The following are additional excerpts from from an email between two New York area structured settlement brokers. The identity of the parties is not important, the content is.
"...you will never convince me that there is a need for plaintiff's brokers. I worked in this business too many years without them. That was also a time when we could convince the defense that negotiating with a structured settlement helped save claims dollars. Now, most structures are "backed into" by plaintiffs using brokers who do not have the defense's interests at heart. Many claims companies no longer believe that structured settlements help them at all".
"And my adjusters and defense counsel, and many mediators too, are suspect of plaintiff counsel and judges who demand that the plaintiff's broker be involved. When you consider that most of us have the same life markets, and that there are no longer any claims carriers who insist on using their own life companies (which is perfectly within the law anyway), exactly what can a plaintiff broker do that a defense broker can't? All it takes is for plaintiff counsel to ask the broker for costs from all the A+ or better life companies for the selected benefits. I often do that, and let plaintiff, with the approval of the defense, select the life carrier himself".
The industry's generational paradigm shift to a settlement consulting model presents a reality that is difficult for some of my industry colleagues to swallow.
The writer of the email in discussion observes that most brokers have the same markets. So true! Yet perhaps unwittingly such statement raises the corollary question. "What's your value proposition?" other than "you've got the check writer". What is the email writer offering to the plaintiff when he/she has "the defense's interests at heart?".
As someone personally familiar with both perspectives I submit that new reality, more closely aligned with the way real estate is handled, is so much better than the old reality. If a competent settlement consultant has been retained by the plaintiff in advance of (or concurrent with) settlement discussions he/she may have access that the defense consultant will never have at that stage, can gather valuable information, educate the plaintiff and/or the plaintiff's family on options that will facilitate the settlement process. It may also help to reduce the likelihood of factoring by a plaintiff whose needs were not thoroughly explored.
Regardless of your involvement in the case the satisfaction of your client, the satisfaction of the respective clients and a favorable impression of the structured settlement experience should be common goals.of settlement consultants.
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