, Resources for Adjusters from Adjusters
The Software Maze | Archive Index |

The Adjuster's Forum » General Discussion » The Software Maze « Site Map »
Topics | Home | Current Forum | Jobs, Training and more | Adjuster Roster | Channels | Resources | Contact Us

Author Message
rw morris
Registered User
Username: Rmorris

Post Number: 10
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 8:16 pm:   

The body shops here in California seem to like the digital picture approach. It is cutting down on the supplements, from what I understand. The key is having an adjuter on the company side that understands collision estimates.

It is brutal here trying to break in writing auto appraisals, low pay, big headaches.

The insurance companies like the set up because it cuts out the independent, and lets them put a muzzle on the body shops.

How many times have we seen the direct contractor approach go thud? It happens after they figure out the fox is guarding the hen house.

Some one got the brilliant idea to at least take a look at something before turning on the money faucet.

The independent cat companies only survive based on their relationships with the carriers. It is as cutthroat as some of the vendor on vendor price fixing that goes on.

I think we will see a real need for independents to go directly with the carriers in the near future. The web is going to make this possible. It isn't going to be so hard for insurance companies to do with us as they are currently doing with the body shops.

Upside for independents - no benefits - vacations - cars - lights for an office to supply.

The software maze isn't going to be as important as the information being transfered for an insured. Estimating will just be a part of the big picture.

They still need people to look at it though. I forsee an adjuster being more of an inspector as opposed to adjsuting the claim. They will have us as their eyes, we on the other hand less headaches more anonyimity, and better cash flow.

If this adjuster thing doesn't work out I have to get my survivor audition tape together. I think I will do it in Minneapolis when the humidity makes it abot 130 degrees and shows me on a roof denying a claim. :-)

Tom Toll
Registered User
Username: Tom

Post Number: 83
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 4:38 pm:   

I have not been involved in casualty losses for about twenty years, but I do remember how to write casualty collision estimates. Now, I want to see an adjuster sit behing a computer screen, look at digitals on a 30 MPH frontal impact and prepare an estimate. My opinion, they are going to miss something and probably many things. If an accident occurs as a result of this, get the piggy bank out, cause they gonna git hit hard. If they ever ask me to send digital on a commercial loss, I gonna tell them where to stuff the camera. I will not stick my neck out that far. It will not work. We have to listen to all those many press, one for this, press two for that, and if you want to hear the menu again, press 3. We are ruining our society for lack of human contact and care. They can have it, I won't be a part of digitized telephone adjusting.
Kelley Roberson
Registered User
Username: Kelley

Post Number: 25
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 12:31 am:   

Computers, internet, web services, how wonderful & grand it all is.

Now if we have another Hurrican Andrew, have days & areas without power what good will all of this modern technology be ?

Storms do not know they are not suppose to knock out satilite towers, so we can not depend on that method either at this time.

rw morris
Registered User
Username: Rmorris

Post Number: 9
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 10:52 am:   

Currently in California, Farmers has set up a direct repair system via the web to handle auto losses. The car has to make it to the repair shop. They send digital photos to the examiner - they decide on the price. Goodbye adjuster - hello direct vendor, goodbye adjuster fees for the independent, or a savings by not having to send the staff adjusters out to settle the claim.

What is needed for a software solution for adjusters is:

1. A spreadsheet type of environment
2. A database to retreive pricing
3. File transfer capabilities
4. File compression utility to allow for faster
5. Mini word processor for reports.
6. archive the information

all the above can be done via the web now

Needless to say even the "Enron, World Com' fat cats at the major insurance companies are looking at their choice to go with a program such as Xactware as a major issue to cut costs.

Xactware is trying to get into the file handling business with their xactnet set up. I haven't used it so I can't really throw rocks at it, but I know that AM FAM was paying to have files sent by them. It was about 12$ per file to send a 2 meg file which is a standard report package and 20 photos. This is good business if you are Xactware.

The dinosaurs in the ivory towers of the insurance company just don't understand that there is a new wave of develo[ment going on at a very rapid pace.

Call it what you want, but the insurance companies will wise up and go to a web platform. As for the 2 year plan, I have a sneaky suspicion that there is a company out there right now talking about developing a platform to pipeline their information that is already in their systems, and figure out a way to make the software handling of claims a part of the integration of their insureds.

Other than that I have to go meet a contractor, they don't have virtual robots to handle these darn appointments yet, but I heard Farmers was working on it :-)

Eric Carlson
Registered User
Username: Ecarlson

Post Number: 12
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 10:01 am:   

What RW is saying is basically correct but let me share some info that might shed some light on where software development is going in the near future.

There is definitely a move toward the ASP model right now. Just as a note, ASP can mean two things. It can mean "Active Server Pages" which is a Microsoft technology for dynamic web pages or it can mean "Application Service Provider" which refers to software being hosted on a server and accessed through a web browser. The really confusing thing is that ASP (Active Server Pages) is often used by ASP's (Application Service Providers) to create their "software". How's that for acronym overloading?

Aside from all that, it might sound really great to have the carriers create ASP systems for entering claims. However, just because something is hosted in a browser doesn't mean it isn't "software". You will still have to learn the system just like you would any software. And just think, how would you like to learn a different "software" for each carrier/IA company you worked for? Sound familiar? And another thing to consider is that with an ASP model, the software can change at any time. All they have to do is post a change in one place (their server) and everyone is "forced" to upgrade. It would be great if all of the carriers would agree on one "system" which everyone would only have to learn once but I think any reasonable person can see that that is not going to happen any time soon. Also, the ASP model requires that you have a constant, highly reliable, fast connection to the internet. Surely that will be available to everyone, everywhere, all the time, sometime in the future but I can pretty much guarantee it is going to be longer than two years. That's kind of like my parents telling me we would all be driving rocket cars by the time I was old enough to drive. :-)

And another thing, ASP style "software" is very limited in its user interface. The browser is a great medium for displaying content but when it comes to heavy-duty data entry it is extremely limited compared to desktop development environments such as VB, Delphi, C++, etc.

So yes guys, we will see some ASP systems being put in place but if you trust what I'm saying I think you can see that ASP is not going to be the final solution to "the software maze." It may be an intermediate point but it will have just as many, if not more drawbacks than the standard desktop model has right now.

So is there a “solution”? If you have been listening to any software technology news lately you may have heard about something called Web Services. Microsoft is really pushing this with their .NET initiative but Sun, IBM, and others are offering similar capabilities through their own products. Basically what Web Services do is they allow all the benefits of the ASP model (all data stored and accessible from one place) while still allowing developers to provide the rich user interfaces allowed by developing in a desktop environment such as VB, C#, Delphi, etc. Also, depending on the extent of the development effort, it can allow the software to work in both connected and disconnected modes. And since Web Services are based on XML, any software that is developed using Web Services technology will be one step closer to being able to communicate using an open standard XML data definition. It will still require some cooperation between carriers, IA’s, etc. but once the systems are developed in a Web Services environment, the effort required to make everything fit together will be much smaller so it will start to make more sense from a cost/benefit standpoint.

So basically, if everyone will get on the Web Services/XML band wagon, you may eventually be able to use the system of your choice. Some might choose to enter all of their claims using each carriers “ASP” style systems while others might choose to use a desktop system that links into the carrier’s web service behind the scenes allowing them to use only one interface and take advantage of the richer user interface and greater productivity provided by a desktop environment. I know that sounds very idealistic but the technology exists today, it’s just a matter of getting everyone to see the vision.
Gil C. Newton
Username: Newt

Post Number: 6
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 - 4:45 pm:   

That sounds great, and I think we are going to have a change in digital phones too. Maybe we can use the cell system. Two years and thats going to be the thing .The 56k modem will be outa here.
I put this system together, actually two . I have 1.4 gig ,a 60 gig hard drive and one 40 w/ 1
gig ram and normally I'm hooked into a slow system
14400, today its a barn burner 26400. About the band width of 60 cycle hum.
I just got a HP 950psc all in one,a
card reader/printer/scanner/fax. I was so pleased with it I went out and bought a second one . I dont know if you have tried
the 950 psc or not ,if not look at it. You dont even need the computer to use the card reader to get pictures, use the fax,or scanner.
Any how, I appreciate the come back and good news.
Chuck Deaton
Username: Chuckdeaton

Post Number: 36
Registered: 3-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 - 4:02 pm:   

802.11a or 802.11b, wireless protocols, may be the way files are transferred from Pyles Texaco in Happy, TX to the carrier.
rw morris
Registered User
Username: Rmorris

Post Number: 8
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 - 10:27 am:   

The software maze is going to be simplified in the pretty near future. The insurance industry is going to develop active server web pages which will allow the program to be posted on the internet.

Pretty much the same way as you find a driving route from yahoo.

No disks, pricing changed at the server level. Contact to the adjusters via the web.

The sweetheart deals that xactware has been able to pull off, will go thud soon. Soon in software is 2 years.

The biggest problem from where the cat adjusters sit is, who will pay to print this stuff up and submit it.

I got into the business just as we were forced to go from hand writing to the first dos programs, and am looking forward to the internet taking control of the software situation.

I have used xactware, dds, boekch dos. I have played around with powerclaim, (easiest to use - best pricing in my opinion) and simsol, as well as cms, pc adjuster, and anything else i could tinker with.

The information coming in from insureds will be going to a "pipeline" of sorts. John Q Insured will have his information entered and the rest of the company will share it. The property claim will be treated just the same as the renewal or endorsement of an insureds situation.

A big problem will be the transfer of the file over the internet, you can have the biggest baddest fastest computer, but if you are sending your claims out of the Mugwhump Easy Lodge in barstow, texas and you are sharing your phone line with 100 other adjusters, it can be a problem. They will have to figure out a way to compress the files so that there aren't log jams getting the information accross to where it needs to go.

To quote the great Bob Dylan
"the times they are a changin" :-)
Gil C. Newton
Username: Newt

Post Number: 5
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Monday, July 15, 2002 - 8:24 am:   

The past few weeks I have been reading this forum and gained a lot of insight into the problems I'll have to face up to, meet head on, all I see is a stone wall. I had no idea there were so many programs out there, all different and with their own jargon. All of you guys and dolls that
have the experience with this and get the job done, impresses me. I have taken the Xactimate course only.It is not simple as they say, or maybe its me. I have practiced till its running out my ears and it is still complicated. And as I see the dilima facing me, its got to be done over and over with other programs. I didn't want to jump into the profession giving all my leaders and co-workers a head ache. I like to go in with my head up and no how to use the tools we have.
That is why I drag my feet getting into this and
getting every certification I can. A license has only shown me how dumb I really am. I will be a proffessional though because I'm an "intense old dude". I have never taken on a task that got half baked. One question I have is ,the other programs,
are they available for trial? I noticed most companies have their own software to be used in conjunction with xactimate and others. I do not have a problem with that, the only thing I have had a problem with is deletions. Hit the wrong key and you are back to a blank. This may seem simple to the gurus who write this stuff, but
all us good old boys from the country got problems. I will not knock any thing or any program till I get a handle on the situation and
get the cobwebs off "my" brain. For the fear of sounding too dumb, I have not asked any specific
questions. Mainly because you got to know how to ask a question before you can understand the answer,in my case. I will be in Texas for the
fourth time in three months to attend another class and as usual meet a few experienced people and pick some brains. Of course I'll meet a few pseudo pros too and you can always learn from
them, how not to do things and what not to say.
I will get to know some of you here on the CADO
pages and look forward to it. So far it has been
all positive and some laughs. And no I have no idea who 'Ghostbuster' is if I heard him sing I
might figure out if he is Elvis or had a gender change, that would narrow it down. His signature
dont help, cause he uses mine (X). G'Day

Topics | Home | Current Forum | The Classifieds | Adjuster Roster | Channels | Resources | Contact Us