|Steven W. Ebner (Medulus)
|Posted on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 3:11 am: |
Let me try this again. I tried to add to this discussion earlier, but my internet provider was uncooperative and kicked me off. I am of the opinion that if you take an assignment, it is usually best to stick it out until the end. That being said, let me tell you about my experience about a year ago. I was called to Virginia as a result of Hurricane Dennis. I arrived on a Sunday and received about 25 files. By Friday the vendor was insisting of the five day reports on all files, even if these files could be closed by the seventh day. On the fourth day, Hurricane Floyd had blown through, but that didn't seem to matter. The seven day report was still expected on the fifth day.
Let me explain that my prior experience with this vendor had been quite good and I had been looking forward to this assignment. But they just couldn't mesh with how I handle an assignment. My wife makes most of the phone calls and sets up appointments for me as I am inspecting and closing claims. This is the secret of my success. This local office of a very good vendor insisted I turn in every single file I had received before even one new file would be assigned. My wife twiddled her thumbs 5 days out of 16 on this assignment. I spent three days with nothing to do. I lost a minimum of $1500 by having to sit around waiting to see if they would assign me more files. The vendor's manager kept turning back files to change one word or one phrase in a report. The carrier I was principally working for was screaming for the files while I was being asked to rewrite the report to change a single word or being asked stupid questions like "So you have to replace the carpet; can you save the pad?" (Please, spare me the stupid questions of managers who were in diapers when I was in high school!!!)
The bottom line is this -- the third time (in sixteen days) I was asked to wait around for a day to see if they had more files for me -- I just told them that I was taking control of things here and either they would have files waiting for me when I handed in my last file or I would be on my way elsewhere. That is one of the reasons I am an independent. I have no ethical duty to continue to work for anyone who refuses to recognize my knowledge, talent, and experience.
This long story has a happy ending, by the way. I put my last files on the manager's desk on the day I said I would. He told me he might have some files for me by the end of the day. I told him "might by the end of the day" was not good enough. I had warned him for two days I would have all file closed by the day I turned them in and either he would have files waiting for me or I would be gone. I called another vendor and was sent to work on Hurricane Floyd in another city. Because of that assignment I have worked 28 weeks so far this year with no end in site to the current assignment.
Because we are entitled to be treated with some dignity and we have chosen to work as independents with considerable risk in order to ensure that we are able to choose our assignments, I applaud anyone who leaves an assignment for reasons that seem right to them. I do not leave any assignment without sufficient reason, but sometimes there just are good reasons.
|Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 8:45 am: |
If you take an assignment you are, as the vendor obligated to that assignment. The only time you should leave is if the vendor ask you to work another storm, if there is an emergency or if you are inspected out. Sometimes we take an assignment that may not be as good as the one that occurs while we are on a storm we have obligated our self to. This is just the nature of our profession ( sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you ). An obligation should be honored by both adjuster and vendor alike. Bottom line is you took the job so finish it.
Of course if the assignment has been misrepresented and can not be worked out between the two principals that changes the situation completely. Although I believe all efforts should be made to work things out and come to an agreement.
Jim Lakes: I disagree some with loyalty of vendors. Myself and others in my family that are adjusters are extremely loyal to the company that we are working for. It has been my experience with some companies, not RAC, that getting an assignment has nothing to do with loyalty, dedication, file quality or ability to work with the insured and CLOSE the claim. Some vendors assess you as an adjuster by shade of brown on your nose and ( as has been discussed in another thread ) the number of claims you can close. Loyalty, as in RAC'S case, is a two way street. If the vendor wants good quality people and if those people are loyal. The vendor should return that loyalty. We all know our jobs depend on Mother Nature and the misfortunes of others. As adjusters and having the contacts we have I'm sure most of us have heard how good we are, how great our files are and it's great to have some one who can work with the insured to close the file. The next storm who gets called? The one with brownest nose and had the most files reopen.
In all fairness to the good vendors, which out number those spoken of, loyalty is golden for both sides. It promotes a good standing between adjuster, vendor and carrier. The insureds who we all work for will be treated fairly, be happier and most likely stay with that carrier. In other words all parties are happy.
Just my opinion ( and I have a lot )
|Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 8:16 pm: |
Is it ever justified, I think Not. But circumstances may change that option.
If an adjuter is working at a site for a good vendor and he expresses an interest in going to a hurricane or earthquake and is willing to close most all of his files before leaving and offers to work for the present vendor, then I can understand him wanting to leave.
We just had that circumstance with Hurricane "Debby." We now have adjusters on assignment and gave them the option of staying or leaving if she hit. Some we perferred to stay and some to leave and work for us if and when she did hit. There are a lot of variables that make that option possible.
You asked, have you ever been blackballed? All I can say is that if an adjuster had 50 open files and "dumped" them on us and left the site, with no prior notice, we may not blackball him, but I can assure you that when work is slow and a small storm hit and that we only needed a "few good adjusters," that adjuster would probably be the last adjuster called on to work.
This subject goes back to loyality. Most vendors are loyal to those that are loyal to them. I know we try very hard to treat people fairly and if loyality is shown, then loyality is received.
Everyone understands that money is all of our objects and efforts, but its like the used car salesman. If you sell a client a good used car and steer him away from a bad one, that client will come back when he or she is ready for another one. The salesman that sells the car that he knows is a bad one to make the money, he may do fine for a period of time but somewhere down the road he is going to run out of clients to sell to. This example is very much like our business. And I don't just mean on the adjuster side either, it is all of us. Like all things, this business is a two way street that we must all drive on.
National Catastrophe Director
RAC Adjustments, Inc.
|Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 11:50 am: |
Russ Lott makes a good point in a post under another thread about adjusters cutting out from one assignment to run to another perhaps more fruitful assignment (Category 4 hurricane, earthquake, etc.)
Is this ever justified? Under what circumstances?
I know this is a topic which puts fear into the hearts of vendors, but how do the cat adjusters feel about this? Let us know what you think!
Have you ever been blackballed by the current vendor when you have left to work for another? What are the ramifications for such acts?
Please let us hear from vendors as well.