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Subrogation Specialists

Takeaways from the Subrogation Committee's recent webinar, "I’ve Got Friends in First-Party Places"

September 28, 2022 Photo

CLM’s Subrogation Committee recently held a webinar entitled “I’ve Got Friends in First-Party Places,” which discussed the critical role that first-party adjusters play when it comes to a successful subrogation. Below are a few takeaways from the presentation.

12:00:00pm

THE SPEAKERS
Gus Sara, Attorney, White and Williams, LLP

Stephen Johnson, Large Loss Property Subrogation Adjuster, Hanover Insurance Group

12:04:45pm

Gus Sara

“It begins with a loss, and it is really unjust how much responsibility falls on the first-party adjuster at the very beginning of the claim. The property owner is presumably very stressed out—sometimes traumatized—and it’s up to the adjuster to deal with that situation.”                                          

12:05:14pm

Gus Sara

“With respect to the investigation in subrogation, the first 48 to 72 hours are extremely critical. A lot of times, it’s the actions of the adjuster that can help benefit the subrogation process and overall recovery efforts.”

12:05:41pm

Gus Sara

“It’s up to the adjuster to put the property owner or the insured at ease and let them know that the matter is being handled and that the claim adjustment is underway. It cannot be understated how important forming that initial relationship is for not only the adjustment, but also the subrogation process.”

12:07:57pm

Stephen Johnson

“[The first-party adjuster] can preserve the scene. It’s huge if you can communicate the importance of that to the insured. That’s always a very important aspect of the claim.”

12:10:15pm

Stephen Johnson

“[The first-party adjuster] can keep the insured updated as to when the investigation is going to conclude and when we can proceed with repairing the property. And the other aspect of it is, depending on how the subrogation effort goes, down the road [the first-party adjuster] can be an important witness in the litigation process.”

12:10:50pm

Gus Sara

“[Developing a good relationship with the insured] really can make or break recovery efforts because a happy insured is going to be a lot more willing to cooperate if the recovery efforts require litigation, or if additional documents are needed.”

12:18:20pm

Stephen Johnson

“[The first-party adjuster] can ease the insured’s concerns regarding attorneys. A large loss is very stressful. It’s an unexpected call from an attorney on behalf of the insurance company—it can add to their stress. The adjuster being out in front, making that communication to the insured, and giving them a heads up is really key to a smooth investigation.”

12:22:20pm

Stephen Johnson

“The insured is often too preoccupied to respond to document requests from the subrogation attorney. The adjuster is usually the best communicator and person to obtain those documents and make those requests. It’s usually a very fluid process, and then we can funnel those up to the subrogation attorney.”

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About The Authors
Phil Gusman

Phil Gusman is senior managing editor for CLM Magazine and Construction Claims magazine.  phil.gusman@theclm.org

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