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Last Post 10/08/2008 9:52 AM by  Medulus
Ike.... is it your first storm... listen up.
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Ray Hall
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Senior Member
Posts:2443


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09/22/2008 8:49 PM

    Many new people who did not work in 2004 and 2005 have wanted a chance to get into the business of catastrophe adjusting. This may be your chance to work. I think all of you know by now the work is piece work as far as the pay goes. That means you have to work in a very timly manner by contacting the policyholders who have storm damage, inspect, photo and write the cost to repair the damage in a software program that cost about $125.00 per month or slightly less. Exactimate is required by many vendors, next is Simsol, Next is IntegraClaim, Power Claim is very user friendly. Some vendors will let you use any program that you can master.

    Now you have to have a good vehicle, a folding or top carry ladder about 14 foor long, a laptop computer with software and some microsoft office programs, a high speed card. Next is enought credit cards of cash to live on the road for about 30 days, without a paycheck. You can not sleep in your vehicle and must have clean body and clothes each day. NO bluejeans, T shirts, sneakers, worn frayed clothes, any type of shirt that does not look like a $50.00 golf shirt with collar. Khaki and laundry short sleeve are preferred. NEAT..... NEAT..... (do not look like construction workers) You must be able to climb and inspect a roof that is walkable for a normal person in good health.

    If you have all the above with or without a Texas License you may find a job in Texas or Ohio if......... You have a clean criminal, driving record and can prove it. Can estimate your own house in some program. Assume the roof was blown off, all ceilings are wet, 2 windows are blown out of bedroom # 2 and the entire room is gutted. Take photos and label them(like the damage I described exist) draw a diagram of the roof, show all measurements on the diagram, drawn a foot print of the foundation. Always show north and the direction the house faces.

    Now get on the net and send this material to a vender listed on this and other sites, with a bio and job history and someone MAY put you on. This is a monster storm. Be careful you do not get cheated out of all your work and all the money owed to you. REMEMBER No cure-No Pay. If you can not do what I outlined above do not waste any more of your time on an adjusting career as you must be able to turn out an estimate as I described or you will not make it through the first week and you will have spent over $1,000. before your files are pulled and reassigned. I have offered many times to help new people, but you must show the vendors you can do more than fog up a mirrow. Remember you will learn a lot in 7-10 days after you get your files, but you must turn in one file from day one, then two then three until you can close good clean files in within one week . You will be on the bubble after 7-10 days. If the file is not passable do not expect any pay for your pain and heart ache. IF YOU CAN DO WHAT I OUTlined in the first week you may survive.  Good Luck.

    I am very busy as a team leader and will not be able to answer all PM.s  I will try to go to chat at 17:30 CT several times a week. Post a general question that all people can learn something from and I will try to answer.

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    JKurz
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    Posts:9


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    09/22/2008 11:19 PM

    Thanks Ray, you really put up some helpfull posts for newbies!

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    Ray Hall
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:2443


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    09/23/2008 12:04 AM

    I am trying to reach Bob Ashcroft from TX. He last worked the Florida Inspection Program for one year.I have a GOOD job for him.

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    Steve Reed
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    Posts:11


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    09/23/2008 6:53 AM
    Posted By Ray Hall on 22 Sep 2008 08:49 PM

    . . . Can estimate your own house in some program. Assume the roof was blown off, all ceilings are wet, 2 windows are blown out of bedroom # 2 and the entire room is gutted. Take photos and label them(like the damage I described exist) draw a diagram of the roof, show all measurements on the diagram, drawn a foot print of the foundation. Always show north and the direction the house faces.

    Ray, thank you for the excellent information. I will be taking the Xactimate class in a couple of weeks and had concerns about losing the knowledge that was taught to me before I have a chance to put it to use (use it or lose it!). Your suggestion will be a big help in retaining what we were taught and in becoming more proficient in the use of the software as well. However, I'm not sure how my wife is going to react when I start breaking out the windows and destroying the room!

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    Ray Hall
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:2443


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    09/23/2008 11:35 AM

    Just tell her it could be worse, because my next post will be remove the large tree from the master bedroom that crushed grandmaws antigue 4 poster bed and dresser set. The sleep set was a new $2500.00 set. Velvet sheets, custom sham and spread and your Rolex on the dresser top.

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    whiteakerteam
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    Posts:3


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    09/24/2008 11:35 PM
    I am trying to get into adjusting, hopefully for Ike claims in Houston. I live in Austin and many new adjusters have been telling me about firms that are offering free training to new adjusters who go on to get a Texas emergency license, and I am trying to find these firms. Does anyone know of any, and if not, what is my best bet for going about this on my own (licensing as well as Xactimate training plus whatever else I may need to know), and in what order?? whiteakerteam@yahoo.com Thanks......
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    Medulus
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    Posts:786


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    09/25/2008 11:44 AM

    Way to go, Ray. I agree. If you have been waiting for a chance to adjust some claims and gain some experience, this is the time. I will add a few things (before I get back to work).

    You may only get this one chance to impress the vendor for whom you are working. Make it count. Be prepared to work 15 to 18 hour days seven days a week to keep up with some of your competition. Forget about taking the afternoon off to watch the football game and down some brewskis. Avoid getting into extended conversations with the Applebee's parking lot guy. Don't spend your nights partying and expect to be able to keep up. There will be months of downtime to party when the storm work settles down. Right now you have two priorities -- work and sleep. Don't try to figure out when you can wrap up and go home. Do try to figure out how you can stay as long as possible. Don't go out and inspect every loss you have before writing anything up. It will only generate phone calls and dissatisfaction. Leave yourself enough time to write the claims up and not confuse the claims with each other. Do answer the phone calls. If the call becomes a complaint call, you will have to answer phone calls from the insured, their agent, the claim examiner and your supervisor (4 calls back instead of one). Remember that a claim doesn't count until you close it. It doesn't matter if you've inspected 60 roofs if none of the claims are closed, so (did I say?) leave yourself enough time to write the claims up.

    And........

    Use sunscreen, for God's sake! You're in Houston and the sun can be wicked!

    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

    "With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
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    Clay Glover
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    Posts:1


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    09/25/2008 12:59 PM
    Hi. First post here, going out on a limb with honesty, using my real name and all. Looking for feedback, not flames please. I was convicted of growing pot over 10 years ago, it was a felony. A stupid experiment when I was in college. Though I don't feel my crime affected the public, it was not fraud, dishonest, or violent, I'm being labelled a "felon" with the likes of much harder criminals, this has caused me so much grief over the years when it comes to employment. Such a huge mistake that will affect me the rest of my life. I currently hold a state license in florida (real estate), so florida doesn't exclude me from obtaining licenses due to my stupid mistake. I'm currently obtaining an adjuster license now in florida. My question is, if I am able to get licensed in Texas (not sure if they will allow me to yet), do you feel I would likely be rejected by cat adjustment companies for employment due to my record? I'm so completely bummed about this. I have a PA position available for me locally, but I want to do cat work. I have tons of experience in property and roof inspections. I'm hoping someone will say I still may have an opportunity with a career as a cat adjuster. Thanks for any advice/feedback

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    LarryW
    Member
    Member
    Posts:114


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    09/25/2008 10:10 PM

    Clay,
    Someone else asked a similar question a while back on one of the forums here. The best advice I heard in response was the suggestion to try to get the record expunged. You would probably need to consult Legal Counsel. I don't know the outcome of the other persons efforts, but it may be worth a shot. Our business is of a fiduciary nature and felonies are very much frowned upon.

    The signature line below this post appears on all of my posts here, it is not directed at anyone in particular.

    No one is absolutely worthless, at the very least you can serve as a bad example.
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    Steve Reed
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    Posts:11


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    09/26/2008 7:17 AM

    Clay,

    I recently completed an employment bio and it did ask if I had any prior felony or misdemeanor convictions. It also asked to provide details and location. The second question leads me to believe that there may be some exceptions that they are willing/able to make. Good luck to you.

    Steve

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    Tony from Cincy
    Guest
    Guest
    Posts:1


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    10/07/2008 7:35 PM
    Thank you for the advice.

    I have contacted numerous vendors and asked for requirements. One vendor said that they require heavy manual estimate writing for their evaluation. They also suggested that I should do a ride along with somebody to get the estimate writing experience. My friend works for Worley, and he was deployed home to Cincinnati. He said he would let me ride along with him to get some knowledge, but everything he does is in Exactimate. Any advice to where I can learn how to hand write an estimate?

    Thank you in advance.
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    Medulus
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    Posts:786


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    10/08/2008 9:52 AM

    I have a few suggestions.  Get hold of a price guide.  Doesn't really matter if it's outdated when you are doing a practice estimate.  It may be possible to print one from an electronic program, but if you use Xactimate the price guide printout could be hundreds of pages.  You may only want to print out a couple of trades such as roofing, drywall, insulation and painting.  Then look at one of your friend's Xactimate estimates and work backwards.  Pull out the dimensions, scope, etc.  Then use your price guide and a calculator to put the estimate back together manually.

    Or, get hold of a book such as the National Construction Estimator or the National Building Cost Manual for the pricing, go up on your own roof and measure it, pretend it has hail damage on both slopes, then on one slope only.  Include the gutters, maybe fascia and siding.  Then try an interior room or three.  Be sure to include waste and debris removal and all that good stuff.  The Mitchell Manuals can help you do the same thing for an auto estimate.  Again, they don't have to be current copies of these books so you might find old versions of these manuals at the library.

    Back in the day, the State Farm IDC used to give you some practice at hand writing an estimate.  So did Vale.  They probably still do.  If you can hand write, that translates easily into being able to use Xactimate.  It may not work as easily the other way around.

    Or, finally, you could go down to Texas and work with Ray Hall who has probably written more hand estimates than electronic ones.  Very few people can make that claim anymore and the number is becoming increasingly fewer.

    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

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