NAIC Model Independent Adjusters Licensing Act Cancelled…and changes in NM, NC, and TX licensing

July 31, 2007

Wasn’t it just yesterday I mentioned that change is certain in the Insurance adjusting world?

In that blog, we reported we could not find an update to the April 2007 draft of the model act which lead to further research on this topic.

We were able to locate the Spring newsletter of the American Association of Independent Claims Professionals which announced in the Spring letter that the NAIC Model Independent Licensing Act will not be pursued due to legislation regarding NAIC new Model Acts in general.

This Spring news letter also has important updates regarding Independent Adjuster licensing regulations in New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas which you can read all about on page 4 of the Spring newsletter here.

Who moved my “claims cheese”…dealing with change in the Insurance adjusting community

July 30, 2007

One thing that is certain in the insurance claims adjusting community is CHANGE!

Years ago, as staff claim managers, we were asked to read the book Who Moved my Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson. What a great book with parables to help us understand change and the varying ways folks deal with change through the characters of Hem, Haw, Sniff, and Scurry. This book has developed into training programs and much more and is highly recommended for adjusting firm presentations and for adjusters experiencing change.

So what is changing in our insurance adjusting community? To name just a few things that we are experiencing which is creating havoc for independent adjusters income:

Carriers are moving to large in house claim central operations handling many claims over the phone by staff adjusters. Here is just one of many new announcements.

Carriers are withdrawing coverage in nationwide coastal communities. Are you prepared to work claims for the many state windpools by taking pre-orientation training seminars that they are requiring or are you one of the adjusters saying ” they’ll call me without it anyway-they will be desperate”?

Insureds are self insuring and increasing deductibles due to the rising cost of insurance reducing the number of claims to be worked by independent and staff adjusters.

We’ve had 2 major whistleblower suits in the wake of Katrina caused by independents leading to increased use of staff adjusters by carriers. If your not familiar with them read this and this interesting news article.

Carriers are announcing limited assignments versus full assignments to independents in many cases which will result in reduced fees adjusters can earn. Examples include carriers handling the additional living expense and contents claim while allowing the independent adjuster to handle the building estimate portion of the loss only.

We’ve had an unprecedented number of trainee adjusters enter the field due to heavy claim activity after the 2004 and 2005 storm season resulting in less assignments per adjuster. Look at these articles showing the numbers of emergency adjusters in FL in 04 and the number of independent licenses issued in Tx was discussed in this TDI article:

Agent Licensing: Matt Ray, Deputy Commissioner, Licensing, stated that the licensing statutes and TDI staff performed well during the disaster. The statute is designed to facilitate carriers’ ability to bring in adjusters. If an adjuster has a license in another state, then the adjuster does not need a Texas license in order to be a temporary adjuster. If a professional adjuster’s home state does not license adjusters, the adjuster can work in Texas under the company’s supervision and the company will be held accountable for the adjuster’s actions. TDI has issued 50,000 adjuster licenses, and 15,000 are non-residents. If an adjuster is licensed in another state, then TDI grants reciprocity without a test or application. TDI issues emergency adjuster licenses to individuals who are not adjusters, for example, other staff who work for the carrier, so they can get into the field quickly. Emergency adjuster applications are given priority for processing by TDI Licensing staff. TDI does not issue badges to agents or adjusters.   (this link is now moved so article is posted above).


Carriers are increasing the number of staff field adjusters for line units and catastrophe operations further reducing assignments to independent adjusting firms.

Multitudes of new start up independent adjusting firms are decreasing the number of assignments to other  adjusting firms. This also results in less negotiation with carriers of adjuster fee schedules by the adjusting firm to avoid losing carrier contracts.

Large fines are being assessed to adjusting firms by carriers such as Citizens of FL causing some intimidating clauses to be added to independent adjusting firm contracts to pass these fines on to their adjusters. Look at page 5 of this RFP for just ONE of the fines to be assessed to adjusting firms. Several others can be found in the 103 page RFP the firms used when considering the requirements to work these claims. How about other fines in the news such as this  $3,500 fine in 2004 for adjusters discouraging insureds from filing a DOI complaint?

Our community has an increased influx of start up training firms for estimatic software training and Adjuster 101 classes. In many cases, new adjusters are being trained by barely more experienced adjusters turned training facility. The advice given ,we hear in several cases ,would not meet the minimim carrier expectations. Can you imagine being a new adjuster trying to decide which firm to train with?

National Assn of Insurance Commissioners is working on a Model Act for Independent Adjusters which will change the way independent adjusters are licensed when the act is adopted by State Insurance Departments. Right now they don’t have the latest draft up so here’s a link to the last one we could view.

Unprecedented numbers of independent adjusters are experiencing serious problems with receipt of fee bill payments after months of working out on catastrophe assignments. Here is a site started due to this problem during Katrina that was overwhelmed with the volume of adjusters reporting such problems. Adjusters have no clear cut answer on how they are to proceed to recover these fees reducing the number of adjusters in our community. It’s firms such as this one outlining just one example of some problems faced by adjusters working for this outfit. Here is also a link to many other articles on this firm.

There seems to be an ever increasing requirement to attend adjusting firm conferences and seminars to be placed or remain on their rosters. Stories abound of adjusters spending thousands of dollars annually at a time their income is greatly reduced after the slow storm season of 2006 with no hurricanes yet they have no choice if they choose to remain deployable with different adjusting firms.

Adjusters in great numbers are being named in suit files for bad faith when simply following carrier directives for claim handling. Here’s an example of a suit file naming many adjusters. Is this going to drive up the costs for Errors and Omissions coverage for adjusting firms and adjusters?

New carriers are entering the market requiring adjusters take more carrier certification classes. It’s important the carriers conduct these as shown here in this Merlin Law Firm list of actions that can bring rise to bad faith allegations.

It is important with our ever changing environment that you stay abreast of many important developments in our adjusting community. While your home on down time in between storms, enjoy your family and get that much needed rest but keep up with important issues by reading professional publications such as Claims Magazine  and subscribing to news reels such as the Insurance Journal  and National Underwriter’s breaking news articles . You’ll also see a list of my favorite Claims Blogs listed on the right column of my blog that you might find very interesting and help us keep up to date with claim issues.

You need to continue your education to increase your odds of being selected from among the thousands of adjusters seeking employment/deployment by participating in carrier certifications such as those put on by reputable firms such as Eberl’s and Worley and many other firms. One of the most important designations you can obtain as an adjuster is the Associates in Claims AIC designation which is recognized by both carriers and adjusting firms. It’s tough to find the time, I know! I’m still working on my last part for my CPCU designation and it’s hard work but it will be worth the effort. I remember a division manager telling me for every 5 who say they cannot do it since they are on cat, he could always seek out and find those who did which he promoted for their efforts.

Here’s a link to keep up with many states licensing changes on the left column of our website. CADO also has an excellent site for all states licensing requirements here.

You are welcome to participat at ClaimSmentor to help you keep up with many of these issues and links such as those provided in this article should you not have time to keep up with the many different issues facing us.

So who are you….Hem,Haw, Sniff, or Scurry? Read the book and you decide! I see examples of each of these characters daily in the claims adjusting community. There are those who find every reason not to follow the new trends, those that debate it in forums and tell others why they don’t need to pay attention to these new trends, those who explore the new information and consider the changes in our industy, and those that agree the changes are reducing their income and move with the new opportunities finding income generating opportunities in these new claim central operations, as staff adjusters, and with new carrier assignments through their favorite adjusting firms as they pick up new clients. We hope you will see the advantages of moving ahead to remain a member of the independent adjusting community!

Time Management Skills- “How to start a storm” By Lenz with Mariposaltd Claims

July 29, 2007

Thanks to VP David Swank  of Mariposa Ltd  for allowing us to share this article on our blog. This is outstanding advice for new adjusters for their first storm. We often refer to this article in our mock disaster assignment and appointment setting drill exercise in our 40 hour Fundamentals of Claims online course.


How to Start a Storm . . .             Some gentle suggestions for adjusters just climbing their first ladders . .  from Dan & Leslie Lenz, Mariposa Insurance Adjusters                      

 When a disaster hits . . . sometimes it’s the adjusterInundated with claims from a vendor and beset by people who want you there yesterday, the easiest thing to do is to call people nearby and go to see them as soon as possible.  Scoping is much faster than writing, so the inclination is to fill the day with inspections and head for the motel/office — once it’s too dark to take any more photos — to write claims until midnight.  If there’s not much drive-time between loss locations, it’s conceivable that eight to twelve losses can be scoped in a day (even more if the CAT is hail).  45 minutes for a meal, half an hour of responding to messages and setting appointments, and three hours of writing estimates rounds out a pretty full day.  But, most claims take at least an hour to work up properly with diary notes, drawings, reports, detailed estimate and final review.  So if you write three after scoping eight, you’re five behind…the first day.  Do this for a week, and you’re 35 behind; three weeks later you could be have more than 100 files waiting to be written.  Not a good deal for the adjuster or for the Insureds.  And it’ll drive the vendor/adjusting company crazy!  If the vendor has several adjusters working like this, it really hurts their performance numbers with the insurance company . . . a sure recipe for disaster.Another tendency is writing up the shortest and easiest claims first, putting off the more tedious, complicated and time-consuming ones.  If you do leave them until later, believe me, they’ll hang over your head like Damocles’ sword*.  The best way to improve your effectiveness as an adjuster is to establish an organized routine and stick to it as much as possible and keep in touch with your vendor.Once you have your claims in hand and settle in at your base of operations (motel, room suite, RV, whatever…) review your files for notes that will help you prioritize damages.  Mark claims that need to be seen immediately (color coding with red can help) and call them right away.  Find out the severity of their damage, give them your number and let them know (if you can at this time) when you’ll be out to see them.Take a whole day just for contacts, data entry and organizing your scoping schedule.  It will be worth it.Contact everyone on your list, leaving a number where you can be reached.  Spend the whole day doing this if necessary.  Have Insureds prioritize themselves regarding severity  (most will admit they know others are worse off than they are, so you can then set your schedule pretty much the way you want it.)  Asking them for input makes them more patient with your inspection schedule.  Explain that you will call back in a few days to set an appointment.  Then, do it!Enter basic data in your computer & use the locating function in SimSol to mapspot claims so you can schedule your appointments efficiently.  (If your claims were downloaded directly…lucky you!)  Your first two or three days may be a bit scattered because you’re going by damage priority, but this should settle down once the worst damages are dealt with.Call your first two or three days’ worth of people and set appointments, giving yourself at least a two-hour time frame for arrival.  (It’s a good idea at this point to ask about any protective pups that might be around, requesting they be confined if possible.  Even the gentlest dog can become a barking/biting machine when it encounters a strange person with a ladder and clipboard!  And most people with ladders and clipboards are a little strange…)Scope only three or four losses the first day or two, and make every effort to write them up that night, following the spec list of report requirements provided by your vendor.  Turn them in immediately for review so any discrepancies between your reports and the vendor’s preferences can be noted and adjusted before you’ve done a dozen or more that have to be returned for correction.  Check with your vendor for feedback on your first finished files and ask how you can make them better.Only scope as many losses as you can write up that night.  Five is a good goal.  Six is excellent.  Seven or eight . . . well, it’s either light damage or a hailstorm or you’re Super Adjuster!  Make an effort to do it right the first time.  It often takes twice as long to work up a file (labeling photos, drawing the roof or floorplan, writing reports, itemizing the estimate, reviewing the paperwork) as the time spent in the field, and a detailed and thorough finished file that passes review the first time (and, hopefully, won’t require a supplement) is your goal. Set your files up in the order you scoped your losses and write them up in that order.  It’s really not fair to your Insureds to do otherwise.  Return phone calls the day you receive them if possible; otherwise, within 24 hours.  Call to set appointments only a few days out, allowing yourself a little free time for the inevitable emergencies.  If the free time isn’t filled with a claim, head home early and write another estimate.  There’s always another estimate!

In summary:•  Prioritize your claims•  Make initial phone contact & leave a number with your Insureds  (it makes them much more comfortable knowing they can reach you)•  Establish a routine•  Call your Insureds•  Pace yourself•  Don’t over-scope•  Call your Insureds•  Keep to your routine as much as possible•  Don’t be afraid to ask for help/suggestions.  (The company you’re working for would much rather be aware of your situation so they can refrain from giving you work you feel you can’t handle than have you become so bogged down & frustrated that you dump the whole thing and head back home!)•  Did I say “Call your Insureds”?Getting so far behind that you rush through your claims or become so frustrated that you can’t complete your work makes an adjuster who is almost worse than the disaster that brought him or her to the storm. Having and following a specific and logical work pattern can keep you on track to becoming a thorough, competent and sought-after adjuster, one who works more than just the biggest catastrophes. *(If you are familiar with allusions to the “sword of Damocles,” you probably already know that to feel that the sword of Damocles is hanging over you is to have a sense of anxiety and of impending doom.)


Cyber bullying, Abusive emails…Stay safe in the forums and with emails

July 29, 2007

Anyone who runs a site such as adjuster forums, blogs or other businesses such as adjusting firms as well as participants at such sites may at times experience harassing emails, cyber stalking, cyber harassment,etc. It never fails to amaze me the fake email names and folks posting in a fake alias. Our site at ClaimSmentor requires verification of id and participation in the adjusting community so we haven’t had that issue there thank goodness.

 I have read some recent emails from adjusting firm managers about receipt of such emails from adjusters that were  not called for as the result of an email they sent out on a conference or other details an adjuster may have disagreed with,etc.  We have also been advised by adjusters that they may have made the mistake of providing a personal email  address on a claim to get documents from a policyholder who may later have been upset with a settlement or denial.  Don’t feel that you have to sit back and do nothing about the poster or sender. There is MUCH info available by searching the cyber bullying term on sites such as google.

We hear of trainees abused on forums  so this information may be of interest to you also if you have experienced a problem. Most sites make use of forum moderators who quickly deal with problems and professional sites would not allow cyberbullying antics to begin with. I’m happy to find that my favorite forums for catastrophe adjusters has been very pro active in the past year or two in preventing such abuses(visit today if you aren’t familiar with this excellent site. The archives are full of important cat adjusting information- just overlook some of the negative postings to find a wealth of information).

Adjusting firms and carriers will help you with these issues if you are an adjuster. Make sure you follow your adjusting firm’s email instructions as many do NOT want you using your email on claims for these very reasons. Find out what email address your adjusting firm is using for you in their electronic CMS system as many do use your email in assignment notifications to carriers and policyholders. You may want to create a seperate email address for all claim communications if you are required to use a personal one with your assignments so policyholders do not have your personal email account.

Another interesting fact learned during the course of this research indicates that cyberbullying does not even have to be direct emails sent to you but damaging emails sent about you by offenders.

Heck- it applies to all of us and our children whether in our personal or our professional lives. Many adjusters are gone from home months at a time serving on catastrophe duty and need to know how to keep our children safe when we cannot be available.

I’ve learned that the term cyberbullying is the name that applies to harassment on forums, blogs, emails, private messages, and other forms of electronic communication. Just enter the term “cyberbullying”  in your google search.  It is very interesting info to read about the developments in cyberbullying legislation. Alot of it pertains to kids. It was very sad to read that bullying with children has lead to suicides too. The good thing arising from this legislation is that law enforcement now does instruct cyberbullying educational seminars at schools today which will hopefully end this sad practice.

I’m posting this in the event anyone needs help tracking an email or reporting an abuser. First of all you can simply forward the abusive email to the senders ip service such as but here is some other good research found through some assistance we got from the IT firm we use with my business to locate such an email harasser  should you need to take it a step further:

Cyber bullying-Definition
US Computer Emergency Readiness Team 

Bully on line- Good article on the profile of a cyber bully. This article makes you realize how pathetic they are. Good instructions are also provided on how to respond if attacked by a cyber bully online or by email:

Email tracker pro

We tried the email tracker pro software.You can copy and paste the email properties in the abuser’s email  and it directs you right to the IP address on their computer. The one we tried directed us through the dynamic IP right to their REAL IP provider vs the one he/she sent the email through as well as to their city/state. It was very easy to narrow it down from there! You can get a free trial at to try it out! 

Here is the page where you can trace an email- it let me try it free copying the header from an abusive email received:
  What does this have to do with adjusters? Everything for the many of us who enjoy the many blogs, forums, and networking in these communities but are often witness to or victims of abuse to harassing private messages, emails, or forum posts. Don’t sit back but be proactive in putting a stop to cyberbullying. It’s the law. We cannot avoid the use of the internet or email with our jobs but we do need to learn to be safe in our ever growing electronic claim community which grows stronger every day with the growing use of electronic CMS (Claim management) programs. If you would like more information on this important topic for you, your firm, or your families, here are some great links:************

Postscript 8/3/07-Hilarious look at insulting remarks on this blog: You may find other things on this blog objectionable so view at your own risk. This “When insults had class” article is very funny and worth sharing though! What great comebacks for those insulting emails, forum post bashers, a blog harassment or nahhhhhhhhh going back to the profile of a cyberbully…they aren’t worth it!

Pros and Cons of working staff adjuster versus independent adjuster positions

July 27, 2007

I find it fascinating that so many new adjusters are entering the catastrophe claim profession based on stories of six digit incomes they hear other independents make during peak storm seasons such as 04/05 with little understanding of the employment options as either a staff adjuster or an independent daily(non catastrophe) or catastrophe adjuster.

I ask new adjusters to give me 5 pros and 5 cons of being a staff adjuster and 5 of each as an independent adjuster. Having taught a Fundamentals of Claims class now to over 100 adjusters in the past year, I have found very few that can answer this question. I have also learned that there are many common misconceptions about the freedom an independent adjuster actually has.

If your considering a career in claims and do not know which way to go, here are some things you may want to consider:

Staff adjuster Pros

Regular reliable salary

Paid training

Health benefits

Possible company car for field adjusters

Computer equipment and estimating software provided free

Travel expenses paid for or reimburseable on expense account sheets

Temporary housing on catastrophe assignments is located and paid for you

Cellphones provided and charges covered by carrier

Carrier keeps you up to date on claim news

Carrier holds your CE classes for you and makes sure you are up to date

Carrier handles your licensing issues and differences in emergency adjuster licensing rules

Carriers often pay continuing education such as AIC designation, CPCU courses, college courses

Retirement benefits

401K plans

Errors and Omissions coverage

Defense costs of counsel paid by carrier should you be sued for claim file handling

Great seminars for training by attorneys, experts and hot topics provided

Field training mentors provided to you for ride-a-long field training 

Independent Adjuster Pros

Freedom to purchase type of equipment and software you like to use

You have the right of refusal of an assignment to a location you don’t want to go(city,etc)

Possibility of earning more GROSS income than a staff adjuster based on fee schedules on cat

Assignments are temporary so you don’t have to stay long term with boss you don’t enjoy

Freedom to decide which adjusting firm you are better suited to work for

Freedom to choose where you house during a catastrophe assignment

Freedom to choose if and when you have room mates at seminars and conferences

Freedom to decide which carrier you like to work files for

Freedom to decide which firm you will work for based on carrier fee schedules

Freedom to use estimatic software you prefer by aligning yourself with an adjusting firm who uses the one you prefer

More employment options since adjusting firms do not require college degrees but hire you based on adjusting experience and adjuster training levels

Adjusting firms pay on fee splits so you can quickly earn the same fee split as experienced adjusters

Many of the more complicated files are moved to staff to complete such as coverage issues so you can be more productive

Independents generally have more down time for vacations between assignments

So then..what are some of the Cons for these positions?

Staff Adjuster Cons

Often don’t have freedom to reject a catastrophe assignment

Constant reorganizations and possible required relocations to maintain employment

Often assigned room mates at seminars, schools, conferences (non management)

Druggery of yearly performance reviews even good employees dread each year

Politics of corporate environment

Long tail on promotional opportunities- some carriers as long as 3-5 years to progress to claim specialist level

Carriers often require a 4 year degree which many independents may not have

May be deployed to catastrophe assignments if you are on a cat team longer than you prefer

Sometimes hard to transition off a catastrophe team to regular claim positions as departments at home are downsizing and scaling back or moving to claim central environments

May be “on call” for 24/7 customer service claims for field adjusters

Dealing with an unpleasant boss long term

Often required to train new adjusters slowing down your work

Often salary and much overtime required to handle files timely (lots of case law on this issue)

You can’t walk away from the bad files with long tails- they are yours to completion

Short vacation allotted -usually 2 weeks for first few years

Guess who handles the problem files when the cat teams depart?

Independent Adjuster Cons

Costly training for seminars, conferences, seminars

Required carrier certification tests for multiple carriers to work their files

Expensive equipment costs for computers, ladders, miscellaneous equipment and cat logo clothing

Estimatic software expenses since you must provide. Especially difficult if adjusting firm working for multiple  carriers using different software programs

Expensive temporary housing for catastrophe assignments you must pay

Difficulty finding reliable information on the reputation of adjusting firms for payment of adjusting fees, adjuster support in the field, forms and endorsements, and other important details

Navigating Independent contracts to protect yourself before you sign independent firm contracts

Expenses of defense costs should you be sued if your E and O policy does not cover

Errors and Omissions cost to provide your own if the adjusting firm does not provide

No guarantee of work

Transportation and maintenance cost of your own vehicle as well as insurance cost

Handling your own CE requirements- costs of courses

Complying with the non resident emergency adjuster requirements and fees on your own

Obtaining a mentor to help train you in the field is very difficult

Keeping up with important developments in claims if you are not a CORE adjuster with an adjusting firm. This year alone we have about 5 states with new licensing developments as an example.

No clear cut path to recovery of your adjusting fees should a vendor not pay you

Very long tails to receive adjuster payments-not uncommon to be 60-90 days before you see your first payment on a catastrophe if you are working for a firm who pays after the carrier pays

Extra layer of management since you report first to adjusting firm manager who then moves your closed file to staff management for closed file review.

Misconceptions I often see in response to the question about the pros of being an independent adjuster center around the expectations of an independent. We get answers such as less file quota, less paperwork, freedom to turn down files in a territory you don’t want to go to if it’s out of your assigned territory, no management, loose dress codes, bringing in assistants, freedom to turn down adjusting firm assignments for a firm you are considered a core (regularly assigned) adjuster and many other false assumptions.

You need to understand if you accept an assignment as an independent that you are working in a carrier’s world. They have the same high standards set for you as they do for their staff adjusters upon arrival at their cat assignment or acceptance of their files for daily work.

The same time service requirements, timely inspection and closure of files applies. You will be required to use the same report forms, pattern letters, and good faith claim handling standards that a staff adjuster must abide by. Your production numbers and quality of file documentation must still meet carrier directives and matches the same file standards for a staff adjuster. This is in addition to specific guidelines your adjusting firm may have for submitting documents for invoicing the carrier.

We hear many comments from adjusters who know the ropes…… ” how independent are you really” ? If you look at many states case law on determining if you are an independent or are you an employee……you do have to wonder in spite of the fact that most adjusting firms deploy independents on a 1099 basis. There is little room for working on your own once you arrive on assignment. All of your actions are directed by those we serve to include the adjusting firm and the carrier. You do not have the choice of what software you use in most cases, what forms you will use, what closing and inspection requirements are,etc. You do have the same freedom as a staff adjuster to set your inspection appointments and schedules but don’t be naive to think your numbers will not be monitored to be sure you are meeting customer service standards.

These partial lists of pros and cons should help you decide which position best meets your background, preferences, and pocketbook. Feel free to add to the list if you have additional thoughts to add to these pros and cons!

Welcome to Dimechimes Corporation Adjuster Information Blog

July 26, 2007

Welcome to the newer version of our blog! We will post updates to claim data from new significant storms, updates to job opportunities, and updates to information independent adjusters, claim representatives, cat adjusters, and claim managers need to know about developments in the claim adjusting community.

We have moved to a new blog site which allows us to have pre approval on comments posted to maintain the professional intention of our blog for members on our rosters and firms using our services.

We hope you visit us often!

Best Regards,

Deborah K Moroy, AIC,IIA


Dimechimes Corporation Claim Staffing and Recruiting

Proud sponsor of ClaimSmentor

Catastrophe Adjuster resumes- the requirements to get noticed do differ!

July 26, 2007

We are quickly approaching the peak hurricane season. We talk to many adjusters about their resumes when they call to find out how they can get noticed with the thousands of adjusters who have entered this field due to the strong hurricane seasons in 04/05.

Here is a link to our published article in the June 2006 issue of Claims Magazine regarding Catastrophe adjuster resumes with some suggestions for enhancing your resume. Many career websites tell you that your resume will only get a 20 second overview before HR personnel determine if they want to continue reading and considering you as a viable candidate:

Here is also a current list shown on our Opportunities page with a list of important information you need to be sure is included as commonly asked for by most adjusting firms looking for quality candidates:

Adjusting firms offering opportunities to work Condominium Claims

July 26, 2007

Is your background working residential homeowner claims only? You might want to expand into specialization  handling condominium master policy claims and condo unitowner claims.

We’ve been watching recent developments with adjusting firms offering positions for adjusters to work as interior estimators and damage scopers for their firms. Essentially from speaking with 2 firm owners this past week, they place a team leader in charge of the claim file who is responsible for overseeing file requirements are met and that there is consistency is the estimating process between estimators in the various interior units, buildings, and common element areas. They are then assigning teams of estimators to do the actual line by line estimate entries using macros to enhance the estimating process for a more prompt conclusion to the file.

Adjusters can quickly lose control of a claim involving condominium complexes. In fact, you might want to take a quick look at this website that abounds with nightmares from condominium complexes on repair issues and insurance settlements:

You need to learn the important rules of the road on controlling these claims to properly handle them. Examples include the state condominium statutes which vary by state, differing regs on mediation procedures for condominium master policies such as that in Florida and a host of other issues. These tend to be high profile claims drawing media attention as well as the ire of an agent that worked very hard to obtain that customer should you mishandle the claim creating an unsatisfied customer.

We have spent months researching the Florida Condominium claim handling information. We now have a reference self study guide available providing links to all kinds of information you need to be aware of to process claims. It is not just the statute you need to know. You need to understand what is going on in the insurance condo market in FL, the new FL Condo mediation guidelines, media guidelines some carriers prefer you follow, and some general guidelines to understand how to deal with the Condominium Board and unitowners to prevent utter chaos for them as well as for you. There are also new regulations in FL you need to be aware of on claim settlement deadlines established in the state of Florida. It is important you comply with these guidelines as an adjuster to keep you and your adjusting firm out of hot water!

You can find these complete details containing these important reference links for your self study and field reference while handling claims  in our Self Study Guides at ClaimSmentor.

Watch also for the August 2007 issue of National Underwriters Claims Magazine for our article co-authored with Dennis Martin, CPCU on condominium claim handling information. You can view their magazine online here:

It generally updates with the new  issue at the end of the first week of a new month. We’ll provide the direct link as soon as it is up!

Opportunities to work Citizens Insurance of FL claims

July 26, 2007

We continue to receive many inquiries from adjusters about the opportunities available to work claims for 1 of the 45 Independent adjusting firms selected to work claims for Citizens Insurance of Florida.

Due to the number of requests, we have spent months following the topics to provide you links to information you should know to work the claims. We now have a list of the 45 vendors, the 103 page RFP the vendors had to use for operating standards to handle the claims with the amendments, the links to the 2007 Claim Procedure guide, links to the Citizens of FL Task force website and videos of task force committee meetings, Citizens Board meetings and links to the 45 vendors websites and have uploaded each of the Citizens pre-orientation meeting ads by selected firms  we could locate as well as informational emails put out by many of the adjusting firms involved. If you need the details so you have the whole picture (not just information shared by your vendor), visit ClaimSmentor for links to more information.

This independent reference material includes links to so many good news articles on issues you will be facing working in Florida should a hurricane be suffered by our residents again this year. We as adjusters well know that the Florida financial insurance crisis will increase the stress of the policyholders we serve and you should be aware of the many issues they are reading about.

Many adjusters do not know where to locate this information and the reference links you need are all located and provided for you. This will serve as a great field resource when you are out working assignments. Other important information you should view includes Citizens Fee schedules, the fines to be imposed for adjuster infractions of time service guidelines, and contact information for Citizens personnel should you have difficulty recovering your fee payments from firms as some have experienced in prior seasons. That is a whole new topic in and of itself we’ll address in another posting. This reference material is independent research- we are not affiliated with the task force or Citizens of Fl. We are simply a claim staffing firm and also citizens of the state of FL very concerned and proactive in our followup on claim handling issues adjusters are facing.

We are going to continue to follow the developments in training options for you and additional reference material.

How much income can I make as an adjuster?

July 26, 2007

  Web Tag: Insurance Adjuster Pay

We often receive the question from new adjusters about the amount of income a staff adjuster or an independent adjuster or a catastrophe adjuster can make. Many forums say this topic is taboo to speak about it on public forums.

Here are many articles found on public websites for your informational purposes for those of you exploring careers in this profession.

I’ll be posting in this blog later about pros and cons of staff adjusting versus being an independent adjuster. I continue to be amazed teaching online classes on ClaimSmentor how many adjusters have misconceptions about the freedom associated with being an independent because they really have no experience yet with the expectations of carriers for independent adjusters handling their claims….so check back often for updates on many topics!

This first article is by National Underwriter Claims Magazine now managing Editor, Eric Gilkey “Overwork/Underpaid”:…

Here is also the latest Bureau of Labor statistics report on Adjuster pay:

Here is one more salary link for you:

Here you will find a link to an interesting formula used by an adjusting firm for figuring independent pay! Let us know how accurate you think this could be!


**Update 8/14/07- Here’s another site with adjuster income projections:

Make sure you also review our 8/14/07 blog on Adjuster fees in the News for deductions from this gross income type of a listing.


It is very hard to pinpoint an “average” salary or compensation for an independent adjuster. There are many many variables such as the number of files assigned, the tight zoning of assignments in a territory or much travel involved between appointments, the fee schedules of the carriers and the fee split with the adjusting firm. Also, variables exist as to which expense items independent adjusting firms take a fee split on such as mileage, photos, tolls, and other items from the gross fee schedule billings. The net income to an  independent adjuster also varies greatly based on their temporary housing expenses at a cat site, gas expenses depending on travel from home and then site to site, there is no cut and dry answer but hopefully these well researched articles may give you some indication. Be leary of the ads and rumors you hear about those earning high dollars. While there certainly are those who do earn those figures based on years of expertise, there is no guarantee of such income. All independents can vouch for that after the slow 2006 storm season!