Paul Gross President & CEO of Code Blue – Who is Insurance Service Provider Code Blue and What Can They Teach Us?

Air Date: 3-22-2013| Episode: 278

Paul Gross is President and CEO of Insurance Claim Management (ICM), the parent company to Code Blue…

Full Description:

Paul Gross is President and CEO of Insurance Claim Management (ICM), the parent company to Code Blue. Paul has emerged as an industry thought-leader and a regular presenter at insurance and contractor industry events due to his ability to challenge conventional wisdom and engineer better approaches to claims management.


Under Paul’s leadership, Code Blue has focused on measuring, managing and evaluating claims while staying focused on the fact that every premium-paying policyholder must be represented in the process. This unique business model creates competition within each category of claims for superior results through Speed, Science and Service. Paul has grown the business to include two command centers – one in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and one in Springfield, Ohio – with more than 400 employees.


Mr. Gross joins us this week to focus on the big picture, macro-economics issues as they relate to successfully working with contractors and insurance carriers to serve policyholders.


Z-Man’s Blog:

Blue men group

On a Friday night in May of 2004, when Paul Gross’ insurance claim call center (which was primarily focused on automobile claims) received a report of a water damage claim from a policyholder and the insurance company and their adjuster both punted the ball expecting the policyholder to wait until Monday for service, was the game changing inspiration that lead to founding CodeBlue. CodeBlue functions as a 3rd party administrator which handles water damage claims for its insurance company clients.

CodeBlue is a bridge between policyholder, restoration contractor and insurance carrier that fosters timely service, better communication and a collaborative approach to the management of water damage claims.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

· Paul Gross sees CodeBlue as an “air traffic controller” that “measures, manage and evaluates” restoration contractor performance on water damage claims.

· As a 3rd party administrator, CodeBlue provides claims management services for its insurance company clients. As compared to restoration franchisors, CodeBlue describes itself as a true provider of services that does not have a first party interest in the outcome of an insurance claim.

· Paul says: “the policyholder wants fast emergency response and wants contractor out of their home ASAP.” Speed, science (technical expertise and experience) & service are important criteria to policyholders.

· CodeBlue’s training centers are unique water damage laboratories, 1,800 square feet in size, constructed outdoors to allow real world weather effects on the drying process. All students to the common goal of making policyholder whole as soon as possible. Insurance carrier staff, restoration contractors and CodeBlue employee train and learn side-by-side. Science drives the training process, allowing facts to be presented as indisputable results.

· Code Blue training sites are built on college campuses. Ed Jones, a former contractor with 27 years experience, is CodeBlue’s technical trainer oversees hands-on training where students learn from experience what drying equipment and installation configuration dries the most materials quickest, allowing the insured back to normal fastest and most cost effectively.

· CodeBlue partners with college campuses to train future claims adjusters.

· According to Paul and Ed, some brands and models of drying equipment stop removing moisture on the second day of drying. Heat drying equipment is getting better and is a reasonable alternative.

· There is no charge for contractor participation in the CodeBlue program. Contractors compete with peers by bidding work on a pricelist. Pricing the work too high, results in contractors failure to be selected, pricing work to low results in failure in profitability.

· CodeBlue’s contractors aren’t captive and are free to work in other programs. CodeBlue provides redundant service providers in every zip code.

· By surveying policyholder feedback on 100% of claims, Paul Gross refers to CodeBlue as the “Angie’s List of water damage claims”. Some of the metrics measured by CodeBlue’s proprietary algorithm are: elapsed response time, scope of loss, unnecessary demolition and cost.

· Paul opines the macroeconomics of the insurance industry follow a basic law of physics that every action has a reaction applies to insurance coverage and claims. When insurance carriers experience unfavorable impact they will manage the issue by narrowing coverage, adjusting premium, raising deductable, etc.

· Paul feel’s that state governors’ shouldn’t have the authority to classify weather events as covered perils.