not all that different from claims against private entities or individuals. However, when we are talking about claims against townships or police and fire departments there is certainly a distinct finesse that is necessary in defending that claim. What we also often forget, a lot of these entities are in small towns or departments where everyone knows everyone. For that reason, the counsel is VERY important. Eileen weighs in on the specific nuances she has seen with public entities but also dives into her path that brought her here. Even if these types of claims are foreign to you, you do not want to miss this dynamic discussion.
9 (Replay) - Mediation

9 (Replay) - Mediation


In this throwback episode, host Patricia Baxter is joined by cohost Oliver Brooks to welcome their guests. Two well-respected and widely used mediators, Judge Michael Snyder, the newly elected Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and Barbara Lyons. Judge Snyder has been mediating cases at The Dispute Resolution Institute since 2014 after retiring from the bench and Barbara Lyons has been mediating cases for over 25 years at the Bucks County Mediation and Arbitration Center. What do you think? Let us know! We want to hear from you!
Juggling family and career is tough for so many people. While this topic certainly isn't new, talking about it is still so important! In this throwback episode, host Patricia Baxter is joined by Kara White, Meghan Henry, and Scott Rybny. Tune in and listen to the experiences of 4 family-oriented, busy professionals with different backgrounds and struggles.
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