10/10/2018

Sharpen Your Skills

Previewing CLM’s Southeast Conference

By Phil Gusman

The 2018 CLM Southeast Conference kicks off Nov. 8, 2018, in Atlanta, and features six tracks and 29 sessions. The tracks include Environmental, Insurance Fraud, Municipal Law, Property, Subrogation, and Claims/Litigation Management. CLM Insurance Fraud Committee Co-Chair Cathy Gicker and committee member Brett Kelley provide an in-depth look at the conference’s fraud track.

There is a renewed focus in the insurance industry on combatting fraud, and it’s starting at the top.

Brett Kelley, senior special investigator, SIU, for Liberty Mutual says management throughout the industry has stepped up the amount of claims it wants to impact with SIU involvement, and more dollars are being invested in fraud-fighting products, such as predictive modeling tools.

With five sessions covering emerging fraud trends, the Insurance Fraud track at the CLM Southeast Conference promises to deliver the information, awareness, and insights that industry professionals will need to identify and combat the latest schemes.

Attendees will gain a better understanding of how to detect fraud when they review a claims file, says Cathy Gicker, SIU litigation specialist, Allstate Insurance. They will learn to “think out of proverbial claims-script box,” instead of just following their claims-handling templates. The sessions will teach attendees how to listen to what people say during claims interviews, and how to proceed accordingly after that.

Gicker says the sessions include topical content for professionals, including new fraud trends, as well as new spins on older, well-known fraud problems. “We like to also pick sessions that have some intermediate and advanced content in them, as opposed to just Fraud 101,” she adds.

Gicker, Kelley, and Gene Weisberg, principal at GladstoneWeisberg ALC, will present a session entitled, “A Portrait of Fraud: Are Insurers Properly Recognizing the Graying of America?” which will cover an emerging source of fraud: seniors. While the perception is that the elderly are honest, some baby boomers reaching retirement age are in uncertain financial situations after facing recent economic hardships, and they are turning to insurance fraud. Gicker credits Coalition Against Insurance Fraud director of government affairs Matthew Smith for compiling much of the data and information that will be presented.

Another session, “Water Losses Are the New Arson,” will demonstrate how to identify potential fraud in water losses. Wendy Williams, special investigator at Farm Bureau Insurance and one of three presenters for the session, says water losses tend to be an overlooked source of fraud in the industry. “There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of discussion in our industry specific to what we’ll be talking about in November,” she says. Williams expects attendees will learn how to build relationships with experts who can help them detect causes of loss and how to properly investigate water-loss claims.

Other fraud sessions will cover how to deal with a contentious deposition, roofing fraud, and more. Says Kelley, “One of the things people talk about is how you need more bang for your buck. I think, in the fraud track, you’re going to get more bang for your buck because fraud covers all lines of business.”

Adds Gicker, “If you’re just starting out in your career, this a good place to get really great information right out of the box to develop yourself for a potential promotion into an SIU.”

Of course, fraud is just one of six tracks at the Southeast Conference, and the other tracks’ sessions will be just as informative and valuable. To find out more about the different tracks and the sessions being offered, go to clm.org.



Phil Gusman is managing editor of CLM magazine, a publication of the CLM. He can be reached at phil.gusman@theclm.org.

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