Mark your calendars now to attend the National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters 2011 claim conference -January 2011 in Daytona Beach, FL

August 17, 2010
NACA www.nacatadj.org

NACA National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters

Don’t miss the opportunity to host as a sponsor, exhibitor, vendor or just attend the annual NACA National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters claims conference held this coming year in Daytona Beach, FL January 10, 2011 through January 13, 2011. I am very excited it will be held close to home in Florida this year!

This is an outstanding opportunity to meet many adjusting firms looking for great independent adjusters and obtain your annual CE credits at the same time.

ClaimSmentor will be manning a booth in the exhibit hall this year and look forward to getting to meet many of you attending in person finally! Use our ClaimSmentor invitation code when you register so they know your associated with our group. Our code is 377:

http://www.nacatadj.info/naca/html/convention.aspx

I’ve said it in the past and it bears repeating now that this is the best claims convention I support fully due to the high quality of the many classes they host at the convention along with outstanding opportunities for networking with other independent adjusters and adjusting firms. Well worth the cost of attending!

We support NACA as they are very mentor friendly- we hope you’ll join NACA and support their mentor program for adjusters as well!

http://www.nacatadj.info/naca/html/mentor_program.aspx

They are strong supporters of ClaimSmentor and we definitely appreciate their support!

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Announcement- ClaimSmentor forms Strategic Alliance Partnership with Council on Litigation Management group for FREE Law CE’s for adjusters

April 21, 2010

ClaimSmentor was founded with a mission to help improve claims continuing education for independent adjusters since the options were so limited back when we were founded in December of 2005.
 
Towards that goal, I am pleased to announce a major enhancement to independent liability and claims litigation training.
 
We have formed a Strategic Alliance with Council on Litigation Management Group to provide FREE LAW CE’s in all states requiring CE credits for adjusters. Here is the Strategic Alliance information posted on their site:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/network/StrategicAffiliations.aspx
 
They are offering seminars nationwide at predesignated locations and the best news yet is that your vendor,  adjusting firm , or even insurance companies can schedule to host any of the sessions as well.
 
Think this is good news? The best news is yet to come!
 
Hosting a class couldn’t be easier! Your firm supplies the facility for groups of 25 to 60 claim adjuster attendees and CLM provides all class material and 2 instructors to present the Council on Litigation Management approved course material. In addition, they handle all adjuster CE submission for you. There is absolutely no charge to the adjusting firm or adjuster for hosting these other than providing the meeting space for your group.
 
As adjusters, attendance couldn’t be easier! Simply go to follow these instructions:
 
1)Register as a Fellow membership- totally FREE so you can then register for upcoming training sessions which is also required so they can file your CE’s. Here is the link:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/FellowRegistration2.aspx
 
2) Then click on this link to find all training sessions and locations scheduled for upcoming FREE classes:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/Events.aspx
 
 
 
3) We are working with member claims adjusting firms on ClaimSmentor to host these classes. We will handle all email notifications and posting with ClaimSmentor members (now approaching 1200)
 
What an excellent opportunity for meeting opportunities with your adjusters from your firm as well. You can plan and host these along with your roster members at your annual conferences.
 
Independent adjusters are always looking for law CE’s. What a fantastic way to train them to be multi line adjusters for working daily losses.
 
Any firms from ClaimSmentor interested in hosting these classes anywhere nationwide should email CLM@Dimechimes.com to discuss location opportunities and dates you are considering. We’ll do the rest for you with our ClaimSmentor participants to let them know.
 
Please use this topic to ask questions and I will get you the answers you need from CLM. We’ll also use this topic to post notices of which firms are presenting them as well.
 
Adjusters- if you work for an adjusting firm or attend Claims Association meetings, please pass the word and see if they will host a session and we’ll take it from there to get our members to these classes.
 
Special thanks to Adam Potter with CLM for agreeing to this Strategic Alliance to bring free LAW CE’s to our members nationwide!
 
Now- for some absolutely outstanding news! We are going to kick off the ClaimSmentor involvement with the Claims Litigation management group with their May 6, 2010 Dallas, TX sessions which takes place at the Dallas Cowboys stadium! Only 50 seats left available! Not only will you earn law CE’s but you will also get to tour the stadium as well as attend a game- ALL FREE of Charge! Here is the link to get registered:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/rsvp/TX10/
 
Other upcoming currently scheduled events are:
 
Columbus, OH- May 12, 2010:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/rsvp/OH10
 
May 13, 2010 in Atlanta, GA:
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/rsvp/GA10
 
June 10, 2010 in Seattle, WA:
 
 
http://www.litmgmt.org/rsvp/WA10
 
I have to tell you, the mock trial in Seattle brings back some of the best claims management training I ever attended as a staff claims manager- it’s training you will never forget.
 
Again, any member of ClaimSmentor interested in hosting these classes, email CLM@Dimechimes.com to schedule. Why not combine some training you need to do with your roster members one day and a second day providing them with these free Law CE classes.
 
Hosts are asked to schedule only 2 of the 18 classes in one day. They prefer to present these in bite size courses so the adjusters will not be overwhelmed with the training so you might even consider scheduling some quarterly- especially during non cat season!

Not yet a member of ClaimSmentor? Here is the link to our registration information: www.claimSmentor.com/register.php


Notice- ClaimSmentor Site Undergoing Upgrades this week- Have Patience with Features in Forums/ Banner Ads

March 30, 2010

To :  ALL ClaimSmentor members

Our site administrator, Mat Houchens, is in the process of upgrading the ClaimSmentor site this week.

Some features may not be working as he moves the site to a new server so please have patience and check back again if you are having trouble making a post, logging in, or any other features. The banners from sponsors are also involved in the process and will be back up as soon as the transfer of all forum material is moved.

We hope to have everything done by the end of the week.

We do appreciate your patience while we upgrade. Thank you!


Adjuster looks back on Career at 55! The things I still ponder about the Claims Industry

March 19, 2010

Absolutely shocking and still letting it sink in! I turned the big 55 earlier this month and still reeling from the realization that I have spent my entire adult  life in the insurance industry. The days when I would look at my annual benefits statements which showed I could retire in 2010 are now long ago but  I would always laugh it off that March 2010 would never arrive…and here it is!

I entered the insurance business in 1973, newly married and a grand 17 years old! I had no clue that I was embarking on a life in insurance and claims…but I did know it was employment with the only major employer back in Murfreesboro, TN where we moved as my husband was being released after completion of his four years as a navy corpsman and he wanted to attend college in his home town.

What a change life was leaving home in FL, a military brat, a daughter of a Navy Commander and one of eight children to a working adult with no massive family constantly around! The thought of attending college never entered my mind at the time! Work life in the insurance industry was always changing so I never found it boring as I changed positions through promotional opportunities regularly and moved about 7 times to various cities as mobility used to be a fixed requirement to move into management positions.

I spent my first few months as a mail and file clerk at the lowest possible level and quickly got promoted to a Fire company accounts receivable clerk when the carrier got tired of watching me drag a stool around to reach in the top file drawers! They actually began requiring new file clerks be atleast 5 ft tall to avoid their worry I would hit my head on the corner of the top file drawer!

I spent eight years in accounts receivable working my way up the ranks to a team lead. I can’t begin to say what a valuable experience it was coming up through the ranks as I learned to handle complaints from policyholders if premium payments were misapplied (yes we really did open each envelop individually and stamp the back of each check and balance deposits- how ancient is that compared to today’s machinery and PO Boxes!). During the last of my stint in accounting, I handled agency correspondence on premium payment issues, endorsements, and the greatest part was learning to respect agency and the power they held with the executive office! You quickly learn “if the agent ain’t happy” ain’t no one happy which served me well in my later career in claims.

I never thought “gee I want to be a claims rep when I grow up”. I went into claims kicking and screaming due to my fear of  roof climbing but thankful to still have a stable job when they merged the homeowners accounting group with the auto accounting department. I had no idea I would absolutely fall in love with claims where I spent the next 20 years as first an inside adjuster for 2 years, a field adjuster, a reinspector, an in office supervisor, then finally promoted to my first field claim operation managing adjusters and estimators with adjusters scattered throughout 3 cities. I was proud to later be selected to relocate to FL for the first “claim central” operation then later selected as a national catastrophe team manager where I ended my staff career after 4 years traveling nationally following storms. 28 years was amazing and always interesting having climbed through 16 job classes to reach my final position as a Team Manager. Burn out after 4 years on the road over 80% of each year is putting it mildly but it didn’t take me but 2 years to realize I truly missed the excitement of working the next storm and the comraderie that goes along with working with people who enjoyed it too.

Was it easy to stay with one employer? Was it easy to move from the lowest clerical job classification through to a Claims Team Manager? You bet it wasn’t! Did I ever consider leaving? No….sure didn’t. It actually never crossed my mind! I came from a family where my dad joined the Navy as the lowest seaman and worked his way up the ranks to retire 35 or 36 years later as a Commander in the Navy with 8 kids to boot! How he ever did that I’ll never know with 8 children, constant deployments, and attending college for his BS and Masters Degree at night. That is what we knew and I applied the same theory as my dad to my career. I went to college over 15 years at night school, did my IIA and AIC designations through www.aicpcu.org and have completed 9 parts of what was the 10 part course in the CPCU program. Why I can’t force myself to take and finish that last part of CPCU on accounting and statistics to secure the full designation is beyond me but something that escapes my interest at 55!

Would I do it all over again? You bet I would. Claims  has kept me gainfully employed over the years as staff and later in the independent industry. The last 5 years I’ve been caught up in the ClaimSmentor mentoring program I founded where we train independents. It came about due to the struggles I constantly saw with new independent adjusters having no clue what was needed once they were licensed and really no place to turn for some guidance while they were waiting to get their foot in the door with a reputable adjusting firm. We are now approaching 1,200 members which includes 74 adjusting firm owners and head managers so I am very proud of the accomplishment that the synergy of our group has achieved when so many others told us we were wasting our time even trying!

In today’s world, I am just fascinated with the claims industry and the constant changes but the more I learn, the more I do wonder….why we do what we do, the way we do it, and how I can contribute to make the claims industry a better place for those of us who have dedicated our life to the industry and a better place for the policyholders who suffer when we don’t complete our jobs properly.

Here is just of few of my random thoughts as I contemplate the claims industry at 55 after gosh over 37 years now in this industry:

1) Does the fact we tend to call an insurance contract a “policy” lead to some of the confusion for a policyholder that “all” things are covered? I know from a layman’s terms ,for example, if my parents set a policy that I had to be in by 10pm as a teenager that I could easily pry them into letting me stay out later if it was for something special. Had I signed a contract however, I would understand that can’t be changed as I agreed to the written terms. Just a thought….

2) Why don’t carrier employees get discounts on insurance premiums? I always found that strange!

3) The purpose of insurance is indemnity or to restore a person to whole after suffering a loss. I think of that as stability for policyholders. Thus, I have always found it strange that especially since about 1995 a claims career feels anything but stable for employees as carriers reorganize, downsize, move from field to in office claim handling…etc. I rarely have a conversation with any experienced adjusters anymore who are not considering leaving the industry as the pay is reduced, the requirements more stringent, the legal environment overwhelming, and for independent adjusters- ever more licensing and certification requirements but that is another issue all together!

4) I ponder how insurance companies can collect premiums but in some cases be 100% dependent on independent adjusters to handle their catastrophe claims. It is not because they cannot handle it that I wonder but because carrier employees tend to treat independents as the red headed step child of the industry but that is a step above their stereo type for public adjusters. It just does not seem responsible to me. In fact, in any other business, if you took money for a service and did not provide it…well you can figure out the results of that easily enough! So why is this allowed to go on with insurance carriers? It doesn’t matter how many rosters the carrier maintains or how many adjusting firms they have contracts with. The fact is, they have made no committment to independent adjusters all year long so they have no idea which assignment if any that independents will take. They need to improve the relationship for all concerned.

5) I still constantly ponder what the independent adjusters can do to overcome the non payment and delay issues getting paid for claims they handle. I receive calls daily from adjusters individually and in groups who still have fee bills outstanding from Ike. I do not know of any other group of employees who would receive a deployment call and head out to live on the road in catastrophe conditions with no consideration whatsoever for their living provisions when no hotels are to be found (staff adjusters have housing provided/ independent adjusters who serve carriers do not) and asked to go months before they see the first dime in payment for their work. This applies to inside adjusters working on a fixed daily rate as well. A major FL carrier tells even them to expect 6 weeks for their first paycheck even if on a daily rate which makes no sense. Not only should a carrier staff up for storm adjusters but they need to staff appropriately during storms for support help such as payments like expense checks and for independent fee bills so they can survive. Today, independents tell the new folks to plan to have a minimum of $10,000 for living expense quarters, gas, transportation, and office supplies before they will ever see their first storm payment check. Regarding the non payment by unscrupulous adjusting firms ( the few that are that give them all a black eye), how can the state insurance departments not control this issue? We have folks that are turned down regularly by insurance departments and attorney general offices who tell them they can’t  help them (especially if they worked for an out of state adjusting firm). We need to help these folks by having the appropriate authorities regulate the industry much better.

6) Why did carriers begin making pretty files much more important than prompt service to policyholders? It drives me nuts every time I hear the word  “Sketch”. Just check the classifieds on claim adjuster forums and see the hundreds firms are charging for them to learn “sketch”. Listen folks, in my opinion, I just haven’t been able to accept the fact that a computer sketch of a house floor plan and diagram does one thing to help settle a claim. We used hand drawn diagrams with measurements for years. It would actually shock you what these new computer programs are doing to reduce the number of file closures adjusters can close today versus what they were able to before all of  the “pretty” file standards were created. I do more than understand alot of it was generated due to the increase in claims litigation and the discovery of file material but I do not see that many of these things are doing anything to resolve customer service issues.  During Katrina, many extremely experienced contractors who could easily complete an estimate walked out due to the difficulty to adapt to all of the electronic claim systems….and that was beside the fact they couldn’t get power or rooms with high speed internet to even upload the photos to the files. I just wish we would keep the emphasis on the customer not the technical systems. In many claim environments and training sessions, you don’t even hear the customer mentioned anymore because there is just not enough time in the day to cover all the technical system issues.

7) It seems an unusual number of staff and independent adjusters are flipping their license for a public adjuster license. It sure seems strange to me from the standpoint that regulation of public adjusters gets tougher by the day but each time I’ve asked former co-workers who flipped they did because they could no longer tolerate what they were seeing by inexperienced people not only adjusting claims but managing claims at the carriers whether they were independent or staff. People I never thought I’d hear considering it are. I can’t say I didn’t at one point too because I understand what they see, I understand their frustrations with our industry. I just took a different route and formed ClaimSmentor to  help but I can assure you there are many times it is overwhelming when there is so much need for improvement for the independent training and regulations on how they are treated and paid. Just when I get overwhelmed with trying to make a difference, an email pops up from a trainee thanking me for helping them learn about the industry or thanking us for helping them find a reputable adjusting firm they matched up with. ClaimSmentor wasn’t opened because I thought I was smarter than the average bear but because I did think by gathering good folks together who were very proficient in the independent claims industry we could all learn from each other. I learn new things from our members with every post they make whether it be a need for training in an area I didn’t know existed or learn from some great members with construction backgrounds about better estimating techniques. I hope there will be interest one day in the next few years for someone to carry on the mentoring project as my husband and I are looking forward to retiring when we can.

8  ) Something that has always seemed strange to me is that contractor licensing is so very well regulated yet we as adjusters with no contractors licensing are the be all end all of estimate creation and decision making when it comes to what it takes to repair a home following a disaster. Sure we can handle the routine estimating on most losses but I know I sure couldn’t get in there and rebuild some of the homes I’ve estimated in my career. Fortunately, my employer did pay for us to attend a 3 week contractors school at Vale Technical where I learned alot as well as continuing education at all levels of my career. I was much more confident in estimating when I did it regularly but looking back I always wonder. The younger adjusters today seem so very confident and have much more access to online training but we all know- there is nothing like working a trade. Fortunately, viewing hundreds of resumes annually, we have so many contractors obtaining adjusters licensing. It is pretty standard thinking these days that it is easier to train them on policy than to train someone with no construction estimating who is good at policy. I’ll be the first to admit when I was in my early twenties I fell through a ceiling or two while climbing in an attic, fell though a mobile home floor when it was soaked by the fire department, and many other war stories due to my lack of knowledge in construction and what effects fire/water do to building components. I think that is why I understand trainee adjusters so well and have so much empathy for their training needs because I was there at one time. I just can’t help but wonder why there is not atleast a minimum training regulation by insurance departments on construction training before one can be deemed a “property” adjuster! The current trend is for experienced adjusters to scope and estimate the damages and work with an inside less experienced adjuster who does the contents and additional living expense and settle the building estimate with the insured. A very funny conversation overhead a few months ago by one of our members was an inside adjuster calling the field adjuster and telling them to take the crown molding out of their estimate as “mold” isn’t covered under the policy. This is just one example of the frustrations experienced adjusters are feeling today with the current claim environments. Imagine how policyholders who might hear such a ridiculous statement must feel with their carrier’s claim service. No wonder PA’s are so successful today in obtaining more recovery dollars if this is widespread in our industry!

I could go on an on but it’s 2 am. I have a moderator on ClaimSmentor who started a discussion this week on why so many folks over 50 are changing careers and becoming newly licensed adjusters. I think much of the reason is the down turn in the construction industry and I am sure they are thankful to make a career transition. The problem is as I show in the 125 question self assessment test on this blog is that there is so much more to handling claims than just knowing construction. Claims is a world of it’s own with it’s own procedures and many coverages beyond the building loss itself. Hopefully, I can get our moderator to do a guest blog for us addressing his concerns which he says go far beyond just the physical demands of entering this field at 50 or above.

Thanks for letting me ponder out loud and looking back at quite a lengthy career in claims. If I could change anything at all it might be taking the route of SIU- Special Investigations unit as I thoroughly enjoyed detailed investigations much more than jumping ladders doing roof inspections ( or crawling under off grade houses looking for signs of long term water damage!) but it’s been quite a ride!

If you missed our prior blog with the 125 question self assessment test, here is the link:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/have-license-ready-to-go-not-so-quick-take-this-self-assessment-test/

If you missed our prior blog  with our published article ” Luck- where preparation meets opportunity”, here is the link:

http://www.claimseducationmagazine.com/pdfs/CEM_Winter_08_v1.pdf  found on page 8


“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.

http://murak.blogs.com/ourfatherswhoartinheaven/2005/05/a_very_memorabl.html

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

 


Effects of Twitter, Facebook, Social Media effecting court jurors? Great Article!

May 14, 2009
What an interesting week it has been. We’ve spent the week exploring other possible social networks to work with as well for claim adjusters of every age group. One thing I’m finding with all social network sites is it is much like life- you only get out of it what you put in to it! I am really enjoying exploring all these new found opportunities to learn from others in the industry who willingly give of their time to share information with all kinds of groups across the web.
I had posted earlier this week about the fantastic use of social media that Auto Claims Direct has done using Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and even You Tube. This simply intrigued me as I too have ventured forward into these modern social media venues over the past four years for the claims industry.
We started with the forums at ClaimSmentor in January 2006 where we now have almost 1100 members (that is something considering we dont use posts in anonymous names and all registrants verify id before being registered as members of the independent or staff adjusting community ) then progressed to this blog  you are now viewing and  it should hit the 100,000 views mark on hits this week since starting this back in July of 2007 according to the wordpress dashboard stats they keep (and no your own clicks on your blog don’t count). 
 It is a very time consuming project exploring these social media options and learning first hand the advantages and disadvantages of each. I’ve also learned that the social media preference depends on the reader or the purpose of the post. For instance, ClaimSmentor forums are fantastic for organizing topics such as grouping all carrier certification upcoming classes, policy information,etc. A library if you will of information and resources for new adjusters to study that would take them years to find on their own. They also allow us a private forum for discussing claims industry topics for our members. Since the purpose of ClaimSmentor  was to provide an online e-mentoring group, they wanted a venue to ask their training questions in private since they were new adjusters. As newly licensed independent adjusters without alot of reputable places to just ask questions in a friendly environment, ClaimSmentor works great as a venue for keeping everyone up to date on claims headlines and other claim issues. The biggest hurdle we have had to overcome is the untold hours spent over the past four years searching for information online to train with since we cannot use very good information carriers provide (codes of conduct forms require independents not share private carrier forms and guidelines). It’s been a challenge but one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and believe it or not, my eyes are wide open to many things in the claims industry I had no idea about while working 28 years in a career at a major carrier inspite of the fact that I progressed from mail and file clerk to a claim manager during the course of my employment as a staff employee.
I began this blog because of folks like Lee (yes Lee you know who you are!) and others that just do not learn well in a forum atmosphere digging through thousands of forums. It isn’t that they don’t “get it” but they don’t know how to tie it all together. For instance, we talk about agent and claim relationships…but how does that fit in with the big picture of claim management expectations for handling a claim as a whole? So I’ve presented atleast 3 blogs just on the claims agency relationship for new adjusters like Lee that want it all tied up in a pretty knot like in a class.
We’ve used online software to teach classes in a venue on ClaimSmentor that we tried and as simple a format as it is, it works. Our classes are live and online allowing interaction between me and all participants where they are welcome to ask questions. Picture a coffee shop environment if you will where experienced adjusters and claim managers drop by and check in on us and participate in discussions. It would be so much easier on me to set the classes up now that they are fully developed based on three years of presenting them and knowing what interests them as well as what I have learned that they are NOT getting at many classes available. I just don’t have the heart to move to webinars like online CE classes that take the personal element away. The networking is one of the most valuable things I believe they get out of our classes as I’ve watched many a long term friendship strike up as they get to know their classmates. Many stay in touch with me long after the class to let me know their progress in the claims industry and I just really am not ready to cut the strings on those great relationships I’ve made through our new and experienced members alike. It gives me faith every day in the independent claims industry watching these people develop from newly licensed to experienced adjuster. They are excited and they aren’t the type looking for the big bucks…just real folks with a real interest in claims working very hard to train and do what is right to obtain assignments. They’ve put their heart and soul into learning this industry in a much tougher environment than a staff adjuster ever faces.
About two months ago, I experimented with Linkedin as a venue for independent adjusters and independent adjusting firms and managers to operate and network within the industry. I simply cannot say enough good things about how much value I think Linkedin would bring to any firm. First, from the adjusting firm standpoint, is the vast number of insurance industry personnel participate there. All of the large names from the carrier side seem to have a presence. I’m especially impressed that everyone seems approachable. The number of staff claim VP’s and staff claim management is outstanding. Most of all I am enjoying all of the Claims Industry groups. I have networked with recruiters from carriers, with claim managers from carriers, former associates who have moved on to other carriers who I have renewed talks with today as a result of finding them on linkedin, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I haven’t found fantastic articles or issues being discussed such as the hot topics like chinese drywall claims in the different group discussions, recruiting issues and their uses of social media to check new employee postings, and I learn about meeting opportunities every day through one group I follow or another to share with ClaimSmentor members. From an adjusters standpoint, I highly recommend joining linked in as you can post your resume copy on your profile then use the public profile link which you can personalize, as a link on your business card for all those conferences you attend where they do not want you to drop off your resume at the booths. The job postings for staff positions are awesome. Again, once your profile is built you can join any group that interests you and network to your hearts content while learning about claim issues while meeting other folks in our industry. If you don’t know what to do, just join and click on my linked in profile at www.linkedin.com/in/dimchimesclaimsmentor and look at the groups I’ve joined. Once you are a member of my group, the linked in systems allows you to ask to join other groups I’m a member of. It seems to be professional and definitely a great thing for anyone in business to connect with others.
This week I’ve worked on our newest project over at Twitter at www.twitter.com/dimechimes . It has been an interesting adventure and another week of long hours of volunteer time exploring the Twitter experience to see what advantages and disadvantages I can find with this venue for the claims industry. I have to admit, had I not watched a business associate (yes you Linda) totally addicted to her blackberry one weekend following her “twits” from posts over at Twitter, I never would have tried it. I couldn’t imagine why a professional claims adjuster would be wanting to “tweet”. Well believe me folks, I found out that Twitter is another social media world unto it’s own! I now have a “TweetDeck” on my laptop where I can view any other Tweets (posts) by firms I’m following all in one spot making it quick and easy to keep up with posting there on one deck (like a desk top but it’s just for twitter). Examples of great info I found was an adjusting firm holding a seminar for their independents and two fantastic recruiters making great use of Twitter to post all of their claim jobs free of charge with their Twitter posts. I’ve seen more claim job opportunities for adjusters posted there than you can imagine and even encouraged our ClaimSmentor members to follow them on my Twitter link as I do “retweet” which simple means forwarding it to the people who have “followed” your posts. It saves me half of the time I was spending posting job opportuntity postings for our members in the Career Forum. The only thing I don’t like in my one week experiment thus far is that anyone can click on your Twitter profile to follow you. I’ve had to block about 20 folks out of about 150 requested follower notices as they were from folks with girly girly photos, slick guys promoting their wares (smile) ,etc so to remain a professional business presence on Twitter I highly recommend you view your new followers regularly and block those that are just spamming your site. You could drive off alot of the people you wish to network with if you give the wrong image by having followers presenting the wrong image of your claims group. Oh and by the way – the best use I’ve seen so far is adjusting firms posting their upcoming claim conferences, classses, and having members of their adjusting firm follow them for advance notice of standby! Great job!
I also checked out the insurance companies posting on Twitter by simply viewing the people they follow. It was such an interesting study in insurance company behavior. Are all the individuals they are following employees who twitter or are they customers simply interested in their posts who clicked to follow them? I found sound great resources posted on their sites for emergency sources such as disaster meal kits for adjusters in those first few weeks of storm duty and much much more. The biggest thing I am disappointed in from the insurance company standpoint is that they are not using it more to address claims. One carrier was GREAT about posting their claim damage stats from the MO storms this past week which you can bet I did forward to the claim readers following us. I also learned alot about insurance customers by entering the word “adjuster” on the Tweet Deck search which adds any twitter post that uses that word. I’d have to say customers one frequent post about adjusters is “waiting to hear from my adjuster” which is a bit disturbing when all carriers require 24 hour contact. Adjusters beware…..if you aren’t returning phone calls……you may be the adjuster they are twittering about!
Well enough on my social media explorations….I’ll end this with a great article I came across today in my explorations on social media uses for independent adjusters and adjusting firms. This article is a must read for anyone in claims to consider the effect that these social media networking groups are having on jury pools. I was simply amazed to see the serious cases that were thrown out when one juror did internet research or used Twitter to discuss inside information while on jury duty. It sure gives you alot to think about when considering taking a case to court! In today’s world- I can imagine that it would be extremely hard not to want to do an internet search on a case you were called to jury duty on but I had never given it a thought until I read this very interesting article today. I highly recommend you pass this article on to attorneys you know in the insurance industry as it’s a real eye opener!
http://www.setexasrecord.com/arguments/218993-legally-speaking-when-all-that-twitters-is-not-told-the-dangers-of-the-online-juror-part-1
Have a GREAT weekend everyone!
 Unfortunately, since it is a newspaper article, I’m not sure how long this article will remain up but hopefully the author will read our post and can give permission to publish it in it’s entirety here so we don’t lose the importance of his message. 


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
Training
(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:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/march-1-2009-annoucement-to-claimsmentor-and-dimechimes-claim-staffing-roster-members-change-in-claim-industry-services/
 
 

www.Dimechimes.com 

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!

 

www.dimechimes.wordpress.com

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.

www.linkedin.com/in/dimechimesclaimsmentor

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
participate.

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
information.

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