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Last Post 07/24/2008 12:02 PM by  Medulus
History of the Fee Schedule
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Ray Hall
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07/18/2008 11:25 PM

    This is my recall. About 40 years ago all claims, liability and property were done on T & E and the carriers questioned the IA on the time charged for to drive 50 miles one way and take a statement etc. GAB started the fee bill schedule on property claims. It was designed to drive the good IA firms out of property adjusting. (most were ex GAB employees and turned out an excellant finished file). The fee for a claim inspected and closed with out payment was $4.00. The fee schedule did not drive the IA and mutual carrier adjusters out of taking property losses assignments but incouraged the advent of catastrophe adjuster firms who could hire sub contactors that could climb,inspect and close more hail claim in a week than the staff adjusters could in a month and on a good hail storm average $100.00 a house..

    When national flood started all files were T &E and guess what ,t took twice as long to work a flood claim before they put the flood schedule into theprogram. Seems they did some cross checking on some adjusters andfound they were working 30 to 40 hrs. per day.

    Fee billing is the only way to get production out of all the adjusters in the system and closed files is the game plan.Now we are going through the "I paid my dues".... but you have not... Now is the time to take your inventory and get a fair hourly rate for to your labors by dividing the daily fee bill,s by your labor and the HUGH transportation expense. This will be a big hurricane season. You either sink or swim. We must get some milage from the largest town to the loss.

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    cowboy26995
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    07/19/2008 4:16 PM

    It seems that the "fee bill"  became to insurance what the "Happy Meal" became to burger lovers. The large IA firms who hired and maintained large staffs of varying quality adjusters needed to keep them busy and the fee bill fit this need to a T. Salaried employees became beneficial and the more skilled folks earned commissions on top of base. Competition amongst the big boys is ferocious and thus fee undercutting was born. Thirty four years ago when I started a good general adjuster billed $65.00 an hour T&E. Today a good G.A. gets about $105.00. Didn't really keep up with inflation did it. I think we work for rates that aren't really great because instead of standing united as professionals the grass is being cut out from underneath our feet.

    Marc Dubois
    Executive General Adjuster
    M.G.D. Claim Services Inc.
    "Your Commercial Claims Solution"
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    Tom Toll
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    07/20/2008 10:42 AM

    Marc, you are absolutely right. We have too many lawnmowers and not enough fertilizer. Justice is and justice does!

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    okclarryd
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    07/20/2008 6:31 PM

    Not enough fertilizer?

    I think we have plenty. What do you think makes the grass greener?

    We have been covered in fertilizer for the past few years by various and sundry employers who think a warm body is just great.

    I'm thinking the lawnmower guy and the fertilizer guy are the same guy.

    I'm just glad I've got a "hands-on" job here at the parlor.
    Larry D Hardin
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    magnoliaadj
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    07/21/2008 3:52 PM

    Marc:

     

    Sure would like to know where you started, because when I started in 1978, the going rate at C & C was $16 per hour and the GAs were around $25.   When I left to go to a local independent, the hourly rate was $12 per hour.  The independent adjuster rates were almost the same as body shop rates until late 1980s when we got some separation.     And now the going rate for all GAs I know is $150 and up. 

    Finally I have one big problem with the designation of GA. There is no industry standard for it.  It is basically a term of endearment for those who have persevered in the business and for many who just self designate.  (Please do not take offense as none intended)

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    BobH
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    07/21/2008 4:04 PM

    Have you seen this site
    http://www.ngadjust.com/home  

    I have not applied with them (yet) and I do not use the title although the IA that I was working for designated it to me about 5 years ago... kinda for the same reasons you cite, it is not the same as AIC, CPCU in terms of clearly defined achievement.

    Bob H
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    sbeau4014
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    07/21/2008 5:13 PM
    Jim,

    I am assuming the C&C is Crawford, but I started around the same time and it was with GAB. The fee schedules I remembers were more reflective of what Marc quoted above. I never remember rates as low of $16 per hr for regular adjusters or $25 per hr for GA's. I do agree with you completely on the GA designation in that there are way too many people that self appoint themselves to that. There are various schools that the GAB and Crawford people go through to get there, and a lot of carriers have their own training for that position, some of which will utilize the GAB training schools.
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    Ray Hall
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    07/21/2008 10:13 PM

    GAB always had two GA's in the Houston office. Both were well educated and trained property sr. adjusters. Crawford may have a casualty and a property adjuster. The principals of the IA firms were managers or GA's before they started their own shop. I was designated a GA by Steege Kingston and Assoc. in 1991 and an EGA after Andrew. In the IA world either designation seems to mean you have worked complex claims/losses with attorney involvement up into the millions for several years past your 15-20 years of full time working as Sr. Adjuster.

    Today many Sr. Adjusters are hired by carriers as GA's. State Farm probable promotes from within

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    Tom Toll
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    07/22/2008 11:18 AM

    When I started with Farm Bureau in 1960, we earned $325.00 per month,a company car, and road expenses. When I went independent, the pay was T&E at $22.50 per hour. Through the years the companies migrated to a fee schedule, which was relatively low. We still made a decent living. When I started my own company, it was back to T&E on aviation claims and property. If your on T&E you must enter your time for literally everything you do on  a file ie, phone conversations, etc. I prefer a fee schedule on commercial large losses. You can devote your time to concluding the losses without having to constantly enter times. The insurance industry seems to be in a constant time are a changin mode and always have been. Now they want you to enter times even on scheduled pay, which defeats the reason for schedules.

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    Ray Hall
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    07/22/2008 12:47 PM

    Great point Tom. I still think if you load each simple roof claim into your computer and do what you have to do to close the file it will average about 3.5 hours and 60% of a $400. bill will average the adjuster about $50.00 per hour after expenses. Just about what a good appliance repairman who comes to your house to repair appliances.

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    Tom Toll
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    07/22/2008 8:08 PM

    Ray, no one has ever told me that I would become independently wealthy being an insurance adjuster, contrary to some of the outlandish claims made by some adjusters. We make a comfortable living and stay somewhat busy, just like you. I have always enjoyed the work and that is why I stayed with it for so many years.

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    cowboy26995
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    07/23/2008 12:23 AM
    In response to jim stewart I started in Canada therefore the reason for the fee discrepancy. I worked for Underwriters Adjustment Bureau the equivalent of GAB . We had extensive training in house the equivalent of Vale and furthermore to be a licensed adjuster in Canada you need to take courses from the Insurance Institute and follow continuing education. My Executive General Adjuster designation was acquired thru hardwork and thirty four years experience. My peers can easily attest to my knowledge base as can the carriers I have worked for on losses in the hundreds of million dollars. I don't think they let just let anyone play in that league.
    Marc Dubois
    Executive General Adjuster
    M.G.D. Claim Services Inc.
    "Your Commercial Claims Solution"
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    WILLIS
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    07/23/2008 4:35 PM

    If you are doing cat, Time and Expense is not the way   been there done that, look at your watch there is only 8 hrs to work in a day   Schedule billing is the only profitable approach. T&E is great if you are a local IA and have time to work, and work, and work, the same claim.  I personally hate to get to a point where you have to apply T & E on a cat claim. When that happens you will either lose money or start padding the time and the latter might reach up and bite your butt by an in house examiner.  Just give me a good schedule and 100 claims and I do believe I would close them quicker and more economically than the guy doing those same 100 on T & E.

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    Tom Toll
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    07/23/2008 5:28 PM

    Very well said, Barry. I agree with you implicitly.

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    sbeau4014
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    07/23/2008 5:42 PM
    Only issue I have with you comments Barry is the "there is only 8 hrs to work in a day" comment. Any cat aqdjuster that has that mindset is in the wrong business, for themselves, the vendor and the insured's they are working for. I would venture to guess that most cat adjusters work close to double those hrs on a storm, especially early on during the storm. I do agree that if you work your claims properly under a fee schedule, it does give a better opportunity to be successful on the storm financially. If you are working T & E direct for a carrier with no middle vendor taking a cut, that makes a big diffference too. That doesn't happen on cats too often.
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    magnoliaadj
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    07/23/2008 7:18 PM

    Steve;

    I have no doubt Barry was thinking that there are ony 24 hours in a day and that you must sleep and eat so there are only 14-16 workable hours a day and a body can't take that for prolonged lengths of time.  Hence you cannot bill 40 hours per day as some did with NFIP in the early 80's.    His post even says something along those lines.

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    HuskerCat
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    07/23/2008 11:29 PM

    I have to agree...and you better remember these are bean counters.  Even if you are out there & truthfully busting your butt 16-18 hours for a 3-5 day straight period, and billing T&E counting the mileage...when they run your T&E billings thru their little programs you better be able to account for it and have your dates right.  Especially if you also have other separate straight fee scheduled losses that you close on same day.  Don't discount the factor of the "bean counter computer", or the observant file reviewer.   We all understand the nature of closing files on non-travel days... just be honest & don't make the earth spin slower than it really does.   There's only been one man who could do that.  He wore a cape and was fictional. (Then again, some of us like to impersonate him from time to time!!  

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    Medulus
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    07/24/2008 12:02 PM

    Mike,

    I have it on good authority that the guy you refer to will be at the San Diego Comicon this weekend.  I might see him flying around our fair city.

    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

    "With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
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