Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 27

predictable outcomes, its use is likely
to be favored. If its value is diminished or becomes uncertain as a
result of poor service, that is, a divergence between the expectations of
the marketplace and the performance
or lack of performance at the moment
of truth, the market will move to different currencies. The key for our success, therefore, is to coordinate and
apply the expertise of the producer,
the underwriter and the claim handler
to make sure that the expectations
created in the marketplace are consistent with the purpose and language
of the bonds and that when claims
inevitably happen, the protections
afforded thereby will be quickly and
consistently determined and applied
to the situation at hand.
GOATS, GATEKEEPERS
AND GESTALT
Having spent almost 30 years managing surety claims for three great
companies, I can say without reservation that life in the claim trenches
has never been better in terms of its
being a fabulous career. Among other
things, the value of the claim professional to the business as a whole is
now recognized as going far beyond
the claim-handling function. There

was a time, however, when being a
claim handler had sort of a secondclass citizen flavor. For myself, and
perhaps some of my peers foolish or
brave enough to admit it, we probably
deserved some of it. For while most of
us had law degrees and could flex our
cerebrals with the best of them (just
ask us), we were never really taught
much about the business of bonds,
let alone the business of service. Ours
was the business of claims and was
chiefly a function of addressing and
defending demands upon the coffers of our fine companies. Defend,
Defend, Defend. And we were really
good. Probably too good. But in the
process of going hard to the ball, we
unwittingly did a disservice to the
product by creating a sometimes lasting perception on the part of those
with whom we dealt that our focus
as we performed would be largely
confined to defending and resisting;
that we would capably recognize the
trees, but rarely get the fact that we
were in a forest. As such, the silos
between underwriter, claim handler and producer were tall in those
days with the resultant professional
separation, segmentation and poor
communication, particularly once a
contractor went "into claim." Post

mortems often revealed a greater tendency in those days to trumpet the
ever-important technical defenses to
the possible exclusion of more global
considerations, such as opportunities
for mutual mitigation or what early
action might have accomplished
with respect to the overall health of
the project.
These days, thankfully, not so
much. As with the cubicles in our
offices, we can now see over the walls
of our silos with the expected positives being achieved among producers and underwriters, on one hand,
and claim professionals, on the other.
The collaboration on risk assessment,
solution development and loss management has never been better and
has resulted in tremendous strides
being made in terms of positive market perception, account retention and
increased claim handling consistency
across the business. While this may
in part be attributable to the fact that
our industry training is more collaborative and the emphasis among the
three disciplines to understand the
entire business more pronounced,
it could equally be said that the predominant factor is the acceptance
and recognition by the claim handlers
that they are carrying the ball for the

Panelists of the contract surety claims process panel at the 2014 NASBP Annual Meeting, "The Promise-To Do, or Not To Do...."
From left, Keith Langley of Langley LLP; John Rindt of HUB International Insurance Services in El Paso, TX; Mike Pipkin of Sedgwick
LLP; David Hombach of Travelers Bond; and Rick Levesque of The Hartford Bond.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SURETY BOND PRODUCERS | WWW.NASBP.ORG

27


http://WWW.NASBP.ORG

Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014

NASBP Upcoming Meetings and Workshops
2014-2015 NASBP Executive Committee
From the CEO: We have a great story so let's tell it!
Practical Insights: What You Need to Know - Cost charging in government contracts can result in common, but avoidable pitfalls
Strength in numbers: Harness the power of networking
Profile: President Thomas M. Padilla
Proving your worth: Surety bond producers provide value to clients and beneficiaries
NASBP Fall Workshops
Contract surety claims: The promise - Pact or fiction
Commercial surety claims: A case study on the bond producer's role in assisting a client to avoid loss and maintain surety credit through bankruptcy
Develop the techniques necessary to be an effective policy advocate
NASBP Annual Meeting focuses on the importance of mentoring and critical industry information
Index to Advertisers
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - cover1
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - cover2
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 4
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 5
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 6
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 2014-2015 NASBP Executive Committee
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - From the CEO: We have a great story so let's tell it!
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 9
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - Practical Insights: What You Need to Know - Cost charging in government contracts can result in common, but avoidable pitfalls
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 11
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - Strength in numbers: Harness the power of networking
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 13
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 14
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 15
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - Profile: President Thomas M. Padilla
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 17
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 18
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 19
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - Proving your worth: Surety bond producers provide value to clients and beneficiaries
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 21
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 22
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 23
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - NASBP Fall Workshops
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 25
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - Contract surety claims: The promise - Pact or fiction
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 27
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 28
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - Commercial surety claims: A case study on the bond producer's role in assisting a client to avoid loss and maintain surety credit through bankruptcy
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 30
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 31
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - Develop the techniques necessary to be an effective policy advocate
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 33
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - NASBP Annual Meeting focuses on the importance of mentoring and critical industry information
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 35
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 36
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - 37
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - Index to Advertisers
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - cover3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2014 - cover4
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