Certification Programs Benefit You , Your client and the industry

Over the course of my career I have received and maintained several Industry Certifications and Licenses .

When you get and renew Industry Certifications, you will stay current on new legislation, and any sort of new methods or concepts that are very beneficial for you and your career. It shows that you have taken the initiative to maintain your training and keep up-to-date in the field. This can make you more employable, and help you move up in your career. It can also help you work more efficiently and with more confidence in your daily tasks. You’ll not only stand out from others in your field, you’ll also be able to then build on that certification by getting even more advanced certifications in the future.

Employers always have a desire to maintain a very polished and professional image in our industry. It helps companies get more clients,  and positions them to be more credible and respected. Having Appraisers, Umpires, Experts, and Adjusters with certifications reflects very well on the company or client that hired you– it says “We hire the best.” 

When it comes right down to the final person or entity affected by your work – the client or policyholder – your knowledge of our claims industry can directly impact them. If you are more knowledgeable, and have the certification training to back that fact up, you produce something that is effective, reliable and credible for your client on both sides of the storm.

Brad Hays

The Fatal Funnel

The Fatal Funnel

The “fatal funnel” is a term used to describe the most dangerous locations for law enforcement officers. These areas are extremely hazardous because they offer limited protection from potential assailants and provide restricted visibility of an area or situation. This makes them ideal places for criminals to ambush unsuspecting police officers, as well as strategically set up traps that may be difficult to avoid.

Law enforcement officers must always remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings when in potentially dangerous environments like these. They should use tactics that provide cover and concealment while still allowing them to assess a situation before entering it.

Officers can also take advantage of defensive positions such as “extreme angles” which give them a better view of the situation and allow for more reaction time.

Lastly, officers should always be prepared to take action when entering a potentially hazardous environment, as they never know what is waiting on the other side.

I have a great deal of respect for the courage and dedication that law enforcement officers and all first responders have. Thank you for your service!

I realize the Law enforcement level of danger does not rise to that level in our industry.However we can learn a lot from the similarities and apply some of the same strategies to our everyday life and our work place.

Some of the most common and obvious examples include walking roofs, walking through abandoned buildings after a storm, travel to the site while driving through debris and unfamiliar territory, meeting with unknown people and then going inside a building with them, and encountering defending pets.

After a catastrophic weather event many dogs and cats are left behind to survive on their own and become feral.  Then you have wild animals that are non-domesticated species that live in the wild. These would include snakes, spiders, alligators, hogs, and crocodiles. In some cases, there have even been dangerous animals that escaped from zoos after a hurricane, tornado and even fires.  All of these, domesticated, feral, and non-domesticated animals can be and most likely are afraid, displaced, hungry, confused, defensive, territorial and are in no mood to deal with you.

After a large weather event first responders, and adjusters are under a lot of pressure and time constraints. There never is and never will be enough daylight to get everything done you need to do.  Slow and even stopped traffic, closed roads and bridges, long lines at the gas station if there even is gas or electricity to pump it. Weak or no cell signal to let your appointment know you’re running late. Searching for food, water and sleeping accommodations.

Vacant dark buildings, no electricity, downed trees, and uprooted foliage typically result in blind cover or concealment and limit the ability to assess a situation before entering it leaving you vulnerable and exposed to potential harm. In addition, to animals, squatters, and burglars may be inside.

Other issues are exposed nails, splintered wood, unstable roofs, walls, ceilings and floors. Standing water can be very dangerous if the electricity has not been turned off. Leaking gas lines, downed power lines and other hazards need our consideration.

These are physical “fatal funnel” examples. What about the intellectual “fatal funnel” examples. Communication with stressed policyholders, contractors, adjusters, law enforcement and other service providers. Preparing for depositions and getting ready for court testimony, building codes, zoning, manufacturers installation requirements, inspection protocols, accurate estimates and convincing report writing are all “fatal funnel” considerations.

The “fatal funnel” can be a harrowing and even dangerous experience for all of us. However, with proper preparation and tactics, you can minimize your chances of being put into a vulnerable situation.  Take the time to assess the environment and situation before you find yourself in the thick of it. By planning your day, your routine, pending meetings and conversations, you can reduce your risk and increase your chance of emerging unscathed from a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.

The “fatal funnel” is an often misunderstood concept that can be the difference between success, failure, getting hurt, and even life and death for any stakeholders involved in catastrophic weather events. By understanding the dangers associated with these areas, you can take steps to protect yourself and remain safe during your daily activities. With proper training and preparation, you can safely traverse the “fatal funnel” and come out on top of any situation.

Remember, knowledge is power. Like the law enforcement officer, be aware of your surroundings and know the risks associated with entering a potentially hazardous environment. With the right tactics, you can reduce your risk and safely traverse the “fatal funnel”.

If you would like more information on specific “fatal funnel” topics, tactics, team or individual training how on you can reduce your risk and safely traverse the “fatal funnel” contact Brad at (813)940-7271.

Brad Hays

Expert Witness

I’m Tyler with the Appraisal Panel Network!

Expert witness testimony is often critical in cases that involve complex scientific, property damage, medical, or legal issues. Expert witnesses can provide property owners, attorneys and the court with valuable insights and expertise to explain difficult concepts.

They can also provide an unbiased opinion on a particular subject matter that could be beneficial to the case. An expert witness may be called upon to testify about anything from medical diagnoses, accounting details, engineering design, or industry standards to complex legal matters. In some cases, an expert witness is the only person who can provide the court with valuable information on a particular topic.

The testimony of an expert witness can help the court decide whether the facts presented in a case are accurate and reliable. Depending on the nature of the case, an expert witness may be cross examined and questioned about their testimony to ensure accuracy. Expert witnesses play an important role in the judicial system and must remain unbiased throughout the proceedings. By focusing on providing accurate, reliable information, expert witnesses help inform court decisions and support justice. In addition to providing factual evidence, expert witnesses can often provide insight into a case’s broader implications. An expert witness should remain Unbiased, Impartial and Fair.

Author Brad Hays

APN Network

Brad Hays
APN Executive Director

The APN is a Network of Certified Insurance Appraisers, Certified Insurance Umpires and Industry Professionals that Support the Policyholders, Carriers and the Appraisal Panel.

The Appraisers are from both sides of the policy. The Umpires are Neutral to either side. The Industry Professionals support the Appraisal Panel through Trainings, Expert Reporting and Technical Bulletins.

The APN Members “Network” together to Raise the Bar of Ethics, Knowledge and Professionalism in the Industry, through White Papers, Podcasts, Education, Legislative Updates, and Networking, The APN Members check their egos at the door. All of us are striving for the same end. “Open-Mindedness, Impartiality, Fairness and Getting it Right”!

The Appraisers and Umpires can turn to and rely on the APN Industry Professional Members, for accurate and unbiased information. With this information the Appraisal Panel can confidently arrive at impartial, competent and accurate awards. The Industry Professionals never influence or try to sway the Appraisal Panel. They only provide factual information so the Panel can make an informed decision.

The APN Industry Professional Members are Attorneys, Adjusters both Indepedent and Public Adjusters, Contractors, Industry Associations, Insurance Agents, Insurance Companies, Public Officials, Building Material Manufacturers and more. These Professionals are dedicated to improving the Insurance Claims Industry and delivering exceptional work product and services.

The APN has a Special Membership for the Policyholder. When they join APN for free, they will be able to learn ways to prepare for catastrophic events, how to mitigate additional damages after the event and how to rebuild their properties and lives.

Without the Policyholder, this Industry doesn’t exist.”