|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 5:24 pm: |
Uhhhh...so like...where does this leave us? After five years of doing their dirty work, what about us?
Will this old dog have to learn new tricks? Or, should we just go out and get a gov'mint job with the free health plan and regular naps?
Am I panicing too early and causing a stampede to truck driving school?
|R.D. Hood (Dave)
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 5:00 pm: |
Jim has a valid point, and the fact is, that many of us do have other incomes, other ways of producing income, be it in estimating, sales work, consulting, part time work, etc.
This is the way of the world in today's market, and if there were not "other means" available, may I sugqest that this entire profession would have passed away several years ago.
The basis of the original post, (copied from 11/2000 article) was to try and explain the climate of the industry, and where IMHO , it is going.
It was revealed to me today that the entire "Big Red" Natcat team is history, including supervision staff. Where are these 1200 +/- adjusters going to find work? (NOT CONFIRMED)
|Jim Flynt (Jimflynt)
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 4:42 pm: |
Dave how about IN BETWEEN as a 3rd choice?
Many adjusters have other sources of outside income and do not necessarily rely on cat adjusting as their primary source of income, choosing instead to work only for those assignments where the big bucks are being paid.
I know many cat adjusters with excellent incomes through military or former career pensions, retirement plans, prudent investments, or active businesses or employment from which they can easily take the occasional and regular 'sabbatical' to go work cat.
They are the ones who will always be around and survive even the roughest toughest of times in this crazy business of ours!
It's not about how much you earn. It's about how much you manage to save and invest and have for those rainy days which come for us all.
|John Durham (Johnd)
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 1:58 pm: |
While I agree with Dave (R.D.'s) post above, I also think the ENTIRE CADO readership should read, copy, print, and keep on their desk, the post from Tom Joyce, as this has hit the nail on the head.
I have turned down two assignments since Dec 1st due to poor (bad) schedule(s). Unfortunately, each of these assignments was filled by another "cat adjuster" who really needed the money. As long as some are willing to work for what ever they can get, then this problem will not "go away."
|alan jackson (Ajackson)
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 1:26 pm: |
It will take another (ANDREW) OR (NORTHRIDGE) before the carriers wake up and smell the roses. They will be asking for CADO certified cat adjusters. We need to get ready now. The Texas Mold crisis has got these guys thinking.
|Tom Joyce (Tomj)
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 12:18 pm: |
Excellant post Dave.
As long as there are individuals out in the field willing to take whatever is offered this issue will not be resolved.
It has been ongoing for several years and sorry to say I see no resolution in site unless attitudes change.
It is sorry to say that when a highly experienced adjuster with training and education, extensive field experience is expected to work for 30k-35k a year. Might as well drive truck.
|Clayton Carr (Clayton)
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 11:44 am: |
Dave, you have made an exceptional and articulate statement of the sad state of affairs we find ourselves in. Unfortunately, it will deteriorate further if we do not respond with tangible steps to your call.
I agree fully with everything you have said. We must change our image, we must refocus or redefine our niche and role within it, we must become a professional organization and create our own professional standards; we must speak as a collective group of professionals.
I'm in. I only wish I knew how to help create the force necessary to stop the 'wheel spinning', or the denial, or the apathy; before our current decline in usage (not solely related to weather)falls to a level from which rebirth as a meaningful, reliable, and value added product - would be redundant.
|R.D. Hood (Dave)
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 11:17 am: |
Part 2 of 2 (November 2000)
It would seem that we, as the talented people that we are, should
have some say in what is going on. However, there is no voice in
the matter from our side. The pricing has deteriorated to levels
that are for the most part totally unacceptable for the work
required. The investment in our equipment, time and out expenses
many times do not equal or income. This is BAD business practice.
Certainly, any IA or carrier would not consider the continuation of a
segment of their company that did not produce a profit, why do we?
The answers lie within us. We may have to refuse any assignment
that is not profitable. We may have to "flip burgers", or do
whatever, for a period of time. But one thing is certain; we cannot
sustain ourselves by loosing money.
CADO, (Catadjuster Dot Org) is the only national point of
contact that we have. It is there that we may have to start
exploring the opportunities that become open to us.
If the vendors, carriers and others will use the classified section
of the web site to post their requirements, and we can respond
positively to them, this may open some doors for a few.
We also must consider the continuing education of the associates in
our trade. There have been many commentaries of the "poor work
product" that has been viewed by some of the examiners. This is
one deadly way to eliminate the necessity of the "Cat Adjuster".
We have to have a consistent and acceptable work product. This is
difficult, in some cases, when the employer requires items that are
beyond our purview. However, the golden rule is applicable, "The
guy with the Gold, makes the rules"
All of this is subject to immediate change, with the advent of a
large catastrophe. If we were to have another "Andrew" or
"Northridge" size occurrence all of the stops will be pulled. Anyone
that can even spell "adjerster" would be employed.
We all watch the Adjuster Channel on the tube (A/K/A weather).
We all have the adrenalin rush when those forecasters even
suggest that we will get HIT.
We are a family, we have our homes our family and responsibilities,
but we also have our road families. The ones we associate with,
time after time, the ones that can see the burnout in us before we
can, the ones that listen, joke, assist, ruminate, and even laugh with
us occasionally. We should treat each other with the respect and
admiration that we have earned. There are too many that live in
glass houses tand throw stones, and one day those walls will crash
upon them. Lets resolve to be a true road family, to keep in
contact, to advise, to assist, to educate and yes, to laugh and to cry
There are no easy answers to the problems we face, as there are
no easy answers to the problems of the world. BUT, if we do not
resolve to band together for the common good, we will surely fail.
As Robert Goizueta the former CEO of Coca-Cola said:
" NOT TAKING ACTION IS NOT A RISK FREE
REMEMBER, IF YOU TAKE RISKS YOU MAY FAIL.
IF YOU DO NOT TAKE RISKS YOU WILL SURELY FAIL
THE GREATEST RISK OF ALL, IS TO DO NOTHING."
Best wishes to all and "Godspeed" to whatever destination you
|R.D. Hood (Dave)
|Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 11:11 am: |
Part 1 of 2 (November 2000) No changes to original.
CADO 2000: Where it's
beneficial to belong.
After many years of working in this
profession it has become
increasingly apparent that the
issues we face each and every day,
1) The days of the outside adjuster
were doomed in the 70's due to the gasoline crunch. All of the
lesser claims were done "in house" by the desk adjusters. How
they could see thru the telephone and properly settle the
losses is still a mystery. And there are few that can
remember those days.
2) Then came the advent of the "temporary adjuster", who was
hired on a daily rate to accomplish the overflow of claims in any
situation. These were the first "Cat Adjusters".
3) This then evolved, into a niche market, that led to the creation
of sub contractor vendors who supplied the adjusters to the
carriers, the adjusters working for a percentage of the file fees.
This was the birth of the Catastrophe Adjusting Profession.
4) These vendors solicited both the carriers, who realized the
need for the additional temporary staff; and also solicited the
Independent Adjusters and shared the fee schedules and /or daily
rates with them.
5) Some of the largest Catastrophe Adjuster Vendors are older
adjusting firms that have added this service to their normal daily
work. Others have set up a totally separate division to accomplish
this, and yet others have formed for the explicit purpose of
working only in a "Catastrophe".
6) NO ONE to date has had the best interests of the Cat
adjuster as their driving force; they have instead been
motivated by the monetary gains that inure to themselves and the
growth of their entities. True, there are some that treat us
better than others. But there are also those that have no respect
7) Now we are faced with another deli mea. The carriers are
mostly run by what are commonly referred to as the "bean
counters". This simply means that unless the divisions within a
company produce an acceptable profit point they are not needed.
The almighty dollar motivates business. And, it motivates the
insurance business, from the carrier head office, to the agents
that sell, to the managerial staff, and to the adjusters, inside and
8) With this fact we see the merger and acquisition people lining up
for the takeovers. Several major players have been eliminated, Vis
a Vis, a merger. There are more in the works, and we have no
concept of the outcome. One of the latest was Allstate purchasing
CNA (now named "Encompass")
9) Our future as a profession is teetering on the brink of
elimination. Only the total cooperation of every catastrophe
adjuster, regardless of his or her experience, will stem the tide,
which is moving toward us.
10) The carrier mergers will lead to the dismissal of their current
employees. They will have to find work. They may be welcomed into
our ranks, IF there is enough work for them to survive.
11) Several avenues are open to us. First, we must agree to agree
or to disagree. Second, we have to have some kind of
representation to the carriers and the vendor companies. We must
police ourselves, in order that we can guarantee to the employers
that we are what we say we are. Professionals.
12) WE have to have training, certification, work product, and
skills that are acceptable to those that choose to avail
themselves of our services.
13) The goals are simple: BE ALL WE CAN BE, AND MAKE IT
The emergence of claim handling technology:
We, as an industry, are familiar with the advent of the latest
technological advancements. We know of the use of the WWW
(World Wide Web) or Internet for the exchange of assignments,
files, reports, photographs and now DIGITAL SIGNATURES.
(Approved and signed into law on 10/1/00)
What we do not know is WHY, these items are so slow to come to
the fore. Several insurance companies, and a few vendors have
adopted this technology and have implemented it. They are the
groundbreakers and will surely be the ones to catch up to when the
floodgates are opened.
One scenario for the reluctance to change has been pointed out
previously. Those in command are extremely deterred by
1) Those that are in command are there because they have control
of the situation.
2) Change will allow their position to be challenged.
3) The implementation of change, (probably to the benefit of their
companies) will adversely affect their position of power.
4) ERGO, do not consider any changes that will have an effect on
their present position.
Mr. Scott Godin in "Fast Company" stated it thusly:
" Competent people resist change, Why? Because change threatens
to make them less competent.
That's who they are, and sometimes that's all they've got.
NO wonder they are not in a hurry to rock the boat."
There are many other schools of thought along these lines, but the
above seems appropriate for most of the staid companies that we
are involved with.
These changes are sorely needed for we, as a profession, to make
the maximum use of our time and talents, and to increase our
income. We have expended the funds to equip ourselves with the
items required, have invested many hours in the learning,
experimenting and implementing of these articles and yet, with a
very few exceptions, have we been able to use them.
The sad year of employment that we have endured, has taken a
serious toll, of the qualified adjusters. Many have taken staff
positions with carriers or local IA's and many more are inclined to
do the same.
We are at a crossroads. Each of us must choose a path for our own
survival. If that means dropping out of the "Catastrophe" sector of
out trade, or taking a staff position, or changing occupations to
make the ends meet then that is our choice.