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Last Post 12/08/2012 6:36 PM by  Jud G.
Adjusting Firm Startup
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newmember78
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08/08/2012 10:44 PM
    I wanted to get some advice on how to startup my own adjusting firm. I have taken all necessary steps to do so and ready to hire 1099 adjusters to send out on claims. Only problem is I have zero clients. How in the world do you obtain claims from these carriers without stealing them from the current IA firms I run claims for now? Also since I run under my own LLC could I send out my own adjusters to run claims for the IA firms that I 1099 for?
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    CatAdjusterX
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    08/10/2012 10:56 PM

    Posted By Bill Johnson on 08 Aug 2012 10:44 PM
    I wanted to get some advice on how to startup my own adjusting firm. I have taken all necessary steps to do so and ready to hire 1099 adjusters to send out on claims. Only problem is I have zero clients. How in the world do you obtain claims from these carriers without stealing them from the current IA firms I run claims for now? Also since I run under my own LLC could I send out my own adjusters to run claims for the IA firms that I 1099 for?

    ............................................................

    Bill, you stated that you have taken all necessary steps to start your own IA firm. A target demographic is usually a necessary step when creating a business plan. That you have no clue as how to obtain clients tells of an exercise in futility (atleast at this moment in time)

    Do you have a payroll system in place?

    How will you pay IA's, on closed claims or closed claims that have been paid by the carrier?

    Are you carrying E&O coverage_? How much_?

     per incident_ ? aggregate_? 

    Are you properly licensed in your home state? (In my home state of Oregon, not only do I need a resident adjuster's license, but my firm American Veteran Catastrophe Services also requires a license) What about states you intend on doing business in?

    In regard to sending out your own IA's to handle claims assigned to you, in most cases you do not have the right to assign claims sent to you to another IA without direct consent. Even if you could, why would you do so? Are you going to pay your IA 60% of your 60%. That makes zero financial sense.

    I applaud your efforts, understand that this is going to be a tough road and many will vehemently tell you that failure is certain. With that being said, stay the course and only listen to yourself (with a realistic view).

    I am still trying to establish myself as vendor 2 years after I decided to strike out on my own back in 2010. I have solicited hundreds of carriers with limited success. I have had two carriers that have used my services. Think of it like an IA firm roster but on a larger scale. Instead of individual IA's on an IA firm's roster, there are IA firms on a Carrier's roster (to some extent)

    All carriers will have a list of guidelines that are required for an IA firm to handle claims on the carrier's behalf, seek those out and start from there.

    Do you have a niche'? Both carriers to which I have done claims for as an IA firm and not an IA is from my disabled veteran status. There are multiple opportunities afforded to veteran and disabled veteran owned businesses in the insurance industry and across the boards for all industries.

    Regardless, if you want to be successful, you need to be financially sound. Do you have or have access to funding sans when the carrier pays you? There are too many IA firms out there (yes to include mine) underfunded and are wholly beholden to carrier payment to keep their doors open.

    In closing Bill,

    again I am still trying to establish my IA firm after two years, nevertheless I will help you as much as I can. Understand that all I can really do for you is to point you in the right direction and show you the steps. What happens from there is wholly dependent upon you.

    Shoot me a message at Catadjusterx@gmail.com or Robby@avcatservices.com

     

     

    Good luck!!!! 

     

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
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    olderthendirt
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    08/12/2012 11:21 AM
    Robby you are far to kind. Does this gentle man (woman) have any real experience in handling claims or running a company. We know (s)he has done some work to set up, but how much. What are all the necessay steps? We know (s)he forgot one of the most important. Imagine a person buying a paved lot with a building putting up signs and then wondering where (s)he is going to get cars to sell! First we have the I R an Adjuster crowd (an still do have) and is this the next trend, the I am a vendor crowd.
    Robbie what you are doing takes courage hard work and time, and you have a real plan.
    Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it depends on what you put in it
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    Leland
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    08/13/2012 5:31 PM
    I just got off the phone with Texas DOI, I find it interesting that they answer their phone, I'm not used to that. Texas is one of the better managed states. You can call them at 512 463-6169. I am calling them becuase I am setting up a Texas license class in southern California. I haven't decided if I will teach it myself with my own class material or get the curriculum from a vendor or just ask one of the training vendors or IAs to come out here and teach it.

    If anyone has any thoughts on that or can send me some good materials I would appreciate it. If anyone in SoCal (or visiting here) wants to get a TX license send me a private message.

    Regarding the question about being an IA vendor, I think if an adjuster is licensed they might be a one person company and if they get work directly from the carrier they would basically be an IA "company", just a one person company. If that's allowed that might be the way to start, because until you have some clients there's no point to having many employees, and you could probably just become a licensed adjuster (2 or more person) entity once you need to start adding employees.

    Unless you are an internet startup with investor funding you probably want to focus on finding the customers before you find the first employees.
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    Leland
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    08/13/2012 5:45 PM
    Ooops, I assumed you were setting up in Texas.... Your answer depends on the state....

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    okclarryd
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    08/15/2012 2:26 PM
    Yeppers........................

    And we all lnow what "assume" spells, don't we?
    Larry D Hardin
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    HuskerCat
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    08/15/2012 9:38 PM
    Posted By OkcLarryD on 15 Aug 2012 02:26 PM
    Yeppers........................

    And we all lnow what "assume" spells, don't we?

    What does "lnow" spell?   Sorry, pal...that was too hard to pass up!!

    Happy Trials!

     


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    ChuckDeaton
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    08/16/2012 8:29 AM
    The human brain is amazing, just reading "lnow" instantly generates a sarcastic comment.
    "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
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    HuskerCat
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    08/17/2012 5:39 AM
    Posted By ChuckDeaton on 16 Aug 2012 08:29 AM
    The human brain is amazing, just reading "lnow" instantly generates a sarcastic comment.

    Hmm, there's sarcasm (used spell check) like this"

    ThesaurusLegend:  Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
    Adj. 1. sarcastic - expressing or expressive of ridicule that wounds
    critical - marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws; "a critical attitude"
    disrespectful - exhibiting lack of respect; rude and discourteous; "remarks disrespectful of the law"; 

    And then there is just plain old dry humor, or poking a little fun at someone that can take it.....

    Dry humor, sometimes also referred to as deadpan, is a form of comedic delivery in which something humorous is said or done by a person;  it is implied humor or indirect humor which largely depends on what the audience thinks is being said rather than anything else.

    Confucius say "turkey with thin skin, even though not target, have feathers ruffled easily".   


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    okclarryd
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    08/18/2012 10:04 AM
    I guess I'm gonna have to start drinking AFTER I do my thing on DACO
    Larry D Hardin
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    HuskerCat
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    08/18/2012 8:02 PM
    Posted By Mike Kunze on 15 Aug 2012 09:38 PM
    Posted By OkcLarryD on 15 Aug 2012 02:26 PM
    Yeppers........................

    And we all lnow what "assume" spells, don't we?

    What does "lnow" spell?   Sorry, pal...that was too hard to pass up!!

    Happy Trials!

    This is straying from the thread somewhat, it crosses over with another thread in which we were discussing ROR letters (I received a new commercial assignment).  While poking some fun at you for your fat finger typing, I intentionally did my own typo with "Happy Trials" vs. "Happy Trails". How might a judge or jury view that?

    This is the reason, in my opinion, that ROR letters need to be authored by or approved (in writing) by the carrier, and not the IA.  A simple misspelling...or placement of a comma, or a semi-colon...or the use of "and", instead of "or", or "and/or"...can drastically change the outcome of a questionable loss.  Your intents may have all been well, but the written words can lead to estoppel.

    For example, a water damage exclusion on Form ABC Edition 04/09 may be worded only slightly differently than Edition 10/06, but have an opposite legal interpretation.  If the carrier has only supplied you with the fact that the coverage is under Form ABC, then you are at risk of treading in quick sand if you rely upon the Edition month/year you have at your disposal.

     P.S.  My apologies to turkeys and all other feathered creatures for prior comments! 




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    bcgolf
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    08/21/2012 9:33 PM
    " Are you going to pay your IA 60% of your 60%."

    Wow 60% has the start pay been lowered that much?
    Lets see if we can encourage IA firms (new and old) to keep it beneficial to be a" trained and experienced professional" in this trade by not suggesting that a less than 65 % rate is acceptable.

    My two cents !
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    CatAdjusterX
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    11/18/2012 9:13 PM
    Posted By B. Leedham on 21 Aug 2012 09:33 PM
    " Are you going to pay your IA 60% of your 60%."

    Wow 60% has the start pay been lowered that much?
    Lets see if we can encourage IA firms (new and old) to keep it beneficial to be a" trained and experienced professional" in this trade by not suggesting that a less than 65 % rate is acceptable.

    My two cents !

    ....................................

    What difference does it make to haggle on % when fee schedules are far from uniform. It's like driving 10 miles out of your way to save 5 cents a gallon on fuel. You spend $2.50 to save $1.00.

    Pay attention to the fee schedule, find one you like, start at 60%, prove you deserve more, then 65% then maybe 70%.

    The ONLY IA firm that I know of that offers 70% from the onset for CAT work is Crawford & Company. I am sure there are others, I just don't know who.

    I think it was hurricane Earl that brushed the NE back in 2010. I was given the go ahead to deploy a few new folks, the very first prospect I contacted tried to negotiate for us to match Crawford's 70%. I told him as an unproven adjuster, you have no standing to make any demands as to compensation. Nevertheless, prove to me you are worth it and on par with our experienced senior adjusters(who earned their way to 70%), then I will send your request on to the powers that be  

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
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    okclarryd
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    11/19/2012 8:06 PM
    Now, y'all quit talkin' about my weight!!

    Fat fingers indeed!!

    You oughta see my butt!!

    So There!!
    Larry D Hardin
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    bcgolf
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    11/20/2012 9:27 PM

    CatAdjusterX (Rob),

    I look at hundreds of files every week that many “senior” adjusters turn in and it is clear that it has been completed with a “lets fling against the wall and see if it sticks” level of completeness.; from lack of clear and concise photos that all seem have the same one line description “overview”, to lack of any supporting narrative that supports the policy and the carriers willingness to pay what is owed according to the policy.  

     Expenses for all field adjusters are rising; carrier’s fee schedules are not keeping pace; IA firms that insist that a 60% split of the fee schedule is competitive are likely the ones that will “burn” you – “turn and burn of new adjusters” is a painful lesson in these economic times; read your contracts and be sure your copy (ask for it) is also signed by the IA firm’s principle officer prior to deployment is my best advice.

    Sadly, “Proof” is more a matter of “who you know” when dealing with IA firms and a basic understanding of what the carrier wants in any given file. This business is more a “people business” than most others and I have received my share of emails, phone calls and texts for work (inside and outside) associated Sandy, Tampa is a pretty good place to be this time of year.

     

     Stay safe and well !!

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    ChuckDeaton
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    11/24/2012 6:43 AM
    Crawford and Colonial are the best in this business.
    "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
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    CatAdjusterX
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    11/25/2012 11:10 PM
    Posted By B. Leedham on 20 Nov 2012 09:27 PM

    CatAdjusterX (Rob),

    I look at hundreds of files every week that many “senior” adjusters turn in and it is clear that it has been completed with a “lets fling against the wall and see if it sticks” level of completeness.; from lack of clear and concise photos that all seem have the same one line description “overview”, to lack of any supporting narrative that supports the policy and the carriers willingness to pay what is owed according to the policy.  

     Expenses for all field adjusters are rising; carrier’s fee schedules are not keeping pace; IA firms that insist that a 60% split of the fee schedule is competitive are likely the ones that will “burn” you – “turn and burn of new adjusters” is a painful lesson in these economic times; read your contracts and be sure your copy (ask for it) is also signed by the IA firm’s principle officer prior to deployment is my best advice.

    Sadly, “Proof” is more a matter of “who you know” when dealing with IA firms and a basic understanding of what the carrier wants in any given file. This business is more a “people business” than most others and I have received my share of emails, phone calls and texts for work (inside and outside) associated Sandy, Tampa is a pretty good place to be this time of year.

     

     Stay safe and well !!

    B. Leedham,

    Understand my statement was not based upon the crap work of some "experienced" adjusters. I am merely talking about without uniformity amongst fee schedules 5 to 10 % fluctuations are negligible. I think what is MOST important is the financial stability of said IA firm and HOW they pay (closed Vs. closed and PAID by carrier) than whether WHAT % they pay (60/65/70)

    In regard to those you discuss who throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks, crap work equals crap pay or NO pay.

    Yes claims "adjuster" expenses are ever increasing. Nevertheless, claim and admin fees are going DOWN, way down. With all the advantages of IT, most claims professionals can now or soon will be able to do everything with a...Smartphone. No need for a tape measure laser tape, ladders, no outside digital cameras (I think all smartphones now come integrated with a camera)

    So even though our travel and lodging and operational costs are ever increasing, the tasks to complete an estimate are now streamlined and most functions can and are or will be soon can be handled with a damn cell phone. So goes the ever declining fee schedules. The CAT adjuster role is being diminished, how can we demand more money for doing less work? Make no mistake I am NOT happy about that, but it is what it is

    Carriers are first and foremost for profit enterprises and as such, if they can minimize or eliminate the significant costs associated with deploying multiple CAT adjusters, they are going to do it and that right soon

    The Insurance Industry is actually going to soon be utilizing drones...yes drones. It is widely expected to soon be able to have drones can fly over an area decimated from a CAT event and have hundreds of claims completed in a matter of a single day with NO mistakes. The same folks working toward this technology boasts that the expense for multiple CAT adjusters can be all but eliminated.

    I know this sounds like Star Wars type stuff, but it's fact. Check out the following link from a highly respected institution CLM:

    http://claims-management.theclm.org...ng-Results

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
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    Gale Hawkins
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    11/26/2012 8:24 PM
    Does anyone know of a staffing firm or persons that have TRAINED claims data entry personnel that would know how set up and complete Sandy wind and flood claims? This adjusting firm uses PowerClaim XML estimating software but not sure if they would require that brand or not. They are not looking for anyone to show up at Sandy but they will send the verbal scope notes and photos to anywhere the person(s) now live.

    From the call I took late today they are looking for people that know what they are doing because she said they did not have time to hire and train data entry people. I have no idea about compensation or any details but stated they already had 100 files scoped that needs to be completed on the computer. They are customers and we have done on-site training so I know they physically exist. :)

    I will check back tomorrow evening.
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    Jud G.
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    11/27/2012 8:18 PM
    Gale,

    Apparently, even people who don't know what they are doing are in short supply too.

    One of those dimwits exists in your post- "100 files scoped that needs to be completed on the computer."

    Good luck.
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    Gale Hawkins
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    12/05/2012 1:10 PM
    Jud G. not sure what you are talking about. Some non dimwit adjusters does a verbal scope and uses a data entry person to comple the the loss in a computerize estimating solution.
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