12/6/2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

What CLM members and fellows are ho-ho-hoping to unwrap this year.

By Eric Gilkey

Claims Management showcases the gifts that every claims, risk, and litigation professional desires—even if they don’t know it yet. Culled from contributions from readers, editors, and advertisers, this list is by no means exclusive (or practical, in some cases). But it might just help you find inspiration for that insurance professional in your life who seems to have everything.

 

The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Suggested By: Sam Friedman, Columnist

If you’re looking to inspire your fraud investigation team, why not go old school with a copy of the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle? The relevance of studying up on a fictional detective created over a century ago is actually quite elementary, my dear claims professionals. If you have doubts, revisit my June 2013 “Reality Check” column, in which I marveled at the compelling messages Sherlock delivers on deductive reasoning, forensic evidence, and the power of human intuition. Imagine what a modern-day Holmes could do armed with Big Data, predictive analytics, the Internet, and mobile technology! $18, www.barnesandnoble.com

 

The Elliptical Machine Office Desk

Suggested By: Eric Gilkey, Executive Editor

Back pain, repetitive stress injuries, obesity, even an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. These are all documented health hazards of sitting all day at home or at work. So what’s a desk adjuster to do? Add some exercise into the equation with Hammacher Schlemmer’s adjustable-height desk paired with a semi-recumbent elliptical trainer. Designed to be pedaled at slower cadences that won’t break one’s concentration (or cause one to break a sweat), the recumbent bike allows an average user to burn about 4,000 calories in a typical workweek. And since most adjusters don’t know the meaning of “typical workweek,” the pounds are sure to melt off quickly. $8,000, www.hammacher.com

 

Court Room Holiday Ornament Set

Suggested By: Stacy Hanson, ICS Merrill, www.icsmerrill.com

Perfect for the holidays, these legal-themed ornaments will help your favorite corporate counsel, litigation manager, or outside defense counsel get into the holiday spirit. Each set of eight iconic courtroom figures includes a judge, blind justice, male and female attorneys, a bailiff, a stack of law books with a gavel resting atop, and male/female jurors. Available in silver or gold. $130, www.approachthebench.com

 

Passing the Bar Board Game

Suggested By: Jim Pattillo, Columnist

For those lawyers who have recovered from the trauma of bar exam preparation, this is an interesting holiday gift. Ideal for practicing attorneys and law buffs alike, “Passing the Bar” features 350 questions modeled after the multi-state portion of the bar exam, including questions divided into seven legal topics: Criminal Law, Professional Responsibility, Real Property, Contracts, Torts, Evidence, Constitutional Law. It also includes a mix of 100 justice cards that test your knowledge on things like celebrity run-ins with the law, quotes from courtroom dramas, and outrageous verdicts. $69, www.homewetbar.com

 

CEIVAshare Digital Picture Frame

Suggested By: David Toffaletti, First Choice Repair, www.firstchoicerepair.com

Claims and risk professionals often have the opportunity to travel all over the U.S.—even the world—and, in the course of their jobs, get to experience exciting new places. Why not share those experiences with your family and friends with a CEIVA digital picture frame? Stay connected with family and impress friends by instantly uploading pictures from your mobile device or Facebook directly to the frame via WiFi connection. Once there, the photos will display a slideshow of your explorations in high definition. $150, www.ceiva.com

 

Garmin Approach G6

Suggested By: Harry Rosenthal, CLM Group Publisher

Technology and data have become more prevalent in our professional lives, whether it’s predictive modeling, mobile technologies, smartphones, and even drones. Why not take advantage of that when you are at one of the many insurance industry golf events or over the weekend with your buddies? The Garmin Approach G6 comes with all the features you could want in a small package, including a touch screen that provides yardage to any point on the green for more than 30,000 courses. It also has a built-in scorecard and shot-measurement feature. So tee it up and let the technology make you more efficient on the course! $300, www.golfsmith.com

 

SmartCard for Adjusters

Suggested by: Kim Klayton, Rytech, www.rytechinc.com

When adjusting claims, it can be difficult to know exactly how much equipment should be placed on a water loss and what effect it will have on energy costs. This USB “SmartCard” provides adjusters with calculators for both in an easy to store form. The equipment calculator is based on IICRC standards, is easy to use, and can save time and money. The power usage calculator shows approximately how much an electric bill could increase once equipment is installed. $26 donation to help fight breast cancer, www.rytechinc.com

 

WiFi Hotspot Cuff Links

Suggested by: Jeff Schultz, CRDN, www.crdn.com

More than just a business fashion accessory, these high-tech cuff links will enable any insurance executive to enhance productivity while remaining stylish. One cuff link serves as a 2GB flash drive for storing digital files, while the second provides a personal WiFi hotspot that is perfect for meetings and avoiding hotel fees. No longer will the recipient have to worry about carrying a separate flash drive now that it’s practically at hand. $200, www.redenvelope.com

 

Audible Subscription

Suggested By: Eric Gilkey, Executive Editor

In the car or out in the field, this is probably the one entertainment app I deem essential. Our industry requires us to be expert multitaskers, and the reality of daily life means that sitting down and focusing on a book for an extended amount of time is now a luxury. For around $12.50, subscribers get one audiobook a month to download to their mobile devices. Don’t like the book? No problem; Audible lets you “return” the book with no questions asked so you can download a different title. With more than 150,000 books, your phone is a virtual library on the go. $150 annually, www.audible.com.

 

GreatShield Portable PowerTank

Suggested By: Janie D. Osterhaus, Event and Relationship Manager, LeClairRyan, www.leclairryan.com

I think the best thing we’ve ever given to clients is a portable power bank to charge cell phones, tablets, and iPods—it makes for a wonderful gift. Although there are many sizes and price ranges out there, the GreatShield PowerTank is compact, lightweight, and looks great. It includes a lithium polymer battery that can be recharged more than 500 times, and it can completely charge an iPhone five times before needing to be plugged in again. It’s one of those devices that claims and litigation professionals don’t know they need, but when they get one, they won’t be able to live without it. $39, www.amazon.com

 

AutoExec Wheelmate

Suggested By: Bevrlee Lips, Managing Editor

For field adjusters or even commuters, a lot of time is spent on the road, making our vehicles mobile offices and, sometimes, our dining rooms. This device adds a nice tabletop option to your steering wheel for those moments when you need a writing surface, a place for your tablet, or somewhere to set your lunch. It’s lightweight and stores easily. $20, www.brookstone.com

 

Face Time

Suggested By: Adam Potter, Executive Director of CLM

Rather than cluttering up the home or office with more things, my gift suggestion takes the intangible route: give our industry the credit it deserves. Whether it’s sharing an inspirational story of resolution, a ridiculous fraud scheme, or testing your family on what they think a case might be worth, CLM members and fellows should be willing to share the details of our fascinating industry to help change perceptions and increase awareness of the good work that goes on every day. Free, everywhere

 

SmarTouch Gloves

Suggested By: Jeremy Campbell, Associate Publisher

These gloves contain conductive filaments that are woven in the fabric, allowing wearers to operate their touchscreen devices without having to remove them. That makes them perfect for male or female claims reps who are out in the field on a cold, wintry day. Stick with the stretch leather, fleece-lined pair for a nicer touch. $110, www.totes-isotoner.com

 

Dragon Naturally Speaking Legal 12 Edition

Suggested By: Kevin Hromas, CEO of US Insurance Information LLC

If voice recognition software has developed to the point that Siri can tell us who the muffin man is, don’t you think it can make your work life easier, as well? Do your best report writing while walking around the room or on the treadmill with Dragon Naturally Speaking Legal 12. This enterprise speech recognition software lets users create documents and control their PCs by voice. It offers a pre-configured vocabulary with more than 30,000 legal-specific terms, automatically formats legal citations, and supports third-party correction. Just remember: throat lozenges are cheaper than carpal tunnel surgery—and a whole lot less painful. $599, www.dragonvoicerecognition.com

 

Olympus Digital Voice Recorder (VN-5200PC)

Suggested By: Kevin Quinley, CLM Advisors

I’ve had this tiny gadget for six years and love it. It’s great when you are on the road and need to capture some thoughts or reminders. I’ve taken it to insurance conferences to record presentations to review later. Get back to your office, plug it in with its USB connector, fire up your Dragon Naturally Speaking software, and it can even transcribe what you’ve said from the recorder onto your computer screen. $117, www.amazon.com

 

UP by Jawbone

Suggested By: Bevrlee Lips, Managing Editor

In our industry, we like facts and information, and UP by Jawbone provides the metrics you need to keep an eye on your personal health. The UP system is wearable tech that tracks your sleep habits, daily activity, and food intake. The accompanying app also provides information on how your body is performing via mood tracking and discovery of hidden connections. It will even remind you to move when you’ve been inactive for a long period of time. $129, www.jawbone.com

 

Life-Phorm All-in-One Mounting System

Suggested By: Bevrlee Lips, Managing Editor

These days, we have too many gadgets and too few hands. Enter the futuristic looking Life-Phorm—an all-in-one mounting system for tablets, smartphones, or cameras. Whether you’re in the field, car, office or home, this cool multiuse device, which looks like something out of a scene from Transformers, can change shape and safely grab just about anything, allowing the user to work or play hands-free. $30, www.amazon.com

 

LinkedIn Strategies for Success Course

Suggested By: Taylor Smith, Contributing Editor and President of CLM Advisors

Claims management professionals live and work in a world where personal and professional success is increasingly defined by the company we keep and the people we know. Whether it’s trying to find a new position or trying to find the right resources to better manage the claim in front of us, the reach of our professional network is far stronger than anything we can accomplish by ourselves. LinkedIn has emerged as the industry’s dominant tool for managing professional relationships and expanding professional reach. A course in how to use LinkedIn more effectively is a wonderful investment of time and money. $49, www.udemy.com



Eric Gilkey is executive editor of CLM Magazine, a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance. He may be reached at 513-273-8025, eric.gilkey@TheCLM.org.

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