|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 11:50 am: |
It is worth remembering that prior to the contraction of the insurance companies in the mid 1980's, we had sources of work from many a small carrier. If one carrier wanted to try a DRP, its effect was not a pronounced one on us. But, since so many of these small carriers having been folded up and blown away with the wind, our work sources have grown far fewer in number. And when even one of them alters their claims handling practice, the effect on us can be catastrophic.
This is why I am so rabid on this subject. I full well accept and even look forward to the concept of evolution and change in our industry. However there is a huge difference twixt 'change' and extermination!
|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 11:26 am: |
http://www.northernwebs.com/senate/ is a site that provides some email addresses for politicians.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 10:58 am: |
Please follow Linda's lead and post any email address that you think is relevant to this discussion. I will formulate a list and make it available. Once that is done we can all email a group of movers and shakers.
My mailing list of insurance commissioners is still free for the asking.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 10:15 am: |
Well said, well done!!!!
"The Pen is Mightier than the sword"
It is within the providence of WE as purveyors of this occupation to save it from the immanent destruction that is obvious.
Lead, follow or get the HELL out of the way.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 9:33 am: |
Here is an idea for you gang. I have already done this. I sent an E-mail to my local newspaper inviting them to take a look at the CADO site and
the forum location showing the Adjuster vs. DRP. I gave them the directions on how to get to where they wanted to go when they kick in the internet.
Maybe it will do some good, maybe not. I know that this newspaper most always jumps on controversial issues with both feet. Just have to wait and see if anyone there picked up of the invite. My theory is that if the newspaper starts asking questions to the local SF/AS Etc. about what they see and does a story on it, the readers who have insurance with these companies that are moving in the DRP direction may get an ear full from their Insureds. Can't hurt to try this move to counter the DRP thing as I see it.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 1:01 am: |
Publicity, my friend. PUBLICITY CAN DO MORE IN A HEART BEAT THAN LOBBYING CAN HANDLE IN A LIFETIME.
It is something the younger group in this profession should be doing to protect their turf.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 10:33 pm: |
The insurance industry spent over $78 Million dollars last year on lobbying governmental entities. How are we going to compete with that kind of money and power?
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 9:01 pm: |
You hit it right on the old nailhead. The insurance company is abrogating their single most important function of the transaction, i.e., the keeping of the promise to the Insured by having the adjuster perform his/her job. Remember that ancient adage about how there are only three REAL people in the insurance transaction? The agent who sells the promise, the Insured who buys the promise, and the adjuster who keeps the promise. Everybody else is just the teats on a boar hog! Without any of the three legs on this milk stool, the whole bucket falls down.
For the carrier executives to cut away the real muscle of the company in an effort to save money reveals a shocking misunderstanding of what our industry is all about. And mind you, I am referring not only to we independents, but the staff adjusters as well. For their very existence is on the line too.
In closing, recall the words of Ben Franklin, "We either hang together, or we hang alone."
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 8:35 pm: |
IT IS SIMPLE TO ME! The amount of the carrier's loss or claim payments is a big part of how their rates are promogated. As policy holders, why are our rates going to be based on the contractor's inspection and repairs without the carrier verifying the loss? Think about it! The carrier is not doing their job to keep the rates down. Adjuster's fees come out of their administrative cost and does not figure in their rate structure. Pretty simple to me.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 6:32 pm: |
In addition to my previous post, do we not have to provide adequate proof of these allegations that this to say this is in fact, is a form of premeditated deceptive trade practices, derived strictly for the benifit of the carrier?
In my opinion, we must be able to provide an EXAMPLE of this practice in each and every state in order for it to be viewed as a national concern. I would be interested to see who the messenger for this monumental task will be, I will do my part, whatever that may be.
|Linda Asberry (Linda)|
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 5:56 pm: |
If any of you wish to email your senators, in Texas, that is, it is their name, i.e. GonzaloBarrientos@senate.state.tx.us. This just happens to be my senator, if you don't know who yours is, maybe you should get on a first name basis with him.
We might also write letters to the editor of our local newspaper. (Politicians always read the editorals and the op-ed pages). That where they get the phrases, my constituents feel..... Well, lets tell them exactly how we do feel. Again, just a thought.
Yep, it is an election year!! If you don't vote, you can't gripe.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 5:54 pm: |
I don't have a list of phone #'s but I do have a mail merge data file for the 50 state insurance commissioners. I will email it to you if you will send me email with your name on it.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 5:26 pm: |
Now you kids are coming around!
First, lets have some specific reasons for why DRP's are not a good thing. (Your turn.)
Second, We will need to have the Phone numbers and addresses of the individual Dept. of Insurance for each state we need to contact. In Texas, it is 1-800-252-3439. Texas Dept. of Insurance P.O. Box 149104 Austin, Texas 78714-9104 FAX 512-475-1771.
Third, how about some state legislators? This is an election year, a very kind soul just reminded us here.
Now, who out there would like to draw up a sample letter for our little survival campaign?
We might ought to have our contractor friends also get in on this as they will be affected by being shut out of their marketplace as well by this discriminatory activity. And from what I've seen, the builders association gets a lot more vocal than we ever have!
How about the legal industry??? Have you ever known a barracuda to turn down a class action suit? Me neither.
Yes, I know we're going after some big game here, but that only adds to the thrill of the hunt. Not to mention the lack of meat on our table if we don't...
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 4:00 pm: |
If you can image it for a moment, on a National level just how big this DRP and the Travlers\Aetna's Program (PTC) and who knows what (others) are out there it is little wonder why all IA's are suffering from it within their regular business as well.
The only resolution I can see is a massive Public Awareness notice of these programs, to inform the general public as a Nation that these are not acceptable practices within the insurance industry. Please share your thoughts, Dan Stelly
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 10:49 am: |
boy have i been asleep.... iwas in florida when our rent house had a minor heater back up and smoked the entire house... the farmers claim lady called me and told me not to worry that they had a drp that would come out and do all the repairs and all that i needed to do was pay the deductable...well i told her no thanks and that as soon as i got home i would call her with my estimate ( yes i told her that i was an adjuster) and we could go from there. She did a great job after that and i was very pleased however after reading all of these messages today i just realized that most people would have said yes to her first offer of a drp...think about it a rent house no problems just write a check for the deductable... no wonder i can't get any work from any one it seems that every company is going drp i think that i might drive to AUSTIN some day soon....it is an election year???? somebody needs a platform to campaign on ya think?
|Linda Asberry (Linda)|
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 10:17 am: |
Well, as I see it we can either all sit on our laurels and hope for the best or we can get off our duffs and write our representatives or just make an appointment and go talk to them. They get jillions of letters but not too many of the folks they represent show up in their offices. If it's illegal then get it stopped.
Since there seems to be a large group of adjusters here in the Great State Texas (a lot of you told us so) then we should all know next year the legislature will be in session. Those folks do listen. Wouldn't be a bad idea to visit them soon, they are also on the election block this fall. Since we all have these keyboards in front of us, their e addresses are published on the web.
Most important: They have insurance, too.
Our right to vote is not a priviledge--it is a responsibility. Use it. Just some food for thought.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 7:33 am: |
Has anyone considered the implied warranty that State Farm accepts when they refer a contractor to one of their insureds. Let's say the contractor utilizes inferior materials or the contractor utilizes incorrect installation methods..(IE: chimney flashings..How many leaks are caused by faulty construction or inherent vice). Not only will they now be responsible for the damages that the leak caused, but also the cost for repairing the defect as well, plus any collateral damage (rot etc..). This will also involve the contractor as well as he is acting as an agent for the company.
Have the contractors considered the fact that Big Brother may not be such a good neighbor when the repairs to a home fall into an area that the policy excludes from damage or a prior construction defect is found that has caused rotten floor or wall framing members that are discovered while in the course of doing repairs for a covered loss? The contractor may be on the hook as he has to complete the repairs in a workmanlike manner, and if the insured was a real smart one and had requested a building permit, then any code defiencies will have to be corrected as well. We all know how forgiving State Farm is. How often they will stand behind their independant adjusters...especially when there is a decision that may call for a deviation or judgement call.
I say more power to them, lets all urge them on their way, as a matter of fact, the next time I have a loss at my home I hope one of their flunkies offers this option to me. I will play the proverbial dummie and photograph the contractor during the course of repairs, and gladly have them return when the job is completed to correct their mistakes. Several times if necessary.
STEP INTO MY PARLOR, SAID THE SPIDER TO THE FLY.
Hopefully they hire a hot dog P.A. contractor who takes them for a ride. Or they screw up and exclude one who can prove discrimination. Bend over State Farm... Cuz some one else will be doin the drivin this time.
|Posted on Monday, March 20, 2000 - 10:46 pm: |
Shouldn't we start calling them D.R.I.P.S. (for Direct Repair Insurance Program Service personnel)?
|older than dirt|
|Posted on Monday, March 20, 2000 - 10:19 pm: |
After market auto parts, DRP.
Do we smell another furture class action.
If a corperation were a living creature the larger ones wouldn't be able to figure out how to eat.
|Posted on Monday, March 20, 2000 - 9:53 pm: |
I have been climbing roofs, looking at wrecked airplanes, boats, tractors, and many other insurance manifestation since 1961. The so called DRP program was going when I started and it has never worked or lasted. It cannot work, as in most cases it is illegal. It was tried on me 3 years ago with a local DRP who was gonna fix my deck when a very large tree fell on it and the house. Price was so low, Jesus would not have fixed it for that. In fact, my contractor said it must be torn out, and he was correct. I informed the Company that I did not accept their ill informed DRP and they paid me based on my contractors price, which was very reasonable. Problem is, does the average soul out there know that they cannot be forced to use the Companies DRP. It won't last folks, the DRP'S will soon be frying the Companies and it will be back in the saddle again. The DRP that came out to our home was telling me what was covered and what was not. He was not a licensed adjuster in this state.
|R.D. Hood (Dave)|
|Posted on Monday, March 20, 2000 - 7:50 pm: |
Well now, ain,t this an interesting turn of events.
STF gets 400,000 claims per year WITHOUT a Major Event, and this is from one of their claim VP's.
I wonder if there are there any contractors in ANY area (who are hungry enough to work for the STF prices, scope and "If and When Incurred BS"?)
Now, price fixing that's ill-Eagle or is it a sick bird?
The DRP will die before it is born. And while it has been tried again and again, it NEVER SUCCEEDS.
Im wondering how many of US will offer to work for THEM when the proverbial brown stuff hits the rotary blades in HURRICANE SEASON?????
Would YOU prostitute yourself in that manner?
In the tale of DAVID VS: Goliath , the winner was not the GIANT.
|Posted on Monday, March 20, 2000 - 4:26 pm: |
SF is going DRP! Just got off phone with roofer who said that SF wants to fix the prices by telling the roofer where to buy materials and the labor rate. They look to have a pilot program up and running by the end of April with full implementation by October. The SF kids are away at school right now learning the new system.
Just thought the newbies out there might like to know how sleazy our business can be. Please leave your conscience at the door before entering.
Has anyone out there seen any classified ads for Brothel Management courses? Might just come in handy if we don't get after this DRP stuff!
|Posted on Monday, March 20, 2000 - 11:34 am: |
I've spoken had converstions with two contractors that are geared toward insurance restoration work and they were gearing up for anticapated work from two new insurance companies who were going referal. I didn't put much stock in it as I also received calls regarding handling local overflow work for two companies that had sent storm assists home. I also heard State Farm called a big meeting in Dallas regarding the issue of overflow work, branch assists and cat workers. Who knows, every day there is another rumor, its like two independants discussing businees, neither will admit there is none.
|Posted on Monday, March 20, 2000 - 10:08 am: |
HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Latest rumors from the grapevine!
Has the worm turned? Reports have it that State Farm is staffing the storms in Austin, Texas & Birmingham, Al, themselves. No vendors needed, thank you and have a nice day. Is lil' Ed going to use up his kids this year and not spend money on us? And what's this about in October, they are going to have a nationwide DRP??? Now won't that be nice for the souls that like to do branch assists.
C'mon folks! let's use this forum to spread the news, rumors, and gossip as to what is going on that is affecting our livelyhood.
|Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2000 - 12:18 pm: |
AMEN! I can remember one of the larger carriers trying to own their own repair company even. Seems it was called something like ALLSTAR CONTRACTORS or something similar. The program disappeared after a class-action lawsuit was filed in the Nebraska area by their insureds. I do believe however that this DRP could be stopped in it's tracks if pushed with the states insurance commissioners/boards or their peers.
Publicity would be a good tool here. Probably a lot better than lobbying.
Burgers burning! Gotto go!!
|Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2000 - 9:03 am: |
I was doing DRP work (small wind and break in claims) for Allstate 20 years ago. If you take all the Contractors (large or small) there is no way that they could handle the claims properly. They would get backed up and not be able to handle their repair jobs properly and finally fall into a bad way with the carrier(lots of phone calls coming into the office of the carrier). DRP has been around for a long time and it will be here for a long time to come, but the carrier still needs the independents to handle claims (as per State guidelines). Don't give up the ship in the lean times, work is coming and we will all wish for a day off!!!
|Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2000 - 12:37 am: |
WMichel, DRP is Direct Repair Program or Dependable Repair Program. Some call it the Circle of Dependable Repair Program. It's a program where, in dealing with property, the insurance adjuster, staff and either field or in-office, contacts the insured and explains the "program" to the insured. The insured either decides to use the program or not. If the insured uses the program he/she pays the deductible and the construction company (approved by the company) comes in, writes the estimate and performs the work. And bills the insurance company. One stop shop for the insured and easy on file management for the staff adjuster.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2000 - 11:49 pm: |
Okay, guys. I must have just fallen off a turnip wagon, but DRP is escaping me. No where does any one person in this/these forum/fora use the entire term. Signed, Ignorant in Illinois, or III,okay?
|Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2000 - 7:09 pm: |
I got this story eight years ago from a nephew of Mr Caldwell and it pertains to local history.
The point tho, is we must learn the lesson that our survival as adjusters is what is at stake. And this applys to Independents and staff adjusters alike. If we do nothing, then we will be forced out of the business entirely by DRP's.
Isn't that what this topic is all about?
|Jim Flynt |
|Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2000 - 3:21 pm: |
GAB was founded in 1890. (110 years old for those who need the math)
|Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2000 - 2:27 pm: |
I am sorry. Perhaps I should take a history lesson. Old Lloyd probably came over here before the twenties since the war was 1899-1902. Have any idea the date he arrived and did this sells job?
|Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2000 - 2:05 pm: |
You need an older-timer to correct your history. True, USF&G required a law degree to handle their claims up through about 1959 or so. However, GAB(Underwriter's Adjustment Company before GAB) and many independent adjusting firms go way, way back. How far back, I haven't taken time to determined, but I know of many independent claim Services that was started in the thirties. Bierman-Condray in St. Louis was started in the twenties. The Moody family's little company in Galveston, AMERICAN INDEMNITY, was probably going strong in those days. (Well before Perkins arrived on the scene there and well before your Englishman invaded our industry in San Antonio)
Gotta flip another burger. Bye for now.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 14, 2000 - 3:05 pm: |
A little History lesson.
Once apon a time in a land far, far away, (back when Christ was a PFC), all claims against an insurance company were handled by the legal industry. This applied to both 1st party losses and 3rd party claims. Ya' got that? Lawyers handled all the claims for the carriers.
Then thru the darkling mists came forth our hero, Mr Lloyd Caldwell, late of the British army and a veteran of the Boer Wars. This 5'2", red faced, balding, Englishman moved to San Antonio and thru good salesmanship and his own charming ways convinced the American Indemnity Ins. Co of Galveston, Texas to assign losses to him for complete handling.
This action removed a significant amount of business from the legal industry resulting in the animosity of lawyers toward adjusters as a whole ever since. Now kiddies, just what little lessons from the past can we learn here?
Well for one, if the legal industry had prodded their buddies in the legislature back then, we adjusters would be instead gainfully employed as anything else but what we do now.
Well for two, if we don't want to suffer the same fate, shouldn't we get our tokus' in gear thru the use of collective lobbying from all existing claim organizations and influential claims publications?
And, Well for three, am I preaching in a cemetery here? We cannot lay down and die on this one. The DRP will be the wooden stake thru the heart of us all if we just lie here and let it happen!
Since NACA has been shown to be moribund, then CADO at its first convention should might well use this topic as its prime topic. For how can CADO exist without CADO-ites?
|Posted on Tuesday, March 14, 2000 - 12:06 pm: |
It is sad, but you are right. We have always just been a necessary evil for the carriers. They don't give us the time of day unless they need us. Then, they put on their phony faces. We will never get back the respect we had 35 years ago! Back in those days, we set our fees and advised the carriers how we handled the losses. They didn't ask for photos, diagrams, and all the documentation that is so necessary today. We had respect and we could adjust the losses. Today, we are lawed and regulated to death, and it wasn't because of anything the IA did either.
If anyone doesn't believe this, I still have a little of that land deep in Florida I can sell you cheap! You can compete with me making gatorburgers down there.
|Posted on Monday, March 13, 2000 - 9:17 pm: |
oooops! Here comes up some more bile,
As for education, please allow me to prod your ox a little. You would think that with all the high powered designations a lot of us have out here, the carriers might respect our viewpoint. In fact, they don't give a rats rear for our CPCU's, AIC's, PhD in the School of Hard Knocks, or that we have forgotten more about property adjusting than they will ever know! The only ones that might are those few that are nearing retirement or are looking for a career change.
No amount of persuasion or true facts on our part to the carriers will have any weight. This is why I am on a soapbox orating for our own claims trade organizations to lobby the state governments to eliminate the DRP. My conversation with the Texas Dept. of Insurance last year finds that they aren't happy with the concept either. They just haven't placed it on the agenda for attention. It's a kind of 'if the wheel don't squeak, don't grease it'.
It is up to us to make the wheel squeak while we're still around to push it. The more the DRP is here, the less work and the fewer of us.
Alright, who's next to get on this soapbox?
|Posted on Monday, March 13, 2000 - 8:48 pm: |
...of which, begs the point that our collective efforts out here in the Independent world and, ultimately, the kids in staff world, that trade organizations should be all over the department of insurances and legislatures crowing about the virtues of the ADJUSTER and the evils of DRP!
Here are some arguments that can be used in our favor:
1) It's our way of making a living!
2) DRP's are discrimintory towards contractors that don't pony up to the carriers!
3) It's our way of making a living!
4) DRP's create an air if not fact of collusion twixt the carrier and contractor.
5) It's our way of making a living!
6) DRP's always wind up with the contractor overcharging or overscoping to make up for the lost jobs where he has been had for a free estimate.
7) It's our way of making a living!
8) DRP's further eliminate any sense of trust between the carrier and the Insured when the Insured wonders just whose side the carrier is on, his or some contractor!
That the Bean Counters aren't or don't care is testimony to the fact they don't belong in our business anyway. Yes, I know it is a fact of life, but that still does not make it right. Either from a financial or moral aspect.
For a carrier to abrogate its responsibility to conduct the single most important function of the insurance transaction is reprehensible. That it is a commonly done thing only drives home the fact that we must have it stopped thru legislative means. No amount of gentle persuasion with the carrier management can be effective once they have set a DRP in motion.
By the way Commander Dave, how's Vivian doing?
|Posted on Monday, March 13, 2000 - 7:11 pm: |
There have been several studies, done at the expense of the companies. Each has shown a break even point to have an IA inspect a loss at $500 of loss. From there on, there is a savings that quickly becomes substantial.
Why be concerned about adjustment cost and not loss cost. Adjustment expense gets a close look by Insurance Commissioners. Loss expense only receives a tongue cluck, shake of the head and a refrence to cost of living and is automatically allowed into rate increase. Notice, adjustment expense doesn't get the same treatment. Actually, the company is reprimanded for any adjustment expense increase and that is not allowed into a rate increase.
Can you figure out which is more welcomed by the Beans
|Posted on Monday, March 13, 2000 - 6:06 pm: |
Trent, well said. Allow me to put a slightly different perspective on the issue of DRP's and their replacing IA's.
1. I would doubt that there are more than 1000 / 1500 qualified Independent "Cat" adjusters available on a full time basis in the US and Canada.
2. The "Cat" venders, like any good businessmen, seek out new business opportunities and promise as part of their contractual agreement, to be able to deploy "X" amount of people to a particular event. They too, are well aware of our real numbers and know we have our names with 10 / 20 other firms. Most times in the past they have gotten lucky and been able to use their "core" people and service their clients properly. In recent years the increase in Storm activity has accelerated the need for "warm bodies". That's where we get hurt, the old adage, "last week I couldn't spell adjistor, now I are one" is painfully true. The Carrier has only one way to gage the success or failure of their Venders, complaints and re-opens, when these get out of hand senior management get involved and the poo hits the fan.
3. Senior Management is not made up of ex-adjusters; they are typically Accountants and Business grads. These folks have one mission and that is to show a healthy profit to their respective Boards and ultimately the shareholders.
That's where we re-enter the picture. They look, on a yearly basis, at the only quantifiable number available, the cost of adjusting their claims. When service does not equate to "value" they look for other means to control costs.
4. Enter the DRP's. At first look, a free appraisal of the physical damages looks pretty appealing. The contractor is there with his "authorization form" ready for the Insured to sign and make the Insurance Company's problems go away.
5. Like most things in life there is always a hitch. The IA does not have a vested financial interest in the subject property. The IA, after years of experience is a pretty good negotiator, he is also qualified and licensed to ensure the "Contract of Insurance" (Indemnity) has been carried out. Remember that pesky contract.
6. Re-enter Senior Management. We know that in a course of a year our fees are far less than what would be paid out in a strictly DRP world. In essence we pay for ourselves and whole lot more, but, how do we convey this, there's no way to track what an IA would have paid and what a DRP paid on any given Loss. It's odd that the "Claims adjustment cost" gets all the attention and not the loss pay-out.
Strange business were in.
7. If our market is swinging toward DRP's who regulates them, a host of new re-inspectors and TA's? Is the plan to use IA's only on major complicated losses?
That doesn't work either, I for one need to work more than 3 months a year. I'll have to go elsewhere, as would most of us.
8. Do I have the answers to these problems? NO. One suggestion would be that the "Cat" Venders take a realistic stock of who's really available to fill their Rosters. Supply only top-notch professionals. I know turning down work isn't natural, but it may be more profitable in the long run, for all of us.
I enjoyed your posting. Hope to hear more from you soon.