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Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2000 - 12:21 pm:   

Well, with Clinton signing the revision in social security, I wouldn't worry about the contractors, everybody with one and two retirement pensions will be comming out of the woodwork. You allready see it at all the seminars. Most of the cat co's have retired insurance personel working with them for marketing. Now hoe about all of us making a living off of a shrinking market
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2000 - 12:01 pm:   

Trent, Just curious who these superior firms you mention in your post are. Care to share?
older than dirt
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2000 - 12:55 am:   

Well said Tom.
Worked for a company that used a contractor, he took a photo and did the work, wasn't long before every loss was near the pre approved limit. Went on for years ( and a claims manager had many a vactation), until someone woke up. This circle of life continues.
Tom Toll
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2000 - 12:03 am:   

Trent, you win the Golden Globe award with your post. Your perceived value concept (insight) is absolutley correct. All you have to do is read some of the posts on CADO and we wonder why the Companies might be meandering toward DRP's. The common sense and intellect of this community is lacking considerably. My wife and I have been fortunate enough to align ourselves with a top notch vendor that cares about the quality of the adjuster that works for and represents them in a professional manner. After having been an adjuster since 1961, I have seen and heard it all. I am somewhat concerned about what I am seeing in adjuster quality these days. Greed seems to be the proclivity and not quality and concern. We are allowing adjusters to write estimates with computers that do not know how to use the progam and properly construct an estimate, other than filling it up with ludicruous items, sometimes non related to the loss, just to get their wages up. That is not right and the Companies know it. Now, I understand that I am going to be bashed over this post, but have reached a point in my life that I don't care. I met a man today with no legs that had the most marvelous attitude of anyone I have met in many years. It made me feel good just to be around him. Now I see all of these healthy young adjusters feeling sorry for themselves and putting ridiculous posts on this wonderful site, and it really pisses me off. Sorry about the language, but there is not other way to express my dismay. I want nothing more than to see a lot of happy, organized, professional, and caring adjusters getting all the work they can handle, because of their attitudes, work ethic, and professionalism. Janice and I have always helped anyone who asks for it. I don't know it all, but I know how to find the answers, which is half the battle of this job. Our offer is always open to anyone who feels we might be able to help them. I attribute a lot of my positive attitude to my wonderful soul mate who works with me, understands me and is always positive. She is also a licensed adjuster and is darn good at it. I feel, as does she, that most of the problems and concerns seen on this site are a result of people not understanding self. They need to re-inpect self, write an estimate of repairs, and then proceed to repair at or above standard. Nuff said.
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2000 - 11:32 pm:   

I am still horrified by the spectre of DRP's. But, out of morbid curiosity, how would a soul make a $BUCK$ by jumping ship. Can anyone please explain the mechanics of it all?

(Please don't think too badly of me. I am starting to wonder if we independents are too 'independent' to band together for group survival.)
Chris Siemens
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2000 - 11:04 pm:   

For 6 years I was a line adjuster for one of the major insurance companies. When I first started out we were using contractor estimates when estimating the loss. After 2 years of this the company changed its policy and the adjusters estimated everything. When I left, 3 years ago, the company was going back to using contractors.

Based on my experience, the contractors start adding items in and pumping the estimate up. Also, the policyholder will start complaining. The insurance company gets wise and quits using the contractor, until the next round of cutbacks. It's just a cycle.
Trent Massey
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2000 - 7:20 pm:   

Alan, I've never met you but you should be able to write your own ticket with the law degree, especially if you ever consider working for a large insurer rather than a cat. co. I think that is great and good luck the next 6 mos! The following are just my opinions and I'm not attempting to answer your questions since I think you're just looking for discussion on the matter.

Regarding contractors taking over. To me it's all about value. If the insurers perceive value in what they are receiving from IA's, then they will continue using the IA's. When they don't, then you see alternatives like the contractors. Let's look at the typical adjuster in the field today. What is the experience level of the average cat. adjuster? There may not be a difference in a 5 year adjuster vs. 20 year adjuster. Hey, I've seen some good 3 and 4 year people doing this. I think there is a huge difference in someone with years of exp. vs. someone looking for their first storm, though. Is the average adjuster doing everything the insurer has asked him/her to do? Is the average adjuster professional in appearance? Is there character and integrity present? Is the average IA file no different than a staff worked file? These are just a few questions for adjusters whose answers will affect perceived value.

The main reason insurers would shun some vendors and go to contractors is due to this loss of perceived value. I would assume those vendors who have lost business either priced themselves out of the market or repeatedly used adjusters who were "bad apples", or both. Vendors have to sell their services and justify their fees so that insurers feel they are getting what they paid for. Lately, everyone knows that some vendors have negotiated their fees first and then hoped to find people to work at those prices. Perhaps this is why so many new people seem to work a lot, and the older ones stay home more. You can tank this industry with lower prices just like the stock market did this week when everyone sold due to prices falling. Perceived value!!

It's never the good files insurers remember, but always the bad ones. I guess insurers see no difference in hiring contractors for their claim inspections vs. hiring certain vendors who in turn employee just about anyone.

Here are a few question for vendors. Are vendors trying to seek out only the best people? Why after a storm, do you get 3 calls from 3 different people all at the same vendor? Where is the organization? If you are a 20 year adjuster and a nice storm happens 20 miles down the road from your house, why do you not get a call? Instead, why does someone new to the business who lives 800 miles away get called to that storm? Then, the next week when a storm hits 3 states from yours, you get a call? Why is it when you get a call to a storm two weeks old, you arrive and are handed 75 claims many w/ complaints already and some w/ state board ones, too; none of which you had nothing to do with, but now must resolve. Then, you find out you are a subcontractor for the subcontractor of the actual vendor, and the fee is no longer worth your talents and skills. To make matters worse, 50% of your 75 files speak only spanish. Anyone care to answer these questions? ( I already know the answer ). Vendors and adjusters must do their part together to present perceived value.

Only when I started working for companies who held higher standards did I start having fun. If I can't change anything, I will atleast enjoy what I'm doing and surround myself with professionals, when at all possible. Providing top quality claims service + fair fee + organized and caring vendor = fun. I find value in this equation.

It's time to know when to shut up, so I will.
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2000 - 5:19 pm:   

I am a resident of Birmingham, AL. For those of you who missed it on the news, we had several Tornadoes strike in the past week. I Know several "approved contractors" who are covered up. They are also members of the Prism & PTC Networks. They take digital photos of the damage, write a estimate and then e-mail back to the co. The company pays off their estimate. All of these contractors are busy to say the least. I contacted the Big Boy Adjusting Co's in town. They received little or know claims as a result of this storm.
There was 2" hail in Montgomery, Al and visible damage everywere. Where is all the work. I'm sure the Co's will want to use us when the big one hit's. What are we to do? Does anyone have any "good ideas" on how to overcome.

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