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Registered User
Username: Jimlakes

Post Number: 61
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 9:33 am:   

To All and Scott,

Scott, I was glad to see you post here on the CADO forum about your product and the fact that you cleared up the NACA issue. I post here often and get blasted by some. I just consider the source and continue to work with the “good” Cat adjusters that appreciates someone that treats them like the good people that the major majority of them are.

Contrary to many beliefs, Cat adjusters are “smarter than the average bear” and can read between the lines.

The one thing that you did not address is the one-month or three-month issue. Since you stated you would not respond to any remarks from your post, I will, since I had talked to Mr. Street from your office prior to your post. He cleared up this issue.

His words not mine:
“IF AN INDEPENDENT ADJUSTER IS WORKING FOR OR WITH A VENDOR THAT USES MSB-DDS, THEY CAN BUY THE PROGRAM FOR ONE MONTH, not just Pilot.” If they are not working with or for a vendor that uses MSB-DDS then they must purchase it for a minimum of three months.

I am sure this is how it has been for some time. If someone attempts this and has any problem, they can call Mr. Street, toll free at: 888.337.9665 Ext 145. He will address any problems that you may have with this issue.

Now can we move on to more important issues of our existence?

It is now snowing in Chicago and we are supposed to get up to 12” of snow with a possible ice storm later this evening. Here’s hoping!!!

Jim Lakes, RPA
National Catastrophe Director
RAC Adjustments, Inc.
Username: Gale

Post Number: 166
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 10:48 pm:   

Scott it was good to hear you are still in the trenches because after Ron left there was no word coming out of MS&B. Try to overlook the noises some make. This thread did kind of get off track when MS&B did not reply to the concerns of a few users. If you could have had someone reply from MS&B as to where you do or do not offer IntegriClaim by the month or only by the quarter then the tread would have been shorter perhaps.

From my understanding over the past few days it seems that MS&B offers IntegriClaim by the month only to adjusters working for Pilot and the rest are required to go the quarterly route.

I did leave a voice mail for your CEO some time back but he did not return my call. I just wanted to welcome him to the world of selling adjusting software to adjusters. From my understanding it seemed that MS really only supplied adjusting software, AccuPro (sp) to the less demanding carrier market before Boston Ventures became involved.

Thanks again for your one time post and see if you can have someone from your PR department settle the initial concern so you are not drawing attention to any changes in progress. You and I know dealing with IA’s and especially CAT adjusters is not any where as profitable as selling to the carriers or I would have never talked about you coming to work for me several years ago. What MS&B may not know is sometime the “skunks” may provide the services that make the more profitable part of one’s business possible (assuming you read my skunk story).

Scott I have never been called at midnight or on Sunday morning to be cursed at by a staff adjuster because they were doing something besides claims at that time of the day. IA/CAT adjusters go around the clock and some know how to curse especially if they are stressed out over technology. It is not that the staff adjusters are like slow minded or anything but generally they just do not give the detailed input needed to drive Excellency. My theory is it they have been trained by the Boeckh and Xactimate types that no fast solutions were coming from their input so they just stopped giving it. IA’s expect results or they are looking for a new vendor as you are aware of I am sure.

Before I loose you I will go. Get your chin up so you can see where you are going. If you are in a place that is grinding you down then get out. Everyone on CADO would like to see the “old” Scott back posting. The industry needs the “old” Scott. You are a fine man.

If you do not have a dream than find someone that does and follow that person. There are few dreams out there but most all dreams out there require a lot of dedicated men and women to make the dreamer’s dream become reality. You have done it before and you can do it again. If you are riding a horse and it dies you get off don’t you? Well you do the same with dreams Scott.
Registered User
Username: Digitalsaw

Post Number: 15
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 3:42 pm:   

To All,

I write this post in a hesitant manner simply because playing the 'message-posting' game on this site is a 'No-Win' proposition. I have not posted on this site to respond to attacks on my company (DDS now MS/B) for the past year and a half because it quickly denegrates into an discussion full of suppositions, wrong conclusions, and unprofessionalism. I have rather choosen to let my clients speak for themselves, either good or bad, and urge them to call me if they wish to tell me how much they like MS/B or if they have a complaint.

I also realize we will all probably see a rebuttal posting from one of our competitors about what I am about to write. Let me ask up front that nobody hold their breath waiting for my response. It will not be forthcoming. If you want ask questions about the company or have complaints of any kind don't ask them here, call me at MS/B and we will deal with them as professionals. I will be glad to speak with you.

Regarding NACA...MS/B did hold an advanced class on IntegriClaim and it was well attended. Thanks for coming Jim Lakes and the rest of you who attended. You got to work with Shorty, a great guy and a wonderful trainer. We did not have a booth at NACA this year and I apologize if it inconvenienced anybody or if certain people read into our not being at NACA as the beginning of the end for our company and our software. I remember this past year a few conventions MS/B attended that certain other vendors did not. There were scheduling issues and other reasons we could not have a booth there this year but in no way does it mean we are ignoring the independent adjuster portion of our users.

I find it a very interesting fact the individual who has made the biggest issue about our absence at NACA was one of our competitors. The same competitor who continues to exhibit unprofessional behavior by stating untruths about MS/B and trying to sway the surfers of this site towards his product. Fortunately, for MS/B, we have quality, professional individuals such as Tom Toll who take the time state facts rather than fiction.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this post. I will not be making any further responses to this thread but if anyone wishes to speak with me personally they can call me at the main MS/B, Texas office (leave me a message if I am not in). I will be happy to answer your questions or just to chat and get caught up on things.

Thanks folks. Here's to a good storm year.

Scott Wiens
Claims Consultant
MS/B - Texas
Registered User
Username: Tom

Post Number: 70
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Monday, January 28, 2002 - 2:55 pm:   

I have been using MS/B now for over five (5) years, have never had a failure or computer glitch. I have used most of all the programs and most were excellent. Exactimate failed several times and upon calling for a fix by their technicians, was informed to re-install the program. That was a while ago though, they may have the ability to help now.

I have not seen or heard other vendors of adjuster software saying negative things about MS/B, other than Hawkins Research. I would be concerned about purchasing software from a vendor that has negative output about their competition. I am not married to MS/B and would change to Simsol in a country minute is MS/B quits servicing the independent adjuster. Simsol, in my opinion, has an excellent program also.

I have had too many compliments about the reports and the way the estimate is laid out from MS/B. A number of independent adjusters and Companies have called me to find out how to get the program from MS/B, as they were very impressed by what they had received from us. My wife and I are a team and she tells me that I would be in trouble if I changed to another program. Hey, I have been at this 41 years and married to a very intelligent and caring lady. I would not ever consider doing that without discussing it with Janice.

I am a little concerned that no upgrades have been forthcoming from MS/B, but they may not have had time to put all their apples in the correct cart. I like Simsol's commercial database moreso that MS/B, but MS/B is to have their commercial database upgraded soon. I and many other G.A.'s look forward to that upgrade ASAP.

Registered User
Username: Gale

Post Number: 163
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Monday, January 28, 2002 - 1:09 am:   

Jim that is good news to hear MS&B has listened to the CAT adjusters and is now once again offering the monthly deal to any and all adjusters. As you can read below when they were forcing some to renew for a quarter it was bad for their name especially since having recently lost a couple well-known CAT firms to Xactimate.

MS&B was a no show at the NACA 2002 vendor show just held in Phoenix but Xactimate was there saying they were now focusing on meeting the CAT adjusters needs better than before. Perhaps having firms like Crawford and Pace Setters getting behind Xactimate and leaving MS&B is part of the reason Xactimate is starting to focus on the CAT world. I did see in the program that someone was to hold a MS&B training class and I gathered by your post a good size group took the opportunity to get additional help to get up to speed on their current version. Jim I did learn that your firm plans to stick with MS&B for the near future. Have a safe and busy year.
Registered User
Username: Jimlakes

Post Number: 58
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 6:58 pm:   

To All,

I would like to state a couple of facts.

One, you can buy MSB by the month. However, it is more expensive that way. If you purchase it by the quarter, there is a considerable savings.

Two, MSB, WAS at the NACA conference last week. If they weren’t then there was about 30-40 people that sat through their advanced training class from 6PM to 10PM one evening and was trained by a ghost, me included. No pun intended GhostBuster.

Just the facts. No BS.

Jim Lakes, RPA
National Catastrophe Director
RAC Adjustments, Inc.
Roy Cupps (Admin)
Username: Admin

Post Number: 71
Registered: 1-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 11:45 pm:   

Test number three of forum updated. All test post will be deleted.

(Message edited by admin on January 24, 2002)
Kelley Roberson (Kelley)
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 9:50 am:   

I would like to take the time to thank Gale Hawkins @ PowerClaim for the offer that has been put forth.

I guess one of the things that angered me with MS&B was the way they have handled the way they will be billing. As far as I know there was no notice sent to the adjuster who in fact pays for the service. I have yet to date have once claims company who has reembersed me for the money I put out for my claims program. Secondly when I called to have MS&B turned on THEIR staff member has what time frame I wanted it turned on for, "one month" was the choice I made but they openly charged me for 3 months, CC company says this is highly illegal.

I spoke with Kevin at MS&B yesterday morning early & her stated he would get the additional 2 mths billed for charged back to my cc immediatley. If MS&B had carried that action out I would of seen a credit last night on my cc but it was not posted. MS&B onoly takes a few minutes in billling your cc but they do not give the same return service.

This type of action shakes my professionalism & makes me say things in a non professional manner. " It just really gets my goat when dealing with BIG companies & I get introuduce to the "chicken sh#% side." Guess it is a fact gang, MS&B HAS become one of "THOSE BIG COMPANIES", such a shame.

MS&B just returned my call, they state they have made allownace for a credit back to my CC but it just takes longer for them to show up.

One of my all times favorites saying
"Corporations have no hearts nor souls therefor they can not care" AS feared by so many of us when Ron P left DDS the heart of DDS left with him.
Gale Hawkins (Gale)
Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 12:45 am:   

Guys and Gals I know what Wray is saying is a fact because we all hear the same story. The Open Standard will not solve your problem tomorrow or the next day and it will be more like 3 years before a lot of the carriers are requiring the XML Open Standard instead of a “brand” of software on CAT losses. We and other vendors are moving the industry in that direction. Now that we have outlasted some that were predicting our failure years ago I think many of you believe if it can be done we will die trying to make the evolving Open Standard a fact of life because it will save the carriers millions each year.

Here is an article clip of an article that just came about 1 hour ago from “Virtual Insurance News”:
“Improvement in underwriting alone, however, will not close the performance gap in an industry where return on equity has been very low over the past five years. Cost performance must be addressed, and our experience with P&C insurance clients shows that transforming the claims process, for instance, could generate cost efficiencies from 12 to 25 percent,” said Stefan Spohr, a principal with A.T. Kearney. “Extrapolating savings of 12 percent to the overall industry claims cost would shave 10 points off the U.S. P&C sector’s projected combined ratio of 120 in 2001.”

I am aware that you are dictated as to what software you can use with some firms but I will give each of you a free quarter of PowerClaim ($149 value) if you can use it or just want it and will get it set up by Feb. 1. PowerClaim is the standard software at few CAT firms. Just email me your street address, phone number and I will UPS a copy to you. If you have a friend in need I will include an extra CD. PowerClaim does NOT lock you out after the 90 days is up so later you can get to and print any claim that you created while PowerClaim was active. You just can’t edit or start a new file. There are about 15 free video training clips that run from the PowerClaim CD but you do not need the CD just to use PowerClaim after it is once installed.

Again in know this offer is meaningless to many of you today but the day is coming where claims software solutions built around a common standard for inputting and outputting of claims data will rule. The carriers will get behind the concept and the remaining players will play or pay.

Click on my name and email me your full name, street address (we do not mail because we can not track it) and phone/fax number. You will be called to confirm the email info and get a verbal commitment that you call and get authorized for you free 90 days before 1 Feb. If you just are kind of interested just go to and down load it and call or email us with the Site Code and we will generate your Site Key based on that number. There is training material on our site. Just call us with any questions. I hope this is of value to a few.
Wray Decker
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 10:26 pm:   

I have been asked to change software 5 times in the last 3 years.Hell it's like driving a rental car,after a few days you figure out where the light switch is located.This just seems to be part of our profession,but it is a pain in the butt.Add space to the old laptop and get ready to learn a new software program at the next storm.Good luck.
Gale Hawkins (Gale)
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 8:58 pm:   

Thanks for the emails confirming this as factual. That might explain why MS&B were a no-show at NACA last week. Their logic is not hard to follow because in other businesses that Boston Ventures have taken control of they may have loped off the apparently pain in the butt portions of businesses that were perhaps a cost center. This is one school of thought.

Personally I can’t see how an adjusting software firm can possibly stay current without the input of the IA’s. Yes, working with IA’s may not be very profitable and at times seem like a pain in the butt but they are the ones that drive excellence in adjusting software, just look at Simsol.

We have recently picked up a couple carriers that were on MS&B and are working with others current. Yes we are happy of our recent efforts into the carrier market and very proud of them but staff adjusters have been train indirectly not to complain because they know they are going to use what ever they are given.

IA’s are more demanding by nature. First of all they pull the cash out of their own pockets and second they have many bosses to try to make happy so they expect their software to make them to look good.

As Kelley corrected pointed out it is the IA’s that sell most of the software to this day. Two very nice size carriers that have just agreed to review PowerClaim are doing so because of an IA adjusting firm that has been on PowerClaim for a couple of years after first preferring DDS has made a strong case on our behalf. The adjusting firm knows we are not perfect but that we will bend over backwards to make things happen that makes them more money.

This reminds me of a true story. There was this fishing lodge on a lake that was really popular but from time to time a skunk that lived around the lake would spray a fisherman. Well the owner’s teenaged boy’s decided to declare open season on the stinkers that were a nuisance to the fishermen. They and their friends killed out the skunks with their .22 rifles and were quite proud because the fishermen stopped complaining.

Early next summer all was cool at the fishing lodge but then business started dropping off and soon they stopped coming at all. New fishermen would come and leave after a few hours.

As it turned out the skunks were eating most of the turtle eggs so in time the turtles took over the lake so all the fishermen were catching were turtles. The owner had to close the fishing lodge.

The lesson I got from my science teacher that told the story 35 years ago was that if one does not put up with the stinkers that seem only to be a nuisance then you may have to close your doors in a year or two. :(

Since this forum may be going into retirement to make way for newer technology I will go ahead and be a low-life opportunist. :) PowerClaim is $479 per year, $149 per quarter and $59 per month before any volume discounts and is preferred over MS&B by some carriers. Yes, I have the proof.
Gale Hawkins (Gale)
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 5:35 pm:   

Kelley did MS&B really drop the monthly option or did the sales rep just enter it wrong?
Kelley Roberson (Kelley)
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 1:56 pm:   

I guess there are many of you indep. adj. out there who have received the same shock as I. After using, promoiting & pushing DDS to claims firms, MS-DDS has finally showed their appreciation to all of us indep. If you think the new fees are not bad enough in order to use MS-DDS you also have to pay for 3 months use. This is a killer to the indep. especially doing flood claims hold-back releases. We receive no compenstation from the claims company for doing the holdbacks or supplements & now we are getting hit really hard by MS-DDS. It seems as if MS-DDS is loosing hold with some of the claims companies also. Pacesetters contract with American Family will not allow DDS, VALCO-USA will no longer accept MS-DDS used on new claims. It sure is hard to be independent when you are being hit from both sides. I am really disappointed with MS-DDS attitude, they are attempting to push the three month requirment back on the claims companies. After talking with the cliams companies it is my understanding this was a demand from MS-DDS, the claims companies had no options on the time requirment if they wanted to use MS-DDS.
One other point, MS-DDS does not bother to infor us that we were being billed 370.22 for 3 months. I called to have MS-DDS activated, was asked by service rep for how long, one month was the request. I was shocked to find out this morning while reviewing my CC statement that I was "automatically" billed for 3 months. Needless to say I am having a very interesting
conversation with my CC company & MS-DDS
MS-DDS wants loyalty but have already forgottong that we as indep. adj. supported, promoted, belived in & stood behind them to helped them to get them where they are at. I told a company two weeks ago that I would no longer being doing cliams for their service if they would not accept MS-DDS since I did not care for the program they wwere demanding. I stil prefer MS-DDS progam but I will be looking at other more cost affordable progams. As an indep. I can not afford to have DDS turned on when there are no claims coming in especiallly at the price so I will be looking for a company that is still Indep. Adj. freindly. I need recommendations from other Indep. Adj.

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