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Last Post 01/10/2013 11:50 PM by  Torrential
Sandy Discussion
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CatAdjusterX
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11/04/2012 1:12 AM
Posted By stormcrow on 03 Nov 2012 02:00 PM
Although I will miss this event a note to all adjusters. Be safe, do not take chances and the best of luck. This will be a challanging assignment.

.........................................................

StormCrow, unfortunately I do NOT think many of the newer adjusters have any idea what they will be facing. The organized chaos is obvious, yet I am talking about the safety issues these folks will most certainly face. Chuck's words ring true about the mindset of  bit of snow a bit cold, big deal I am working and that is all that matters. Of course Chuck meant this to be taken in jest, but so many do think that way!!

Those states and affected areas along the Atlantic seaboard is some of the most valuable real estate in the nation. As such, you will have to search high and low to locate any single story "ranch" style homes prevalent in Texas Arizona California Oregon. So they will be working with risks that have a very small footprint and that will be on average 2 stories and above coupled with extremely steep pitches of 8/12 and above.

I fully envision scenarios where rookie adjusters may be nervous about a roof yet will climb it anyway for fear of making a bad impression to the IA firm about a rookie adjuster acting like a sissy!! They are NOT sissies and whilst you cannot let the fear of falling consume you, you must take it seriously because that is our survival instinct telling you "SLOW DOWN HOMBRE".

Whilst I have never run claims in those areas New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, those areas were my territory when I was managing daily and CAT claims for PSIC (Pacific Specialty) and Narragansett Bay (NBIC) . Almost all claims either had a roofer submit an estimate or utilize EagleView or GeoEstimator because these roofs were inherently dangerously high and steep. Before using these satellite or roofing contractor services there were instances where the adjusters I assigned to the claims DID climb the roof utilizing a rope and harness system and billed accordingly. Nevertheless, I had to chastise these guys and 1 gal because included in our daily fee schedule as well as our CAT schedule CLEARLY calls for management approval prior to incurring or billing additional services to respective carriers. I also had a running battle with certain carrier examiners who would balk at the additional fees for the steep roof access, yet demanded x amount of photos to show adjuster was on the roof. This became such an issue that I had to seek guidance from my firm's senior partners with these examiners because the tension was becoming a distraction. After that, we found a happy medium with x amount of dollars authorized without carrier pre-approval for a satellite roof report or roofing contractor estimate.

The simple fact is all this was an issue because all these roofs in those areas were sketchy (steep/high) 

"A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
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Alex_Chernov
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11/04/2012 5:38 PM
I went out to Far Rockaway and Coney Island. 5 feet of water inside the buildings along the waterline. Total flood devastation. I am not sure if this is going to be big on wind claims, but it will be big on flood. I am flood certified by the way, but never handled too many flood claims. I guess this is my lucky day. Fema is setting up camps on parking lots, lot's of people are living in shelters, gas is nowhere to be found in the city. My company received about 3,000 claims in a 48 hours period, our management is going through the queue and selects big ones, and gives it to us . I received a few multipmillion dollar losses. Looks like there will be some work for me out there.
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Jud G.
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11/04/2012 6:31 PM

I'm in the same area Alex.  I went down to Long Beach and Rockaway this morning; similar observations.  People in NY appear to be experienced.  The standard reply for many here is, "it was sewer back-up!"  Which effectively means, "I don't have flood insurance!"

The vendor I'm with has large carriers polling the firm.  They are trying to find out what large losses the firm has from its clients without disclosing confidence.  All they have received are extensive numbers of minor wind claims.  They have not heard from their customer base who live/operate on the outer reaches and have significant flood damage.

Keep in mind the following facts: This storm was 1,500 miles in diameter with TS strength winds over several large metro areas (Richmond (medium), Wash. DC, Baltimore, Philly, Newark, & NYC).  Katrina's TS force winds were just a little over 200 miles in diameter that covered only one (1) medium sized metro area.  Also, the value of the properties impacted by Katrina was much cheaper compared to the property values in the areas listed.

My point is that the overwhelming clamor coming from the millions of minor claims is dwarfing the very few (purely comparative) losses annihilated by the storm surge.

In comparison to the many, many minor wind claims, the flood exposures are 'few' and had a major impact along all of Jersey Shore, up the Hudson river, and all of Long Island.  It's not just the NFIP, but the excess and DIC carriers that will be impacted severely.

Many people inland (even the Mayor and news crews) on Long Island are still completely oblivious to the devastation that is present just a few miles away from them on the south Long Island shore.  The headlines paint an incomplete picture as they describe fuel shortages and power outages.  Perhaps the election has something to do with this.  Nonetheless, the good people of NY have been remarkably resilient, patient, and considerate despite less than favorable conditions.

[Just a side note; does anyone know about a Public Adjuster law in NY where it is perfectly legal to for PA's to pay referral fees to Brokers?  No other state has this.  Interestingly, I had a PA complaining to me about this law because creates an unfair advantage for his firm.]

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Alex_Chernov
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11/04/2012 7:24 PM
and now, that they are finally fixing power in Manhattan, we are bracing for onslaught of business interruption claims. As for the flooding, unfortunately not too many people have flood insurance, even in the areas where common sense tells you that you should have it. So, flood claim volume might not be too big, although claim that do come in tend to be catastrophic. I think, next week will be crucial for us in terms of claim volume and claim nature. Best case scenario for me is that huge flood losses are going to be rare, and minor wind will be picked up by CAT cavalry. Large wind losses are sure to come in but, I don't expect too many of those. Jud G, about this referral thing, is it real? PA can pay referral fees to brokers LEGALLY?
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Torrential
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11/05/2012 1:47 AM
Posted By ChuckDeaton on 03 Nov 2012 03:37 PM
Come on guys, especially you Steve, realism will ruin the experience for the newbies. Out of work for years, 6 figure income, whats a little snow, cold and the power out. Drag a 5th wheel into New York and go to work.

Pilot has had claims reps on scene for a week.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Big Reality Check:

This isn’t hurricane Bob, which hit in Mid-August of '91,and was followed by The Perfect Storm on Halloween that year.  We had lots of easy wind with the flood damage, and everyone who worked made money.

The problem came in Mid-December, when the snow stayed on the ground for two weeks, which meant it was on the rooftops too. You couldn't see the damage, much less photograph it.

So I left with my money like a snow bird, and was very glad to get home in the south. I can take the cold, but I can't take the snow on those roofs, and it will be there soon; and you'll be wondering why you came to work wind claims in the wintertime in New England.

Once you get above the Mason-Dixon Line, the snow doesn't melt as fast, which means there are fewer safe inspection days.

The flood folks will do fine. They'll make the big money on this.

 It's hard to predict the long term temp. and precip. forecast, but here it is. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/multi_season/13_seasonal_outlooks/color/page2.gif

 What is average up there? I have no idea, but it will snow, and it will stay.

 



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Emfont
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11/05/2012 10:19 AM
The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on July 18, 2007, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Disclosure of fee sharing between a public adjuster and an insurance broker

Question Presented:

Does the New York Insurance Law require a public adjuster to disclose the sharing of compensation with an insurance broker, based on a referral, to the insured?

Conclusion:

No. There is nothing set forth in the Insurance Law or the regulations promulgated thereunder that requires a public adjuster who shares compensation with an insurance broker on a referral to disclose to the insured the sharing of such compensation. However, the insurance broker is required under law to disclose such an arrangement, and in the interest of full disclosure, it would be prudent for an adjuster to do so as well.

Facts:

The question is of a general nature, without reference to particular facts.

Analysis:

An insurance broker assists in procuring an adjustment of a loss when the broker makes a referral to a public adjuster. Section 25.3 of New York Code, Rules & Regulations (“N.Y.C.R.R.”) tit. 11, Part 25 (Regulation 10) applies to public adjusters. That provision states in relevant part as follows:

(b) No such licensee or sublicensee shall divide any fee or give any fee, commission or other compensation to any person, firm or corporation for procuring, or assisting in procuring, the adjustment of any such loss for any such licensee or sublicensee, unless the person, firm or corporation to whom such fee, commission or other compensation is given or paid had at the time when the loss occurred:

(1) a public adjuster’s license issued and in force pursuant to section 123 of the Insurance Law;1 or

(2) an insurance broker’s license issued and in force and such licensee either was the broker of record in placing the insurance which was involved in the adjustment of the loss, whether or not designated in writing to act for the insured, or was designated to act for the insured in writing before a loss occurred.

Thus, by the plain terms of § 25.3(b), a public adjuster may compensate an insurance broker for a referral as an exception to the general rule against such fee splitting, provided the conditions in paragraphs (1) or (2) are satisfied.2

The Insurance Law and regulations promulgated thereunder require compensation agreements to be in writing between a broker and an insured. New York Insurance Law § 2119(c)(1) (McKinney 2006) provides:

(c)(1) No insurance broker may receive any compensation, other than commissions deductible from premiums on insurance policies or contracts, from any insured or prospective insured for or on account of the sale, solicitation or negotiation of, or other services in connection with, any contract of insurance made or negotiated in this state or for any other services on account of such insurance policies or contracts, including adjustment of claims arising therefrom, unless such compensation is based upon a written memorandum, signed by the party to be charged, and specifying or clearly defining the amount or extent or such compensation.

Similarly, Insurance Law § 2108 requires compensation agreements to be in writing between a public adjuster and an insured. The statute states:

(p) No adjuster shall have any right to compensation from any insured for or on account of services rendered to such insured as public adjuster unless such right to compensation is based upon a written memorandum, signed by the party to be charged, and specifying or completely defining the amount or extent of such compensation…

11 N.Y.C.R.R. § 25.6 likewise states that:

(a) a public adjuster may be compensated by an insured for or on account of services rendered to such insured by the public adjuster solely as provided for by a written compensation agreement obtained by the public adjuster which shall consist of substantively the same information and statement contained in Form 1 of section 25.13(a) of this Part.

Thus, compensation agreements between either a broker or adjuster and an insured must be in writing.

Nothing in the Insurance Law or regulations promulgated thereunder require a written agreement between a public adjuster and broker in order for them to share compensation. Nonetheless, it is the Insurance Department’s view that because the insured pays the public adjuster’s fee, the insurance broker receives compensation indirectly from the insured with respect to the adjustment of a claim. Therefore, the insurance broker must disclose the receipt of the compensation to the insured pursuant to a written memorandum executed in accordance with the provisions of Insurance Law § 2119(c)(1). See Office of General Counsel (“O.G.C.”) Opinion 07-02-06 (February 5, 2007); O.G.C. Opinion 99-18 (February 8, 1999). In addition, the undisclosed receipt of compensation by the broker could create the perception of divided or conflicted loyalties, which itself may be regarded as “untrustworthy conduct” within the meaning of Insurance Law § 2110 that could result in disciplinary action.

There is, however, no requirement in the Insurance Law or regulations that the sharing of compensation between a public adjuster and a broker be disclosed by the adjuster. Nevertheless, in the interest of full disclosure, the Department believes that it would be prudent for the adjuster to inform the insured of the agreement.

For further information you may contact Associate Counsel Alexander Tisch at the New York City Office.
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okclarryd
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11/05/2012 1:09 PM
Robbie,

I've been sending you some emails and they all come back as undeliverable.

???
Larry D Hardin
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brarew
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11/05/2012 9:16 PM
I am on standby, unfortunately I am a newbie. I have 12 years in insurance defense so I know my way around a policy, but I have only had a few weeks of training with AmCat and a week of Xactimate. I am nervous, but hard working, self motivated and organized. Any tidbits of wisdom you seasoned vets would like to throw me I will gobble up. I am told I will be in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. I am a southern girl so I packed all Northface gear in the hopes I can fight off the cold that is sure to come in the course of claims. The company deploying me says I will be working flood claims....not certified yet, but I hear they will be doing emergency certification soon. Chime in if you'd like to discourage, encourage or generally work me over for being new. Everyone had to start somewhere, and my guess is no one on this site was born a Cat adjuster (although in some cases I may be wrong) so you were all in my position at some point. I am aware there is a "right" way to do it and get the experience, but I my adjusting firm is assigning me to a mentor, so the insured will not suffer at the expense of my inexperience.
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CatAdjusterX
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11/06/2012 1:54 AM
Posted By OkcLarryD on 05 Nov 2012 01:09 PM
Robbie,

I've been sending you some emails and they all come back as undeliverable.

???

...................................

Larry,

yes, I had a legal issue and  as such part of the compromise was to shut down my American Veteran Catastrophe Services website and change the company moniker to American Veteran ******** Services. New site with a new web-host is being designed right now. As such Robby@avcatservices.com is NO longer. You can find me at catadjusterx@gmail.com or on the FOATA site 

"A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
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Jud G.
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11/06/2012 3:35 PM
Posted By Captain Font on 05 Nov 2012 10:19 AM
The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on July 18, 2007, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Disclosure of fee sharing between a public adjuster and an insurance broker

.....

There is, however, no requirement in the Insurance Law or regulations that the sharing of compensation between a public adjuster and a broker be disclosed by the adjuster. Nevertheless, in the interest of full disclosure, the Department believes that it would be prudent for the adjuster to inform the insured of the agreement.

For further information you may contact Associate Counsel Alexander Tisch at the New York City Office.

Thanks for bringing this up EmFont, Captain Font, or whomever you are.  

This very issue was also part of the discussion I had with this gentleman.  A complaint of his was predicated on the fact that his firm (which is large enough to take a vital interest in aggressive lobbying on a national level) is pushing to amend legislation in NY that would force the Brokers to disclose these referral fees to Adjusters/Insurance Carriers.  For those of you who live in Alabama, you may be aware of this firm who is pushing to legislate PA licensing.  If so, you will know the firm I speak of.

The PA picked up on my consequent expression of awestruck irony and immediately concurred.  His firm has been built on word of mouth referrals through a history of satisfying their client base.  They've grown the firm without the need to bribe the very souls who receive claim assignments and turn them into the insurance carriers.  They absolutely despise other PA's who come into the arena and make them look bad (I can't believe I'm typing this- DISCLAIMER time: I'm just reporting what he told me) to get business through unconventional means that involve a lack of history and true demonstration of their services.

I understand that this may create for some delicious fodder, chat on...

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Jud G.
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11/06/2012 3:37 PM
Posted By brarew on 05 Nov 2012 09:16 PM
I am on standby, unfortunately I am a newbie. I have 12 years in insurance defense so I know my way around a policy, 

Are you an attorney?


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ScopeDog
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11/06/2012 11:07 PM

Hey CatAdjusterX,

Looks like I got my green light, I took Alex's advice and didn't give it too much thought. Just got on the road Sat. afternoon, I made it here in VA. for Monday morning orientation. I have no idea where the next stop will be but I will do my best to make the most of the situation. Should be getting claims soon, 100's of adjusters are showing up daily. From the looks of things, there will probably be lots of clean up work for all of you more experienced adjusters. Lots of newbees, me included.

Most likely I'll be too busy to post once I start to handle some claims, (learning the curve) once I get up to speed, I'll let you know what I think of the situation, (from the newbee view). So far, it looks much greater than I first expected. (judging by the amount of effort the company has exhausted so far). This is quite an operation.

I don't know the business side of the IA Firms vs the Carriers and the OA's, it's all a learning curve for me like any new venture is. But I feel good about the situation, I even got a call from another firm that offered a back up plan if things didn't work out, which is always good to have.

Well I was looking for a jumping on point, and her name is Sandy. Thanks for your input and Good luck to you and I hope you do well.

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Emfont
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11/07/2012 10:36 AM

I am an ex Crawford Manager-and  Supervisor during Hurricane Andrew, ex- ARMY JAG officer too.  Nothing wrong with reputable PA's.  Only wish you could identify them by sight.  Newbies are going to get eaten up and their files will get reopen, then they'll wonder what happened to their holdback.

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Torrential
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11/07/2012 7:38 PM
The snow is outrageous. I pity those who are without heat tonight. The birth rate will probably sky rocket in about nine month, and the sadness will turn to joy.
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K ung Fu tzu
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11/08/2012 7:38 AM
I understand from many adjusters that they are already in the Northeast or are heading in this direction. I kind of found it amusing that one company was first having their orientation in North Carolina and then decided to move it to the northeast......in Richmond, VA. It's funny how the perspective may be for some folks in the south to think of Richmond as the northeast, while many in the Northeast think of Richmond as the deep south. Actually, anything south of DE is considered the 'south' for many. All in good nature, safe travels everyone.
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okclarryd
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11/08/2012 3:59 PM

Today, I received the following notice from FEMA:

 

SPECIAL 2012 NFIP
Adjuster Certification Workshops 

Seminars conducted by the National Flood Insurance Program

This is an NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshop,
not a Flood Emergency Briefing

November 14, 2012
Iselin, NJ

8:30am - 4:30pm

Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel
515 US Highway 1 South
Diamond Ballroom
Iselin, NJ 08830

REGISTER

November 15, 2012
Cherry Hill, NJ

8:30am - 4:30pm

Crowne Plaza Hotel
2349 W. Marlton Pike
Riverside Room
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

REGISTER

In response to the flooding associated with Hurricane Sandy, the NFIP will present two special Adjuster Certification Workshops in New Jersey for qualified adjusters to become certified for the current NFIP Adjuster Certification term ending May 31, 2013.

Registration is now open for these special 2012 NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshops.

Adjusters seeking to become certified must apply for certification with the NFIP Bureau & Statistical Agent, iService. NFIP standards and requirements for Adjuster Certification may be viewed at www.fema.gov/library/viewRe...4.

New applicants and adjusters seeking to upgrade their existing certification are required to submit a completed application to iService. The Adjuster Certification Application can be downloaded at www.fema.gov/library/viewRe...1.

For more information about the adjuster certification process or to contact NFIP iService, please go to www.nfipiservice.com/adj_cert.html.

To sign up to receive NFIP Training Bulletins regarding the 2013 NFIP Adjuster Certification Workshop schedule, please click here.

•       •       •

The seminar is from 8:30am - 4:30pm. Sign-in begins at 8:00am. Dress is business casual.

CONTINUING EDUCATION
There will be NO CE credits offered for these special workshops.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION
This workshop is FREE, but seating is limited so register early.

Larry D Hardin
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Medulus
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11/10/2012 8:26 AM
The NFIP may have offered special seminars like this before, but I am unaware of any such offer. This is the first time I have seen the seminars offered after May of any given year. This should serve to indicate just how many claims are expected.
Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

"With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
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ChuckDeaton
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11/10/2012 9:55 AM
Steve, the NFIP offered these seminars after Katrina, in Hammond, and this year after Issac, in New Orleans. After Irene and after Sandy certifications were extended by email. Newbies are nearly frozen out of NFIP licensing, FCN, and the old cadre are leaving the business. My guess is that this storm, Sandy, will thin the ranks of those that work flood.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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okclarryd
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11/10/2012 11:34 AM
I agree, Chuck, and it's a shame. Flood claims are not quick, easy claims like we all like to do but they pay well. To the adjuster, anyway.

The coverage is limited and communication skills are of the utmost importance. These claims allow us to be real adjusters not "run and gun" guys. I avoided flood for a long time and kinda got roped into doing some and, after an attitude adjustment, I really enjoyed them. I got to know a lot of folks that had no idea what they had coming or how the claims process works when the government is envolved. Some weren't very happy with the limited coverage but, once again, communication is the key to closing the claim.

That and the endless forms.

Happy Trails
Larry D Hardin
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ChuckDeaton
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11/10/2012 8:14 PM
Larry, commonsense took a hike along time ago. Flood demonstrates this.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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