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Bill Richard (Billr)
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 9:34 pm:   

I do not weigh in often but I read most of what is posted. I am of the opinion that this is a new and worthy thread. We all have our moments and need to keep our comments and input positive. I have not had the opportunity to meet and work with many of the adjusters that frequent this site. I am very interested in the ideas and thoughts of Jim Lakes and his willingness to lead this sub-thread.

Having been in the shoes of the catastrophe adjuster for several years, of the staff adjuster for the client carrier and now speaking from the shoes of the vendor, I believe we all have a common goal. There are issues that the vendor deals with that would only distract the IA from being able to focus on his mission. We are solely interested in servicing the policyholder in the manner that they deserve (contractually & ethically) and maintaining the quality and consistency of the product that we submit to the client carrier. This is expensive!

JimL, I would consider it an honor to assist in putting together some standards that would be ideal for both the IA and vendor.

Looking forward to improvements

Bill Richard
Vice President, Corporate Claims
CJET Corporation
Andrew K. Sloane (Claimsranger)
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 6:47 am:   

I was afraid my post was running out KlBt's. The point I am trying to make is at least one vendor, mine, is trying to set a new standard in response to the changes in our profession. This time, by asking me instead of a summary judgement telling me that PO'd a large group that just quit and went to another vendor. Heck, I am working with the same folks I was three years ago. They are just dancing with another partner. So standards are being looked into with due diligenge by some. I cannot speak for the others since I don't work for them. I have to go, I have to meet with a LAWYER today on a denial of coverage.!As a professional Adjuster!Nuff said for now!
Andrew K. Sloane (Claimsranger)
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 6:33 am:   

Well, I am just going to jump in on this because I truly believe Roy has responded to a number of questions put forth in other topics and threads on CADO with this sub thread. My vendor is in the process of asking us a number of pertinent and vital questions about Stormtrooping. And the questions they are asking are in direct response to the redevelopment of their CORE program. When a vendor asks ME how do I feel about CORE, Is there anything that needs to be done to create a better on, what do I see happening in the CAT business, how do I perceive what is happening in the Adjusting business and do they (my vendor) need to do anything different because of something I may feel is changing, I beleive this a responsible management. And the list goes on. I am putting it all in writing for them. Ghoust, I will stand on this statement, ie; No one in their total right mind would bet their livelyhood on mother nature but people like us.! We are all Claimsrangers!We clean up the mess and provide guidance for the youngsters when on storm and when not. We are extremely lucky to have the talent pool here to draw on. So hackin' on being a lawyer, however green in that endeavor will not get us the brass ring. Jim Lakes posts are from my standpoint welcomed. Top mgmnt needs to input on this. We are needed by the carriers, plain and simple. Example is the mold issue here in Texas. No kiddos here! Professionals only need apply.
Clayton Carr (Clayton)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 10:57 pm:   

It is easy to tell that Roy is one of the 'wisemen', creating this void sub-thread spoke volumes; and I am glad Jim Lakes took up the challenge. Within my comments on the 'feasibility discussion' thread I have noted two items relative to this issue as part of the agenda.

I definitely agree that this should be a core objective of any Association that may evolve from this community.

We must understand that the vendor is our livelihood, it the vendor that we derive our work from, it is the vendor who does our marketing. The vendor in a simple context is a pure personnel 'headhunter' / placement agency, seeking people with hopefully measured skills for a particular few niches within the claims world.

Therefore, whether it be a computer type person, a dental hygenist, an adjuster looking for a carrier staff position, or a 'cat adjuster' looking for an assignment; we all must know what we should expect from a 'placement agency'. We all must know what an 'ideal placement agency' is and what that 'ideal placement agency' can do; so we can measure that criteria against other 'placement agencies', that may call us with an assignment.

I would look forward with keen interest to the 'discussion paper' Jim Lakes could prepare for us concerning the profile of an 'ideal vendor'.

The issue of carrier contracts is a waste of our time. Carrier's have increasingly over the last 10 - 15 years gone to the 'preferred vendor' concept. Yes, that often involves lengthy development between the vendor and the carrier; be it auto glass, building repair, contents assessment (have a look at, IA's, or Cat vendors. But, the ensuing 14 page contracts primarily give survival to the relatively new toy in the box - the Carrier Vendor Manager. All that really means to 'us' is that some vendors have a defined 'in' at the vendor manager level, which only sometimes equates to the antcipated favorable result at the Branch or Regional level.

I believe from a vendor's issue standpoint, our best efforts towards success with this issue is to create an ideal vendor profile; and from that will evolve a list of issues that we need a better understanding of, which through dialogue and the development and adoption of our own standards - improvement will be forthcoming.
Tom Strickland (Toms)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 7:37 pm:   

TO ALL and especially ALAN:
If you will read J. Lakes post, I concur, I just want "all" of us to do better, wages, work,plenty of it. If I take it too seriously, my apologies. To Alan, I especially was not trying to start a flap, just injecting that "we" all need to stay on track together,you rec'd the blunt, sorry, perhaps, I got off track, Sorry guys, "I" "will" stay focused on the issue at hand.
JimLakes (Jimlakes)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 5:58 pm:   

To All and Alan,

I am sorry if you felt I was to blunt or to critical of the questions and statements that were made. I simply was trying to answer the questions that were directed toward vendors and tried to make the point to all that WE the VENDORS NEED YOU THE INDEPENTENT ADJUSTERS, as much as YOU NEED US.

My point being, this is not a one-way street. We MUST work together because if we don’t neither will survive. I can’t for the life of me figure out why ALL of us don’t understand that. We are all in this for the money. It accomplishes nothing, if we do not work TOGETHER.

I think Jim Flynt, Russ Doe, and many others will tell you that I am not staying involved in this site to better Jim Lakes. There is a thousand other things that I could be doing, but I truly believe that if I can contribute to the betterment of the business and the claims people in it, that we ALL will benefit from it. I will help where I can as long as most want me too. I do this because I was and am an “ADJUSTER” at heart and I try everyday not to forget it.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jim Lakes RPA
National Catastrophe Director
RAC Adjustments, Inc.
Ghostbuster (Ghostbuster)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 1:01 pm:   

Amen, Sarge Kile! The application of a $Greenback$ poltice will cure all of our ills. But, in light of my aversion to cold, I'd opt for some of those hinged fence posts down from the Santa Ana winds. At least we'd stay warm.
Wray Decker (Wraydecker)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 12:57 pm:   

I think the CADO meeting in Biloxi last year was just what we are all talking about.Very unlike a CAT assignment,when adjusters and vendors are in a stressful situation,we were able to interact on matters of work load,fee schedules,and expectations of companies.Lets do it again and use those questions being asked in this forum as an agenda.
Kile Anderson (Kileanderson)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 12:17 pm:   

I hereby move that we call for a massive ice storm to hit from Dallas to Nashville creating hundreds of thousands of claims and giving us lots of other stuff to gripe about. Icy roads, grumpy insureds, daily changes in procedure from carriers, poor hotel service...This, IMHO, is the only thing that will solve all of our problems.
mark (Olderthendirt)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 12:08 pm:   

Ghost you are right. Face to face, people are less likey to express insult and are able to quickly resolve differences. This is the forum to exchange ideas but not to resolve issues
Donita Taylor (Donilynn)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 11:56 am:   

I agree with Dave. Everyone needs to start sounding like adults and respect the opinions of the other people posting on here, and try to stay on target.

I'm new to the adjusting arena, but I do know a few things about business and people. In order for there to be change in the venders view of us, we have to present ourselves as professionals and from some of the posts that I've read, it isn't happening. Also, all parties involved, must get together and develop a win/win plan, that includes anyone involved in this crazy business. Otherwise, nothing will work out and everyone looses.

Let's start off and find a couple of things that we can all agree on, then build from there. I know that we will have people with differing opinions, but that is what makes our Nation Great and what separates the kids from the adults, the ability to agree to disagree. I also know that we have some really intelligent people here on CADO, we just need to get some egos in check, roll up our sleeves and get to brain storming.
Ghostbuster (Ghostbuster)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 11:46 am:   

It seems to be endemic amongst us to very quickly denigrate to tangenintal squabbeling. The carriers just love it. We are worse than a herd of blue hairs in the nursing home fussing over the tapioca.

Ya' just can't beat the ol' smoke filled room for getting down to the brass tacks of putting a deal together. The Tower of Babel, that is CADO, is at times just that, a tower of BABBEL.

The movers and shakers of this deal must get together in person to make this happen.
Dave Dehlinger (Davey)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 9:57 am:   

Unless we stop the scratchin, hissin and spittin, nothing is ever going to get accomplished. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. CHILL OUT!
Call me when the dust clears.
alan jackson (Ajackson)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 9:03 am:   

Tom, where on this thread have I said sue anyone or even mentioned sued. Please do not put words in my mouth. Please tell me. What did I say that sounds like a lawyer? If I said anything to that effect, I'll be more than happy to retract it.

I did not post to start a fight.
alan jackson (Ajackson)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 8:56 am:   

Gee, what did I say concerning law or do to deserve this?
Clayton Carr (Clayton)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 1:44 am:   

First, thanks Roy for putting this thread forward with its' sub parts; hopefully it will take this issue successfully to the next level.

I have always closely absorbed what Jim Lakes has said anywhere on CADO, and although I have never met him or talked to him, I have come to respect his insight. We, or I anyway, must respect his big 'bangles' for entering this fray; and I hope he won't be soured by any antagonism such as what gave rise to his last reply.

I am following this and putting my thoughts together, but in the meantime, thank Tom for trying to steer the course back towards constructive dialogue.
Tom Strickland (Toms)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 12:46 am:   

Alan, I am sorry to blast you, but either be a lawyer and don't try to tell us law, ••••, I after 31 years ought to know the law "as far as adjusting goes"
So if I dont , you can bet we "all" of us cat adjusters have "lawyers" we can talk to every day,just because we have a question.
sorry if I was hard on you
Tom Strickland (Toms)
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 12:44 am:   

As a person who has just a limited amount of law and all in their backgound, you have certainly changed your tune, "YOU" can't sue everytime you or I open our mouths,If you need some background it being involved in a law firm, give me a call, Hell, I did that for a few year before and during my cat adusting days. all I see, when you post is the lower side of the position, so, from now on post as a adjuster or a lawyer, and then see how many people will post back, I really think you ought to think about what you have done as far as law school has done, Every post you make is like you are something to do something with, hell, do our job, be a lawyer, sign up clients, sue somebody, but post here without your bias in mind. But if the situation we are talking about is somjethig that has nothing to do with "law' or lawyers and only "adjusters" so be that as it may stay out i.e, re law but join in as an adjuster. I have noticed each and every post since your law school endeavors, and all you have done is post in the fashion of "sue" now, like it or lump it, we need your posts for this thread only, and not for any other reason. I am sorry but either you post for this thread or take your semi(almost) law degree to another thread. we "I" by myself don't need a lawyer, hell, I have 3 or 4 now, so just be helpful post things that will help the adjusters on this page, you don't want to get into a battle here about your law knowledge and all cause with the adjusters I know here, you would lose, just because we know more than any first year lawyer ever did. Hell, we have been there, done that and Yes do have a T shirt
JimLakes (Jimlakes)
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2001 - 8:36 pm:   


I guess I am a little confused by your questions. If you are sincere in asking them then, I’ll bite and take a stab at answering them.

Your statement, “the vendors are holding all the cards” is ludicrous at best. Think about what you said. Do you think for one minute that RAC or any other vendor could survive or even be in business one day without having a roster of “INDEPENDENT” adjusters? If you do then I don’t think I would want you handling claims for us. Mr. Hood and the others are correct, we “NEED” each other in order to survive. Any vendor or independent adjuster that doesn’t know that needs to find another occupation.

Your next two questions are like an oxymoron. “Why would they want to work with us?” And, “What’s in it for them?” If vendors didn’t work with you and other independents, whom do you think they would get to do the claims? Why is it that some independent adjusters think that all vendors are out to get them or don’t want to work with them? See how stupid that sounds? If vendors did not have independent adjusters, how much money do you think they could make? Or do you think that, “Hey, we don’t like to make money, we just love work claims.” Moreover, as I have said many times, it’s all about money. If the adjuster makes money, we make money. If he or she doesn’t, then we don’t.

As far as showing everyone their contracts is concerned, I don’t think that that is the issue. The real issue is, making sure the adjuster is totally aware of what the guidelines, rules, and pay is going to be, BEFORE they drive across the country and then learn they are only going to get 20 files, work them for nothing, and have to provide page after page of paperwork for it. Some vendors will work for the low fee schedules and maybe there is nothing wrong with that, IF they let the adjusters know what it is BEFORE they leave home and let the adjuster decide if he wants to work for peanuts. If a client asked us to work for an amount that was lower than our schedule, before committing to them, I would make certain that our adjusters would work for that amount. If it were to low I would simple refuse to work their claims. Oh, and one more thing, there are very few carriers that actually have written contracts with vendors. Most of them are verbal contracts because carriers do not like to sign contracts.

Read the posts just below yours from Tom Strickland, he is right on the MONEY.

I hope I have answered your questions and if not please feel free to contact me.

Jim Lakes RPA
National Catastrophe Director
RAC Adjustments, Inc.
alan jackson (Ajackson)
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2001 - 11:24 am:   

The vendors are holding all the cards. Why would they want to work with us? Or what is in it for them? Does anyone really think they would show us any of their contracts? Do they really have a contract or is all this done with a handshake?

Just food for thought. I really think this is something we all need to do.
Tom Strickland (Toms)
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 5:11 pm:   

Further, I think the standards for the vendors must have vendor representation in order to implement anthing.
Also, vendor reps and cat adjuster reps should and must work hand in hand in this matter.
Tom Strickland (Toms)
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 5:09 pm:   

Mr. Hood, and Mr. Lakes, both are correct, # 1. we need to have the contracts in place for review. We are aware of the need for confidentialltiy??(00Ps) but in order for "us" to establish our guidelines,etc, we have to know what barriers we are working with.
I know the vendors I work for would "not" lie about a contract. and that is not the case. I just think for us to place issues on the plate, we must be aware of what we are working with.
Jim, I also have volunteered my services, and based on "my" experience, I think "you" would be ideal for the organization, and input from a vendor representative might assit a lot.

We just all need to get past the first hurdle and have 5 or 6 to get the ball rolling.
As the "charter" organizers, we all must be willing to put in "time" and be open to "all" communication from "everyone" who has an idea.
R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 11:08 am:   

Another concept that may bear investigation, is that the IA Vendors cooperate in establishing the correct rates, fees, and credentials for the industry, as opposed to "all of us".

They are the entities that have the contracts with the carriers. They have HUGE costs to maintain those relationships. They also have to measure up to the requirements of those contracts.

For instance, some of the latest contracts supplied to these vendors, by the carriers, require complete background checks of all of the adjusters that the vendor will use, including, credit checks, driving record, criminal record, mandatory drug testing and others.

We, the employee's of the vendors, be we 1099's or W-2's are not aware of all of the terms and conditions of the contracts which are in place.

As such, knowing not what the carriers demand of the Vendors, it may be more beneficial for the vendors to have co-lateral cooperation, and we then may have some input to the Vendor as to what we think may be changed, modified, removed, added or implemented.

Other views, thoughts, comments?
JimLakes (Jimlakes)
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 11:35 am:   


I would like to be the first vendor and be very happy to serve as a member of this organization. I am not sure if the independent adjusters would want a cat director from a vendor involved.

I would also be willing to put together some ideas as to the standards that I feel vendors should operate under in regard to the relationship between them and the adjuster. Of course, many of the other vendors may not agree with them nor abide by them, but as you stated we must start somewhere.

I agree with you. Lets find out who is willing to make our industry better or just talk about it. As everyone would agree, one of the hardest things that an organization can do is “police” itself and make it work. I believe that if it is done with the true belief that everything is done to better enhance and improve our business that it can be done from within.

Please feel free to call me and discuss what roll you feel RAC and I could play in this process.

Jim Lakes RPA
National Catastrophe Director
RAC Adjustments, Inc.

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