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Archive through July 28, 2000Rj32 7-28-00  7:32 pm
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Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2000 - 6:19 pm:   

(1) Does it seem like the person(s) advocating inside adjusting (and the software they they want to sell) are the ones saying that inside adjusting will not harm the IA?

(2) Is it possible that "poor quality" work by IAs is directly related to the facts that:

(a) we have become so consumer oriented to the extreme that denying a claim or reporting "no damage" is far more time consuming than it should be. properly evaluating damage and submitting a modest, if not conservative, estimate or heaven forbid-"no damage"- without upsetting somebody requires battle strategy unknown to mc arther.

(b) "claims examiners" are more concerned about recieving a call from an unhappy insured than whether the IA they used actually evaluated the damage and cause of loss properly.

(c) you practically have to prove that there was "no damage" or the damage is not as extensive as claimed. proving your claim is unheard of.

(d) fee schedules are so low that you cannot efficiently spend the time necassary to properly handle the claim for the revenue generated.

times have changed. too many carriers and too many adjusters pay for things they simply do not owe. most aspects of quality are sacrificed for the sake of speed. you can get an agreed price for a roof with questionable damage a lot faster than you can stand in the yard and try to explain to an angry insured that while there was hail (pea sized) it simply did not damage the roof.

then you race to the car and make a cell phone call to the agent (and another to the examiner) explaining that they might get a phone call from this insured.

by the way, then you have to (1)complete a roof diagram on this house, (2)complete an exterior diagram and replacement cost evaluation, (3)mount and label the 24 photos necessary to prove there is no hail damage for a 130.00 fee bill.

lastly, why didn't you look at 12 roofs today?

ooh, IA - you're a bad, bad man.
Tired & Hungry
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2000 - 12:06 pm:   

WorkingStiff, You hit the nail on the head. Yes, I was at the meeting. They didn't say all sewer backup claims had to have roof inspections but they did mention checking for roof damage if suspected. It was My F lead (and possibly some others) that took it to the limit and was requiring full roof inspections, diagrams and calculations and photos on sewer backup claims. His words were that this would prevent re-opens later when the contractors start knocking on doors and if re-opened the information would already be in the file. So my feeling is that he wants 100% of the roofs inspected for free so their staff adjusters won't have to do any work later. I suppose he figures he'll still be here when the contractors come around. And yes I'm mad enough to skip them when they call again. My vendor lead just said "well, that's what he wants" cause the vendor doesn't suffer for it, Just the peon adjusters as usual! I still think it's time for us to pick an example company and have a sick-out or just plain boycott. And I know which company I'd vote for.
Working Stiff
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2000 - 6:16 pm:   

T & H,
I think that I am working the same storm you are. But my "F" lead doesn't require we climb the roofs when the claim is a sewer back-up claim. There was a meeting on Tues after the storm hit (were you there?) and it was not stated that we had to climb the roofs of all the houses that had sewer back-up claims.
I know several adjusters who are working this same storm (MN) and, if it IS the same storm, they aren't climbing roofs on the sewer back-up claims either. Who is telling you to do this? This is not an "F" practice as I have worked for them (through only one of the two vendors named earlier) for several years and this is my 3rd sewer back-up storm.
If you are being required to do work that is NOT actually required by the company you should (or should HAVE) taken the issue up immediately with your supervisor or, if yours is the one requiring the roof inspections, the storm supervisor. You might have been worried that you'd never work for this vendor and/or company again, but you've now gotten yourself so mad that you won't work for them anyway.
Ben Dare
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2000 - 1:50 am:   

Tired & Hungry, I gather from your post that "F" means Farmers is the carrier in which case either Wardlaw or NCA is the vendor.

And, the storm you are talking about is the current one in Minneapolis.

I have heard this story before about the guilty party.
Tired & Hungry
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2000 - 12:39 am:   

we were instructed by "F" to take the estimate to about $3500 to allow for depreciation and absorbing the deductible, and payment of the $2500 limit. The bottom rung of the fee schedule breaks at $5000. This is blatently saying we "we don't want to pay you for your work, sucker" No extra for the roof inspection unless there was damage,(NOT) or 2 sty. or steep. and it's true that the insured then has no way of knowing the total loss for tax purposes.
Staff Adjuster
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 5:19 pm:   

In regard to Dan Stelly / Tired and Hungry:
T & H indicated he was on sewer back-ups which is a limited coverage. T & H, the roof inspection is a service issue to the customer and should have been additionally billable. The additional billing would apply to not only the main roof but also out buildings. Check your fee schedule.
Chuck Deaton
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 7:42 pm:   

Limiting the estimate to the limit of coverage? Did I understand correctly? How is the deductible handled? In most cases the deductible is on an occurance basis and comes off the loss. If you don't determine the loss how do you apply the deductible?
Whitey (Whitey)
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 9:34 pm:   

Haven't been here for awhile and I see, we still have some of the same old discussions taking place. This area started off as a discussion for an inside adjuster program, being designed for the new adjuster working behind the desk and well you can see where the discussion has gone.

To address a couple of items, first to the inside adjuster looking to get experience in the field: Get with your supervisor and express an interest in either going out with an outside adjuster or meeting a contractor that you trust at the lost site. A lot of contractors who work with the insurance industry are more than willing to have an adjuster (new or experienced) ride along for a day. You get first hand field experience, can discuss repair methods, types of construction etc.

For the one who wants to call the DOI on the company who is limiting the amount of the estimate written to the policy limitation for this type of loss. You most certainly haven't been around that long as this practice is as old as dirt. Why pay an Independant a fee bill for items not covered. When you have a total loss to a dwelling without guaranteed replacement cost, you generally write the estimate to just over the policy limitation, to justify payment of the policy limit. This is in no way bad faith or in any way violating the Fair claims Acts adopted by the various states. If you are gonna cry for the DOI, I would recommend that you have something worth crying about.

I agree with the adjuster who was required to do roof inspections and diagrams when it was unrelated. If it looks like your not going to make the money for the work involved, walk away from it. I don't think anyone is holding us in such a way that we have to work when we can't even break even. That simply is a business decision.

Thanks to the individual who addressed the roles we are in IA, VENDOR, CARRIER, CLIENT etc. Knowing our position and who each of the others are will help an individual in displaying a little credibility. When you don't know where you stand in these roles, well you are obviously in the wrong business.

Congratulations to SIMSOL, for their forsight in developing the inside adjuster program. This won't eliminate our positions, but should go along way in bringing the adjuster, who has never been in the field, that much closer to going into an outside position.
Old Dog
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 1:59 pm:   

It seems that some of the "adjusters" who post on here are not only poor adjusters, they're not even sure of their own classification,i.e. definititions/terminology: IA (independent adjuster)= that's who we are; the ones handling the claims. Vendors= the ones who hire us; the middle-man. Carriers= that's who hires the vendors; they write the business.
Dan Stelly
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 2:49 pm:   

To tired and hungry:
That is an interesting situation regarding the carrier forcing adjusters to limit thrier scope of loss and damage to $2,500.00.
In fact it may be of great interest to the DOI in that state. Someone correct me if I am wrong but it is my belief and understanding that as an adjuster your first duty and obligation is to the INSURED. You must explain and advise the insured of covered perils, not excluding damages for the benifit of reducing a service invoice.
I have heard of these deceptive practices in the past, and am of the opinion it is shameful.
Furthermore, by limiting the insured's real and actual damages you are depriving them of possible tax deductions.
This is a good subject to discuss in a forum..
Tired and Hungry
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 1:29 am:   

It still boils down to getting what they pay for. The IA's are nothing but agents who get work for us. In other words, we are hiring THEM, not the other way around. I think this is our real edge, to refuse to work for IA's who don't do their job when they sell our services too cheap. And as for the carriers they are just using us. For example, I just finished a storm for the little "F" company and on sewer backup claims was also required to inspect, diagram and calculate the roof even when there was no reason to suspect roof damage. That would be OK, but we were not allowed to estimate all the water damage, but only estimate to the $2500 limit which insured that they would only be paying the bottom scale of the fee schedule. So we basicly did two claims for the price of one small one. I've had it with this carrier and the IA who whores the fees. We have got to get ourselves together with some kind of good guy-bad guy list and defend ourselves against this kind of treatment or it will just get worse. How about we do like the UAW and pick one company to make an example of? Let them scramble when the storm hits and we all say no in unison. When they know we can stick together this crap will stop!
Tomotexas (Tomotexas)
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 12:23 am:   

Welln this is amazing, 34 posts and all everyone can do is state their opinion. What a great web site, we finally can express our opinions to other professionals and recieve feedback and obtain input from , yes, good and bad!
Thanks Roy, this is what we always have needed.
Keep up the good work fellas, and ladies, as the informaiton posted here keeps all us adjusters on their "toes" rather than in the ditch.
Good wishes to one and all!!
Jane Pakenham
Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2000 - 8:06 pm:   

My company tried the contractors. We are now making the outside "estimators" (employees) full claim reps handling claim from the inception.

Anyone have any tips for me to get experience in outside work. I am an inside claims adjuster (property) and handle the more complex claims plus foundation.
Gale (Gale)
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2000 - 9:24 pm:   

Looks like there are the good and the bad in all quadrants. Just today I was talking with a large adjusting firm staff member that had the sense that some carriers just do not get overly concerned about claims under $10K as long as they get settled. Perhaps with some carriers where property claims only makes up a small fraction of their total claims it is just not an issue that gets much attention.

Most upper level claims management I have contact with do in fact want a detailed and accurate estimate. They view overpaying as being unfair to the rest of the insured’s while underpaying a claim is unfair to the insured and that both are bad for business.

Chuck do you think maybe some of the “no count” IA’s were once “no count” staff adjusters like RJ and Paul have experienced that struck out on their own? There is no question there are IA’s like you described because I have heard the same thing since I have been in contact carriers. Why would this be the case with staff adjusters? Can’t carriers find, hire and keep quality adjusters? Why would they just not be dismissed after a period of if their work did not stand up when audited?

I do know there is at least a small exit of experienced staff adjusters at some carriers who are hitting the IA ranks. Does this have anything to do with burnout or speak about the conditions staff adjusters find in general? I do work with some staff adjusters that do the long hours under extreme pressure because of the adjusting and auditing workload they carry.

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