What a great resource for Carriers and Adjusting firms during Hurricane season- Emergency Fuel Source!

August 27, 2012

Gas is always an issue during a major hurricane and your firm may find this source very helpful if gas availability becomes an issue post Isaac making landfall:

http://www.suncoastresources.com/emergency-fuel-supplier-for-isaac-and-other-hurricanes-available-247/

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Registration details on our May 2012 ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Fundamental of Property Claims Adjusting Online live class

April 17, 2012

Yesterday, I posted information about our upcoming May 2012 five week live online training class for newly licensed adjusters in the following blog which also includes a link to our 125 question self-assessment test to see if this course will benefit you.

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/now-accepting-new-registrants-for-our-50-hour-fundamentals-of-claims-course-10-sessions-live-online-take-our-self-assessment-exam-and-see-if-this-is-for-you/

We are overwhelmed with requests for additional information and instructions for registration. We hope the following additional information will help you with your questions and registration information:

2012 ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Fundamentals of  Property Claims Course Information

Thank you for your inquiry into our upcoming May 2012 Fundamentals of Property Claims Online LIVE class for newly licensed claims adjusters.

We recently wrote about this upcoming course in our social media outlets on Linkedin and in our forums as well as in this post on our Claims Adjuster Information blog  on April 16, 2012 here:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/now-accepting-new-registrants-for-our-50-hour-fundamentals-of-claims-course-10-sessions-live-online-take-our-self-assessment-exam-and-see-if-this-is-for-you/

General Class Information- Dates/Times/ Format

This online LIVE training session will be held beginning the first week of May 2012. It consists of five weeks of training at two sessions per week held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30-9:30 PM ET. We will provide the location on the internet to login to access all course material and to log in for classes to paid registrants. All material will be uploaded prior to the first session so class members can read the weekly pre-class reading assignments and class homework session questions at their own convenience to prepare for each upcoming class. All classes are LIVE and we value your input as we discuss the class material for each session to make sure you learn the material and your questions are answered. You will find each class very informative without rose colored glasses giving you the true picture of the property claims industry, carrier expectations, file requirements, employment options as either an independent adjuster or staff adjuster for an insurance carrier.

Please note that Memorial weekend will fall within the class term thus we will not host class Memorial weekend week to allow everyone to enjoy the holiday with family and friends thus we will finish up the course the second week of June 2012.

What is the cost to enroll in the ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Fundamentals of Claims class?

The class consisting of the ten live sessions is $200.00 plus $25.00 for class material. This is a very reasonable $20.00 per class plus $25.00 for class material.  Divide that
down even further for the 50 class hours and you’ll find this price is unbelievably low.

How do I enroll in the class?

Enrollment is a simple two step process:

1)      Email dkmoroy@dimechimes.com to confirm your intention to enroll. Provide your full name, address,  phone numbers, and adjuster license number so we can begin to complete the registration process to be sure you are included in distribution of class information and emails.

2)      Payment which confirms your enrollment in the class is due no later than April 28, 2012. Payments are accepted through Paypal  at www. Paypal.com.  Paypal accepts payment in the form of credit cards, debit cards, and  electronic checks. Once you login to your Paypal account, you simply click on Send Funds tab at the top of the page. You then send funds to Debbie@Dimechimes.com.  Paypal will send you a receipt for your payment and we will acknowledge your payment and class confirmation.

3)      Refunds are only available for 48 hours after receipt of payment. If for any reason you do need to withdraw from the class at a later date, you will receive credit for any unused portion of your payment to attend any other session held during 2012 or 2013.

4)      Note there is a 20% discount offered to partner/spouses who register at the same time which helps those planning to work with an assistant who may or may not be a licensed adjuster but needs to know the claims protocol to assist you professionally. Just note on your payment in the comments who will be registering with you as an assistant to pay the discount.

Who will be instructing the course?

 

The course is created and hosted primarily by Deborah Moroy, Founder of ClaimSmentor, with over 35 years in the claims
industry with experience progressing through the claims ranks as an in office adjuster, field adjuster, reinspector trainer, claims supervisor, claims superintendent in both field and claim central in office operations, National Catastrophe team management which included supervision of both staff claim representatives and estimators as well as independent adjusters and call center operators and administrative support staff.

Thus the goal is to train you from the perspective of an insurance company claims management perspective so you know the true expectations to excel in the claims business.

You can view my complete profile and background on Linkedin along with recommendations for my work in positions held at:

www.linkedin.com/in/ClaimSmentor

I have taught this program to over 300 participants since 2006 and am amazed at the progress of these class members from the time they took the initial 125 question claim handling assessment test found on our blog to the professional responses to these same questions at the end of the class.

Does the class provide CE adjuster credits?

 

Not at this time. We teach this course for a most reasonable fee and to maintain that expense level, it is virtually impossible to obtain CE Credits from 50 states as we present this material to adjusters registered with ClaimSmentor throughout the USA and Canada. We will be providing CE credits with our extended version of this course in our field five week classes as they will be held in states with a large number of new adjusters making it possible to apply the CE  to the field classes.

Where can I find the class syllabus?

 

All 125 questions in our self assessment test are taught in an organized format to include adjuster resumes, independent fee schedules, independent contracts, agency and claims relationships, file requirements, estimate reconciliations for in office assignments, contents claims handling, additional living expense claims handling, catastrophe operations claim organization and carrier ratio expectations, bad faith claims handling, claim litigation,  working with attorneys and public adjusters, and much much more.

The full syllabus will be included in the class material for registered class members.

Will I obtain a Certificate of Class Completion?

 

Absolutely!

 

The class certificate is provided to all participants in one of two formats:

1)       If you participate in all 10 classes but chose not to submit each class pre-class homework assignment you will receive an Audit Only certificate verifying your attendance and participation in all 10 classes. We will be going over all pre-class assignment questions during each session so you will still acquire the information you need to learn applicable to each session. This option works well for those with a busy schedule which does not allow them time to do the homework questions but please note ALL participants must read all pre-class reading assignments so they can participate in discussions with each class.

2)      If you participate and complete all pre-class assignments, you will receive a full certificate of completion.

3)      NOTE: No certificates can be provided to any participant who does not attend all 10 class sessions without exception as we value the reputation of our classes and want to assure all  registrants receiving our certificates actually grasped the information important to excel in the claims industry.

Thank you again for your interest in learning more about our online classes at ClaimSmentor!


Must see video of BP’s Ken Feinburg at AL Townhall meeting yesterday- Hope to meet many of you this morning at the Fort Walton Beach Townhall Meeting

January 19, 2011

Here is some must see video footage of the Orange Beach, Alabama townhall meeting held yesterday with BP’s Ken Feinburg:

http://wkrg.com/1204118/

We will be attending today’s townhall meeting along with other independent adjusters in the Florida panhandle this morning being held here today in Fort Walton Beach, FL along with the founder of the Pensacola, FL Gulf Coast Claims Association and several other independent adjusters in the area. I’ll blog on that either later today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, I am putting together an article on the fruitless efforts made by hundreds if not thousands of adjusters like myself who applied to work these BP claims jobs from TX to FL  and were not utilized to work these claims. I have heard from hundreds who have applied and were not used being told that they were saving the experienced adjusters for hurricane season which never did cause damage in 2010. Information I’ve learned from many adjusters who were in the operation says that Ken Feinburg had changed the job title to “evaluator” from “adjuster” when he took over. Why? Is that so non adjusters could work the claims?

We’d like to piece together our side of the BP claims story by hearing from the many of you who applied and did or did not work claims. You can reply to this blog and I’ll approve the comments or if you wish to remain anonymous you can email me at dkmoroy@dimechimes.com and I will not use your name in any article or upcoming blog on the subject.

Thanks!


BP Claim Information Updates through Sunday June 20, 2010

June 20, 2010

The national news is just full of information regarding the status on BP oil claims so I wanted to take a few minutes tonight to post links to some information independent claims adjusters and adjusting firms will be interested in tonight.

First, Worley Adjusting Company  now has information posted on their website that due to the overwhelming number of applications they received, they are temporarily no longer accepting any new applications. View their complete statement here.

Second, the rumor throughout independent adjusting circles is that a second adjusting company has now been deploying adjusters for BP assignments. Here is a link to the GAB Robins website. We have not been able to confirm this directly over the weekend but have heard  this from numerous adjusters. ***Update Monday 6/21/2010- GAB has now confirmed that they are handling and the contact there is the Columbia, SC office- Mr Hubbard. There is a link on their site to office locations for specific info there.

It is our understanding that both firms are paying independent adjusters ( and others with experience unknown) on a daily rate PLUS per diem on an incurred basis for temporary housing. This is a great thing on the housing allowance as insurance companies make no consideration for temporary housing for independents. They provide temporary housing only for staff adjusters. The long term experienced adjusters say the amount of the daily rate is not enough as far as they are concerned in comparison to billing on catastrophe large losses and commercial claims so they are telling me they would not be interested in these BP assignments. Rumor also has it that GAB is paying on an hourly rate plus per diem. The amount I’ve seen would come to slightly more than the daily rate Worley is paying if the amount I was told is accurate.

We will all see how they feel after a major catastrophe as most independents are very displeased with insurance companies reducing fee schedules while at the same time drastically increasing file requirements which I’m hearing on the average take an experienced independent adjusters on average about two more hours per claim to close a file and get management approval.

Should this be the case. this is a good indication that possibly many more independent adjusters will be deployed to assist with the now 61,000 claims of which BP is stating they now have while only about 31,000 of these BP claimants have now been issued an advance.  Here is a link to the June 19, 2010 BP report advising they now have 33 claim offices set up with 1,000 people working in the claims offices. I’d like to say they are all licensed adjusters but I can’t verify that and have heard from some of the adjusters who are deployed that there were unlicensed people in their induction meetings. In CEO Tony Haywards prepared testimony to Congress on page 8 he stated as of that date that 700 adjusters had been deployed and states 600 of those were experienced.

  To compare this assigned adjuster response to hurricane season, I wrote a blog the other day showing that over 12,000 emergency adjuster licenses had been issued in 2005 and over 17,000 in 2004 in FL alone. This does not take into account the regular permanent licensed adjusters and the non resident adjusters who worked those 2 hurricane seasons in FL. Here is also a link to an article post Hurricane Ike on the number of claims adjusters assigned in TX.

The same 6.19.2010 BP update above also states BP has received about 84,000 calls into their call center. Now compare this to news coming out of Houston where the BP call center is set up quoting them as having received over 200,000  calls about claims and quoting some of the 100 BP phone operators as saying the call center is just a diversion and the calls go nowhere . See this second article  by Huffington Post with video quoting a BP operator  as well saying the call center is just a diversion.

Florida Insurance Commissioner, Alex Sink, who is currently running for Florida Governor also jumped into the act on BP claims per these articles  here and here coming out of the Pensacola, FL area where she went into the Pensacola, FL BP claims office with a claimant and news camera in tow. The part I surely do not understand about that is that BP is self insured first of all but secondly that the article says the claimant was attorney represented so I am not sure why the claims manager even talked to the claimant if his attorney was not present. She next met with a group of business owners in Pensacola to discuss their problems with the BP claims office. I do in fact hope that the insurance commissioners do get involved and that only licensed independent adjusters are able to handle these claims. It is a disservice to all BP claimants to have to work with “claims processors” as Tony Hayward called them when testifying to Congress yet I am not sure that these “claims processors” must be licensed if  BP is self insured.

According to an article about Katie Couric’s interview with Ken Feinburg, it states that $600M in claims have been filed and $71M has been paid out. Friday he promised legitimate claims would be paid within 30-60 days:

“Kenneth Feinberg was chosen to oversee the $20-billion compensation fund promised Friday to pay all legitimate claims quickly – in 30 to 60 days. He spoke with CBS News anchor Katie Couric from Baton Rouge, La.”

For those of you in the claims industry….wouldn’t that be quite a feat? Lawsuits still are being filed in TX over hurricane IKE weekly and we are just approaching the statute of limitiations ( deadline period to file lawsuits on property damage) in FL from hurricane Wilma. The part especially misunderstood about this is how in the world can claims be settled within 60-90 days as stated when they do not even expect the escaping oil to finally be capped until sometime in August and by all reports that is a BIG if !  

Most importantly is that you see this Katie Couric video interviewing the newly appointed Ken Feinburg  who will oversee the $20B BP escrow account announced last week by President Obama. It is very helpful for understanding their planned claims process between the BP escrow account and the 1990 Pollution Act claims process these claims were originally solely being processed under. Also view this CBS news article outlining important other traumatic disaster cases Ken Feinburg has handled to include settlements with the victims family for 9/11 and the Virginia Tech shooting case settlements.

This next Bloomberg article  gives the case citations which says in part:

“The multidistrict case is In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, MDL-2179, Washington. The dispersants case is Parker v. Nalco Co., 2:10- cv-01749, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).”

CNN tonight was interviewing a gentleman providing warning about BP job scams and other warnings about firms showing up to offer to help you for a fee which is not necessary. I in fact ran across something that really bothered me tonight just researching for this claims update. To see it for yourself, go to www.bp.com/claims which is the official site for BP announcements. Remembering the exact website for this incorrectly, I first entered www.bpclaims.com and to my surprise it is a public adjusting firm website that defaults and moves you seamlessly to www.publicadjuster.com . I didn’t even bother to read the public adjuster site but my thinking was how bad that is that some innocent claimant would think that they were designated to handle BP claims which is not the case or atleast I have not heard that BP has hired any public adjusters to handle their claims.

**Additional info added  6/21/2010- I meant to include the following link to a Bloomberg article explaining the 232 class action lawsuits on BP claims will be moved/handled by 1 appointed judge:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=aljqY7Nv_AzA

Well, I intended to spend a few minutes updating on the claims status as of 6/20/2010 and now hours later I’ll wrap it up with a  link  to my blog with a prayer and a song to all Gulf Coast residents and recovery workers and adjusters working these claims as promised that I would end every BP blog with this prayer for them:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/eternal-father-strong-to-save-a-prayer-for-americans-during-the-bp-gulf-coast-oil-spill-recovery-open-letter-3-to-president-obama-and-admiral-thad-allen/


Basic Material Identification Construction Training for New Property Adjusters -Avoid GIGO Estimates-Take Xactware Construction ILX training online

March 31, 2010

Remember the term GIGO- Garbage in / Garbage out?

That term is definitely applicable to property estimating with any estimate software systems such as Xactimate, MSB Integri Claims, SimsolPower Claims, or Symbility.

New adjusters take Xactimate training classes to learn to use the software estimating programs but if they are not familiar with construction, material identification such as carpet grades, counter top material,types of roof shingles, and other building components, as well as the proper construction methods to repair property then it doesn’t matter  how great your estimate software data entry skills are- you’ll still produce garbage in the way of insurance claim estimates necessary to settle claims.

I’d highly recommend the Construction ILX  training through Xactware who produces the Xactimate software program which is the most often  required estimating software required by insurance companies. If you are new to independent adjusting, you need to know it is the insurance company that dictates the estimating software they require the independent adjusting firms must use.

This Construction ILX training is part of Xactware’s e-learning courses and consists of 50 courses on building components and is very comprehensive. It is very similiar to a carrier training I took years ago as required training prior to attendance at  Vale National  for additional training in the field on building estimating at their 3 week construction class. It was an excellent plan to train people like me that were new to adjusting but with no construction background. I spoke with their sales department today and confirmed that you do take tests at the end of each part, a unit test, and a test at the end of the program to show your competency should you wish to obtain their certification. Here is the link to the certificate and CEU options.

The cost of the ILX training on CD  program is $595.00 which is an outstanding price considering you can study from home and at a self paced environment and especially with the CD’s you can take them on the road with you so you can look up something you may have a question about on the applicable CD. You save extensive travel and hotel expenses while training and it allows those working at regular jobs the opportunity to train around their work schedules. Here is the link to purchase the program. According to information I got when calling them and speaking to their sales department, you can take the program online or by cd’s.

 I will be covering other Xactimate software training options in a blog tomorrow. There are so many firms offering Xactimate training in the field but we constantly get complaints from new adjusters that they felt many of them were a waste of hundreds of dollars spent on classes that were overloaded with students and short on instructors so they got little out of attendance to feel confident using the software. Another disadvantage which I personally consider significant is that you are not getting tested at most of those schools so you only get a certificate showing you sat through a class which doesn’t provide alot of comfort to a hiring claims manager. If you take the Xactimate training directly through Xactimate you can obtain your level 1, level 2, and level 3 certification which provides certificate comfort to an adjusting firm or carrier seeking to deploy adjusters as their certification vouches for the fact you have not only taken Xactimate training but that you passed difficult training and passed at an acceptable level to get certified by Xactware themselves. More on that tomorrow when discussing other valuable Xactimate training field class options if your not good at self study.

Wait- it gets better yet! It was beneficial calling their sales department today seeking a discount for all ClaimSmentor participants, they will call back this afternoon to let me know if that is possible due to our extensive network ( 1,150 ClaimSmentor forum members, 658 Twitter followers, almost 300 members of our Linkedin ClaimSmentor group and 180 plus following my individual profile on Linkedin, and we’ve had over 145,000 hits in 1.5 years here on our ClaimSmentor adjuster information blog, and thousands on our staffing firm rosters). I hope to have good news on that today.

The second highlight I learned in my call today is that you can take the course even cheaper doing it online verus buying the CD program and cover the same material. The disadvantage is you wouldn’t have the program to take with you on the road later when you are working on a storm and need to refer back to something but I’d highly recommend the online option as well as it is very affordable to people who can’t afford the $595.00 which is very possible there are many after a slow claim assignment year thus far in 2010. Here are the online options at their self paced training link where they have options to have access to all of the construction training online for 90 days access to all of the training for $205 or if your fast at online training- you can even just buy the cheaper monthly version where you can have 30 days access to a bundle of the courses  for $110 or even train by the course at $35 each!

GIGO estimates will cause huge problems for adjusters, insurance companies, and most importantly for policyholders who can not get repairs don’t off of an inadequate estimate. Here are just a few crazy examples of estimating GIGO I’ve run across over the years managing adjusters who didn’t know about construction materials and especially construction repair techniques- and these are true stories!

1) Field adjuster gets a call from in experienced in office adjuster who has to review and approve the claim- desk adjuster tells experienced field adjuster to remove the crown molding (finish carpentry item) because MOLD is not covered under the policy

2) Working file reviews during a major hurricane, I actually ran across an estimate that the adjuster climbed in the attic and found a broken rafter where the tree hitting the roof had cracked the rafter. The adjuster measured the crack and put to remove and replace one inch of rafter. They did not allow a minimum charge and surely did not consider the repair method for a contractor to access the rafter and make a proper repair.

3) Repair estimates are often wrong even just on roofing repairs when an adjuster does not have the proper training to know when a roof can be repaired or not and no training in hail damage identification. I’ll be blogging about that as well this week.

As part of our Fundamentals of Claims Property Adjusting class, we spend 2 nights just reviewing estimates to train you on estimate reconciliation and the common carrier general guidelines on estimating. Repairing a property is entirely different than remodeling work an insured may want done to upgrade their property and you need to know what the carrier guidelines are on many issues such as waste factors, overhead and profit, minimum charges, matching issues and much more.

Run don’t walk to sign up for this construction estimating whether you are independent or a public adjuster if you do not have a construction background. It will help you prepare professional estimates to settle your claims and help you avoid rejections of claim settlement estimate for improper scope.

Watch for more postings in this week and next on estimate training options. Know the basics before you learn to enter estimates in a software program as it will do you NO good to learn data input if what you put in is GIGO!


Just a ClaimSmentor Moment #9- Have you seen this Great Mobile Claims Application for IPods that Nationwide is using for Claims?

May 10, 2009

What a nifty claims application on this new IPOD claims application device for claims adjusters that Nationwide is using! Has anyone tried it yet? Will they be providing one for independents on assignment for them for catastrophe? Way to go Nationwide!

This takes the nightmares away of the days in the field as an adjuster trying to balance an estimating tablet in one hand, a pen in the other,  and a flashlight in your mouth to boot while freezing cold working a fire loss! What I wouldn’t have given to have one of these then!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3UlbP158hE

If anyone  has tried one yet, please comment to this blog and let us know how it works in the real world of adjusting in bad fires and other disaster scenes.


Spring has Sprung- A Timely Reminder about Adjuster Safety Concerns is Due!

March 23, 2009

We’ve previously posted numerous blogs about adjuster safety issues. With spring’s arrival Sunday, now is a great time to bring these old blog entries back up for new reader’s viewing our blog:

Safety Equipment/Ladder Safety issues for Adjusters:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/18/ladder-safety-concerns-for-adjusters-safety-equipment-suggestions/

Center for Disease Control Shot Recommendations for Emergency Workers in Disaster and Flood Zones:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/16/what-shots-does-cdc-recommend-for-disaster-workers-watch-for-more-flood-adjuster-training-info-this-week/

Adjuster Shot in TN in March 08 while on storm duty:

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

Field adjuster safety concerns- Remembering Katie Froeschle of Tampa, FL murdered while on a field appoint:

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

Defusing an Angry Insured:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/15/defusing-an-angry-insured-dealing-with-dinosaur-brain-lizard-logic-thinking-co-workers/

Crisis Intervention while Catastrophe Adjusting-Guest blog by Steve Ebner

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/16/crisis-intervention-while-catastrophe-adjusting-by-guest-blogger-steve-ebner/

Please be safe while out there working this season!