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Last Post 03/28/2015 10:50 AM by  BobH
Property Adjusters Losing Out To Ladder Assist
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Catsvstrained
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03/23/2015 9:16 AM

    If you happen to be among the group of people who believe that Ladder Assist is not gaining ground within the Insurance Claims Industry then it is time to take a closer look. 

    Ladder Assist Companies earned in excess of an estimated $350 million in 2014 by gobbling up roof claims assignments that would otherwise be found in the inventories of Property Claims Adjusters.

    Ten years ago we had only one official Ladder Assist company and that was run by Pilot for Allstate Ins. but today we have:

    Assist All, Austin SW Ladder Assist, Camco, Certified Ladder Assist, Cornerstone, Delta Claims Svs, First Choice Ladder Assist, GRIP, Hancock Claims Consultants, KMK, Ladder Assist Pro, Ladder Assist Team, Ladder Now, Manta, Maxus, Miller Enterprises, MT Ladder Assist, Property Medic, Southern Roof Tops, Superior Roof Support, TruLine Roof Consultants…

    …and more throwing their hat into the ring every day.

    The facts are loud and clear, indicating that the growth climate of these service organizations could not be more perfect:

    Fact # 1 – The days of the 4/12 Ranch style houses are dead and no longer a part of the modern housing construction industry.

    Like it or not, the simple but efficient 4/12 pitched Ranch style home roofing system has now been surpassed by mega pitched architectural master works that now dominate the modern housing construction industry.  Shame on you (and me) for the foolish assumption that shedding water would always be priority one with respect to roof system design because today’s priority is all about catering to the uneducated masses who want the curb appeal that these cut-up leak monuments provide.

    Fact # 2 – The majority of Property Adjusters do not have the genetic make-up and appropriate physical attributes to negotiate the physical and psychological demands of hands-free suspension while scoping a roof of 12/12+ pitch.

    The Ladder Assist solution for this is all about the careful selection of its workforce:

     Look at a representation of the average Property Adjuster and you will see a 40 – 60 yr old worker that is 50lbs over weight with mild to moderate height phobia, no rope access training, equipment or any form of managed fall protection plan.

    Look at the average Ladder Assist worker and you will see a 20 – 40yr old, fearless worker, of appropriate height to weight ratio, appropriately trained, equipped, and supervised within a legitimate managed fall protection program.

    Fact # 3 LIABILITY, LIABILITY, LIABILITY

    Ladder Assist organizations manage their liability in several different ways:

    For liability resulting from personal injury they use an independently contracted work force that is required to provide their own individual LLC. Simply put, if you own your own company then you are your own employee and therefore exempt from OSHA 1926.5 “General Duty Clause” regulation for providing fall protection. Furthermore, many LA organizations also require their workers to provide their own workman’s comp insurance.

    For liability resulting from damage to people and property, LA organizations require each independently contracted worker provide their own two million dollar liability policy that specifically names LA organization and provides a shield for their clients in the event of an injury or damage related incident.

    For liability from lawsuits resulting from meritless work product the LA companies guarantee that all information on the roofing system will be gathered from the roofing system and appropriately reviewed for compliance prior to being handed over to insurance adjuster…

     

    QUESTION:   How does the responsibilities of a Ladder Assist worker compare with the responsibilities of a Property Claims Adjuster?

    ANSWER:  Very similar with respect to gathering all pertinent information about the roofing system needed to justify claim payment decisions. Some LA contracts have even expanded to include gathering information related to lower elevation exposures.

    Most Ladder Assist workers today are in fact licensed property adjusters that are Haag certified with a solid background related to the roof system claims industry.

     I personally (a 16yr Veteran of the Claims Industry) have had the privilege of following some of these LA workers through their daily work routine and what I witnessed was nothing short of astounding:

    ·         Hyper organized work trucks prepared with all the tools needed to tackle even the most complicated roof structures.

    ·         Well-orchestrated routines for documenting storm damage (or lack thereof) that seamlessly transfers the merits of roof system conditions to those they serve.

    ·         A “No Structure Is Too Tall or Too Steep” mentality,  I literally witnessed a LA worker use his Cougar Paw work boots in the most unique manner TO WALK UNASSISTED UP 28 FOOT OF A 21/12 (60°) PITCHED SLOPE!!!

    Add all of this information up and it is easy to see why Independent Adjusters and the IA companies they serve could and in all probability will see more and more of their roof claims disappear from their inventories.

    QUESTION: What is the earning potential of a Ladder Assist worker?

    ANSWER: For the full time LA worker living within a major metropolitan area, affiliate with a reputable LA company around $100K after the deduction for work related expenses however, this can be achieved from home base without all the expenses associated with living on the road. Ladder Assist Companies pay around an average of $100 - $150 per assist however, it is important to note that the work required on a standard storm claim is just a fraction of what is required of a Property Claims Adjuster.

    My professional opinion on this matter is that the IA industry will eventually take note of this shift and reorganize their own workforce to be more competitive with the service and protection that LA organizations now offer. I would highlight the word "Eventually" because I know that implementing this kind of change will require them to overcome the many barriers of political correctness such changes will require. Isn’t it funny how gravity recognizes ability yet cares so little about the details of gender, age and ethnicity....

    CatSvs Trained
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    BobH
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    03/24/2015 5:16 PM
    Posted By Catsvstrained on 03/23/2015 9:16 AM

    ...the uneducated masses who want the curb appeal that these cut-up leak monuments provide..

    Awesome - that made my day. 

    Thank you Kevin, I often find myself trying to explain to Mr Got-Bucks that his cut-up McMansion is simply "leaking" without damage to shingles. 

    Maybe a valley, a penetration from a chimney, skylight, vent, bad flashing where a roof meets a vertical wall. Or maybe it's that 3rd deck over a living area where the door threshold is even with the (ponding) deck.

    "well Sir, you see, this is a simple case of a CUT-UP LEAK MONUMENT". 

    The homes built up to mid 1980's rarely had those designed leak issues.

    Bob H
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    AcceleratedAdjuster
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    03/27/2015 3:38 PM
    Looks to me like you need to get your "facts" straight.

    1. 4/12's are still being built (though arguably less often than steeper pitches), but they didn't simply disappear when people started preferring steeper pitches. They are still out there, and still insured.

    2. Glad to see you put your unvarnished opinion of adjusters out there.. though I am confused as to why you would go out of your way to insult your target demographic. Our adjusters are hardly the decrepit, unskilled, untrained and overweight types that you make them out to be. In fact, they all have their own ropes and harnesses and various other safety equipment components, and use them regularly (even the older and slightly overweight adjusters seem to have the physiological ability to do it). When any of our vast pool of adjusters (or client carriers) happens to ask about training for rope and harness work though, I will be sure to let them know what your opinions of them are, and promptly direct them to the more customer oriented competition. While your approach to generating business is confusing (especially since you are marketing to people you obviously don't think can hack it), to each their own business model. Best of luck with that.


    3. The liability associated with LA firms and IA firms really does not differ, unless you want to go into the professional liability aspect of things.

    www.acceleratedadjusting.com www.acceleratedadjustingisrael.com
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    Catsvstrained
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    03/28/2015 9:19 AM
    I appreciate the feedback Bob and the faceless, nameless Accelerated Adjuster, your comments are both valid and obviously reflect the passion for our profession that few outsiders can truly identify with.
    Please forgive my post's verbiage on the "representation of the average IA" as the words were not my own but rather the unfair and unquestionably bias voice of Gravity speaking through the pile of fall related injury narratives that CLEARLY show prejudice against the Unprepared, Under Equipped AND Nutritionally Enhanced (the latter of which even I take offence to but only because I carry an extra 35lbs).
    Now before you say it........I know what some of you are already thinking: That we need to get our Federal Government to pass a law against this arrogant SOB "Gravity" character so if nothing else, we could get an equal representation of incidents, injuries and fatalities amongst the vertically prepared and inclined……. because it aint fair for wiry rascals like BOB HARVEY (who have taken the appropriate steps to get prepared and ready) to get a free pass every time he chooses to use his acquired skills and inherent traits to dance up an 18/12 and steal the job of the U,U,NE.
    In all seriousness, it is an unfortunate fact that most IA’s are no different than most Americans in their 40’s – 60’s in the sense that we tend to harbor height phobias and carry more than our ideal weight. However, this does not mean that we are without those who are high angle gifted and prepared (and Bob Harvey is living proof of this fact).
    My ultimate point here is that if the IA industry as a whole does not develop and implement a managed fall protection program that:
    1) Recognizes real Rope Access training is very different than the “Sport Climbing” based training being pushed by 9 out of 10 of the Adjuster training organizations that offer it.
    2) Identifies those select workers within their ranks who have the appropriate physical and psychological attributes to successfully limit company liability and the liability of the Carriers they serve.
    3) Appropriately solicits, hires and cultivates a high angle service component that recognizes and rewards those capable workers who are willing to accept the risks of high angle roof inspection.
    4) Implements company policy to not only reduce the chances for injuries but also reduces the chances their client carriers will be named in a lawsuit.
    (Almost sounds as if I was advocating for the ethical treatment of Property Claims workers)

    IF all of this is ignored…… then the IA industry, our industry, can continue to see our Ins Carrier based work opportunities get outsourced around us to the Ladder Assist organizations I speak of.
    CatSvs Trained
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    BobH
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    03/28/2015 10:50 AM

    I saw more Ladder Assist in the neighborhoods I was working last year than the previous 20 years combined.

    One of them was staying at my Extended Stay. We exchanged ideas on getting a rope over the roof, using "the Goat" and what parts of town got hit with hail from what direction. 

    Even before Kevin's post - I knew that there was a paradigm shift re: Ladder Assist.

    Bob H
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