Insurance and Risk Management
I have many years experience as an underwriter, claims manager, risk manager and insurance agent. I have held senior management positions in all these fields for over 45 years.
EXPERIENCE AND BACKGROUND
I have been in the insurance industry for over 45 years. At Sentry Insurance I worked as a Personal Lines Underwriter and was promoted to Commercial Lines underwriter. At Michigan Mutual I worked as a Commercial Lines underwriter and was promoted to Regional Underwriting Supervisor, where I managed both the Personal Lines and Commercial Lines departments.
In 1977, I accepted a position as Director of Insurance for Spartan Stores, Inc. Spartan Stores, Inc., was a food cooperative. I was given approval to set up a Captive Insurance Company and an Insurance Agency to provide insurance for the grocery store members of Spartan Stores. I was the VP and Chief Operating Officer for both entities. I was responsible for managing all the operations of the insurance company and the agency, including underwriting, sales, loss control and claims.
My responsibilities at Shield Insurance Agency, Inc. (Shield), a subsidiary of Spartan Stores, Inc., required me to establish and manage a claim department. This included hiring and training people regarding good faith claim handling processes and procedures. I personally approved any Reservation of Rights or Denial Letter before it could be sent to a client.
In 1986, I accepted a position as VP and Chief Operating Officer of Empire Agency Corporation (Empire), a subsidiary of Fleming Foods. It operated a Captive Insurance Company and Agency like the Spartan Stores operation. I was responsible for all operations including sales, claims, loss control and underwriting for the Western Region, including managing insurance agencies in nine states.
My responsibilities at Empire Agency included managing a multi-state claim department and making sure good faith claim handling processes and procedures were followed. I personally approved any Reservation of Right or Denial Letter before it could be sent to a client.
In 1988, I accepted a position as Director of Insurance for ABM Industries, Inc., (ABM). I was later promoted to Vice President and Director of Insurance Services. I was responsible for managing a $100 million Corporate Risk Management Department. That included managing a self-administered WC Claim Department and managing a nationwide Property and Liability Claim Department. I was responsible for managing all tort litigation nationwide for ABM.
ABM was the only client authorized by CNA to handle claims directly without a third-party administrator. ABM was required to hold CNA harmless for any claims allegedly arising out of failure to handle claims in good faith. I had my legal counsel research the good faith claim handling guidelines and developed a training manual that outlined good faith claim handling guidelines and procedures. All claim personnel were required to review this manual and pass a test verifying their personal knowledge of good faith claim handling processes and procedures. I personally approved any Reservation of Rights or Denial Letter before it was sent to a client or claimant.
The Shield, Empire and ABM claim departments handled multiple first party and third-party claims. Our claim handling philosophy was to handle claims the way we would want them handled if we were on the other side. We did prompt and thorough investigations and, in the case of first-party claims, worked closely with our clients to help them recover. There has never been an allegation of bad faith handling against Shield, Empire and/or ABM while I managed these departments.
I retired from ABM in 2004. I testified as an expert witness from 2004 to 2006. I worked as both a defense and a plaintiff expert. In 2006, I started an insurance agency and discontinued the expert witness work. I have been running a full-service insurance agency for over 14 years. As a result, I have first-hand experience regarding the types of coverage offered by major insurance carriers including Travelers, Hartford, Safeco, Mercury, Kemper, Progressive, Foremost, Stillwater and Met Life. I am also familiar with the products offered by direct writers such as State Farm, Farmers, Allstate, CSAA and many others. I have had first-hand experience in helping our clients handle insurance claims. I have also had numerous conversations with insurance company adjusters. I understand how most insurance companies operate and the standards they follow.
My experience as an insurance agent has provided valuable insight regarding how insurance claims affect individuals. We often help our clients who have a loss understand insurance company processes and procedures, so that they can get claims handled promptly and fairly. We also communicate on a regular basis with insurance company adjusters, to make sure they have the information they need. The result is that I have years of experience both managing claims and helping individuals who have claims understand the process. I believe this has provided me with unique opportunities to observe and manage claim handling from both the insurance company’s and the client’s perspective.
I have been retained as an expert on behalf of a major insurance company. I have had been provided with copies of its training guides and procedures regarding underwriting, sales, and claims. I have been specifically provided with copies of their claim handling processes and procedures, training processes, and claim review process. This included the good faith claim handling guidelines used to develop these processes.
My education and experience qualify me to testify regarding the industry standard of care for quoting and binding coverage on any line of insurance. My education and experience also qualify me to testify regarding the standard of care for claim handling.
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