Ethics • Education • Career Building
The first annual Atlanta Claims Association Insurance Day at the Capitol was held on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. The event was a success. We had a positive turnout of 30+ attendees, not including our speakers and event coordinators. The event was held in room 506 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building, across the street from the Georgia Capitol. Breakfast and lunch were provided. State Senator Fran Millar addressed the audience first, followed by House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey. Both legislators stressed the importance of having more citizen involvement in the legislative process. They encouraged each of us to identify our state representatives and senators and introduce ourselves to them. Rep. Lindsey indicated he relies on people from his district to provide advice on legislative topics about which they have a certain level of expertise. In that regard, he encouraged those working in the insurance industry, particularly members of the Atlanta Claims, to get to know our state legislators.
All three Directors of the Georgia Board of Workers'' Compensation attended. Chairman Richard Thompson addressed legislation, which the State Board has proposed through its advisory council. Included in the legislation are new medical guidelines designed to control the increasing cost of medical treatment. There is also a proposal to enable workers'' compensation adjusters and claims representatives to speak with treating physicians for the purpose of coordinating and employee''s medical treatment. This proposal was made in light of the recent McCrae V. Arby''s decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals, which limited so-called ex parte communications between defense attorneys and treating physicians.
We were also fortunate to have the State Insurance Commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, in attendance. Commissioner Hudgens informed us about several new policies and initiatives of his administration, including and emphasis on curbing fraudulent claims in the roofing and construction industry.
At the conclusion of Commissioner Hudgens'' presentation, the group went on a tour of the Capitol led by Greg Erath and John Stuckey of AIG. Mr. Erath and Mr. Stuckey are experienced and respected lobbyists. During lunch, Mr. Erath and Mr. Stuckey discussed legislation they helped purpose concerning the amount of fees public adjusters can earn. Like all of our speakers, they also encouraged our members to take a more active role in the legislative processÂfor the good of the insurance industry and the general public.