Registration details on our May 2012 ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Fundamental of Property Claims Adjusting Online live class

April 17, 2012

Yesterday, I posted information about our upcoming May 2012 five week live online training class for newly licensed adjusters in the following blog which also includes a link to our 125 question self-assessment test to see if this course will benefit you.

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/now-accepting-new-registrants-for-our-50-hour-fundamentals-of-claims-course-10-sessions-live-online-take-our-self-assessment-exam-and-see-if-this-is-for-you/

We are overwhelmed with requests for additional information and instructions for registration. We hope the following additional information will help you with your questions and registration information:

2012 ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Fundamentals of  Property Claims Course Information

Thank you for your inquiry into our upcoming May 2012 Fundamentals of Property Claims Online LIVE class for newly licensed claims adjusters.

We recently wrote about this upcoming course in our social media outlets on Linkedin and in our forums as well as in this post on our Claims Adjuster Information blog  on April 16, 2012 here:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/now-accepting-new-registrants-for-our-50-hour-fundamentals-of-claims-course-10-sessions-live-online-take-our-self-assessment-exam-and-see-if-this-is-for-you/

General Class Information- Dates/Times/ Format

This online LIVE training session will be held beginning the first week of May 2012. It consists of five weeks of training at two sessions per week held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30-9:30 PM ET. We will provide the location on the internet to login to access all course material and to log in for classes to paid registrants. All material will be uploaded prior to the first session so class members can read the weekly pre-class reading assignments and class homework session questions at their own convenience to prepare for each upcoming class. All classes are LIVE and we value your input as we discuss the class material for each session to make sure you learn the material and your questions are answered. You will find each class very informative without rose colored glasses giving you the true picture of the property claims industry, carrier expectations, file requirements, employment options as either an independent adjuster or staff adjuster for an insurance carrier.

Please note that Memorial weekend will fall within the class term thus we will not host class Memorial weekend week to allow everyone to enjoy the holiday with family and friends thus we will finish up the course the second week of June 2012.

What is the cost to enroll in the ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Fundamentals of Claims class?

The class consisting of the ten live sessions is $200.00 plus $25.00 for class material. This is a very reasonable $20.00 per class plus $25.00 for class material.  Divide that
down even further for the 50 class hours and you’ll find this price is unbelievably low.

How do I enroll in the class?

Enrollment is a simple two step process:

1)      Email dkmoroy@dimechimes.com to confirm your intention to enroll. Provide your full name, address,  phone numbers, and adjuster license number so we can begin to complete the registration process to be sure you are included in distribution of class information and emails.

2)      Payment which confirms your enrollment in the class is due no later than April 28, 2012. Payments are accepted through Paypal  at www. Paypal.com.  Paypal accepts payment in the form of credit cards, debit cards, and  electronic checks. Once you login to your Paypal account, you simply click on Send Funds tab at the top of the page. You then send funds to Debbie@Dimechimes.com.  Paypal will send you a receipt for your payment and we will acknowledge your payment and class confirmation.

3)      Refunds are only available for 48 hours after receipt of payment. If for any reason you do need to withdraw from the class at a later date, you will receive credit for any unused portion of your payment to attend any other session held during 2012 or 2013.

4)      Note there is a 20% discount offered to partner/spouses who register at the same time which helps those planning to work with an assistant who may or may not be a licensed adjuster but needs to know the claims protocol to assist you professionally. Just note on your payment in the comments who will be registering with you as an assistant to pay the discount.

Who will be instructing the course?

 

The course is created and hosted primarily by Deborah Moroy, Founder of ClaimSmentor, with over 35 years in the claims
industry with experience progressing through the claims ranks as an in office adjuster, field adjuster, reinspector trainer, claims supervisor, claims superintendent in both field and claim central in office operations, National Catastrophe team management which included supervision of both staff claim representatives and estimators as well as independent adjusters and call center operators and administrative support staff.

Thus the goal is to train you from the perspective of an insurance company claims management perspective so you know the true expectations to excel in the claims business.

You can view my complete profile and background on Linkedin along with recommendations for my work in positions held at:

www.linkedin.com/in/ClaimSmentor

I have taught this program to over 300 participants since 2006 and am amazed at the progress of these class members from the time they took the initial 125 question claim handling assessment test found on our blog to the professional responses to these same questions at the end of the class.

Does the class provide CE adjuster credits?

 

Not at this time. We teach this course for a most reasonable fee and to maintain that expense level, it is virtually impossible to obtain CE Credits from 50 states as we present this material to adjusters registered with ClaimSmentor throughout the USA and Canada. We will be providing CE credits with our extended version of this course in our field five week classes as they will be held in states with a large number of new adjusters making it possible to apply the CE  to the field classes.

Where can I find the class syllabus?

 

All 125 questions in our self assessment test are taught in an organized format to include adjuster resumes, independent fee schedules, independent contracts, agency and claims relationships, file requirements, estimate reconciliations for in office assignments, contents claims handling, additional living expense claims handling, catastrophe operations claim organization and carrier ratio expectations, bad faith claims handling, claim litigation,  working with attorneys and public adjusters, and much much more.

The full syllabus will be included in the class material for registered class members.

Will I obtain a Certificate of Class Completion?

 

Absolutely!

 

The class certificate is provided to all participants in one of two formats:

1)       If you participate in all 10 classes but chose not to submit each class pre-class homework assignment you will receive an Audit Only certificate verifying your attendance and participation in all 10 classes. We will be going over all pre-class assignment questions during each session so you will still acquire the information you need to learn applicable to each session. This option works well for those with a busy schedule which does not allow them time to do the homework questions but please note ALL participants must read all pre-class reading assignments so they can participate in discussions with each class.

2)      If you participate and complete all pre-class assignments, you will receive a full certificate of completion.

3)      NOTE: No certificates can be provided to any participant who does not attend all 10 class sessions without exception as we value the reputation of our classes and want to assure all  registrants receiving our certificates actually grasped the information important to excel in the claims industry.

Thank you again for your interest in learning more about our online classes at ClaimSmentor!


Now accepting new registrants for our 50 Hour Fundamentals of Claims course (10 sessions LIVE online)-take our self assessment exam and see if this is for you.

April 16, 2012

We are in the mist of the 2012 tornado and hail season with hurricane season soon to follow June 1, 2012.

As a result of the massive number of tornadoes and hail storms, we are already beginning to receive roster placement requests from numerous newly licensed property adjusters who believe the fact they have a license and perhaps an xactimate class and/ or a cat 101 class under their belt that they are ready to go out and service claims for carriers as a result of damage from these storms.

Check again- take our annual self assessment exam (free) to see how you fare on this exam and see how many of these basic claim handling questions for property claims you can actually answer:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/have-license-ready-to-go-not-so-quick-take-this-self-assessment-test/

If you find your knowledge lacking after taking the exam, I highly recommend you register for our LIVE online 10 session Fundamentals of Property Claims adjusting class which will start up the first week of May. We will meet on Tuesday and Thursday nights LIVE online from 6:30 to 9:30 pm ET for five weeks to accomplish this training.

New in 2012 we will also be going on the road with an extended version of this course in a five week Monday-Friday to include many practical application workshops, guest speakers, and field trips to enhance your basic claim knowledge. These live classes will initially be offered in Jacksonville, Florida, Huntsville, TX, and Nashville, TN.

For complete details on our reasonable registration fees, course syllabus information, etc email dkmoroy@dimechimes.com for further details.

 


January 2012 Windstorm Network Conference- Orlando, FL/ Also put to rest the rumor that attendee majority were public adjusters- see stats

September 22, 2011

The 2012 Windstorm Network Conference will be held in January 2012 in Orlando, FL from January 30, 2012 through February 2, 2012.

While researching the 2011 conference and attendees due to an upcoming opportunity to speak on behalf of ClaimSmentor to the 2012 network, I came across a most interesting blog entry putting to rest rumors even I had heard that the Windstorm network attendees are public adjusters in the majority of cases.

This article on the actual statistics put out by Attorney Chip Merlin, current Windstorm Network President,  dispells these rumors and shows that attendees are 4 to 1 dominated by independent claims personnel and staff claims personnel. I hope you find this article interesting when considering both sponsorship opportunities as well as attendance participation. All in all, I find it an outstanding networking opportunity for all parties concerned in wind topics which are important for all of us in the Property and Casualty claims industry:

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2011/03/articles/insurance/windstorm-insurance-networka-dominated-by-independent-and-company-adjusters/

Here is also the link for the January 2012 Membership and Conference Registration:
Membership- Click here

Conference Registration- Click here

 

 


Update 3 on Worley Catastrophe Adjusting firm Class Action Lawsuit- Altier vs Worley- Class Action Denied by Judge- see court documents

August 24, 2011

We are getting much interest in posts on the Worley class action lawsuit via internet searches leading folks to our blog thus I did a follow up today to see what new court documents could be located.

It is with much interest that I post this updated court document filed July 26, 2011 showing the federal case moved to Deny the Class Action Certification of the plaintiff adjusters. I find it very disturbing that the basis of the denial is that all of those adjusters working did not have signed employment contracts.

I lecture continually in our Fundamentals of Claims course for new adjusters about not going out without a signed contract due to the fact the contract is needed if there are non payment issues or disputes on fee received.

Here again is an entirely different reason for being sure you work under a signed employment contract with the adjusting firm:

http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/louisiana/laedce/2:2011cv00241/145020/187/

If you missed our original blog on the Altier vs Worley case and Update 2, here is a link to the prior blogs:

http://wp.me/p5Xno-zc

I do have a call in now to the plaintiff’s attorney for an update on the case as to what happens next. Apparently it is ongoing as I was just told all of the attorney’s on the case are out in depositions this week pertaining to the case but they would have someone call me back later today for an update.


Xactimate Training Options through Xactware Why take it anywhere but directly from the source!

August 17, 2011

Let’s talk Xactimate training!

I continue to be annoyed each and everytime I see another outrageous charge for Xactimate training by many sources who have little under their belt besides a few months to a few years of catastrophe adjusting.

First and foremost, before you pay any fee to any organization you need to verify through Xactware whether or not they are even Xactware certified to vouch for their expertise in the Xactimate programs. It is simple to do so, here is a link at Xactware where you can find instructors and verify if they have certified with them to teach a course to assure you are learning from a true and TESTED expert in this field: View list here

The second most important reason to take your training from an Xactimate certified instructor is due to the fact only XACTWARE can actually certify you in your training by truly testing your skills to verify you are adept at using their software. They offer Level I,  Level II, and Level III online certification tests. I have seen variations in requirements by adjusting firms asking adjusters to obtain their Level I and Level II and sometimes Level III certification. Thus, even if you paid an outrageous price from a non certified vendor and haven’t taken the certification level testing, it is worthless from the standpoint of securing the required Xactware certification.

You will also note that Xactware lists Certified users on their website which you can view here . It is without a doubt if I owned an independent adjusting firm and searching for qualified adjusters, I’d definitely start with this list which even shows the adjuster state of residence as well- what a find for an independent firm looking for good daily property adjusters!

The contact I received that prompted this blog post was from one of my favorite claims associations. They were proposing offering of Xactimate training by a source offering the class for $5,500.00 to the group thus the cost per participant would be apparently divided among the participants. The name of the trainer was not revealed in the email received and they could or could not be Xactware certified but I have let the group know my thoughts which was the very reason for the existence of ClaimSmentor to prevent the training abuses I have witnessed in the independent field by, in some cases, very poor trainers and very worthless certificates for attendance being given to class attendees. As a claim manager and knowing the problems existing out there with many of the training firms, a certificate of attendance at training is worthless when it isn’t backed up by proper testing to make sure you can actually produce a professional estimate and claim file.

It is almost certain trainee adjusters are spending upwards towards $10,000 dollars attending claim conferences, seminars, insurance carrier certification workshops and in the majority of their cases they have yet to receive their first assignment. It is actually shocking. More on this subject later.

In the meantime, I cannot stress enough that you should take your Xactimate training directly from the source. It is more cost effective, it accomplishes the need to properly get certified to your own advantage, and with all of the new options they have available through webinars, online training, self study training, and opportunities to take field classes you obtain the proper workbooks so you’ll have them on the road with your first assignments, but also find step by step guidelines to reference as needed.

The most common complaints I hear constantly from adjusters taking Xactimate courses from numerous other sources include but not limited to the fact that the trainer to student ratio is very poor, that hours into the first day are wasted while instructors have to load Xactware on adjusters computers who didn’t follow instructions to do so before classes, and that they walked away with no training material whatsoever for future references which is greatly needed when it may be months between your class instruction and when you actually receive your first assignments.

Listen folks, do yourselves a favor and take this training seriously. It isn’t he with the cheapest class or the class most convenient to your home that matters. If your estimates are not professional and properly formatted, as an independent you will earn NOTHING as your files will continue to be rejected for corrections. Over the years of running ClaimSmentor, I’ve heard countless number of stories from trainee adjusters who couldn’t cut it in the field and were released and sent home due to poor estimatics, poor estimating skills, and many other reasons we discuss in our Fundamentals of Claims courses.

Do the right thing for your own career.Here is the list of all programs Xactware offers on webinars and Xactimate training….run don’t walk to register through Xactware for all of your Xactimate training needs. I just cannot stress this enough. You can prevent becoming a victim of poor training without certification and have all of the options to meet your individual learning styles such as instructor lead, self study, webinars, etc all the while saving on those costly traveling expenses to attend field classes.

We continue to thank Xactware for the ever continuing effort they make with great progess I’d say in the last year or two to making Xactimate training options even more user friendly for adjusters today than ever before!

To all of you Xactimate users who have obtained your Level I, Level II, and even your Level III certification- my hat’s off to you for taking the professional route to learning the software. I understand there is a fee for each level of testing which is outlined on the Xactware site but for what it can do for your career and opportunities as well as your own comfort level- BRAVO to you!


ClaimSmentor Property and Casualty Group- Join us on Linkedin! Social media updates and stats for ClaimSmentor

August 17, 2011

We continue to grow our ClaimSmentor Property and Casualty group by leaps and bounds!

Thank you to all of our members participating at all of our various social media outlets.

Here is where we are today in our efforts to grow our membership in support of professional training and education opportunities as well as current event updates of interest to Property and Casualty claims personnel from the trainee adjuster to the claim executive level:

Here at our blog at www.dimechimes.wordpress.com which is our ClaimSmentor blog we have now surpassed 236,000 views with the hottest topic always adjuster salaries. I’ll post our 25 hottest topics by number of views which are often directed our way through search engines in the next few days.

My favorite social media site is at Linkedin where you will find us for networking in two locations. First is my own personal profile at:

www.linkedin.com/in/claimSmentor

as well as our ClaimSmentor Property and Casualty group which we’d love to have you also join us for news you can use as well as posting of many job opportunities. Here is the link to our Linkedin group (note you first have to become a member of Linkedin yourself. We only approve those with completed linkedin profiles to verify they are “linkedin” to the claims industry:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/ClaimSmentor-Property-Casualty-Claims-Group-1820952?gid=1820952

We have almost reached 1600 members on my personal Linkedin profile and almost 1,000 now in our new ClaimSmentor P & C group on Linkedin.

Twitter- now at over 1,200 followers at http://www.twitter.com/ClaimSmentor

Facebook- www.facebook.com/dimechimesclaims

Please note you can also subscribe to this blog to be notified of new posts if you wish to follow along with important news in the claims industry! Just look for the FOLLOW button at the top of our blog to sign up!

Thank you to all of our members for networking with us!

 


TWIA- Texas Windpool- now offers 5 additional Claims Adjuster workshops in August and September 2011

August 10, 2011

We have just received a notice that Texas Windpool is offering 5 additional claims adjuster certification workshops in August and September 2011.

I am glad to see they are offering some outside of TX for your convenience. The following link also contains the information that you must be registered with one of the firms handling their claims and provides a website link for each firm.

It is my hope that you will consider the adjusting firms on that list who are ClaimSmentor sponsors which are Eberl Claims  and Crawford and Company (their KMConDemand.com) is also one of our sponsors. Four other names on the list are proactive participants on ClaimSmentor to include CNC-Resource, Pacesetter Claims, Wardlaw Claims, and NCA group.

Click HERE for the workshop and adjusting firm contact information. Please be sure to tell them you heard about this through ClaimSmentor since they are members too! We appreciate it!


New Social Media Marketing Classes being hosted for Claims Adjusting Firm Managers and Associates

February 2, 2011

We have spent over a year now with all of the social media marketing options through Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and of course this blog which has been in operation since 2007.

We have narrowed down our preferences to this blog of course but also to Linkedin and Twitter for marketing in social media arenas with Insurance company claim executives.

Thus, we are now offering a three day seminar limited to 5 attendees and their administrative assistant to walk you through taking advantage of social media marketing when obtaining adjusting firm contracts. I have watched adjusting firm sites on these markets and find errors basically from left out steps that prevent the parties you need following your firm as well as your adjusters to increase your rosters, create loyalty among your roster members, and to keep all of those interested in your membership on social media sites.

Our course will not just teach you to use these tools but you will leave connected to over 1,000 important claims industry executives and adjusters as well as service vendors as well as being set up with your roster members on your individual sites. We have created the templates to allow you to achieve in three days what it has taken me over one year to achieve by daily working with these tools unlike so many courses where you walk away with no time to actually process systems from tools learned in classes.

These seminars can be hosted individually for your adjusting firm at your location or at our training facility. Please email dkmoroy@dimechimes.com for complete details or give me a call at 850-797-5067 to discuss your needs.

I cannot begin to say enough great things about the fantastic adventure this past year has been networking with claims industry members I never otherwise would have had an opportunity to meet through social media interactions. It is my definite belief that those who refuse to use these new tools will soon find themselves left behind when it comes to connecting with new adjusters for your firms and in roads to making marketing connections with carrier claims executives.


Special Announcement- KMConDemand Announces Release of the Property Technical Certification I Program for all Property Claims Adjusters

January 11, 2011

I am very excited to release the following announcement from KMConDemand executive, Colm Keenan announcing the release of the PTC1 designation program -Property Technical Certification I-now available to all property adjusters. I highly endorse this program and am a firm believer that all independent adjusting firms should require any adjuster they deploy to take and successfully complete this program to set your firm apart from others by having TESTED adjusters on assignments. I cannot express how highly I believe in this after being involved in ClaimSmentor and working with thousands of adjusters. It is far past time independents have an opportunity to not just attend seminars and obtain CE’s but to test to prove their competency to handle claims.

Without further comment- here is the complete announcement released with the permission of KMConDemand:

KMC On DemandSM, Advisory Committee Roll Out Property Technical Certification

 

Crawford KMC On Demand, a leading online provider of continuing online education and CE credits for insurance claims adjusters, in collaboration with  a key insurance industry advisory committee have released the first Property Technical Certification (PTC) course to the insurance industry.

PTC is designed to fill a gap in validation of expertise among property claims adjusters. The launch of PTC I – Elements of Property Loss follows the successful conclusion of a pilot program conducted during summer 2010. “The PTC pilot participants gave high marks to the content and relevance of the courses,” said Colm Keenan, vice president of knowledge management for KMC On Demand.

A Property Advisory Committee (PAC) made up of high-level professionals from insurance companies, independent adjusting companies and contractor networks has been working together for more than two years to establish the PTC. The pilot program included an industry-wide collaboration on technical content.

The PAC members include:

Allstate, Ace, Alacrity, Assurant, Aviva Canada, Claims Mentor, Contractor Connection, Crawford, Custard Insurance Adjusters, Cypress Insurance, Dri-Eaz, Fireman’s Fund, Fox Valley Technical College, Liberty Mutual, Metlife, Nationwide, Pilot Cat,  and SimSol.

PTC II will be released in the fall of 2011 with PTC III following in 2012. There are 12 courses in PTC I which consists of 38 modules. Each module costs $15 if purchased individually while the whole first designation can be bought for $425, a 25% savings. All courses have been approved for ce credits in all states that mandate adjuster ce’s. Courses are accessed and completed at www.kmcondemand.com/ptc .

Why PTC? Simply put, PTC fulfills a pressing need in the property and casualty industry. Everyone who has touched this project, from the largest insurers to the small independents, agrees on this one point: it’s about time.

First, it is very difficult to determine the expertise of adjusters, and even harder to predict their future performance. But though having knowledge is no guarantee of performance, not having knowledge is a guarantee of failure. It is impossible to perform well in our industry without the proper technical knowledge. Industry post-Katrina performance reviews were lukewarm at best, due in great part to a lack of property claim-handling knowledge. Though some companies might have commendable training, as an industry, we do not.  

Patrick Milone, vice president of the Property Services Division of Custard Insurance Adjusters Inc., sees the PTC “as a way to keep adjusters current in all property aspects of the claims arena via training by an accredited resource.” Milone also considers the compliance aspect of PTC to be important, as all courses have been approved in every state that requires adjuster continuing education.

The resource Milone refers to above is KMC On DemandSM, part of Crawford & Company, which has a long history of claims training. KMC technology enables the PTC to record user completions and provides an attractive interface for the learner. Each course in the PTC has a corresponding performance support file that is easily accessible and has vital information to assist the adjuster long after the course is completed. Performance support files will be regularly updated as they become the industry technical resource of record. Passing an exam becomes the beginning, rather than the end, of the PTC experience. 

The next advent in the progression to industry certification is individual insurance company certification. The first insurance company in line to do this with KMC/PTC is MetLife. This will enable independent adjuster’s online industry certification, PTC, and individual carrier certification. More insurance carriers will added to this list throughout 2011.

To purchase PTC I go to www.kmcondemand.com/ptc or contact Elise Quadrozzi at elise_quadrozzi@us.crawco.com .


Remember our blog on “Who Moved my Claims Cheese”? Well 2011 claim changes are very active already!

January 6, 2011

Some things just never change in claims! 2011 is rolling out many important announcements that will effect claim job opportunities for both staff adjusters and for independent adjusters.

If you missed our initial blog in 2007 which is still relevant today, here is the link:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/30/who-moved-my-claims-cheesedealing-with-change-in-the-insurance-adjusting-community/

Here are just four of the more important changes we’ve found via news releases in just the first 5 days of 2011:

Cunningham-Lindsay buys GAB North America operations:

Cunningham Lindsey adjusting firm buys out GAB North America Operations

http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2011/01/04/cunningham-lindsey-buys-gab-robins.html

Hartford Insurance to sell third party claims division:

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. is narrowing its focus and selling its third-party claims unit for $278 million. http://ow.ly/3yQv1

USAA to cancel some coastal policies:

USAA dropping some coastal policies-http://www.sunherald.com/2011/01/04/2753375/usaa-dropping-some-coast-wind.html

NCA Group (adjusting firm) acquires T. M. Mayfield adjusting firm:

http://www.ncagroup.com/adjuster_community.php


We are only 3 viewers short of reaching 200,000 hits on our ClaimSmentor Blog

January 4, 2011

A special thank you to our viewers as we will cross the 200,000 viewers mark today on our blog here at www.dimechimes.wordpress.com!

Thank you for supporting our mission to education independent adjusters on their down time between assignments when they lack the opportunity to learn about current events and trends in the claims industry as a whole since insurance companies do not keep them in the loop when they are not on a current assignment.

We look forward to working with you again this year and talking to the many we hear from each week via email and phone calls to discuss events and hot topics adjusters want to know!


“The Independent Adjuster and the Oil Spill; Opportunity or a Trap” Guest Blog by CPLIC Risk Management- Errors and Ommissions Coverage for Adjusting Firms and Adjusters

June 22, 2010

Each year since founding ClaimSmentor, I have turned to CPLIC  for advice to share with our members on Errors and Omissions coverage for independent adjusters. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have members of this firm participate on our site. This year is especially important due to the added complications we may be facing this hurricane season with the oil in the gulf coast. I cannot thank them enough for their support providing this information for our members and all of you in the independent adjusting community. Their specialty is dealing only with Errors and Omissions (known as E & O ) coverage for the claims industry.

The following statement to their members is reprinted with permission from the Claim Professionals Liability Insurance Co., a Risk Retention Group created by independent adjusters for the risk management of independent adjusting companies.  See WWW.CPLIC.NET for more details:

Urgent Message from

CPLIC Risk Managment Concerning Oil Spill in Gulf Coast.

The Independent Adjuster and the Oil Spill;

Opportunity or a Trap?

The June 14 edition of the Wall Street Journal ran a full page ad on page A18, the back page of the first section. It outlined how BP wants claimants to file a claim, and their claims philosophy.

This is prior to the meeting at the White House, in which BP put $20 billion into the hands of an independent commission. How that will affect the present operation BP is now running we do not know.

All of us want more work, and we all, probably, would be willing to be involved in this claim settling process. But there are some pitfalls.

At CPLIC, we have analyzed the situation, and would like to offer some insights, suggestions, and comments. Remember, this is all prior to the White House meeting.

The Present Situation

Our understanding is that Worley has been engaged to handle claims on behalf of BP. Crawford & Co. represents Transocean. We are not aware of how the work is being spread between the two, or if it is only BP/Worley that is processing claims at this time.

How the $20 billion fund, now in play, will be handled is anybody’s guess. However, this could mean some opportunity for independents.

Geographical Areas

Obviously, the area covered is the Gulf Coast from Louisiana around to Florida. Considering the number of claims that are going to come out of this spill, you probably do not need to be in that area to be involved.

If you are in that area, here?s a word of caution. Forecasters predict this to be the most active hurricane season since 2005, and the Gulf Coast could very well be affected. If you get a chance to be involved in the BP claims, please be judicious in resources you commit to BP. Remember that a hurricane will also stretch you, and that you have regular clients who depend on you. These situations always stretch and challenge us, but do not get so overloaded that things get out of control. When this happens, the chance of E&O claims goes up. Using resources wisely protects your deductible.

Type of Claims

At first blush, you would think these claims would be third party claims, and so they are. However, determining liability will not be the issue. Damages will be the issue.

Many of these third party claims will handle just like business interruption claims. Make sure you use adjusters knowledgeable in this area. You may also encounter some hull claims, as well as other kinds of property damage claims.

There may not be many first party claims. The pollution exclusion may see to that. There also may be trigger problems. One of our members thinks that fire or explosion may be the trigger. In the end, this may be a decision for a court.

If the claims are first party, you will be working for a carrier, not BP. If there are questions of coverage, do not forget to take a non-waiver, or a reservation of rights. Those cases where you should have reserved rights, and did not, are hard cases to defend. If you are not sure, talk to your principal. If you are still not sure, or cannot get an answer from your principal, reserve your rights anyway. It is better to be safe than sorry.

If there is coverage in your claim, subrogation will be in order. This leads to a potential trap.

The Trap

If you find your regular client base sending you work that leaves you subrogating against BP, and you are taking BP cases in addition, you may find yourself in a conflict of interest situation. Be very judicious in the work you accept.

For those of you doing work for governmental entities in the Gulf area, be especially careful, particularly if your client has a shoreline. They may have cleanup costs, and ask you to handle their subrogation. Certainly, BP will be the target. You may run afoul of Public Adjuster laws.

CPLIC can offer no hard and fast rule here. Be judicious, use good judgment, and err on the side of caution.

What To Do At The Beginning

Even if you take every precaution, you will be sued. We are dealing with a highly politically charged situation. The plaintiff’s bar will be running ads soliciting clients. We will draw some suits. How do we protect ourselves?

This is the situation our insureds and CPLIC faced after Ike/Rita. First remember this is an agency situation. We all understand the principle of agency. In any contracts you sign with clients in association with this (or, if possible, any) work, make sure there is a clause under which the principal agrees to defend and indemnify you, absent a specific count of negligence against you.

This is a partnership here. Make sure your client understands this. Your client wants you on his side when the yelling starts. Do not give the plaintiff?s lawyer the opportunity to separate you. Even if there is a specific count against you, your principal may still defend you, depending upon the allegation.

Make sure you have your lawyer look at the hold harmless agreement in this light. If you need help in this area, contact us.

Closing Comments

What is written above may sound scary. It is not intended to scare. It is intended to make us wise about the opportunities out there, and to prepare us to meet them. It comes out of CPLIC’s six years of experience defending you. And there are opportunities, hopefully for many of us.

As you go forward, let us know of problems you encounter in following our suggestions. If you think we are off base, or missed something, let us know. It will help us serve you better.

K. M. Johns III CPCU, ARM AIM

Risk Management Committee Chair

Major contributors to this article were:

Alan Mayfield & Bruce Mountjoy

All Rights Reserved

© CPLIC 2010

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Please view their Q & A they did for us in 2009 here. Most importantly note the recommendation that independent adjusters have their own E & O policy for their own protection:

CPLIC 2nd E & O Info

Here is also a link to our first guest in August 2008  blog post by Dale Moore and Michael Hale of CPLIC with additional FAQ:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/errors-and-omissions-coverage-guest-bloggers-dale-moore-client-relations-director-for-cplic/

During my 50 Hour Fundamentals of Claims class, we cover Error and Omission Coverage with new adjusters. I am constantly amazed at their answers to questions on adjusters E & O coverage. Most state that they would rely on the coverage of an adjusting firm to protect them. When I question them further, it is interesting to see that I have never had one adjuster be able to tell me who the adjusting firm’s E & O policy is with, what the policy number is, how to contact the E & O carrier, what the E & O policy covers them for, if the E & O policy provides for defense costs for them if they are named individually in a lawsuit. In other words,  they are working without even knowing about their coverage.

In recent years, many carriers, especially state run insurers like Texas Windpool and Citizens Property of Insurance in their RFP 08-0016 had terms stating they did not protect adjusting firms or independent adjusters so they were basically out on their own as far as providing an Answer to a Complaint (lawsuit) which is a costly proposition. I especially disagree with this position as the majority of claims litigation issues post hurricanes Katrina and Ike involved disputes insurance consumers had due to insurance company coverage decisions on wind/ water issues, wind debris to shingle issues, and other coverage or carrier guidelines an independent adjuster is required to follow.  It is long past due that  insurers,  the government,  and now BP and the Ken Feinburg group administering the BP Escrow fund  grant independent adjusting firms  and independent adjusters a  fair and meaningful defense and indemnity agreement.

This guest blog is a great example of what ClaimSmentor is all about. It is not about what I think as a former staff adjuster and claims manager nor about my experience as a participant in the independent claims industry. It is all about bringing together a professional group of reputable resources to provide proper advice and information to the independent claims adjusting community who have a most difficult time gathering current industry information applicable to claims assignments and catastrophe operations except when they are out on assignment.

I urge anyone who does not have their own E & O policy to run not walk to CPLIC to address your questions and check on your own E & O coverage.

Thanks again from ClaimSmentor to CPLIC for allowing us permission to share their 2010 Urgent message with our members.


Let’s Compare Florida’s 2004 & 2005 Bad Hurricane Seasons with the Current Number of BP claims as of 6/12/2010 and Currently deployed Claims Adjusters- Part II- Open Letter to Obama and Admiral Allen

June 14, 2010

The news as you know is just full of news organizations analyzing BP response to the claims resulting from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill disaster.

It might help, without throwing accusations around,  to just compare a few numbers and several major differences between the disastrous 2004 and 2005 hurricane season in Florida and the Gulf Oil spill numbers as of  yesterday, June 12, 2010.

Let’s look at this  article  dating back August 2008 by the Florida Insurance Council. The article  states in part that:

” The Department’s Bureau of Licensing issued 17,488 Emergency Adjuster licenses for the four-storm 2004 hurricane season and 12,284 Emergency Adjuster licenses during 2005. Florida was again impacted by four hurricanes that year, but most of the damage was from Hurricane Wilma. In addition to adjusters working with emergency licenses, hundreds, if not thousands, of resident adjusters handled claims from the 2004/2005 hurricanes. “

Keep in mind that they are talking about emergency adjuster license numbers only. This does not include FL resident independent adjuster licenses, FL non resident independent adjuster licenses, nor staff adjusters (those who work directly for the carrier as employees) so you can just imagine how many more thousands of independents and staff adjusters just FL required in 2004 and 2005. Now add the Katrina claim statistics and number of adjusters also out working in 2005. Louisiana did not have adjuster licensing in 2005 so I’m not sure where I can get the 2005 statistics on Katrina as a comparison.

Emergency adjuster licenses are temporary licenses  that allow a non resident adjuster to work in the issuing state without an adjuster’s license in that state. The other way to work out of state is to obtain a permanent non-resident license. In addition, of course, we have permanent resident licenses. Normally, if your state of residence requires a resident license, FL and other states requiring an adjuster’s license will allow you to work for a short period of time in the disaster zone under an emergency license. These are typically only approved by a state department of insurance once a Governor has Declared a state of emergency. They are normally good for anywhere from 60-120 days and can be renewed if the state licensing department extends the deadline. The limiting factor is an adjuster operating under a temporary emergency license can only work claims for a particular declared disaster. They cannot be utilized to work non disaster related losses.

Recent trends have carriers, thus independent adjusting firms, requiring adjusters obtain a number (usually 7-15 different storm prone states) of non resident licenses. The reason being that the carrier can deploy an out of state adjuster into a state when there is NOT a Disaster Declaration by the state Governor should they have a permanent non resident license. The advantage is they can be deployed out of state to help with the smaller storms like small hail storms and the like. Worley adjusting company who is the firm appointed by ESIS to handle the BP oil spill claims and their site on the home page  shows a typical example of the non resident licenses required of independent adjusters. Each non-resident license requires a fee typically about $65.00 and reporting on CE so this is a large burden and expense for independent adjusters.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners had proposed a Model  Independent Adjusters license back in 2007. While we were all hopeful it would be adopted by state insurance commissioners, the NAIC committee looking in to it later scrapped the proposed recommendation. What a darn shame considering what we are facing today handling BP oil spill claims along multiple gulf coast states. It is needed for more prompt deployment of adjusters during major disasters rather than having delays caused by waiting on emergency adjuster licenses. Adjusters seem to think the issue is the fees acquired by each state are substantial considering the thousands upon thousands of resident, non resident, and emergency licenses each year. However,  it was not to be. The American Association of Independent Claims Professionals, AAICP still has the documents up on their site  to include their letter to NAIC requesting they reconsider passing of this model act. The Winter 2010 newsletter on AAICP’s site  provides an update on adjuster and producer national licensing and where we stand today on this pending model act for a national license. It cannot be passed too soon as far as independent adjusters are concerned. I also wrote about the independent adjuster license issues in this blog in July 2007 when NAIC cancelled further recommendations for the act and here in my “Who Moved my Claims Cheese” blog.

Should time permit,  look back on my blog “ Are Independent Adjusters a Dying Breed or Fungible Billing units ” ? This is definitely applicable SHOULD BP/Esis or others be placing non licensed adjusters in BP or ESIS claims offices. I should definitely hope this is NOT happening. Those I’ve talked to this week that are being deployed atleast by Worley  have all been very seasoned experienced adjusters who have been highly complimentary of  Worley’s induction and training process prior to deploying them to ESIS claims offices (ESIS is the insurance company for BP as explained in other blogs here the past two weeks).

Going back to my open letter to President Obama and Admiral Thad Allen, I still recommend some kind of emergency order be made waiving non resident emergency licenses as long as it can be documented that an adjuster is properly licensed in their home state. In cases where a state does not require an adjuster’s license like Tennesee  and Colorado,(this is unimaginable), most independent adjusters have obtained a Texas or FL non resident license so they can then apply to multiple other states who will accept those non resident licenses to then provide them a reciprocal license in their state.  See info in this blog about Model Independent Adjuster Act recommendations for immediate implementation as a further suggestion to improve the BP Oil Spill claims process.

Now let’s move to look at the deaths and damage from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons:

2004: click here 

This says in part:

“The season was notable as one of the deadliest and most costly Atlantic hurricane seasons on record in the last decade, with at least 3,132 deaths and roughly $50 billion (2004 US dollars) in damage.”

2005: click here

The initial sentence outlines the 2005 damage and death statistics as follows:

“The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history, repeatedly shattering numerous records. The impact of the season was widespread and ruinous with an estimated 3,865 deaths and record damages of about $130 billion (2005 USD).”

Also, it is very interesting to look back at this Insurance Journal article on “Lessons learned from the 2004 hurricane season“. In spite of the horrible hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, what we are facing as a nation and as adjusters is unprecedented. This is due to several factors and many potential unknowns as this oil spreads along our coastal communities:

1  )  Hurricanes, for the majority of claims, are first party claims meaning they are claims to an insured’s property. The insured has signed an insurance contract with an insurance company while the oil spill cases are considered third party liability claims meaning that one party is responsible for the damages to another if their actions are the proximate cause of the third party (non contract) has suffered as a result of their negligent actions.  Adjusters from the BP side of claims do not have policy terms in the contract to fall back on such as “An Insured’s Duties after a Loss” in the Conditions section of a first party policy. We will be at the mercy of following directions for handling these liability claims from the instructions of ESIS and I guess BP. In addition, Admiral Thad Allen and President Obama have their hands necessarily involved in this national disaster so we just do not know how the claims handling will proceed or these claims will be settled. There are many acts such as pollution acts, EPA clean water acts, and many more that control what type of damage BP is responsible for. We’ll expand on that information in a later blog. Many of these requirements are far outside the typical experience adjusters have so leadership direction is crucial for training adjusters unfamiliar with handling oil spill damage and losses.

2) Hurricane losses may take a very long time to settle  depending on the amount of damage to a property and the period it will require to restore the property. These BP claims on the other hand are going to be continuing open claims with a long period of time in pending status. We do not have a known “period of restoration” for the clean up in the gulf coast, we have no definite date as to when the oil will stop entering the ocean, we do not know what hurricane season may bring as far as further moving the oil contamination and disperants inland, it is unknown what illness and bodily injury will be related in the long term to the disperants or for that matter how it will affect properties.  We do not know the ramifications of the oil spill on ripple effects as businesses close, lost income for the gulf coast workers and now the oil rig workers who may be laid off now that off shore drilling is being addressed by President Obama and a six month moratorium on off shore drilling.

3) Even insurance companies may be suffering greatly this hurricane season as massive numbers of independent adjusters may be deployed to handle oil spill claims and not be available as expected for hurricane season (whoa to those carriers 80% or more whose catastrophe plan relied in the majority on independent adjusters).  Unless they become reasonable in their fee schedules and consider paying a daily per diem, they are going to have a very tough time competing for independents getting per diem and a good daily rate on the BP oil spill claims as insurance companies do not normally pay per diem allowances for independent adjusters.  The other consideration independents will have to make are whether they are willing to walk away from a long term BP assignment to go for a month or two of  wind losses for an insurance company especially given that those hurricane losses may require exposure to oil and disperants when inspecting field losses. No amount of pay can make up for exposing yourself to the possiblity of  permanent damage or death from these unknown exposures. The paid statistics on claims for BP claims does not mean these claims are settled. Far from it, from most news sources, claimants are very unhappy that $2,500 and  $5,000 advances is what they have received thus far.

4) In addition, this update on the Deep Water Horizon response site  shows that Admiral Allen has issued instructions for BP claimants unhappy with their BP claim to notify the Coast Guard. What????? Will the coast guard then be just passing these complaints on to the ESIS claims offices handling the BP claims or will they then just pass them on to the Departments of Insurance who normally handles complaints on insurance claims for insureds (yet again we are dealing with claimants here). I haven’t seen any instructions from the insurance company side on how they are going to deal with this but they need to know while they have time in their disaster planning before a hurricane hits.

5) On the same link in #4 above,  near the bottom, you will find Admiral Thad Allen’s new Media Access requirements in this Media Access pdf strongly encouraging media access and prohibiting  responders from denying access to the press unless they would be endangered in a prohibited area. Will this change insurance companies Code of Conduct forms adjusting firms and adjusters must abide by to allow media discussions by adjusting firms and adjusters  with the media which are also prohibited as oil spill workers alleged they were prohibited by BP for responding?  Something else to be reviewed by insurance company attorneys before a major hurricane hits this season.

 I cannot even begin to list all of the effects and costs incurred by claimants (third parties) with their loss of property values in areas seriously impacted by oil. This weekend, we saw a new for sale sign up at the beach here in Jacksonville that said “Marshfront” property for sale. I told my husband it might as well have shouted ” swamp land for sale due to looming oil spill expected to make the bend up the east coast of Florida” because I cannot even imagine an interested buyer until we know if oil will or will not make it’s way to the Florida east coast.

The trauma on all Americans, especially those on the gulf coast, are real. Even for those of us far from the current and ever spreading damage, it is traumatic just watching the wildlife covered in oil and tar, the grown men crying outside of their homes, offices, and claim centers. God be with them all and with the adjusters working at the claim offices and also those that are going to be handling hurricane losses should a major hurricane make landfall in any of these zones.

The June 09 2010 update by Huffington post  on BP claims states that  18,000 claims have been paid, and $84 million  has been paid out. It does not provide the total numbers  of claims received thus far. According to this article, only 600 adjusters were currently working in claims offices. No wonder this article quotes a policyholder saying they have called numerous times and get no answer on the phones! Look back and compare this to the 2004 and 2005 numbers just for Florida  where over 10,000 emergency licensed independent adjusters worked both of those years not counting thousands more deployed who were staff adjusters and you decide……..how would you rate the BP claims response on as of  today? This updated article found on the BP website  dated 6/14/10 states a total of 51,000 claims received and about 26,000 payments made totalling $62 million dollars. There is no mention in the current update on the number of currently deployed adjusters since the 6/9/10 stats I had above.

Make sure to read this  this article by www.Money.CNN.com indicating predications are that BP will spend between 3 billion and 40 billion in their response to this disaster while at the same time predicting Florida alone will have a 10.9 billion dollar economic loss along with potential for the loss of 195,000 jobs. The current top prediction at 40 billion is just 10 billion shy of the cost of damages in the 2004 hurricane season and about one third of the damage costs in the 2005 hurricane season thus far. 

Reuters news service is reporting that President Obama will require BP open an Escrow account when they meet June 16, 2010  to meet their obligations on claims. Here’s the link to this story.

God be with us all. Amen.

It is now 2:35 am ET so it will be tomorrow after A.M.  liability classes before I can go back and review this for grammar, etc so bear with me.

 


Special Announcement- KMConDemand in Final Phases of Property Technical Certification Testing for Adjusters- Will we finally get 1 Certification Test?

June 10, 2010

It sure has been tough holding this back from everyone for the past several months.

You all know I have alot of respect for one of  our sponsor ‘s KMConDemand the online training arm of Crawford.  In fact, I had my husband take their package training  program- I think it was called Charter program and it was only$ 135.00 and gave him 5 WC classes, 5 Auto, and 5 property classes and then he sat through my Fundamentals of Property claims which covered other issues on insurance department complaints, agency relationships, claims negotiations and much more on and off since he is a newly licensed adjuster in 2009.

Several months ago,  KMConDemand, brought me in on a committee for the new proposed Property Technical Certification program with our  hopes this will replace all carrier certifications independents are having to take one day. It can’t be one day too soon as far as I am concerned. I understand the important need to certify for a carrier so they know you are competent to handle their claims and for the protection of their policyholder’s. However, what independents currently deal with is traveling to locations nationwide for basically the exact same kind of certification on construction, estimating, with really the only major difference being the carrier specific policy information. I am so hopeful this will change the way this is done- once you’ve tested that you have all the property knowledge on the estimating skills needed- wouldn’t it be so easy if the carrier’s would approve acceptance of this then just a policy quiz and estimating guidelines they want specifically?  To me the present process with carriers seems like someone telling you to sit for the AIC- Associates in Claims program a zillion times. If you have a well carrier / KMC proctored exam ONCE it would be simply heaven.

That would be exactly what I do on our Fundamentals of Property adjusting course ( 10 lessons on other property topics outside of estimating and scoping) where we teach them carrier requirements in general but always advise them to take the material I’ve trained them on and add notes at each assignment to alter any minor carrier deviations for a particular storm.

This is just in the committee phase and testing  just started on the certification this June. He is also in the process of obtaining CE’s in numerous states which I don’t think you get now on certification tests from any carriers.

As you will see on the committee members link, I am honored to be included. They  allowed me to bring some other ClaimSmentor members who could bring valuable critique of the proposed material as well. Thus  you will also see Woody Britton, twice past President of NACA, Eric Gilkey- head editor of Claims Magazine, and Dr Michael Birzon head of the UCF Insurance school as well as some others  I am not at liberty to disclose yet . I am very thankful these valued members all agreed to serve on the committee as well. Here is a link to all of the other committee members as well:

http://www.Kmcondemand.com/ptc

*Look at the carrier execs on the list as well as major players in the Independent management side

Thankfully, I think some of the 3 day school issues will be history by next year and hopefully the requirements  that you have to take so many individual carrrier certification tests.
 
The new Property Technical Certification program is presently  in  the testing phase  now through August through KMConDemand the online training arm of Crawford and Company. This is to go live in September now that minor questions are resolved on proctor issues and other things.  There are 3 different certfication levels similar to the Xactimate Level 1,2, and three.
 
Just take a look at the committee list with executives from major carriers on the committee as well as major players from large independent firms. I post this link with the permission of the head of KMConDemand since I now have approval to release the information:
 
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc              This link has all the info on the current plans consisting of PTC 1, PTC 2, PTC 3  agendas.
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc/index.php?Page=dynamic&id=66  * This link has the link to all committee members.
 
The material is outstanding and a far cry from some of the problems adjusters complain of at outside vendor schools.  I am most hopeful the insurance carriers agree to this replacing all of the individual carrier certifications so we anxiously await the testing period results  at the end of August 2010 so this can go live.
 
My husband is a newly licensed adjuster so I got to watch while he did the classes when I had time for the regular series of online classes. They had 15 programs at that time and I think have now added 6 more. For  $135.00, he was able to take 5 classes in WC, 5  in auto and 5 in property. All contained CE’s.
 
I have  been 100% sold on them since. I am also glad they are backed by Crawford who we all know has an outstanding reputation. Colm knows I’m probably his biggest fan and thrilled at what KMC has brought for such a reasonable cost to independents saving their travel costs. In addition, as a claims manager it brings me much comfort or safety net if you will to know they will be tested and the passing standards are high as well as proctored exams.
 
This should take us a long way in helping improve the public perception and carrier perception of independent adjusters. Can you also just imagine how great this will be for independents no longer having travel costs to certify for multiple vendors and do these online. I’m sure keeping my fingers crossed for the independents that this does succeed and hope you will as well.
 
Thankfully, I think some of the 3 day school issues will be history by next year and hopefully the requirements that that you have to take so many individual carrrier certification tests.

 
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc This link has all the info on the current plans consisting of PTC 1, PTC 2, PTC 3  agendas.
 
http://www.kmcondemand.com/ptc/index.php?Page=dynamic&id=66  
 * This link has the link to all committee members.
 
The material is outstanding and a far cry from some of the problems adjusters complain of at outside vendor schools.  I am most hopeful the insurance carriers agree to this replacing all of the individual carrier certifications so we anxiously await the testing period results so this can go live.
 
This should take us a long way in helping improve the public perception and carrier perception of independent adjusters. Can you also just imagine how great this will be for independents no longer having travel costs to certify for multiple vendors and do these online. I’m sure keeping my fingers crossed for the independents that this does succeed and hope you will as well.
 
Speaking of that- I hope you will share this blog post as well as the link below with other independents. We are trying to move mountains in getting BP to use more independent firms. Thanks so much to the claims managers and adjusters who have read it and written to let me know they have sent the link to politicians and news connections asking they get the word out that independents are the solution to clean up the BP Oil spill claims process:
 
http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/an-open-letter-to-admiral-thad-allen-president-obama-white-house-news-correspondents-esis-insurance-and-all-involved-in-the-bp-oil-response-we-can-help-address-your-claims-concerns-lead-follow/
 
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Speaking of that- I hope you will share this blog post with other independents. We are trying to move mountains in getting BP to use more independent firms. Thanks so much to the claims managers and adjusters who have read it and written to let me know they have sent the link to politicians and news connections asking they get the word out that independents are the solution to clean up the BP Oil spill claims process:
 
http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/an-open-letter-to-admiral-thad-allen-president-obama-white-house-news-correspondents-esis-insurance-and-all-involved-in-the-bp-oil-response-we-can-help-address-your-claims-concerns-lead-follow/


An Open Letter to Admiral Thad Allen, President Obama, White House News Correspondents, ESIS Insurance, and All involved in the BP Oil Response- We Can Help Address Your Claims Concerns- Lead, Follow, or Get the Heck out of our Way!!!!

June 7, 2010

My father, a dedicated retired Navy Commander, now deceased would be rolling over in his grave today if  he  were here to witness the disaster in the claims process now 50 or so days beyond  the BP Oil Spill. This applies as well to all of us living along the coast and anxious claims industry members on the independent adjusting side of things….yes the very ones who can contribute to immediate processing of the BP oil claims and working in your claims offices yet we hear NOTHING.

Why would I include mention of my dad in a BP oil spill claims process  blog?  First of all he was my friend, my mentor throughout my career, and he was known well in his naval career for his business motto “Make Things Happen”. Second, I’ve researched now retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen. He definitely looks like he was the right man to be appointed to head up the federal response to the oil spill disaster. I found out today that he was also in charge of the Katrina response and found a good article commenting on his diligent research during Katrina he did BEFORE making a decision. We only ask that you include Independent Adjusting firm owners in that equation for the federal response on claims processes. We are the answer to improving the claims process as we do work for many companies where staff adjusters and insurance companies can respond only to the policyholders with their company. Here is a link to the bio of Admiral Allen and to an article commenting on his outstanding skills in conducting research.

Here is a link to his most impressive bio and dedication to a career in disaster response since retiring from the USCG:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thad_Allen

Here is also great information documenting the date he was appointed to head the command of the federal response. This helped me have an inkling of understanding as to why he would have suggested the national guard involvement in the claims process- he has more knowledge of their skills than we do but I still don’t understand why in claims offices versus oil clean up operations when we can do that as independent adjusters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thad_Allen#Hurricane_Katrina

Here is a link to the Washington Post blog explaining the four leadership lessons we all can use by following Admiral Allen which I really enjoyed.

Rumors on the streets or email highway  in the independent adjuster world are saying that BP has instructed the ONE adjusting firm assigned to handle the claims not to deploy anyone experienced in handling the Exxon Valdez oil spill claims. Please look into this and assure us that is not true and the thousands upon thousands of independent adjusters sitting at home not deployed to help are not being excluded because they have experience handling claims. That is just unimagineable and I hope proves not to be true. The numbers of people who have applied directly to ESIS and to independent adjusting firms who have heard nothing might prove what you are told when investigating this that it is a fact. Let us know please. Rumors can destroy you. Facts posted on the ever popping up response websites would be helpful. Also, I suggest you not believe one rumor that we have run out of  independent adjusters available. A quick check of the number of licensed resident and non resident independent adjusters will prove this is impossible even if 10,000 are already deployed yet we hear less than 1,000 are now in the BP field claim offices. *Update 6/9/10- we have now heard of numerous more EXPERIENCED adjusters who were deployed today to Worley- this dispels the rumors that experienced are not going.

This blog displays links for search terms adjusters use that leads them to our blog. Since the BP oil crisis, search terms for BP oil adjusters and adjusting firms are atleast 50% of all search hits on this site  where adjusting firms and adjusters are looking for information as to who is handling the BP Oil spill claims.

Thus far the information circulating in our discussions  is that ESIS has only appointed ONE adjusting company to assist their personnel. ONE-and that firm fortunately is a very reputable adjusting firm- Worley Catastrophe www.worleyco.com . Rumor on the street is that they are inundated with resumes flowing in but many many of us have not even gotten  a reply to  email and resume submissions yet.

I am extremely disappointed in the comments regarding the claims process problems by Gibbs  and Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen in today’s press conference. While I am very happy to know plans are to improve the claims process, I could not be more disappointed to hear you are considering National Guard personnel to work the claims office when we have the skills necessary to create a professional  claims image for BP and for the Federal government of their claims process. National Guard members need to be used for what they do best which is protecting Americans. Send them to guard our borders to protect our west coast neighbors in AZ, CA and other states with border issues. Have them assist with patrolling our beaches if coastal residents are forced to evacuate when oil spill makes their homes unlivable and let US- the Independent Adjusting community- do what we know best which is  responding to claims disasters. * This too was dispelled in news that the AL National Guard is being used in the field for three weeks to notify residents of where they can report a claim to.

We will waive  our fees to help you or assigned independent adjusting firms send in staffing to employ independent adjusters. ESIS can disburse them to claims offices.

What else can the government do?

1) You can help claims personnel find reasonable housing to reduce per diem costs to BP  so all claimants can be paid  by providing temporary quarters for housing for independent claims personnel. Rumors have it that BP is reimbursing 100.00 per day for costs incurred to find housing and every bit of that will be needed by independents for hotel rooms to stay in claim office territories while working in area damage zones. Can’t you use your influence to negotiate discounted hotel rates? To prohibit price gouging on hotel rates as state insurance commissioners do following major disasters? A very good argument for state regulations on disasters involving claims.

2) While we definitely support the use of displaced workers in the fishing industry…don’t you have things a bit reversed?  The great people in the fishing industry have the physical stamina to work in beach and ocean environments like field claims adjusters do. Why not put them to work on the clean up efforts to stop the spread of this oil and use trained inside independent claims adjusters in the claims offices. They are experienced  to deployment within 24 hours of assignments nationwide and experienced  to working 10 to 12 hour shifts  6 or 7 days a week and that will go far in speeding up the claims process.

3) What are the licensing requirements for the claims office “adjusters” ?  I hear FL’s Crist has already declared FL Emergency declarations  to prepare FL for the incoming oil spill damage spreading our way. Once that happens on normal major disasters, this allows emergency adjusters to enter states with a temporary emergency adjuster license. I sure hope that is going on here with one exception I will address next. Why can’t President Obama declare a special emergency order allowing this in all coastal states experiencing oil spill claims or if this is only the perogative of State Insurance Departments then please immediately approve the use of emergency licenses for any independent adjuster who can prove an active license in another state. Atleast by running all claims personnel through the state insurance departments (with BP picking up the cost of the emergency licensing and state required fingerprints) BP claimants would not be exposed to potential scams if convicted  felony offenders get involved in claims or entering homes and businesses. I have no doubt Worley is handling this for the adjusters they are sending in as most independent firms do now but what about the folks being plopped right into the claims offices by other sources without proper criminal background checks (if that is happening) ?

Speaking of state regulation- are state insurance commissioners going to be involved? Will the individual state statute of limitatons apply by state or is there a federal statute that will provide one standard  statute of limitations giving all BP claimants the same time frame and deadline for filing a suit should that become necessary. You can see they are very clearly different in coastal states:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-29941.html

Chip Merlin, a consumer attorney wrote a blog this week suggesting BP use CPA’s and accountants on the loss of income claims. While he provides good reasons, we in the claim industry are plenty capable of helping issue the $5,000 advances and there are thousands of adjusters trained in business interruption claims for loss of rents, tourism cancellations, and much more but I do agree CPA firms are often used by insurers for proper determination of amounts due for large commercial business interruption claims. In fact, my brother in law is a retired IRS CPA and has huge resources to other CPA’s who are also interested in deploying. In fact, this week I will post a large number of online business interruption links for some great information on business interruption claim training.

BP- please ensure that your hiring process for claims office personnel excludes any public adjuster currently licensed in ANY state in the USA. They are the driving force for referrals to plaintiff attorneys and more importantly we need to resolve claims prior to litigation consideration so a vast number of BP claimants do not suffer loss of settlement dollars by signing contracts with firms charging excessive attorney fees to represent them on these claims. Here is a good example of problems addressed by California’s proactive Insurance Commissioner Poizner warning CA consumers on his April 16, 2010 Scam artist warning  press release to be leary of unlicensed public adjusters and unlicensed contractors. His feelings seem to be clear in this press release about this group of potential public adjuster unlicensed adjusters.

How about using this link above as a template for a great posting for gulf coast residents warning them of the same potential to get taken advantage of by scam artists?  You can post this warning on each of the 4 state sites now shown in your Area Plans at http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com ?

Admiral Allen and President Obama, please protect all parties operating at the claims offices. Use your national guards to protect them from frustrated residents in coastal communities who might take out their frustrations on the face of the disaster response- the personnel in the claims offices. I also would like to make sure to enact provisions prohibiting plaintiff attorneys from naming adjusting firms and individual “adjusters”  from being named  in lawsuits unless they have absolute proof that a firm or particular adjuster deviated from BP or ESIS instructions for claims handling. We had untold numbers of independent adjusters named in TX claims litigation  (note cases on this link filed by the Mostlyn law firm in Jefferson County, TX ) who in most cases were merely following insurance company  instructions which they are not allowed to deviate from. This increases our premiums for required Error and Ommissions coverage they are going to need to cover their extensive expenses to be removed from a lawsuit. BP should be providing blanket E and O coverage for all claims office personnel because in most cases, they will not even qualify for E & O coverage since they have no experience. This is going to drive up the cost of E & O coverage for all independent adjusters for years to come. Please check with www.cplic.net who specializes in error and ommisions coverage for independent adjusting firms and independent adjusters. Insurance companies do provide the defense and costs for staff claims personnel. Many contracts by state insurance such as TWIA in Texas and Citizens Insurance in Florida   included terms in RFP’s stating  (scroll down to public information on RFP08-0016) that they would not provide a defense. In fact ,TWIA sent out an email post IKE that specifically told adjusting firms and independent adjusters to hire their own attorneys as they were overwhelmed with the responses to Complaints they had to file on behalf of TWIA leaving adjusting firms and independent adjusters to get this handled.  Additonally, let us know who we need to contact with our Congressman to have bills introduced to prohibit state agencies and insurance companies from imposing hefty fines (go back to link above to RFP08-0016 ) on adjusting firms and individual independents for unreasonable expectations as we too suffer from unreasonable expectations on time service when resources do get stretched thin during major disasters. This should include establishing standards to restrict insurance commissioners from imposing the same fines. Here is a link to the 2007 Citizens of FL Claims Manual  still up on the Citizens Task Force on Claims Handling which includes an example of unrealistic expectations during times of major disasters. This should also include prohitibing carriers from fining adjusting firms who fall short of being able to deploy numbers they committed to on RFP’s (request for proposals for laymen) which they can prove they have on the rosters prior to a major disaster but those same resources won’t be at their finger tips as they scatter for other opportunities servicing claims – especially based on the whether the fee billing is reasonable or not. The adjusting firms have no control over this as we are talking about independent adjusters with no benefits operating on 1099′s. They have to go where they can find a guarantee of work when it is offered. Please help us out here!

My dad’s common quote “Lead, Follow, or get the Heck out of my way” is certainly applicable here. President Obama is not in the claims business, carriers’ cannot provide their staff adjusters under present processes where they handle their own claims and only involved in Flood claims processing for the government. We as independent adjusters can help BP and Admiral Allen who is overseeing the government response to the oil spill. So….if you are just deploying ONE adjusting firm, then please contact me. I’ll freely share my information for some great additional adjusting firms based on members I have personally come to know over the past five years through their participation on ClaimSmentor.

Please do not tie up Worley’s executives. They are well respected in the claims industry- you have assigned them claims- let them do their job following your claims handling guidelines but do not put another black eye on the independent claims industry- we can’t take the blame when you will not even deploy us. Seems like today’s news release is starting the claims blame game which isn’t helping resolve the issue. Months ago I wrote blog about the claims game for insurance company disaster responses. Can the USA government with their vast agency resources not  “make things happen” ?

President Obama, I know your wife is a strong supporter of Education. I am as well and have now volunteered my time for 4.5 years creating the first online e-mentoring group ( CADO first with forums and links for firms- our site hosts the actual classes now ) for independent adjusters to provide them educational information for professional claims training throughout the USA. We have access to excellent sources of claim trainers as well who are very experienced in deployments and training at disaster induction centers.

A  last suggestion for federal government and BP claims response- COME OUT OF HIDING- locating available adjusters or the firms handling claims shouldn’t be a where is Waldo’s game trying to track down the information.  As a fellow Golfer…you can choose this city BEFORE the oil spill arrives to dispel rumors you are making  trips to the gulf coast only for photo opportunities. Here’s your chance!

 Heck- I’ll be glad to “Make Things Happen” and host a group of reputable independent adjusting firm leaders to gather here in Jacksonville in our beach community of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. We have a great location overlooking the Players Club here at Sawgrass…..the same location where Tiger Woods gave his return speech. We invite you to follow his lead- is all you need to do is show up and meet these great leaders. They would be more than willing to make reliable suggestions. They just hold back due to the fear of carriers retaliation if they go public under normal circumstances. We are used to this media restriction in the claims industry due to insurance company carrier Code of Conduct forms. The purpose would be a townhall meeting for positive suggestions by independent claim firm owners and head managers.

You show up- I’ll host the conference center. Smile- I know that is a simplistic offer with the involved security you need. However, Sawgrass  home of  Tournament  Players Championship  since 1977 is well equipped to plan for your arrival and we’ll meet you there!

We’ll make the same offer to work with any news agency like CNN, HLN, Fox News, or any state news reporters interested in talking to a group of claim managers  even if  news agencies have to allow participants to remain anonymous with voice overs and protection of their identity so they can provide truthful evaluations of the claims process and stories about what they have heard in response to their efforts to get through to ESIS claims executives as it isn’t great news although we recognize they too are overwhelmed with the situation.

 This is not acceptable time service for any insurance company, claims adjusting firm nor an individual adjuster and definitely should not be acceptable response time with BP with  their huge profits -come see us independent claims folks who are regularly following the insurance crisis in coastal communities.

We- the Independent Adjuster community- are the group who can help professionally improve the BP claims process- just do what you say you will do…….create jobs, take people off the unemployment lines but please use the RIGHT PEOPLE for the RIGHT positions where our  skills can best service the claimants of these disasters. There is a link to my prior blogs in response to this blog posting about the claims blame game, hopefully we won’t just need to substitute the ridiculous blame game organization chart  very soon and substitute the parties now involved in the BP oil claims because right now my honest evaluation is we need one to follow the BP oil spill blame game parties. Let’s reverse this quickly. Insurance commissioners never stand by and merely observe what insurance companies do. Instead they monitor them regularly and require weekly status reports on the number of claims procecessed during major catastrophes.

In Florida during the 4 hurricanes in 04, carriers and adjusters were held up to stringent deadlines which were unreasonable given the repeated events here. How about talking with our former FL Insurance commissioner for reasonable expectations. Alex Sink has also done an excellent job as current FL Insurance Commissioner and is another reliable source on reasonable expectations and time lines on loss of income claims deadlines as they require a much longer pending tail for closure due to the ongoing losses. Heck, go straight to all insurance commissioners for a prompt discussion to help make your decisions- respected members of the NAIC  National Association of Insurance commissioners  and get their valued input. I’d also recommend you talk to the NACA  past President Woody Britton who is a weath of information on catastophe deployments.

There is much more I can add to my suggestions but no one is asking me nor valued members and managers in the independent claims industry from the independent adjusting firm side with the exception of ONE independent adjusting firm. If there  are more, please respond and let us know the name, website, contact phone number for each adjusting  firm with a definite contract to handle these claims.

We also request you stop the bleeding and announce this on your websites so independent  adjusters aren’t on standby with false promises to go to work on BP oil spill claims by firms not even under consideration by BP or ESIS to handle claims. Independents are already on standby with many firms and we have no idea what the likelihood is of ever deploying.

We want to help and know you are facing oil spill disaster claims of untold proportions. Please let us know just how we can apply our training and skills to assist you to speed up the claim process.

President Obama and respected Admiral Allen, our intention is not to be critical of the response, the intent is to move forward from this moment forward to speed up the claims process and stop the spread of this historic oil spill. We don’t mind your use of a telepromters, we’d love you to bring your daughters to experience our pristine beaches and let your daughters learn the joy of collecting sharks teeth on the beaches at Mickler’s landing. I assure you they are not attached to the shark (smile) and it’s much healthier than them being exposed to picking up tar balls on the beaches. We want you to select this area as a pre-oil spill venue where you are proactive coming before the oil spill reaches us. You can take time (yes we do understand work/ life issues for emergency responders) while here to take the kids to explore the Naval Aircraft carriers at Mayport Naval Air Station, a follow up with a visit to our oldest city of St Augustine and especially the old fort and the Fountain of Youth tour. It will help your family have a good grasp on what living in a continental USA beach community is all about before we incur damages coming our way.

By the way- one last story about my dad- my hero- you talked yesterday about determining whose A** to kick- well we have a military award plaque still up at my parents wall at home here in Jacksonville where they awarded “my dad” with a replica of his well known A** kicking boots while serving out at sea as an Aircraft Maintence Commander. He had 2 shoes in yellow and he painted a different colored dot on each toe to indicate which parties he was holding responsible  for a problem and the dot showed if it was an enlisted man or an officer under his command. Your family will understand the significance of the colored dots if they can view the take off and landing of military aircraft on landing decks while out at sea. It is a trip they will never forget as I never have when going out on a family cruise day which allowed us to see what my dad was up to all of those years he was at sea. The guys look like MnM’s running around so quickly as the planes take of f and land when you get to watch it from above. Heck, if you don’t have time- send someone out to video this in action when one of the carriers near you are hosting one of these events.

To independent adjusters : If you missed the White House press conference  6/7/10 , CNN now has it posted. Watch the claims process comments for  yourself as well. 

 Here is the link:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/07/gulf.oil.spill/index.html?hpt=T1

Sign me- a regular CNN , HLN, and FOX news BP Oil spill news follower …..Deb


BP Gulf Oil Spill Claims Update- Claims Process, Claims Manual, Claims Forms and much more

June 6, 2010

Here is a link to the Deep Horizon website claim forms and the 1-800- numbers: 

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/542307 

Bp Claims process guidelines: 

http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9033791&contentId=7062345 

Here is the new BP Claims manual with how to claim loss of rental income- a very simple process unlike an insurance claim for same thing:

 http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/downloads_pdfs/BP_DWH_CLAIMS_MANUAL_1.pdf

Lots of great video here of the booms they are using to prevent oil from hitting beaches: 

http://bp.concerts.com/gom/oilspilltraining052410.htm

Another great site my sister sent tonight is to Beach Webcams for all Florida beaches to track Beach oil spill conditions here-except Pensacola is missing for some reason:

http://www.floridalink.com/webcam/beach.htm

Here is the link to the DeepWater Horizon response website with information specific to FLorida response . They now have seperated the updates for AL, MS, LA, and FL and have another link for all 4 states: 

http://ocean.floridamarine.org/ACP/STPACP/StartHere.html

Here’s the link to all of the different gulf coast state updates and area plans:

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/542307#

Later this week we will be posting Business Interruption training links and a special edition on Claims Litigation on BP lawsuits. I’ve been saving numerous articles with important informaton on claims litigation and BP claims.

If you have any information you wish to share with those that have claims, please reply to this topic and we’ll approve professional comments about liability claims handling as far as BP oil spill claims so we stay on topic.

I will also be adding a page to the blog where I link to all BP oil postings as this is going to be a very long process with regular updates needed. You can also enter tag search of “BP Oil Spill claims” which will also take you to all blogs I’ve made on this topic.

This informaton is not just for adjusters but for my friends and family who reside along the Gulf Coast and need information about filing claims they have for various losses. If you wish to be notified of new postings to follow this blog, you can either add it as an RSS feed or you click on Blog Info at the top of all blog pages and enter yor email address to receive notifications when we have new postings. You will find the link for the RSS feed or to sign up for emails there is a link at the top of the right hand column of all blog pages.


Announcement- ClaimSmentor forms Strategic Alliance Partnership with Council on Litigation Management group for FREE Law CE’s for adjusters

April 21, 2010

ClaimSmentor was founded with a mission to help improve claims continuing education for independent adjusters since the options were so limited back when we were founded in December of 2005.
 
Towards that goal, I am pleased to announce a major enhancement to independent liability and claims litigation training.
 
We have formed a Strategic Alliance with Council on Litigation Management Group to provide FREE LAW CE’s in all states requiring CE credits for adjusters. Here is the Strategic Alliance information posted on their site:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/network/StrategicAffiliations.aspx
 
They are offering seminars nationwide at predesignated locations and the best news yet is that your vendor,  adjusting firm , or even insurance companies can schedule to host any of the sessions as well.
 
Think this is good news? The best news is yet to come!
 
Hosting a class couldn’t be easier! Your firm supplies the facility for groups of 25 to 60 claim adjuster attendees and CLM provides all class material and 2 instructors to present the Council on Litigation Management approved course material. In addition, they handle all adjuster CE submission for you. There is absolutely no charge to the adjusting firm or adjuster for hosting these other than providing the meeting space for your group.
 
As adjusters, attendance couldn’t be easier! Simply go to follow these instructions:
 
1)Register as a Fellow membership- totally FREE so you can then register for upcoming training sessions which is also required so they can file your CE’s. Here is the link:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/FellowRegistration2.aspx
 
2) Then click on this link to find all training sessions and locations scheduled for upcoming FREE classes:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/Events.aspx
 
 
 
3) We are working with member claims adjusting firms on ClaimSmentor to host these classes. We will handle all email notifications and posting with ClaimSmentor members (now approaching 1200)
 
What an excellent opportunity for meeting opportunities with your adjusters from your firm as well. You can plan and host these along with your roster members at your annual conferences.
 
Independent adjusters are always looking for law CE’s. What a fantastic way to train them to be multi line adjusters for working daily losses.
 
Any firms from ClaimSmentor interested in hosting these classes anywhere nationwide should email CLM@Dimechimes.com to discuss location opportunities and dates you are considering. We’ll do the rest for you with our ClaimSmentor participants to let them know.
 
Please use this topic to ask questions and I will get you the answers you need from CLM. We’ll also use this topic to post notices of which firms are presenting them as well.
 
Adjusters- if you work for an adjusting firm or attend Claims Association meetings, please pass the word and see if they will host a session and we’ll take it from there to get our members to these classes.
 
Special thanks to Adam Potter with CLM for agreeing to this Strategic Alliance to bring free LAW CE’s to our members nationwide!
 
Now- for some absolutely outstanding news! We are going to kick off the ClaimSmentor involvement with the Claims Litigation management group with their May 6, 2010 Dallas, TX sessions which takes place at the Dallas Cowboys stadium! Only 50 seats left available! Not only will you earn law CE’s but you will also get to tour the stadium as well as attend a game- ALL FREE of Charge! Here is the link to get registered:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/rsvp/TX10/
 
Other upcoming currently scheduled events are:
 
Columbus, OH- May 12, 2010:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/rsvp/OH10
 
May 13, 2010 in Atlanta, GA:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/rsvp/GA10
 
June 10, 2010 in Seattle, WA:
 
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/rsvp/WA10
 
I have to tell you, the mock trial in Seattle brings back some of the best claims management training I ever attended as a staff claims manager- it’s training you will never forget.
 
Again, any member of ClaimSmentor interested in hosting these classes, email CLM@Dimechimes.com to schedule. Why not combine some training you need to do with your roster members one day and a second day providing them with these free Law CE classes.
 
Hosts are asked to schedule only 2 of the 18 classes in one day. They prefer to present these in bite size courses so the adjusters will not be overwhelmed with the training so you might even consider scheduling some quarterly- especially during non cat season!

Not yet a member of ClaimSmentor? Here is the link to our registration information: www.claimSmentor.com/register.php


Basic Material Identification Construction Training for New Property Adjusters -Avoid GIGO Estimates-Take Xactware Construction ILX training online

March 31, 2010

Remember the term GIGO- Garbage in / Garbage out?

That term is definitely applicable to property estimating with any estimate software systems such as Xactimate, MSB Integri Claims, SimsolPower Claims, or Symbility.

New adjusters take Xactimate training classes to learn to use the software estimating programs but if they are not familiar with construction, material identification such as carpet grades, counter top material,types of roof shingles, and other building components, as well as the proper construction methods to repair property then it doesn’t matter  how great your estimate software data entry skills are- you’ll still produce garbage in the way of insurance claim estimates necessary to settle claims.

I’d highly recommend the Construction ILX  training through Xactware who produces the Xactimate software program which is the most often  required estimating software required by insurance companies. If you are new to independent adjusting, you need to know it is the insurance company that dictates the estimating software they require the independent adjusting firms must use.

This Construction ILX training is part of Xactware’s e-learning courses and consists of 50 courses on building components and is very comprehensive. It is very similiar to a carrier training I took years ago as required training prior to attendance at  Vale National  for additional training in the field on building estimating at their 3 week construction class. It was an excellent plan to train people like me that were new to adjusting but with no construction background. I spoke with their sales department today and confirmed that you do take tests at the end of each part, a unit test, and a test at the end of the program to show your competency should you wish to obtain their certification. Here is the link to the certificate and CEU options.

The cost of the ILX training on CD  program is $595.00 which is an outstanding price considering you can study from home and at a self paced environment and especially with the CD’s you can take them on the road with you so you can look up something you may have a question about on the applicable CD. You save extensive travel and hotel expenses while training and it allows those working at regular jobs the opportunity to train around their work schedules. Here is the link to purchase the program. According to information I got when calling them and speaking to their sales department, you can take the program online or by cd’s.

 I will be covering other Xactimate software training options in a blog tomorrow. There are so many firms offering Xactimate training in the field but we constantly get complaints from new adjusters that they felt many of them were a waste of hundreds of dollars spent on classes that were overloaded with students and short on instructors so they got little out of attendance to feel confident using the software. Another disadvantage which I personally consider significant is that you are not getting tested at most of those schools so you only get a certificate showing you sat through a class which doesn’t provide alot of comfort to a hiring claims manager. If you take the Xactimate training directly through Xactimate you can obtain your level 1, level 2, and level 3 certification which provides certificate comfort to an adjusting firm or carrier seeking to deploy adjusters as their certification vouches for the fact you have not only taken Xactimate training but that you passed difficult training and passed at an acceptable level to get certified by Xactware themselves. More on that tomorrow when discussing other valuable Xactimate training field class options if your not good at self study.

Wait- it gets better yet! It was beneficial calling their sales department today seeking a discount for all ClaimSmentor participants, they will call back this afternoon to let me know if that is possible due to our extensive network ( 1,150 ClaimSmentor forum members, 658 Twitter followers, almost 300 members of our Linkedin ClaimSmentor group and 180 plus following my individual profile on Linkedin, and we’ve had over 145,000 hits in 1.5 years here on our ClaimSmentor adjuster information blog, and thousands on our staffing firm rosters). I hope to have good news on that today.

The second highlight I learned in my call today is that you can take the course even cheaper doing it online verus buying the CD program and cover the same material. The disadvantage is you wouldn’t have the program to take with you on the road later when you are working on a storm and need to refer back to something but I’d highly recommend the online option as well as it is very affordable to people who can’t afford the $595.00 which is very possible there are many after a slow claim assignment year thus far in 2010. Here are the online options at their self paced training link where they have options to have access to all of the construction training online for 90 days access to all of the training for $205 or if your fast at online training- you can even just buy the cheaper monthly version where you can have 30 days access to a bundle of the courses  for $110 or even train by the course at $35 each!

GIGO estimates will cause huge problems for adjusters, insurance companies, and most importantly for policyholders who can not get repairs don’t off of an inadequate estimate. Here are just a few crazy examples of estimating GIGO I’ve run across over the years managing adjusters who didn’t know about construction materials and especially construction repair techniques- and these are true stories!

1) Field adjuster gets a call from in experienced in office adjuster who has to review and approve the claim- desk adjuster tells experienced field adjuster to remove the crown molding (finish carpentry item) because MOLD is not covered under the policy

2) Working file reviews during a major hurricane, I actually ran across an estimate that the adjuster climbed in the attic and found a broken rafter where the tree hitting the roof had cracked the rafter. The adjuster measured the crack and put to remove and replace one inch of rafter. They did not allow a minimum charge and surely did not consider the repair method for a contractor to access the rafter and make a proper repair.

3) Repair estimates are often wrong even just on roofing repairs when an adjuster does not have the proper training to know when a roof can be repaired or not and no training in hail damage identification. I’ll be blogging about that as well this week.

As part of our Fundamentals of Claims Property Adjusting class, we spend 2 nights just reviewing estimates to train you on estimate reconciliation and the common carrier general guidelines on estimating. Repairing a property is entirely different than remodeling work an insured may want done to upgrade their property and you need to know what the carrier guidelines are on many issues such as waste factors, overhead and profit, minimum charges, matching issues and much more.

Run don’t walk to sign up for this construction estimating whether you are independent or a public adjuster if you do not have a construction background. It will help you prepare professional estimates to settle your claims and help you avoid rejections of claim settlement estimate for improper scope.

Watch for more postings in this week and next on estimate training options. Know the basics before you learn to enter estimates in a software program as it will do you NO good to learn data input if what you put in is GIGO!


US Senate Committee holds 5/21/09 hearing on Chinese Drywall issues- Link to archived webcast and testimony presented

May 22, 2009

We know this topic keeps coming up in the claims industry on how the chinese drywall claims are going to be handled so I wanted to share this link to the 5/21/09 archived web cast and links to the presentations made to the US Senate committee yesterday for your reference material.

http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=7036283d-9d1e-4954-8903-b851ba32a49e


NY Appeals Court Rejects Carrier’s Use of Earth Movement Exclusions-see court docs

May 12, 2009

I just ran across this alleged landmark case on earth movement exclusions in a Condo master policy case in NY where the court ruled against insurer State Farm . This info was located  in a Construction Defect group over at Linkedin:

http://www.nyconstructionlaw.com/CM/Articles/Kushnick-Associates-wins-landmark-insurance.asp

See the court documents here:

http://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/decisions/2009/apr09/63opn09.pdf

This looks like an important case to share a link to for others in the claims industry. 

Pioneer Tower Owners Association vs 

State Farm Fire & Casualty

Company et al.,

Appellants

 

 


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