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Greg Scott (Gregs14)
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 11:03 am:   

Dave, that's a pretty ugly scenario alright. I still have a major problem with contractors as adjusters since they have a vested interest in selling a job. Also, who picks the contractors? There is an implied warranty when WE do. Some carriers are advertising longer warranties for using their chosen contractors.

One other thing. I had occasion to speak with a contractor in Texas whom I've known for years and we occasionally play golf together. He is a regular member of our claims golf tourney group.

As you may or may not know, Texas has no licensing for roofers and no comp is mandatory. The State Contractors Association developed a voluntary "certification" program that was more stringent than the licensing law they tried to pass. It requires comp. Guess what? Only a few of those certified contractors are also carrier preferred contractors and the preferred programs are in many cases "full".

Sounds like some carriers are looking for contractors who are agreeable. I think it will eventually turn the same way as most of these programs in the past: Carriers will realize they are buying way too many roofs and getting a big percentage of sub-standard work from these dual role people.


Dave Dehlinger (Davey)
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 6:48 am:   

Here's a new wrinkle that cuts out both the adjuster and the contractor. I work for a local independent on a part time basis and believe me it's been a BIG help this past year. We received a re-assignment a couple of weeks ago from an un-named carrier. They don't write much in our area, so they decided to send the insured a disposable camera, telling him to measure his own roof and take pictures, and then send the camera back in the mailer provided. Of course, he messed up and now I'll finish off the adjustment.

At least a preferred contractor can measure a roof and take a few photo's.
Greg Scott (Gregs14)
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 5:51 pm:   

Looked at loss last year. Right after I climbed the roof, a guy climbs my fold-up. Pleasant chap who was, in fact, roofing the house right next door. My loss was a heavy laminate over cedar as was the job he was doing. He asked me if I wanted to see a horror story and being the thriller fan I am, I said, "Sure."

He goes down to his pickup next door and brings back a stack of papers and began his story. The house next door had been a previously done job of his so this was their second roof from his company. He said he almost hadn't gotten the job.

I asked if it were because his bid was too high and he did the Hertz line, "Not Exactly".

He said he had been called AFTER the PH had cancelled a contract with another roofer and proceeded to show me the paperwork.

First, the roofer was also an "ADJUSTER" and preferred contractor for a carrier who will remain nameless. Already my interest is piqued. Next he shows me the "Contract/Proposal" from the adjuster that the PH had signed as well as an official carrier worksheet/estimate/appraisal.

The roofing portion of the worksheet outlined paying for removal of 30 year laminated shingles and removal of cedar shingles and application of plywood decking, felt and new 30 year shingles.

The contractor/adjuster's estimate called for the same thing at the same prices as the worksheet. The neighbor (nearing 70 years old) had SIGNED the contract/proposal thinking it was an okay or agreement as to the scope - something to sign for the insurance company. Only after the salesman/estimator left, did the fellow realize the "paperwork" he was asked to sign was, in fact, a contract!

Realizing his dilemma, the man called the roofing company back within two or three hours and cancelled the contract since there is a 3 day "right of rescission" for any home sale in Texas and many other states. They cancelled the contract.

The roofer talking to me was still fuming from not even getting a chance to bid in the original scenario. He added that he was fortunate because many PH's feel pressured to use a preferred contractor especially because of warranty guarantees by the carrier. His customer took the time to call him in for advice.

Next he showed me the original invoice from the previous roof. It had a bill from a supplier for 37 squares of 40 year shingles delivered to that address and the next piece of paper was the PH's material warranty for 40 year shingles sent with the previous roof. His customer had not bothered to look up the paperwork when the "roofer/adjuster" had been there and signed him up.

Then he showed me the roofer/salesman/adjuster's proposal/contract again and asked me to look closely at the product warranty. Of course it said 30 years, not 40. I interrupted and said that mistake would have been easy to make. He laughed and nodded but told me something that made me understand his outrage.

He pointed to the brand name of shingles on the proposal/contract his customer had signed with the other company. Here's the kicker. It specified using a particular brand of 30 year shingles. I won't make mention of the brand but this particular manufacturer had come out with a laminated shingle in the same weight as every other manufacturer's 25 year laminate and had given it a 30 year warranty to allow roofers to quote 30 year shingles but only pay a 25 year price!

I told the roofer that this deserved a BBB complaint and maybe a letter to TDI and the carrier. He said, It sure does but my customer has only been home for three and a half weeks since suffering his FIFTH heart attack and neither he nor his wife want to go through the mill on that. He said they just appreciated that he had straightened out the carrier on the value of the shingles.

Mat, thanks for your comments. You're right! Garbage in, Garbage out! And doesn't it seem as though the garbage is gaining on us?

By the way, the gauges? They don't work. Never have. Never will. Until we REQUIRE manufacturers to label their roofing products, we'll all be guessing. See my post in General discussion under Impact Resistance. Greg
Mat Safran (Matsafran)
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 3:21 pm:   

Thinking in terms along the line of REMAX may be aan alternative. In response to John, have no fear the old statement of "Garbage In Garbage Out" is still true, only faster with current technology.
Greg Scott (Gregs14)
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 2:30 pm:   

John, Politics makes strange bedfellows as they say. I had occasion to speak with a roofing contractor on a loss in that same area and he was furious over the Contractor program one of the the Big Five (don't want to get too specific) carriers had since he had been in business for 18 years, had the necessary insurance and experience but was told that the program was full. Maybe they could be allies in pointing out some of the problems inherent in the programs. If a PH gets them to look at a roof in addition to the Preferred Contractor, they might notify the carrier of the mistaken call. Then the carrier might choose to reinspect the Preferred Contractor more often and find out what is REALLY going on. I guess it would depend on the roofer. If he were more interested in the sale than honesty, he probably try to make the sale and just move on if he didn't get it. On the other hand, if an honest roofer had been kept out of a Preferred Contractor Program and wanted to see the other contractor caught, he might leave an estimate but report the situation to the carrier. Just a thought, but the next contractor you meet, ask him what he thinks of these programs. Who knows? Planting a seed with one who values his reputation might just do us both some good. Greg
John A. Postava (Johnp)
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 8:54 am:   

I can't agree with you more. These preferred networks come and go. When the cycle leans towards these programs, local adjusters (and some cat adjusters) will suffer. My fear is that since more and more carriers and contractors are linking up electronically (squeezing the adjusting company out of the loop) it will be a longer cycle and increasing difficult to reverse.
Greg Scott (Gregs14)
Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2001 - 9:13 pm:   

John, good thought but I think carriers are finding another way to do a similar thing. My home base is North Texas and there were a series of small storms last year in addition to a couple of large ones.

However, with the advent of the Preferred Provider Network or Quality Vendor Program or whatever else you want to call those setups, we are being squeezed out of local business. If it's a small weather event, many carriers are sending those preferred contractors to appraise the loss.

One local company has more than a dozen licensed "adjusters" who were actually salesmen with Texas property adjuster licenses to look at losses. I'm not going to name names but one carrier really paid for a lot of unnecessary roofs in one of the satellite communities. I looked at roofs all around their "losses" and was desperately TRYING to find damage since the PH's already had a pretty severe case of neighboritis. I could find none and not only that, I never saw a roof paid for by any other carrier. The carrier is still using the contractor.!?

I think these programs are cyclical. When carriers realize that claims are being paid unnecessarily, they'll figure out that having no outside adjusting expenses isn't quite a panacea.

Robert Steffan
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2000 - 3:22 pm:   

What you need is a member owned IA cooperative.
You folks need to start a cooperative...
Basically an organization owned by IAs to provide structure and branding to the indusrty. The organization would have operating expenses off the top and any profits are passed on to the members (thats you) based on their patronage (files handled) for carriers that utilize the organizations service. CADO could very easily adopt the co-op structure and obtain funding from the National Cooperative Bank. Alot of the ins. companies are actually a form of cooperatives themselves called Mutuals. Check out www.cooperative .org
Good Luck
Chuck Deaton (Chuck)
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2000 - 11:09 pm:   

Several companies are developing what amounts to a fledgling virtual adjuster network. Not formal enough to be called an association. Generally claims come to some central location and are sent electronically to field adjusters who work the claims and return them electronically.
Tom Joyce (Tomj)
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - 9:53 am:   

I try to work with several regional companies, but the problem develops when a storm arises .
If you have active files you can't walk from them, and I have tried to take them with me on storm, and they are a distraction to the current work. I guess unless you are doing nothing but appraisals and can turn them over in a couple of days is will be hard to run a dual career. Just my thoughts.
John A. Postava (Johnp)
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - 8:40 am:   

Anyone ever heard of a preferred network of independent or cat adjusters? IMHO, if enough single adjusters or small independents got together under one organization and that organization actively solicited business from carriers and TPA's, the adjusters in the organization would get enough work in their local areas (enough to get them through the slow times in the cat industry or maybe enough to be happy with). Each fee bill is reduced by a percentage to be paid back to the organization to pay for marketing and file auditors. Anyone in CADO ever been part of or currently in such an organization of adjusters? Share your experiences.

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