As an experienced GA / EGA (Structural and Multi Occupancy Building) I find that carriers are willing to pay pretty much whatever you are worth when the feces hits the rotary oscillator. I have also found that when the carrier goes through the inevitable post-catastrophe business model re-evaluation, the carrier generally determines that the last catastrophe has taught them so much that they can create an in-house EGA that they themselves can train based on the data that they have stored or learned from. The process does not require any real in field experience, just the in house experience from studying the documents they recieved from completed projects. There are anomalies they ignore such as: rotation of staff that was their 2 or 3 or more years ago, condition of events, condition or impact of the event and many more. I never stop being amazed by the apparent absolution of decision that the new stock brings to the table when the new stock neither has the experience of large loss or large loss on large scale.
I am an EGA that has experience in IA firm management in both Catastrophe and Daily business. I have run storms on every level from Hail, Wind, Fire, Hurricane, Water Back Up, Ice Damming, and many other perils. I have been on the IA side, on the DA side and have served many carriers as an expert, appraisor, umpire and mediator. I am a Federal Expert Witness even on a state law affecting level. I have done marketing on both sides of the fence. I am a trainer for the obvious entites that require trainers. I am not a boaster but state these credentials (and have many more than mentioned here) so that I may make a few points that really befuddle me (I am southern.... so I can use words like that).
1) How do we allow the owners of the IA firms to compete on such a level that so honestly devalues our worth?
2) How have so many qualified adjusters left the field that we are in the state that we are in?
3) How has the industry led the carriers to believe that less is more, only to complain about the quality of the less that is supplied upon promise?
4) Where is the daily work needed for the experience required when an actual catastrophe hits?
5) How does a major state funded entity determine how to address a catastrophe when the majority of the staff hired to determine the courses of action have never been in a catastrophe and have no background in the same?
6) How does a carrier see one large loss in an isolated instance and determine that a standard can be determined from that instance on a large scale loss environment?
7) How can a carrier move a severe catastrophe staff storm manager out of a successful severe recovery to a totally different position, and then move a non-experienced person to that position before the successful previous manager is of retirement age? (no I am not a staff carrier storm manager, I have just seen this happen over and over again).
8) How does one estimating database get such a hold on the industry carriers that they turn their backs on the other databases? How can a carrier determine that their best position is to be represented by one database? Who is at the helm of the carrier that determines that this is the best approach?
9) Why and How is a good adjuster, General Adjuster or Executive General Adjuster worth less in a non cat environment than a cat environment? (The carrier still wants the quality, but is much less willing to pay the price.)
10) How can the carrier expect the adjuster they want (generally speaking) to work daily claims on a reduced fee and then expect the same adjuster to either not work cat claims, or work the cat claims for the same rate?
11) Does the owner of the IA firm really care about the adjuster any more? I think not. I know that it is hard to get a carrier to use the IA firm in non-cat scenarios, but the average IA firm owner only cares about volume. The IA firm owner wins 30 to 40% of the fee bill regardless of the value of the adjuster produced report and the law of averages means millions to the IA firm owner.
I have not posted a fraction of the questions I really would like to post here. I have written billions in losses, and have had the luxury of having many millions in authority per claim. I have testified for days in a single trial when 10s of other experts had an hour or so on the stand. If I were to switch sides and become a PA I could have all or a significant portion of 10% yet I have served on the carrier side for less (much less) than 3%. I have also presented witness and testimony that changed state law.
I am sure that there will be many negetive responses to what I have presented, but I speak from experience. The experienced adjuster is being pushed back. The loss of raw experience from lack of storms is causing an attritian in real adjusters, and the IA firm competition to be the low bidder is accelerating the drought of experience. It is my humble opinion that all carriers should handle daily claims with what they want to be catastrophe adjusters in the event of a storm. It is also my humble opinion that the file examiners for the carrier should be staff that can handle the claims in a given area when a catastrophe hits some where.
Tonight, I realized (mainly because another life oportunity has presented itself) that I don't want to do this anymore. Greed from IA firms and carriers has successfully pushed another experienced EGA out of the bed. The last straw for me was when I had 15 large entity claims (50-80 buildings per claim) and 3 were brought to question during non-cat as to billing. One loss had 80 buildings (a housing authority) with $450,000 in total loss. The buildings were generally 2 story and ranged from quadplex to 8-plex and 16-plex and the total bill was $16,000. Do the math. It was in Texas during June and July of this year (2011) and the average tempurature on ground was 106 degrees plus and the roofs had 30+ slopes. The bill was questioned. Another scenario was an entity that had 56 buildings, and the entity demanded a scope of all buildings because they had hail. I found hail splatter on all of the buildings on soft metal, but no damage to the shingles. The splatter was on the soft metals. The buildings were duplexes and larger. There was no real damage to anything except splatter marks to the soft metals. The total loss I found for all buildings was +/- $2,800. My bill for the documentation was &11,000. (do the math). The carrier DA asked the IA firm to reduce the bill because there was so little damage, and the IA firm reduced my bill without talking to me. I hold the IA firm owner and the carrier in contempt. It is time to move on.
Share your thoughts. I have broad shoulders.