RIMS 2012 Day One Recap: Identifying and Settling Big Ticket Claims

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Long day yesterday. I flew to Philly from Salt Lake with a weather-delayed layover in Minneapolis. Add a two-hour time change into the mix and it made for a long day. But well worth the travel hassles to be here in Philly for RIMS.

One of the things I love about RIMS is catching up with old friends and business associates. Today, for example, I caught up with my dear friend Bette Midler….

Just kidding, this “Bette” was hired by Riskonnect to welcome people as they entered the exhibit hall. Accompanying Bette was Elton John and Elvis. Quite the trio. Well done, Riskonnect, what a great way to get people to your booth.
Another great booth was the Belfor booth. They have two very talented people doing a huge sand sculpture. It’s been fun to watch them and see the progress they make throughout the day.

I have to admit, it made me want to learn more about the company, and now I know that Belfor is a disaster recovery company.

I attended a great session. The official title was Claims Triage: Identifying and Settling Big Ticket Claims. It was a panel of four, led by Mark Wall. I don’t know Mark personally (although I did meet him last November at the National Workers Comp show in Vegas), but I know of him. He started the Work Comp Analysis Group on LinkedIn which has become the largest group for the worker’s comp industry. He does a great job moderating the group, and not surprisingly, did a great job today as well.

Claims Triage: Identifying and Settling Big Ticket Claims

The session last 90 minutes and was well worth the time. I’m not the type of person who will sit through an entire session just to be polite. If it’s boring, I quietly find the exit. This one was good enough to keep me there to the end.

My main takeaway was an experience shared by one of the panel members, Gregory Gitter. He told a story about a long-term claim he was trying to settle for his client. In one meeting he asked the claimant what he wanted. The claimant said he wanted to get a nice fishing boat and spend the rest of his life fishing in Oregon.

Gregory’s client was shooting for a $50,000 settlement, so he went out and bought the best, most advanced Bass Boat he could find, which priced out at $42,000.

The next time they met, he showed the claimant a picture of the boat, and a check for $8,000, and said, “This is yours if you settle.”
The claimant said, “I’ll take it!” His attorney told him to take a step back and think about it, but the claimant turned to him and told him to be quiet – he was taking the offer.

The moral of the story was two-fold: first, listen to what the claimant wants, and second, be creative in offering settlements.

All in all, a very good session, and a very good first day at RIMS. For all of you who aren’t here, I wish you could be.

I’ll post another report tomorrow. Let me know if you have any questions, or if there are any particular booths you would like me to check out. Just post your comment here on the blog.

About the writer Steve Schmutz and Claim Compass
Steve Schmutz is the Founder and CEO of ClaimCompass, an online and mobile software application for entering the First Report of Injury for all 50 states. You can follow ClaimCompass on Twitter @claimcompass, or visit their website at www.claimcompass.com. Steve can be reached directly at steve@claimcompass.com.