|Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2000 - 8:21 am: |
The below link is in access error, you may obtain the information @ www.courts.state.tx.us
Click on Rules and Tx Laws and Click Tx Statue selecting the insurance/labor codes.
It is self explanatory and clearly defines the employee and the employer. If you as an adjuster have copies of ANY proof of your work i.e., expense receipts, copies of files, paycheck stubs, photograph's, or other pertinent information related to a storm location, the burden of proof in your behalf has been meet in compliance with the Labor Code Sec. 61.001 through 61.053.
|Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2000 - 11:16 pm: |
emphasis on insurance and labor code and the word "ANY" fees under wages.
|Hot Dog |
|Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2000 - 10:55 pm: |
I love this page
|Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2000 - 10:37 pm: |
I HAVE NEVER SEEN A COMPANY OWNER COME ON THIS PAGE AND SPEAK. I ALSO LOVE THE WAY YOU STATE YOUR POSITION WITHOUT GETTING INTO A CAT FIGHT WITH THE PEOPLE ATTACKING YOU. MR. BROWN I BELEIVE WHAT YOU SAY IS NOT ONLY FROM YOUR HEART, BUT ALSO TRUE. I HAVE WORKED CLEAN UP FOR OTHER COMPANIES AND HAD TO FIX THE ADJUSTER'S FILES BEACAUSE THEY DID NOT HAVE CORRECT UNIT PRICING, NO CORRECT PAPER WORK, NO REPORT, NO PHOTOS, MISSED MEASURMENTS AND ETC. I THEN HAD THE VERY PEOPLE THAT RUSHED AND MADE THE MISTAKES CALL ME AND ASK ME WHY I REVERSED BILL THEM. THEY REALLY BELEIVED THE FILE WAS RIGHT AND THEY WERE WRONGED BY THE COMPANY. THESE ARE NORMALY NEW ADJUSTER'S WITH LITTLE EXPERIANCE. I HAVE EVEN HAD THEM SAY THEY WERE GOING TO FILE SUIT AGAINST ME. I AM SORRY THESE PEOPLE REPRESENT SOME OF THE CAT ADJUSTER'S OUT THERE. MR. BROWN I WOULD BE HONERED TO WORK STORM WITH YOU AND YOUR COMPANY ANYTIME. THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING ON ROY'S WEB SITE. I WILL BE SENDING MY INFORMATION TO YOUR OFFICE AND HOPE TO MEET YOU FACE TO FACE. IT IS COMPANIES THAT CARE THAT KEEP ME IN THIS BUISNESS. AND OF COURSE THE MONEY.
|Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2000 - 3:57 pm: |
Thought of the week: Those who scream the loudest are the guiltiest. Hey Cat girl, I know who you are, your beauty, dignity, strengths and reputation and respect in this field will lead you to many storms. If you need anything sugar, you email me!
|Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2000 - 11:43 am: |
The message is intended for TAKEN FOR A RIDE, as well they might deserve.
|R.D. Hood |
|Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2000 - 11:41 am: |
Better Be Frank:
Better Yet, Be honest, be truthful, be factual, and have the decency to post with your given name, unless of course you are too embaressed to honor it.
If, in your last post, you are refering to R D Hood, please be advised that you are 110% in error.
Your presence in any professional ensamble, IMHO should not be considerd.
Enjoy what YOU consider to be a Life, and we shall allow you the latitude to do so.
|Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2000 - 10:34 am: |
My name is Troy Brown with Brown, Brown & Fields inc. as well as Catastrophe Services of America Inc. I have been reading some of the thoughts that have been expressed in this forum and would like to take this opportunity to express my own thoughts and concerns.
It is abundantly clear to me after reading the most recent exchange of thoughts that our firm is the one being tossed around in a way that I consider to be in negative light.
For those of you that have been following the communication in this forum, you will recall that there are a few adjusters that have raised concerns of their inability to get paid for the services that were rendered during one or several events they were involved in.
There have been references to the " good ole boys" from Arlington that are " dead beats". Being that our firm is out of Arlington, Texas and the initials of our firm are BBF and I am able to read between the lines, I feel that it is fair assumption that my firm is the topic of sonme of this conversation.
I am not responding to thse individuals that are makeing these accusations however, I presume that there are several other people who read through these forums and I believe are influenced by what is written. I am here to talk about our firm and what we are trying to accomplish.
We are a family run organization that has worked hard to establish a name that is synonimous with "Service and Quality". I do not deny that we have had disputes with various people that we have contracted to work claims for us. We have even had issues where we were in error in terms of the amount we actually paid. In those situations we corrected our mistake and made the neccessary payment to resolve the issue.
Having said that, I would like to remind those of you choose to read this that there are several people working in our industry who market themselves as "qualified" to handle claims. I suggest to you that we all have experienced these people and see common traits. We at BBF & CSA are taking a stance those that present themselves to us as qualified and turn out to be incapable of solving problems that arise in the claims process and in many cases that arise from lack of ability on the part of the so called "adjuster".
When we have claims that are not handled properly or are not written in the appropriate format, we impose financial penalties. We are in the business of turning a quality product in a timely fashion. I am proud to say that most of the people we do business with do a fine job for us and deserve every nickel they earn. However, there always seem to be those few who want to work claims in a storm and do as little as possible with the most pay and heaven forbid you withhold any money from them to pay someone else to correct the file so we can maintain a level of service that is acceptable.
I am not here to suggest that we do not make mistakes in our firm or have not had our sets of trouble, (we have). I am here to say that we realize that what we sell is people and we need you guys out there that truly are interested in working and earning your pay. We need quality people. We are working hard to keep a good relationship with the adjusters that fit that mode.
I invite any of you to call me and discuss any concerns that you may have about our firm or our integrity. We ARE "good ole boys" that are fortunate enough to be in a business that we love. This is our future and the future of our children. We know the importance of having a good reputation in this industry. I have no intentions of sitting on the sideline while some people make false accusations about our firm.
My number is (315)243-5217 or call me (888)227-5004. If you are a quality person and are looking for a vendor that cares, give me a call, or e-mail at Tbrown2315@aol.com.
|Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2000 - 11:20 pm: |
YOU HAVE BEEN TAGGED FOR SLANDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YOU BETTER BE ABLE TO BACK UP WHAT YOU SAY!!!!!
I THINK YOU HAVE MADE A VERY BIG MISTAKE!!!!!!!
MAY I SUGGEST YOU PRINT A RETRACTION WITHIN TWO DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AND YOU BETTER-----BE------FRANK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LIERS WILL GET THMSELVES IN TROUBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!
-----------RIGHT BIG INITIALS R.D.
CAN YOU READ BETWEEN THE LINES
|Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2000 - 4:11 pm: |
Sometimes that is the problem, but there are also people out there that sit around thinking of ways not to pay the adjuster. I think you are being unfair to the lady, unless you know something about her situation. If you do, let's hear it. If not, perhaps you could be a little more of a gentleman.......
|Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2000 - 11:59 am: |
if you learn to work a file the right way you wont have a problem
|Posted on Friday, February 04, 2000 - 2:24 pm: |
State Board of Insurance in Texas is interested in the adjusters who have a complaint against TEXAS company(s) that have not paid them. If you were told you had other "administrative fees attached" after the 65% because "they corrected your report" or changed your report or retyped it on their own in-house forms" this is wrong practices under the Laws of Texas that governs insurance companies. In my case, I was refused a copy @ random of my work that was submitted to their insurance company, which now will flag the State Board of Insurance- the insurance company of refusing a Public Records. Umm, seem complicated? Well, the truth of the matter - (1) the insurance companies who hired these type companies who are not paying the employees now will have their files examined. (2)that insurance company will no longer want to do business with a company who gets them red-flagged in the State of Texas.
The investigator I am in contact with is very interested in what problems, or the same problems you have had concerning the company(s). Investigator Dennise Pompano may be faxed your letter of complaint/concern @ 512-475-1972. He asked that we check out www.tdi.state.tx.us
for futher information under the administration and complaints to help adjusters. It is our license on the line, and his question to me specifically was - (why is this company changing your reports, were they the ones adjusting it and viewed the damage first hand? No, I added in my response to him.) I hope this helps you.
|Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2000 - 9:18 pm: |
There was a company named Five Star Plus or something like that, working for Nationwide Insurance, I received a voice mail requesting a resume, they said they were working for Nationwide(I think)I sent in my resume and never heard anything back from them, I think they were located in Mississippi or somewhere down south. Since then I have heard rumors that they, Nationwide or Five Star Plus (Not Sure) were slow pay, but I can't confirm this, hope this helps. Is there any work out there? Is it always feast or famine? See you on the next one (I Hope)
|Posted on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 10:33 pm: |
Well we are the professionals....
perhaps a quote from Mark Twain will do:
"Whats the use you learning to do right,
when it's troublesome to do right and it
ain't no trouble to do wrong, and the wages
is just the same."
The Adventures of Huck Finn
|Posted on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 8:33 pm: |
Here we go again, all the joys of thinking of ourselves as professionals, but none of the responsibilities. Private investigators are professinals too?. Take a two day course and buy some equipment and you to can be a profssional.
Sigh. we have a long road in front of us and while I enjoy the trip, I do know what I am not.
|Posted on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 10:27 am: |
My pearls of wisdom are referring to the increase in travel costs we are experiencing these days. Might I remind you that crude oil has increased from last years $11.00/bbl to the current $30.00/bbl. Likewise, motel and meals are also up. Have you noticed that the airlines are now adding a fuel surcharge onto each ticket? Why is it not reasonable for our increased travel costs to be offset as well?
|Posted on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 5:45 am: |
The old saying you get what you paid for holds true in this case also. Now if an adjuster needs an advance because the storms have been few and far between, then I think that should need to happen. The problem with giving someone a show up allowance is that you get some that aren't worth it as in any trade there are a few that give the industry a bad name. The ones that do their job well will be asked to come back and will be given plenty of files to make a decent return on their money invested for the trip.
|Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2000 - 8:09 pm: |
$100 or $1,000 SHOW UP MONEY????------If you fly your ticket could be $1,800 easily. I wouldn'd think $100 would interest many people. I do not believe in advances. If the party is no good, go home. If you are good enough, there will be a good party in a few days. IF ENOUGH WOULD DO THIS, SOMEONE WILL MAKE IT WORTH YOUR WHILE. ALSO, IF THE CALLER EVER WANTS YOU BACK, THEY WILL MAKE IT WORTH YOUR WHILE. YOU HAVE TO SELL YOUR SERVICES SOMETIME.
|Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2000 - 12:15 pm: |
Advances are not uncommon in our biz and are given on arrival. But with the increases in fuel, lodging, and food costs I have noted in the past year, regardless of what part of the country, I think the time has come for not just an advance on future earnings but an outright sum for just showing up. An amount of $100.00 would be fair so as to offset these inflationary travel costs. This should be paid by the carriers and not taxed as income but rather as a reimbursement for expenses. What do you kids think of this idea?
|Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2000 - 12:02 pm: |
So would a good spell check program.
|Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2000 - 10:02 am: |
Few businesses can call a professional, who does not know the caller, have the professional leave
immediately to drive hundreds of miles to the callers destination at the pros expense after loading his equipment including ladder, camera, clothes, tapes, etc, leave immediately no matter
what personal problems to answer the call. When
the pro arrives, usually things are not as promised, few claims, driving distance, culled
lsses, fee schedule lower. Few pros are able to
check out the caller but kow there is a storm there and go to it. Once he is there. he is at the mercy of the caller.
Most professionals in other businesses require an
advance before accepting work i/e private investigators. Tis would solve a lot of our problems.
|Robert J Curren |
|Posted on Friday, January 21, 2000 - 11:06 pm: |
I was not making reference to any one person in particular. Just that I am finishing up a bunch of cleanup on files the original adjuster assummed were fine when they turned them in direct to the carrier and then left town without advising the adjusting office. They are now wondering when the pay on those files will arrive.
|Posted on Friday, January 21, 2000 - 8:03 pm: |
In ref to your article, it was a good one. I do not believe this is my case, actually being told every one of my files was complete, good to go and was forwarded on to be closed completely. Take in mind, it was not my first storm, and no complaints have arisen from any of my work. I feel very much competent the degree of pride and skills got them paid! I do believe, some companies benefit, to hiring - unskilled or starving newcomers and take them for a ride. I struggle to meet my financial obligations when on the road, I would expect the same consideration when its a payday and a check is due to pay my expenses for working for a company. Its their loss of my services, when I provided accurate and skilled reports that got them paid by their insurance company!
|Robert J Curren |
|Posted on Friday, January 21, 2000 - 2:30 pm: |
Here is an interesting article for those posting about not getting paid. Consider the contents and then review your own situation
|Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2000 - 2:50 pm: |
Taken4Ride2, your comments were Beneficial Beyond Frankness to all of us who are alert and can read between the lines.
|Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2000 - 2:21 pm: |
Upon speaking with my attorney this morning, I can not name the company. Better Be Frank with ya. I will in time tho belive me!
|Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2000 - 1:57 pm: |
The Internet Yellow Pages reveals the following adjusting vendors have offices in Arlington, Texas:
Armstrong & Armstrong
Brown, Brown & Fields
Insurance Claims Services
Kenneth Wells & Associates
Lindsey Morden Claims
Murray Claim Services Inc,
Town & Country Claims Service
OK. Who is the culprit?
|Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2000 - 12:03 pm: |
Can't tell us the name huh? How about the initials of the company then? And you B-etter B-e F-rank!
|Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2000 - 11:45 am: |
I think I know the company you (taken4ride2) are referring to...please email me at email@example.com to verify, before I get involved , thanks
|Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2000 - 8:53 pm: |
Calling them 3 times a day hasn't helped, but my attorney has set an appt for me Friday to do a letter of action prior to small claims. They claim now, administration fees were attached when I had in fact called office staff who had no complaints on my files. Ummm I think 2 mos of back and forth mouse cat game is enough. Call this vendor, Good ole Texas boys, of Arlington.
|Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2000 - 12:39 pm: |
I posted a message a couple of days ago but it didn't show up for some reason.
My apologies to all Miss. good ole boys. The person to whom I was referring is not a good ole boy at all but comes on like one. I didn't mean to hurt any feelings among Mississippi folks.
The person I'm having a problem with is a new one man adjusting company based in south Miss. and works (or did work) for Nationwide. Looks like we will be filing in Federal court in about a week if no check arrives. Hope you guys (and gals) never run into this problem. It's a real bummer.
|Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2000 - 12:37 pm: |
Yes, there are some "good ole Mississippi boys".
I met Jeff Burns during hurricane Floyd from
Tupelo,MS. Jeff's parents were Cat adjusters....
and he has been an adjuster since he was 17 years old. This man is a true professional and gave me
many claim techniques and hours of sage advice.
He is... one good old boy from Mississippi.
Thanks Jeff...you helped us all.
|Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2000 - 3:05 am: |
Heyyyy, watch it fella. I am a "good ole boy from Mississippi"! Who is the turkey you are refering to? Post his name and address. We don't like folks like that down here either.
|Jim Flynt |
|Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2000 - 11:18 am: |
Danny, since it seems obvious that this particular vendor has no intention of paying you without legal intervention, why don't you share the name of the vendor to spare others the pain.
Perhaps, the shame of public approbation will force settlement to avoid embarassment.
|Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2000 - 10:26 am: |
Well, it's mid January and still not a dime from this jerk. I turned him over to an attorney 2 weeks ago for collection. I guess a law suit is next. Beware of good ole boys from Mississippi!!!
|Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 1999 - 3:18 pm: |
I need to Find National Insurance Adjusters. They owe me money and have moved. They used to be in Fort Peirce FLA. The contact I had was a Robert Phelps. Any help would be great.
|Posted on Monday, December 06, 1999 - 8:00 pm: |
Tom, wouldn't it be easier, more efficent, less costly, and certainly less aggravating if the names of the "slow/late pays" and "no pays" were posted here on the Forum and avoided by all adjusters rather than having to resort to legal action to protect our "copyright" after the fact?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
|Posted on Monday, December 06, 1999 - 7:36 pm: |
Gentlemen, I will say this again. You hold a copyright on every file you turn in. If you do not get paid for your work, you can recover the money from the carrier and the insured. Copyright infringement is a very serious matter, as is recognized by all. Check out the following link: http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/bytopic/intprop/circ1.html
|Posted on Monday, December 06, 1999 - 3:00 am: |
Danny, I hope that Christmas is not as bleak for you as this vendor is making it for you. Vendors like this need their names publicized on this Forum as "slow pays"/"no pays" so they get what is coming to them as well.
If we all took the time and had the courage to give the "fly by night operate on a shoe string don't have an ounce of honesty" vendors the publicity they deserve, we would soon be rid of them.
|Posted on Sunday, December 05, 1999 - 9:52 pm: |
I notice we haven't heard from bah humbug lately. Maybe he got his money. I hope so, but I haven't seen a check yet. My wife wants to know what we're going to do for Christmas money, told her I'm not sure yet. I am going to start more serious collection efforts tomorrow. I'm going to try to find out if NW has paid the vendor. If so, I guess legal action is next.
|Russ Lott |
|Posted on Saturday, December 04, 1999 - 4:46 pm: |
Danny, after two months something is terribly wrong. I agree with Old Timer and Steve and get started on some sort of action.
|Posted on Saturday, December 04, 1999 - 4:01 pm: |
Old Timer is quite correct. You have serious cause for concern if you have not been paid by the vendor for work you did more than two months ago. I have two suggestions: 1)Call the vendor three times a day and rail at them until they pay. It works for some insureds. or 2)Perhaps it is time to start adding late charges to your bill. What could it hurt? Send the vendor a bill for services with a message stating that a 10% late fee will be assessed if it is not paid in ten days. If it is not immediately paid, send a letter ten days later with the ten percent added and a schedule of what amount will be added to the bill with a notice that the bill will be sent to collections if not paid in ten more days. Of course, you must be prepared to follow up on what you say you will do.
By the way, I also have some advice for the vendors. Originally I had written several observations concerning recent experience with hurricanes Dennis and Floyd, but I'm going to let you vendors who care to do your homework discover for yourselves. You might want to talk to each other (not just the big companies, but the small ones, too) and discover how Nationwide has been playing one vendor against another with promises of very minimal amounts of thoroughly unprofitable work. I hope you didn't agree to those fee schedules for the long term, because this adjuster (for one) doesn't intend to go bankrupt to please Nationwide. I believe Nationwide is the largest insurer in the carolinas and does not apparently understand the class action exposure of having none of us cat adjusters who are under no contract to do their bidding show up when the next Hugo hits.
|Roy Cupps |
|Posted on Saturday, December 04, 1999 - 11:10 am: |
To Curious, From the Monitor.
Catadjuster.org is here to support the adjuster. If someone has information (postive or negative)on a Vendor that would be helpful to the group, then they can and should post that information including the name of the vendor without fear that the message will be deleted. The message should be presented in a professional matter and state facts. While real names may add value or strength to the message they are not required in this area. Please review the “Forum Guidelines” for more information.
|Posted on Saturday, December 04, 1999 - 10:03 am: |
If an adjuster is on a "day rate" and is having to wait longer than 3 weeks absolute maximum to get paid, something is terribly wrong.
One of the benefits of working for the Crawfords, GABs and Lindsey-Cunninghams is that you do not have to wait for them to get paid before you get paid. That is why many of the seasoned adjusters will work for no one else but these three.
Some of these smaller vendors are Mom and Pop operations working on a shoe string budget and many are just one step away from bankruptcy: Theirs and Yours!
|Posted on Saturday, December 04, 1999 - 9:44 am: |
I am also having a problem with slow pay. I won't say who the vendor is but the ins. co. is the same. I have talked to others though who haven't been paid for some claims from the OKC tornado by other major Ins. Cos. My work was on a daily rate so it seems the delay is excessive (2 months).
|Posted on Friday, December 03, 1999 - 10:07 pm: |
A question for the monitor. If bah humbug were to name the vendor that is withholding his commission or wages would that post make it to the page? If not in what form would this information make to the page?
|Posted on Friday, December 03, 1999 - 12:34 am: |
Thank you Steve Ebner for your reply to my inquiry. For all the other bs comments not related to my question, try the soapbox.
|Jim Flynt |
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 7:28 pm: |
Back in my university days (circa 1968) I contended that colleges could improve the quality of education almost overnight if they would allow the students to vote once a year on the worst professor and then have a public hanging of whoever the highest vote getter was. While that was neither reasonable nor legal, the point being that when an institution is held accountable by a majority of users, then service and quality improve and do so dramatically.
Imagine what would happen if the catastrophe adjusting community took a yearly vote on the worst carrier or service vendor, and then everyone refused to work for that vendor or carrier until dramatic changes took place.
I would imagine that the carrier or vendor woould either make some very quick changes or go out of business quickly as well.
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 6:39 pm: |
To Mr Flynt,
Right on, Good buddy!
I have finally encountered another bird of a feather. I knew my flock was out there. Are we that endangered of a species?
Evan Black, Adjuster Deluxe
Have Ladder, Will Travel
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 2:54 pm: |
To Bah Humbug,
Why should it matter whether Nationwide has paid your vendor or not. Your contact to work is not with Nationwide, but with the vendor. If the vendor is so underfinanced that they have to wait for payment from Nationwide, who requires bulk billing rather than paying each separate claim as it is closed, then I would would certainly not want to be working for that vendor. It seems like the vendor may be a bankruptcy waiting to happen.
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 2:49 pm: |
Jim, You've got a good start on a book there. Actually, I'm printing it out so I can hand it to my friends and family who ask one more time, "Just what is it you do and why do you do it?"
I have a few thoughts on your $200,000/$35,000 claim and the role of integrity in our business. Once upon a time I was an ordained minister. When I left the ministry, I hunted around for awhile and tried a couple careers that did not ultimately appeal to me. Then I answered an ad for claim representatives posted by State Farm (this is what I call "the old State Farm" prior to the rewriting of the agent's contracts and prior to "reorg". I went to the interview with the feeling that it was perhaps selling my soul to work for an insurance company. To my absolute delight I was instructed over and over again in mo uncertain terms to "pay what we owe, not a penny more or a penny less." I was instructed one time by a claim manager once to send the insured a draft for the two cents that I had inadvertanly underpaid her. It turned out I had been hired not "despite my Master of Divinity degree", but BECAUSE of it. One of the State Farm claim managers had pondered the idea of utilizing a person trained in crisis management and assisting people through various trauma to settle the claims of people who in some small or big way had been through a recent trauma. In addition, integrity was an absolute must for the job. State Farm then began a process of training in claims that has served me well.
Many years later, claims has turned out to be my chosen career over the long term partly because it requires that I use integrity in the settlement of claims. I often sit down with an insured and discuss why some aspect of their claim may not be covered. As part of that discussion I let them know that, becauseI am an independent I would make more money if I were to overpay what they were due. I tell them that there is no incentive for me to shave anything off their claim that they are entitled to. And I also tell them I am going to fairly assess to the best of my ability what they are due and recommend to the insurance company that they be paid exactly that amount because it is the right thing to do, because it was what was agreed to by them and their insurance company when the policy was purchased.
Like you, Jim, I have had many claims that took far too long for the payment involved. Depending on the attitude of the insured, a $500 claim can take weeks and umpteen phone calls to settle. And in the final analysis we could look at the 2 dollars an hour we made on that claim and throw in the towel, but there is often that one line estimate claim for a five or six hundred dollar billing that will offset the unpaid claim on the other claim. The bottom line, however, is that this is the most honest living I have ever made, at least on a par with being in the ordained ministry and I will not continue to work for anyone who does not want integrity. I walked away from a carrier a couple years ago who told me to "convince myself the claim was worth X dollars, because that was all the authority I was going to get." (Don't ask who the carrier is. They have a lot more money for lawsuits than I do.)Bravo on your $35,000 appraisal of the $200,000 claim as long as it put the insured right. If ever integrity is no longer part of the job, Jim, I will walk away with you.
|Jim Flynt |
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 2:12 pm: |
I AGREE WITH THE PHANTOM 100%. READ HIS POST AS HE REQUESTS. IT IS TIMELY AND INFORMATIVE.
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 2:07 pm: |
PHANTOM'S POSTING UNDER "CAT ADJ UNION" MIGHT BE OF INTEREST. THE PHANTOM BELIEVES IT IS ONE OF THE MAIN ROOT OF THE PROBLEM AND COULD BE SOLVED.
|Jim Flynt |
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 1:35 pm: |
Russ, you are exactly right in your perception of the problems we are having with being compensated fairly.
Let's look at the situation more closely for a moment.
The insurance companies cannot afford to keep 1,500-3,000 catastrophe adjusters on salary year round just waiting for the next storm event. Some years (1997 comes to mind) things are slow with fewer disasters, and the companies would not only have to pay salaries, but also benefits which can easily add 35% to 45% more to a pure salary cost. Plus they would have the added capital expenditures for computers, cameras, and vehicles which you mention.
The insurance industry has faced many of the same cut-backs and much of the same downsizing of other industries in America during the '90's and the effects are cleary visible. One of the more visible effects can be seen by those of us who occasionally work an inside liability assignment, and discover that some of the staff adjusters are carrying a liability claim load as high as 600 to 700 files each. Clearly something is wrong with this picture, and clearly service to the Insureds is suffering. I will leave it to those smarter than I to decide whether this might also constitute a breach of good faith within the insurance contract. Obviously, quality service to insureds is lacking even WITHOUT the use of outside catastrophe and overflow adjusters.
So, the situation is created whereby insurance carriers call upon outside vendors to supply "overflow" or catastrophe adjusters on an as needed basis. This saves the carriers the capital expenditures for automobiles, cameras, desks, phones and cell phones, pagers, copiers, computers and printers, assorted paper and office supplies, as well as health, life, disability, worker's compensation, and pension contributions which they must provide their own employees.
It would seem apparent that in setting up such a system, carriers have already decided to hire outside independent contractors and vendors (a/k/a "rented employees" or "leased employees" in other industries) and that their goal is to end up paying them LESS than what it would have cost had they hired the same number of adjusters as staff to start with. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that if the cost to the carrier is in excess of what it would have cost them to hire "warm bodies" as staff, that they would have done so already. Don't forget to include in your calculations as well, the fact that the carriers save the capital expenditures for automobiles, computers, cameras as well as the 35% to 45% benefits cost which is borne on average by most American companies (and which the vendors and carriers are not providing to us as IA's (generally that is)).
Therefore in the end Russ, what we as IA's have to "sell" to the vendors and carriers can be broken down as follows:
(1) Our time (what we do)
It seems to me that many within our ranks talk about "how much" they make per day, yet fail to take into consideration the 18 hour days, or what would be considered "overtime" in any other industry.
It further amazes me when so many adjusters bring their spouses along on an assignment, yet fail to place a "value" on the spouse's labor. Now all of a sudden, we have TWO individuals working 18 (or perhaps 16 or 14) hours per day divided by the gross income for them for the day (ie, 2 x 18= 36 hours per day). The arithmetic doesn't look quite as good when we look more realistically at the equation. (One of my old jokes is that a NYC cab driver would make more than we do if he worked 2 eight hour shifts per day).
We often fail to consider the toll that this type of work takes on families and loved ones while we are gone. We fail to appreciate the price paid to not have a Dad or Mom or both at home for birthday parties, holidays and special occasions, and the price we pay emotionally in not being there. How many divorces and broken families have we both seen as an indirect result of catastrophe adjusting?
(2) Our knowledge (what we know)
The insurance carriers hopefully (and there is some question here) are hiring independent catastrophe adjusters who are familiar with the insurance contract, with policy language, with the insurance process, as well as estimating, values, subrogation, salvage, appraisal, bad faith, contents values, ALE, and at a minimum some knowledge of Coverages E & F under the policy.
Obviously, some IA's are better trained and better educated than others. Clearly some bring many years of experience to the table while others just got started. Yet, if you think about it, we are all paid the same. That might be more than fair to Newbee adjusters but it is just not reasonable for the more professional adjusters who have spent many years obtaining the best insurance education, training, and experience out there. As I have contended in other posts on this page, there is actually a "disincentive" to do it right which the insurance industry has built into their pay schedules. To handle the claim and bring the settlement down from $200,000 to $35,000 I was paid LESS than another adjuster would have been paid for DOING IT WRONG. My point is, SOMETHING IS TERRIBLY WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE.
Having spent many years in obtaining a first class insurance education both in considerable time and Tens of Thousands of dollars, why should I, or anyone else, give away our knowledge for $24.00 per hour net to us. That does not even begin to approach what some common trade laborers make who do not have to learn and know the complex issues and policies which we are expected to learn and keep current with.
As most know and realize, there are currently a myriad of "certifications" which are necessary if an adjuster is to be able to work for the many different carriers out there. These certifications come at great personal expense to the catastrophe adjuster in terms of time, money, lost income during the certification process and travel/lodging/food costs. Why we as catastrophe adjusters cannot see and support the need for ONE CERTIFICATION program which might satisfy all the carriers is beyond my comprehension.
(3) Our equipment & vehicles (what we do it with)
What the carriers and others fail to recognize at times is the large capital outlays we have to make to work as catastrophe adjusters. It is no insignificant sum for vehicles, vehicles upkeep and maintenance, computer hardware and printers, estimating software, cameras (35MM and digital), copiers, ladders, measuring devices (almost $1,000 for laser), paper and office supplies (they want us to make file copies for them too remember?), secretarial or part time phone help, and the many many other things with which each of you are no doubt aware.
As we all know, computers have a useful life of less than 3 years (Moore's Law) and must be replaced at great expense on a regular basis. No one believes that estimating software is too cheap unless perhaps the software vendors. And for those of us who want the capability to work without software limits and to be able to work for ANY of the carriers, we have had to buy or lease multiple programs at great expense due to the software requirements of particular carriers. Each new version also brings down time in which we have to learn it's use, but which we are not paid for (directly).
These costs that we incur are costs which are not borne by the carriers and vendors. They do now want this cost of capital outlay, AND, they really don't want to pay for it either.
(4) Our RISK (why we do it)
There are as many reasons why we elect to work as catastrophe adjusters as there are catastrophe adjusters.
Some cat adjust for the quick buck and some to supplement other retirement income. Some adjust to get away from Mama and the kids, and some to come out for a "big party."
I basically assume for the most part however, that MOST catastrophe adjusters do this line of work for the following reasons:
(a) For the money (they can work as much or as little as they desire and thus determine their own income)
(b) For the enjoyment. Most really good cat adjusters truly enjoy meeting and working with new people, and especially during the stressful times when people have been devastated by disaster. Many adjusters also enjoy the travel aspects and seeing new places. Somehow or the other, "the road" gets in our blood and we just can't seem to give it up.
(c) For the flexibility. Many enjoy working diligently for 3-4 months and then taking a lot of time off from work. This profession allows a great deal of flexibility to do other things or spend more concentrated time with their families when they are there.
(4) For the independence. This is truly a profession made up of INDEPENDENT adjusters and people. There is no 9 to 5, no punching the clock, no answering to a corporate hierarchy, and generally no corporate atmopshere. The adjuster is allowed to work out of his vehicle and hotel room and much of the work is outside as well. This bodes well for most of us, who really don't fit in well in a more sturctured environment.
(5) For the pride in workmanship. This is a very demanding profession which requires vast amounts of knowledge, yet which does not tolerate much error. This is a particularly easy "job" to get into, yet it is not particularly an easy career to stay in. It is not all that difficult IMHO to become "one of the best" and there is some competitive nature in all of us, especially cat adjusters. For those who take pride in their work, there will always be work and in abundance.
To wrap up it is important that we all take measure of our real costs to be catastrophe adjusters. Costs measured in dollars, but also the ones we sometimes forget: the time away from our families, friends, loved ones, and more healthy lifestyles.
It is important for us to take stock of the value we "give" to the vendors and carriers and to ask ourselves if we are being compensated fairly and accordingly.
It is imperative that we look ahead and see what we believe the future holds for us, as individuals and as a profession. There are many forces at work in our world today which are going to change our lives in the coming years, whether we accept those changes or not. Technology, changing work patterns, longer lives and later retirements, demands for Total Quality service (TQM), inflation, global expansions of trade and business, and continued corporate downsizing will play a part in our world of catastrophe adjusting either directly or indirectly, and whether we are ready or not.
It is crucial that we develop a platform for protecting our future, for lobbying for our professionalism, and for securing the bright financial rewards that should accrue to those who make professionalism their watchword.
|Russ Lott |
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 11:02 am: |
Jim, My understanding of the Insurance industry is that they are interested in one thing only and that is their EXPOSURE!!!! to a given event. The Insuring community needs to define their expectations. I think we are all confusing the adjustment process with appraisal. Having no authority, but to make recommendations the companies can do as FEMA is doing with their inspectors. We are not adjusting the claims. We are appraising damages and their are a few "adjusters" that even try to short cut that by alienating the Named Insured or policy holder from the process, ie. cold calling and slamming the file.
The issue of the Insurers communicating what they want from the Cat Community is paramount in how we approach the claims process or the appraisal process. Not in vague terms but in specifics. How much do you want for $90.00 or $150.00. How many photos do you want to "steal" from an independent contractor. How many miles do you want the IA to "give" to you. Insurers or carriers are not interested in the well being of the independent adjuster, you are seeing that in the attack on the fee schedule and the expense side of the schedule.
What I am seeing in the Industry is that too many people have forgotten the mission of the property loss adjuster. Investigate, evaluate, negotiate and report. In the Catastrophe we are not compensated for investigation, or negotiation, so therefore only our evaluation and report are outstanding to the process. I know you disagree with the last part in that you feel that negotiation is a part of our process, if it is we are not compensated for it. Look at the fee schedule process and someone please tell me where is the compensation for negotiating a $200,000 down to $35,000.
I also think that Bob Curren is very correct in that Time and Expense may be the cure for the "summer time blues". But not at $24.00 an hour. My time is worth more than that, unless of course the carrier wants the report written in pencil. When they want equipment generated reports that is going to cost them more. Again they may want to "steal" some of our equipment. I guess we all have bought cameras and computers so that the carriers could use them for free. And those $25000 to $40000 trucks I see in the parking lot are the carriers to use also. I wonder what kind of image the Insured would get if we pulled up in a 1981 Toyota, blowing smoke and dripping oil on their drive way. I am not in love with a vehicle and would not have a problem with the Toyota.
|Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 1999 - 10:00 pm: |
Great post Jim Think you said it all re education and ability and intregrity. I can't think of any other work where the pay goes down for doing the proper job. IMHO the carriers should consider adjusting the fee schedules to recognise the cost of handling complex overstated losses. I still believe T&E is the best method of charging for our services
|Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 1999 - 7:22 pm: |
GREAT POSTING MR. FLYNT! NOW, THAT WASN'T SO BAD. YOU STATED YOUR FEELINGS AND DID NOT RUN DOWN AN ORGANIZATION OR SOMEONE ELSE TO DO SO. THAT'S CLASS! BESIDES THAT, YOU ARE 100% RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING YOU SAID. WHETHER ONE GETS HIS EDUCATION THROUGH AN INSTITUTE THAT CARRIERS SOMETIME USE SUCH AS YOU DID ALLOWING YOU TO USE CPCU AND AICPCU BEHIND YOU NAME OR ANYOTHER EDUCATIONAL MEANS INCLUDING THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS, IT IS ALL THE SAME, AND YOU STATED THAT. I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID IN THIS LAST POSTING REGARDING NACA. I ALSO AGREE THAT ADJUSTERS SHOULD BE PAID FOR WHAT THEY KNOW AND THEIR REPUTATION FOR THE WAY THEY CAN HANDLE CLAIMS. NOW, DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL, YOU CLEARED A HUGH HURDLE. NOW, SEE IF YOU CAN GET SOMEONE THAT IS PLANNING THIS ORGANIZATION TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED. WE MAY ALL BE ON THE SAME TEAM BEFORE THINGS ARE OVER. IF NOT, I MAY GO BACK TO FLIPPING BURGERS. HA!
|Jim Flynt |
|Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 1999 - 5:41 pm: |
This is in response to TROUBLE VS. BAH HUMBUG written by "The Phantom."
In the first portion of his diatribe, it is written: ,,,'because they woudn't include MICKEY MOUSE TITLES (emphasis mine) behind our name in the roster.' This was in obvious reference to comments that I had posted earlier concerning NACA refusing to include designations behind my name which were awarded by the Insurance Institute of America (BTW: AIC, CIC, AAI, & AIS).
My point was that each and every adjuster is not alike in experience, education and training and that many users of adjusters would like to be able to know the skill and training levels of adjusters. A carrier is not going to send a Newbee out to handle a multi-million dollar claim nor are they going to send an adjuster out with little training, no matter the number of years said adjuster has been adjusting.
I have great respect for NACA as a SOCIAL ORGANIZATION. That is their stated purpose and in meeting that purpose, they do well.
I just elect to INVEST my hard earned money in other ways and feel that what I could ship off to them in annual dues is better spent by sending the money to Roy to help with the CADO site. My money is better spent buying and reading an insurance text or taking another seminar than it is contributing to the cost of setting up a golf tournament. For those who elect to spend their money otherwise, that is their perogative for which I have no complaint.
There are other reasons why I don't feel that NACA is the platform for the future and that CADO is. CADO has a website, NACA does not. CADO has Roy at the helm and NACA does not. CADO has educational information available on an immediate basis (the Net) and NACA does not. CADO relies on voluntary support and NACA has dues. Further, I cannot see where or how NACA is spending the vast sums which they take in. If someone else wants NACA over CADO, that is their right under this democracy. It is also my choice as well to INVEST in CADO (and YES, IT IS AN INVESTMENT).
What bothers me is the attitude of the writer when he criticizes those who seek to better themselves with training and continuing education. He not only shows absolute disregard for the Insurance Institute of America course offerings, but also what appears to be utter contempt for education, and yes, the designations which exemply such as well.
Since we don't know who the writer really is, he must have some reason to hide behind the veneer of an pseudonym. My guess is that the writer has taken very few if any continuing education courses in his/her career save and except whatever initial course was required for licensing. I will be happy to eat my words and apologize if he will come clean and prove otherwise.
The larger point to be made here is by way of an example from a claim which I recently handled.
An Insured commerical property owner (hotel) submitted repair estimates in excess of over $200,000.00 to this adjuster and the insurance company for payment. This was not an "easy" claim and the assignment included not only estimating and negotiating, but walking through a myriad of complex policy issues. The outcome is that in the end the claim was settled for an Agreed Value Settlement of slightly less than $35,000.00.
Imagine if you will what an untrained or new adjuster might have done with this claim. Especially if their eye had been on the pay schedule while handling the claim? There are certainly "adjusters" who would have recommended payment of the submission in excess of $200,000.00. And, there are some carriers out there who perhaps would have paid it as well.
This is not to suggest that there are not dozens of adjusters out there who could have handled this claim as well and maybe even better than I did. What I do know is that for all of my effort to save the insurance carrier over $165,000.00 I was paid the rather handsome sum of $794.30. The real irony here is that a less qualified adjuster would have paid out more of the insurance carrier's money and made more for himself.
Maybe what the other writer was trying to say is correct and I am terribly wrong. If so, then it is time for me to leave this industry before I lose my values and principles of decency and integrity. I know that almost any adjuster could well have gone out and handled several smaller claims in the time it took me to handle this one, and they in the end would have made a hell of a lot more money.
I have always contended that we as adjusters (the well trained and well educated ones at least) are not just paid for what we do, but also for what we know. In that regard, I apologize to you nor anyone else for the knowledge that I "sell."
I spend on average 6 weeks a year in classes to better myself and I know many others who do the same. The costs of books, seminars, exams, and tuition is not inexpensive, and a further cost is in the amount of money we lose in not being on assignment, but sitting in a classroom. A few months ago, I had to turn down an assignment because I has already sent my money for an out of town course. The adjuster who took my place made around $18,000.00 in three weeks. I, on the other hand, spent a week in class with 25 other "professionals" including the claims managers from 5 carriers. Which one of us came out ahead? Only time will tell.
I am sorry that the writer in the referenced post elects to slam those who seek to better themselves with education and training, but that is his pergotaive as I have said.
I still believe in the end, that education is not only the best policy for us, but the only policy for those who genuinely want not only to be the best, but to do their best. Education is a lifelong process for those who choose to use the dura mater which God has given them.
Good Luck to all of you who seek to do the same, and please ignore the naysayers who desire to continue in their own ignorance.
|Posted on Tuesday, November 30, 1999 - 8:45 pm: |
TROUBLE VS. BAH HUMBUG
Bah humbug, you are the smart one here. Never burn a bridge unless you know it is time. Then give it a little more time, and if things don't change, don't burn it but blast it away!!!!!!!Is name calling and criticizing all that goes on within this forum when one doesn't agree with another? If we don't think the same, just tell the other off. If we don't like another adjuster's organization, we criticize it to the world because they wouldn't include Mickey Mouse titles behind our name in their roster. Sounds like a bunch of children wanting to rule what they can't. Sorry, but the individual's action within this forum reflects upon the entire group. THIS IS NO WAY TO TRY AND ORGANIZE AND ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING YOU MIGHT THINK IS GOOD.
The two dozen or so that are trying to organize might have some good ideas and be able to convince a few, but without a majority of the adjusters behind you, what do you think you are going to accomplish? Without goodwill, how can you ever hope to get a large following? Instead of criticizing, you need to be telling others how you think you will change things to better the profession and why you think you can do so. What carriers do you think will listen to you and why should they? What vendors do you think will listen to you and why should they? Most are wanting to hear something solid. I am afraid that the leaders and the members will just be griping to deaf ears and I think it will greatly affect the group's income and future in a negative way. Now, if you can obtain a bunch of seasoned adjusters within a group of 1,500 adjusters, you might open those ears. But again, how do you think you can accomplish this????
THE PHANTOM STRIKES AGAIN!
|Posted on Tuesday, November 30, 1999 - 1:24 pm: |
Idiot? Me? I got my money. You are the one who didn't. I wouldn't call that an example of great intelligence my friend. In fact, it would appear that you are the one left wearing the dunce cap.
|Posted on Tuesday, November 30, 1999 - 11:55 am: |
It has nothing to do with courage you idiot, I want to get my money first. If I name names now, I'll never get paid.
|Posted on Monday, November 29, 1999 - 10:34 am: |
Perhaps if another adjuster had had the courage to post the name of the vendor in the past, what happened to you could have been avoided. But, that would be asking too much of an adjuster to have the courage to help his fellow man by naming names now, wouldn't it?
Good Luck. You are getting what you deserve.
|Posted on Sunday, November 28, 1999 - 1:28 pm: |
I'm not ready to reveal the vendor just yet. If I get my money in the next couple of weeks (in time for Christmas), I'll probably keep my mouth shut. Otherwise I may give names, addresses, telephone #s and any other information you want about this vendor. Hopefully he is just being honest and all will work out without having to go to court.
|Posted on Saturday, November 27, 1999 - 11:01 pm: |
You are most likely being lied to . This is a prime example of what is happening in the trade. Who is the vendor so we know who is out there screwingh another adjuster.
|Posted on Saturday, November 27, 1999 - 7:33 pm: |
Has anyone had a problem with slow pay from Nationwide? I worked for an adjusting co. who works for NW and am having trouble getting my money. Adj. company claims NW is paying at least 7-8 wks slow. Is this typical of NW or am I just getting a snow job?