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Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Tuesday, May 09, 2000 - 7:42 am:   

Here is a suggestion I shared yesterday at the Carolina Claims Service/Tower Hill Group seminar in Columbia, SC (Great seminar BTW, and I will comment elsewhere about it).

PUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS ON YOUR BUSINESS CARDS to hand out to insured policyholders. Here's why: almost 50% of American families now have email and ISP's. When you meet your insureds at the risk for inspection, inquire if they are "on the net?" If they are, ask them to email you with any questions, send you any notices of further damages, and inform them they can send their contents or A.L.E. worksheets to you by email.

Posting your email address shows the insured that you are a savvy sophisticated professional in your career and claims handling, and insureds want to deal with professionals.

I started doing this a little over a year ago, and in some places the response from the insureds has been well received. It is a lot easier and QUICKER for me to respond to 25 emails than 25 phone calls. PLUS, I have a written record for the file of their communication to me, and my response back to them.

Now, if our software friends on the board could make some suggestions as to how we can establish a medium whereby the insured's content list or A.L.E. information could interface right into their estimating software programs.

I am pondering the concept of handing each "Internet family" a floppy disk which would contain a contents worksheet as well as an A.L.E. Worksheet where applicable. (My thought was to set the worksheets up in a MS Word format but I am not sure that is the best way to go?) Then when they send it to me, it is ready after review and any possible adjustment, to conclude. Any thoughts from all you computer pros on this?

Another thought was to set up a "handout" on a floppy disk (in MS Word) describing the claims process as well as any other pertinent information which I feel would assist in the claims communication process. An explanation of Replacement Costs, ACV, A.L.E. are examples.

As someone said so eloquently yesterday, the wave of the future is renaissance, technology, and (digital) communications. Those are three words we all need to learn, understand, and apply for real world/real time solutions to problems.
storm pro
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2000 - 9:59 am:   

I heard about a sheet of plastic like material that is similar to a cutting board used by graphic artists that you can put on your clipboard. Then you put a sheet of paper over top of it and draw your diagrams on it. The plastic mat, if you will, has groves in it that help you to draw straight lines in either direction (vertical or horizontal) Office Max and the like have the cutting mats that but that's not what I am looking for.
Does anyone know what I am talking about? Where can I get this item?
John Durham (Johnd)
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 5:59 pm:   

When you are doing your "diagrams" you may want to consider using the IBM Flowchart Template, also available at Staples and Office-Max. This handy little template has many curves and other "cutouts" that match Gable ends, Dormers, etc. This will make your job much easier. I have predesigned Diagram Forms for the following that I will be happy to Email to all who ask;
Roof Diagram Form
Siding Diagram Form (All Elevations)
Siding Diagram Form (Two Elevations)
Interior Diagram Form (Two Rooms)
Interior Diagram Form ( Four Rooms)
These forms can be modified to suite your individual needs or personalized with your carriers name etc. They are in MS-Word format.
EMail me, and give me a week or so to respond to your inquiry....
John Durham (Johnd)
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 5:44 pm:   

The other day someone was asking how to get the small line over the roof to pull a rope over. There was talk about using a cross-bow etc. I have used a Poppiel Pocket Fisherman in the past to "shoot" a line over a roof. Use a Practice Lure, which is a wood weighted plug without hooks and you can put an eye hook in the "business end" of the lure to attach your safety line and then pull the whole mess back by "reeling it in." It works for me... just make sure that you use a 20# test line and plan to change it often.

I keep a whole bunch of this "stuff" in a blue tub in the back of my vehicle, which my wife refers to as my "bag of tricks."
John Durham (Johnd)
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 5:39 pm:   

Measuring the siding on a dwelling is pretty easy if you use the following... First measure an individual siding panel... usually 5 inches. then stand back and count the number of horizontal panels to the bottom of the gable level. then multiply number times 5 or what individual panels measure and divide answer by 12 or P X N / 12 This will give you the wall portion. Then count the number from the base of the gable to the top of the gable (triangle) then multiply same as above and divide final answer by 2 for the area of a triangle. Actually this is faster than trying to snake a tape up a 20 foot high wall, let alone the gable end. You will find that your measurements are within 1-2 inches on a 20 foot high 2 story wall.

Regarding the little arrows. I use the Post-it Flags or item # 684ARR2 an assortment of pull off arrows for placing on photos after they are mounted or printed (digital camera).

I use the Z-Notes, or self-stick Signals item #20219 which is a three pack. These are larger and can be placed on siding, garage doors etc. and will show up on wide angle shots. These coupled with the little arrows above shows the file reviewer that you care about HIS job also and makes his job easier. I have received many compliments on this over the years. I have purchased both of these items at Office-Max, they are usually on a shrink-wrap pegboard display. Stock up on them when you get ot a storm area, as they usually go fast.

You can find these at the Staples store in Columbia.. Get off I-20 at 2-notch road and turn Right. Go down to second stop light and turn left, you will see the Staples store in the Center on your left. Good luck. When we meet I have many other little tips that I will share with you. Fitting payment I might add for you showing me how to same my A** on these tall roofs. Look Forward to our visit.
Vince Tabor
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 3:11 pm:   


Your ping-pong idea works great...pushing the tape
up the roof for proper measurement. It worked on
a 5/12 wood shingle roof which turns into a 12/12
mansard. You a genius...amigo

You are a smart man too...I tried to find arrows
at Office Max... and gave up. Staples on Monday...

Thanks gents! We appreciate ya..
R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 12:24 pm:   

Want to measure siding? Tired of snaking the tape up the wall?

Look for the siding corner that you can open the bottom of and insert your steel tape inside it and extend to the top. Voila' you have the height.

I prefer the Disto but the above method always worked fine for me.

You also can use a downspout/leader and compensate for the bends.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 11:59 am:   

Avery Red Arrow Self-Adhesive labels are available online at the Staples website located at Look under specialty labels. Price is $1.88 for a pack of 125 red arrows plus shipping. You can also call them toll free at 1-800-3STAPLE.

They are great for showing damage on photos or posted on the damage itself. The are 1/2 x 1 inch in size.
storm pro
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 11:11 am:   

Interesting about the "arrows" - will have to look for them.
I get an occasional rationed pack of Avery Red Arrow Labels from my vendor's office every once in awhile. It's like Christmas morning when I open up my mail and find one!
Where do they buy them? Have never seen them in office supply stores. Must get them mail order.
John Durham (Johnd)
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 9:09 am:   

I like the 35 mm film canister on the end of a tape measure, however I found the round edges will catch on some roofs. Take a ping-pong ball and make a slit into the side with a razor blade. Then insert your tape end clasp into the slit and you have a perfectly round object to push up a slope that will not catch on anything. The ball will last several weeks depending on the number of times it is used. A package of 6 balls can be purchased at wally world for about $2.50.
John Durham (Johnd)
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 9:03 am:   

When taking photos of hail damage on a roof, sometimes the contrast of impact size is not easily determined by the file reviewer. In these instances I place a quarter or dime next to the hail impact when I take a close-up photo to help the reviewer understand the severity of the hail impact.
John Durham (Johnd)
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 9:00 am:   

Your local Office-Max or Staples will have small arrow post-it notes with "sign here" etc. imprinted on them. I cut off the printing leaving only the arrow in different colors. I use these to define damage on metal siding etc. before taking a photo of the damaged object. This will give the file reviewer a quick "eye on" to the damage in your photos, also you do not have to write on photos, which is a no-no with many carriers.
John Durham (Johnd)
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 8:56 am:   

I purchased a 150 foot cloth tape on a reel for use on very steep roofs. The end has a baseball screwed into the clasp. I reel out enough tape to clear the ridge and swing the baseball around and over the roof. Pulling the baseball back up the back slope slowly to the ridge. The last two (2) feet of tape above the baseball have been painted red to warn it is about at the ridge line. This has worked well for years. Now if I could only get a 30 foot long chalk stick......
storm pro
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 8:20 am:   

What are some of everyones favorite little tricks of the trade.
I recently found out about putting an empty 35mm film canister on the end of your tapemeasure so that you can push it up a roof slope from the ground (one story) or when measuring from a ridge it keeps the tab from catching the edges of the shingles when retracting the tape - hence prolonging the life of your tape (not to mention keeping Wally World profits up ie:not as many tapemeasure returns)
Lets here from some of the old pros in this biz.
I 'm sure there must be some old tricks we can all learn.

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