ClaimSmentor sponsor Legacy Claims is hosting 3 FREE Citizens of FL Certification Webinars

January 21, 2013
550X117_1_blog-Banner

 

 

 

 

Join us for a FREE Webinar – 3 Times to Choose From 

 

Legacy Claim Services invites you to a Free Certification Webinar for

Citizens of Florida!  Get certified from the comfort of your home. This

certification webinar will qualify you to work Daily or Catastrophe claims

in 2013. Storm Season is just around the corner. We are presently

certifying adjusters to handle claims for Citizens through our firm. Don’t

let your current certification expire. We are currently recruiting adjusters

with a minimum 2 years of experience for our Catastrophe Team as

well as Daily Claims Handling for 2013. Please reserve your space by

registering today. Space is limited!

 

Florida Citizens Claims Handling 2013 Adjuster Certification Webinar  

 

 

 

 

Date: Sunday, February 10, 2013

Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST                    REGISTER NOW

 

Date: Sunday, February 10, 2013

Time: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST                     REGISTER NOW

 

Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST                     REGISTER NOW

 

 

 

 

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing

information about joining the Webinar.

 

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

 

 

We now have 10 additional openings for registrants for our ClaimSmentor Fundamentals of Property Claims course starting 5/8/12

May 6, 2012

We had previously closed registration for our ten part series online LIVE of our ClaimSmentor Fundamentals of Property Claims Adjusting course which starts up May 8, 2012 and will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from May 8, 2012 through Jnne 14, 2012 (off Memorial Day week).

We have now moved our class to a new software program which will allow to now accept 10 additional registrants for the course if you missed the deadline.

All class info and registration information was in this prior blog along with a link to our 125 question self assessment test to see if you can benefit from this class on this link:

http://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/claimsmentor-fundamentals-of-property-claims-handling-class-begins-may-8-2012-deadline-to-register-is-may-5-2012-at-5pm-et/

We can accept 10 more registrations with a new deadline of 2pm ET Monday May 7, 2012 to register.

 


Claims and Litigation Management Alliance is hosting a seminar June 15, 2012 in Dallas, TX for Trucking, Railroad, and Transportation Claims Adjusters and Attorneys

April 18, 2012

What a great conference coming up June 15, 2012 in Dallas, TX hosted by the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance for the transportation claims industry. The cost is a most reasonable $49.00 for claims members who register (see their Membership tab) and CE is unusally provided at their training events and show CE and CLE is pending at this time.

For complete details on this important conference and training in the transportation industry, view here.

To view all other conferences and Training Session Opportunities, view here.

I just can’t say enough GREAT things about this organization and it’s leader, Adam Potter.

 


Global Risk Solutions is offering the claims adjuster USAA CERTIFICATION this week

April 16, 2012

I ran across the following ad on CADO today indicating Global Risk Solutions is offering the USAA Adjuster Certification class this week 4/18/12 and 4/19/12 in New Orleans, LA. Here is a copy of the ad:

http://www.catadjuster.net/viewad.asp?id=50013547386104095

Global Risk Solutions, Inc. (‘GRS’) a Florida based insurance claims management is hosting the 2012 USAA Certification Test in New Orleans, LA  on 4/18 and 4/19. We will be holding a full 8 hour Xactimate 27 Refresher Course on 4/18.  Those that register this week will be invited to take weekly Xactimate 27 Webinars to strengthen your skills prior to the certification. To qualify for this course you must have at least 3 years of Property Adjusting or Related Experience. If you have any questions regarding experience please give us a call 786.512.3645.  Ex-Military please email fmcmellon@globalrisksolutions.comwith your name, number, email and years of experience to register for free.

Location :  TBD
Cost $25.00
Please use our website to register :  http://www.grsinstitute.com/Carrier_Training.php

Keeping up to date with estimating platforms in the Property Claim industry- Symbility and MSB Merge/ Farmers and OH windpool now using Symbility

January 31, 2012

I firmly believe adjusters and claim managers need to stay current with changes in the Property and Casualty Claims industry and this week’s hot topic is announcements from Symbility and Bloomberg news that Farmers and the Ohio Windpool are now going to be using Symbility software. You can view both news releases on the following links:

http://www.symbilitysolutions.com/article/news-releases-127.asp

Here is the news release over at Bloomberg news as well:

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=12298738

To top off those news releases, today we received a news release from Property360.com announcing that MSB (Integriclaim) and Symbility are merging their software firms. I especially appreciate the fact their CEO’s  are hosting a webinar on February 2, 2012 to explain the merger of their two software firms. I’m glad I got my registration in before they reach capacity.

I love Symbility claims software and always used to use the demo of an estimate, scope notes, diagrams and photos in our Fundamentals of Claims class in our estimate reconciliation class with new adjusters. Unfortunately, the last I looked that demo was no longer up on their site.

The concern from an independent adjuster standpoint with Symbility was that they were charged on a per claim basis. This is wonderful on daily claims when an independent receives a limited number of claims per month. Is when they did not like the concept of the per file fee was when working catastrophe losses as even at $5.00 per claim if they received 100 catastrophe claims that would be a $500.00 per month expense which is much greater than the monthly fees charged by Xactware for Xactimate software.

It will be interesting to see how well this Symbility software will be accepted by carriers as it is the insurance company who dictates which estimate software the independent adjusting firms must use in estimate preparation.

There are many discussions going on over at Linkedin on this hot topic.

Here is the link  for more information and to register for the 2/2/12 Webinar:

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/webseminars/marshall-swift-boeckh-and-symbility—teaming-up?pc=WS01.31


2012 Independent Adjuster Carrier Catastrophe Certification Workshops- Contact Eberls Claims Service for Information

January 30, 2012

I am frequently asked for the location and dates of upcoming Property and Auto carrier certification classes with carrier certifications as one of the top requests.

I highly recommend any independent adjuster seeking specific dates and locations contact Eberls Claims Service  who is a highly regarded independent adjusting firm. I know they have a training headquarters in Dallas and provide excellent courses for Xactimate Training by one of the handful of people who are actually a Certified Xactimate trainer by Xactware (Jennifer Whitaker).

I have many adjusters who are on their rosters who highly recommend Eberls. I have also supervised Eberl’s adjusters for many years when performing as a National Catastrophe manager for State Farm as well as a Field Team Manager so I feel very confident recommending them.

They can fill you in on the experience requirements, dates of upcoming  carrier certification exam dates.

Email Tina Lehman at Eberls at TLehman@Eberls.com to submit your resume and request information should you be looking for a Carrier Certification or other assignments as Eberls is also a Citizens of Florida  adjusting firm and I have no doubt respresent many other carriers providing you with an excellent opportunity to receive assignments given your experience level and professionalism meets their needs.


ClaimSmentor Welcomes Wardlaw Claims as our newest Sponsor- Wardlaw Claims Conference info February 2012

January 24, 2012

Special thanks go out to Wardlaw Claims who has joined ClaimSmentor as our newest sponsor. Watch for additional upcoming informationabout all of the training and job opportunities they offer but for now we wish to share a link to their upcoming claim conference to be held February 13 through February 17, 2012 in Waco, TX.

For complete claim conference details and registration, you can view them on their site here.


The 2012 National Flood Insurance Claims Adjuster Workshops are now up-Schedule yours today!

January 20, 2012

NFIP has the claims adjuster workshops now up for your registration purposes for the required 2012 NFIP Claims Adjuster Flood Certification workshops. Here’s the link: click here

 


Enjoy this excellent article by John Postava of Simsol estimating software ” Avoiding Property Adjusting Blunders “

November 21, 2011

I was fortunate to run across this excellent article today at PropertyCasualty360.com written by the head of Simsol estimating software, John Postava,  which I highly recommend for property claims adjusters regarding estimating blunders to avoid when writing estimates on property losses. Excellent job John!

We hope you enjoy this article and share it with your claims associates in the property claims industry:

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2011/11/14/avoiding-property-adjusting-blunders

#in #claims #insurance #adjusters #simsol


Claim Handling Guidelines by State- Excellent Reference

October 8, 2011

Below find an excellent link over at Property Casualty 360 (formerly located through Claims Magazine which is now part of Property Casualty 360) which provides claim handling guidelines by state. An excellent reference for independent adjusters going on catastrophe duty out of state!

Click here for link.


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

 

 


We are hosting a live online class at ClaimSmentor for Additional Living Expense claims June 13, 2011 and June 16, 2011

June 6, 2011

An interesting article found on the Huffington Post news regarding the huge increase in people displaced in 2010 from natural disasters as well as what we are witnessing across our nation has lead to an increased number of requests for Addtional Living Expense training for new residential property claims adjusters.

We are hosting a two night class live online at ClaimSmentor Monday June 13, 2011 and Thursday June 16, 2011 from 6-9pm CST. 

This course will cover Additional Living expense claim handling, Homeowner policy provisions for ALE, and training on an ALE worksheet used by the majority of insurance carriers. There will be pre-class reading assignments so I must have registrants information and email by Saturday June 11, 2011.

For more information to register, email dkmoroy@dimechimes.com and we’ll send complete details.


Join the PLRB Eastern Conference in Baltimore,MD June 22-23, 2011

June 1, 2011

Here is the link to the upcoming PLRB Eastern Conference to be held in Baltimore, MD June 22-23, 2011.

I am always most impressed with the exhibitors who attend the PLRB conferences as an outstanding next working opportunity for adjusting firms, adjusters, and insurance companies alike. It is just unfortunate that independent adjusters can’t attend at a lower rate as many staff adjusters and claims managers can attend free due to their employer’s membership in PLRB as you’ll see on the registration links.

For all CE information, registration forms, and exhibitor information, you can view it on this link:

http://www.plrb-lirbregionals.com/2009defaultnew.cfm?mc=71


TASIU- Texas Gulf Coast Insurance Fraud Seminar and Vendor Expo- May 2011 in Cypress, Texas

January 25, 2011

The following Linkedin post looks like a fantastic opportunity for our members in Texas to obtain adjuster CE credits while at the same time obtain some much needed fraud insurance investigation training:

Register now for the TASIU 2011 Gulf Coast Insurance Fraud Seminar & Vendor Expo (May 5, 2011)

It’s time again for the TASIU Gulf Coast Insurance Fraud Seminar & Vendor Expo. This year it will be held at the Northwest Forest Conference Center in Cypress, TX (www.northwestforest.com), just 30 minutes from downtown Houston.

May 4th Evening Welcome Reception
May 5th Seminar (8 hours CE) and Vendor Expo

Why you should attend…

- Stay current on emerging fraud trends and schemes in Texas,

- Develop and improve your insurance fraud investigative skills,

- Maintain, strengthen and expand your antifraud peer network.

ANTIFRAUD TRAINING
The one-day, antifraud educational seminar will offer two breakout sessions per time block, consisting of a diverse selection of fraud topics taught by industry experts. Attendees can earn eight (8) hours of TDI adjuster, TCLEOSE and CIFI CE credit. Stay tuned for our list of antifraud speakers and topics.

Interested in attending?
http://www.tasiu.org/content.aspx?page_id=87&club_id=62802&item_id=159606.

VENDOR EXPO
With representatives from a wide variety of claim and investigation support services, the TASIU Vendor Expo is truly a one-stop-shop. Please be sure to visit with each of our antifraud partners to learn more about the services they offer.

Interested in vendor booth space or sponsorship?
http://www.tasiu.org/content.aspx?page_id=87&club_id=62802&item_id=159620


ClaimSmentor newest Sponsor- Action Catastrophe Team to host Citizens of Florida Daily and Catastrophe Team 2011 Certification Classes

January 20, 2011

Thanks to Tom Nowalowski, President and owner of Action Catastrophe Team who I have known and worked with during the major 4 in 04 hurricane season is our latest sponsor on ClaimSmentor. Special thanks to him for supporting our online  e-mentoring program at ClaimSmentor and for sharing his class schedule with our members.

Tom does have one request that you go to their website linked above and fill out the adjuster information sheet which is required to register for their free Citizens of Florida 2011 classes which are listed below:

Action Catastrophe Team

 

 

 

Join Our Mailing List

Upcoming Citizen’s Certification Classes from Action Catastrophe Team

 

Hello Again!!

We hope everyone has has an enjoyable start to what we hope is a very healthy and prosperous 2011.  As we enter the New Year, it’s time for us to start turning our attention to this years’ new, yearly Citizen’s certification classes.

 

A.C.T. is very fortunate to be a vendor for Citizen’s, handling both Non-Cat (Daily) and Catastrophe claims.  We have adjusting positions available for Residential, Commercial, Sinkhole,  Liability, Team Lead, and Inside Examiners for both Daily and Cat claims.

 

The early predictions indicate the 2011 Hurricane Season will be more active than normal and there is a high likelihood that Florida will once again be in the bulls-eye.  Don’t let the less than active last couple of years lull you into a false sense of security. 

 

We could have another 2004 or 2005 season at any time and if you want to participate when it happens, you MUST attend one of the FREE, MANDATORY, Citizen’s Certification Classes we will be offering.

 

Unlike past years, Citizen’s is combining the Cat and Non-Cat classes into one session.  Even if you attended a Citizen’s class in the past, you have to be re-certified every year. 

 

We have scheduled five seperate Certification classses and smaller group sessions in Florida are possible at a later date, along with a possible Miami/Ft. Lauderdale meeting, if demand warrants.

 

To register, simply reply to this e-mail with the location you wish to reserve a seat in.  You will receive an e-mail confirmation.  Also, even if you are currently on our roster, you MUST go to our Website www.actioncatteam.com and visit the “Contact Us” page.  While there, fill out the On-Line Information sheet to ensure we have your current contact information and prior claims experience.  It will only take a couple of minutes to complete and is REQUIRED. 

You will be prompted to forward a resume’ to tom@actioncatteam.com and you will not be admitted into the meeting without us receiving your current resume’ in advance.  Examples of an acceptable resume’ will be sent with the tentative confirmation. 

 

Once you are confirmed to attend, we will send specific information as to the materials you will need to bring to these meetings.  In addition to a current resume’ a Background Check will be done on all adjusters.

 

Feel free to forward this to any adjusters you know that would like to join our Team.  Hope to see you soon.

 

Tom Nowakowski

President/Claim Operations Manager

Office:  800-516-6978

Cell:  940-452-0174

Fax:  207-226-5718

tom@actioncatteam.com

http://www.actioncatteam.com

 

 

 

 

Tallahassee, Florida

We traditionally make the Holiday Inn in Tallahassee one of our first Certification Class locations.  There are several hotels/motels nearby and this year, they have taken over ownership of the old Marie Livingstons Steakhouse that is on the property, and converted it into the Monroe Street Conference Center.  Our Meeting will be held inside the Monroe Street Conference Center.

Event Info

Saturday, February 12, 2011

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Eastern Time)

2714 Graves Rd. Tallahassee, FL 32303

850-536-2005

 

There are special rates for the Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Days Inn if you say you are attending the Citizen’s Training for Action Cat Team.

 

 

 

 

Atlanta, Georgia

We had a GREAT turnout in Atlanta last year and we are happy to provide a location in the Atlanta area again for this year’s classes. 

The meeting will be at the Golden Corral restaurant meeting room.  There is no charge for the meeting, but the restaurant has given us use of the meeting room with the understanding that many of our attendees will want to eat lunch with them. The lunch is under $8.00. If you aren’t familiar with them, they offer one of the best buffets you can buy.  Refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

Event Info – 2 DIFFERENT MEETING DATES AVAILABLE

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 OR Tuesday March 29th, 2011

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Eastern Time)

2155 Riverside Parkway Lawrenceville, GA

 

There are several motels close by if you need one you can Google either Lawrenceville, Suwanee, or Norcross for the motels nearby.

 

 

 

 

Arlington, Texas

Arlington is convenient to several major cities around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and our meeting there will be held at the LaQuina Inns and Suites.  They are offering rooms at special rates which  include breakfast and free airport shuttle service. 

 
Event Info

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Central Time)

825 N. Watson Rd.  Arlington, TX 76011

817-640-4142

 

 

 

 

Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida

Our meeting in the Tampa Bay area is conveniently located not too far off of the main bridge into St. Petersburg.  The Comfort Inn is also offering special rates if you say you are attending our Citizens Training Class.  A single room is $79.99 and 2 Double bed room is only $84.99 + tax.  Free Deluxe Continental breakfast is included.  Please mention “Citizen’s Training Class for Action Catastrophe Team” when you call.

Event Info

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

2260 54th Ave North,  St. Petersburg, FL 33714

727-362-0075

 

 

 

 

Atlanta, Georgia (2nd Meeting Date in Atlanta)

We had a GREAT turnout in Atlanta last year and we are happy to provide a location in the Atlanta area again for this year’s classes. 

The meeting will be at the Golden Corral restaurant meeting room.  There is no charge for the meeting, but the restaurant has given us use of the meeting room with the understanding that many of our attendees will want to eat lunch with them. The lunch is under $8.00. If you aren’t familiar with them, they offer one of the best buffets you can buy.  Refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

Event Info – 2 DIFFERENT MEETING DATES AVAILABLE

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 OR Tuesday March 29th, 2011

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (Eastern Time)

2155 Riverside Parkway Lawrenceville, GA

 

There are several motels close by if you need one you can Google either Lawrenceville, Suwanee, or Norcross for the motels nearby.

 

Council on Litigation Management 2011 Training Classes- Free to Adjusters- CE credits apply

December 31, 2010

ClaimSmentor strongly supports the Council on Litigation Management for the claims industry. Their mission as stated on their website is foster cooperation and education in the claim industry.

They offer a vast array of FREE adjuster CE classes covering hot topics in the claims industry. If you are an adjusting firm or an insurance carrier, you can schedule classes through them and they provide the instructors and handle the CE.

Here is a link to all available courses based on adjuster skill level:

http://www.litmgmt.org/Training.aspx

To view their calendar of already scheduled classes you can attend in locations nationwide, here is the link:

http://www.litmgmt.org/Events.aspx

The Claims Litigation and Management organziation is hosting their annual conference in March 2011 in New Orleans, LA. For a complete list of the class schedules and conference details, here is the link:

http://www.litmgmt.org/annual-conference/GeneratedDefault.aspx

Please be sure to let Adam Potter and others you speak with when you schedule to attend these events or to host a class for your adjusters that you learned about it from ClaimSmentor!


Welcome to Haag Education- our newest sponsor on ClaimSmentor! Big discount for our members for 2011 on their classes!

December 29, 2010

Welcome to Haag Education sponsored by Haag Engineering ( a well respected engineering firm used by numerous major carriers.

Haag offers numerous field training programs for staff and indpendent adjusters. To view all courses offerings, go to www.haageducation.com.

Most importantly, we have secured a $75.00 discount off of the tuition cost of the Certified Roof Inspector classes for 2011. If you plan to take that course, be sure to email me at dkmoroy@dimechimes.com for the ClaimSmentor discount code.

Thank you Haag Education- we look forward to working with you throughout 2011 and thank you for your sponsorship of our e-mentoring program at ClaimSmentor!


Xactware released Xactimate 27 Training Booklet/ Also has great discount on Xactimate 25 Training Book

April 30, 2010

 

Xactimate 27 Training Workbook

We are excited to have Xactware  as  a  renewal sponsor at  ClaimSmentor!

We are even happier to let our members know that Xactware has released an Xactimate 27 training manual at a very reasonable price for adjusters. What a great tool to have with you on the road for those late nights entering estimates after scoping catastrophe losses all day!

They also have their Xactimate 25 training booklet now discounted to $15.00!

Please be sure to use this link:

http://www.xactware.com/store/SelectProd.do?prodId=173&SFCID=70130000000Wy2z&LS=ClaimsMentor201005

 so they know you heard about it through ClaimSmentor postings! We’d sure appreciate it.


Adjuster looks back on Career at 55! The things I still ponder about the Claims Industry

March 19, 2010

Absolutely shocking and still letting it sink in! I turned the big 55 earlier this month and still reeling from the realization that I have spent my entire adult  life in the insurance industry. The days when I would look at my annual benefits statements which showed I could retire in 2010 are now long ago but  I would always laugh it off that March 2010 would never arrive…and here it is!

I entered the insurance business in 1973, newly married and a grand 17 years old! I had no clue that I was embarking on a life in insurance and claims…but I did know it was employment with the only major employer back in Murfreesboro, TN where we moved as my husband was being released after completion of his four years as a navy corpsman and he wanted to attend college in his home town.

What a change life was leaving home in FL, a military brat, a daughter of a Navy Commander and one of eight children to a working adult with no massive family constantly around! The thought of attending college never entered my mind at the time! Work life in the insurance industry was always changing so I never found it boring as I changed positions through promotional opportunities regularly and moved about 7 times to various cities as mobility used to be a fixed requirement to move into management positions.

I spent my first few months as a mail and file clerk at the lowest possible level and quickly got promoted to a Fire company accounts receivable clerk when the carrier got tired of watching me drag a stool around to reach in the top file drawers! They actually began requiring new file clerks be atleast 5 ft tall to avoid their worry I would hit my head on the corner of the top file drawer!

I spent eight years in accounts receivable working my way up the ranks to a team lead. I can’t begin to say what a valuable experience it was coming up through the ranks as I learned to handle complaints from policyholders if premium payments were misapplied (yes we really did open each envelop individually and stamp the back of each check and balance deposits- how ancient is that compared to today’s machinery and PO Boxes!). During the last of my stint in accounting, I handled agency correspondence on premium payment issues, endorsements, and the greatest part was learning to respect agency and the power they held with the executive office! You quickly learn “if the agent ain’t happy” ain’t no one happy which served me well in my later career in claims.

I never thought “gee I want to be a claims rep when I grow up”. I went into claims kicking and screaming due to my fear of  roof climbing but thankful to still have a stable job when they merged the homeowners accounting group with the auto accounting department. I had no idea I would absolutely fall in love with claims where I spent the next 20 years as first an inside adjuster for 2 years, a field adjuster, a reinspector, an in office supervisor, then finally promoted to my first field claim operation managing adjusters and estimators with adjusters scattered throughout 3 cities. I was proud to later be selected to relocate to FL for the first “claim central” operation then later selected as a national catastrophe team manager where I ended my staff career after 4 years traveling nationally following storms. 28 years was amazing and always interesting having climbed through 16 job classes to reach my final position as a Team Manager. Burn out after 4 years on the road over 80% of each year is putting it mildly but it didn’t take me but 2 years to realize I truly missed the excitement of working the next storm and the comraderie that goes along with working with people who enjoyed it too.

Was it easy to stay with one employer? Was it easy to move from the lowest clerical job classification through to a Claims Team Manager? You bet it wasn’t! Did I ever consider leaving? No….sure didn’t. It actually never crossed my mind! I came from a family where my dad joined the Navy as the lowest seaman and worked his way up the ranks to retire 35 or 36 years later as a Commander in the Navy with 8 kids to boot! How he ever did that I’ll never know with 8 children, constant deployments, and attending college for his BS and Masters Degree at night. That is what we knew and I applied the same theory as my dad to my career. I went to college over 15 years at night school, did my IIA and AIC designations through www.aicpcu.org and have completed 9 parts of what was the 10 part course in the CPCU program. Why I can’t force myself to take and finish that last part of CPCU on accounting and statistics to secure the full designation is beyond me but something that escapes my interest at 55!

Would I do it all over again? You bet I would. Claims  has kept me gainfully employed over the years as staff and later in the independent industry. The last 5 years I’ve been caught up in the ClaimSmentor mentoring program I founded where we train independents. It came about due to the struggles I constantly saw with new independent adjusters having no clue what was needed once they were licensed and really no place to turn for some guidance while they were waiting to get their foot in the door with a reputable adjusting firm. We are now approaching 1,200 members which includes 74 adjusting firm owners and head managers so I am very proud of the accomplishment that the synergy of our group has achieved when so many others told us we were wasting our time even trying!

In today’s world, I am just fascinated with the claims industry and the constant changes but the more I learn, the more I do wonder….why we do what we do, the way we do it, and how I can contribute to make the claims industry a better place for those of us who have dedicated our life to the industry and a better place for the policyholders who suffer when we don’t complete our jobs properly.

Here is just of few of my random thoughts as I contemplate the claims industry at 55 after gosh over 37 years now in this industry:

1) Does the fact we tend to call an insurance contract a “policy” lead to some of the confusion for a policyholder that “all” things are covered? I know from a layman’s terms ,for example, if my parents set a policy that I had to be in by 10pm as a teenager that I could easily pry them into letting me stay out later if it was for something special. Had I signed a contract however, I would understand that can’t be changed as I agreed to the written terms. Just a thought….

2) Why don’t carrier employees get discounts on insurance premiums? I always found that strange!

3) The purpose of insurance is indemnity or to restore a person to whole after suffering a loss. I think of that as stability for policyholders. Thus, I have always found it strange that especially since about 1995 a claims career feels anything but stable for employees as carriers reorganize, downsize, move from field to in office claim handling…etc. I rarely have a conversation with any experienced adjusters anymore who are not considering leaving the industry as the pay is reduced, the requirements more stringent, the legal environment overwhelming, and for independent adjusters- ever more licensing and certification requirements but that is another issue all together!

4) I ponder how insurance companies can collect premiums but in some cases be 100% dependent on independent adjusters to handle their catastrophe claims. It is not because they cannot handle it that I wonder but because carrier employees tend to treat independents as the red headed step child of the industry but that is a step above their stereo type for public adjusters. It just does not seem responsible to me. In fact, in any other business, if you took money for a service and did not provide it…well you can figure out the results of that easily enough! So why is this allowed to go on with insurance carriers? It doesn’t matter how many rosters the carrier maintains or how many adjusting firms they have contracts with. The fact is, they have made no committment to independent adjusters all year long so they have no idea which assignment if any that independents will take. They need to improve the relationship for all concerned.

5) I still constantly ponder what the independent adjusters can do to overcome the non payment and delay issues getting paid for claims they handle. I receive calls daily from adjusters individually and in groups who still have fee bills outstanding from Ike. I do not know of any other group of employees who would receive a deployment call and head out to live on the road in catastrophe conditions with no consideration whatsoever for their living provisions when no hotels are to be found (staff adjusters have housing provided/ independent adjusters who serve carriers do not) and asked to go months before they see the first dime in payment for their work. This applies to inside adjusters working on a fixed daily rate as well. A major FL carrier tells even them to expect 6 weeks for their first paycheck even if on a daily rate which makes no sense. Not only should a carrier staff up for storm adjusters but they need to staff appropriately during storms for support help such as payments like expense checks and for independent fee bills so they can survive. Today, independents tell the new folks to plan to have a minimum of $10,000 for living expense quarters, gas, transportation, and office supplies before they will ever see their first storm payment check. Regarding the non payment by unscrupulous adjusting firms ( the few that are that give them all a black eye), how can the state insurance departments not control this issue? We have folks that are turned down regularly by insurance departments and attorney general offices who tell them they can’t  help them (especially if they worked for an out of state adjusting firm). We need to help these folks by having the appropriate authorities regulate the industry much better.

6) Why did carriers begin making pretty files much more important than prompt service to policyholders? It drives me nuts every time I hear the word  “Sketch”. Just check the classifieds on claim adjuster forums and see the hundreds firms are charging for them to learn “sketch”. Listen folks, in my opinion, I just haven’t been able to accept the fact that a computer sketch of a house floor plan and diagram does one thing to help settle a claim. We used hand drawn diagrams with measurements for years. It would actually shock you what these new computer programs are doing to reduce the number of file closures adjusters can close today versus what they were able to before all of  the “pretty” file standards were created. I do more than understand alot of it was generated due to the increase in claims litigation and the discovery of file material but I do not see that many of these things are doing anything to resolve customer service issues.  During Katrina, many extremely experienced contractors who could easily complete an estimate walked out due to the difficulty to adapt to all of the electronic claim systems….and that was beside the fact they couldn’t get power or rooms with high speed internet to even upload the photos to the files. I just wish we would keep the emphasis on the customer not the technical systems. In many claim environments and training sessions, you don’t even hear the customer mentioned anymore because there is just not enough time in the day to cover all the technical system issues.

7) It seems an unusual number of staff and independent adjusters are flipping their license for a public adjuster license. It sure seems strange to me from the standpoint that regulation of public adjusters gets tougher by the day but each time I’ve asked former co-workers who flipped they did because they could no longer tolerate what they were seeing by inexperienced people not only adjusting claims but managing claims at the carriers whether they were independent or staff. People I never thought I’d hear considering it are. I can’t say I didn’t at one point too because I understand what they see, I understand their frustrations with our industry. I just took a different route and formed ClaimSmentor to  help but I can assure you there are many times it is overwhelming when there is so much need for improvement for the independent training and regulations on how they are treated and paid. Just when I get overwhelmed with trying to make a difference, an email pops up from a trainee thanking me for helping them learn about the industry or thanking us for helping them find a reputable adjusting firm they matched up with. ClaimSmentor wasn’t opened because I thought I was smarter than the average bear but because I did think by gathering good folks together who were very proficient in the independent claims industry we could all learn from each other. I learn new things from our members with every post they make whether it be a need for training in an area I didn’t know existed or learn from some great members with construction backgrounds about better estimating techniques. I hope there will be interest one day in the next few years for someone to carry on the mentoring project as my husband and I are looking forward to retiring when we can.

8  ) Something that has always seemed strange to me is that contractor licensing is so very well regulated yet we as adjusters with no contractors licensing are the be all end all of estimate creation and decision making when it comes to what it takes to repair a home following a disaster. Sure we can handle the routine estimating on most losses but I know I sure couldn’t get in there and rebuild some of the homes I’ve estimated in my career. Fortunately, my employer did pay for us to attend a 3 week contractors school at Vale Technical where I learned alot as well as continuing education at all levels of my career. I was much more confident in estimating when I did it regularly but looking back I always wonder. The younger adjusters today seem so very confident and have much more access to online training but we all know- there is nothing like working a trade. Fortunately, viewing hundreds of resumes annually, we have so many contractors obtaining adjusters licensing. It is pretty standard thinking these days that it is easier to train them on policy than to train someone with no construction estimating who is good at policy. I’ll be the first to admit when I was in my early twenties I fell through a ceiling or two while climbing in an attic, fell though a mobile home floor when it was soaked by the fire department, and many other war stories due to my lack of knowledge in construction and what effects fire/water do to building components. I think that is why I understand trainee adjusters so well and have so much empathy for their training needs because I was there at one time. I just can’t help but wonder why there is not atleast a minimum training regulation by insurance departments on construction training before one can be deemed a “property” adjuster! The current trend is for experienced adjusters to scope and estimate the damages and work with an inside less experienced adjuster who does the contents and additional living expense and settle the building estimate with the insured. A very funny conversation overhead a few months ago by one of our members was an inside adjuster calling the field adjuster and telling them to take the crown molding out of their estimate as “mold” isn’t covered under the policy. This is just one example of the frustrations experienced adjusters are feeling today with the current claim environments. Imagine how policyholders who might hear such a ridiculous statement must feel with their carrier’s claim service. No wonder PA’s are so successful today in obtaining more recovery dollars if this is widespread in our industry!

I could go on an on but it’s 2 am. I have a moderator on ClaimSmentor who started a discussion this week on why so many folks over 50 are changing careers and becoming newly licensed adjusters. I think much of the reason is the down turn in the construction industry and I am sure they are thankful to make a career transition. The problem is as I show in the 125 question self assessment test on this blog is that there is so much more to handling claims than just knowing construction. Claims is a world of it’s own with it’s own procedures and many coverages beyond the building loss itself. Hopefully, I can get our moderator to do a guest blog for us addressing his concerns which he says go far beyond just the physical demands of entering this field at 50 or above.

Thanks for letting me ponder out loud and looking back at quite a lengthy career in claims. If I could change anything at all it might be taking the route of SIU- Special Investigations unit as I thoroughly enjoyed detailed investigations much more than jumping ladders doing roof inspections ( or crawling under off grade houses looking for signs of long term water damage!) but it’s been quite a ride!

If you missed our prior blog with the 125 question self assessment test, here is the link:

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

If you missed our prior blog  with our published article ” Luck- where preparation meets opportunity”, here is the link:

http://www.claimseducationmagazine.com/pdfs/CEM_Winter_08_v1.pdf  found on page 8


Bringing up a prior blog- 125 Question Self Assessment Test- Are you ready to work claims?

March 4, 2010

We again are receiving many new resumes as we approach hail and hurricane season from newly licensed adjusters.

Here is a prior blog we wrote in February of 2009 with a 125 question self assessment test. I highly recommend new adjusters take this test to see if they truly are prepared to work claims. If nothing else, it will give you an idea regarding how much more there is to learn before you accept claims!

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

Watch for our posting shortly announcing our 2010 Fundamentals of Claims online class to be hosted at ClaimSmentor in April 2010 if you’d like training on each and every one of these topics before storm season and new assignments come in.

**Update 3/20/2010- Thanks to the Merlin law firm for acknowledging this self assessment test in their blog here:

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2010/03/articles/insurance/proper-training-can-help-avoid-many-problems/index.html


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,446 other followers