VA Tornado Damage- The Carrier Claim Numbers Are Coming In

April 30, 2008

 

We have been monitoring the news for updates on the Carrier number of claims reported as a result of the tornado damage in VA this week in Suffolk County and other communities. Here are some news stories of interest quoting carriers. At this point, the number of the carriers polled in these news stories does not exceed 200 for any carrier so I do not imagine there will be a major need thus far for independent adjusters. Having said that, the news stories linked to below also indicate that homeowners still are not allowed into some areas due to power lines down and gas leaks so those numbers are expected to grow as many of the carriers interviewed indicated.

Here is information on the Declaration of an Emergency declared which normally triggers a state to allow adjusters in to operate under an emergency adjusters license. Checking the VA Dept of Insurance website, I am not finding any information related to adjuster emergency licenses or even resident adjuster licenses required. Here is a link to the Virginia Insurance Department-click here. I was able to get through to the VA Insurance Licensing division and spoke with “Richard” at 804-371-9631 and was advised that VA does not require a license for resident adjusters or emergency adjusters. Quite amazing and so NOT a good idea these days!

Here’s some great video footage of the damage in VA: click here

 According to the Virginia-Pilot news, none of the carriers were reporting more than 200 claims as of yesterday – here’s a link to their news article quoting several carriers and also indicating many homeowners have yet to be allowed to return to their neighborhoods thus they are expecting many more claims to be reported. Click here for the article. Also, according to this second article at the same site, the damage is expected to exceed 20 million dollars. Click here for the 2nd article. This next article contains a bit more information on damage and has some good links to photos of the damage as well. Click here to view.

The NAIIA (National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters) has 29 Adjusting firms listed for VA. Click here to view. This wouldn’t be all inclusive but a good start if your core firms you prefer aren’t sending folks in (and of course if we don’t get staffing requests for the assignment since the numbers are relatively low as far as deploying independents). Sometimes, the carriers will still deploy a few independents from some of the local firms who assist with daily claims and branch assist assignments when there isn’t enough work to warrant calling in their national catastrophe teams (usually requires 500 or more claims in a state as a result of one storm for most carriers). Here is also an AM Best Adjusters list of firms they list where you can search by state for firms-click here.

You will also find the link to the VA Fairplan for adjusters wanting to send them resume (site presently shows no employment opportunities but given the damage this week that could change) or for adjusting firms wishing to solicit their business- click here .

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Top Blogs of Interest to New Adjusters July 2007- April 2008

April 28, 2008

 

You can search the Archives for all blogs we’ve entered since we began this blog in July 2007 but it’s very time consuming we know! In an effort to assist new adjusters entering the claims field, we are providing the links to the top read blogs on careers, fee schedules, claim salaries, adjuster safety issues, errors and omissions coverage and other blogs that would be of interest to new claims folks such as those seeking careers also as auto adjusters. Here’s a link to everything in our archives applicable to new adjusters (and experienced alike who may want some up to date information):

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https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/27/claim-career-information-the-pros-and-cons-of-going-staff-adjuster-versus-independent-adjuster/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/auto-adjuster-claim-careers-an-interview-with-adjusting-firm-owner-carey-oconnor-with-csp-claims/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/most-commonly-asked-question-is-how-much-income-can-i-make-as-an-adjuster/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/catastrophe-adjuster-resumes-the-requirements-to-get-noticed-do-differ/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/adjustin-to-adjusting-guest-blogger-linda-goodson-first-storm-duty-was-katrina/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/claims-magazine-claims-salary-survey-is-upplease-participate/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/claim-salary-survey-is-up-at-claims-magazine/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/17/billingual-adjusters-in-big-demand-please-update-your-resume-if-applicable/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/14/adjuster-fees-in-the-news-the-time-is-now-to-educate-the-insurance-media-and-press/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/splish-splash-dont-go-takin-a-bath-understanding-independent-firm-contracts/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/27/independent-adjuster-vs-employee/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/insurance-adjuster-overtime-pay-issues-and-complaints-in-the-news/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/field-adjuster-safety-concerns-be-careful-remembering-katie-froeschle-of-tampa-fl/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/adjuster-safety-another-warning-march-08-nationwide-adjuster-shot-in-vehicle-in-tn-while-on-storm-duty/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/commitment-part-2-standby-calls-what-should-i-do-how-are-cat-codes-determined/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/24/california-insurance-commissioner-clears-the-way-for-non-cdi-emergency-adjusters-to-handle-wildfire-losses/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/20/cat-tales-by-guest-bloggers-kim-and-nelson-stegall-their-first-storm-experience/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/auto-claim-training-what-options-do-i-have/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/major-changes-in-the-way-carriers-recruit-and-train-adjustersis-there-really-a-lack-of-available-adjusters/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/11/14/tomorrow-is-postmark-deadline-to-get-applications-in-to-join-naca-national-assn-of-catastrophe-adjusters/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/12/12/nfip-national-flood-2008-adjuster-certification-classes-are-now-posted/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/do-you-really-know-what-your-errors-and-omissions-coverage-covers/

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

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/05/luckwhere-preparation-meets-opportunity-published-208-in-claims-education-magazine/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/registration-deadline-42508-for-next-40-hour-fundamentals-of-claims-online-live-class/
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Haag Education Seminars available for Adjusters and Adjusting firms- Great Roof Damage Assessment Training

April 24, 2008

 

It isn’t often I’m willing to go out on a limb to recommend a specific school’s training programs but I wanted to pass along this information as we have had many participants take Haag Engineering’s educational seminars reporting back on the excellent quality of the training. I took a one week roofing class at their home office years ago and thought very highly of the program.

The classes meet our search for reputable sources of classes that also provide CE credits. At the top of my list of favorite programs they offer for adjusters are the Roofing Certification Course  and the Roof Damage Assessment classes for adjusters.

Visit www.haageducation.com for your CE credit and other training needs. In addition to their educational programs, they will come to an adjusting firm’s facility to present much needed training such as California Earthquake certification,etc which is an outstanding option given the unrealistic price of gas approaching $4.00 per gallon this summer at a time when adjuster’s have had much less work the past two seasons. You can find a complete list of ALL of the seminars they have available and search by date, city,etc here. New this year, they also offer their class room facilities for adjusting firm for field classes at a much more reasonable price than hotel facilities often used for field meetings.

I’ve often wondered just what did happen to the experiment they were working on years and years ago when I attended a one week roofing school while a staff field reinspector at their headquarters where they were experimenting with newly manufactured shingles WITHOUT the granules on them to see what it did to the life of the shingles(comparing it to a second set from same manufacture group with the granules). Their plan had been to leave this roof section ( I think it was 10 x 10) out in the field 10 years. All experienced adjusters are well aware of granule loss claims by roofers alleging they totalled the roof. It will be interesting to hear from them as to how that ever turned out.

If you get a chance, visit with John Derosa, Haag Engineering Education Seminar Manager who is most approachable and willing to service your training needs where it is most convenient for your group. I am fortunate to have met him in person at the 2007 NACA convention. In the event you’d like to talk to him directly, here is John’s direct contact information:

John M. DeRosa

Seminar Manager

Education Department

Haag Engineering Co.

Failure and Damage Consultants since 1924

Direct : (214) 614-6562

Cell: (972) 897-2947

Fax: (214) 614-6501

4949 West Royal Lane

Irving Texas  75063

I don’t want to fail to mention their publications as well for those of you unable to travel to any of their field locations. You can view those available here. This same link shows tools such as their PITCH gauge and provides information on their newest publications such as the Tile Roof Assessment guide. Having a few of these items myself in my library, I can attest to the quality of these guides and the quality of the information and training guidance for trainees and experienced adjusters alike. Their pricing is extremely reasonable on their publications so they should be within the reach of everyone’s budget. 

Here is also a link on their site where you can check the CE credits available for their classes by state:

Click here

Should you be a ClaimSmentor member or Dimechimes Corporation Roster participant, be sure to ask John for your participant discount on classes and course publications.


Citizens of FL Releases new RFP for Daily AND for Catastrophe Claims

April 23, 2008

 

Check back later today for more details on this comparing the new RFP to the prior cancelled RFP. We do have questions and things to point out you’ll want to be sure not to overlook!

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If you missed our original blog notice about Citizens cancelling the RFP for Daily claims several month ago, here is a link: Click here

Citizens of FL has now posted (eff 4/22) the new Request for Proposal for not
only Daily (non catastrophe claims)for 2008-2011 but also for Cat claims for
2009-2011. There is less than one week for adjusting firms wishing consideration
to get their questions in to Citizens per the RFP information.

Adjusters will be interested in the experience requirements and the fee
schedules posted as well in Addendum A.

Here is the link to all information. I note quite a number of changes from the
original RFP to include rejection of your RFP if you contact anyone other than
the 1 contact provided, no fines listed in the new RFP (will they still go by
those in the Claims Manual?), and corporate business references for the
adjusting firms which may limit those applying to the firms in business for
several years versus new adjusting firms.

You can view all information here:

https://www.citizensfla.com/shared/purchasing/pdfs/08-0016%20-RFP%20Final.doc

Here is a link to all of the addendums to include Addendum A with the fee
schedules beginning on page 10:

https://www.citizensfla.com/shared/purchasing/pdfs/RFP%2008-0016.zip

Here is also a link to their purchasing site showing the 5/19/08 deadline for
RFP submissions(deadline for questions to be submitted is 4/29/08:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/purchasing-current_reqs.cfm

I’ll have a blog up shortly summarizing the differences from the original RFP
later today with some of the questions I have after viewing the new RFP at
www.dimechimes.wordpress.com .

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Citizens also has a job opportunity posted for a Catastrophe Ops Director and a
Sr VP of Claims you can view on their Career Opportunities link on their home page for details.

Here is a link to the old RFP documents if you want to jump start your comparison while I’m updating mine:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/purchasing-archived_reqs.cfm (See Claims Admn for Daily Claims links)


Breaking News- Liberty Mutual Acquires Safeco

April 23, 2008

 The Insurance Journal is reporting that Liberty Mutual has acquired Safeco:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2008/04/23/89365.htm

We’ll be doing additional research shortly to determine what these changes mean for adjuster certifications and provide more details on the adjusting firms you can take your Liberty Mutual certifications with as soon as we can acquire those details.


Registration Deadline 4/25/08 for Next 40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Online Live Class

April 23, 2008

 

We have extended the deadline to register for the Next 40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class held Live ONLINE at our e-mentor site  at  ClaimSmentor to April 25, 2008. The class will be held from 6-9pm CST on Monday and Thursday evenings beginning Monday April 28, 2008. If you missed the original posting, here is a link with more information on the class.

I’m always amazed at the feedback from class participants who advise after taking the course how unprepared they actually were to go out on their first assignments. Many have obtained their adjuster’s license and a portion have taken an estimatics class to learn estimating software. Most have no idea how to answer questions like those posed below that is just a touch of what we cover in our basic adjusting class:

1) How do I zone my assignments to meet carrier expectations on inspection quotas? What do received to inspected/inspected to closed ratios have to do with you and carrier expectations? How is your production monitored and how does it differ for independent adjusters vs staff adjusters( or is there a difference?)

2) Who are high profile clients that I must inspect immediately regardless of severity code of the damage?

3) What are severity codes? In addition to severity codes, what other factors do you need to know to comply with management expectations when prioritzing catastrophe assignments?

4) What does the carrier expect of me regarding Agency relationships when an agent is pushing for their claims to be handled first?

5) What actions/steps must you take when you are dealing with a coverage issue? What forms are required and what steps must I take to keep the carrier out of trouble on a claim?

6) What things should you avoid signing on an independent contract with an adjusting firm? What are the most common problem areas for adjusters getting paid on assignments that you can avoid so you don’t go unpaid this storm season? Where can you seek out information on reliable adjusting firms? Who do you report non paid invoices to? Should you carry your own E and O insurance if the adjusting firm offers to cover you…info by expert E and O firms.

7) What different type of carrier fee schedules are there and which are most advantageous to you as the adjuster? What is the difference in a daily rate vs a fee schedule or time and expense schedule? What are typical fee splits with the adjusting firm? When can you expect payment on your fee bills? How do you track outstanding fee bills?

8. What are file requirements for the claim file for a paper file and for an electronic file submission? What is the standard file order for document submission? On an electronic file submission, what do I name my documents for future reference? See examples of all standard required forms.

9) What are my contents claim software choices? Who pays for this? How do I calculate depreciation and “absorb” deductibles on special limits?

10) How do I handle an Insurance Department Complaint file? How do you  deal with a Public Adjuster? An Attorney letter of representation? What are time demands?

11) How do you determine what kind of advance is needed and housing options for a policyholder? How do you complete an additional living expense worksheet? What are abatements?

12) What information do you need to obtain regarding insurance carrier management file and customer service expectations BEFORE you start working files to avoid claim file closure rejections?

13) What are typical code of conduct requirements by a carrier for adjusters? What ethical standards are you expected to meet while on assignment? What are the most frequent type of problems that get adjusters sent home? Can you work for multiple carriers on one catastrophe? Can you use an assistant? Must they be licensed?

We cover much more than this during the course to include pre-reading assignments, pre-class homework assignments covering these issues and more on building losses, contents claim losses, and additional living expense claims.

Should you wish to join us for this upcoming class- the last prior to Hurricane Season, you will need to register at ClaimSmentor so you can access our LIVE ONLINE class room and have access to all class assignments. More information regarding the class is shared in our ClaimSmentor Forums. All website and registration information is found on the About page here on the blog.

Contact us (About page) if you have questions regarding class tuition (minimal for such a detailed course) or questions regarding registering.


5.4 Earthquake hits Illinois and surrounding states 4/18/08- Watch here for staffing requests to follow

April 18, 2008

Fox News is reporting a 5.4 earthquake in Illinois- the strongest they say to hit the area in 40 years. Later reports are now saying 5.2 centered in eastern Illinois. They say it was felt in IL, IN. MO, KY, TN and others. Below you will find some of the initial reports. They are showing photos of brick damage to buildings in Louisville, KY now. Here are some of the initial reports. We’ll update this blog entry with more news and emergency adjuster licensing information in the states involved as the day progresses. We will also update this blog with all new staffing requests received as a result of this EQ as the week progresses so check back regularly.

EQ Info:

Us Geological website– see top left hand corner for today’s EQ info:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/

This link provides info with distance from other cities– I see it’s only 38 miles from Evansville, Ind:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqinthenews/2008/us2008qza6/

Illinois EQ info website:http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/?region=Illinois

 

Fox news release:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351698,00.html

Here’s more news on Chicago and Indiana:http://www.myfoxchicago.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=6338887&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=1.1.1

 

News out of Ft Wayne, Ind:

http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080418/LOCAL/364069032/1002/LOCAL

News out of Grand Rapids, MI:

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/04/earthquake_centered_in_illinoi.html

This post will be edited with more information shortly.