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Last Post 06/22/2008 5:46 PM by  Ray Hall
No Gas?? I'll Pass
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johnpostava
SIMSOL.com
Member
Member
Posts:140


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06/10/2008 4:40 PM
I have been running a cat company since 1983. The idea of taking a percentage of phots, mileage, tolls or any other adjuster out-of-pocket expenses is just plain wrong. No, I take that back a little. We did charge for the printing of color photos (if we did it in the office) for a while until all of our claims went paperless. Unless I absolutely had to work for a vendor who takes a percentage off the top for expenses I personally would pass. Good adjusters should be earning 70% on most of their files, a little less if they are newbies and make multiple mistakes on a file and a little more if their files don't need examining prior to submission to the carrier.

FYI, for most storms, vendors paying 60-70% will make a profit before taxes of 8-15 percent of total billings. This has been our firm's average for years. The percentage profit depends on the type of storm, the need to set up local office(s) or not and the health (or sickness) of the billing schedule we agreed to prior to the event.
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Ray Hall
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:2443


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06/10/2008 6:26 PM

Their you go folks, One of the top 5 vendors in the USA paying 70% for top adjusters and a great estimating program to use.My travel days are over, but please call me if a monster flood comes into Houston.

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JimGary
Member
Member
Posts:470


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06/10/2008 11:17 PM

Ok JP, you got room for 7500 adjusters and about 2500 warm bodies?

JWG

I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they're right!
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Jim Sims
Guest
Guest
Posts:6


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06/11/2008 6:06 AM

John, thank you for your profesional and honest reply.  Seldom will you see a vendor exposing the bottom line in this business, very refreshing. Do the carriers know of this practice?

I agree, get ready for a bunch of resume's including mine.  Enough is enough of working for vendors who sell themselves out to carriers with the lowest fee schedule and expect profesional adjusters to turn and burn files to make up for the louzy fee schedule they have agreed to. As a professional adjuster with over 25 years in the business I refuse to turn and burn files it is not fair to the insured or the carrier.

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jlombardo
Member
Member
Posts:145


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06/11/2008 8:07 AM
ANYONE who has had the pleasure of meeting John P. immediately knows that he is at heart an adjuster and is about as honest as they come.....
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Tom Toll
Moderator & Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1865


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06/11/2008 11:57 AM

The last several months we have worked over 200 claims, hail, tornado, fire, etc. I changed oil in April at 62,000 miles. The Hemi has 72,000 on it now as a result of all the driving up to northern, northwest, and south Arkansas. The fuel expense has been over $2,000.00, of which we have collected less than half of that on files that allowed mileage. I understand that a vehicle is necessary to work claims, just like a vehicle is necessary to do a lot of service work. I am noticing that service vehicles now are charging a surcharge for fuel to keep themselves in business. Why are the vendors not taking into consideration our addittional expenses for fuel. Is it stupidity, uncaring, greed, or a total disregard for our well being.

There is no question that the vendors had best wake up and smell the roses, as adjusters are just not going to be willing to pay the vendors to work for them. I am a large man, 6'4" and 250, so I cannot get into one of those econo cars and be comfortable and comfort is necessary to do a full days work. Our Hemi makes decent fuel mileage for a truck and that is what I will stick with. There is but only one person who can change the attitude of the vendors, and that person is you, and me. Send e-mails to the vendors and ask them why they cannot tack on a fuel expense/mileage surcharge. If we set on our dairyaires, nothing will be accomplished. Only we can change this situation, as it becomes obvioius the vendors are not going to voluntarily do it until some hell is raised and right now, before a hurricane hits it the time to raise some cane.

Thanks, JP, for our sincerity, your wonderful estimating program, and your attitude.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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Ray Hall
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:2443


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06/11/2008 1:00 PM

This is a good time to use your hold card, (if you have one) its called making your move. Two of the most respected adjusters in the industry have given you a wild card. Simsol and TWIA.

Just email these vendors who think they have you tied up that you need $10,00 per file for fuel(Twia) and 70% of the fee bill as you do not need a file checker(Simsol).

I am going to send out about 1/2 dozen of a monster hits the Texas Coast.

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okclarryd
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts:954


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06/11/2008 9:59 PM
Gentlemen,

(And Ladies. Let's not forget the Ladies).

I cannot impress upon you enough about how grateful I am to have a job right here in Okc. I have developed some health issues which prohibit my accessing any more roofs which, therefore, prohibits my working any more property files.

I was gettin' a little tired of the constant travel anyway.

My little deal here in Okc is far from being a super deal, but................ I am home every night. I get to watch my grandchildren play soccer and baseball; I get to take all my grandchildren out for ice cream; I get to drive my ol' hot rod around on cool spring evenings; I don't have to explain my file to some fool that couldn't find the roof on a house with a map and gps; I don't have to worry about the check hitting my checking account so I can pay my fuel bill; (I mainly worked for Pilot and didn't worry about my money at all) ......................

The list goes on and on.

I am really impressed with the forthright answer and information provided by John P. I had a good idea what the percentages were but now, we all know.

What I do miss is the camaraderie among cat adjusters and the satisfaction of making a pretty fair check for some really hard work. I never really caught on the the concept of working smart rather than hard but I'm still young and there's still hope for me.

The industry is changing daily and I want each and all of you to know that I support your stands on being paid for what you do and being paid for your expenses. If you all stick together and only demand what is real and right, it'll work out in the end.

But, children, "the end" don't mean by the end of the week. This is gonna take a while.

Happy Trails
Larry D Hardin
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HuskerCat
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts:762


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06/11/2008 11:42 PM

Now, this has to be a record for you, Larry.....an excellent post once again, but with no shortage on the word count.  Are you really feeling OK?  Hope so. 

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okclarryd
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts:954


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06/12/2008 8:12 PM
I'm back on my meds.
Larry D Hardin
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christian
Guest
Guest
Posts:3


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06/14/2008 5:31 AM

6/12 email received:

To:           All customers subscribing to Pricing email notifications

From:       Xactware Pricing Division

Subject:   Rising fuel costs potentially impacting construction and mitigation pricing

This email is being sent to all customers who have opted in to our Pricing email notification list on www.xactware.com.

Understanding that Xactware’s pricing information is published quarterly, and that market costs may increase at a quicker pace for certain items, it is important that all customers understand the need to provide updated cost information to Xactware.  This can be done by either updating costs within the estimates written, or by notifying Xactware of updated costs incurred by your individual company.

In either case, the updated cost information will be used by Xactware in the market research for the next published database.

Gasoline cost increases:
As of June 9, the National Dept. of Energy reports the national “all grades” aggregated price of gasoline to be $4.02 per gallon.  This is up from $3.30 per gallon on Mar 31.  While local prices in each area can vary from this aggregated national average, the amount and / or percentage of increase experienced are generally similar.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/wrgp/mogas_history.html

Gasoline as an overhead cost:
As gasoline is an overhead cost, Xactware does not build a specific fuel cost component into the published building cost information, nor are prices automatically adjusted as gasoline costs increase or decrease.  The reason is that like other overhead costs, the extent to which these costs are passed on to the consumer is driven by competitive forces in each market.

Hard to ignore the overhead issue when it's mapped out and acknowledged by an estimating firm. It's now time to ask the same question to vendors as to how we are to handle OUR Gasoline overhead costs? 

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Ray Hall
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:2443


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06/14/2008 1:32 PM

No doubt the contractors will have to charge more for the increase in fuel charges to make a fair margin. Lots of doubts that adjusters will ever get $10,00 per file unless several thousand demand it in writing before deployment.

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Davidad1
Guest
Guest
Posts:42


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06/14/2008 4:58 PM
Funny thing we sent a letter about a month ago to all the carriers we work with that we were going to start to charge a fuel surcharge on all estimates to cover our fuel bill for reconstruction services we provide.... Two have said no deal and we will call someone else for repairs if you do and we should drive smaller trucks.
Estimating is living on the edge between greed and fear
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katadj
Founding Member
Member
Member
Posts:256


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06/15/2008 1:11 PM

 

Well now,

It would seem that we adjusters should stand fast in the "fuel surcharge" fray. Most of the trucking industry, the local utilities, trash collectors and other vendors have taken to utilizing this acronym to offset the ludicrous pricing of fuel.

We may have to hang together, or surely we all will hang separately.  The carriers have an out, the vendors will not argue, and we are complacent.

Why is it that we woefully independent, hard working, comrades in arms, cannot speak up? Why cannot we create terms and conditions, which we ALL agree to, and refuse to compromise our position?

Real quick answer, no one is in a position, after several years of the lack of work to argue. We just sit and take what is offered.  Seems that is what started the American Revolution, the fostering of unionism and the eventual demise of our Independence.

Things like this are what created unionism, but not amongst we hard cored individuals. We will probably never see a true coming together of our brotherhood, but that should not preclude our common assent to have our pay and supplementary incomes to be paid in full.

WE should be compensated based on our abilities, experience, knowledge, talents and not settle for less. We should be paid for 100% of the ancillary billing, such as photographs, mileage, and other expenses, without giving up a % to the IA vendor, who has no expense for these items.

 

If we do nothing as a group, then we deserve what we give up. Nuff said................................................

 

 

 

 

 

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
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Ray Hall
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:2443


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06/15/2008 3:38 PM

Many of the top adjusters on this site keep their options open for a few days after a large hurricane, for several reasons. They will get a fuel surcharge per file and 70% as no file checker will be needed.

Now if all people who read this post send a email to all the vendors whose list they are on and state they will not roll unless they get the fuel surcharge of $10.00 per file this would be in place when the big one hits this year. Do not work wind files for less than the NFIP fee schedule and if its a 4 or 5 you may get more, plus photos.

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cowboy26995
Member
Member
Posts:154


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06/15/2008 7:01 PM

Both Ray and Dave make a very valid point. As independent contractors we need to stand up for ourselves and tell those that employ us we will not accept anything less than our equitable share of charged expenses. If we don't we are cutting the grass under our feet. As an independent as well as an employer it seems to me that treating your business partners well ensures beneficial results. I do not field warm bodies but rather business associates. It's always worked well for me and the results furnished by my" team"   have made us a great asset to those we have worked for.

Marc Dubois
Executive General Adjuster
M.G.D. Claim Services Inc.
"Your Commercial Claims Solution"
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Tom Toll
Moderator & Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1865


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06/15/2008 9:20 PM

Crawford and Company decided back in the 90's that they would begin paying only 60% of bottom line and not pay 100% for photos and mileage. Needless to say, all others followed suit. I have worked with Crawford and Company when they paid 100% of mileage and photos, why they changed it is unknown. I guess they needed their bottom line to increase.

It is time for the vendors to wake up. At $4.00+ per gallon of fuel, there cannot be some of the extended windshield time with no mileage. I will not drive 200 to 300 miles all over the country to inspect 2 to 4 losses without some mileage involved. Right now it is costing all of us about 62 cents a mile to operate our vehicles. All the vendors see is fuel expense and that is not all that is involved. Maintenance, insurance, depreciation, and fuel are actual costs that we bear. I have not seen one vendor who is paying a part of my insurance, payments, or fuel, so why do they think they just owe us 60 to 70% of bottom line. They owe us for the use of our vehicle because they have no montary interest in our vehicles. We provide a service and part of that is a vehicle to transport all the equipment needed to work their losses correctly.

Dave is absolutely right, if we don't stand united, we will fail or fall united. I don't intend to be in that group.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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katadj
Founding Member
Member
Member
Posts:256


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06/17/2008 12:21 AM
Why not create a CAT ADJUSTER SCENARIO, which could be held out such as this:

1) All adjusters with 5+ years get 65%of the fee bill.

2) All adjuster with 10+ years get 70% of the fee bill.

3) A fuel surcharge of 10.00 per file remains in place until gas or diesel drops below $3.25 per gallon.

4) A fuel surcharge of 15.00 per file incepts when gas or diesel prices exceed $5.00 per gallon.

5) We get 100% or the fuel surcharge,

6) We get100% of the mileage fees charged.

7) We get 100% of all photo charges above 4, except NFIP.

Now, can we live with this? I'm all for it, or something similar......................In for a penny, or in for a pound.......................
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
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HuskerCat
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts:762


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06/17/2008 12:36 AM

Gonna have to throw in the "honor system" too.  What's home-base for measuring the milage?  During Katrina as you well know, most field adjusters were making long treks everyday, but there were some that got lucky & found sites closer.  Who's gonna monitor that.....the vendor, the IA?  Certainly not the carrier.  Guess who wins or loses.  Boils down to integrity.     

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StormSupport
Gold Member
Member
Member
Posts:203


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06/17/2008 9:03 AM

Talked with a rep from Xactimate yesterday, according to him, if you use XactAnalysis there's an "upload' fee, based on the amount of the loss.  So when adding surcharges, IMHO this is one that definitely should be included. 

A charge to upload a file on a program that the carrier insists you use??????? 

  • 0-499.99  = 4.95
  • 500. - 1,999.00 = 9.95
  • 2,000-9,999.00 = 16.95
  • 10,000 + = 29.99

Now please tell me how this is justified.  You can't use the program of your choice to write your estimates, you have to use the web based version (XactAnalysis) to convenience the carrier, and then you are charged an Upload fee in order to get the files to them?????? 

I asked him how they charged this fee and he said, "Oh, we bill you later".  So in addition to the monthly fee for the program, sometime later you're hit with a fee for uploading your files?  Who should pay this?  The Adjuster?  WHY?????? 

Oh yeah, this should also go under the header "So you want to be a rich Cat adjuster". 

Do the right thing, ALWAYS
~Meg~
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