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Last Post 02/11/2009 10:53 PM by  moco
Time Capsule: What Will Catadjusting Look Like Five Years From Now?
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Medulus
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02/05/2009 5:02 PM
    I remember, in the sixties, how people imagined the future to be.  All I want to know is "Where's my flying car?"
     
    While perusing the archives, I came across a 2000 thread where the question was asked, "What will catadjusting look like five years from now?"  Only a couple people had the courage to attempt an answer.  You can judge now, eight years later, how accurate they were.  Here's the link:
     
     
    So I throw the question out again and let's see who wants to throw their rep on the line and make a prediction.
    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

    "With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
    Amart
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    02/05/2009 10:43 PM
    I predict measurement will become much more accurate with the robots taking most of them. Also there will many less serious falls from structures once everyone is assigned their standard issue jet packs.
    HuskerCat
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    02/06/2009 1:16 AM
    That old post of Chuck's carried a lot of prophecy.  I think if he could have shared a joint with Jim Morrison a few years earlier, the cat world might be different. Not that I'm condoning that!!
    jlombardo
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    02/06/2009 7:43 AM
    Mike,
    I hear it is good for the eye sight.......
    katadj
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    02/06/2009 4:56 PM
    Steve et al:

    This is an extremely ponderous question which has varied answers, in my humble opinion.
     
    We have all seen the move by the carriers to  attempt to settle a large amount of claims via the telephone call canters, with a great deal of success on their part and probably an excess amount of claim payment, based on my experiences.
     
    This is probably going to continue and increase in the quantity of claims overpayment and lessen the cost of adjustment, as we are not a factor that can be charged against the file, but rather a cost that they incur which cannot be written off. This is due in part to the inexperienced call center operators, not asking the proper questions, based only on their knowledge or the lack of same or having a comprehensive check off sheet that can be verified before the claim is settled. These people usually have up to $10,000.00 in telephone authority and can use it at their discretion, albeit the loss may not even be covered. As the claims count increase they may up the authority, which will be a monetary catastrophe.
     
    I do believe that with the advent of the newer technology, we shall see a decline in the amount of claims we have to see, roofing will be done by and measurements derived from that will be the basis of the settlement.
     
    However, they cannot verify how many roofs are on the structure, what type they are, what is the true age and condition, what amount of depreciation should be applied. So although many carriers feel that things like Eagle Eye, Google Earth, and others are the correct way to settle a claim, they are sadly mistaken. They may satisfy some of the people, all of the time, and perhaps all of the people some of the time, but as was said by Mr Barham, You cannot satisfy all of the people all of the time.
     
     
     
    The residential market will feel this decline very soon, and it may take several years to return to the old, tried and true ways, perhaps never, as the new younger leadership in the carriers is led by technology and they implement it with a somewhat lack of knowledge of our profession.
     
    Now, with respect to the commercial side of the equation's, this should and must be done in the old fashioned way, inspect, examine, question, and do it the right way the first time. The commercial work will always need a qualified adjuster to handle an intricate or large claim.
     
    The tools of the trade, computers, Internet, PDF, Lazer measuring devices, and other such items have made life a bit easier on the old timer, but the newer people can only rely on them. This is the creation of the dumbing down of the adjuster, and they are at a distinct disadvantage on how to handle a claim properly.
     
    What is needed more than anything is a proper education of an individual on the claim policies and procedures. This one item is creating the fiasco's we all experienced in 2004-5 and 2006-08.
     
    Unless and until an adjuster is mandated to have 6+ months training in the field,with a fully capable adjuster, and coupled with the proper computer usage
    we shall never recover from the issues at hand.
     
    Take it for what it is worth to you, but most older adjusters will certainly have some additional input.
     
     
     
     

     
     
     
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
    Ray Hall
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    02/06/2009 5:11 PM
    I think it will become more of a "fill out the form" world. I can see a spy in the sky doing the roof claims and a floor plan in the mail with instructions of how to take the digital photos and send them back.
     
    In September my auto was totaled out and I turned in a PIP claim for 2 days lost wages and the PIP adjuster could not tell me how to file my claim as I had worked very little in the preceeding 12 months and they could not understand how I could go from nothing to commercial adjusters fee billing in the two days I missed. I WILL BE ABLE TO COLLECT, but I will have to write it up.
    Medulus
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    02/06/2009 7:07 PM
    Good luck, Ray.

    Some claims should be handled by phone, of course. Someone threw a 20 pound boulder through my drivers side window a couple weeks ago. I called the Gecko at 6:30 am and the glass repair guy showed up at 8:30am at my work place. Claim over. Done deal. It is possible that, given my previous experience, Team Five of Big Red would have had me driving around without a window for a day or two.

    But then there are other claims where the insured should get the personal attention and accurate claim adjustment they deserve for their premium dollars. Just my opinion, though. I'm not in charge, so I don't make those high level decisons. (Of course, I'm also not responsible for the mess we seem to have gotten ourselves into either -- and there's something to be said for that.)
    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

    "With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
    ChuckDeaton
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    02/07/2009 12:16 AM
    Technology, technology, technology, our new tower cases with 64 bit O/S will be here on Monday. 8gbs of ram memory. The satellite uplink is on the way. Lasers, man lifts, digital cameras, smart phones, net books, GPS, cell phone repeaters, off site back up, micrometers, catalogs, if you intend to succeed in this business, if you don't have them, you best be thinking about them.

    Go back and read my predictions from 5 years ago and then think about the world we live in. My cell phone updated itself today as I was driving across the 310 bridge. Over the air (OTA) update, who ever heard of such a thing, nobody, cause Google and T-Mobile are the only ones that do it.

    We've got the same old tools and lots of new ones.

    The economy is just going to get worse, when the bad loans come home to roost banks are going to go bankrupt. How are you going to get to a storm if the bank won't loan money on that new Cummings diesel.

    There will be an influx of people from other professions, carriers are going to have trouble paying our invoices. We heard a rumor that the power company in Kentucky is having trouble with short term financing to repair their damaged infrastructure and get the power back on. Have you ever worked freeze claims in the dark and then had to eat cold meals and stay in a cold motel room? Me neither and I don't want to. What about fuel, fuel prices are down at the moment, but fuel prices will go back to $6.00 a gallon. What about vendors, several vendors borrowed big money for payroll during Katrina/Rita, but what if the usual sources will not make the loans. Are you willing to help finance a storm, I don't want to do it voluntarily and I certainly don't want a vendor sneaking up on me.

    Anyone working flood claims has experienced the change in attitudes at NFIP since Katrina. And more changes are coming. My understanding is that the General Adjusters working for CSC will be phased out April 1 and a new crew will take over.

    What if State Farm actually leaves Florida and a million residential policies, will Citizens be able to borrow money, pay claims and pay us too? I wonder. Will a horde of new little insurance companies pop up, can the new little pop ups make good on their financial obligations?




    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
    HuskerCat
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    02/07/2009 12:48 AM

    Upon bended knees & praying grace to your previous predictions, Chuck....I hope you're wrong about the $6 fuel.  Let's mark our calendar & if we're still around 5 years from now, check it out.  I have a large can of Fosters iced down right now that says it don't get over $5.99.  (I don't like Fosters, but I still hope you're wrong.  I'll try to keep my son & nephews from stealing it.)

    Ray Hall
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    02/07/2009 1:31 PM
    I predict the vendor system will always be the way "farm out" insurance losses will be worked. I expect the large vendors will get larger and the smaller will be history as credit for payroll ever two week becomes tighter. I expect more loyalty on both sides for temp. adjusters.I also expect less turnaround time on the finished product approval to check in hand as a basic file requirements test will be required before deployment. This has been needed for the last 10 years and its the carriers and vendors to blame for not having a strict test and rerference verification.
    MBoy
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    02/07/2009 3:20 PM
    I suspect claims procedures are about to take a turn for the worse. It was report the AllState has hired a well known firm that assists companies in outsourcing their work. The two areas under consideration are claims and finance. This firm exclusively finds companies for the outsourcing in India. The next claims "manager", to use the term loosely, could be sitting at a desk halfway across the globe, and payment sent by snail mail. Who do you think will handle the complaints based on these circumstances?

    AllState requires IntegriClaim, so the paperless file to India is feasilble. IC has already developed & sold metrix programs for analyzing claims to determine if the claim was handled "correctly". The executives at AllState may believe that clerks can now perform file reviews based on the vendor reports generated by IC.

    This is not a scenario I would work in.
    katadj
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    02/07/2009 3:58 PM
    Wonder if the policy language will change to allow all of the new technology?

    Is it not a fact that the carrier has an OBLIGATION to inspect and examine , photograph and prepare an estimate of damage? Or am i too old to remember?
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
    Ray Hall
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    02/07/2009 5:06 PM
    This is a great question Dave. The answer is no. Contract law says "we have the right to inspect, but not the duty".(obligation)

    "Its the insured duty to prove up their loss"

    Since the risk of loss coverage (the last 60 years) in the dwelling market this has evolved into todays practice. Only in recent years have the court opines said we have to furnish the insured with a copy of "our" estimate of damages, value and loss amount.
    ChuckDeaton
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    02/08/2009 1:45 PM
    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.co...guide.aspx

    Here are some thoughts about the economy and what a is going to happen, interesting reading.

    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
    ChuckDeaton
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    02/08/2009 2:08 PM
    State Farm Illinois owns State Farm Florida and says that State Farm Florida will be insolvent by 2011. State Farm Florida says that it has not repaid the money borrowed from State Farm Illinois after to pay 2004 claims and that State Farm Florida is unable to pay the interest. If that is so, then the real estate market will go with them as buyers can't find insurance, then real estate loans are unnecessary, as are real estate agents, brokers, appraisers, carpet cleaning people, roofers and God only knows who else, but the list includes catastrophe adjusters who use the same unchanged business model.
     
    I encourage everyone to read the headlines on catadjuster.org and think about what it means for State Farm Florida to vacate 700,000 homeowners polices, business built, bit by bit, over a life time, and all of the economic activity that a competitive residential insurance market supports.

    No credit means no bank loans, if no bank loans where do computers and vehicles come from. I can tell you that the car lots in Houma are backing up. One of my mentors says that all inventory might as well be milk, once the due date has passed it is unprofitable. This is 2009 and there are 2007 vehicles sitting on lots unsold.

    No credit means no credit cards or lower credit limits, how to finance the big boys, those big vendors that get 10,000 people in the field, as they did in 2004. We have always financed Pilot, Crawford, Eberl, Worley and the like, that essential trip to the storm site and the first 60 days, gas, lodging, computers, software and food, before the money starts to flow to our bank accounts. I don't know about you, but I was about 60TUSD in the hole before the first dollar hit my bank account after Katrina. I eventually made money but some of the 60TUSD was short term credit.

    Everybody, including you and I, are going to be doing everything we can think of to extend capital.

    Will the trillions being spent by our government do any good, I think so, in the short term. Over the next 5 years we are going to see another bubble as billions and billions of borrowed money, increasing the national debt, is disbursed and spent on space travel, social giveaway programs, road building, schools and education and building levees. In the long term, I think the United States of America will return to the way it was in the 1930's in some ways. Outhouses, no electricity, no city water and infrastructure that is at least local.

    Wiser more knowledgeable minds than mine say that we are in a depression and I tend to agree. Our government has spent us out of depressions in the past and maybe they will this time, but due to the economic situation in the rest of the world I am doubting it.

    So the next five years will be lived on the government dole and then who knows.
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
    BobH
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    02/08/2009 7:45 PM

    Posted By Chuck Deaton on 08 Feb 2009 01:45 PM
    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.co...guide.aspx

    Here are some thoughts about the economy and what a is going to happen, interesting reading.

     
    Economic stimulus packages can work -- if they're big enough.

    The Great Depression proves that. Oh, I know that you've read or heard endlessly that the New Deal didn't end the Depression and that only World War II did. But let's get our facts and terminology straight, shall we? The New Deal, despite all its activist programs, was never very big on economic stimulus. And besides being a global war, World War II was the biggest stimulus package ever.

    Yeah, very interesting.  I recently saw a documentary on Franklin Roosevelt and was surprised to hear that the depression era 20% unemployment continued all the way up to WW II starting (guys getting drafted into the military).  The really bad unemployment ran for about 10 years with no end in sight.
     
    My 81 year old Dad is still around, he is always saying WW II stopped the depression.  From what I saw in that FDR documentary, the USA military was barely in the top 10 prior to WWII.  But we emerged as a leader, shaping the destiny of the world. 

    It's hard to visualize "spending our way to solvency" with the existing national debt, State Farm Florida's debt to the main company, etc. The USA has spent a ton of money re: Afghanistan & Iraq for more years now than the duration of WW II and it doesn't seem to be having the same "boost" to the economy.  Fox news just did an interview with 2 financial experts who said we have to PRODUCE, not SPEND our way to solvency.  Maybe that's what ended the last depression, as GM and Ford factories jumped into high gear producing tanks and planes rather than sitting idle.  With today's "information age" we may need to do non-manufacturing production, but we must produce.

    Here's an article on The Wall Street Crash of 1929 and it's interesting that this wasn't even the bottom, it hit the lowest point in 1932 (do you think our market has "bottomed"?).  And it didn't really recover to pre-crash levels until 1954.  Prior to the 1929 stock market crash, there was the "roaring twenties" with uptrending speculation in the stock market, and real estate.  I understand there was a real estate decline that started about 2 years before the stock market crashed.  Sound familiar?  
     
    Not to be a pessimist, but things do tend to go in cycles and this is no doubt a "downturn".  As individuals, we have to keep our heads above water no matter what in order to survive the lean years.

     
    Bob H
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    02/08/2009 8:05 PM
    We all need to take heed of the current situation and do our best to foresee what is coming at us.

    This time, the headlights are off and we can't see it coming. However, we know it is coming so we need to get ready for the impact.

    The industry has changed, is changing, and will continue to change. The companies are doing their best to stay abreast and stay afloat. The changes in the claims industry are wide and far-reaching. We are told daily to pay for items or charges that would not have been considered as little as two or three years ago. Document the instructions, verify that there is coverage and write the check. There's no need to discuss your personal feelings or how things were done in the past.

    Just pay it.

    Eventually, as I see it, someone has to come to their senses and decided that this path may have a rock or two in it and that personal contact with the insured, a visit from a knowledgeable adjuster may be the best way after all.

    As long as the companies don't spend their way into insolvency, it'll work out.

    We just have to adapt, continue to be adaptable, and keep our wits about us.
    Larry D Hardin
    Jud G.
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    02/08/2009 8:45 PM
    I suspect that we will see a large portion of construction companies coming in to write the estimates and attach photos for review by the examiner. 

    Here's how: The estimates and photos will be submited electronically (ComCentral or Xactcentral) and can be edited by the carrier in lieu of current pricing and proper application of coverage.  Let's face it, many coverage issues that stem from a major catastrophe can be plotted on a cheat sheet. The contractors get the work, because they will do it for free in exchange for a very good lead on a potential job.  The better their estimate product is (good photos and detailed estimates), the more often they get used by the carrier.

    With the advent of changes like this, expect to see a decrease in the amount of IA Vendors used with a proportionate amount of construction companies on the rise.  With the option to pay top dollar for an estimate or get an estimate for free, we will probably see a change in the amount we get to charge for our services.
    BobH
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    02/09/2009 1:03 AM
    Posted By Jud Gardner on 08 Feb 2009 08:45 PM
    I suspect that we will see a large portion of construction companies coming in to write the estimates and attach photos for review by the examiner...
    I saw a HUGE shift in that direction for "daily claims" over the past few years.  But not for CAT claims.  While working for a large carrier during Gustav-Ike, I observed instructions NOT to recommend the normal "preferred" contractors due to the concern that they are already dealing with more restoration work than they can handle.  There was an avoidance to rely on them to do more.

    When a big event hits, many tens of thousands of claims can be generated just for one carrier.  I just don't see them relying on ServPro - ServiceMaster (etc.) to look at more than "hundreds" of claims in a timely manner.  The contractors would have to sort of become CAT vendors with large lists of "names" that can come in to do that volume of work - and pretty soon they are doing something they aren't really licensed to do.
     
    If you can spread those Dates of Loss out through the year - yeah - they are sort of taking our work from us day to day.

    Bob H
    moco
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    02/11/2009 10:53 PM


     and will continue to change. The companies are doing their best to stay abreast and stay afloat. The changes in the claims industry are wide and far-reaching. We are told daily to pay for items or charges that would not have been considered as little as two or three years ago . Document the instructions, verify that there is coverage and write the check. There's no need to discuss your personal feelings or how things were done in the past.


    I have seen this sooo much in the last year. I have reached the point now that i call assigned examiner to personally speak with them about the loss when there are exclusions that are specifically listed in the declaration pages, because they may very well pay for it.One of the carrier's i work for has started requesting O&P in every estimate even if there is only one trade involved.  I don't like having to call, but would rather know up front to complete or not complete an estimate. Does not apear that you can make a decision on your own anymore.
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