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:


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

“Our Fathers Who Art in Heaven”..a tribute to our dads who have passed away….and Happy Father’s Day to all of our Members

June 21, 2009

Father’s Day 2009- in quiet reflection thinking about my dad who passed away in December of 2000 and missing him immensely.

While searching for good thoughts to reflect on his honor today, I ran across this blog entry by the author of ” Our Fathers who Art in Heaven” by Gerry Murak  and thought the story quite interesting. Also make sure to note on the right column of this entry that they are looking for contributors for Volume II by those reflecting on their great dads and contributions that they made in their lives. I hope you’ll take the time to read and share this with others missing their fathers today.


My father was my best friend, mentor, cheer leader, and hero and I do miss him beyond belief not just today but every day.

 ClaimSmentor (see tribute on our About us page) was created and dedicated in his honor (William Robert Kane, Sr) as was the name Dimechimes which I use in my business and social networking sites. It represents the 10 of us in our family- how they ever raised 8 children on a limited military income is beyond me yet through my father and mother’s great hearts, the dimes we had did make a difference in the lives of others. My dad’s dimes have taken care of my mother very well since he passed away which he had often expressed was so important to him before he left us from diabetic complications just 3 short weeks after beginning kidney dialysis. ClaimSmentor was dedicated in his honor as my mentor, friend and best supporter.

We wish you all a very happy Father’s Day and hope you appreciate every single minute today with your fathers who are with you. Don’t ever take one minute, one conversation, or one piece of advice from them for granted. They are memories you will treasure forever.

To those in the claim industry who are out on assignment working the many hail storms across the midwest, we appreciate the sacrifice you are making to serve the insured public on their storm losses while missing today, Father’s Day 2009, with your families.

In Loving Memory of  William Robert Kane, Sr on Father’s Day 2009

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.~ Henry Ward Beecher


Guest Blog by Ray Hauser of ClaimSmentor-Ray Shares His Personal Story in our “Luck Where Preparation Meets Opportunity Series”

March 17, 2009



Claims Education Magazine published my article in 2008   “Luck…where Preparation meets Opportunity”.

To continue with our strong recommendation that newly licensed adjusters seek reputable training opportunities that are recognized in our industry, Ray is a prime example of  what independent trainee adjusters are going through to get a foot in the door for adjusting assignments.

Here is Ray’s story on the long  journey post license to fill in the squares due to  insurance company and adjusting firm requirements before he can receive assignments. Ray, we appreciate your time contributing to this series of articles. I thoroughly enjoyed your participating in our January/February 50 Hour Fundamentals of Property adjusting course. 

This article link will also remain on our Guest Blog page above with all other entries by contributing bloggers. I do think it is important to highlight what those wanting a career in claims can expect  (from the independent side) and we have several interesting blogs by others when they were new in the field. If I asked Ray what he has spent thus far on licensing, rope and harness classes, and all of his other course fees plus transportation and lodging, I would guess he is in the 7,500 to 10K range. I see this regularly thus my push on looking for other sources for this education.

                  Getting Started in Adjusting by Ray Hauser


After I completed my 4 day licensing course I became aware very quickly that the process of finding work may be just a little harder than what I had expected. Many of my fellow course-mates fell by the wayside believing the task was next to impossible. Company after company stated on their websites that they required either a  4 year degree, or at least 2 years of experience, neither of which I had. Here I am, just a few months down the line, with a totally different perspective in terms of what it takes to find a job. What’s changed? Knowledge! The claims companies want knowledge, and they need to know you have the ability to settle a claim and leave the insured with a good experience. Knowledge and customer service drive this train! We adjusters have to understand that the claims companies are not going to hand out jobs to people with just a 4 day crash course in insurance and a 3 day course in Xactimate! That kind of knowledge is only the starting point. So the question becomes, “What else do I have to do, and where do I go to get it?” Of course it’s always beneficial if you start with some construction and customer service experience. I’m a new adjuster too, so believe me when I say “I don’t have all the answers”. But here’s my opinion.


First, you should register on web sites that offer information that can help you build your resume.


There’s no better place to go than to ClaimSmentor.  Here’s a website that’s a source of information not readily found anywhere else. Anything to do with insurance is found right here. The gal that runs it, Debbie Moroy (debbie@dimechimes.com), has dedicated her life to training new people. She started her career in 1973 with State Farm, and started the adjusting aspect of it over 26 years ago. Who better to learn from? Reading her resume is like reading a dictionary:


State Farm Basic, Intermediate, Commercial, and Management Schools. Vale Tech Residential Estimatics,Haag Roofing School, Georgia Arson Fraud School, many others too numerous to list. Have all 5 State Farm certifications to include wind, estimatics, commercial, earthquake, etc.. Have completed IIA, AIC, and 9 parts of CPCU.


Because of her reputation in the industry and the fact that she’s so well respected, and knows so many people after these many years, it’s my opinion that having her knowledge as your foundation in claims adjusting is absolutely paramount and priceless!


Once you’re registered on her site, you have access to up to the minute information on certification courses, other website links, insurance industry news bulletins, magazine articles, and far too many other items for me to list here. Everyone getting started should take her 50 hr Fundamentals of Property Claims course. In that course you’re taught : Contents Claim Handling Guidelines, Additional Living Expense Claim Handling, Condo Master and Condo Unit-owner Claims , File Documentation Requirements , Carrier Service Standard Expectations,  Insured/Agency Communications, and so much more. “ The class is designed to fill in major gaps of important things you need to know. The course does not cover the estimate software programs and scoping classes but concentrates on the majority of other things that are a must to know before you handle your first claim. You cannot go out in the field and “wing it” and learn as you go when dealing with consumers who have bought a policy expecting “above and beyond” service”.Then, you use the information from that course and on that website to move forward in your search for more certifications and courses.


Another very good idea is to get as many licenses from as many different states as you can. That way, if a hail storm hits Georgia, and you have a Non-Resident license for that state, you can be used to work the storm without having to wait for a state declared emergency. You become far more valuable to the claims companies than other adjusters only having one license from their State of Residency. Sircon is a great site for acquiring other licenses for a nominal fee. In most cases, another licensing test is not required.

If possible, pair up with another adjuster you’ve met at your local Claims Association or elsewhere, and mentor with them for a short time. 


Immediately after I got my license, Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf coast states. Everyone was in demand. I worked a number of claims for The Mission Group  in Beaumont, Texas. Fortunately, I had a great CEO with a lot of patience. I’d partnered up with somebody who had procured the job, but had about as much experience as I had. Ultimately, the number of mistakes we made was embarrassing. But Mr. Phil Spotts went into the training mode and demonstrated the finest managerial traits I’ve ever witnessed. To this day he’s still a hero of mine! Talk about performing under pressure by training a couple of newbies in the art of adjusting. It was a pleasure to witness, yet embarrassing to be a part of. 


Shortly thereafter, I joined a couple of other course-mates and proceeded to take a Two Story/ Steep Roof Rope and Harness course from Kevin Kramer  (k.squared@earthlink.net) in Montgomery, Texas ( great course!). Apparently, for those that have that certification, they’re the first to be called out and the last to leave because they can handle all roofs, not just the easy ones. Kevin also sells an OJT Training Manual that has lots of very good information in it concerning construction, scoping, roof calculations, roof pictorials, estimating interior damage etc etc. It’s a very good manual to have in your library when you’re trying to gain knowledge.


Another great manual to have is one published by Richard Beckner . He gives in depth details and step by step instructions in using Xactimate. It truly is geared for the adjuster having problems in using the software. It’s one of the best manuals I have. It can be accessed at: www.learnxactimate.com .


After my R & H course we proceeded to Pilot Catastrophe Services Inc. in Grande Prairie, Texas, hoping to acquire a successful evaluation, then 4 days of additional training in Allstate, Integriclaim, and NextGen.


 I’ve just completed a Citizens certification class in my search for a job in Daily Adjusting here in Florida, and I have 4 more certifications scheduled.


So, in summary, you need to have knowledge that you didn’t pick up on your licensing course. Knowledge like measuring roofs, replacing the shingles with the appropriate amount of waste rounded up to the nearest shingle bundle, replacing or repairing fencing…..depreciated or not depreciated? What are the important things you have to ask the insured when you’re making first contact and arranging an inspection? If you can’t answer these questions, you just need to take the appropriate training. It’s all out there. You just have to access it. 


Family members have asked, “Who will I work for?” The answer to me is obvious. I’ll work for anyone wise enough to hire me, because I’m going to be prepared by being ready to go to work, educated enough to do the job, and wise enough to only hand in great claims. I’ll get my local adjuster in town to preview my work if I have to. But my claims will absolutely be as good as anyone’s.  I am not going to be the first one to go home after a storm because of my shoddy work.  And hopefully, I’ll be one of the last ones working the storm!



Ray Hauser, Port Orange (Daytona Beach), Florida



To View more information about independent adjuster Ray Hauser, you can view his Linkedin Profile here.

To Join our Claims Industry Group, you can view our Linkedin Profile here.



Ray we thank you for sharing your story and also for your testimonial about the ClaimSmentor online claim mentor group. Deb



Visit all of our Claims Industry Sites for Claim Job Opportunities and Claims Training Needs- Join us today!

March 14, 2009

 What is ClaimSmentor- we offer claim training, claim staffing , claim job opportunities , and claim networking sites!

 Visit all of our Dimechimes Claim Staffing and Training and ClaimSmentor Social Networking and Claims Industry Services at the following sites. We invite all independent and staff employees of insurance companies to join us at the following websites. 

ClaimSmentor is proudly sponsored by Dimechimes Claim Staffing and Claim
(emphasis is training  and claim consulting through the following social networking venues):

We hope you will visit all of our sites for your training,  employment needs, claims networking, or
staffing needs during 2009.

Make sure to read the announcement on the new
direction of our services made 3/1/09 at any of these websites listed below:



Our Claim Staffing and Adjuster Services website to include
resume preparation service, individual claim career coaching services, mock
interviews, popular claim industry links, and all contact us information for 
all sites. Reputable adjusting firms, insurance carriers, and claim recruiters join us!



Our open blog on claim industry hot topics.
Includes guest blog entries submitted by our members and industry experts on the
Guest Blog link and our “Just One ClaimSmentor Moment” link for quick entries with
a link to a great news article or hot topic for days we just have no time for
forums or blog entries. You will also find links to all kinds of insurance
industry blogs, websites, estimate software, book reviews and much more. You can
search our archives by topic by using the Category tab in the right column. You
might also want to view the About Us page for links to articles we have had
published in major claims magazines. This blog was created for those who do not
enjoy learning through forum discussions or searching for information you might
need in claims.


Is our open Linkedin profile where
you can connect through our group to other claim industry professionals. We have
found it a valuable tool for adjusting firms and adjusters wanting to join in with
other Insurance Professional groups (click on Groups on the left column on my
profile) and make sure to also join our Dimechimes ClaimSmentor Insurance Claims
Group as well for other contacts. It is also a valuable place for adjusting
firms to announce job opportunities and to make contacts with key executives in
claims with carriers for marketing and for adjusters to complete their profiles
as well so that they too may join primary groups supporting the claims industry.
It is an extremely valuable tool and right now there is no charge to

www.ClaimSmentor.com is our online e-mentoring project for claim industry
members and vendors supporting our industry. ClaimSmentor is our forum
discussion site for hot topics in the claims field, headline new on current
claim litigation issues, links to valuable resources and free tools for
adjusters for organizing their claims inventory, for rosters for member
adjusting firms , and for our online Live classes held regularly. This includes
forums on carrier certification class schedule information, annual claim
conference information, adjusting firm seminars, career forums, policy forms and
endorsement forums, estimate software forums, and online training information.
We will be hosting our first field trips in 2009 for our members in territories
where we have a large number of members. We will be sharing our updated program
in approximately April 2009 with many new features for our members as well as
many new sponsorship opportunities for firms supporting our online mentor
project to work with independent adjusters to keep them updated on the industry
when they are in between assignments. This is a great site for those wishing to
network with members nationwide.  This is our only site that does require a login id.

Here is the link to join us!

We are now 1,010 members strong in our fourth year of networking. 

Social networking has become very popular in today’s environment and we hope
that all of these options to network with members of our groups in these
different venues will assist all of us in our claims industry to share

We appreciate all of the participants in all of our various social networking

Just one ClaimSmentor Moment #3-Books We Have Recommended for Claims Adjusters

March 6, 2009

W e have 3 places that we have made recommendations for books for adjusters if you are looking for great material you can read between assignnments or if you are just breaking into the claims industry.

1) At ClaimSmentor in our “Training Materials” we have numerous links to catastrophe adjuster books recommended that we have had a few experienced adjusters review to see if they would recommend them for adjusters. There are about 4 great ones posted there specific to catastrophe estimating and scoping training.

2) Here at our Blog at www.dimechimes.wordpress.com  Just look down the right hand column and look for the Categories tab and drop down link and view the Book Reviews postings.

3) We now have linked to books at Amazon that we strongly recommend by well respected authors at AICPCU, Kevin Quinley’s Books, and Spencer Johnson’s books on dealing with work place relationships and change in the workplace. Here is a link to the recommendations over at our Linked in Claims Group you are welcome to join at www.linkedin.com/in/dimechimesclaimsmentor > Just click on this link to see the book recommendations through Amazon there.

Have License Ready To Go! Not So Quick- Take this Self Assessment Test

February 13, 2009

We receive hundreds of emails yearly if not monthly from new adjusters specifying they now have their adjuster’s license and are ready to go as they look for independent adjuster assignments. Many will have great backgrounds in construction, auto repair backgrounds, insurance agency, and other related fields.
What they do not have that they do not understand is a grasp on the functional essentials to properly adjust a claim. They may have learned state ethics requirements for adjusters, some basic policy to pass the adjuster’s license exam, but little regarding practical file requirements, carrier claim handling guidelines, forms required, proper communication tools and appropriate forms of communication.
If you think you are ready…try taking this self assessment and see how many questions you are comfortable with before you go out on assignments and see if you are ready!

Whether you take our 50 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class or obtain training elsewhere, please do not go out on assignments without taking much needed training from PROFESSIONAL sources. We post them all in our Seminars Forum, our Training Material Forum, in industry Claim Conference postings all found right  on ClaimSmentor. See About page for all website/contact information.
This is not by any means a complete list of things you should know but just a 125 sample assessment test of SOME of the minimum things you should know before working property residential claims.
Career Self Test Questions:
1) What are pros and cons of being a staff adjuster versus an independent adjuster?
2) What different type of fee schedules are available for independents to work under?
3) What are typical fee splits between independent adjuster and adjusting firms?
4)  What parts of independent contract do you need to be careful about before signing?
5)  What equipment must you provide yourself to perform your required field adjusting duties?
6)  What information will you be given at an induction center meeting versus what you are expected to know at arrival?
7)  What things are you required to have on an adjuster’s resume? What format should you use if you are new to the field? If you are experienced?
8)  What are holdbacks on fee schedule payments?
9)  How much money do you need to deploy on a catastrophe assignment?
10)  When should you expect to receive your first fee payments once you start processing catastrophe files?
11) What are dress codes for adjusters as required by carriers?
12) What are expected hours at a catastrophe assignment?
13) What is the difference in pay for an inside adjuster versus a field adjuster?
14) What is the average annual income for an independent adjuster? For a staff adjuster trainee?
15) What career field options are available for you to pursue?
16) How much errors and omissions coverage is it recommended you carry? Should you furnish your own even if the independent adjusting firm offers to furnish it for a fee? Does your E and O cover your defense costs if a claim goes to suit and you are named in the lawsuit?
Adjuster Ethics Self Test Questions
17) Is it ok to take salvage from an insured?
18) Is it ok to take gifts from insureds, contractors, attorneys?
19) Is it ok to select a contractor for an insured or recommend a contractor?
20) Is it ok to meet a contractor over dinner to reconcile differences in your estimate?
21) Is it ok to use an assistant with you in the field who is not licensed to assist with the paper work and calls from insureds?
22) Is it ok to discourage an insured from filing an insurance department complaint?
23) Is it ok to discourage an insured from hiring an attorney or a public adjuster?
24 ) Is it ok to inspect a large group of claims and later write them up once you conclude your inspections?
25) Is it ok if you are using an assistant like a husband/wife team of independent adjusters for the non file assigned person to write the activity logs for the one assigned the file?
Dealing with insureds- Self Assessment Questions
26) What is the minimum time frame most carriers expect you to go by for first contact with insured?
27) When should insured expect a personal inspection once you have contacted them?
28) Can you accept lump sum estimates from insured?
29) When is it required you obtain original documents such as repair estimates from an insured vs copies? Why?
30) When is the appropriate time to get contents inventory forms to an insured?
31) Who are high profile insureds you should give priority treatment during a catastrophe assignment?
32) How do you determine who you should see first if you are assigned a large group of files on a catastrophe assignment when you arrive?
33) What is the appropriate way to zone your assignments if given this large number of new claims upon arrival at a catastrophe site?
34) What form should you review before ever calling the insured and what parts of this form are important?
35) If the insured wants to talk to your manager, what is your appropriate way to deal with this?
36) In addition to getting contents inventory forms to an insured immediately, what other forms should be given to the insured if the home is uninhabitable?
37) If the insured has damage under multiple coverages on a residential claim which one should you discuss with them first?
38) Where would you meet with an insured if the home is uninhabitable? How would you determine the amount of an advance they might need? What authorization can you give them for getting a hotel and eating meals out?
39) When is proof of ownership required on a contents claim?
40) What 4 items should you ask an insured for on each contents item claimed?
Carrier File Requirement Self Assessment
41) What 3 ratios does the carrier constantly monitor to see if you are meeting their time service requirements?
42) Do carriers allow you to use custom made forms such as your own excel contents sheet?
43) Do carriers allow you to use email to communicate with an insured?
44) Do independent adjusting firms allow you to communicate with the staff carrier claim manager or adjuster?
45) Which carriers are going to require you to get a carrier certification exam successfully passed before you can work their claims for an adjusting firm?
46) What language is required on all forms a carrier gives to an insured to sign?
47) Who keeps copies of all claim file documents and material..you or the carrier or both?
48) What do you do if you receive suit papers on a claim?
49) What is required if the carrier receives an insurance department complaint? What steps are you required to take?
50) How do you close out a claim if the insured withdraws the claim? What paperwork is required?
51) What should you do if a severity code is incorrect in the system on a claim? Who sets up the severity code? Why does it matter?
52) How do you establish a claim reserve? How often are you required to change the reserve? What coverages require a reserve? What is the appropriate manner to determine a reserve amount?
Dealing with Insurance Agents- Self Assessment
53) Are you required to keep the agent up to date with the status of the file?
54) Should an agent be copied on all letters to an insured?
55) If the insured has a complaint, should you inform the agent or is it none of the agent’s business since the claim was assigned to the claims department?
56) What contact is recommended with agency offices when you arrive at your assigned catastrophe department?
57) What is the appropriate thing to do if an agent tries to get you to inspect all of their storm losses before other claims?
58) Do claim payments affect an agents loss ratio for regular claims? For catastrophe claims?
59) When should you notify an agent of underwriting concerns such as maintenance issues? Who else should you notify?
60 ) What would you say to an insured that alleges “the agent should have told me that” or “the agent didn’t offer me that coverage”? What process would you have to follow to investigate that?
Attorney and Public Adjuster (PA) requirements-self assessment
61) What file documentation do you need if the insured advises you they have contracted with a PA before you talk to the PA about
the details of the claim?
62) Where do you go to check the rules the PA must abide by in a given state?
63) Is the contract the insured signs with a PA a contract with the insurer meaning the insurer must comply? Does the contract waive any rights the carrier has?
64) Can you still talk to the insured if they have a contract with a PA?
65) Can you ask for the insured to be present if they have a PA?
66) What duties does insured have with the carrier if they now have a PA involved in their claim?
67) Who pays the PA and how much is allowed?
68) Can you talk to an insured if they have hired an attorney?
69) Can you inspect a claim if the insured has an attorney without the attorney present?
70) What documentation do you need from an attorney if they call to say they are representing the insured?
71) Can you send a letter to an insured if they have an attorney?
72) Are you obligated to notify the agent if the insured has an attorney or a PA?
73) What do you do if you get a time demand letter from a PA? From an attorney?
Good Faith Claim handling- Self Assessment?
74) What are you required to do to be in compliance with good faith claim handling statutes?
75) What do you do if an insured, attorney, or PA accuses you of being in bad faith?
76) What are the top reasons for bad faith due to adjuster claim handling problems?
File requirements self assessments questions
77) What 2 things are used if a coverage question or questions becomes known by the adjuster? What is the name of the form? What is the name of the letter? When do you use each? Can you proceed with investigating the claim when there is a coverage issue?
78) What is the name of the report used on large losses, daily claims to summarize the details of the claim? When is it due in to carrier?
79) What is the name of the form used to summarize all recommended payments broken down by coverage ?
80) What are minimum activity log file requirements? What are the “no’s” or do’s and don’ts of creating an activity log? What entries are required to be on the log?
81) What is proper file order for building, contents, and additional living expense documents?
82) What is the proper name for each of the  electronic file documents required to be uploaded to a carrier claim file if they use a claim management system?
83) What do you do if approached in the field by an insured and their claim is NOT assigned to you? What does the carrier expect?
84) When is a Sworn Proof of Loss form required? Who completes it? When is it due?
85) What do you do if the insured does not want the mortgage company name of the claim payment? What policy provision do you show the insured?
86) What forms do you use if the insured requires appraisal? Can you demand appraisal? If so, what steps do you need to follow?
87) Are you required to go over the settlement with the insured  in person once you have finished your estimate?
88) How should your file be documented when you have items still pending on the claim?
89) What things do you have authority to authorize without the carriers permission when discussing claims with an insured?
90) How do you document your claim file if you disagree with instructions from your claim manager ?
91) What is the best method to approach your manager about questions you have on the claim? What information should you have with you before going to them? How should the file be documented?
Policy Coverage Assessment- Self Assessment
92) Who is responsible to get the policy to the insured, agent, attorney or pa when a request is received for a copy of the policy? Do you give them a sample policy from the carrier office or who and what kind of policy is sent to them?
93) What reference books are recommended to have out in the field with you for policy forms and endorsements?
94)  What forms and endorsements and policies should you always have with you in the field?
95) Is it necessary to quote policy language exactly when you deny a portion of the claim?
96) Are you familiar with state mandated form language? How about state mandated mediation programs and forms required to notify an insured of their rights? What dollar limit applies requiring you give the insured this information?
97) What policy language do you refer to if an insured asks for payment for their time completing inventory forms?
98) What do you do if an insured claims items not covered? Property for people not covered on their policy? What letters and forms are required? What policy language would you refer the insured to to discuss this?
99) What many questions must you ask an insured to determine the appropriate place for them if their home is uninhabitable? Is an apt needed, a rental house, and how do you assess this? Who is responsible to locate temporary living quarters? What are abatements on Additional living expense coverage and how do you apply them? Who covers their security deposits?
100 )Settlements- What provision in the policy explains ACV? What process do you follow to calculate ACV and to notify the insured of RC provisons and how they collect them? How long do they have to collect them?
101) How long does an insured have to file suit on a claim? What is the Statute called that applies to this time limit? Where do you find it for each state?
Estimatic Self Assessment Questions
102) What are carrier guidelines on matching issues?
103) How does the pair and set clause apply to contents losses? To building losses?
104) Is it acceptable to offer the insured an appearance allowance on a damaged building or contents item?
105) What are line of site issues when determining how far to scope on building interior damage?
106) What are carrier acceptable methods of determining minimum charges?
107) What are general guidelines for allowing for overhead and profit on an estimate?
108) Can you pay an insured 10% profit if they do the work themselves?
109) How do you detemine the appropriate depreciation for building components? For contents items?
110) Is it ok to enter contents items in a building estimate as a miscellaneous item? Why or why not?
111) What do you do if you are unable to scope a building damaged item? Is it ok to copy the contractors scope and insert it into your estimate?
112) What is the best method for reconciling differences in your scope with the contractors scope?
113) If the insured’s contractors estimate is lower than your estimate what do you do? Which is used for fee schedule billing purposes?
114) IS it ok to recommend contractors to insured? If so, under what circumstances?
115) When are you required to review prior losses to avoid duplication on your current damage estimate?
116) What do you do if you suspect the damage you are inspecting is intentional versus accidental? (Example- insured uses a hammer to create appearance of hail damage to roof)?
117) Is it ok to round up or down on measurements? Is it ok to use the contractors measurements?
118) What are the major reasons for scoping issues when reconciling your estimate to a contractors?
119) What trades is it generally acceptable to allow overhead and profit and which trades is it considered not acceptable?
120) Is it ok to override a price in an estimating program with a manual entry? If so, how should you document your file?
121 ) What estimating program do you need training on? Where is it best to acquire it? Do you need to learn multiple systems? What is the cost involved?
122) Should an estimate need to be revised after you’ve given it to the insured what do you do with the original estimate once you have rewritten it?
123) If you reject acceptance of a lump sum bid insured provides from a contractor, should you keep a copy in your file?
124) Name the company many firms use to send off material samples for flooring such as carpet and tile and the process to follow to submit the sample
125) Are you required to agree to a scope with a contractor the insured has NOT signed a contract with to do the work?
We cover these topics and much more during our 10 sessions of Fundamentals of Property Adjusting class held online LIVE on Monday and Thursday evenings. We will also hold class during the day should we receive enough registrants requesting the day course.  Our next class starts March 2, 2009.  IF you take the above self assessment and find you need more training, please join us at ClaimSmentor today if you are not already a member to register for our upcoming class. Again this does not begin to cover what you need to know to properly handle claims but gives you a great idea of how much more training you do need in addition to acquiring an adjuster’s state license.

We will also be posting much information in the next week on other sources of training also available as online options as well as the best of the best field training options for those wishing to pursue a career as an independent adjuster.

It is most important you avoid classes held by instructors with little to no experience themselves. It is always utmost important that you learn from experienced personnel and that you ask about the qualifications of the instructor. I personally find it important that adjusters take classes from (at minimum ) folks with both staff and independent experience as they are much more familiar with what goes on from a staff claim management perspective regarding expectations to properly train you in carrier expectations versus possible minimally acceptable file standards that barely meet the muster of carrier file reviews.

I’ve been teaching our Fundamentals of Claims class for several years now with over 200 now processing through our class. I hear their stories and in many cases from adjusters who did go out on their first assignment during Katrina and or Ike who were not given good training and had not known how much there really was to learn only to get sent home and in some cases worse yet to be told they can no longer work claims for a carrier they had worked hard to establish a relationship with. Many assume that if they pass the carrier certification test which is usually on estimatics that they are good to go. Is what these trainees are missing is that the carrier also has high expectations that you already know other basic essentials like proper communication skills, forms, policy language ,etc which definitely is not the case for many sent out.

Is what I don’t like going on in our industry is that many books available and many classes are being hosted by some independent adjusters that have little to no practical experience themselves. It takes years  before one should even consider writing a book, hosting a course or other such classes.

It is really becoming an epidemic in the independent field with classes available if you just check around the classifieds and postings on many sites. We hope to direct you in future blog postings to reputable adjusting firms and classes hosted by some of the more professional vendors our members have found in their training path.

One of the fallouts we are seeing from this inexperience being passed on is that the trainers with little background do not understand the backlash  of some of the poor instructions being given out  and as such I do believe it is leading to the increase in claim litigation  due to  poor decisions and claim handling skills by newer adjusters improperly trained.

The very last thing you should want is to barely be acceptable and only to be assigned deployment opportunities when they’ve run out of adjusters with more professional claim handling skills. The better you are the longer you will be kept out on independent assignments, the less chance you have in being sued for bad faith claim handling activities, the more satisfied insureds will be with their claim handling experience thus reducing Insurance Department complaints,  and the happier the carrier will be with your work product!


**Sorry about the smilee faces showing up every time I use the number eight. Every time I use it is shows up when published as a smilee face. If anyone knows how to overcome that issue please let me know!

Upcoming ClaimSmentor Fundamentals of Claims Property Class Schedule for October, November 2008

October 12, 2008

 We continue to receive a large number of applicants for job opportunities from our staffing firm and new members on claim e-mentor site at ClaimSmentor who have nothing more than an adjuster’s license but no other practical training under their belt due to other obligations to current job assignments preventing them from attending field classes.

We have set up our schedule for online LIVE training classes which begin the last week of October and run through the first week of December as follows. You will find ClaimSmentor registration information below if you are not a current member to participate in these classes (the links below work only once you are registered by us on the ClaimSmentor site as a participant-the link to register is listed at the end of this blog )and to find complete course outline information in our forums about each course:

Next Contents Claim Handling Class– held Saturday October 25, 2008 from 9am to noon  CST held LIVE ONLINE at ClaimSmentor

Next Live ONLINE 40 hour Fundamentals of Property Claim Adjusting.

Held Monday and Thursday evenings on ClaimSmentor from 7-10pm CST November 3, 2008 through December 4, 2008

Next Two Night Live ONLINE Additional Living Expense Training Class held on Tuesday November 11, 2008 and Tuesday November 18, 2008 

Next Condo Master/Condo Unit Owner Claim Training Class– held live online on Saturday November 8, 2008 from 9am to noon CST

All classes include pre-class reading assignments and field self study guides and reading links for future field reference. 

These courses can be presented seperately to adjusting firm new members online or in the field. Email Debbie@Dimechimes.com for questions and pricing for field training or seperate online classes for your firm members customized to your training needs. 

ClaimSmentor members- to register for these courses,refer to our Training Roots and Wings Forum  for complete details on each class.

Be sure you reply to each topic in the forums to register for the class. The cost of each class is listed in the topic and are very minimally priced to cover our costs associated with distributing material, pre-class homework grading and course certificate preparation time. 

Should you know of additional new adjusters interested in these courses who are not yet members of ClaimSmentor, there is a link to the registration information so they can register to participate on the About page here on the blog.

2008 Claims Magazine Claims Salary Survey is Up in the October 2008 Issue

October 8, 2008


We have just had the opportunity to review the 2008 Claims Salary Survey up online in the October issue of Claims Magazine. I consider the detail provided in this year’s report the best yet!

Despite published claims of independents earning fees in the $300K range (see this recently published story in the Winston Salem news on 9/11/08 click here) the average salary for an independent adjuster participating in this year’s survey was $69K while adjusting firm owners surveyed indicated an average salary of $98K for an overall average salary in the independent claims field of $84K. Yes, we do know many who earn above this average but they are the exception versus the rule.

Articles such as this over at Slabbed picked up on this Winston Salem AP article in their “Fat Cat” article- click here. They apparently don’t realize that even for those rare adjusters earning a 300K income during a major storm year that they must pay 100% of their hotel and fuel expenses as well as vehicle and equipment and software expenses which are major. They also apparently are unaware of the many horror stories we hear each year of independent adjusters who experience extremely long delays waiting for reimbursement as the adjusting firms must wait on the carriers to review and approve files which can take months following a major storm before they pay the adjusting firm who then pays the independent adjuster. That alone is another full story I’ll be writing more about soon. In addition, independent adjusters do not earn 100% of the fees from the fees schedules. There is a split determined pre-deployment on the amount the independent splits with the adjusting firm. The typical average is anywhere from a 60%-70% fee split with the adjusting firm keeping 30% to 40% of the fees earned. The fee split usually depends on the supply and demand of adjusters, the experience level of the adjuster, and many other factors. For other pros/cons of working as an independent adjuster, we’ve provided below a link to our blog on this below at the bottom of this blog article.

The staff claim adjuster salaries in the survey averaged about 65K while staff claim managers averaged about 90K. While these figures are somewhat minimally lower than the independent fees earned, you have to keep in mind that a staff claim employee has 100% of their expenses provided by the insurance company so their income is actually much greater when all things are considered.

I hope you will take the time to read the entire salary survey article. I have to say my favorite comment in the article comes from the comment in the article about “a cadillac product on a chevy budget” or something to that effect referring to the expectations of carriers on ever increasing file requirements with an unwillingness to pay for this level of expertise and time required to comply with these file requirements. We hear this complaint frequently from independent adjusters who feel much less productive in the 2008 catastrophe environment due to the extensive amount of time required to comply with these new requirements. As one adjuster explained recently, their average closing numbers per day are reduced due to the extensive paperwork. What happened to putting the customer first instead of a “pretty file”. Again, more about that later!

Here are all the links to the 2008 article and links over at Claims Magazine:

Here is the Salary Survey chart:


Here is the full article titled Checks and Balances on the 2008 Claim Salary Survey results: (note these links will change in November when a new featured story is published so I’ll try to remember to update the links next month to this article in their archived links)


There are many links to other charts from the survey at the end of this article to include hours, benefits and other very interesting details.

Here is the link to last year’s survey and other information on Fee Schedules and Adjuster Income we’ve previously written in case you missed them. Adjuster income continues to be the most often read articles on our blog as internet searches lead folks to our blog:

How Much Income Can I Make As An Adjuster- 7/26/07:




Pros and Cons of Working Staff Adjuster versus Independent Adjuster-7/27/07:




2007 Claim Salary Survey Article and Results – 10/19/07




Adjuster Fees in the News- 8/14/07:




Auto Adjuster Incomes Blogs- 6/2/08:



Feel free to reply to this blog with your comments we’ll be glad to publish. We’ve also set up a link to this in our ClaimSmentor closed forums where you can comment in private if you are a member. If your not a member and wish to join us if your a member of the adjusting community,you will find a link to our registration information on our About page here on the blog.

Exciting News- Vale Tech now offers 500 Online Classes!

June 12, 2008


I had just written recently about the need for change in the way we educate independent adjusters as many of the courses available are cost prohibitive to independent adjusters who must pay their own expenses so when you add hotels, gas mileage, and the course tuition to the mix, it’s almost impossible for them to attend the many types of training that they need.

Here are links to the prior blogs on gas expenses and on carrier certification classes. In fact, I had suggested carriers use a reputable firm such as Vale National Technical schools to administer carrier certifications. Another serious problem is that we are seeing leaps and bounds in new training schools offered by adjusters who barely have experience themselves and the last place new adjusters should be going to obtain valuable training advice. I am hopeful many new adjusters will take advantage instead of taking courses such as these offered by Vale where it not only is offered by a reputable firm but also by a name that is well recognized in the claims industry thus adding value to your resume and training background.



Well the solutions are quickly rolling out! We were very excited yesterday to receive a press release from Vale Tech  announcing they are now offering 500 online classes! I can’t tell you the many many times that I’ve talked to new adjusters or seen posts in adjuster forums from folks who wanted Vale field classes but could not afford to attend. Here is the press release:

Here’s the press release:

Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 15:54:29 -0500
Subject: Vale National Training Centers Launches 500 New Courses Online
From: Mike Holcomb <mholcomb@csbrand.com>
To: Insurance News Editor mholcomb@csbrand.com

Dear Editor:Attached please find a media release about Vale National Training Centers and the launch of an on-line extension of their training and continuing education curriculum for insurance claims professionals.

Please consider the information for publication in the near future. 

Many Thanks!  

Mike Holcomb
Media Coordinator
Cornerstone Brand Communications, for
Vale National Training Centers.

903-534-5220  FAX 903-534-5811





Vale National Training Centers Launches 500 New Courses Online.

ARLINGTON, Texas – Vale National Training Centers, Inc, a recognized leader in insurance industry educational services, has launched an online extension to their signature classroom-based proficiency development curriculum for claim professionals.

Dramatically increasing their course offerings, Vale National has added approximately 500 distance-learning modules available immediately through a standard web browser. This new capability includes instruction for Texas adjuster licensing, multi-state agent pre-licensing and exam prep, insurance continuing education, professional designations in addition to general business, finance and professional development.

“We’ve been working on this for several years, but see the rapidly evolving industry demands for fast, convenient and cost-efficient personnel education as the perfect environment for this new service,” said Steve LeClaire, president of Vale National Training Centers. “It not only eliminates employee travel and lodging expenses, but lost productivity from being out of the office as well.”

“Combined with our instructor-led courses and their proven record of converting knowledge into applied skill, this library of hundreds of online courses allows us to custom design an ideal program for each training manager and his personnel,” said LeClaire. “We can provide comprehensive training to new employees, supplementation to experienced professionals, focused training for specialized staff and career development for personnel throughout a company. This includes department heads, supervisors, appraisers, adjusters, examiners, as well as local office managers and sales agents.”

Vale National’s online courses are available through their website and can be accessed at anytime and from any computer with an Internet connection and common system compatibility. Basic courses can often be completed in one session, but just as longer courses are divided into multiple learning sessions, the system allows students to work at their own pace, tracking their progress and storing their responses until their course is complete.


The system also gives training managers the ability to review and monitor their employees’ performance, maintaining a record of all subjects mastered and providing notification when course requirements are met successfully.  

Vale National Training Centers has trained over 40,000 industry professionals since 1949 and operates instructor-led classroom training facilities in California, Pennsylvania and Texas. A member company of the Cunningham Lindsey Group, Vale National’s online program is developed in partnership with 360˚ Training, an independent online training company.

For more information about Vale National Training Centers or their classroom, on-site or on-line training options, visit http://www.valenational.com or contact Steve LeClaire at sleclaire@valenational.com.

About Cunningham Lindsey

Cunningham Lindsey U.S. Inc. is an independent insurance claims services company, providing a wide range of claims adjusting services including commercial property and liability, personal lines, catastrophe response, and environmental assessment and remediation. Its national network of 141 offices also provides worldwide services through offices of sister companies within the Cunningham Lindsey Group strategically located throughout Canada, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Far East, Latin America and the Middle East. CLUS is a subsidiary of Cunningham Lindsey Group Limited.

For additional information contact David Repinski, C.E.O, at (214) 488-6713, or drepinski@CL-NA.com or visit our website at http://www.cunninghamlindseyus.com.


Vale is used by many carriers for residential and commerical building estimating courses for their new adjusters. I attended a 3 week Vale course in my early years back in PA and I can attest to the fact the training was outstanding and our class was the toughest I ever took in my career having no residential construction experience when I attended. Whew ….was that ever nerve wracking as it was a requirement to keep our adjusting positions back in those years!

I’ll be going through the course offerings and make a list of recommendations for beginners, intermediate, and advanced courses for those interested in these classes but don’t know where to start so you have some idea where to begin and to prioritize your training if there isn’t already those suggestions on their website.

I don’t want to overlook also mentioning the Automobile, Residential, and Commerical estimating workbooks now also available that I had also just posted about on ClaimSmentor last week when I found them which also would be excellent field reference material for new adjusters or those advancing to commercial claim handling:


We’ll be writing another blog within the next week or so linking to a few more online programs that provide excellent opportunities for online adjuster training.

Another point to be sure to understand is that adjusting firms and carriers understand the value of Vale Tech courses so taking these would be an excellent addition to your resumes upon completion thus they have my FULL endorsement for their new programs!

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.

Cori Rigsby January 2008 Deposition- Hoped to Remain Anonymous -Let’s Compare

March 29, 2008

Attorney David Rossmiller  has posted a newer January 2008 deposition for Cori Rigsby taken after her loss of income from the Katrina Scruggs Group (now Katrina Litigation Group).

This should provide interesting weekend reading and comparision to an earlier deposition we’d posted taken in November prior to Scruggs indictment and all the events which have taken place. At the time of the earlier deposition, they were still being paid going into their second year.

I’ll post any interesting comparisons between the two if there are any major discrepancies between the two. See Rossmiller’s 3/28/2008 post (click here) for his comments regarding her January 08 testimony that she hoped to remain anonymous (hard to believe when her earlier deposition said she reported it to State Farm the day after the data dump weekend…also consider the number of associates they brought in to help with the data dump weekend). Here is a link to our prior blog on Rigsby’s earlier deposition if you want to read both for yourself to compare the two. Wouldn’t it be great to have a copy of ALL of the depositions they both have given (Kerri and Cori) and compare the details of ALL of the depositions? I’d volunteer my time to compare them all if anyone has links to all of them for viewing. There remains a big question as I believe Rossmiller points out as to when they began their relationship with Scruggs- December 2005 or February 2006 as they testified to although this differs with other info available. That would be a major development if they pin down the fact they have provided inaccurate information on the initial meeting dates as many suspect (two additional months of their access to files and documenting their allegations?)

So what do you think about this more current deposition? As an adjuster or adjusting firm, are you glad to see these whistleblowing sisters have lost their income they were getting at a time that many experienced claim adjusters and managers were without income after no major storms in 06/07 while the Rigsby’s were drawing 150K for little to no work as they testified to in earlier depositions? Do you agree or disagree with Rossmiller’s guess that the Rigsby’s careers are “radioactive” in the independent adjusting or staff adjusting/management field? How about as public adjusters should they make a decision to flip if they cannot get employment again on the independent/staff side of claims?

Book/Movie Reviews- Adjuster Stories- “Black House” and “Crazy Fool Kills Five”

February 23, 2008

Looking for light hearted (ok- the movie may be tough viewing!) books and movies about adjusters?

We came across two we had not heard about before you may be interested in checking out:

Book Review- Review by Norm Goldman- “Crazy Fool Kills Five” by Gwen Freeman about Adjusters/ Insurance Executives/ Settlements. Here’s the book review- click here.

Movie Review- ” Black House”- Story of Adjuster investigating home finding suicide/murder history (how scary is this!)


‘Black House’ Gets Unrated Release From Genius Products
Friday, February 22, 2008

By: MrDisgusting



Today we received the full specs and DVD cover art for Yoshimitsu Morita’s Korean horror film, BLACK HOUSE, which arrives unrated on DVD April 22 from Genius Products. An insurance claims adjuster investigates a decrepit house and discovers horrific secrets inside involving suicides and murder. The more he learns the more the terror mounts, building to a blood-soaked ending that is beyond any level of fear you can handle. Extra feature include: Truth about psychopaths in “making of” documentary, a production design feature and deleted scenes. Read on for the cover art.********

Just a little more amazing info thanks to Google Alerts! Let us know if you read the book or watch the show! I’d be interested to hear  what you thought about them via reply to this topic!

Lose the Hammer- 8 Characteristics of an Awesome Adjuster-book review by NU Sam Friedman

October 22, 2007

I enjoy following National Underwriter’s Editor Sam Friedman’s blogs on many insurance issues.

Here is a particularly good blog written recently “Lose the Hammer” where he critiques the book written by an instructor, Carl Van of the International Insurance Institute titled 8 Characteristics of an Awesome Adjuster.

Here is a link to the site map for CE courses they have by state. First, this link here is to the Mediation and Arbitration 14 hour CE class they offer ( next select YOUR state on the map here to see what they have for adjusters)in Florida for example. Here is a link to many other excellent “soft skill” courses offered for adjuster’s on their site and it appears these are offered in the field at the carrier sites also (click on their Training Schedule link). Many other classes are also available so just check out their entire claim training section.

We hope you enjoy the book. If you’ve missed our other blogs which contained recommended reading, you’ll find some of our past posts below:

You can’t win a fight with your Client- click here

Dinosaur Brains-if your dealing with ugly situations on claims- click here 

Neandrathals at Work- getting along with a few crazy co-workers and boss- click here

Who moved my  Cheese- click here   (In our version- who moved my claims cheese?)

While your researching reading material to stay current on claim trends, here is also a link to the Claims Education magazine put out by the Insurance Institute on their summer 2007 latest issue here. Here is also a link to National Underwriter’s Claims Magazine here.

We try to do one book review a week if we run across anything we think would be good to share and try to do so on Sundays if you want to check back.

Thank you again to our many readers for staying in touch with our blog. We are proud to announce we reached our 10,000th blog guest Friday night 10/20/07. WordPress has an awesome stat program and you as a reader can also follow our blog stats if your interested by looking at the blog count on the right hand column of the blog or “About us” tab in right hand column as well on the Blog Stats box.

You Can’t Win a Fight with your Client by Tom Markert-Claim book review

October 15, 2007

I ran across this book You can’t win a fight with your Client at Barnes and Nobles the other day and it makes excellent reading for independent adjusting firm managers and independent adjusters.

Our client is the carrier and too many new independents miss the fact that we are here to service the carriers claims the way the carriers want them handled regardless of our perception of the “right” file requirements.(As long as the requests are ethical and meet good faith claim handling standards that is!). You can’t argue with the boss over file change request instructions. The bottom line is we as independents must service the insurance companies claims the way the insurance companies require to continue receiving assignments. I remember the days of adjusters coming back wanting to argue about why something needed to be changed when they didn’t want to take the time to make necessary revisions and the bottom line is no one has time to deal with this during a catastrophe….”just do it” and move on is the best advice as well as “pick your battles” and save heated discussions for other major issues. The boss wouldn’t take the time to send the file back and have to review the revision if they didn’t feel it was necessary to comply with later file audits or carrier instructions you might not have been aware were required. Just log your activity log with the request and move on to the next file closure.

Check this out while things are slow- it’s a very quick read and worth the time. The author, Tom Markert is on the board of directors for State Auto insurance company out of Ohio and knows our industry. Here’s a link to his biography and the book:



If your interested in other recommended books on claim customer service and getting along well with our most important client, the carrier, click on the August and September archives in the right column and read about” Dinosaur Brains” and other books we’ve blogged about like “Who Moved my Cheese” to help you improve relationships while working under stress on catastrophe claim operations.

Defusing an angry Insured-Dealing with Dinosaur Brain lizard logic thinking co-workers

September 15, 2007

Continuing yesterday’s discussion regarding adjuster safety concerns in this blog, we thought we’d recommend a few good books for adjusters by Albert Bernstein, Ph.D. who is a clinical psychologist dealing with explosive people for over 30 years. His books are outstanding.

Here is a link to his website with many of his books listed and links for purchasing.

Years ago as a staff manager, someone recommended his book titled “Dinosaur Brains” which is definitely entertaining and full of great advice for dealing with troublesome relationships at work with both bosses and co-workers. Here is a link to some information on the book. You’ll love the Lizard Logic and fight or flight information. Here’s a sample of it from his website. It helped me put things in perspective when dealing with some emotionally charged situations with co-workers, staff adjusters reporting to my department, or some executive level managers who drove me nuts from time to time with unrealistic demands and the results were amazing making for a much smoother work life in the stress filled pressured environment we often find ourselves in dealing with catastrophe claims assignments when nerves are shot after months on the road. This book takes a very funny look at difficult work relationships and how to deal with them that you’ll find both informative and entertaining!

We also recommend his book on “How to deal with emotionally explosive People” ….here’s a link. Bernstein has great tips on Defusing Anger  here which provides some good advice adjusters should utilize when dealing with an emotionally charged situation while out in the field or over the phone on claims.

A third recommendation is his book “Neanderthals at Work”..here’s a link which explains the many different types of personalities and motivations people have for getting ahead at work. It’s a must read for career oriented adjusters!

Carriers do not expect you take abuse from insureds using profanity, physical threats, and other forms of abuse. If you haven’t already, you should participate in seminars on dealing with customer service issues. You can’t just slam the phone down on an insured who is spewing profanity or get in a free-for- all out in the field. One of the most common explosive situations occurs when public adjusters try to push a staff adjuster or independent adjuster or manager over the edge. There are professional ways to handle these explosive situations. We hope these books will be a start to a good background in dealing with these issues.

We’ll provide links to some great online classes on these soft skills next week. Many a manager who mentored me as I came through the staff ranks said they would much rather train a person with good people skills on the technical aspects of adjusting than take an experienced employee with poor people skills and try to teach them how to deal better with insureds. After years in management, I’d have to agree with these former mentors. Poor people skills leads to increased complaints to the agents, the regional carrier offices, and to insurance department complaints that can overwhelm any busy manager. I hope to see an increase at adjusting firm seminars about customer service with reality based discussions on the many issues facing adjusters both in the field and in claim central operations. We are working on a self study guide specific to independent adjuster’s on these issues and will post that in the coming weeks.

Other self study guides are available on the training page of our staffing firm website here.

We’ll be back Wednesday for our next blog as we’ll be out of town on business through Tuesday…see you back then!