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SURVIVOR – It’s Not Just a Hit Reality TV Show!

Jennifer Seate

Jennifer Seate

I love watching Survivor.  I have watched every season in its entirety except for the first one (I came on board late).  I think I love it so much because I play Survivor every day at work.  I have various tribes or tribe mates (some of which are villains like the insurance claim adjusters) and then you have those sweet nice people everyone wants to win — my clients.  The insurance adjusters have been on every season of Survivor, they never leave the island.  My clients are newbies 90% of the time and have no idea what to expect.  I know when to stay on the island and when to get off.  However, I’m competitive and probably stay on the island way too long at times.

The insurance companies are constantly trying to undercut my clients.  The hard part is they can be nice about it.  Before we get involved the insurance adjuster may say we will pay for those bills up to $5,000.00 if you just take this $500.00 now.  No need to hire an attorney.  Then when you go back asking for the $5,000.00 to be paid toward medical bills, the insurance company says well I’m only going to pay $3,000.00 of it.  My client is then kicked off the island to go figure how to pay the other $2,000.00 in medical bills.   Unfortunately, before I can get to the island my client has revealed so much information about himself that the insurance company knows now how to use that information to their advantage.  There is very little now that I can do to strategize and protect my alliance.

When a client has asked me to come to the island with him/her, I tend to be able to figure out what the insurance company is really up to.  I’m sure my background as an insurance adjuster helps in that regard.  However, sometimes I’m still left scratching my head.  There are times the insurance company agrees with me and doesn’t require me to fight with them. I take those few, scarce moments as my victory reward challenge where I was sent to feast and replenish in order to fight hard in the next challenge that comes along.

Typically my day revolves around the hard fought challenges.  Usually my clients and I are on the same team; but every once in a while I have a client who wants to make it more difficult for me to help them.  The client has either told the insurance way too much before we get involved (hence why we tell everyone to NEVER consent to a recorded statement) or my client wants to hide things from me.  Clients must understand I’m there to help them and need to know all the facts so I can figure out what to tell the villainous insurance company or what not to tell them.   I also have clients accuse me I’m really in a secret alliance with the insurance company.  Any niceties to insurance adjusters are because we are human and professional; it doesn’t mean we agree with their opinion.  I don’t agree with how they play “the game” but I realize from watching Survivor you do not get people to do what you want by being mean and nasty to them-that gets you kicked off the island.  You do have to be cordial and respectful to others.

Ultimately we leave the island once we are able to do what is right for the client.  There are times we happily leave with our head held high that we did the right thing and fought valiantly.  There are other times I leave angry and feel they blindsided me.  The good thing is I get to back to the island and try, try again.

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