Special thanks to adjusting firm owner, Carey O’Connor with CSP Claims www.cspclaims.com for spending time with me Friday as I interviewed him for this blog series on careers in auto claims adjusting.
Carey’s background is similar to mine with many years on the staff claims side of the business prior to opening CSP claims with several other partners who also had claim staff management experience. I find that a very important element in the success of an independent adjusting firm since they know the “ins” and the “outs” of the business and how things work from a carrier management perspective. We are here to serve the carriers and I’m continually amazed to read some postings by some independents that don’t seem to understand that major point. I will say during my years as a staff claim manager, I worked with many wonderful outstanding independents who “got it” and did a great job for us and I’m sorry to see that many of those types of independents are gun shy about posting on some of the public forums where we could all be getting better reputations with the carriers. I’m seeking out some of these folks for blog interviews and would love to hear from many of you even if only in reply via comments to some blog entries.
Carey’s recommendations he agreed to share with our ClaimSmentor and Dimechimes Corporation readers interested in a career in auto adjusting includes the following:
1) The BEST place to get the multitude of training on the auto side( as well as the property side) is to work as a staff adjuster FIRST for a number of years to gain access to a thorough training program and a large variety of losses.
2) Carey feels the number one auto estimatic software a trainee should learn is CCC Pathways. He advises the majority of smaller and medium carriers who are using independents are either using this system currently or are moving to the system which he sees happening more frequently.
3) Carey highly recommends trainees participate in I-CAR training for learning many more aspects of collision estimating.
4)Carey advises that the top 2 catastrophe property assignments on auto claims assigned out to independent auto adjusters is for hail damage and flood damage to vehicles which can be learned in a very short period of time. Much more difficult is collision losses with many more car parts involved requiring a much more indepth training to properly estimate collision repairs to vehicles on daily claims.
5)Carey advises the majority of auto liability assignments they get from numerous carriers involves limited assignments for the property damage claims involving the repairs to a claimant’s vehicle.
6) In both cases (insured and claimant vehicles) the fee allowances by carriers runs on average about $70.00 per vehicle if inspected at a carrier’s catastrophe drive through operation or $110-$155.00 per vehicle for those handled at a body shop or storage facility or other location for non driveable cars. This rate depends on the allowance of the carrier. There is a fee split with the adjusting firm just as there is on the homeowner claims.
7) CSP Claims has access to a Paint/Dentless repair company for training auto adjusters and a new facility for property training classes and hopes to be offering the auto claim training classes in the not too distant future so you should check back with them after the first of the year if you are looking for a reputable source for your auto training classes.
(8) Carey also indicated the biggest challenge new auto adjusters face is dealing with the repair vs replacement parts issue with body shops and repair facilities similar to what property adjusters face in the home estimating side of things. To comfortably and professionally deal with these issues, Carey feels it is of utmost importance that a good auto adjuster stay up to date on current repair standards by continually taking advantage of the courses available to auto repair technicians to stay current and that you obtain your I-CAR Certifications.
(9) Similiar to a homeowner adjuster having an advantage if they have a background in construction, Carey thinks it is very valuable for auto adjusters to have previous experience as auto estimators or technicians involved at auto repair facilities so they can better be in a position to discuss estimate reconciliation issues with repair facilities. Better yet is to have prior experience as an auto staff adjuster with solid experience not only in repair procedures but claims experience and a significant understanding of the auto policies.
10) Carey felt from an assignment standpoint, the carriers are much more willing to assign auto claims out to independent adjusters due to the lower fees involved (vs homeowner fee schedules) and their firm has been successful in bringing in new carriers for assignments on the auto side while things from the homeowner side have been much slower for everyone in the independent industry. He agrees with our assessment that the majority of carriers have vastly increased the number of staff catastrophe adjusters leaving much less work on the independent side without major storms.
We thank Carey for his time sharing information with us for this blog to assist you in making your decisions regarding auto claim adjuster careers. We hope you’ll take a minute to visit their website at www.cspclaims.com
We’ll address other Auto adjusting issues later this coming week as well as provide information on other auto estimatic software often requested such as Mitchell.