I guess it must be a sign of our times. I have always been forthcoming with claim information even so far as giving attorneys information when they call, or those who are just asking questions as to “what to do next.” In fact, some of my clients have often told me that I give away far too much information for free.
Perhaps I do, but my thought was that I would rather have insureds knowledgeable and have the help rather than pushing for fees as attorneys sometimes do. I never felt taken advantage of, but now I know why attorneys fight for their fees, a lesson of a sincere heart that has taken me 20 years to learn.
In 2000, during the worst of the Unum Multi-State Settlement investigations, there was a Maine attorney by the name of Jon Holder, who stood by me. He once told me, “If you become an attorney, you will be the poorest one out there.” Going back to Jim Mooney’s “Inside UnumProvident” (2000) articles I wrote, I always felt the knowledge I had should be used to help disabled insured.
I have always trusted and believed insureds who contacted me and told me they intended to hire me, and, as a result I shared information with them of an expert nature. And, I never heard from them again. It is not really a good idea to solicit claim information and then think you know how to implement it yourself.
Today, there seems to be an outbreak of people who ask me for advice as to what to do, promise to retain my services, and then implement my recommendations on their own. I am not whining, but I am changing my procedures, and under what circumstances I will share information or not. As I said, I guess it’s a sign of our times that force people to expect something for nothing. I take comfort in the fact that I still respect and want to help the insured disabled, but moving forward with a much smarter game plan.