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Ghostbuster (Ghostbuster)
Posted on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 9:40 am:   

Small cat companies cropping up??? Why is that and what effect will it have???

Looks to me that the DRP or approved shop programs are now producing the foul fruit of desperation! Since the small fry are now forced out of local work, they will flood the market with the usual, nasty tricks of price cutting, marketing stunts, and, (of course), abuse of the individual adjuster. Gee, what a great time to be a storm trooper! But, we should not be offended or surprised. It is an all-American tradition to degrade to the basest level, just look at how television has debased itself in the past years.
Roy Cupps (Admin)
Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 4:22 pm:   

Tom, There is a rating system here on CADO, we will be expanding it to include specific categories, i.e. pay and payment practices. If you would like to try the current rating system Click Here
Tom Anderson Survived Hazel
Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 4:00 pm:   

In these days of free speach including publication,the first ammendment, why cant we initiate a system of rating vendors based on individually posted experiences of the adjuster.
There are so many small cat companies cropping up,
some who have limited capital and who represent
small companies, who we as adjusters have no way to check out. I have found with two or three companies recently, it never happened before, that if you leave town without your pay, forget it unless you go back for it. Then the excuse is a bookkeeping proplem and they will pay off. But why the hassell?
TJ Wagner
Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 9:45 am:   

Jim: Your words ring true not only on the cat adjuster side but on the insurance side as well. Too often I have worked with good cat adjusters on site only to have insurance company examiners and staff criticize and degrade their work because of either personal reasons or self-promotion. Not only that, when asked for proof to substantiate the criticism none is provided. In this business your reputation is everything and for either side to intentionally defame or slander each other without verification or proof is bad for the industry as a whole. We do need to work together and deal with the facts, not inuendo and rumor.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 8:32 am:   

I received the following email from George Barton which I now share with our CADO readers. I have formed my own opinion and you should read this and form your own:
Subj: (no subject)
Date: 5/30/00 9:53:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: Gebrac

I talked with the adjuster today and gave him the info to contact you in regards to the matter in discussion. I will not give out his name without his concent. I am sure you can respect this. I will be in touch.

Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 7:45 pm:   

Stay tuned Paul, stay tuned.

By the way George, I am still waiting on your email!
Paul Bagnato
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 2:19 pm:   

Being preevy to certain information, I too would like to know the rest of the story line.
Paulie B.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 2:58 am:   

George, we just KNEW someone was going to say, that it was South Carolina and not North Carolina.

Therefore we took the EXTRA step of checking with the Insurance Commissioner's Office for South Carolina and Guess What? There is no such company which has been fined in South Carolina by the DOI for the violations alleged there either.

I will say it again, this rumor is not only NOT TRUE with regards to this vendor, IT IS NOT TRUE ABOUT ANY VENDOR.

Now does someone want to tell me it was Georgia? Or Iowa? Or Nebraska?

George, why don't you send me an email and tell me the name of this former staff adjuster who told you this? He has no business being in THIS business!

I look forward to hearing from you George with the name of this former staff adjuster. I promise to let the CADO readers hear the rest of this story!
George Barton
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 2:16 am:   

I also heard about this company that was fined in South Carolina and not North Carolina. An adjuster had called me that was working with this firm as a staff adjuster told me that he was going to quit when he found out more information. He is now working in Chicago as a cat adjuster and has quit the firm in South Carolina.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2000 - 11:04 pm:   

Today I received several emails from adjusters, some of whom I know quite well and respect greatly, who suggest to me that there is a role which the CADO Boards and Forum should serve in identifying dishonest vendors who cheat adjusters out of their pay or holdbacks. I COULD NOT AGREE WITH THEM MORE.

The purpose and intent of the earliest post under this thread, was to warn against those who would KNOWINGLY LIE and FABRICATE UNTRUTHS to victimize, harm, and hurt an adjusting firm. The instant situation which I was talking about was a situation where the person espousing the rumors and initiating them knew they were not true.

That is quite different from pointing out the truth about a dishonest vendor. I receive enough email from various adjusters describing the "bad guys" that I feel fairly certain there is truth in what I am seeing in those emails. The "old timers" in this trade no doubt have mostly all heard the same stories, and pretty much know who the bad guys are.

The question is how do we identify and disseminate valid information about those vendors who would and do defraud adjusters? I am not sure that I have the answer, but it is a legitimate question, and one that deserves the attention and comments from all of our readers.

All I ask is that we continue to be vigilant in checking out the facts before we spread rumors and email which hold no truth and are potentially very harmful to vendors, adjusters and carriers.
Horace Smith
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2000 - 9:02 am:   

Most adjusting companies now treat cat adjusters on assignment as employees and furish workers comp, withhold taxes, etc. Under such an arrangement it is quite unethical for the adjuster to be simultaneously working for another entity.

Yet, other adjusting firms, especailly smaller ones, still elect to treat cat adjusters as independent contractors. As we know, our friends at IRS have some guidelines they use to validate
an "IC" relationship. Things like who furnishes the tools of the trade and whether the "IC" is free to schedule the work.

One important area they look at is whether the "IC" is free to accept work from other sources while performing tasks for the first entity. Under these circumstances it is helpful to both the principal and the "IC" if the "IC" can indeed accept other work.
R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Sunday, May 28, 2000 - 5:48 pm:   

You are correct in that the rumors and pseudo-informative e-mail are worth a much closer look.

Recently, the web was flooded with the TAX on e-mail amendment that many of us were taken in by and spent time and effort to write our representatives, although it was proven to be untrue, the awaking of the issues did prompt some of the officials to respond favorably and hopefully curb any future tax on the web.

I cannot agree more, with your statements. The "rumor mill" in this trade is sometimes so off the wall, it belies belief.

When the truth be known, those that incept these will be the ones that suffer the most.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Sunday, May 28, 2000 - 3:32 pm:   

Just to give everyone an example of uncovering the facts, I want to share the following story which I shared last evening.

Not too long ago, an "adjuster" posted to this Forum complaining to high heavens that they were not paid by several vendors. They then proceeded to initiate name calling designed to call into question the integrity of these vendors. And, perhaps to try and publicly shame a vendor into sending them a check.

When the "truth" was finally uncovered, a completely different story began to emerge.

Now here is what really happened. This particular "adjuster" accepted a per diem assignment with one carrier on a hurricane last year. This "adjuster" then proceeded to go out and accept claims to handle with two other firms (simultaneously without the knowledge of each of the others). When this was uncovered, all 3 companies refused to pay this "adjuster" as in my opinion, rightfully they should have. I am told by some of the parties at interest, that the work product of this particular "adjuster" was anything but professional, and to say lacking would be an understatement.

We as readers of the CADO Forum need at times to retain a healthy amount of skepticism at some of the outrageous claims and boasts sometimes made here.

There is after all, sometimes another side to the story.

We have the same moral and ethical responsibility to report unscrupulous adjusters as we do unscrupulous vendors. We should seek the same quick removal from this industry of dishonest adjusters as we do dishonest vendors.

I thought perhaps you might enjoy hearing, "the rest of the story."

And remember. "If you are not connected to CADO, then you are not connected to cat adjusting."
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Sunday, May 28, 2000 - 2:52 pm:   

A few days ago, I received an email from someone warning me about the “latest human virus” called the "Klingerman" virus, which supposedly has now killed 24 people. The email went on to quote the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) saying this could become an epidemic which could kill millions. Supposedly, some party who sends it out to unsuspecting victims in blue envelopes spreads this virus. The only problem is: this was a complete and total fabrication, or LIE if you will. I took the time to call the CDC personally just to hear what they had to say, and in fact was informed that they had never heard of it, nor did they have anyone working for the CDC such as was named in the email warning.

I am sure many of you have also seen the email, which advises you to forward on copies to others, in exchange for which Bill Gates is going to send you a rather large check for free.

These types of emails and warnings are what are known as “urban myths.” In fact, there is a website on the Internet that deals specifically with these outrageous myths and lies. While these types of email are harmless in a sense and annoying, others are not so harmless or benign.

I post here today out of concern for rumors, lies, misrepresentations, fallacies and innuendoes which have recently surfaced on the Internet regarding one of the better vendors serving our industry and we as adjusters. I wanted to clear up the record while explaining why we must all take an active part in trying to stop such malicious, reckless, and intentionally harmful behavior.

Roy, Dave and I receive a lot of email with a lot of information regarding various and sundry adjusting topics. I am sure many of you receive these kinds of emails as well. Some of this mail is positive and some of it is negative. Some of it is true and some of it so patently false as to strain the credulity of any reasonable thinking person.

In the past few days, an email has circulated, and I have heard some of the same information now verbalized, which suggests that a particular adjusting company was fined $2.5 Million Dollars by the Insurance Commissioner in North Carolina for using unlicensed adjusters last year during Hurricane Floyd. Supposedly, the fine was set at $1,000 and then in later emails, $2,500 for each of 1,000 files, which were supposedly handled by an unlicensed adjuster working for this firm. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

I checked with NCDOI Commissioner Jim Long’s office on Friday, and in fact, NO ADJUSTING COMPANY HAS BEEN FINED SUCH SUMS FOR USING UNLICENSED ADJUSTERS in North Carolina. Not only is the rumor being spread false about this company, IT IS FALSE ABOUT ANY COMPANY.

I was particularly put out with this rumor, because it implies that North Carolina, which happens to be my home state, is difficult to work with and work in without a license. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, NC allows out of state non-residents to work during a catastrophe with a minimum of paperwork requirements.

At my request, this vendor went back and researched their database and informs me that in the past 4 years they have only handled 44 claims total in North Carolina, and during Hurricane Floyd they had a licensed NC adjuster handle 24 claims within NC. Hardly the 1,000 claims which were proposed to be at some violation of law.

A quick check by ANYONE with the North Carolina Department of Insurance would have put this rumor to bed rather quickly. In fact, the NCDOI website has press releases for those who would seek the truth in these matters where they publish information on agent, carrier, and adjuster violations and a quick check back through the 1999 and 2000 Press Releases would indicate the absurdity of such allegations. The NCDOI website is located at for those who would like to verify this as well as read the Press Releases from 1999 and 2000.

It bothers me greatly that there are those in this industry who would try to build themselves up by trying to tear others down.

It bothers me greatly that any of us would be party to the spread of such vicious allegations without checking the facts first.

As many of you professional adjusters do know, from time to time, some disgruntled “adjuster” posts to the CADO Pages screaming about how some company or vendor is dishonest and has withheld his or her holdbacks or paychecks. From time to time, there may indeed be situations where honest adjusters are in fact cheated by dishonest vendors. But for the vast majority of cases, the skeptic will realize that an incompetent adjuster is really complaining because of their woefully inadequate work product, or outright mishandling of claims, or some other fraudulent acts. These self same “adjusters” then want to tell the world how horrible a particular vendor is, even if it means that they resort to lies, fallacy, misrepresentation, dishonesty, libel or slander. This unchecked behavior has simply got to stop.

We at CADO walk a very thin line at times in trying to allow Freedom of Speech while also doing our best to see that slanderous and libelous comments are not allowed to be posted here. When and where we can, we do our best to uncover the facts when a particular post is called into question. This often involves our making phone calls and sending out requests by email for further information. We would like to think that we are fair, while also being responsible.

I personally, and each of us at CADO generally, devote our work every day toward the mutual goal shared by so many of you to advance this industry and our profession. We share the common vision of better training and education, more enlightened information exchange, and the advancement of better pay and working conditions for all of you.

We do not however agree with, nor will we sit idly by, while a very few would attempt to distribute deliberately false and willfully malicious information designed to hurt or harm another adjuster, a vendor, or an insurance carrier.

If there are parties out there who would slander one vendor yesterday, perhaps today they will be trying to harm you, and tomorrow will be trying to destroy another.

I am asking each of you to be responsible. I am asking each of you to check your facts before you spread these types of emails and rumors verbally. I am asking you to bring these situations to my personal attention or the attention of Roy or Dave. I am asking each and every one of you to help us identify those who would resort to not only such irresponsible behavior, but such criminal behavior as well.


Finally, I will say in closing, I intend to put my full weight, all the energy of my being, and the totality of my reputation on the line to try and stop such abhorrent and insidious behavior, and I ask you to join me in doing the same.

This kind of crap has no business being a part of our industry and it hurts us all: whether you are an adjuster, vendor or carrier.

We have our eyes wide open now, and if you are the one out there spreading these lies, you will be found out, and we will seek to have your actions and your crimes exposed for all the world to see.

I would suggest that the guilty party slither back under the rock you crawled out from under, unless you want to incur the complete and total wrath, and suffer the total abject humiliation from each and every responsible, reputable, and professional cat adjuster who comprise the membership of this otherwise wonderful fraternity of catastrophe adjusters, vendors, and carriers.

Enough said.

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