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Ray Altieri, Jr.—Public Adjuster Highlight | Property Insurance coverage Protection Regulation Weblog

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The Florida Affiliation of Public Insurance coverage Adjusters is on the point of celebrating its thirtieth Anniversary. A milestone that evokes a deep sense of nostalgia in me, as I used to be current at its inception, because of an invite from Ray Altieri, Jr. It feels becoming, given the event, to highlight Ray in an interview, granting readers an perception into the knowledge of somebody profoundly versed in public adjusting, the nuances of safeguarding policyholders, and the intricacies of the career.

Over the a long time, I’ve watched with eager curiosity as Ray’s quaint, family-driven public adjusting agency has advanced. What was as soon as spearheaded by the household patriarch is now within the succesful fingers of the following technology. Change, as they are saying, is the one fixed. Nonetheless, it’s the teachings from our previous that illuminate our path ahead, guiding us to make extra knowledgeable selections. With out additional ado, right here’s my candid dialog with Ray:

How did you start your journey as a public adjuster?

I kickstarted my adjusting journey in 1980 with Aetna Life & Casualty in Syracuse, New York. Their coaching was unparalleled, and I used to be entrusted with dealing with vital claims in my territory towards among the nation’s prime public adjusters, notably from Nationwide Hearth Adjustment (NFA) in Syracuse and Basloe, Levin, & Cuccaro (BLC) from Utica, NY. Throughout one in all my assignments, Jim Donovan from BLC greeted me with a easy, “Hello Ray, How are you doing?” Slightly than the same old “Good,” I responded with “Crappy!”—a mirrored image of my rising discontent after 5 years with Aetna. This led him to inquire if I’d ever contemplated changing into a public adjuster. I took a second, then expressed my openness to the concept. That was 1985. Coincidentally, Adjusters Worldwide (AI) had not too long ago been established, with BLC as a foundational member and BLC’s Ron Cuccaro as AI’s president. The concept of transitioning to this position was engaging; donning skilled apparel every day, driving a glossy automotive, receiving gratitude from purchasers I assisted throughout difficult occasions, and, in fact, the monetary rewards. When opposing them, I all the time admired the proficiency of public adjusters—their meticulousness, in-depth coverage information, and sheer potential to current a compelling case. It made me aspire to supply that stage of experience and help to somebody.

May you share a standout story out of your early days as a public adjuster in New York?

One story that stands out from my preliminary years as a 28-year-old public adjuster in New York isn’t a singular incident however a fusion of quite a few consumer solicitations towards competing public adjusters. Racing to a brand new loss felt akin to competing in a high-stakes sports activities championship. My coronary heart raced as I aimed to outpace opponents to the loss website, looking for the proprietor. Upon discovering them, I’d should quickly launch into my pitch, all of the whereas being looking out for rival public adjusters who would possibly interrupt my dialog. Internally, the strain was palpable, but I needed to keep a peaceful exterior to influence the proprietor of my functionality and why hiring me was of their greatest curiosity. And once I managed to safe that contract amidst this whirlwind? The sensation was completely exhilarating. It actually was a exceptional dance.

What prompted your relocation to Florida, and the way was the transition?

In 1986, the attract of transferring to Florida turned irresistible, pushed by a mix of my aversion to harsh winters, a ardour for baseball, and the aspiration for my two sons (ultimately, 4 sons) to play baseball within the sunny state. Additional sweetening the prospect was the presence of a childhood good friend and his household in Tampa. Regardless of these enticements, the relocation wasn’t straightforward. I used to be abandoning a cherished job, cherished colleagues who had supplied me golden alternatives, and the comforting embrace of household again in Utica, New York. My preliminary days in Tampa noticed me working with the Hartford Insurance coverage Firm, however the attract of public adjusting beckoned. By the month’s finish, I had delved deep into reconnaissance to launch my very own public adjusting agency. This concerned reaching out to native public and unbiased adjusters to know hearth loss actions and connecting with the eight counties comprising the Tampa Bay area for fire-related statistics and their estimated damages. With these insights, I meticulously crafted a report, laboring until the wee hours one evening. This report was then mailed to my associates at BLC, extending them the primary alternative in Tampa. Their affirmative got here after a 12 months, and when questioned concerning the delay, Ron Cuccaro humorously remarked, “We had to make sure your spouse was set on staying and never hankering for a return house!” His reasoning was sound!

Because the calendar turned to January 1, 1988, I proudly inaugurated the general public adjusting agency, American Loss Adjustment. This was adopted by my affiliation with NAPIA in 1989 and a model evolution to Adjusters Worldwide Florida by 1990. The 12 months 1995 marked a brand new chapter as I ventured independently to determine what we now acknowledge as Altieri Insurance coverage Consultants. Because of some adept adjusters and an unwavering dedication to accuracy, tenacity, and professionalism, we’ve molded it into the esteemed entity it’s in the present day.

What’s your present place at Altieri Insurance coverage Consultants, and what are your obligations?

Presently, because the Chairman of Altieri Insurance coverage Consultants, my position has advanced into one in all technique, steering, and mentorship. Primarily, I’m engaged in declare technique formulation and session, although often, I’ll immediately handle a declare. My 43 years of experience in property claims adjusting now present purchasers with extra direct and expedited entry to invaluable insights. Moreover, this place allows me to supervise and affect the claims dealt with by our group, making certain purchasers obtain optimum settlements. We’re lucky to have a group of extremely expert skilled adjusters at Altieri, and I wholeheartedly belief their abilities and dedication in managing each intricate and typical loss claims. My availability for spontaneous session and recommendation ensures our adjusters obtain well timed steering once they encounter urgent queries. We additionally boast an exemplary help group, spearheaded by our CFO, Andy Altieri. His management assures me that the corporate’s enterprise and monetary operations are within the most secure, most proficient fingers.

Following my elevation to Chairman, I’ve been elated with the management group I’ve put in, comprising my sons Ray and Frank Altieri, together with Andrew Knox and Kevin Kimball. These people aren’t simply seasoned adjusters but in addition adept leaders. Their experience ranges from dealing with a number of multi-million-dollar losses concurrently to reaching pinnacle outcomes. Each Ray and Frank have grown up immersed on this subject, paralleled by Andrew and Kevin, who even have familial ties to public adjusting. Their mixed backgrounds have enriched the agency, with Andrew and Kevin introducing forward-thinking methods and methods which have elevated our operational efficacy. Our senior adjusters have been instrumental in our development, constructing upon the status we’ve nurtured since our basis, enhancing our technical prowess, and delivering top-tier outcomes for our purchasers. The collective contributions of our group fill me with immense satisfaction.

How did the concept for FAPIA come about, and what was it like collaborating with me and the opposite founders?

Again in August 1992, whereas I served on the Board of Administrators of the Nationwide Affiliation of Public Insurance coverage Adjusters (NAPIA), Hurricane Andrew ravaged South Florida. This disaster drew public adjusters from all corners of the nation. Nonetheless, amidst real adjusters, some unscrupulous people wreaked havoc, creating points for each policyholders and insurers. The severity was such that Insurance coverage Commissioner Tom Gallagher even cautioned South Floridians towards hiring public adjusters.

This matter took heart stage at our Mid-Yr Nationwide Conference in December 1992 in Miami Lakes. Right here, a consultant from the Division of Insurance coverage hinted at potential legislative actions that might spell the top for public adjusting in Florida. Throughout that discourse, Jerry Levin, my colleague from BLC/AI, whispered that to resist this looming problem, Florida’s public adjusters wanted their very own state affiliation. You, Chip, have been current and aligned with this thought. You proposed partnering with legal professional Doug Grose, and collectively, each of you orchestrated outreach to all licensed Public Insurance coverage Adjusters in Florida. The aim? To unify our efforts and supply enter earlier than any new legislative actions have been set in movement. Your reminder, urging us to place our statements from a shopper’s perspective, resonated deeply. It birthed the mantra, “We should be on the aspect of Angels!” This strategic method satisfied authorities of our necessity and led to collaborative coverage drafting that continues to be related in the present day.

The inaugural FAPIA assembly was each attention-grabbing and humorous, on condition that many people have been direct opponents. But, it was the camaraderie and mutual respect, largely influenced by your relationships, that introduced cohesiveness. You and Doug championed unity, emphasizing that it was our lifeline. This spirit of solidarity nonetheless prospers three a long time later. Naming the group after NAPIA’s mannequin, electing its management, and defining its goals have been essential early steps. Your steering all through this course of was invaluable.

Each you and Doug contributed uniquely. If I have been to attract a parallel, I’d liken you to the cerebral coach, meticulously strategizing each transfer, whereas Doug was the passionate motivator, making certain we all the time charged forward with zeal. Communication, although difficult in an period with out widespread web or inexpensive cell telephones, was effectively managed by your and Doug’s workplace groups.

FAPIA’s ascent over time is awe-inspiring. The credit score goes not simply to the management however considerably to stalwarts like Nancy Dominguez and Robert Perez Ruibal and their devoted groups. In the present day, FAPIA stands tall because the nation’s premier Public Adjusting group. Their conventions epitomize excellence in schooling, setting, affordability, and leisure. It’s heartening to see new generations carry contemporary views, enhancing the affiliation’s development and status.

You skilled a major divergence of thought with FAPIA, which led to your departure. Are you able to elaborate on the way you discovered your means again?

By 2013, a few of us from the unique FAPIA membership, sometimes called the “Outdated Guard,” discovered it difficult to align with the rising views throughout the group. We have been educated by revered veterans within the public adjusting sphere, who emphasised working discreetly. Drawing from this wealthy legacy, we believed that the troubles in Tallahassee stemmed primarily from a handful of adjusters training enterprise in a fashion we discovered questionable. The crux of the disagreement was a divergence in method between the Outdated Guard and the brand new management over an settlement with the Legislature relating to a Payment Cap.

Nonetheless, in response to our departure, a gaggle of us initiated a brand new non-competing affiliation. This physique comprised various stakeholders from the property claims area, aiming to unify the business and deal with ongoing challenges. Regardless of our departure from FAPIA, I held no resentment in the direction of its management. I imagine variations in opinion are important for productive discourse and might result in well-informed selections.

Your journey with NAPIA noticed you ascend to its presidency. May you share insights into this journey and your tenure as President?

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Progressing via NAPIA’s ranks proved instrumental in refining my skilled abilities. Interactions with key business figures, from Insurance coverage Commissioners to insurance coverage declare professionals, enriched my understanding and effectiveness. Moreover, the camaraderie with friends and the mutual change of methods and options fostered lasting friendships and mutual respect.

Nonetheless, it was additionally a time marked by challenges, primarily because of the turbulence in Florida’s public adjusting sector. Serving in management positions for each NAPIA and FAPIA concurrently, I typically discovered myself caught between the 2, answering for the actions of 1 affiliation to the opposite.

But, being elected because the President of NAPIA, a globally acknowledged public adjuster group, stays a cherished accolade in my profession. Observing esteemed predecessors, I used to be as soon as daunted by the concept of main such a gaggle. It scared the heck out of me. Nonetheless, when the second arrived, I embraced it, grateful for the alternatives and development it offered.

Why ought to public adjusters be part of regional public adjuster associations? Why ought to seasoned and new public adjusters be part of NAPIA?  

If you’re a public adjuster and also you wish to higher your self as an expert, wish to be a more practical advocate in your purchasers, or wish to be somebody who actually makes a distinction within the lives of individuals, then you’ll congregate round those that come earlier than so chances are you’ll be taught from their experiences.  You’ll do that to raised your presentation, to raised your outcomes, and to be extra influential when coping with insurers. 

Do you wish to settle claims faster, for extra money, and keep a status for excellence?  Then, be part of your regional and nationwide associations. You’ll by no means remorse it. Does it value cash? Sure! However it’s an funding into your future and your private success that may give again again and again. From a regional standpoint, it’s sensible to affix that group as effectively to remain updated on all state points related to your every day work. The regional associations comprise professionals who see lots of the similar stuff you see daily.  Those that communicate and supply schooling supply focused info to your state that helps you the primary day after the convention is over. There are solutions to issues inside these assembly rooms, and they’re there so that you can make the most of.

Being part of the Nationwide and Regional associations additionally brings big networking alternatives. To satisfy professionals that line up together with your values and methods of enterprise brings alternatives that you wouldn’t have should you didn’t spend money on the associations, attend the occasions, and be lively throughout the organizations.

Inform me about your loved ones members working with you. 

As you realize, with me are my brother Andrew Altieri, my first-born son Ray Altieri III, and second-born son Frank Altieri, as important parts to the success of our firm and in present day management.

The household aspect began with my brother, Andy Altieri, leaving his accounting place inside a serious Utility firm in upstate New York, the place he oversaw budgeting and accounting throughout the constructing of a Nuclear Facility on Lake Ontario. I used to be capable of lure him from the snowy tundra to sunny Florida together with his new spouse in 1997 to turn into an integral a part of my firm. His monetary abilities have been simply what I wanted to service Enterprise Earnings losses for our growing business e book of enterprise. After changing into a public adjuster, Andy dealt with all types of property claims for years.  Throughout these occasions, Andy’s accounting abilities noticed him voted in as Treasurer of FAPIA, then transferring up the ladder to in the end turn into FAPIA’s President in 2006. Andy is at present the Chief Monetary Officer of Altieri Insurance coverage Consultants, the place he runs the enterprise aspect of our operation.

My oldest son, Raymond III, has been with the agency since 2003, and is now the President and CEO of the corporate. Ray has labored in each capability {that a} public adjuster can work, however now, moreover the duties of his workplace, he focuses his managerial efforts on the whole Gross sales and Advertising and marketing equipment of the agency. Ray has developed into the most effective Enterprise Growth individuals I’ve ever labored with, and that features so lots of the stellar operators I’ve had the pleasure of working with in years previous at Adjusters Worldwide. Ray has been a two-term member of the NAPIA Board of Administrators and was simply voted on to the Officer Ladder of NAPIA at its June 2023 Annual Convention in Nashville, TN, as its Treasurer. Ray is on tempo to turn into the affiliation’s President in 2030, making him solely the second public adjuster from Florida elected to that workplace. 

My second son Frank has been with the agency since 2006 after graduating from the College of South Florida. Frank is Government Vice President of the corporate and oversees our agency’s Residential Division, in addition to being a premier Industrial Massive Loss adjuster for us. Frank has additionally labored in each capability {that a} public adjuster can work and has proven an important propensity for forging professionally amicable relationships with lots of the insurer Massive Loss Adjusters throughout the US. Public adjusting could be a contentious career, however Frank’s honest, conscientious method to dealing with claims is a function that just a few can grasp, and it advances our purchasers’ causes to dramatically profitable conclusions. Frank has served on the FAPIA Board of Administrators and was voted onto its Officer Ladder as its Secretary in 2021, the place he’ll rise to the Presidency in 2026, making him and I the primary Father-Son mixture to every function the affiliation’s President.

The household ambiance continues to be rising. Andy’s son, Anthony Altieri, has not too long ago joined us after graduating from Florida State.   

How do the challenges and rewards of working alongside household, together with the second technology, play out in your expertise?

Incorporating household into our enterprise panorama, particularly my brother and two of my 4 sons has definitely been an intricate dance. Apparently, the world of public adjusting typically appears to gravitate towards family-run enterprises, with many esteemed companies being handed down via a number of generations. This legacy not solely affirms {that a} family-based operation can keep professionalism and status but in addition counters any notion that we’re merely a “household firm” — a label that some opponents would possibly try to make use of pejoratively.

Household, in my eyes, extends past blood ties. Our work household doesn’t should imply solely these with the Altieri title. Our company tradition promotes a familial bond amongst all group members, fostering a way of unity, belief, and mutual concern. This bond isn’t nearly a shared surname however is constructed upon shared values, targets, and an ethos of equity. Whereas the corporate is about extra than simply monetary features, I’ve religion that the current management will uphold these cherished traditions for years to come back.

Wanting again in your skilled journey, is there something you’d have approached in another way?

Reflection reveals that the majority challenges, even seemingly vital missteps, have supplied invaluable classes or surprising optimistic outcomes. My tenet I attempt to move on is that “you’ll be able to solely management what you do. You can not management what others do.” I can management solely what’s inside my purview, not letting the misconduct of others sway my integrity. Rooted in religion, I’ve sought divine steering in my selections, believing that aligning with a better goal typically results in contentment with one’s selections.

As FAPIA nears its thirtieth anniversary with a sturdy membership, what recommendation would you supply to its evolving management and new entrants?

FAPIA’s development is a testomony to its unwavering dedication to its trigger. But, sustaining a seat on the desk in Tallahassee has been an ongoing problem, typically difficult by shifting political terrains. Regardless of our greatest efforts to be proactive, we’ve often discovered ourselves blindsided by regulatory measures crafted behind closed doorways.

To navigate these challenges, I suggest:

  • Strengthen Oversight Collaboration: Think about Mark Boardman’s thought of FAPIA partnering with the DFS. By performing as an preliminary checkpoint for complaints towards public adjusters, FAPIA may streamline the method, addressing minor points internally and forwarding vital considerations to the DFS. This collaborative method may optimize using assets and keep the integrity of our career.
  • Interact with Influential Stakeholders: Search out and foster relationships with inside regulators or legislators who’ve the clout to impact change, each for the betterment of policyholders and the elevation of our career’s requirements.
  • Type a Unified Council: Set up a Council encompassing leaders from state, regional, and nationwide public adjuster associations. Such a council may facilitate open dialogue on urgent points, streamline communication, and work collectively to lift consciousness concerning the invaluable service public adjusters present.

In my journey via the often-convoluted insurance coverage declare world, I’ve encountered myriad challenges. I’ve additionally been graced with numerous triumphs. I’m sure others have had the same expertise. Every stumble, each success, has been a lesson, molding us into the professionals and people we’re in the present day.

Right here’s one essential level: the center of my skilled devotion to policyholder pursuits is shared by these aspiring to be one of the best they are often as public adjusters. It isn’t simply in understanding coverage clauses or negotiating settlements. It’s within the real need to face alongside these in want, to be the guiding mild of their midnight, and there for them within the halls of legislatures and regulatory workplaces.

In the present day’s licensed Florida public adjusters have been lucky to have Ray Altieri and the opposite founding FAPIA members on this endeavor. Their help and shared imaginative and prescient have been instrumental in sustaining the power to face towards these against full policyholder restoration and rights. Each colleague of Ray’s who’s stood with him within the face of adversity 30 years in the past deserves applause. Rays’s mission of service and integrity via one’s work ought to be emulated by all.

To these entering into property insurance coverage claims or maybe feeling wearied by its calls for, bear in mind this: our work isn’t nearly buildings or belongings. It’s about individuals, their hopes, desires, and the sanctity of their properties. It’s about restoring not simply property however peace of thoughts. It’s a noble calling to assist policyholders, demanding each skilled experience and a compassionate coronary heart.  It was these ideas that Ray and I shared 30 years in the past when beginning FAPIA. It nearly looks like yesterday.    

Thought For The Day

The greatness of a person is just not in how a lot wealth he acquires, however in his integrity and his potential to have an effect on these round him positively.

—Bob Marley

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