2011 Updates to Temporary Housing Links for Claims Adjusters and ALE for Insureds

February 9, 2011

We have previously published two blogs on sources for Temporary Housing for claims adjusters departing for catastrophe duty or long term daily assignments and for adjusters handling additional living expense claims needing housing for insured’s in uninhabitable living situations.

I ran across several new sources to consider for nationwide services you might want to give a try to include:

Temporary Housing Directory ( an exhibitor at the upcoming ACE convention in NOLA) at www.temporaryhousingdirectory.com. I’m expecially impressed that they have both hotel and more long term housing options due to the fact they state they can have an insured relocated with a place within one hour! Now that truly is outstanding service if they meet their mission goal!

I am also becoming a big fan of  www.militarybyowner.com which also lists homes for rent (or sale if you are looking) as they have some great listings for rental property especially in areas near military bases. 

Another site where I’ve been able to locate temporary housing with good results in the http://www.vrbo.com/ site which is a vacation rentals by owner listing firm. Although I initially thought this applied only for vacation short term rentals, after exploring the site, I have found many posters listing more long term options. The great thing from an Additional Living expense claim standpoint is the option to extend the rental to meet the repair completion extensions when that happens but also the ability of the insurance company to avoid having to pay long term leases beyond the reasonable and necessary restoration period since long term leases are not required. This also is a great way to reduce ALE expenses since these rental customarily provide cooking facilities thus discontinuance of the need for meals out while an insured is in a temporary hotel.

Here are links to the prior two blogs on Temporary Housing service firms. Hopefully, I’ll get time soon to combine the now three blogs:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/new-source-for-temporary-housing-in-houston-tx-area-for-adjusters-and-insured-additional-living-expense-temporary-housing-part-ii/


FEMA considering use of Foreclosed homes for large catastrophe in Florida

June 3, 2009

Now here is an option that sure would work well when looking for Additional Living Expense housing for insureds as well if they would be available for short term rentals for storm victims:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/03/fema-considers-placing-florida-storm-victims-foreclosed-homes/

In another update on FEMA housing, the Obama Administration is considering a Katrina Fema housing transition and sale of Katrina trailers for $1.00 to $5.00 per trailer. Read about that here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/02/AR2009060203897.html?g=0

 

Here is also an update on the sale of FEMA Trailers in another move


New Source for Temporary Housing in TX and LA area for Adjusters and Insured Additional Living Expense-Temporary Housing Part II-Updated 9/25/08 1PM CST

September 20, 2008

Thanks to a participating Claim Manager on ClaimSmentor, we have a new source for Hurricane Ike territories in and near the Houston, TX area.

We had previously blogged with links to many Corporate Housing vendors who are familiar with insurance housing for additional living expenses and for adjuster housing in this prior blog if you missed it:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/temporary-housing-links-for-adjusters-temporary-housing-optionsadditional-living-expense-training/

Here is the newest source highly recommended by a claim manager who recently had the opportunity to work with them in Houston. Please let them know you heard about this from our blog or ClaimSmentor when contacting this group:

Melanie Levy
Owner
Houston Apartment Insiders
832.721.6748 (direct)
1.866.869.9192 (toll free)
melanie@houstonapartmentinsiders.com
www.houstonapartmentinsiders.com

**Update 9/25/08– 2nd new source who contacted us wishing to find adjusters and displaced insureds rental property for additional living expenses and adjuster catastrophe housing:

Kate Sansom
Marketing and Military Contracts Specialist
kate@corporates.com
 
Preferred Corporate Housing
³Your Permanent Solution for Temporary Housing Nationwide!²
(800) 960-0102 ­ Ext. 16
(713) 722-9013 ­ Fax

For Nationwide Furnished Corporate Housing:
http://www.corporates.com
 
To Submit a New Housing Request:
http://web.corporates.com/pch/leads/request.php

DUNS: 838451920
NAICS Codes: 531110, 531190, 531210, 531311, 721110, 721199, 721310
CAGE Code: 3B8H4
SIC Codes: 6513, 6519, 7011, 7021
PSC Codes: V231, V301, V999, X161, X163, X169

Here is a 2nd contact there as well:

 Business Development Director, Stacey Sugg

Cell  (713) 857-8093
Office  (800) 960-0102 

Email at stacey@corporates.com


Preliminary Damage Statistics from Hurricane Gustav/ Updates on Temporary Housing in Gustav damage territories

September 3, 2008

 

Prior Blogs on Temporary Housing for Adjusters- includes temporary rental apartments through corporate housing vendors, RV rental locations and much more: 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/temporary-housing-links-for-adjusters-temporary-housing-optionsadditional-living-expense-training/
 

Great FEMA website with Housing Portal currently shows 2,310 rental locations available in LA- great resource for adjusters: 

https://asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home.htm 

Two other great sources are In Town Suites and Microtel which both are reasonably priced and have locations in MS and or LA: 

http://www.intownsuites.com/  **rates usually about 200.00 per week 

http://www.microtelinn.com/ 

You can always check with the carrier you are being deployed with as well to find out if they have reserved a block of rooms for independent adjusters and/or if they have a corporate discount at near by hotels you can take advantage of. 

Here are some very preliminary damage statistics showing while initial damage assessment were between 7 to 10 million that damage assessments are now being decreased to the 2 billion to 5 billion dollar range as of late last night:

Very low numbers of claims thus far reported to carriers as evacuees have yet to return:

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080903/NEWS0110/809030361/1005/biz

Initial reports were at 10 billion:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/sep2008/gust-s03.shtml

Bloomberg news reports damage estimates reduced to 2 billion to 5 billion dollar range:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aRzidu4U7Owk&refer=news

Updates on Deployed Adjusters:

State Farm deployed 1700 and Allstate 1000 adjusters:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/02/business/02insure.html?_r=1

Discussion of SF and Allstate Mobile units and satelitte equipment. This takes about the SF Dallas and Jax facility too which are both of their cat claim central in office operations:

http://www.insurancenetworking.com/news/insurance_technology_mobile_claims_hurricane_gustav_CAT_modeling11150-1.html

Carrier Market Share for Residential and Commercial Policies in States with Gustav Damage:

http://www.iii.org/media/facts/statsbyissue/hurricanefactfiles/


Blog 3 on CA Wildfires- Insurance Company Damage Statistics through 10/25/07

October 24, 2007

We’ve heard from many adjusters participating on ClaimSmentor today that they have either been activated for storm duty or they have been notified of possible standby status.

Miscellaneous information first on prior blogs you’ll want to read if you are going:

We posted our first initial blog on the CA fires with links to many important issues about handling claims in CA : Click here

We posted the news releases on emergency adjuster approval by the CA Insurance Commissioner earlier today: Click here

Here is the prior blog on temporary housing options for adjusters and insureds: Click here

Here is the prior blog on Billingual Translation services: Click here

Here is the blog on standby calls and catastrophe codes for new adjusters: Click here

Here is an excellent guest blog by Steve Ebner on crisis management when dealing with insureds on a storm as serious as the wildfires are:  Click here   (Steve by the way is now on his way to CA to work catastrophe losses)

*********************

Current Carrier Statistics on the storms in the news: Total still stands at 500 million expected

State Farm 1,350 (251 are totals), Zurich 800, Lloyds -unknown #:  Click here

**note the article says State Farm is #1 carrier, Zurich #2- State Farm independent adjusters are usually Eberl, Worley, EA Renfroe, and Pilot and I think IPS Staffing in Chicago handles alot of the Zurich inside commerical work

I-5 Shutdown both directions  Structures damaged in all fires 1,013 if you add up all figures in this article and about 22,000 others threatened (adding up all numbers in my head on threatened structures : Click here for full article

Note how the numbers in the two articles above differ between carrier reports of numbers and other articles.  Just with the two carriers above they are quoted at 2,150 between the two. First of all, many carrier models staff for 50 catastrophe losses per adjuster but they normally would use a different model for total losses versus claims with a lower severity code. Most carriers I have worked with will tell you that during a typical storm, you can count the losses reported day one and muliply that by 10 to determine how many claims to expect thus how many adjusters to deploy to a cat zone. However, on a storm such as this with most parties still in evacuation mode, it is highly doubtful that most insureds have reported their losses waiting to determine the extent of their damage similar to hurricane evacuees so my guess is the presently reported numbers bear no significance on the number of losses actually to be received to include smoke damage, partial fires,civil authority evacuation, ALE,etc

Interesting blog on Suspicious Activities near CA Wildfires- Is this terrorist related (that hadn’t even dawned on me!): Click here (read at own risk- I had no time to view what this site is about and what prior blogs are- just got the hit on a news alert today)

USAA- Adjusters in San Diego and more on the way: Click here   (Doesn’t Crawford service USAA claims? Who else?)

The Democratic Daily- lots of great links to local info on fires in Malibu: Click here

Farmers Insurance, 1100 claims: Click here

CNN Money Article- “The Next Battle for wildfire victims- Insurance”: Click here (Aw- lawsuit talk already?Hmmmm)

Bloomberg article-update 6- “Largest evacuation in CA history- 5 dead: Click here

Day 4- update on status of containment and damage on all 16 fires from The Daily Green: Click here

I’ll update this as more alerts come in this evening with stats. Note, I’m in the process of preparing a blog for tomorrow on the history of lawsuits and wildfires in CA to get a glimpse of what adjusters might expect in the way of lawsuits based on past history and information on 4 of the biggest plaintiffs attorneys who have been involved in prior wildfire lawsuits against carriers in CA.

Please be safe in your travels to and throughout California as you go to your assignments.

***********

Update 10pm CST 10/24

Update Day 4- Blog 3 on CA wildfires:

Which CA Wildfires  are they calling Arson related?

Santiago Fires called arson: click here

I’ll update this section as more is found on the cause of each fire

**update 1am 10/25: LA Times article on Arson fires in Hesperia-San Bernendino-Rosa Blaze-Temecula-Orange County fire, and the worst was the suspect killed for setting a fire today. Click here for full details on the fires they believe to be arson related (for subrogation purposes?)

********

Update 11pm CST 10/24:

CNA opens operation center (must be a claim central operation) in Nashville,TN for Ca Wildfire claims: Click here

Farmers and Zurich update- 400 adjusters now in CA and here are the locations of their catastrophe centers: Click here  2,000 Farmers/ 500 Foremost thus far reported

Hartford– Adjusters on scene and info on their claim central division, contact numbers for Hartford- Interesting Hartford Claims Debit card information: Click here

Zurich- no finanicial impact expected: Click here

Liberty Mutual and Fireman’s Fund discuss their losses : Click here

Updates 10/25/07 8 am:

State Farm General, Farmers and AIG quotes (all less than 2,500 thus far?): Click here


Temporary Housing Links for Adjusters- Temporary Housing options/Additional Living Expense training

August 15, 2007

We have been reporting on temporary housing options in our ClaimSmentor forums. We want to share these links on Temporary Housing Agencies extracted from the exhibitor booth lists for the PLRB conferences this year.

Dean is expected to reach Category 3 status within 5 days according to the 5 day hurricane predictions so it isn’t too early to start thinking about YOUR housing needs and possible housing options for policyholders on their additional living expense claims. We hope you will find these links useful. Here is also a good website to check on TS Dean while it’s in the Caribbean: http://www.caribbean360.com/News/Weather/Stories/2007/08/14/NEWS0000004755.html

Just remember, if you are considering apartments or rentals where utilities must be connected by you that you may experience delays. In the FL panhandle during Ivan and Dennis, new utility services took a back seat to restoring utilities to existing customers. It’s always best to locate a furnished unit that has utilities included in the rent so you don’t encounter this problem when possible.

Able Mobile Housing, Inc.
Tom Lackey
11780 Northfall Lane
Suite 303
Alpharetta, GA 30004
800-273-5774;  800-273-5774;  Fax 800-283-3774
http://www.ablehousing.com;   tom@ablehousing.com
Temporary mobile homes, park models, double wides, travel trailers, and mobile offices. We deliver to the insured’s home-site, complete set up. Furnished or unfurnished homes.

ALE Solutions, Inc.
Rowena Zimmers
One West Illinois St., #300
St. Charles, IL 60174
630-513-6434;  866-885-9785;  Fax 866-814-6832
http://www.alesolutions.com;   rowena.zimmers@alesolutions.com

The preferred nationwide temporary housing company for displaced policyholders. Our consultative approach helps both the adjuster and the family avoid cost drivers and pitfalls throughout the relocation process
 
 
Assured Relocation
Legia Oswald
50 Woodside Plaza
Suite 441
Redwood City, CA 94061
888-670-9700;  888-670-9700;  Fax 888-233-9752
http://www.assuredrelocation.com;   legia@assuredrelocation.com
Assured Relocation provides fully furnished housing customized to the unique needs of the policyholder and adjuster nationwide. Our phones are answered by trained relocation specialists 24/7.

 
CRS Temporary Housing
Fawn Cheng
10851 N. Black Canyon Highway
Suite 700
Phoenix, AZ 85029
800-968-0848;  800-968-0848;  Fax 800-659-2727
http://www.crstemphousing.com;   fcheng@crstemphousing.com
We are a leader because of our innovative solutions for the industry. Try us for outstanding service, quick response times, and unique management tools.

DMA Insurance Housing Assistants
Ryan Dinsmore
140 Marine View Ave.
Suite 218
Solana Beach, CA 92075
858-350-4660;  800-550-1911;  Fax 858-350-4654
http://www.dmahousing.com;   rdinsmore@dmahousing.com
Temporary housing for the unique needs of the Insurance Industry. Providing National Service for A.L.E / L.O.U Claims.

IHS Housing
Shari Tillotson
P.O. Box 508
Victor, NY 14564
877-500-3590;  877-500-3590;  Fax 877-259-8209
http://www.ihshousing.com;   sharit@ihshousing.com
IHS Housing offers full service temporary housing without the high costs of our competition. Please stop by our booth and ask how we do it!

Klein & Co. Corporate Housing Services Inc.
Karen Schuster
914 Washington Ave.
Suite 230E
Golden, CO 80401
303-796-2100;  800-208-9826;  Fax 303-796-2101
http://www.kleinandcompany.com;   k.schuster@kleinandcompany.com
Klein & Co. is the first choice for your stress free, nationwide, temporary housing needs. We specialize in placing your policyholders in a safe and comfortable environment.

Marriott ExecuStay Ins. Housing Solutions
Kelly Cockrell
3130 Balfour Road
PMB 260
Brentwood, CA 94513
800-990-9292;  800-990-9292;  Fax 800-990-3271
http://www.marriottinsurancehousing.com;   kelly.cockrell@marriott.com
Choose Marriott ExecuStay for a fast and professional solution when disaster strikes. Our experienced team will provide you with a comprehensive solution for your national temporary housing needs.

Oakwood Worldwide
Toni Andell
2222 Corinth Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
310-444-2345;  866-249-9675;  Fax 877-336-2596
http://www.oakwood.com;   insurance@oakwood.com

For 45 years, Oakwood has provided exceptional value in temporary housing for insurance policyholders, catastrophe teams and employees to meet our clients’ global needs.

Oakwood Worldwide
Toni Andell
2222 Corinth Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
310-444-2345;  866-249-9675;  Fax 877-336-2596
http://www.oakwood.com;   insurance@oakwood.com

For 45 years, Oakwood has provided exceptional value in temporary housing for insurance policyholders, catastrophe teams and employees to meet our clients’ global needs.

Relocation Housing Specialists
Travis Sumners
1337 Howe Avenue
Suite #104
Sacramento, CA 95825
916-332-2804;  800-690-0070;  Fax 916-641-0148
http://www.rhstemphousing.com;   travis@rhstemphousing.com
Specialists in customer service, completely itemized billing, flexibile accommodations, free fair rental values, cost savings, online access, customized solutions for policyholders and CAT adjusters, 24/7.

Temporary Accommodations
Keri Dennis
6 Piedmont Center
Suite 411
Atlanta , GA 30305
941-685-3324;  800-548-5196;  Fax 404-264-8557
http://www.TemporaryAccommodations.Net;   kdennis@temporaryaccommodations.net
Temporary Accommodations, is proudly celebrating 10+ years of service to the insurance industry and its displaced policyholders by providing the fastest, most convenient, cost effective, and comfortable temporary housing.

http://www.temporaryhousingdirectory.com;   Teresa@temp-housing.net
Temporary Housing Directory is the first company to bring together the full service solution of nationwide hotel placements (with no added fees) and furnished housing to one point of contact.

*****************

Should you prefer to do your own research, here are some links to nationwide apartment rental guides for longer assignments:

http://www.apartmentsnationwide.com/BrowseState.asp

http://www.forrent.com/

http://www.apartmentguide.com/corporate/

This is an excellent link found on www.Claimspages.com for Temporary housing and the few I looked at included temporary corporate housing and rv rental links too :

http://www.claimspages.com/directories/catfirst2.asp?Search=Category&ct_catName=Temporary+Housing&ct_IDNum=8300

www.Claims-Portal.com has a “Housing-Temporary” category on their vendor directory where you can search by city,zip,etc here:

http://www.claims-portal.com/cdps/

RV Rentals Nationwide

http://www.cruiseamerica.com/

http://www.rvrentalsofamerica.com/

http://www.rvra.org/

RV Park Directories

http://www.myrvsite.com/rvparks.html

http://www.gocampingamerica.com/

http://www.campusa.com/

http://www.militarycampgrounds.us/

To locate housing with other roommates:

http://www.roommates.com/

http://www.roommatenation.com/

http://apartments.about.com/od/roommatefindersources/Roommate_Finder_Websites.htm

Here is a good link for per diem rates for your housing/expense allowances:

http://www.rentalrelocation.com/per_diem_rate_information.php4 

****************

Feel free to share these links with others in the adjusting community by clicking on the title to this blog entry and forwarding it to them.

If you are a newer adjuster and need a great Additional Living Expense excel sheet for use on claims and Additional Living expense training, we have an excellent self study guide available.

We offer online LIVE training which includes this self study guide in our classes on ClaimSmentor as part of our 40 hour Fundamentals class and as a stand alone class in two evening sessions. Additional living expense is one component of claims that is often handled inadequately by adjusters. It is far from acceptable to just tell an insured to go get a hotel and save their receipts for hotel and meals. You need to know how to evaluate their circumstances and make the best cost effective decisions for them and for the carrier. You need only to examine  the very limited insuring agreements in homeowner policies to see you will find very limited guidance on handling these losses. You need to understand when it is best to recommend hotels, long term corporate housing, leases, and rental units. There are many other issues such as ALE advances, ALE carrier generally accepted claim handling guidelines, and how to control these expenses. Policies differ on ALE coverage terms such as number of months covered or if they are tied in to a percentage of other policy limits. If you do not understand these procedures, consider registering at ClaimSmentor and taking our course or at minimum purchasing the Additional Living Expense self study guide above. Adjusters taking our class are amazed to learn how quickly they can lose control on ALE expenses had they not trained properly to handle these losses. Some ALE provisions have limits based on time while other provisions allow a fixed dollar limit or percentage of another policy limit.  Many ALE policies do have a dollar limit and you do need to know how to help an insured maximize how  they can  help their family meet those needs within those limits when applicable. Many insureds aren’t aware of the wide variety of options they can use to control expenses given their unique circumstances after a loss.

Staff Claim managers I speak with site poor claim handling on ALE losses and contents claim handling (“we can use our own support staff to add up receipts if that is all that is involved” is the common comment we hear) as a good part of  the reason for the unbelievable growth in staff claim central operations which only allow independents to handle building scopes and damage on limited assignments. Let’s work to improve that negative image!

If you’ve never heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs  motivational management philosophy, you should take a minute to read it. Here is a link to the hierarchy pyramid with a good explanation of man’s need first for their biological and physiological needs to be met before they can proceed to other activities in life. Funny, I really liked the theory and find it applicable to so many issues in life. When taking the Management course as part of  the CPCU program series, I used the theory frequently when asked to state a management theory that applied to a problem stated in a question. Basically, it says you cannot motivate people until you take care of their concerns in a given order or “hierarchy of needs”. Housing and safety concerns are at the top of the list. I’ve never understood why carriers and adjusting firms are not more proactive in helping independents locate housing (some great firms do try to block hotel rooms for independent adjusters on new storms). An adjuster also needs to have their housing taken care of before they can proceed to properly service storm losses. I would love to see communities help fill their needs by allowing use of vacant campus housing, church housing facilities and the other great programs out there to meet emergency housing for other groups such as utility firms and emergency service options. Independents are the “forgotten crowd” when it comes to emergency housing needs. Hopefully, more adjusting firms will be proactive in developing pre disaster housing information for their adjusters. If nothing else, you can click on the title to this article and share it with your adjusters!

 It is not appropriate as an adjuster to march into an insured’s home in your haste to meet quotas and progress through scoping and addressing building damages with the exception of emergency repairs before you provide information regarding their additional living expense needs. Insureds number one concern is additional living expense advances and coverage before they give one darn about what you have to say about their building estimate. Put them at ease and cover this first. They need to know their family is taken care of for temporary housing, meals and other extra expenses covered under ALE provisions on severe losses causing their home to be uninhabitable from a covered loss. We hope our guides will help you if you need  a better understanding of adjusting additional living expense claims. 

Other news in the temporary housing market that might interest you are these articles:

New Lowes “Katrina housing” as an alternative to FEMA trailers. Click here to see the article. Here is also another link for plan Katina cottage plan options. A participating adjuster on ClaimSmentor advised she had the opportunity to view these cottages too while in New Orleans that are put out by Home Depot. She thinks the firm linked to was the exclusive builder of these cottages for Home Depot.

Fema trailers have made the news quite a bit lately with suit recently filed over the toxic issues. Here are a few of the most recent articles:

Fema has “Fire sale auctions”- MSNBC article.

Fema offers to Buy Back Fema trailers –click here for article

Emergency Medical unit buys one at significant price reduction-click here for article

Insurance Journal article with instructions for an insured to buy back a Fema trailer-here

Associated Press article- group suing Fema trailer manufacturers-here

These new suits and policies of FEMA may further increase your need to understand housing options for insureds if there is a decrease in available options for them this season due to these increasing health concerns as problems with Fema trailers come to light.

Be safe out there this season in your travels as hurricane season is ramping up. Plan for your living needs before you depart from home so you don’t encounter many problems adjusters incur when they just “wing it”. Take these few days before TS Dean makes landfall and look into some of these housing options for you and insureds you may be dealing with. Many insureds and adjusters rely on classified ads where everyone else is searching. We hope these options assist you in meeting your needs as well as the insureds you serve. It’s important that you obtain your managers permission before recommending, authorizing, or securing temporary housing for an insured so make it a priority to determine the carrier position on these options before implementation.