Tags - Popular | FAQ  

PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 09/05/2009 12:03 AM by  dcmarlin
The bitter with the sweet
 19 Replies
Sort:
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages
margar1
Member
Member
Posts:98


--
08/31/2009 12:42 PM

    I am just adding a post to contribute to the forums since things are a bit slow. This post may or may not be beneficial but I am sure there are those that can definately relate. When I was a greenhorn just out of school I worked for years as a union Ironworker. Job placement was tricky and we covered a lot of different areas. Some jobs were great like erecting steel for bridges and high rises. some jobs were less glorious like tying rebar on a parking garage. I remember my dad telling me to take the bitter with the sweet and finish the task.

    Fast forward to several years later in 04 when working claims in S. Florida for Hurrican Frances. I had a great zip code assignment in Weston,Fl with lots of tile roofs and pool enclosures. I was in a real groove pumpin out files and enjoying the assignment. It was then that I got the phone call.....My cat manager had 50 hot files that needed attention. These files was given to a fly by nighter who had left in the night with no regard to the carrier or the insured. I acceppted these files even though I was inundated with my current volume of claims. I assumed these claims would be in or near my assigned zip code...WRONG!

    When I got to the room that evening I was sunken when I learned I had 50 plus files in lovely Liberty City. Lib City is one of the roughest areas of Miami and the memo stated to have all field inspections complete by 2:00 p.m due to the high crime rate. To make a long story short I commited myself to complete the task at hand. Each day brought a new challenge with new sets of problems. My fee schedule definately took a hit as I went from working 40,000- 75,000 losses to working 5,000 losses in the ghetto. I have no regrets the vendor appreciatted my sacrifice and those policyholders in Lib city were entitled to the same customer care as the blue bloods in Weston.

    In this buisness it is not always easy but the industry in a whole excels when we on the front lines take the bitter with the sweet.

     

     

    Mark S Garland
    0
    margar1
    Member
    Member
    Posts:98


    --
    08/31/2009 3:12 PM
    Oh Yeah...my dear ole dad had another saying that applies...." Go hard or Go home "
    Mark S Garland
    0
    ChuckDeaton
    Life Member
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:1110


    --
    08/31/2009 6:18 PM
    On the window of my truck it says "Root Hawg or Die"

    It's a country saying from the river bottoms of Arkansas.
    "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
    0
    margar1
    Member
    Member
    Posts:98


    --
    08/31/2009 6:47 PM
    Chuck

    We have a few of those country sayings over here in Kentucky as well.
    Mark S Garland
    0
    okclarryd
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:954


    --
    08/31/2009 10:06 PM
    I worked a couple of hundred ice dam claims in Detroit, south of 12 Mile, down in the inner city. Had a few moments that got my heartbeat up, got thrown out of a McDonalds for being the wrong color, yes, really, had a really good time and had many $1,000 days.
    Just another interesting assignment.

    Made the Woodward cruise on another assignment in Detroit for a wind storm.
    Another interesting assignment.

    Stayed in a whorehouse in Jerico, NY as it was the most affordable place for 75 miles or so. Worked claims in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, etc. Got to look up the ol' lady's dress out in the harbor and parked in a parking garage run by the, uh........, italians.
    Another interesting assignment.

    Won't ever go back to Chicago.
    Another interesting assignment.

    The good comes with taking the bad in stride.

    Happy Trails
    Larry D Hardin
    0
    Leland
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:741


    --
    09/01/2009 12:18 AM
    I remember in New Orleans when my good freind was given the "antebellum" claims. We didn't even know what antebellum was at first, but to give you an idea, one of his first claims had a house with 20' ceilings in the entry, covered with "new old stock" wallpaper from France, about 150 years old. What that means is some French wallpaper survived on a shelf somewhere for about 150 years before being installed for the first time. Needless to say, these were some high dollar homes. The funny part is he got the claims because he was a local boy, well spoken and clean cut, but had never adjusted before and new almost nothing about claims.

    Here in California I handle some real inner city losses- sometimes I'm pretty sure that the people watching me work are the same ones who might have burned the place down. One thing in this business is that you will meet people from the highest economic level as well as the lowest.

    I just inspected a house that rented for $36,000 per month.
    0
    Medulus
    Moderator
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:786


    --
    09/01/2009 10:03 AM
    Mark,

    Great opening post. This is the attitude we need to see lots more. There might be hope for you yet.
    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

    "With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
    0
    Jgoodman
    Guest
    Guest
    Posts:35


    --
    09/01/2009 1:42 PM

    in 1995, I was working windstorm for GAB in San Francisco and was assigned three files (for two different carriers) up North in the Ukiah and Clear Lake areas.  Inspected the three claims in one day and put 408 miles on my fairly new Escort wagon, which I believe is the highest one day mileage I have incurred in my adjusting career, storm or otherwise.

    Several months later I was working a Hailstorm for GAB doing claims for State Farm in the White Settlement area of Texas.  Both GAB and the State Farm office were in the same building less than two miles from the apartment I rented.  The neighborhood I was assigned was right next to the office.  I closed 116 files and put 378 miles on my still fairly new Escort.  I actually had four houses in a row on one street, I just carred my ladder from house to house until I was done, then went back to get the car.  This is by far the least miles per claim I have ever run into in my adjusting career.

    Now it seems every claim I get is 90 miles in one direction. 

    Ya takes da good wid da bad....

    Jeff

    0
    Leland
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:741


    --
    09/01/2009 3:54 PM
    The other day I had a claim out in Riverside County CA, someone had run through a guard rail. I hadn't yet scheduled it for inspection when I went on a 3 day weekend with my wife and kids out in Joshua Tree National Park. On the way home the traffic was bad so I experimented with another route and ended up sort of lost going through some rural area with mini horse ranches. When I finally went out a few days later to inspect the guard rail imagine my surprise when I realized I had already driven right past it on my detour. Bottomline I made a 2 hour drive I could have avoided. I felt like a dummy.

    But if anybody wants to know what a galvanized steel guardrail on pressure treated posts are supposed to cost I can tell you.
    0
    Ray Hall
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:2443


    --
    09/01/2009 6:57 PM

    It was in 1990 and I was working a good hail storm for State Farm in Nicholas Hills, OK. (North of OK city) ( also the days when the local SF manager could call in his buds and knock these out quick. A GA from Pittsburg ran the whole show, very smooth) All the houses were small 14-15 sq. 3 tab roofs on 4/12 pitch.

    It was memorial day and ever home owner went to the lake on a picnic and nothing to slow me down like "talk" I inspected 25 that day and wrote then all up the following day and drove less than 50 miles. I did not have appointments, but the homeowners knew I was working that day. When I was finished in OK City I worked the largest physical hail ( baseball to grape fruit I had ever seen) in Benver for Pilot and Allstate, yes 1990 was a good year.I used an old DOS program IMANET cost $300. for a life time.The print out was on 3 part NC paper on a 9 pin printer.

    0
    BobH
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:759


    --
    09/01/2009 10:31 PM
    Posted By okclarryd on 31 Aug 2009 10:06 PM
    I worked a couple of hundred ice dam claims in Detroit, south of 12 Mile, down in the inner city.

    Last week I did a 2nd inspection for an Ice Dam claim in Detroit.  When the guy opened the door, instead of a coat-rack in the entry, or a hall table, there was a baseball bat leaning into the corner near the door - in case it was needed.  You could tell it was a standard part of the decor, and likely been there for years, ready for use.

    Now for the sweet, the prior 2 months were in Troy Michigan, north of 14 mile, nicer neighborhoods, working east to the lake. Nice scenery.  Stark contrast to the burnout buildings that just sit there, and the abandoned factory south-east of Detroit with 1/2 the glass knocked out...

    Bob H
    0
    Tom Toll
    Moderator & Life Member
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:1865


    --
    09/02/2009 12:00 PM

    SWEET: Back in 1975 I was in my office at the North Little Rock Airport, which was a small terminal building I had leased from the city. It had glass on two walls that allowed viewing of the runway, which was runway 36 and 18. I heard a twin engine plane at the end of runway 18 doing a mag check on his engines. After hearing a backfiring noise and the engine cutting out, I went to the window to watch. I thought to myself that the pilot would be taxiing back to the hangar, as the engine was not running right. Man, was I fooled. The pilot pushed to full power on both engines and started rolling out for a take off, the one engine, left engine, sputtering and making all kinds of flaky noise. I ran out of my office to watch which direction the Piper Commanche would be going. Being an aviation accident adjuster, I was concerned for the safety of the pilot and anyone on the ground in the event he had an engine failure, as there were several residential communities in the area. My secretary, Judy, ran out when she saw me scurry out the door. She saw the plane also, and as it got near a quarter mile away, we could hear the engine continuing to backfire and then suddenly the engine quit running.



    The Piper was designed to run on one engine, so that did not give me concern until I saw the plane turning into the failed engine, instead of turning into the engine that was running, as is required. He obviously was going to try to turn back to the airport, but did not follow flight rules for a dead engine. The plane was about 500 to 700 feet up and started a spiral toward the ground. I kept my eyes on the plane as long as I could until he hit ground about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the airport. I told Judy to call the FAA GADO office and advise them of a plane down. I jumped in my Cessna 182 that was parked in front of the office and taxied to the runway, did my run up and took off. I was hoping I could spot the downed airplane quickly, but, he had gone down in a wooded area and spotting an airplane in the woods was difficult. I advised the Little Rock control tower I was near the airport looking for a downed airplane and asked them to advise other pilots that I was near the approach end of Rwy. 36 and to avoid that area, so I would not have to be concerned about a mid air collision. Judy called me on the unicom radio and advised the FAA was on their way out. I told her when I located the airplane that I would drop toilet paper on the area, and they could follow it. I did finally find it.  I climbed to 1,000 feet so the toilet paper would leave a long trail. I circled the area and then Judy advised the FAA was there and to drop another roll of paper, which I did. They arrived at the scene, and I flew back to the airport. They found the pilot alive and had choppered him to a hospital.



    Two days later I got a call from Omni Aviation Managers with an assignment to investigate a downed Piper twin Commanche. Guess what, it was the airplane I had watched take off and later found crashed. I had the aircraft recovered and brought back to the airport to do an intensive examination on the reason the left engine was squawking. The FAA investigators and NTSB were also there to investigate. There was nothing wrong with the Continental engine, the man had a lot of water in his left fuel tank. I thought, what  a moron to have done that, but at least he was alive, but in critical condition. It took me 3 months to take a pilot statement, as he suffered a brain injury. He did thank me for finding him and was appreciative I was the adjuster handling his loss. It all ended well, until:



    BITTER: In 1994, after moving back to Arkansas from Florida, we had settled into our home and was looking forward to working catastrophe claims. We received a phone call from an investigative reporter from one of the news stations in Dallas. He told me he was doing a piece on a man that had shot a Mexican in the back for trespassing on his property. He had information that I had worked the claim that caused brain damage to the defendant, who happened to be the pilot of the downed airplane. Seems he was saying the brain injury was the cause of his shooting the trespasser. Apparently he had been charged with second degree murder. The reported was asking me medical questions that I could not answer, but just kept going with the questions. I tried to tell him, and Janice was listening to the conversation, that I was not a medical professional and could not say anything about his mental state. I did, however, tell him the man appeared to be cognizant when I took his pilot statement. The reporter was not rude, but just kept at it trying to get me to say something I was not going to say. I did not find out how the trial went, but I was saddened to the fact that I helped save one life and then that life turned around and killed another human being for trespassing on his property. Come to find out the Mexican and many others used a short cut through this mans property to reach a destination. How damn sad. I was somewhat surprised that I was not summoned to appear at trial, but was very glad I had not been.


    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
    0
    Leland
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:741


    --
    09/02/2009 12:57 PM
    brain injuries can cause people to have strange and powerful personality changes. The victim might cry all the time or laugh all the time. Some people get anger management issues. I'm not an expert either, but I have heard about it. One way doctors figured out which part of the brain does what was from industrial accidents. If a metal pole went through part of your brain and then you weren't able to count anymore, the doctors would deduce that that part of your brain is responsible for counting. That's why our understanding of the brain advanced during the industrial revolution. With more people getting metal objects stuck in their heads the medical establishment was able to figure out what all the different parts do.

    In 1848, railroad worker Phineas Gage was in an explosives accident that drove an iron rod through his frontal lobe.[107] Previously a restrained, capable man, Gage reportedly underwent a dramatic personality change after the injury, becoming childish, vulgar, inappropriate and impulsive,[106] and his case is often cited as having given insight into the critical role played by the frontal lobe in personality and behavior, and advancing the understanding of the relationship between brain and mind.

    So maybe next time you have a pushy reporter you can tell him to look it up on Wikipedia if he's so interested!

    Maybe when the reporter heard you were an adjuster he assumed "medical claim adjuster". If I tell people I'm an adjuster some times they thing "vehicle adjuster".

    Based on how dangerous the guy behaved with his takeoff, maybe he had some mental issues BEFORE the crash.
    0
    Medulus
    Moderator
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:786


    --
    09/02/2009 1:28 PM
    Ahhh, Detroit! I remember those ten weeks working the ice dams in 1999. Chili Dogs were haute cuisine, Greektown didn't have a casino yet, and the city left the street lights out at night along M1 because they couldn't afford to turn them on. The most dangerous parts of town plunged into total darkness. I remember the uneasy feeling that I better get out of here as quickly as I could.
    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

    "With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
    0
    Ray Hall
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:2443


    --
    09/02/2009 3:17 PM
    Houston 1990 an old refinery under the 610 bridge had a puff back and a large black cloud rose up to about 50.000 feet in the afternoon. A shower came in from the west and pushed all the black gook to east of Pasadena and black spider webs came down on all the auto,s and frame houses that needed paint jobs. A bud I worked with in Denver was an old Crawford hand and he got a call to show up at a London Brokers office at 8.00 on the Gulf Freeway. I needed a gig and I showed up and got a few strange looks from about 15 Crawford adjusters. I worked for 2 days and got discovered as an impostor, and not Crawford, because I was promoted to be a team leader. The London broker kept me on and paid me direct, but the Crawford adjusters did not like an impostor being the "hot" adjuster and They let me go to keep the peace after two weeks.

    Now the sweet, the London broker liked my style and I got a 4 year gig working energy claims for being an impostor and made two trips to London. I also seem to start a trend in the cat. business as they would check for impostors that were not called out after that. So... I have helped made a few changes in the Cat. Claims industry.
    0
    ChuckDeaton
    Life Member
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:1110


    --
    09/02/2009 11:20 PM
    Several years ago I was the designated adjuster/investigator for Jeep CJ5 and CJ7 rollover claims. American Motors sent me to their Hamtramck plant. We rode to the motel in a bus with bars on the windows and the doors locked from the inside and when we got to the motel, it was bounded by an anti personnel fence with concertina wire and the doors and windows were barred.

    We were told not to go outside for fear of being shot through the wire.
    "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
    0
    Medulus
    Moderator
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:786


    --
    09/03/2009 10:39 AM
    And Hamtramck is the nice part of Detroit!
    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

    "With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
    0
    RJortberg
    Member
    Member
    Posts:147


    --
    09/03/2009 1:42 PM

    Yow- I think many others pale in comparison...

    Good - psychic kick on a blue roof in So. Fl watching sunset and knowing that finally the insured was getting some help. There is a big picture purpose to working claims after a horrible event.
    Also - not from adjusting but working on an assignment at a resort hotel in Palau (about 2 hours flight east of the Philippines) and having my fee inclusive of all the scuba diving I could do since the resort had a dive shop... dive in the AM and work on the project in the PM for about 1.5 weeks... good gig.

    Bad- dangerous part of FL when I was on the roof and fights started at the bball court across the street...a very nervous moment since I was front and center next to the court. Lesson #1, arrive in the AM and not at 4:00 PM, #2, tie off your ladder to the gutter for a number of reasons. #3, make a point of walking Ms. insured around more visibly to reinforce that hurting an adjuster also hurts a neighbor. Nothing ended up happening, but I did learn a lot.

    0
    margar1
    Member
    Member
    Posts:98


    --
    09/03/2009 2:04 PM

    These are all great stories..... There are many ups and downs in this rat race but the pinnacle is getting pay notification where my hard work is rewarded with my bank statement!

    Mark S Garland
    0
    dcmarlin
    Member
    Member
    Posts:110


    --
    09/05/2009 12:03 AM

    Back in 1989, I spent about 10 weeks in St. Thomas working Hugo.  Sweet...very sweet!!

    Gimme a bottle of anything and a glazed donut ... to go! (DLR)
    0
    You are not authorized to post a reply.


    These Forums are dedicated to discussion of Claims Adjusting.

    For the benefit of the community and to protect the integrity of the ecosystem, please observe the following posting guidelines: 
    • No Advertising. 
    • No vendor trolling / poaching. If someone posts about a vendor issue, allow the vendor or others to respond. Any post that looks like trolling / poaching will be removed.
    • No Flaming or Trolling.
    • No Profanity, Racism, or Prejudice.
    • Terms of Use Apply

      Site Moderators have the final word on approving / removing a thread or post or comment.