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Tom (Tom)
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 8:09 pm:   

I have been a licensed adjuster, come this November, 40 years. I have seen good schedules, bad schedules, and DRP's. They come, they go. Are the schedules good right now. Absolutely not. Taking into consideration the cost of fuel, equipment, housing, etc., it sucks. Now, if we are not able to muster a majority that will say no when a big one hits, we are up the proverbial creek. Can an association of Cat Adjusters help, darn right. Can it be done. I doubt it. If it can be done, it will be done on a web site such as this one. We have over 300 members and counting. There are several thousand Cat Adjusters in our community. Get the word out to all. Know a friend that is not on our roster, ask him to do so and tell him or her why. Now is the time to do something about our meanial method of income. Janice and I will review the schedules upon the next "hit", and there will be one in August. If a decent schedule is not available, we may say no. How about the rest of you. Do you have the grit to do that. I doubt it, but hope above hope that you do. Have a good year and remember that a ladder is a tool to make money, but is also a tool of destruction if not used properly.
Dilligas (Dilligas)
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 7:19 pm:   

They are doing a whole lot of telephone adjusting too. Wait till the bean counters look at the severities in about two years.
Dave (Dave)
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 5:40 pm:   

OK, Heres what was heard from TEXAS today.
State Farm is considering going to the Direct Repair Contractor Program. This is from a pal that interviewed with them today.

Perhaps they ALL will open the chicken house to the foxes and we will not be needed to do anything except, "Be an Adjuster", in the full and true sense of the word.

Let them have their day, we will have ours when the BIGGIE hits.
Dilligas (Dilligas)
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 1:02 pm:   

I noticed on the bulletin board that State Farm is now requiring adjusters to furnish their own cell phones and pagers. This represents an additional out of pocket expense of $150 or so a month if you are on a good digital plan. The drawbacks are that if you are on a service that comes from out of the area, you will often get a recording from the American Roaming Network requesting credit card info, or a request that you call back and dial 1 before the number. Both options are expensive and outside the rate plan. My question is, had State Farm changed the schedule or the contract to reflect these additional costs, or is the adjuster expected to just eat the extra cost, like the higher price of fuel??

They can point to cell phone expense and say the adjusters are making unauthorized phone calls, but I wonder why the pager thing too. Are the field adjusters being paged too much for personal reasons *LOL*?? One of the few advantages of working for State Farm is that when the assignment is over, you never have to worry about phone calls from insureds later, or them calling six months later for information at our expense. Wake up guys and gals!
Tom Wems
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 9:36 am:   

One of the wonderful things about being in this business for awhile is that you get to know generally who has a good schedule, and who does not. Even if you haven't worked in a particular situation, you probably have friends that have. So the more "seasoned" of us (old?) either already know who has the cheap schedules, or can find out in about 5 minutes with a couple of phone calls. I assume then that the purpose of this thread is to inform the newbees how the cow eats the cabbage?

Or is it to shame the carriers into paying us more for our work? Guess what, most of the larger companies, the ones that have the too cheap schedules, HAVE no shame. Depending on the current storm situation, we are either a necessary evil, or the white knights riding to the rescue in our shining armour. I have a number of friends that work claims for SF with a number of vendors. Some of us want the security of working all the time, even if it is for peanuts. The SF guys (and gals) work when we are home wondering if the will will EVER blow again. I am not picking on a particular company here either. There are lots of companies with cheap schedules.

The reality of it is that at some time in the near future, the increasing costs of doing business, fuel, hotel and automation expenses, will FORCE and upward revision in the fee schedules. The vendors can keep bidding the schedules down, and try and justify it as competiton in the market place, but that just doesn't pay the bills. We have to vote with our feet. In the summer time or when things are slow, a light wind and hail schedule is not a bad thing. It's hard gritty work, but proper planning can keep it from becoming a disaster for the bank account, and keeps the boredom down to a dull roar. When a large storm hits, and there is heavy damage, a fixed schedule like some of the vendors are going to is not appropriate, and I for one will be working for a company that needs, appreciates and pays for the many years of experience and expertise that I have to offer.

We are suffering from good weather and lack of storms. This cannot continue forever. You can be assured that there are few seasoned adjusters that would work a major hurricane for the $125 to $165 fixed fee schedules that are floating around out there now. Even when you take the "add ons" into account.

When they need us, we will quit being the "necessary evil" and become the "white knights" once again.
Tom Joyce (Tomj)
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 11:41 pm:   

To those who post with advice as to how the rest of us should handle our business and careers, please use your names and email. Otherwise your input is not needed.
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 10:04 pm:   

Perhapes CADO should come up with a fee sch.. Then everybody swear in blood not to work for less. At least it would make life fun.
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 6:32 pm:   

I have been reading these posts for a while now with great interest. I agree with Mr. Flynt. It is time for us to stand up and be counted. I have recently walked off 2 jobs due to the low fee schedule. And finally have landed one that pays well. The marketing people who negotiate these contracts should have to leave home and live on the road, pay their own bills, use their own car, have their own equiment and work till youre tired as a dog for these schedules. I bet the negotiations would change. There is power in numbers and i personally think its time for an adjusters union.
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 12:04 pm:   

If it was done correctly the first time, there should be no need in redoing it 5 times. Know what is expected and give it. It will eliminate these types of problems.
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 12:48 am:   

I would like to nominate all the companies that make you do re-dos for no good reason as the lowest fee scale -- if we were builders and had to rebuild a house 5 times to suit the homeowner would it put this sorry state of affairs into more perspective - i guess the insurance companies feel our time is not very important
Posted on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 10:50 am:   

Hi Jim,
What I say is the result of what many of us cat adjusters discuss on the phone or one on one on the net. We have all wondered and pondered about the schedules and protecting them and ourselves. Most of us have not been in management, through our own choice. No, we leave that in your capable hands.....
I understand your points about not revealing the schedule and the whys. Your points have been true and vendors protecting their schedules has been practiced for years. But, the problems still exist. We still cannot shop for the wages or review schedules on demand, unless we individually compile a file folder of schedules we have worked, but those are subject to change any time at all, so they don't stay current.
Your company is one of the ones I referred to when I stated some companies provide us with a fee schedule upon request. And to be sure, it is a good one, judging from what I know about your company/staff. The thing is, other vendors have access to schedules anyway, one way or another. As you said, that is one of the reasons the schedules keep getting cut. So, the question becomes how can we as adjusters be informed about the rate of pay, and how can you, as vendor, be protected with the information. Copyright your schedule? Surely there is a solution, is my only point. And it is true as you said; "you get what you pay for".
I agree with RJ's post of 6/9, and I bet most cat adjusters would too.
This problem will not go away by itself.

I am sure CADO will figure out something or other to help guide us along on this topic. The guide JF refers to is a good "general idea" of schedule range; maybe that could be a "beginning". Maybe all vendors/companies should have the same schedule, like SF, with the same file requirements. Maybe across the board daily rate is the way to go. Just thoughts in print, here.

Thanks and have a great day, y'all.
Russ Doe
Posted on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 10:46 am:   

I like dave's fee schedule (right side only).What I like better is to know that a company is going to treat me like the professional that I am, and at the end of each year I can put enough away for my retirement.Fee schedules wont make any difference, if the company treats me like a number on a page! Our business is weather driven,we haven't had a big event for 7 yrs. I am going show my worth as an adjuster by Doing the job! Doing whatever it takes to better myself as an adjuster.Going to seminars,taking exams,Getting licenses in each state.I can take the good with the bad! You cant always make good money,no matter the fee schedule!Concentration of claims,geographical areas,traffic.I have traveled 300 miles on one claim(flood denial)other adjusters refused the claim.I didnt,it had to be done and even though I didnt make any money,I made myself available.It surely paid off in the future!Enough rambling,There are a lot of good companies and a lot of good fee schedules.I truly believe I will not have to worry about either,because of the product I put out! Bring on the Newbies,disgruntled adjusters,reinspectors.I love it!!Y'all have a great day and please,THINK BEFORE YOU CLIMB!! BE SAFE.
R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 11:24 pm:   


You make an excellent point. There is always someone offering a product for a lesser figure, albeit, not necessary the same product.

We all know that you can buy a tire for $49.95 but the same in a Michelin will cost you $129.95.

Most rational people realize that you get what you pay for, not more, nor less.

In posting the "Cat Schedule" a few days ago, it was with hopes that some would take it as a target, or at the minimum, offer suggestions, or comments.

There have been some personal e-mail's that are appreciated, in knowing that for the most part, what was posted is realistic.

If the carriers and the vendors wish to have the elite of the "troopers" then they must all realize the above. "Know before you go".
Jim Lakes
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 10:53 pm:   

Murphy, obviously you have not been in management or you would know that vendors do not post their fee schedules for all to see. I would not post ours for every company for one reason and one reason only. There are "vendors" out there that would take our schedule and go straight to our clients and tell them that they will do their claims for less money. This is why everyone is complaining about the amounts paid to Cat adjusters. I do this to help protect our adjusters and us from these type of vendors. If I would happen to call you or anyone else out on a storm, I would be more than happy to tell you what the schedule is gladly give you a copy when you arrived at the cat site. But post it here for all to see, I think not, and I think most all experienced cat adjusters know that what I'm saying is fact. Thats why we have schedules at $125.00 or less. No thanks we do not do that. If you or ANYONE feels that this is unfair or that we are trying to hide something, feel free to contact me and I will go into greater depth. We are really trying to protect the "Cat Adjuster" by taking this stand.
Jim Lakes
National Catastrophe Director
RAC Adjustments, Inc.
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 11:29 am:   

The bottom line, in my opinion, is that the vendors should have no problem in the world with revealing the schedules. They could be listed on a chart on their own thread. After all, the schedules are a result of their negotiating skills, right? As employers, the vendors, in all fairness with the competitive market, owe us the information about their schedules. If they are embarassed in posting the schedule (which should be the reason they want to keep it a secret to begin with), maybe they need to go back to the drawing board. Another point is that it is not necessarily the amount of money alone that we are talking; it is also the volume. If the volume is not there, the money won't be either, no matter how high the schedule is. If the vendors hide behind laws to conceal information, there is a definate problem in the system. After all, do these individuals that make up the "vendors" take on a job not knowing what they will be paid? I don't think so. It is a pathetic state of affairs to be making less money these days than 10 yrs ago doing the same job. And our requirements, as adjusters, these days are more stringent. etc., etc. There are vendors out there that feel good about their scuedules and provide them to us freely upon request; seek those companies out and work for them. They are the desirable ones; happy adjusters = happy clients = happy vendors.
Chuck Deaton
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 10:34 am:   

Two thoughts, one is that I know Tom Toll personally and while I don't agree with every thing he says, I am aware of his resume and I do listen. I would advise the readers of this page to listen.

The other is that I, personally, and any other regular contributor to this page will help any newbie or anybody else that asks. My Cat 102, 16 pages of info, is intended for that very purpose. It is free for the asking.

Another thing is that my opinion is my own and has my name on it and so does Tom Toll's, Dave Hood's, Jim Flynt's, and a host of others.

I took the New York licensing exam this morning in Middletown, NY if you are interested in that email me and ask.
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 12:05 am:   

While I agree adjusters should be educated on a fair pay schedule, especially new adjusters who may be vulnerable to slick adjusting firms out there, I think there should be caution on exactly what is discussed. It seems to be a thin line on how much info to disclose. I personally would like to know what a decent pay schedule is yet I tend to think it can become unprofessional to discuss it in a public forum. I worked on a cat on an inside position for over a year. I did not make friends with the insurance staff. They all knew how much I made and I heard snide comments constantly. They did not take in to account hotel, insurance..etc. Since this a public forum some may look at the $65 a file or whatever the rate and times that by 5 files a day and think we are overpaid at that. Then to see a bunch of adjusters complain about the money would really earn us a bad name. Perhaps there can be a general guide for new adjusters without naming any company names. I just think too much talk over pay rates looks unprofessional.
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 11:38 pm:   

Dave is the front runner with merit.
Glory be what a Human Being!
ALAS! There is Hope.
A Sign i saw once on a job (hurricaine) ---
"all ye who enter here leave all hope behind"
it was a joke but we all knew to work hard and we did. Remember that nightmare? TUFF ENUFF!
Roy Cupps (Admin)
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 11:29 pm:   

While this may disappoint some, CADO will not post fee schedules or allow posted fee schedules to remain without the permission of the vendor.

However, I do agree that it is important that fellow adjusters get information on vendors that will allow them to make an informed decision on which vendors to work for and which vendors to avoid. I feel that the site can provide this information without the posting of copyrighted and\or confidential material. As it is often stated “Know before you go”.

Roy Cupps
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 10:37 pm:   

Now, Now, Murphy... Tom Toll is just fulfilling the role of being our conscience. And doing a good job of it I might add. A little caution and reflection before we pull the trigger is not a bad thing. After all, words like bullets are hard to take back once they leave the barrel.

But I still think sharing the fee schedules here is not a bad thing. The sunlight of knowledge is the best way to deal with the vampires amongst us.
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 9:44 pm:   

tom toll; when are you going to quit telling us what to NOT talk about on cado? we have observed the good cado is doing in spite of it's growing pains, and you still scold us (including jim flynt) for stating our views. you dont see any of us scolding you; so relax on the scoldings, huh?
"paranoia, big destroya!"
R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 11:55 am:   

To all those interested contributors to this discussion, RJ, GB, PH, Jim, Chuck, et al:

Having been presented with many schedules in the past year, I have compiled and average of them all and complied what,IMHO is a fair and reasonable fee schedule , that a QUALIFIED catastrophe adjuster will be willing to work for. Of course there are always differing opinions and the replies are more than welcomed.

This is only proffered as a suggestion of OUR FEE SCHEDULE, and let the others have the intestinal fortitude to make suggestions, rebut or reject same and offer a compromise. This may not be Niverna for all but it is a beginning.

2000 Catastrophe Fee Schedule

1-800-000-0000 FAX 1-800-000-0000 Voice
Gross Claim Category 1-Wind/Hail Category 2 - Hurricane/Tornado/Other
Erroneous Assignment $40 $40

Duplicate Assignment $75 $75

Closed with out payment $125 $165

0.00 --- 500.00 $150 $195

500.01 - 1,000.00 $165 $205

1,000.01 - 1,500.00 $215 $230

1,500.01 - 2,500.00 $250 $275

2,500.01 - 3,500.00 $275 $300

3,500.01 - 5,000.00 $345 $385

5,000.01 - 7,500.00 $415 $450

7,500.01 - 10,000.00 $500 $560

10,000.01 - 15,000.00 $595 $650

15,000.01 - 25,000.00 $650 $725

25,000.01 - 50,000.00 $750 $950

50,000.01 - 100,000.00 3.5% (min $2000)

100,000.01 and above T & E @ $75 per hour (min $3500)
2 Story (rope & harness) $750 per man/day

RC Benefit Inspection $45 $45

Multiple buildings are separate claims, N.B. Per loss schedules

An internal setup fee of 12.00 per file will be added.

All fees are calculated at the gross amount of loss, before depreciation and/or deductible. Fees do not include applicable state taxes.

Flood Losses: NFIP Fee Schedule, for all flood losses Direct or WYO

Commercial, Earthquake, Denials and Time Element losses will be handled as Time and Expense @ $75 Adjuster / $115 GA per hour. ($150 minimum)

Sump Pump/Flooded basements will be handled per the other category above.(Unless covered under NFIP, then the flood schedule will apply)

$30 will be added to service fee for each outbuilding inspected without damage.

Fees include driving time and mileage for the first aggregate 50 miles, from the storm office.
Beyond this, driving time and mileage are charged at $1.50 per mile, all charges to be prorated on multiple losses on the same day. (Adjuster receives ALL of the fee.)

Photographs in excess of 2 will be priced at $2.00 each, 35 MM or digital. (Adjuster receives ALL of the Fee)

24 hour telephone contact attempt with insured whenever possible.

Computerized estimate with RC and ACV amounts

Statement of loss, short forms reporting.

Diagrams: Roof ( only if involved) and NFIP footprint (as required)

Proof of loss and RC proof, on loss amount over $25,000, (if required).

Any and all OTHER or requirements requested by the client will be negotiated as an ADDITION to this schedule. (Such as RC Valuation)

In closing, please comment on any areas of this instrument that you may differ with.

WE also have an obligation to ourselves, to make right , what is wrong, to band together for the good of the trade and each other. C'est la vie.
Chuck Deaton
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 11:49 am:   

Waldonald's syndrome is not going away. If anything it is going to get worse.

I am not saying that McDonalds, Walmart and the carriers don't care about quality, because they do. It is just that an acceptable level of quality can be acheived with newbies, automation and supervision.

Quality at large businesses is enforced by the plaintiffs bar, trial lawyers. If you don't beleive me look around, State Farm has rethought their position on aftermarket parts, Tyson owns Hudson Food after a recall of millions of pounds of E. Coli. McDonald's rethought the heat and packaging of their coffee.
Big tobacco, need I say more.

Some areas of the claims business, auto and residential hail, minor wind, lend themselves to newbies, automation and supervision. While flood, large commercial and residential require an array of attributes generally not found in most newbies. The need for automation and supervision is still there.

At some point airborne sensors will assess hail damage to shingles and some type of sensor array will estimate auto hail damage. A car will be driven through something like a car wash and will come out with a repair estimate.
Tom Toll
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 11:41 am:   

I consider myself a professional adjuster. What I am seeing on the CADO page is causing concern for me and what I see as a profession.

Posting fee schedules of vendor's is a crime. This is copyrighted material and if posted without permission is going to cause a migraine on the adjusting profession. You cannot, I emphasize, CANNOT post schedules on a public domain page without written consent of the owner of the copyrighted material. Sad part is, it would not accomplish anything except create animosity of the vendors toward the adjusting profession. Some of the commentary on this page is being used against us as I am writing this. If you don't think so, then you deserve to lose your shingle.

As professionals, and I use this term somewhat loosely, we need to be spending time and effort toward progressing our knowledge in our chosen field. Alternative repair methods, coverage issues, timely reporting, timely contacts, proper report formats, photographic skills, etc. Having worked in Dallas for six weeks and seeing what is being done in our profession, is frustrating and frightening. Paying for shingles that were not damaged by hail. Eruption versus depression and granular displacement. Do we not know the difference. That is not adjusting. I see many adjusters that do not know how to interpret damage as damage as a result of an insurable peril. If we do not start giving the insurance companies a value for our presence, then the DRP's of the world will be taking over our profession. Technology can replace us as quickly as it can help us.

There are those who profess technology and I agree with them, only if we allow it to help us and not make us estimate writers only. CADO is a wonderful opportunity for a group of business men and women to further themselves. If we allow it to alienate the hand that feeds us, we will destroy ourselves as a group of business men and women.

I joined a group, whose name I will not give, and found that beer drinking and good times were becoming more important than knowledge. I hold no problem with CADO members meeting to progress our profession. As far as how much booze one can hold or whether we brought our girlfriend, wife, or mistress becomes a primary issue, then we are doomed as an organization. I know that there will be some negative comebacks to these comments and that is okay. Be careful of your comments, however. Everybody in the world who owns a computer and has access to the Internet, can read your commentary.

When having a disagreement, fight fairly, no name calling. Don't believe all you hear and read, spend all you have, or loaf all you want. Take into consideration that great accomplishments are slow to brew and that there are risks involved. When you lose, don't lose the lesson. Always without failure, have respect for self, respect for others, and responsibility for your own actions. Open your arms to change, but don't let go or your values.

Tom Toll
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 10:49 am:   

Chuck Deaton

I go on record of DISAGREEING WITH JIM and agreeing with you about newbies and the lower schedules.

If the carriers really cared about quality, it would be a different ballgame. However, that is not the case and we witness it everyday.

I have never worried about competition as I have been able to excell in this field. Just plane lodgic tells one that the more adjusters out there for the carriers to lure in, the cheaper their schedule can be.

Same principle involved in hiring my hamburger helpers.
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 9:51 am:   

Well, RJ, you are absolutly correct. Your logic is pure and flawless. Your conclusion cannot be denied. Your prose is without reproach. And, guess what? Welcome to the United States of America in the Brave New World where all your sterling facts and golden principles mean nothing. The best we can expect from the carriers in response is the usual pablum and have a nice day!

This is the New Bizarro World where the drones from marketing and accounting are running the show. Not grizzeled old claims folk. Where are the grizzeled old claims folk, you wonder? Just look around at the next adjusters orientation meeting at the next storm. It's you and me and the CADO-ites make three.

And what happens when some old tiger starts to growl at the trainee storm supervisor? Presto!! Some fresh faced 22 year old inbred cousin from Runge, Texas magically appears to work the newly skinned tigers files.

Talk about expendable, the Battling Bastards of Bataan in 1942 were nothing compared to the take no prisoners and massacre the survivors practices of this business. And don't you just love it? I know I do.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 9:42 am:   

What started out as a simple little contest to determine which vendor has The WORST Catastrophe Fee Schedule in America has turned into something else. Since I am the one who started this thread with the first post, perhaps it is incumbent that I try to either clarify my original purpose or pull together the many different ideas shared so far.

In posting the original thread, my intent was to discover and post which cat fee schedule out there really is the worst.

My thought was, that in so doing, it not only would educate our readers, but would also serve to steer the better adjusters away from such poor pecuniary gain. It also seemed to me that, yes, a vendor might even be embarassed to see their company name associated with such a poor schedule. (More on this in a moment).

What I did not really intend to do, was to see where we need to establish a need to publish all of the cat fee schedules here. Simply, there is not enouogh space, and most adjusters who have been doing this a while have no doubt already seen those or are aware of them.

RJ when I said in a post that setting the fee schedules was the "domain" of the vendors and carriers, I was speaking historically. I was also quite frankly, trying to leave myself some legal "wiggling room" in the sense that someone has suggested a RICO or "price fixing" situation could occur with my post. There simply can be no "price fixing" when you don't have the price "fixers" here in the mix.

Frankly, I personally feel that one of the great mistakes made by vendors and carriers is not to include a respresentative from the adjuster side of the equation in the fee schedule negotiations.

A couple of years ago I went to school and took a semester long class in TQM (Total Quality Management). Most of the MBA "boys" (and "girls" as well) at the carriers have taken this or similar classes in TQM.

TQM is not only an idea and concept, TQM is also a process. The idea is that in order to improve a company, entity, process, system, operation, etc., that entity must constantly and continually work to improve process. Further, each and every participant in the company, entity, process,system, operation, etc. must be involved in re-engineering from the bottom to the top. Each and every human within a particular company, entity, process, system, operation, etc. is a customer of each of the others in the same system.

Therefore, in order to have effective change and system improvement, each and every human customer within the system must be invloved in the design and implementation of such system. To do otherwise will only result in system failure.

Having said all of that as background, it seems to me that we, as adjusters have been historically shut out of the "process" of system design and implementation by the vendors and carriers. We have not been invited to the negotiating table when the fee schedules were discussed.

Now some are going to read my words and say. "Aha, Jim is trying to talk union." My response is no, not at all. Strong organization of professional cat adjusters like CADO YES. Union, No.

It is time now for enlightenment to enter our workplace. It is time for enlightened vendors and enlightened carriers to enter the 21st Century.

Recently, I attended a seminar in Columbia, SC for Carolina Claims Service and Tower Hill. Late in the day during a "wrap-up", Chuck Burkett, the CCS Cat Claims Manager, suggested that Carolina Claims Service was seriously considering the implementation of an "adjuster advisory board." I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the foresight and vision of these folks when I heard that comment. I think it is time for other vendors to consider doing the same.

When I posted the original thread earlier this week with a Contest for Worst Cat Fee Schedule in America, I did think that with wide publication of such, that vendor might have a difficult task in obtaining good adjusters to work in the future. And, if so, so be it.

Assume for a moment that Harlot Catastrophe Services (a factitious vendor) is negotiating a fee schedule with a large national carrier. Assume also, that Harlot believes they can send many hundreds of cat adjusters to a large earthquake or hurricane. Now in their negotiations with this carrier, they realize that Shady Lady Claims Service (another factitious vendor) is also bidding for this claims contract.

In the end, both Harlot and Shady Lady know that price/cost will be the determining factor in getting this exclusive contract with this particular carrier.

Harlot decides to undercut any bid made by Shady Lady. The other potential bidder, Harry Larry's Claim Service (another factitious vendor) decided not to bid. Harlot Catastrophe decides that even if Harlot only makes $10.00 per claim profit margin on each adjuster's production (assumed to be 5-6 claims per day), that even at the $10.00 per claim "profit margin", then Harlot can still make $30,000 per day or almost $1 Million Dollars per month assuming the utilization of 500 Harlot adjusters. Bump the number of Harlot adjusters up to 1,500 adjusters and Harlot is now projecting nearly $3 Million Dollars per month.

So, yes, Harlot gets the exclusive contract with this particular carrier. (Shady Lady refuses to lower it's profit margin below $15 per claim and drops out of the bidding war).

Nice deal for Harlot and the Harlot owners. They still get to live in the Big House and play golf at the country club.
After all, with another Northridge Earthquake, they could potentially take home upwards of $36 Million smackers in one year.

You on the other hand, now have to decide if you are going to work for $15 per claim (60% of $25=$15). This is the way some vendors think folks. This is the way some cat fee schedules are negotiated and determined. Not one thought for the welfare, security, and financial health of the adjuster.

I thought we might make a start when I posted here by yes, shaming the most offensive vendors into either neogitiating higher schedules or not having any adjusters who would work for them. In other words, change or go out of business.
(No apologies on my part either for such thinking!)

I have the greatest respect for my friend Chuck Deaton, but Chuck is wrong to blame low schdules on "Newbees." Yet, the fault does lie with each and all of us in not refusing to work for the lower schedule vendors. The fault, in the past at least, was partially inherent in not being able to broadcast this kind of information. But with the advent of the Internet, and the ever increasing power and influence of the CADO Page, this is changing. No longer are these things done in a vacuum, and no longer will they be hid from the eyes of all.

Paul Bagnato is correct that there are many other factors which should be taken into consideration above and beyond just simply the fee schedules: number of claims given to an adjuster, the type of claims, percentage split, unit cost guidelines, geographical area of the country, holdback policy of the vendor, advances, frequency of pay, etc.

Yet, I do believe that the fee schedules are the very cornerstone of everything else, and the one place where we should concentrate our efforts for improvement.

If we only post the 3 WORST Catastrophe Fee Schedules in America here on CADO, who is going to want to work for those 3 vendors? Which adjusters are going to want the rest of us to know that they lowered themselves to keep these fee schedules alive? Or perhaps, more appropriately, that no one else would hire them?

It is only in this way that we can make a difference. It is only in this way that we can effectuate change. It is only in this way that we can improve our financial futures.

As a couple of vendor personnel have said to me privately, any time the worst of the bunch raise their fee schedules, it inures to the benefit of us all.

It insures to our mutual benefit when the day comes that Harlot Catastrophe goes to a fee schedule negotiation with the carrier and invites at least some token representation by their adjuster customers (remember what I said about TQM?).

It inures to our mutual benefit when a vendor wakes up one day and realizes they have negotiated and bargained their future away by bargaining ours away as well. That has already happened, and we can stop it any time we want. It only takes a very simple "NO" from each and every one of us when we are called to work for this vendor or this schedule. When enough of you do that, then things will change.

I know this is a long post. I appreciate your taking the time to read it.

I am not "anti-vendor." I am not "anti-carrier."

I love cat adjusting. I love cat adjusters. I love the cat industry and what I believe the future of this industry to be.

I also love CADO and I do believe, that working toegther, the power and influence of CADO and CADO Members can and will effectuate change. Sure it will take time, and it will not always be easy nor painless.

But we have to start somewhere, and it starts with the first step. Please wake up and realize the power we all have. We already have the power to make change. We have squandered it well too long. Let's not squander it any longer.

As Pogo used to say in his comic strip: "I have seen the future and it is now."
Chuck Deaton
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 8:27 am:   

For an explaination of business conduct, look around you. I call it the Waldonalds principle. Today machines do the simple work. What amount of education and smarts is needed to scan barcode at Walmart and if you can say "Big Mac" and recognize a Big Mac when you see it, you can work the counter for McDonalds. At Wendy's the cash register actually makes change.

The same idea applies to the claims business. In most cases the large companies hire too many adjusters for the storm size, then after the first few days they start cutting and reassigning and after two or three weeks all that is left is the experienced people, employees or IA's, cleaning up. Computer claims handling and supervision makes this possible. Any dummy can muddle thru 20 - 30 small claims. It doesn't take a genius to work hail claims. It does take an experienced adjuster to handle large claims, both commercial and residential, but how many adjusters are hired to handle large complicated claims. Compared to the total number of adjusters hired, not many.

As long as there is a fresh supply of newbies out there that think that they are going to change/better themselves by becoming an adjuster, and as long as I have been in this business, about 25 years, there has been a steady flow, the low schedules are going to continue.

All of the large companies do record keeping, modeling, forecasting and expense management with computers, Wal Mart is the best of the best at this, to change the temperture in a Wal Mart store in Monticello, NY the manager has to call the home office in Bentonville, AR. Airlines sell tickets this way. It is not an accident that large profitable companies conduct business in the manner that they do.
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 5:17 am:   


Let us explore this issue a little further. You stated that they are embarrassed to publicly publish the service fee schedules. I personally do not believe that this is the reason for withholding the fee schedules from us. As for the real reason well that can only be speculated. The phantom suggests that the reason for not publishing the fee schedules is based on the theory that the fee schedules are considered vendor privilege information under their own contracts with the carriers. While that makes a little sense I still don't believe it.

It seems to me that it would be in the best interests of the vendors & or carriers to publish their fee schedules. After all they are in the business of recruitment of guess who, us. As every vendor & carrier will opening state to you they are looking for the highest possible qualified independent adjusters they can find to represent their interests to their policy & stock holders.

Imagine for a minute a report to the stock holders meeting of any publicly held annual stock holders meeting of any major insurance carrier. Visualize the reaction of the stock holders when it is reported to them the following " Well we managed to save a few dollars in claim expense this year. We paid independent adjusters less for more work than we ever did before."

I can see it now the stock holders suddenly realize that while a few dollars were saved on the claims expense side a fortune was spent settling the claims. Suddenly they realize why their stock dividends may be lower than expected. No I can't imagine a report like this will ever be presented to a stock holders meeting even though this is probably a very accurate every day occurrence.

It just does not make any sense to me that the carriers wouldn't know the value of a talented knowledgeable independent adjuster vs the value of a quick claim artist that doesn't properly represent their interests to their policy holders. We all know the results of closing files fast just for the sake of some ones idea that the numbers being closed looks good. In the long run improper claims handling for the sake of speed only winds up costing the carrier more money in the end & a public relations nightmare.

Providing that the carriers are interested in obtaining the highest qualified adjusters possible, it only makes sense that they would try to do something to recruit highly qualified adjusters. We all know that competition is a major driving force behind most major business decisions. Isn't the value of having qualified adjusters vs quick claim artists a major business decision. If you would agree with this, and any sound business manage should understand this, doesn't it make perfect sense to utilize the most powerful tool at their disposal. I am taking about the fee schedules, file requirements & minimum income guarantees.

I submit to you that the main reason this is not being done now or in the past is that a place for this information to be posted has not existed that could reach the adjusting community in a fair unbiased forum. That is until now. I happen to believe that it is time that these issues are brought forth and with the proper format the CADO site could easily become the perfect place for this activity to occur.

Competition in business is one, if not the most important, initiatives to a business's survival. We as small business men are competing for work in an environment that we have very little control over. As you previously stated that is their domain. You feel we don't have any impact and I say why not. If the vendors & carriers are truly concerned about the quality of independent adjusters that they contract with it only makes sense that they would aggressively pursue the market place for the highest qualified individuals they could find. In my opinion the advertising for our services should include all conditions of the contract and not just enough to trick you into working for them. In the long run these deceptive hiring practices will only result in a never ending story of dissatisfaction by all parties involved with everyone pointing the finger of blame at everyone else. Don't you think it is time for all of the finger pointing to stop.

This is a profession worth standing up for and I think now is the time. No I am not advocating a union. I just believe that the time for back room private deals that have such profound impact on our lively hoods needs to stop and something has to change. I fear that without change this may become a dying profession.
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 1:00 am:   

I nominate the Farmers' "special" schedule which to your surprise has been implemented without your knowledge between the time you began your 1200 mile journey and the time you arrived. It's usually something like $125.00 up to the loss amount that they figure will be fairly unusual for this particular storm. Not sure if this practice is initiated by the vendor or the company.
John Durham (Johnd)
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 9:40 pm:   

Fee Schedules:
You must remember one thing.... the schedule is only part of the program.. Some vendors will only "grant you the opportunity" to handle 30 - 40 claims for them. Some will send you halfway across the midwest and only give you 10-15 claims. A lot has to be established nowdays with the advent of "screw the adjuster" thought process at some vendors. REALLY KNOW before you go...
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 4:20 pm:   


It only stands to reason and you are probably right. By the same token, vendors will not publish their schedules as this is considered privilege information under their own contracts with the carriers.

Most of us know from word of mouth from other adjusters approximately what other vendors pay and I have seen several schedules that were not probably meant for my eyes.

Vendors use to be more careful with the schedules as they were their own. Today, with the larger CARRIERS, we work for schedules those companies actually set. Since they are hiring only temporary help from vendors, they may have some legal ramification for setting these schedules. Regardless, don't look for any vendors or carriers to post their true schedules.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 4:12 pm:   

RJ, you make some good points. However, I have no expectations that the information at issue would or will ever be forthcoming from the vendors and/or carriers. They are as embarassed to publish it as we are!

I received an email last night with the same caution regarding possible legal issues in publishing fee schedules. I have passed this concern along to the legal folks for their comments and advice.

It does seem to me, that there possibly could be a problem in sharing this information were we as adjusters in the position of setting the fee schedules initially. But as is clear to anyone, those negotiations do not include independent cat adjusters, therefore no one can accuse us of price setting or "fixing" if you will. We simply have nothing to do with setting the catastrophe fee schedules for any insurance company or vendor. That is and has been their exclusive domain.

Almost any adjuster who has been out here any length of time at all, is pretty much aware of the various fee schedules from different vendors and carriers. Everyone has a "friend" who works for one or the other of the carriers and vendors.

I will take your comments under advisement and will stay tuned here on the Forum for the comments of others, including anyone from the carrier or vendor side who would like to be heard. Folks, we would all like to hear from you as well.

In the meantime, I see absolutely nothing ethically, legally or morally wrong whatsoever with "honoring" the vendor with the WORST Catastrophe Fee Schedule in America. (NOTE: If any of the T-3: (Weems, Toll or Joyce) see this differently, please send me a private email and I will reconsider my position). THAT CONTEST is still on, so send your entries in today, and yes, you may email them to me at
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 1:47 pm:   

While we all have been taking about the level of the current fee schedules no one has before attempted to publish them. I believe that there has been a good reason not to do so in the past. I seem to recall a past experience in a trade organization that we were notified that certain federal & state laws prohibit the sharing of the cost of services within a group of individuals that are basically in competition with one another.

If my memory serves me I seem to recall something about the RECO act. I am not sure how or if these laws would apply in our case, however, I would suggest that before this goes any further the possible ramifications of posting the fee schedules being used by the different vendors, by any one other than the vendor themselves, be explored before any harm is done to anyone or the CADO site.

Publishing a company's private business information without that company's permission may also violate that company's rights to said information.

Only as a suggestion perhaps a different approach to this problem may be more beneficial. Instead of posting the vendors fee schedules as a way for us to "know before you go", why not create a forum that is solely voluntary on the part of the vendors & or carriers. We could call this an advertisement for independent adjuster's services by vendors & carriers. As part of this new forum the vendors & or carriers offers for contracting independent adjuster ads would detail the kind of adjuster (property, auto, marine, ect.) required, the experience that is needed, the file content that is expected and what level of compensation the independent could expect in return for his or her services. In other words a full disclosure of each assignment duties, responsibilities & compensation.

This would create an open air of competition for our services among the vendors & carriers that may go a long way in solving many of the problems being posted on this web site without causing any legal difficulties for anyone. It would create a better & more informed climate in which we as independent adjusters can base our decision to accept an assignment or not. This would place the ball in the vendor & or carriers court. They would then have to compete against each other in an open atmosphere for the services of each independent adjuster. Those vendors & or carriers that are looking for warm bodies will find them as well as those vendors & carriers that are looking for knowledgeable adjusters will find theirs. Sounds like a win/win situation for everyone without any name calling ect..

As for the concerns of sharing the fee schedules, the vendors & carriers would be posting them as a means of competing for the services of the independent adjusters. It would be done in a competitive environment which would promote a positive working relationship between all parties rather than a negative behind the scenes environment full of rumors & misrepresentations of the facts.

All it would take to get started is for the first vendor to step up to the plate. So who wants to be first. Hurricane season is upon us & this may be a way for the vendors to lock in their adjuster team in the event of a strike.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 9:54 am:   

CADO CONTEST for the WORST Catastrophe Fee Schedule in AMERICA

FIRST PLACE (Who will it be ??)
Winner gets 1 adjuster to work the next storm
(The 1 adjuster is blind and dumb)

SECOND PLACE (Who will it be ??)
Winner gets 2 adjusters to work the next storm
(Both adjusters are dumb)

THIRD PLACE (Who will it be ??)
Winner gets 3 adjusters to work next storm
(All 3 adjusters are blind)

Stay tuned for the CADO Contest for the WORST Catastrophe Fee Schedule in America. Winners will be announced soon!
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 9:45 am:   

(This post has been removed by the poster)

CADO will not post blanket catastrophe fee schedules to the CADO site. We may continue to illuminate what may be considered to be the 3 lowest or worst cat fee schedules used today.
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 9:40 am:   

Or, could we look at it from the other side of the coin. How about publishing ALL the fee schedules including State Farms? That might have the effect of adding some guilt to the rabid Snoopy the dog at Metropolitan P&C, and Farmers and Allstate, and ...

(Ya' know, we could really stir up the pot with this one.)
Tom Weems
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 8:53 am:   

Stay away from day rates. They allow a carrier or vendor to put you in a situation where the storm office is over staffed, and you will be held just long enough to miss the storm for everyone else. USAA is notorious for doing that.
Paul Bagnato
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 8:45 am:   

All good and well regarding the fee schedule listing. Yet please keep in mind the number of variables, as such, the # of claims provided, the area that you are working, type of claims, unit cost guidelines for pricing. There are many other ways to look at the fee schedule if all of the factors are combined. It would not be fair to the vendor to be considered on just the fee schedule.
What about the daily rate? Would one have the option to choose between the two?
I have been!!
Paulie B.
always cornfused
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 1:35 am:   

Jim may we (fax) e-mail, a complete 8x10 copy of the entire fee schedule to allow other to view, and is it possible to place these fee schedules in a directory by vendor / company names for review. Would you like to see 2 different copies of the same schedule that has different amounts, from the same company.
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 12:33 am:   

Can someone please let me know what the average fee schedule rate is? I have no idea what a low or high fee schedule would be. How does the $125 rate compare to others? I have only worked a day rate.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2000 - 10:56 pm:   

After a moments thought, I wondered perhaps if we should not have a CADO Contest for the WORST Catastrophe Fee Schedule in America.

Therefore, can anyone provide a worse fee schedule from a vendor than the one posted here for NCA for Metropolitan in Wisconsin?

Winner gets free dinner and drinks with Roy and I as well as the accolades of CADO adjusters at large.

Hopefully, the cheapskates responsible for such poor schedules can either be shamed into raising the schedule or real adjusters will refuse to work for them!
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2000 - 10:27 pm:   

I am setting up this new thread for adjusters to inform their adjuster brethren of particularly bad schedules from vendors out there. Many times the vendors will not share this information with an adjuster on the phone prior to sending an adjuster out on a storm. Hence, this thread to help inform and broadcast bad schedules to help one another.

I am also posting a portion of an email which I received this evening from an adjuster who wishes to remain anonymous. I trust his information to be correct.

"Jim, I thought you might like to know that NCA has the Metropolitan contract for Wisconsin.

The schedule is $125.00 per claim (you get 60% of that, or $75.00) and they do not pay for pictures. The fee goes up if it reaches a certain point, but everyone I spoke to is writing the $125.00 fee schedule and no one is happy.

Several friends were called by NCA to work in Wisconsin, but NCA refused to fax or advise the adjusters who were called of the fee schedule. Those adjusters declined the opportunity.

I am not knocking NCA. I have worked for them for several years, yet when they changed their higher ups a year ago, things started changing."
As always, KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!!!!!

(MEMO TO NCA: If I have any portion of this information incorrect, please feel free to respond with a correction and I will correct my post here accordingly!)

(MEMO TO CADO ADJUSTERS: Please feel free to email me bad schedules for posting here if you wish to remain anonymous. I will be happy to change email details to protect your identity!)

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