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Bulletin Board TranfersRoy Cupps25 12-11-99  3:23 pm
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B. Stovall
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 1999 - 3:06 pm:   

To Union Cat. Adj., Probably would be good if you went to greener pastures such as going home and selling construction jobs. There are plenty of construction unions so you should be really happy there. You would receive all the perks and benefits bestowed upon their union members and you would work all the time and not worry if you had made enough money in the last month or two to make it to spring and you wouldn't have to worry about the Carriers you seem to hate so much. I guarantee you that I would be history if I hated something as much as you seem to hate the problems related to being an independent adjuster. You either knew what it was like before you got into it or you did a really poor job of researching the profession. We always have been and always will be hired guns. Have a year without any major storms and see how much work a union can get you. And yes, the companies will always be able to staff a storm. Why?, because there are literally thousands of people out there that would love the opportunity to work one or two months just be able to make it to spring. They think we have a very glamorous profession and get to travel a lot, (true), make a lot of money, (most of the time), and are responsible for our own futures (true). You chose it, live with it or quit your belly-aching for heavens sake.
Steve Ebner
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 4:48 pm:   

The comments in the previous email were meant to be an email to SteveC. Guess that is not entirely clear. If his email link had worked, it would have remained an email. Since it didn't, I share the email by public forum.
Steve Ebner
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 4:25 pm:   

Your comments today on the bulletin board are highly offensive. First of all, Roy Cupps just spent hours cleaning comments like yours off the bulletin board and moving them to the Forum section where they belong. So you just chose to go ahead and post your soap box opinion on the bulletin board. How rude! Secondly, telling catadjusters to cut their expenses is ludicrous. We stay in motels that are a cut below motel 6. My van has 210,000 miles on it. I work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. You rarely find a non-staff adjuster staying at any motel more expensive than a motel 6. You show your ignorance by both telling us to cut expenses and by saying we have no compassion. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are not referring to me or my wife who spend 8 to 10 months a year helping other people get back on their feet. Our motivation is only questioned by those who are ignorant of what we do and the sacrifices we make to do this work. Those who envy us are those who think the grass is always greener....... Perhaps dealing with people with your attitude is one of the problems.

I have several more things to say to you, but limited time. If you truly represent JUA, you should take care not to alienate us dedicated catadjusters who are your potential solution when the catastrophe comes. If enough people are complaining about the environment (pay scale, respect level, etc.) they experienced while working for you, it is only arragance to ignore it. If we ever find ourselves working together be assured I will demand far more respect than you showed to the adjusting community in your bulletin post. From now on, I would appreciate you use the soap box or forum to express your opinions. I look to the bulletin board, as do most of us, not for vitriol, but for announcements about work, educational opportunity, or other announcements that do not require a running dialogue. I, for one, am tired of wading through stuff like your opinion (or, for that matter, that of Union Catadjuster) on the bulletin board. My next email, by the way will be to Union Catadjuster requesting that he also respect the efforts of Mr. Cupps (primarily volunteer ) to keep the bulletin board available for bulletins.

By the way, why doesn't your email link work?


Steve Ebner
Old Timer
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 1:54 pm:   

It seems to me Union Adjuster that one way to send a message to the Florida JUA is for adjusters to refuse to obtain the FWUA certification. If adjusters would stop this certification bs at our own expense, it would send a message much stronger than words. They would soon realize that they did not have the numbers for when the Big One hits.
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 1:14 pm:   

If you want a union, fine. If you don't want a union, fine. This is a democracy. The bottom line will improve if we unionize. Nothing else should matter. I can prove it on paper. EVERY PROFESSION THAT HAS UNIONIZED has seen an improvement in it's wages. Especially those which are somewhat monopolistic to begin with. If I can show on paper how a union will help everyone's bottom line, then what idiot would say he's not for it?

The JUA's are going to starve us to death if we give them a chance. I predict this, and they are controlling more and more of our future work. How will we combat this? How can we fight back? If anyone has any better ideas, I'd love to hear them, but to date I have heard none, except the vendor rats personal slams.

Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Saturday, December 11, 1999 - 11:47 am:   

Mr Union Catadjuster,

Please use your contact with the AFL-CIO to unionize the Carriers. They are the big, bad ogres in the game. If you have ever been a staff adjuster, you will know exactly the abuse, overwork, and underpay that they experience. Once apon a time being working for a carrier was a great job, but no more. There is your target. Go after the carriers.

Yes, I realize that the upshot would be that we indepedents would then be seen as Scabs. But so what? Carriers management has always called us worse every time they pay our fee bill! And when the unionized employees of a carrier did strike, then Ho! Ho! Ho!, more work for us.

Sometimes I feel just like a pirate, plundering the treasure ship called Insurance Companies!
Aaargh, mateys! I smell doubloons off the port- quarter!
Gordon Fischer
Posted on Friday, December 10, 1999 - 4:28 pm:   

Reading this debate has been great. It all boils down to one of my favorite words - "perspective".
Opinions will vary depending on the individual's
current circumstances in our profession.
Take the young, single rookie with lots of energy
and wild sense of adventure. With the need to be
responsible only for himself the desire for membership in a union is slim to nil.
Look at the "Core Adjustor". You know the people
who have a brand they don't mind showing even if
located in normally embarrassing places. They certainly don't want to alienate their financial
source by even mentioning the word "union".
Many of the veteran adjustors who may tag team with their wives or other relatives have little
financial motive for unionizing. Many can rely on subsidiary incomes.
What are we left with? The middle-age family man who is trying desperately to maintain a high level of professionalism. This is the only way he can compete. His sacrifices are much greater
than most others forming a perspective of union
membership in a more positive light.
Some ask "If you can't take the heat, why don't
you get out of the kitchen?" Many have. Ask the management of Worley Catastrophe why they have set up rookie training plans while on storm at great expense. More cat adjustors are apparently needed.
My conclusion: Unionization, as classically defined, will not work because it lacks the universal support required of the profession. But this may not exclude some form of collective
bargaining membership with some clout.
In the meanwhile, the way I choose to compete is
through information and education. I have learned to say "NO" to some work offers and by being selective my vote is cast.
Tom Toll
Posted on Monday, December 06, 1999 - 12:27 pm:   


Dreaming is the thinking process in reverse. Dreaming is the minds garbage disposal process. Dreams help purge the mind of unintegrated clutter, mysticism, and meaningless non sequiturs absorbed while awake. Dreams have no meanings or connections to reality. Dream analysis is nothing more than feeding regurgitated clutter back into the mind. Plus, the more mysticism and non sequiturs that crowd the mind, the more frequent and nightmarish dreams become. Then subsequent dreams increasingly lose their therapeutic, garbage disposing effect. If the mind becomes increasingly loaded with mystical notions, one's dreams grow less effective in purging and protecting the mind from clutter. The mind then becomes unable to store, integrate, or function efficiently enough to let that person live as a happy, intelligent, productive, conscious being. We therefore must quit dreaming and regurgitating and develop a sense of reality of what and who we are and where we want to go.

A union of catastrophe adjusters is a mystical/non sense notion that all should group together for the benefit of all. It will not and cannot happen in today's society, as we have too many who are illiterate in thought and certainly in education and knowledge in the adjusting methodology. This is a difficult endeavor, to say the least, requiring many years of education and practical application. Please do not try to convince those with reasonable intelligence that the vendors/companies should pay an equal amount to those who have not taken the opportunity to educate themselves. Whether we wish to believe it or not, there are those in this occupation for money only, not the satisfaction of knowing they have helped someone in distress. Greed is the ruination of societal purposes, which needs to be purged from our occupation.

There are those who stand around arbitrarily moaning that they are not making enough income for their effort, yet I see little effort on their part. A person should deliver competitive value to be a value to others. Such a growth process is the essence of human living. Compassion in our field should be a common denominator and goal. We then, will be compensated for this rationale.

An organization for the purposes of education and common thought is a concept that has existed since man realized he has a larger brain capacity than his non thinking ancestors. Now is the time to purge the ineffective quibbles and proceed with our passion to persevere. CADO is the place to initiate this process, no doubt. Remember the three P's always. Perception, perseverance, and perspicacity.

I turned sixty years of age this past November 22, and as of November 29th, have been a licensed adjuster for 38 years. Does this mean that I know all. Absolutely not. I have heard and seen the writing of those who apparently seem to know all there is to know about this occupation. To them I salute and in my subconscious feel sorry for, as there is no one on earth who can possibly know all that is to be known about our field of endeavor. But the resources could be had through the CADO system to better understand that which we do not know. The quibbling seen on this page is disheartening. Some are eloquent in their posting, some are obviously illiterate and don't subscribe to the common sense given to each one of us. Rational, cognitive posting is a plus for all of us. Why must we disguise ourselves behind names that have no meaning. Our names represent who and what we are, either by fact or reputation. Let us all become what we can become.
Don Politte
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 1999 - 8:42 pm:   

To Y-Knot

I said when the big one hits, and I don't work for some of the companys.
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 1999 - 12:31 pm:   

Dave your concept is all well and good, but from seeing the comments of yours and Mr. Flynts I see this as an organization that only the gentlemen that have all of these certifications will benefit.

I have seen many adjusters with certifications as long as my arm, but when you put them out in the field they are worthless. You might think that certifications are good which I cannot dispute, but my point being that a lot of adjusters have a great deal of construction background along with a lot of common sense. From what I've seen in the adjusters community I will take the common sense over the adjuster with all of his or her certifications in a heartbeat.

From what I see with the program that you and others are trying to develop, the ones that already have all of your requirements will benefit while the ones that are new will be on the minimum wage scale while they get the requirements they need to satisfy your organization.

Don't take it wrong, I commend the efforts that are being taken by your group and union cat adjuster, But maybe what each of you should do is open your own companis as a vendor and set by example instead of forcing these efforts down everyones throats. I know you are a pretty well respected adjuster in the field as I have heard, but I feel that this is going a little to far. You say lead by example than go out and open your outfit and put your fee schedules and your pay schedules on Cado. I want to see how you guys are going to differ from the rest. Happy holidays to you and your family and may God Bless.
R.D. Hood
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 1999 - 11:41 am:   

There are , as always in life, differing views. The UCA (Union Cat Adjuster) believes that their concept will work, and thats is their right. To be proven, or disproven, remains to be seen.
The other aspect that has been proposed, is an organization, that will consist of truly professional individuals, whom are desireous of:

1) Having all members meet specific criteria. That may include differing degrees of qualifications, or ratings for us. (under study)

2) Allowing the vendors & carriers to depend on the quality of the work product, the integrity of the people, and the commitment to complete the assignment. And to have these employeers acknowledge that a CADO Certified employee, is worth more that one who is NOT.

3) Maintaining an on-going educational process to keep the members updated on all of the specific requirements of the various carriers/ states / policies. And to include, through workshops and on-line instruction and monitoring, the knowledge,and use of,the most modern computer hardware, software and periferials.

4) Allowing for a National Comprehensive Testing program, to clarify the proper designations of competence that will be accepted by EVERY potential employer. ( Im thinking a CADO Degree of competence.)

5) Exibiting a finished product, that all would be proud enough of, to have their name and reputation attached thereto.

6) To lead by example, NOT FORCE!

7) To maintain pride in themselves, their work product, and their reputation. In addition,to educate,the newer and willing, that aspire to learn and carry on this profession to the 21st Century , (a/k/a/ THE MILLENNIUM)

At least, IMHO, thats the way one old dog sees BEYOND the forest, while not neglecting to view the beauty of the trees in between. Food for thought?

May the joy and happiness of this blessed season be enjoyed by all and may your Holiday Season be filled with PEACE and GOOD WILL.

Evan Black
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 1999 - 11:00 am:   

That's it! Union Catadjuster wants to go against the vendors. The vendors don't have the money, the carriers do. The vendors I work for provide me with marketing, 1/2 of the FICA, accounts recievable collecting, and money disbursement. I am also part of a group of people I consider as an extended family. As a former vendor, I appreciate the difficulties involved in performing these functions and do not begrudge the percentage off the top of the fee bill for them! I do not favor a union for us. It appears Union Catadjuster has chosen the wrong target for his ire. I suggest he walk in the vendors shoes a while and experience a dose of reality from that side of the fence.
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 1999 - 9:43 am:   

The efforts that are being made by union cat adjuster and the others that are trying to form an organization, I commend your efforts. What I don't think you are taking into consideration is the ramafications that could come back to haunt you.

Union adjuster what makes you think that you and others aren't going to get blackballed when the vendors and carriers find out who the group is when you start picketing or start going to these people with union representation. What is the real plan of the afl-cio that makes you think that this thing will work.

Are you really willing to put at risk the many old and new that make a living aat this trade to expose them to where they might risk losing everything to follow you?

Sure the schedules suck and the file requirements are getting more and more ridiculous, but haven't you been in the trade long enough to know who and who not to work for. Seems as though this has turned into more of a personal thing than for the ones that you are trying to get to follow.

What makes you think that the carriers won't just bring auto adjusters, hire people off the street, or go more towards a program like the prism deal that is out there. They have deep pockets, do you and is the AFL_CIO willing to put money behind you?

Have you ever been in a union? Are you willing to be told to only buy american or be told what beer to drink? Are you willing to not be an independant anymore, as if you do put together a union you will not have control of your choice anymore?

If you have been in this trade any lenth of time, each and everyone of us know the good and the bad by now. Why would anyone even work for anyone to where the adjuster has to finance a storm for the vendor until they get paid? Isn't this a red flag right off the bat?

The ones that are new just have to realize that they are going to have to pay their dues just like we did. Some of us get to desperate when it comes to work and that is how a lot of us get into trouble, including me. What you have to realize is that each and everyone one of us make that choice. If we make a bad one than pull up stakes and move on, but don't continue to lose money like you did down in Florida.

I only work for two vendors now, as they pay me for the files that I hand in on Thursday by the following Monday or Tuesday. Do your research hard and heavy before you make a commitment, but be realistic about your movement before you take this any further. Wish you and the other group a happy holiday season with your families.
Y. Knot
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 1999 - 7:37 am:   

Let me get this straight Don. You are making $20,000+ per month and you are not happy with the schedule of the company you normally work for?

This is a joke, right? You are kidding us, right?
Don Politte
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 1999 - 8:33 pm:   

RE: Union

Tell me Union Cat Adjuster, if and when the big one hits and I don't show up to work in support of your endevor, are you the one who is going to send me my 20,000.00 + a month, that I would have earned? If so please give me your address, so I can bill you, instead of the vendor I normally work for. Oh, and by the way are you going to pay the with holdings and insurance for those who support your plan, or are we to all go on wellfare until you get this program instigated?
Seriously, I don't know what your on but it must be some pretty good stuff if you really think people are going to give up a pretty good way of life and take a chance on some hair brained scheme.
No, I'm not happy with the way the schedules are going, but it still beats being a staff clone. When the Insurance Companys realize that it is better to charge the file, instead of the loss then and only then are things going to get better.
Many of us have worked for the assorted companys you have denigrated, and will admit that all has not been peaches & creame, however we do this for a reason, to make a pretty fair living and can only forsee problems with what you are proposing.
Number one, who are you going to get to sign a collective bargaining agreement, the companys or the vendors? Two, who in there right mind is going to not answer the call, when it comes to go to work and feed his or her familys? Three, lets say you get 1000 people to sign up and become one of your affiliated members, are you prepared to set up picket lines or whatever you have planed, at each residence or buisness to let the people know your Union wants to take care of their claim and that the person, who has been doing this work for a number of years and who has there best interest at heart can not handle the claim, because they are not Union, I don't think so.
In closing we all have pipe dreams and somtimes they come true, I don't think this one will, but more power to you if you pull this off, just don't count me in.
By the way I signed my name, why don't you?
Bill Willard
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 1999 - 9:35 am:   

Having been the vice-president of a local union for eight years I can tell you that all unions have anymore is seniority!That's it.Just because we pay dues,(that go up every two to three years)does not mean we would have representaion,or be able to bargain in good faith.The companies that have money will always make the rules,and the employees will always follow these rules.That is if they want to work!I'm not saying that this industry does not need to be organized,only that there are usually other options.Unionizing would be a wonderful thing for the older (in years & experience)adjusters,but when these people start to retire or leave the industry it will be stuck with unexperienced,underqualified young people who won't have the older ones to answer questions,mentor them,or just to get a pat on the back from every once in a while,if people still do that sort of thing.I am new to this business and want very much to be"as good as I can be",but I for one want and need the help of the more Knowledgable and experienced,and I'm afraid I will not get this help if I'm not on the job with this caliber of adjusters.The older ones will work the jobs that pay more,are closer to home,and they will be separated from the newer people because of seniority.In my opinion this would not only be bad for "NEWBEES" but also for an industry that requires Knowledge,experience,and constant training.We really need to put a lot of thought into this,and the newer people need to definitely be involved in any and all decision making processes.Maybe I shed a little light on the subject, maybe not but at least I got my feelings off my chest.Thanks
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Friday, December 03, 1999 - 1:01 am:   

Just to let you guys know, the AFL-CIO has contacted me, and they are interested in helping us form a power base apart from the vendors.
We need this desperately, and it will work. I envision it being crystallized on next big cat.

Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Friday, December 03, 1999 - 12:47 am:   

Posted on Friday, December 03, 1999 - 12:29 am:   

John G. Hooker
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 9:21 pm:   

The only way a Union would work if a large storm came and no adjusters would go to work. I do not see that happening, but a union would be nice.
A Catarstophe organization like naca would be the way to go, if they would do something to benfit the catastrophe adjuster other than putting their name in a book for a $100.00 and maybe return phone calls.

Anybody in favor of starting a new Catastrophe Adjusting organization? For The Adjuster By The Adjuster, you might say.
David Bennett
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 6:35 pm:   

Well phantom, you have made some points, but let me try and give you some insight to the executive branch. You see, I was one of those, making those decisions on fees and rates as little as a year ago. Most of the carriers who deal in catastrophe situations generally have at least one if not several persons who are wise to the street. We use our experience and resources to determine what should be a fair price for the product received. As for the loss ratio's, what you must understand is that when all of the categories are broken down (expenses) and those executives (who have little knowledge about claims) review them, what they see are expense dollars on the claims. These dollars are generally the easiest to identify and quickest to eleminate. We who have claims knowledge, agree that this is a sure fire way to cause your loss ratio to increase, because as has been pointed out you end up paying more on losses because of either accepting what the good insured says and submits or because you have hired an IA who is not qualified for that particular job.

You see, the loss ratio does not start to increase to a point that it is noticed for several years and then the pressure is put on to reduce the trend but still maintain the current expense trend. Not easily done. Of course if the industry would get back to training and sending people to the field and pay people what their worth, it could happen relatively quickly. However, the companies have dumped not only the adjusting (what used to be adjusting) activities on the adjuster but also all the clerical activities as well.

You see the real culprit are the companies themselves. The adjuster who sits behind a desk and has never been in the field is not adequately trained to be able to supervise an I.A. Now, some companies have recognized this, but have gone the wrong direction. That is they believe that a contractor or vendor will always be right on their call for damages and some personnal at companies believe the contractor will always write a close estimate and make a correct coverage call. Of course there is an old saying "you get what you inspect not what you expect." So, now the carrier has to hire inspectors and what they end up with is an adjuster who believes he is an adjuster because he or she has been handling claims over the phone for several years and has been to estimating school and of course now has an estimating program to use, so "Shazam" their an adjuster.

Oh, well, its a continuous cycle, expenses for 5 to 10 years and then loss ratio for 5 to 10 years, its been like this for 30 + years and it doesn't appear its going to change.

Bottom line, you can talk to the executives, some know less than some of us, and none of them want to appear as if that is the case, but they all will admit that the powers to be (above the claims departments) have set out an agenda based on numbers, volume and dollars and their directive is to comply by whatever means possible.

Now if you talk with claim executives in the property field, I believe you will find 90% of them are fairly sharp and know what the real bottom line is. Most have been there and done that on both sides of the fence, that is as a company adjuster and as an IA. Those individuals are generally a pleasure to deal with.

So with all this said, the companies still choose who they want to handle their claims, what they believe is a fair price ( to fall within their restrictions) and it doesn't matter how much we sceam and hollar, they will find someone to do the work.

As to an organization to further our profession. You have LEA, The National Forum, National IA Association, State IA Associations just to mention a few and of course NACA (but from the chit chat appears something is up with NACA I haven't heard)

If you get a union formed, good for you. I wish you success.

Gotta go, checking my deposits and gotta set up some appointments. Have a good day.
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 5:01 pm:   


Jim Flynt
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 2:44 pm:   

"Elliot Ness" misses the point entirely in bringing in any discussion of RICO. It is not illegal nor unlawful for any company to set it's own fee and pay schedules for subcontractors and service provider vendors.

What I hope that both Phantom and I are hinting at is this:

Isn't it about time that we as Independent Adjusters (IA's) are also invited to join the discussions and negotiations at the negotiating table with the carriers over service fee pay schedules? Why should the vendors alone have this discussion without us?

WHO is there to represent us? WHO is at the table to tell OUR STORY and to present a picture of OUR NEEDS? WHO is at the fee schedule negotiating table other than the carrier and vendor meeting their own needs? WHO better than informed catastrophe adjuster representatives to show and tell about our increasing costs, increasing risks, increased paperwork, and decreasing net income.

I am not suggesting a UNION here mind you. I honestly believe that we need representatives from the adjusting community at the table as well, and that time is fast approaching when enloghtened carriers and vendors will see this. We should ask for and be allowed to have someone from the worker side of the equation present at the table as well as the other parties at interest.

When we all voice together our needs and ask that we be represented as well, things will change.
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 2:32 pm:   

Do you think it would be interesting, now that there is are meaningful discussions going on, if the various state insurance departments were taking the time to moniter this site?
Learned alot flippin burgers, didn't you Phantom? Like maybe how not to get burnt!
Elliot Ness
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 2:15 pm:   

Phantom, wow, does this smell of RICO? They used to put people in jail for price fixing didn't they?
Jim Flynt
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 2:08 pm:   

PHANTOM your points are very well made and very well taken.

It is quite obvious that your background includes more than "flipping burgers."

Please do not go "into retirement" or hibernation as we need your input and views to enlighten us all. You have a lot of wisdom to share I can see, and we need you in the looming battles ahead.
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 1:50 pm:   

David Bennett brings up a good point that needs addressing. He states the companies set the rates, negotiate the rates, and eventually pays those rates. He is right in most cases with the larger carriers. They have gotten the upper hand. However, if one has ever worked within a company's executive branch, one would know that they would never want to admit to setting these fees or rates. As far as that goes, they really don't want to admit or talk about hiring construction or repair contractors instead of qualified adjusters to give them estimates they pay without any loss inspection by the company's adjuster or a qualified independent adjuster. WHY? SIMPLE! They cannot defend their loss ratios and their loss ratio is the main factor that the premium rates are promulgated. If they hire inferior adjusters because they can hire them cheaper, it can and does negatively affect their loss ratio. Proper adjustment of the claims is to the benefit of all policy holders including you. Companies have only operated in this manner the past 20 to 25 years and they will continue as long as no one takes them to task. They have gotten by with operating this way because no one wanted to be the one that stirred the waters. WHY? Whoever does, they will probably suffer a business loss unless there are enough to join in and then monitor the reaction and action of the companies afterward.

Also lets think about this. If the company sets the fee they pay you, and they supervise the handling of the files they assign to you, guess what. You have just become an employee of that company and entitled to the employee benefits they afford another of their employees. Ready for some of those? Now, why do we allow them to be in control.

Just a little food for thought! I am going to just monitor for the next few weeks and not get involved for awhile. Some I am sure are happy about that.

I've got to get back to my burger flipping, and I know what you are thinking BENNETT. YOU ARE GOING TO LAUGH ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!!!!!

Roy Cupps
Posted on Saturday, December 11, 1999 - 2:38 pm:   

Name: Union Cat Adjuster
Date: 01 Dec 1999
Time: 08:41 AM

Ok Guys and Gals is the proof of what I have been telling you about unionization. I know full well that the only argument that would ultimately work is the BOTTOM LINE. Well, here is the bottom line, as reported today by the AP Sports News Wire:
The story is about the 21 year reign of Major League Baseball's, umpire union head, Richie Phillips. Here is the final paragraph of the newswire, being reported nationwide ......TODAY:
"When he took over, rookie umpires earned $17,500 and the most senior veterans made $40,000. This year, they made a minimum of $95,000 and up to $282,500, including postseason bonuses they all receive."
I can't think of a more appropriate article to post on here, because all you naysayers can just look for yourselves.
You don't think it's possible for cat adjusters to form a union, but I say WE CAN. You don't think that it will have an influence on our pay, but I say it WILL. You don't think anything is possible until you first try.

If you guys can't see how helping your bottom line is good, then you're right, you won't want to join the union, but if you're smart you will. The bottom line is what will determine the success of this, and I'd say an increase in pay of, let's see, $280,000 divided by $40,000, over 20 years ........Hmmmmmmm. Sounds kind of nice.
How much of an increase do you think we will ever see unorganized? How much have the old timers seen in 10 years, let alone 20? Be honest. How long will it take these jacka$$e$, like the head of the JUA in Florida to take us seriously? The answer is that without a union, they NEVER will. There are problems, of course, but we can do it, and we should.
This is not about me, this is about hard working people who need to be able to afford disability insurance, especially during the lean years, while doing a job that the public, and the insurance industry needs.
To all the naysayers I say ........your arguments are mere whispers among a growing crowd of smart dissent. If you are happy making a certain amount of money, then why not more? All the while, giving your fellow professionals more security. It's clear, and the writing is on the wall. If we don't make the dust, we shall be eating it. It's time for a change, it's time for the United Storm Adjusters.
Union Cat Adjuster
David Bennett
Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 1999 - 11:40 pm:   

Well, there certainly is a lot going back and forth regarding the pros and cons of a UNION. However, we need to not forget who actually sets the rates, negotiates the rates and eventually pays those rates. The Insurance Carriers themselves. Been there and done that, and my experience has been that most of the major carriers have an excellent handle on what should be paid for a claim. We all would like to see higher fee schedules and in some instances we do see them. You see the problem with a union from my view is that it rewards those who are not the elite and hinders those who are the elite. You see the real problem is those of us who don't have a problem getting work either on storm or as an assist or working everyday claims will continue to do so without regard to a union. STATE FARM adjusters tried a union back in the 80's and you know what, it failed rather quickly. Unions may work great for professional sports (we all know how much havoc they create) or the auto industry etc. But the major difference is that all the members are employed by someone else as opposed to be self employed with the ability to negotiate and work for whomever you want or are able to.

The freedom to work when I would like for whom I would like and at what fee I am happy with is the reason I left the corporate world and went on my own. You see, I am building a nest egg.

As for me, ya'll go ahead and form a union, attempt to standardize the rates and fees and say this is it or else. In the meantime I'll keep answering the phone and heading off to another assignment.
Posted on Monday, November 29, 1999 - 10:44 am:   

Steve Ebner asks the question: What if they threw a disaster and no one showed up?

The Internet is a powerful too of communication and any time a group of adjusters want to band together and say enough, they could call for a strike, work slowdown, or "sick out" without having a union or professional association behind them in suppport.

The chances for "success" for such a slowdown or strike would obviously depend on the overall attitude of happiness and satisfaction with the staus quo.

The one thing you could bet on though would be that all the filling station attendants, short order cooks, and other adjuster wannabess would always show up for work. After all, it beats the minimum wage they are making now, and requires none of the job training and skills necessary for their other careers.
Evan Black
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 1999 - 10:46 am:   

Now that NACA has been revealed as to its true nature, lets review. Costs on gasoline in the past six months have increased 68%. Lodging costs increased about 23%. Food costs another 8%. Printer ink up from $9.95 to $12.95. Can't afford medical insurance. The carriers are again trying to commit suicide with "approved contractor shops"
thus cutting out our work. All this and more. Do we need a cutting edge organization for field hands and crew owners alike to unify us against the carriers? An American founding father, I believe was Ben Franklin quipped, "We must all hang together or hang separately." Union? No. An association with teeth? Why not?
Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 1999 - 12:18 pm:   

Perhaps the Union Adjuster is well intentioned, but I would prefer to use the word "misguided". Unions once served a purpose. However, now they have the effect of artificially increasing the pay of the non-performing worker and at the same time artificially reducing the pay of the excellent worker. It is a tribute to all the adjusters who balk at a union. It tells me that these are the ones that know that they can make more money without a union. It also tells me they have pride in their profession.

A union of adjusters would be the worst thing that could happen to our profession. Better to band together in an organization that promotes the overall image of the adjuster.
Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 1999 - 12:21 am:   

You keep repeating yourself about "collective bargaining" and other terms I don't think you even know what they are. Are you reading a book while you make these postings? Is that where you are getting them from? You also keep talking about "If I have my way" or "I will protect the newbees". What makes "your way" the gospel for this profession? No one asked you to be a parent to them either. Finally, I strongly feel that the only reason you will not reveal yourself is because you keep throwing stones at the Pilots, GABs, & the Renfroes and you are SO afraid of them knowing who you really are, otherwise you would be straight up about it.
If so many other people are wanting a union like you say they do, they sure are not showing themselves on this page. It seems to me, as well as many others, that the majority is not to form a union, and I think thats the way it will be.
Steve Ebner
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 1999 - 1:49 pm:   

What if somebody threw a disaster and nobody came?

I try to keep upbeat when I enter the forum because in general I love this job. I love the adventure and the money and I get a rush off the storm. And we are just now returning from an excellent experience working on Hurricane Floyd damage in Philadelphia where there were lots of claims, lots of money and lots of the right kind of support. BUT.... I recently had the experience of working for 60% of $115.00 per claim. This "fee" included all photos (they had the unmitigated gall to ask for more) and 60 free miles per claim. There was interior damage on every claim, so I had to make appointments and meet with every single insured so I could only do so many per day. Do the math. Rachel and I have on the road expenses of $1000 a week, photo expenses, gas expenses, rent on the apartment back in Erie. Throw in the usual expenditures we all have and try to find a profit. This work was with a vendor I respect and have had good past experience with, but in this case I actually left the storm site when there might have been more work available. And I don't want to do it again. I know some of the vendor executives that care about what we think are monitoring this site. Here's a suggestion: Find someone who knows how to negotiate. Hire that person. Use that person to negotiate the fee schedules with the carriers. Move the person who is currently negotiating your fee schedule to the mailroom.

I really don't want to belong to a union. I just want to work for a wage that allows my wife and I to continue on the road because it is the life we love. Is that too much to ask?
Glen Garoutte
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 1999 - 6:18 am:   

Some questions I would like to ask are these.

1. Where can we go and make $100,000 plus a year in six months?
2. How many young and old have incorporated themselves to take advantage of the tax breaks out there?
3.How many of you really think that if you let the union get ahold of this that they will be for the adjuster?

The few points that I am trying to address are important issues that each and every one of us need to be aware of .Personally I respect the efforts of the union adjuster, but unfortunately it will not fly. If each and everyone of you want your freedom yanked out from under your feet then remember when I told you so.

I feel that the only way to approach the situation is to have a forum somewhere soon and let Roy Cupps and Jim Flynt head this up. It would have to be done before hail season hits again, or you will never get anyone to come.

I would also suggest inviting some carriers and vendors to let them know our gripes along with being to hear their view also. Lets quit talking about it and get together and discuss the issues. The thought of a P.A.A.(PROFESSIONAL ADJUSTERS ASSOCIATION) would be a great thing to see. Not just to have there for a sounding board, but also to educate each and everyone of us in how to invest, what affordable insurance is out there for the independant. etc. Please voice your opinion, as I know we all will. Hope you all will be safe and enjoy the holidays with your family.
Evan Black
Posted on Monday, November 22, 1999 - 12:12 pm:   

Well Boys, now that the pressure cooker whistles are going off, lets turn down the fire and review what the basic issues are down inside the pot!
#1. Do we as a group need a group health plan other than the current hodgpodge of individual or cafeteria plans?
#2. Who does Mr Union Catadjuster want to collective bargain with, the vendors or the carriers?
#3. Am I mistaken or was one of the originals aims of NACA to provide an organization for the pursuit of these basic and other issues?

The last & only time I witnessed an attempt at unionization was when about 100 disaffected adjuters met in the basement of the Los Angeles Hilton hotel during the earthquake and it promptly disentigrated into one big bitch session.
After about two weeks of hot air & drum beating, lets get some real meat on the table on this topic, or go on the next one.
Posted on Monday, November 22, 1999 - 10:45 am:   

I was in a union once, and we went on strike for 3 weeks. After collective bargaining concluded we obtained a $1.35 per hour raise and some benifits.
However, the 3 weeks wages I lost were never made back while working in a chosen profession.
People do need a voice (some do) and before you go to unions and expect a voice, then try yourself to negiotate your best deal, I dont know many union crafts making in excess of 100K per year before taxes,etc. while only working 4-6 months, if you do, I will go to work for them, IF I AM QUALIFIED!
Jus Wonderin
Posted on Monday, November 22, 1999 - 9:45 am:   

Why don't you tell us who you really are MR NON-UNION CAT ADJUSTER?

What is your excuse?

What do you have to hide?

Afraid someone might show you up for who and what you really are?
Posted on Monday, November 22, 1999 - 9:35 am:   

Mr. Alan Jackson

I am not a Vendor, Insurance Company or a hired hand for one. I work for a percentage of the take. I have been around for a few years and can see what the person is trying to do with the money I make (take it away). NO ONE tells me how much that I can make!!!
I'm sorry I/f you feel I work for one of those companys, but I DO NOT!!!!!
This guy who calls himself the UNION CAT ADJUSTER just spouts off like another person use to do in the bulletin board a few months back, so I think I have you nailed Mr. UNION CAT ADJUSTER!!!!!
Enough of the negative, think POSITIVE and you and your work will show it and you will be soooo much happier.
Have a nice THANKSGIVING and a wonderful Holiday Season.

An Old Timer
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 11:08 pm:   

Mr. Union Adjuster
We all have noticed you do not address the questions but spout on instead.
How do you think your small independent adjusting firms nationwide will accept this union? Why would they like it?
Do you really think you can get a bunch of sound independent adjusters to strike for the benefit of those not so sound?
Suggest a new name for your group. United Storm Adjusters is too close to the name of United Adjusters out of Mobile, Al. How about the "Pipe Dreamers"?
I am signing off & out. You shouldn't hear from me again!!!! I have more to do than read these type of postings.
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 10:48 pm:   

Mr.? Union Cat Adjuster:
Are you a man or what? Get off the coatstrings of the professionals and stay with the small independents that don't know your game. The larger companies know you and what you are and are tired of sending in another adjuster after you leave to mop up what you have screwed up!!!
Why don't you answer any of the questions I have posed to you? Is all I asked TRUE? You are by no means what I want to work for, or would work for or with!!! Still letting Mommy do all the fighting for you and you are using that old cloak in the dark routine to try and get people like yourself to agree with you and to side with you. I'll tell you what. Take all (of course you have a lot) of your followers and see how much that you make per year. Not to brag, but I'll bet my gross$ is double or triple yours, because you want to lie back and let someone else do the work and you collect. Are you also on ADC, UNEMPLOYMENT and live in SECTION 8 HOUSING?
Get a life or crawl back in under the rock you came from.......
Evan Black
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 10:27 pm:   

Mr Union catadjuster,
Please answer the question, Who do you consider the "enemy", the vendors or the carriers?
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 8:19 pm:   

The brave men and women who climb roofs every day are brave enough to fight the status quo. As for being blackballed. In this industry, with the right experience, you can work for small independents nationwide. Which is what I generally prefer. Who don't give a rats a$$ about this web page, but who rely on the grape vine and/or resumes for their labor.

I have never been black balled that I know of by anyone, or if I have, it was by mutual consent, you can be sure. The more popular names I've mentioned, because they seem to be the worst abusers.

Believe me, there are people who know the Truth, who are agreeing with me in private e-mails daily. Which blows my mind that such a condition of fear exists. It says that something is wrong. That power is in the wrong hands.

I have no problem with the vendors getting a certain percentage of our wages. What I have a problem with, is the take multiplied by hundreds or even thousands of times, without regard to the hard working men and women they employ. That kind of abuse exists with the larger firms, SOME of whom I have mentioned. What they should realize is that if we unionize, then chances are there will be more money for everyone, but so far that hasn't dawned on them ..........

Getting the picture guys? Ever thought of having the excuse of asking for more money because the union will strike if you don't? It blows my mind how short sighted you old timers are sometimes. I'm sure the old time biplane pilots who fought in WWI thought the thing when then airline pilots organized.

The newbies can be more easily blackballed, so I will protect them, you can be certain. Before the vendors realize what is happening, secret organizing via e-mail and the web will bring about the changes only a union can muster.
If anyone is threatened with "blackballing," that company will have a real fight on it's hands. A fight that begins with that kind of terminology.

We need a union to collectively bargain for us. We need the United Storm Adjusters.

Union Cat Adjuster
Evan Black
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 5:39 pm:   

Mr Union Cat Adjuster, Are you seeking to go after the vendors or the carriers? The money will always be at the carriers. We should not begrudge the vendors their 30% because that is the cost of marketing and administration for us. I really believe that if the crew owners would have lunch several time a year and agree on a united front in negotiations with the carriers, we in the field along with the crew owners would be the winners. Do we need a group health insurance plan and other types of side benefits"? Of couse, but due to the nature of our business, the best we can do so far is a "cafeteria" type plan. Why do you not like the idea of transforming NACA to achieve your ideas? The place where I see the huge need for actual unionization is at the company staff level. Those poor SOB's are suffering like I've never seen before.
An Old Timer
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 3:16 pm:   

MR. Flynt, if UNION CAT ADJUSTER OR WHATEVER HE IS can stay anonymous and use vendor's names the way he does, I guess I can stay anonymous and tell him what an idiot he is reflecting himself to be.
When you use the good names of the good three vendors the way you do, you are telling the world they ran you off and will not rehire you. You are already "blackballed". I'd bet a thousand to one you were wrong, whatever happened between you and the three vendors. I have more respect for John Sweeney using a vendors name as he at least told us who he was. Besides, he was run off by only one vendor I guess.
Is the reason you only mentioned three vendors because you haven't worked for the others so they don't know you yet? (bet they do)
Unionman, where do you think you would be if you didn't have vendors? If you could land an account direct with the insurance company, you would and wouldn't need this union help you are wanting.
I'd guess you to be less than a 10 year wonder with probably 6 months experience 20 times. Otherwise, you would have a better overall view of the industry you are in and realize that independent adjusters will never be unionized. Most of like the word independent even if it is getting to be less independent day by day because of wonders such as you.
If you will give us your name, most of the more experienced adjusters will help you by "blackballing" you also. I predict you are a short comer and stayer both.
Anyway, I wish you a BETTER life, MR. UNION BLA..BLA...BLA...BLA.
rw morris
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 1:59 pm:   

First I would like to apoligize for responding a second time so soon. I think a few ideas adressed by "UNION CAT ADJUSTER" do seem to have a little merit. I as well as many of the adjusters I have met in the business have a contractor-construction background. I have had to learn alot about this business trial by fire. I think that as INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS we need to educate ourselves in cetain areas regarding our unique job situation.
1. Retirement - Best way to set this up
2. Health Benefits- Where and how
3. Tax Planning- Best strategies
4. Legal Insurance-Where and how
Overall I have been pretty fortunate as far as assignments go. I have made a very nice income for the last 5 yrs. I have also been a member of various unions, and I can say it was an OK situation, alot of people I saw that needed the union were people who played games with the employer and expected the union to fight their battles for them. I did not realize that the items I listed above were readily available to me, as long as I had the discipline to search them out. Our job situation is very unique, and we need to protect it on a personal basis. In closing I ask my friends abot fee schedules, when do we get paid, paperwork req. ect. I ALWAYS MAKE THE FINAL DECISION! Oh yes, Happy Thanksgiving!
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 1:38 pm:   

I have news for you. The ratio of "newbies" to veterans contacting me is about 10 to 1 in favor of the veterans. The "newbies" are too afraid right now, but they won't be for long. Not if I have my way. We will all be at the bargaining table on the next big cat, and we will ALL vote on the TERMS of our employment industry wide. Scare you? Why? Because it will be a positive change for the vast majority of troopers who are smart enough to figure this out?

As for me desiring to get a job out of all of this, you're wrong. I'm more likely to lose the only job I have right now, in pursuit of this goal. I could care less about being a union boss. I love my job. I'm just sick of seeing the real weasels get rich off of my back, and who have unfairly taken from the profession for years, giving back little or nothing. The way it is now, the employers and the insurance industry are one and the same entity. They speak with the same mouth. They feed you the same BS, or lie to you in VEILED TERMS OF ENDEARMENT. They don't bargain for us, they squash us. They care nothing for the individual, hence the creation of the term "warm body," which gives some indication of the pattern of abuse in this industry, and the lack of effective management over the profession.

The creation of the United Storm Adjusters(U.S.A.) will put an end to the status quo, and will mark the dawning of a new age for this profession. An age of truth. An age of fairness for the hard working men and women who so desperately try and make this profession their job. Their only job.

Who go home to sub par and even humiliating temporary jobs because no one will take their resumes seriously. I've been there, I know what they face.

The only thing I care about are the professionals who are my friends. I don't care if I make one dime off of a union, except at the bargaining table. My pay will be in heart felt gratitude and warm smiles, which money cannot buy. This is a truly selfless effort, and that's where you will find you've met your match.

The status quo must go. That's my rally cry.

Union Cat Adjuster
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 12:12 pm:   

The idea of a professional organization as opposed to a union is good. However, I don't see this idea changing the power structure as effectively as a union would.

The trouble seems to be in the perception of "unions" per se, and I would agree that when we think of unions, we generally thing of blue collar workers. This is far from the truth, however. Typically, men and women in high risk jobs have unionized, as opposed to forming professional organizations, because only a union has the power to bargain for them effectively. The airline pilots are a good example. They are not slackers. They are smart professionals.

I don't agree that a union of cat adjusters would be more corrupt or evil than the status quo. Because the status quo is clearly EVIL. The big difference is that with a union, you can more effectively and collectively vote against your bosses,and that's the power of a union. Not the reverse.

Most of us are tired of working long hours for the wealthy few who control us. Who get rich off of our backs, and who have adequate health, disability and other insurance, because they can afford it. We're sick of you guys. MOVE A$$IDE.

Attempts to thwart a change in the power structure, will only make me more determined, and the abuse more evident.

It's time for the Truth to be told. It's time for a drastic change that only a union can bring about.

Union Cat Adjuster
Glen Garoutte
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 11:45 am:   

I am sitting here reading the comments on the pros and cons of unionizing the Cat Adjusters. One thing I feel in all of this debate is that the union will take away the freedom of being an independant. In my earlier years I was an electrician in Local 59 in Dallas Texas. I was recruited and looking back now made a stupid mistake joining. I went to a meeting one night, and when I walked out a mans toyota pickup was destroyed. This happened because the union believed in only buying american products. Where was this mans freedom of choice? To say the least I resigned the next day as did several of my friends that had the same beliefs as I did. If you think that the union is going to do the things for you and hold up to their promises, than you are in for a rude awakening. You have a choice as to who you work for. There are good and bad in every industry in the United States. Be careful each and every one of you that are rallying behind the union adjuster. If you have never been in a union, then I highly suggest that you do some real indepth search before you enter into this wild hare that this man has taken on. Think about if you get involved in this and the adjusting firms find out, don't you think they can make things extremely tough for you as far as future work. There are other ways to get the schedules to where they need to be, but I promise you the union way will be the biggest mistake you have ever made. Hope each and every one of you have a safe and happy holiday.
Non-Union Adjuster
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 10:45 am:   

Well, Union Cat Adjuster:
You did not address any of my questions!!!
You want a Union because you are a little pimp squeak who doesn't have the gutts to approach one of the vendors and get a 9 to 5 job. It sounds to me as if you want so much per hour and that is exactly what a Union will do for you and will cut my pay in a third! Get with the times BOZO go out and get a Union Job if that is what you desire. I have a couple of questions:
1. How long have you been self-employed?
2. How much did you gross last year?
3. Does your wife work and pay all the bills and your income is for the finer things of life?
You sound like A Public Adjuster that I had a chance meeting with on a fire 10 years ago. He was all mouth while on the phone but when we went face to face, he backed down and eventually wanted to hire me. Kinda sounds like you. All mouth and probably not a good work record. You need someone to stand up and do your fighting. Not enough where it counts, heh?
If there is a Union started, it will hurt everyones income but yours, because you would weasel your way into a paying job with them and as far as I'm concerned, you are a WEASEL!!!!
Take it somewhere else and stop stirring up all the newbies. That is what you have the attention of, the newbiews that don't know any better and the people like you who don't want to work as all the other good adjusters do.
I probably have met you in my years doing this and I know the type of person you are!
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 1999 - 10:06 am:   

My response to those who don't want a union because ONLY dumb people need one is this:

If you don't think that collective bargaining will work for both the smart and the dumb, then you're not very smart. Collective bargaining will work for everybody except those who have something to lose by it. I wonder who that could be? I wonder who might not want to see the hard working men and women unite to decide for THEMSELVES what their pay should be? I wonder who is so short sighted to see that only the status quo will work? Could it be those who are getting rich off of the status quo?

Get ready to lose your pants, because a union is coming, and when it does, there will be no strikes because we will win at the bargaining table, where the Pilots, the GAB's, the Renfroe's have all LOST for the average adjuster. That's who my message is directed to, the average hard working cat adjuster. We don't just want more money, we want more honor and control, and a union can give that to us. The airline pilots have one, the stewards and stewardesses, the screen writers and actors, the steel workers, the automobile workers.
I could go on and on. Are all these people dumb? I don't think so. We are uniquely positioned for collective bargaining. We are uniquely positioned to WIN at the bargaining table. It's time for a change in the power stucture. It's time for the emergence of the "United Storm Adjusters," which when abbreviated has a symbolic ring to it, don't you think? If anybody has a better idea for a name, post it in here.

If you're against a union because you're satisfied, then why say anything? If anyone is interested, PLEASE E-MAIL ME, because the mail I'm getting would suggest that this is going to cause a lot of pants upstairs to drop ............... in embarrassment. The www. can make this happen a lot easier than you think.

Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Saturday, November 20, 1999 - 9:45 pm:   

To Union Cat Adjuster:
I have worked in and out of Unions for a long time, previous to my being an adjuster. I think you are barking up the wrong tree (if in fact you are what you say you are). If you work hard while you are away and not eating out at a nice place EVERY nite and shooting the bull in the parking lot EVERY night you can make a nice living in the field we are in. You remind me of a person who really does not want to work but wants one of those union representative jobs that would be created for a few people if you had your way. I and probably 99% of the adjusters out there feel the same as myself. You are someone with NO backbone and you want everything given to you (you aren't on welfare, are you)? Please go down to your local Union hall and apply for a job. I enjoy my work and am good at it as I think you are NOT! Do us all a favor and leave this profession and find yourself a job that you can berate people in, as this seems to be what you are doing to the Companies. I too have had problems with Companies in the past, but I stood up for my rights and got all my pay. Get a backbone and have a nice Holiday.
rw morris
Posted on Saturday, November 20, 1999 - 2:45 pm:   

After reading all of this talk about the "UNION" I finally have had to rspond. It seems to me the old saying "COMPLAIN IF YOU WERE HUNG WITH A NEW ROPE APPLIES HERE". I have been a member of the Teamsters as well as construction unions. Just because there is a "UNION" in place does not guarantee any type of protection. Dues do not guarantee any type of satisfaction. I would rather the forum be how we can educate ourselves to fund our own health insurance, retirement, job security ect. I take care of all of these on my own and would like to discuss it with people of the same mind set.I have friends who are w-2 employees and they feel it is the best option for them and I respect that. I think the bottom line is do a good job ONE claim at a time.
Tom Joyce
Posted on Saturday, November 20, 1999 - 7:16 am:   

I can't say I'm for or against a union at this time. As a concept it seems like a great idea. But take it from one who grew up in union country, I don't know how many of you will be able to go down to the local, sign up for work, deal with the union rep and business agents (who by the way will have their favorites), run down jobs, deal with the vendors and companies, who are not going to change their proccedures anyway. Kinda sounds like what you have now without dues.
Eric Carlson
Posted on Saturday, November 20, 1999 - 1:05 am:   

We use standardized aptitude tests for hiring purposes and it is interesting to note that the intelligence rating for adjusters tends to fall in the same category as accountants, lawyers, and others who are considered "professionals". Patrick Lowe made a post on the 15th concerning the topic of creating a professional organization as opposed to a union. I'm not an adjuster (I'm with one of the software companies that serves your industry) so I think I can give a fairly unbiased assesment of adjusters as a whole and in my opinion a professional organization would be the more appropriate route to go. It would probably take longer and require more effort but it seems it would accomplish the objectives that the union proponents have been advocating while avoiding some of the strong negative feelings that many have towards unionizing. Yes, collective bargaining does bring a sense of power, but as Steven Covey says, "law is the lowest form of human communication." If you want to be looked upon and treated as professionals you should act that way. If you want to be looked upon and treated as "worker bees", then acting that way (i.e. unionizing) will help attain that goal.
John J Sweeney
Posted on Friday, November 19, 1999 - 6:28 pm:   

Could you imagine the scene at the Pilot mansion when Frank Fitzsimmons, Walter Ruther, or some other AFL-CIO bgiwig shows up to talk with Curtis Pilot about pay raises for his adjusters?

Can you imagine what efforts the adjusting firms might make and what steps they might take to discredit or harm Union Cat Adjuster or anyone else who tries to upset the apple cart which makes them rich??

Imagine anonymous postings on this site from anti union activists who are actually Pilot or other adjusting firm personnel in disguise.

You begin to get the picture?

Think about it.
Jim Flynt
Posted on Friday, November 19, 1999 - 6:07 pm:   

Without getting into the pros or cons of this issue "at this time," it does seem to me understandable to almost anyone why Union Cat would desire to remain anonymous. Can you imagine the organized effort to "blackball" him personally for his efforts to unite the catastrophe adjusting community for better pay and working conditions.

Secondly, while I have "no dog in this fight" at this time, I do support whatever efforts anyone makes which will enhance the reputation of our community, improve our pay and other benefits, and which might also improve the working conditions and safety for those working in sometimes dangerous circumstances.

This "debate" could produce lots of ideas and engage many voices previously unheard on this page. Let's hear it from both "sides" and see where we share common ground. We all stand to gain from this discussion.

Finally, as gentlemen, it would seem that we could listen to another point of view without resorting to name calling. To do so, belittles the very arguments which the name caller stands for. We are all one community with many voices and many views, yet we can all learn from looking and listening to the views and thoughts shared by others. Come on guys, let's stop the name calling and start looking for ways to improve the circumstances for all affected by disaster; whether it be adjusters, adjusting firms, insurance carriers, or Insureds.
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Friday, November 19, 1999 - 2:47 pm:   

To the Jimmy Hoffa commentator in soapbox,

The only people not interested in collective bargaining, are those who have nothing to gain by it. I have already written a letter to the AFL-CIO regarding our profession, to see what their thoughts are.

Organizing a union is NOT my dream and it makes me mad to think we need to do this to protect ourselves. I have better things I could be doing, but I am sick and tired of hearing and seeing guys get the shaft and then being stuck with the expenses. It happens a lot to people who don't deserve it. With a union, you could go after the bad vendors and pressure them to be fair and honest with everyone ....Period. If you don't think enough guys have been shafted REPEATEDLY over the years, to make this interesting to them, just watch what happens when they see the snowball begin to roll down the hill. And if my mailbox is any indication, then it's rolling faster than I thought. The vendors power will decrease, and the adjusters power will increase. That's the end result.

This is not about me, this is about us, all of us.
If I can bring it to fruition with the King's English, then give the King credit. All you can do is smile at the stutus quo, which I'm sure has played out handsomely for you. It hasn't for everybody,and the reason is the profession needs some bargaining power from within it's own ranks.

This is about money and control, and the membership will have the control, not the organizer.

Union Cat adjuster.
Jimmy Hoffa
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 1999 - 10:23 pm:   

Union bla..bla..bla..bla..bla..

What a bunch of malarky. If and that's a BIG IF, there is a union ever organized, do you honestly think anyone with an IQ higher than the current temperature would even consider "union organizer" with all his wonderful "abilities" and his excellent command of the King's English. Give us all a break and go play on some other BB with your pipe dreams. Personally, I wouldnt pay you 5 cents to represent me anywhere. I guess when you approach an Insurance Company and they turn you down, you can always respond with "bite the big one." Grow UP ..
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 1999 - 9:42 pm:   

Cats and Rats ...hhmmm . Lions and tigers and bears OH MY !Scary stuff . Watch out guys and gals who knows what mean and nasty animal is waiting for you .
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 1999 - 9:17 am:   

Where there's a will, there is a way, and I think the ultimate bottom line will determine if this becomes successful, not the front money, nor who I am right now. Even the vendors should recognize the power of collective bargaining, and how they might benefit.

I'm getting lots of private letters from adjusters who are proposing ideas that will help this come to pass. To them I say, Thank You for your ideas, I need your help. This is a grass roots movement. You cannot stop people who see that a change is needed. The power of the internet can make it happen.

I can smell the vendor rats running around, but trust me, there are cats waiting in the wings. Lots of cats.

Union Cat Adjuster
David Pierce
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 1999 - 12:58 am:   

I have been reading this forum with interest!
There are a lot of NEWBIES who are not FRYCOOKS, but we are in a position of having to work for what is being offered anytime, anyplace we are asked for the sole purpose of acquiring experience that seems very abundent with the majority of people posting. If you do not like the fee schedules being offered either start your own company, become a FRYCOOK fulltime, or move out of the NEWBEES way so we can take your place. Thanks for all your help in this business.
Darrin Lewis
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 1999 - 12:51 am:   

I agree with the posting by Trent Massey. He was very direct and to the point about this union nonsense. A good adjuster does not need a union to feel safe in his job, a good adjuster just needs to perform his or her duties correctly and maintain a good working relationship with the vendors and carriers.
And finally, YOU BITE THE BIG ONE!!!! Why must a union be organized for you to reveal your identity? Sounds to me like you are afraid to. Maybe that is the case, this way when the union is NEVER implemented, you won't have to worry about everyone knowing who you are.
Gale Hawkins
Posted on Monday, November 15, 1999 - 11:23 pm:   

Anonymous Organizer where is the $250K coming from for the seed money to just get this campaign started? Are you free to name to organization that the proposed union would be associated with in its start up phase? Do you have any idea where someone could even be found that has the respect of both the carriers and adjusters that would be willing to undergo the work necessary to make this happen? He or she would have to be a real leader to pull this off since adjusters tend to be self-thinkers.

P.S. Could you please explain what you meant by “then bite the big one”? Thank you.
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Monday, November 15, 1999 - 9:56 pm:   

I suspect that the argument can always be made, that the experienced don't need a union, or that the willing will always work without one.

Let me say something that might surprise you. I don't think a picket line will ever be necessary in our profession. I don't think it would ever get to that point, because the public or the government wouldn't, or couldn't let it happen after a big CAT, which is when I plan to crystallize the union's power anyway.

You can train all the 3 day wonders you want to, but the public is getting sick and tired of greasy haired fry cooks going to million dollar houses. Gentlemen, it's time for a change, and we won't get it without some kind of major shake up.

You can negate the evidence all you want to. You can dismiss the obvious even more, but you can't hide from the problems the profession faces.

The vendors don't have the power alone, and I'm not trying to cut them entirely out. Please don't think that. Only a fool thinks he doesn't need management. I'm just trying give the the power of collective bargaining a chance, mixed in with reasonable fairness, and more money for the hard working men and women who try and make it year after year in this business.

This will come to pass, or something else more drastic will .......MARK MY WORD. We haven't seen the unthinkable, and yet it could easily occur. Two major CATS at the same time. The public would demand media coverage, and then the TRUTH of the inadequacies would be revealed apart from this website, and the heads that would roll would be the current vendor system anyway. It doesn't take a prophet to see this.

The vendors cannot possibly solve the problem on their own. I agree we need management, but not the kind that shows fear at our expense. Not the kind that takes millions and gives back little or NOTHING to the hard working men and women who slave for them. Who joke that "warm bodies" are sufficient in time of need, at the expense of us all.

Gentlemen, we need a union, and if you're happy with the status quo, then fine .......go eat at the PILOT mansion whenever you want. I for one do not care to. I'd rather see us all have disability insurance, something few of us can afford in the lean years, no matter how hard we work.

The only guys I see arguing against unionization are the very experienced who've already made it. I have the experience to work for better pay, but I can't turn a blind eye to the exploitation I see occurring, nor the problems the profession as a whole faces. It's selfish to do that, and if the experienced don't think they need a union, then let them get swallowed up by their own greed, I really don't care. I'm thinking long term for an honorable profession that the public needs.

Union Cat Adjuster

P.S. I will reveal my name when a union charter is drafted. If you don't want to read what I have to say anonymously, then bite the big one, I really don't care. The worker bees all understand .......
Trent Massey
Posted on Monday, November 15, 1999 - 6:15 pm:   

I agree that there will never be a union. As a prior post said, there will always be someone who will work the claims while those in the picket line starve. It's just a fact of this business. I agree that if you are one of the better adjusters you will find work, stay busy, and enjoy a good living. I have enjoyed a good living, and have done so even with walking away from poor fee schedules or poor working arrangements. Don't be afraid to say no to the vendor if the situation calls for it.

Everyone wants to see fee schedules increased and our security protected, but a union will only be another voice ( and expense ) we will have to answer to. You can read a lot of emotions in the postings by others on this subject. It's these emotions from union types that you will be answering to if it happens, whether you are a member or not. Do we want that?

In addition, if someone wants to persuade me to their side of the table they first must tell me their name. I will no longer read postings by anyone who doesn't reveal themselves. I am getting a lot of email from my friends who are reading this debate and we all agree. It's a courageous and noble act to introduce your real name and then express yourself professionally and with tact like MANY do on this website. It's a cowardly act to hide behind a disguise throwing negatives and mentioning names and proclaiming yourself leader. Sorry, but most of my friends who are successful in this business are not followers. As a prior posts mentions, create security by making it yourself.

Finally, I've felt for a long time that in the future, many insurers are going to cut out the middle man and go directly to the independent adjuster. With certifications and team leader concepts prevailing, insurers can develop their own roster of preferred IA's and eventually cut out some of their vendor needs. The vendors take 30-40% of the fee for their part. Couldn't a large insurer set up their own in-house IA department cheaper than a typical vendor and be able to pay the adjuster more since the middle man was elimanted??? Also, wouldn't an insurer prefer the better adjusters over the less experienced??? I think if this were to occur the better adjusters might work more and fee schedules, benefits, etc. might improve. I think I prefer this scenario unfolding than to a union.
Patrick Lowe
Posted on Monday, November 15, 1999 - 2:50 pm:   

I am 57 years old, a retired staff "adjuster" who served as corporate supervisor, general adjuster, field adjuster, for my career. I am now an appraiser and umpire for a very good fee an hour. Why am I telling you this? - to tell you that the only security I found in a good wage is that which I created myself. I invested 16% of what I made, consistently for 30 years, was lucky with the stock market, had the advatage of employer contributions, and managed to put myself into an independent financal position. Everyone out there can do the same. In 1989 my employer cut our retirement program in half, at will, and we "took it" without a lawsuit. The fact is this would never have happened with a Union, but a union is something that will never happen. There will always be independent contractors (called independent adjusters) who will take the claims and work them while the adjusters on the picket line starve. I saw Safeco break the retail clerks union in Seattle, and State Farm break the adjuster's union in Ohio. There are two answers to this problem and they are:
1) Adjuster organizations and individuals should lobby their state legislators to enact laws to require tests for adjusting at various levels. By making it a "professional" organization, then the numbers can be limited, thus driving up the value of each person who is an adjuster. To my knowledge only North Carolina requires a test to get an adjusters license, other States and Provinces in North America allow companies to license their own adjusters at will, while they may require independents to pass a test - which is an exception. Do you wonder why Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Architects, Airline Pilots etc obtain higher compensation? It is because the number is limited by the education and test passing process. The public, of course, would support a knowledgeable adjusting staff, and the legislators would therefore look favorably upon this. The insurance companies would hate it.
The second way is to do what I did, save your money, invest separately in long term investments with a good chance of success on a consistant basis, and plan to "make it" separate from this adjusting occupation.
Gale Hawkins
Posted on Monday, November 15, 1999 - 11:16 am:   

Unions do work but how well and for who seems to be the question. The closest example to independent adjusters I personally know of is farmers. Since I left the farm in 1972 I have not kept up with the NFO (National Farmers Organization) nor do I know where it is head quartered. How they successfully organized independent farmers should be helpful in organizing independent adjusters.
Posted on Monday, November 15, 1999 - 8:50 am:   

If an adjuster takes the time to look over a fee schedule and determines that it is not healthy enough to profit from then it is up to that adjuster to look elsewhere for work. Look at your expected gross income on a storm-by-storm basis, subtract your expected road expenses and then determine if you can live with the schedule in front of you. If the money does not seem to be there - walk away and find another vendor to work for. If you are an experienced adjuster with a good rep, you will always work. I would give my right arm for a team of 50 men or women that equal my top 10 adjusters. In most cases, however, new adjusters are so anxious to work they work for the low-ball schedules and perpetuate the cycle of low pay. Many vendors can fix a bad field adjustment with good office supervision. If adjusters would just say "No thank you" to vendors that low-ball fees to get claims at the expense of the field adjuster, these firms would lose their contracts and carriers would be encouraged to pay a fairer wage to cat vendors who sell their professional services at a higher (fairer) rate. As long as their are cat adjusting firms and large carriers there will be unfair schedules either due to the bully-minded attitude of a carrier or the lack of backbone of the vendor's management. These facts not withstanding, there still are plenty of smaller, stable firms that work with smaller clients for better rates. It is the responsiblity of the owners of those firms to let adjusters know they exist and it is the responsibility of adjusters to seek out those firms and show them their 'stuff'. Good luck with your union's progress - its a long road but what road worth taking isn't?
Evan Black
Posted on Monday, November 15, 1999 - 1:26 am:   

Do we independent storm troopers need a union? At this point I'm not sure. I do know that the company staff adjusters need to unionize, particularly at Allstate, Farmers, Metropolitan P&C and others as well. Of these three I have personal experience. But we independents already have the framework in place for a trade union of sorts already. Its called N.A.C.A. Granted it is somewhat of a toothless lion but it could easily alter its focus to agressively pursue the aims of Mr Union cat adjuster. And these aims of his for the basics such as health insurance and collective bargining for fair compensation is not unreasonable. However we cannot begrudge the crew owners their piece of the action on the fee bill. Indeed it is important to realize that if they are doing their job of standing up to the company execs and not being buffaloed into accepting low fees then we are the winners in the deal. Another sanguine point to remember is that crew owners are accruing marketing expenses going after the companies and this is a skill that I lack and depend on them to do well. If there were no crew owners such as the Pilots, Eberls, etal, then the national market place would disentigrate into all of us bidding down the dollars, much the same way San Antonio has been ruined by the local independents whoring down the fee bills in the vain hopes of cornering the market. This is not a pretty way to commit financial suicide. In conclusion, Yes, more control over the compensation is needed in light of increasing expenses and we cannot depend on the carriers to look out for our interests. More thought and analysis is required. Lets keep the discussion going.
Union Cat Adjuster
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 1999 - 10:43 pm:   


This profession needs a change, and if you can't see that, then you're part of the problem. This is not about who's lazy or unwilling to work, this is about the TRUTH. And the truth is, greed doesn't always generate happiness or satisfaction for EVERYONE. Sometimes it generates exploitation. This is about collective bargaining, not about who's willing to work for your magic wand.

Unions are sometimes necessary, and I'm sorry to hear you're threatened by that. I'd like to put you alone in a room with a few auto and steel workers. They'd tear you a new one, suggesting they don't work hard, or that the union let's them be slack.

You're so out of touch with the truth you haven't a clue what this is about. The law protects collective bargaining for a reason. To suggest that only the "lazy" would desire a union is offensive to me, but that's exactly the kind of attitude that exploits other people. This is about hard working people, unwilling to slave only for what YOU think is right to give them.

This is America, and that is the point. You should fear collective bargaining, because it will force you to a table called REALITY, where your magic wand turns into little more than a toothpick.
Gregg Newman
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 1999 - 4:23 pm:   

The only people who want a union are those that are not willing to put forth the effort needed to make the big $$$ that their peers do . The people who make this big money are the guys working twelve and fourteen hours a day seven days a week to pursue their goals. Then after busting their hump for years , open their own business and begin to profit from years of hard work and perseverance . Thats when some guy who isn't willing to spend his time at this occupation and pay his dues , or is just to lazy to work hard decides he is being cheated . Next step , get unionized ! Then pay some one to make your decisions for you and plan your future . That way you can reap the benifits of someone elses hard work but not have to actually do to much yourself .And you have the added benifit of not working hard or thinking for yourself but still get paid well. Think of all those paid coffee breaks . Oh boy!
This is still America the last time I checked . The only limit to how much you make is how hard you work , only you can determine that . So if you don't like working for someone who you think is makeing to much money off your sweat ,go to work for someone else who pays better .Or better yet quit whining and get out there and put in the time and effort needed to make the big bucks for yourself .That is how the free enterprise system works and has worked for years . But whatever you do ,don't expect the rest of us willing to work hard to achieve our goals to carry you on our backs , because, there just isn't room for you.
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 1999 - 3:59 pm:   

I think its a great can count on me
Roy Cupps
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 1999 - 7:39 am:   

Message transferred from the Bulletin Board.

Name: Union Cat Adjuster
Date: 13 Nov 1999
Time: 12:19 AM

Believe me, I completely agree. When I'm making good money, the idea of a union does not appeal to me, and it's a monumental task to try and organize one. But this is not just about money, or who is getting more than the lions share sometimes. This is about who's got what power over our profession.

The second year I was in college, the subject of labor unions was the national debate topic for the best debators in colleges all over the U.S. I had to compete on both sides of this issue, and good arguments were made on each side. Before that time, I had not thought much about labor unions, or what they meant to workers or employers. Quite frankly, the subject bored me at first. I groaned when I read what the topic was going to be that year. Later, however, as I read the history of the labor union movement, I started to admire the brave men and women, who literally risked their lives, so that they could feed their families, and have a safer and more pleasant working environment.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that when workers were being exploited, especially in dangerous professions, the workers NEEDED the protection afforded to them by collective bargaining.

We must face up to the fact that we are in a high risk work environment, with the prospect of more and more state control over our pay. This, as the JUA takes over more and more of the high risk coastal areas of the U.S. In the future, we may be at the mercy of lawmakers who think it's just fine to pay a police officer $16,000 per year, to risk being shot to death, while working his whole life to maybe end up making $30,000 per year. Is that what we want?

This is just disgusting to me, and if we don't organize soon, we are going to see this kind of crap continue until we all are just dogs left whimpering at the doorstep of some a$$ like this Bill Schmitz guy, who's comments we all read.

The time to organize is NOW, the time for collective bargaining is NOW. The time to take power into our own hands is ....... NOW.

If you care anything at all for your friends and families, you've got to agree. We are a unique group of professionals, uniquely positioned for collective bargaining.

Why should the Pilot family or others, soley control how much they make off of our backs? Why should the companies and vendors decide that we are only worth such and such?

So often, we are lied to blantantly by the vendors, or let go for some ridiculous reason, that was just a whim to some boss sitting there making millions. I could tell you stories that would make your anger burn HOT, all because no one had any power to do anything. All because no one had any power to say, "wait a minute here, is this fair?"

No one who's making millions off the backs of so many, cares about the hard working individual trying to feed his family, while climbing on roof tops several stories up. Try paying for disability insurance in some years. I couldn't afford it. In the end, you just become a number to these guys, and nothing to them personally. They'd just as soon nail you to a cross and spit on you, while pointing to the crowd and saying "now who's the next warm body we can get." You all know what I'm talking about. Those with experience have all been through the mill.

Granted, this is a school of hard knocks, but isn't that part of the problem sometimes? Isn't that why we have such a high turn over of warm bodies, making us all look bad?

I'm sorry to keep writing speeches on here, but this stuff has been brewing in my mind for years. I can't help but see this profession benefiting from collective bargaining, mostly because we are such a unique profession, so desperately needed at unique times. The public needs real professionals doing this job, and we need each other.

Again, if you want to be kept privately on this, and maybe a few other good ideas, write to me, or post your thoughts on here. I'm getting a lot of good ideas in my mail box, and I appreciate every one of them. I'll try and answer as many of your letters as I can.

Union Cat Adjuster

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