I think I see what the confusion is in this topic on the $70.00 or $700.00 fee.
We are dealing with 2 different RFP's (Request for Proposal Documents) and 2 different fee schedules - one with each of them.
Citizens bid out the RFP in 2007 (RFP 07-0003) which the agreement form found on page 21 of the below link says is for Catastrophe Claims Agreement for the period of June 1, 2007 through 5/31/2009 so that would include this hurricane season during 2008. All of those documents can be located here on their website on RFP 07-0003 which is 2nd to the bottom on this link to include the fee schedule and the fines for violations of their service handling standards. This is the RFP that we have seen the award list for the 45 vendors which has since been increased to 46 vendors although they never published the updated list with the 46th vendor ( we wrote about that with a link to the Citizens announcement on Bradley Stinson firm in a link in one of the following paragraphs.
They then began bidding out for daily work for Daily claims (RFP for daily claims which occur from 7/1/2008-6/30/2011 and catastrophe claims from 6/1/2009 to 6/30/2011. This is the RFP that has been revised 3 times since the beginning of 2008.(RFP 08-0001 2/08 and RFP 08-0016 the current ones issued April 08 RFP 08-0016 which replaced RFP 08-0001)
Here is a blog addressing the 3 revisions which included the initial RFP in 2/08 and the 2 revisions in April/May 08:
Here are links to the first one that got cancelled in Feb 08 AFTER the vendors wishing consideration had submitted their RFP docs:
***They haven't zipped these docs yet so look for RFP 08-0001 to see the RFP and the cancellation notice (I think it was addendum 4). We wrote about this cancellation with more details here:
And a blog we wrote about the Feb 08 cancellation:
http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/200...ove-again/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/200...ove-again/
Here is the link to the current RFP 08-0016 which was initially posted 4/22/08 with a fee schedule for the new dates in the 08 RFP then revised again on 4/28/08 and 5/9/08 to include revisions to the fee schedule and the Q & A document mentioned above that confirms they did intentionally put $70.00 versus $700.00 on the slab footprint only claims.
**Docs not yet zipped so just look for RFP 08-0016. Note they move documents when an RFP is closed to the Closed purchasing documents which you can access going to http://www.citizensfla.com/
then clicking on purchasing the click on the tab for Closed Competitive Solicitations to find the RFP when it does move.
This new RFP included a Q & A in Addendum 2 dated 5/9/08 where the vendors had an opportunity to present questions to Citizens which they then published the answers to on May 9, 2008. In that Q and A info they published, one of the vendors specificially asked the question if there had been an error on the published fee of 70.00 on the total losses where they just wanted a footprint taken since the schedule for 2007/2008 cat work had said 700.00. Citizens answered this question in Q5 of Addendum 2 that an error had NOT been made and $70.00 was in fact the correct fee for the daily work beginning June 2008 daily claims and the cat work beginning June 2009. While they didn't use those dates, the Q &A applied to the new RFP questions so that would be the new time frame. Note they have not yet selected the firms for the new RFP. The list you've seen of 45 vendors (it is actually 46 now- see this blog if your not familiar with the 46th vendor info here) is the vendors awarded the work on the RFP 07-0003 for the 2007/2008 storm season.
Evans Claims, one of this years vendors, has the Face to Face requirement email from the interim Citizens Catastrophe Director posted on their website in a May 12, 2008 post here which explains their reason for requesting the face to face training and I've seen it uploaded as an attachment on some of the other vendors emails to their adjusters as well:
Here is a link to a blog we did on the new face to face training requirement:
What is interesting is that the Adjuster Resources Link at Citzens has not been updated as of this morning on the new face to face training and still links to the online training although many of the vendor emails say the online training thousands did in 07 no longer counts for your certification: You might want to keep checking here for when they do finally get it updated
Here are links where you can find the current fee schedule for this season and the RFP document with the new fee schedule in Addendum A for the new RFP dates.
**Docs not yet zipped so look for RFP 08-0016
There are significant changes between the RFP for 2007/2008(cat only RFP 07-0003) and the new ones for July 2008- June 2011 for daily claims and the beginning June 2009 through May 2011 for catastrophe claims.Very interesting in the new RFP the fee schedule is based on the number of adjusters Citizens deploys not on the severity of the catastrophe like we usually see on fee schedules and they address this as well on the Q & A in the new RFP 5/9/08 published answers. I highly recommend anyone planning to work for any of the vendors be sure to read them. Some of the most significant include:
1 )Citizens comments in the new RFP Q & A on hold harmless agreements and who will be paying if suit is filed on a claim. 2) The other major issue I could see is their answer to the question posed by one of the vendors about what happens if Citizens runs out of funding to pay claims to the adjusting firm/adjuster fees and Citizens could not provide assurance as to what would happen to the adjuster fees.3) Anyone reading the FL papers is well aware of the controversy regarding Citizens freeze on rates which has now been extended and the concerns in the press that they are not adequately funded and capable of paying claims in the event of a major catastrophe. I'm very glad one of the vendors asked the question.4) The new and I think last year's RFP which applies to the 2008 Cat claims requires an adjuster not work claims for any other carrier while working Citizens claims. While I can understand that for cat claims where you may have enough work to provide a satisfactory income, I do not understand that requirement for those working daily claims (see RFP 08-0016 and the 08 Q &A for this question) where an independent may not receive enough assignments to provide an income that would justify such dedication to one carrier.5) Also be sure to read the info in the RFP 08-0016 about limited assignments where the inside adjusters will settle the claims with the homeowner. Does this seem strange to anyone else that the adjusters with the least experience (they only require 1 year experience for in office) will be handling settlement negotiations with insureds vs the field adjusters where more experience is required?
Here is just one example in a blog I did this year on the fiasco with the 300 Million Dollar claim reserve problem identified this year which I'm sure those working Citizens claims this year will hear about since claim reserves are in the list of job duties for independents-see RFP 08-0016 for that list
Here is also a link to the blog we did when the new RFP was released in April 2008:
And a link to the blog written when they cancelled the Feb 08 RFP with more details:
***This blog also addresses Citizens published and planned reduction in use of independents so there may be less work in the years ahead with Citizens for independents although it's interesting to note they don't disclose this information in any of the RFP's but we found it through the Citizens Task force or Board of Governors meeting notes- the links are in the blog above
In my opinion, adjusters should be utmost concerned about the fines in this years RFP(07-0003 for cat documents- some are up to $1,000 per violation for such perceived infractions as late reporting to the cat site and improper file handling. While the RFP says the adjusting firm will be fined, many of the independent contracts the past two years seem to be revised or updated to include passing fines on to adjusters though most are not specific about what those fines are so I'd be sure to have a thorough discussion with any adjusting firm you are planning to go out with on that issue. While RFP 08-0016 doesn't go into the great detail the 07 schedule did, it does have language incorporating the Claim manual which last year I believe included the fine info so I am guessing the fines will be whatever they are in the manual but they say in the new RFP that the manual will be given out to the new vendors once they are awarded so we don't know the answer to that question but you should get an answer to this from your vendor). I was hoping one of the vendors would have asked about that in the Q & A questions but it is not published with the Citizens answers if so..
While it may seem to some that these things are nothing to concern yourself with, let me assure you that is not what Chip Merlin,Attorney of the Merlin Law Group in Miami is posting on his blog here:
If you look at the Citizens Task Force on Claim Handling that is charged with oversight of the Citizens Claims, Mr Merlin in the June 07 presentation links made a presentation to them on the problems he saw with claims handling in the aftermath of the 4 in 04 and in 05. You'll see from his new comments his frustration in the results of the task force and his indication he thinks litigation in the aftermath of any new hurricanes will be much the same as the massive litigation our industry has experienced post Katrina (emphasis here mine- go back to Citizens comments on the RFP08-0016 answers about holding them harmless even if a Citizens manager overrides an adjusting firms decision on a claim)..Look at the link to presentations I've posted in this reply to his presentation to the task force in June 2007 and a link to his May 08 blog about his predictions on litigation post any new storm and his expectations about litigation and also note his interesting comment expressing disatisfaction with the work of the Citizens Task Force. If you aren't familiar with Chip Merlin, he has offices in various locations in FL and has been proactive in litigation on claims in MS with a few offices over there as well .. I think we will see his name quite a bit should a major storm hit FL as he has been very proactive following the claim problems and ongoing developments at Citizens.Here are a few links to some blogs you should read that are quite interesting on Citizens and his thoughts regarding repeat of litigation,etc:
Some folks above indicated a wish to be heard by Citizens. If you'll note in the new RFP- the vendors were strictly prohibited from contacting ANYONE at Citizens to ask questions other than the one designated person taking the questions and answers that were then answered on 5/9/08 with the threat in the RFP that they would be removed from consideration if they contacted anyone within Citizens other than the designated person and prior to the deadline.. While I can understand the need for a contact person for questions to avoid confusion between adjusting firm managers being given different answers, I cannot imagine such restrictions in such a significant business relationship where there is a deadline given to ask questions and such limitations and threats being placed on firms they are asking to handle their business. I'm hoping the vendors were given more opportunities to ask questions at their recent Train the Trainers seminar mentioned in the 5/12/08 email from Citizens that is published on the Evans link above.
There are links at the Citizens Task Force which is overseen by the Dept of Insurance with contact information for the task force:
Here's a link to a presentation on their website from an adjuster addressing the new FL umpire review that is going on. I had never thought about the fact some independents may be an independent in one state and a public adjuster in another state as this adjuster states in his presentation letter to Citizens. I'd be curious to know how independent adjusting firms would feel about using an adjuster who does both and can imagine how a carrier might feel about this:
**Scroll down to the one on Property Insurance Appraisal Umpire Legislation topic in the 2/26/08 presentation links and click on the link to the pdf from Catastrophe Specialist to see this pdf letter he sent in. This link also works to the pdf the Merlin group sent in last year addressing claim handling conerns in the links to the June 7, 2007 presentations on the same link above.
I'm very curious why no where in the presentations by firms is there anything from independent adjusting firms- only from public adjuster groups and attorneys and others but no independent personnel. I can only guess this is because of course they cannot do anything so public for fear of losing an RFP award by upsetting the Citizens Claim Dept. Also disappointing is the Citizens Claims Dept makes presentations to the Task Force but the latest information I can find on their meetings site is some meetings in Feb 26, 2008.....so where are they in reviewing all of the new RFP revisions and decisions that have gone on since? Are they even aware of the continual changes Citizens is making to the RFP and requirements of Independent adjusting firms? The Board meeting notes also published on the Citizens site which provide much insight into decisions are continually behind by months so we can't get any clues there. I wrote the Citizens webmaster about that issue several months ago and the response I got was that they cannot publish the minutes to the Board Meetings until they have been approved which he assured me would be at their next meeting which was months ago and they are still FAR behind in updating them so we can get a glimpse into the decisions going on there although their policy is to publish board meeting notes. The notes they are publishing have really changed as well from actual meeting notes to bullets of topics to be discussed and often not much else and I'm curious why that has changed.
I did some additional research looking to see how you would go about contacting some of the task force members directly since you can't talk to anyone at Citizens and found email or website addresses for many of the board members .I'll locate that research and post it here if anyone wants that. Right now you can go to the task force link above and find 2 primary contacts and ask them to forward it to all Task Force Board members if you wish. I don't think we'll see any improvements until our concerns are addressed to the Task Force which hasn't happened yet or atleast there is nothing pubished on their presentations link.
Your best source is to talk to the vendors who are attending these meetings but I hope the above information atleast answers questions we can find the answers to from the Citizens published documents available to all of us on their website for viewing. I highly recommend adjusters stay up to date with the information being published on the Citizens website so you can consider ALL the facts directly from the horses mouth. We are not a Citizens vendor- just a concerned FL part-time resident with all of my family residing in the state as well as a FL Independent adjuster who has been contacted by many adjusting firms as well and these constant changes give me GREAT concern about what is going to happen when my family, friends, and residents of FL experience a major catastrophe never mind the potential for problems for independent adjusters servicing their claims.
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