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Big Money
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 12:14 pm:   

Kyle ,

Your response was informative and you put in a nut shell the whole scope of what you need to understood as far as the hourly fee schedule goes. Of course I understand it’s variable from cat to cat but at least you have shown what you should be looking at by considering the total expenses. I also see your point that to try to find a standard fee would be futile.
Gale’s figures are helpful in all of this as he states in the non cat world they pay between $35 to $55 per hour ( they pay all expenses ) Looking at that compared to us( with the helpful input from people like Jim, Dave and Rdoe who added to this thread) one could draw the conclusion that cat adjusters are a real bargain for the insurance company and a service that will never be replaced. No matter what some bean counters may think. The bean counters that try to sell insurance companies on the idea to just have a contractor create the figures and pay the claim.
I have learned a lot and thank you all for you candor.
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 9:41 am:   

I agree with jim. Not being a multi-line Adjuster, gaining all the Certifications possible, using the right tools of the trade, making yourself available for any scenario of adjusting is detrimental to your career as a Professional Claims Adjuster. I've always wanted to learn all phases of Adjusting. I have spent a couple days at a total loss desk, and have kept current on Auto Adjusting Software. It certainly isnt my first choice, but it gives me another opportunity to work. I think most fee schedules are fair, if you have the volume of work!! We havent had the storms to keep busy enough to make a good year! I truly believe the Carriers will always need Qualified Adjusters. Letting Contractors handle CAT claims will Never work. Time, Quality,and Costs will kill the system when a large event hits. They cant handle the volume! CADO is now and can in the future make a difference in an Adjusters career. It certainly has in mine and Im very thankful for the people that post regularly (even when being ridiculed)to help elevate and educate us to be better Adjusters. THANKS
Kile Anderson (Kileanderson)
Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 9:45 pm:   

Let me see If I can break this down. Say I'm woking on a hail storm. I can inspect and close a claim on a house in about an hour, maybe an hour and a half if you calculate in travel time, phone calls, that kind of stuff. The average fee for hail claims that I've handled run maybe $300 and I get 65% of that. Say $200 for a good round number. Conservatively (the only way to be) that gives me about $133 an hour. I've worked at a daily rate of $625 an day, once again 65% my cut is about $400 at 12 hours a day that's $33.33 an hour. When I worked on the daily rate I was completely in the office so I didn't spend much on gas or cell phone, but still, I'd prefer to work hail claims on a per file basis. So, to give you a fuzzy answer anything between a net of $33.33 and $133/hr would be a good rate.

I know that seems like quit a spread. We all have to figure out how much we need to keep the home fires burning. I know that it takes me about $2000 a month to keep the wolves at bay. More if I would like to take the little lady out once or twice a week. Even more if I ever plan to retire. So, I know that as long as I cover expenses + $2000 a month I'm still in the black. As a rule of thumb I try to keep variable expenses to $100-150 a day. So, as long as I'm making more than $6500 a month, I'm in the black. That's 216.66 a day or $18.05/hour 12 hours a day 7 days a week. I hope these numbers help you. Remember these are used merely for example, your numbers will be different.
Jim Flynt (Jimflynt)
Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 4:32 pm:   

Before anyone could possibly answer this question with any degree of credibility, it would seem to me important to understand the background, training, and certifications earned of a particular adjuster as well as some distinction as to the type of assignment.

As a for instance, the top level EGA's at GAB bill their hourly time at one rate while the regular GA's bill at another rate, and the new staff adjusters at even another rate.

An adjuster handling liability claims might well bill at a rate different than a property adjuster.

And an experienced adjuster handling a large fire loss with business interruption would no doubt be worth more than a one peril 'part timer.'

I have been out on cat assignments and watched with amazement when a cat adjuster refused to handle, preferring to turn back in a theft claim, (which BTW is clearly a 'property loss') by proclaiming that they do not handle non-cat claims. In my own mind, what they were saying is that their property experience is and will remain quite limited and the professional multi-line claims service they offer to a carrier or vendor is all but non-existent. (And what a blight they create for the professional image for all cat adjusters who truly are multi-line claims professionals!)

No one set of 'rules' is ever going to work in any and all circumstances.

The average going rate with independents around the country for true multi-line professional adjusters is in the range of $35.00 to $85.00 per hour and the GA and EGA rates go up from there.

By the way, I agree with Kile (although for slightly different reasons). I really don't see the point of this thread.
Big Money
Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 3:46 pm:   

Thank all for continuing on this thread
Kile Thanks for you imput so may I ask you to do something for me. Tell me what the average fee schedule you would work for in order to keep your head above water. Maybe take a fee schedule that you have worked for and + or - it .
The whole point of this is that us newbies (and sometimes we will work for almost nothing to gain experience) would at least have a standard of what a break-even point is. That way we would not be so eager to undercut someone with more experience as yourself and therefore it would benefit all adjusters alike. Undercut in the sense we will go anywhere with out knowing before we go what and at a moments notice..

Seems like your a good adjuster and have done lots of work and your knowledge of this would help.
I never could figure the vendor in all of this as to his 60/40 % split and what he actually does for all this money as a middleman. The 60/40 split is the same percentage that pimps give their whores. Not really saying anything about this coincidence it sort of makes me feel! Well let’s not go there.

Outside of hourly I know Crawford used to pay transportation to the site years ago and there are other helpful expenses cost cutting items that the vendors helped on. Working Montreal Ice Storm they put up 50 % of interpreters cost which was to say the least helpful as some of those interpreters were dam good.
What ever I think it would be good to at least make it known to all what is average. Don’t ou agree.
Gale Hawkins (Gale)
Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 11:17 am:   

The non-Cat world seems to be billing in the $35 - $50 per hour rate if that helps you any. Kile does make a strong point but I do think having a figure in mind based on your real road cost will help one know if they are making wages or not. From what I hear it seems hard to know what the actual pay will be until after the fact.
Kile Anderson (Kileanderson)
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 6:06 pm:   

I really don't see the point of this thread. I work for a vendor. That vendor negotiates the fee schedule with the carrier. When they call me and tell me where to be, I go there. I'm very pleased with what I get paid. I'm just not pleased with the amount of work. I think what we should all be doing is trying to come up with a way to make it hail every two or three months. That's the only thing that will end this pointless conjecture that we've engaged in for the past several months.
R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 3:57 pm:   

Fair and reasonable to whom?

If the hourly fee schedule is to the Vendor and they are entitled to an agreed percentage of that for their work, then what is the hourly fee schedule to represent.

$80.00 Hr x 60% = $48.00 HR GROSS which equals about 24/30 dollars an hr NET.

Think about what the "Real Costs" are before trying to establish a baseline for an hourly rate.
Consider travel time, travel expenses, vehicle costs, housing, fuel, meals, software, computers, printers, tools, supplies, insurances, and the fact that you are still maintaining the "HOME" that you left to do this.

Many schedules have been examined,proposed and argued for and against. The bottom line is that there is always some one that will work cheaper than others, and there are always those that buy, whom are guided by price, and nothing else.

"The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low pricing"

Sometimes, we get what we pay for. Other times??
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 2:59 pm:   

Good idea so what do you think your worth .
I know if I could I would bill out at 120 per hour
Big Money
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 2:54 pm:   

Time and again we here the term Know before you go! To answer the know part I have started this thread and hopefully with your help for us to figure out and create a fair and reasonable Fee Schedule . With that in hand We all have a better indication of what “Know before you go means”. Has anyone found anything that is fair and reasonable to all parties.
Lets start with what is reasonable and fair in Billing the hour. Is $80 dollars an hour to much or to little?
What is you opinion . Once that is established we can go on to the next part of Creating a Fair and reasonable Fee Schedule

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