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!

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We’ve updated our About Us page to include new Twitter location and new links to our Published articles!

May 15, 2009

Claims Magazine made a recent update on their site which changed the links to our published articles over there.

We’ve also added new opportunities you may be interested in to follow us at Linkedin and Twitter. I’ll post the Facebook link as soon as we finish updating our location there. I hope you enjoy visiting our various sites often. We have added job postings on our Twitter feed as well.

You can find links to all of our locations all on our updated About US  page with all refreshed links on the About Us tab at the top of this blog! Link up with us at these other locations as well and particicpate!

Thank you for following our regular updates! We welcome comments to any postings and open discussions.


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. 


Talk about Making Great Use of Social Media for Claims! Watch these Auto Claim Direct You Tube Videos!

May 10, 2009

I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently researching all of the various social media options available for claims adjusting firms and for independent claims adjusters and we’ve been discussing it in our ClaimSmentor forums. I’d have to say, from the firms I know, that Auto Claims Direct is the most proactive claims adjusting firm with use of social media! They have blogs, sites at Twitter, Face Book, Linkedin, proactive members of ClaimSmentor, and now today I find some training videos on You Tube as well.

Here is a link to their You Tube profile if you wish to follow their videos in your goal to obtain more auto claim adjusting experience.

http://www.youtube.com/user/autoclaimsdirect

Very  impressive Ernie Bray (President of Auto Claims Direct) ! We appreciate your membership and monitoring of our auto claim training forum over at ClaimSmentor too. I don’t know how you find time for it all after reading on one of the social media sites that you now have 850 independent adjusters. I was also convinced of the value of Twitter the other night when my husband who also follows you on Twitter told me you posted late Friday night that the deployment calls from carriers were coming in for the midwest storms. What an advantage that would be to an adjuster with your firm that is ready to deploy if they saw that “tweet” on Twitter and had the heads up to get a call in to let your firm know they are available!

You definitely have my vote for Best at Social Media in the Claims adjusting field. Very very progressive new world! You are right there on top of it all! Deb

To view all of the other social media outlets I’ve found Auto Claims Direct on as a fantastic example of professional ways to use social media for claim adjusting firms you’ll find them here:

Twitter:   www.twitter.com/autoclaims

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/AutoClaims-Direct/58266381164?v=wall&viewas=780383851

Forums-ClaimSmentor www.claimSmentor.com  login id- AutoClaimsDirect

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/erniebray

Auto Claims Direct Auto Adjuster Blog: http://blog.autoclaimsdirect.com/     

Their  Property Adjusting Claim Firm: http://www.americanpropertyclaims.com/aboutus.php (and this I didn’t even know until writing this blog)

Thanks for the fine example you are setting for the independent claims adjusting community on dealing with change and setting the pathway to use of new tools available for us all to get the best use of these new social media outlets. Now that is being a ClaimSmentor Mentor Adjusting firm at it’s finest!


Organization Chart for the Claims Handling Blame Game- A Humorous Graph -A Serious Look at Claim Bad Faith Issues

March 6, 2009

Insurance Company – Adjusting Firms- Claim Staff -Reinspectors -Independents  – Public Adjusters
Claim Litigation  Attorneys
 
→   →   (Everyone to R)       ←     ↓        ↑  →                           ←   ↓   →                                 ← (all 3)  →                                                 ← (all 4)
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What a mess  that makes no sense and it isn’t humorous at all. This is a huge insurance consumer issue. Just check out the Bad Faith organization or NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) for all kinds of information and surveys on claims handling. The link I put to NAIC is their 2009 Report on the Top Complaints by insurance consumers. You can sort by carrier, by type of complaint, by state I think, and much more!
 
When are we also going to get Insurance Departments on board to help improve this by doing the following things I’ve discussed in this blog before:
 
1) Require Insurance companies to report to all state insurance departments consumer links where they provide complaint information for carriers to provide information on adjusting firms that have been dismissed by a carrier for trends of bad faith claim handling issues. Presently, I know of no place when independent adjusters can validly find this information until it is too late. Dismiised firms are not required to be reported (if they are I am not aware of it) so they just move on to solicit new carriers so even more insurance consumers continue to be harmed by firms with bad consumer servicing problems.
 
2) I believe insurance companies require liability and errors and omissions information from adjusting firms before they use them. Are there any reporting requirements by state insurance regulators on claims ratios on E and O policies for adjusting firms or independent or public adjusters so 1) policyholders don’t hire a PA who has a large complaint ratio 2) so adjusting firms have a source to know (other than just checking regulator sites to be sure an adjusters license is still active), and so adjusters can have a valid source to see the complaint ratio of an adjusting firm so they can make a good decision about which adjusting firm they wish to deploy with so they don’t get hooked up with a firm that might be unprofessional?
 
3) Insurance Regulators should require that adjusting firms be required to disclose the name of the owner and the name of any key executives they may have on the payroll and post them on their website.  Often if an adjusting firm develops a bad reputation with adjusters or carriers, they just either a) move to another state so carriers and adjusters cannot find bad information about them at insurance department licensing sites that allow you to research licenses or b) the adjusting firm owners or key executives just change the name of the adjusting firm so adjusters don’t know who they are.
 
4) Another thing that concerns me when trying to find good adjusting firms for newly licensed adjuster recommendations , when asked by ClaimSmentor members , is that so many of the adjusting firms do not list one thing on their ABOUT pages about who the key owners are. I tell them just to go to http://www.whois.net/ but this only tells you when a website domain was open and the contact name and information for the person who opened the site. Sometimes the only results you get there are to the website company they opened the site with but it is one source of information you might try.
 
5) Adjusting firms should be required to post links on all of their websites such as Department of Insurance Consumer Complaint contact information AND information for independent  adjusters as to where they can report violations of adjusting firm contracts with independents and adjuster non- payment of fee bill complaints. If you don’t think there is a need, just check out this site that opened post Katrina and when overloaded by complaints of non payment to adjusters, their system crashed many many times : www.professionalfeecollection.com (site was opened post Katrina and we have no idea what happened to this agency and it’s alliance of attorneys working proactively to collect unpaid independent adjusting firm fees. We know they were overwhelmed by the claim files faxed in to them and the thousands of adjusters attempting to utilize their services. It was run by a Terry Bagsby out of TX. The interesting thing was that these adjusters were all complaining about the same continuous group of adjusting firms based on discussions I had with him in 05/06.
 
6) Adjusting firms should be required by State Insurance Regulators to not only have a contract for independent insurance adjusters but they should be required to have two signed originals so one can be given to the independent adjusting firm and one can be given to the adjuster. I cannot even begin to tell you how many new adjusters have been frankly taken advantage of either not being given a copy of the contract or no contract at all.
 
We wrote in our blog done a few years back called “Splish Splash don’t go taking a bath” on this topic.(See link at bottom of this blog) I always teach new adjusters in our Fundamentals class not to deploy without seeing the contract and making sure they agree to the terms, not to sign blank forms, to watch out for Non-Compete terms, to make sure they know what the fee split is with the adjusting firm (how much they keep of the fee schedule and how much you get based on a percentage fee split) or what your daily rate is if you are getting paid a daily rate how much it is and what your fee split.
 
There is much more information in the blog I wrote linked to above. The very best advice that I would give you is to see your personal attorney about E & O insurance coverage information in the contract to be sure YOU are protected and to be sure that you are not signing something you shouldn’t be signing.
 
7) Insurance regulators need to regulate a) the length of time a carrier has to pay independent adjusting firms and TPA’s who process their claims, the time an adjusting firm has to pay the independents, holdback percentage provisions in contracts and hefty fines for those adjusting firms not paying them within a regulated time).
 
8   ) Insurance Regulators must begin setting regulations for insurance carriers as to what claim handling fines a carrier can pass on and require of  independent adjusting firms and adjusters.
 
They have gotten totally out of control on the RFP requirements I have seen such as Citizens of FL 2007 RFP 08-0016 or 07-0003 with fines as much as 1,000 per vioation. Is what developed after these fines starting being imposed in RFP’s is that independent contracts started transferring these fines on to adjusters in contracts without even specifying what these fines were.
 
9 ) Insurance regulators have got to put a stop to the erroneous information being advertised about the TEXAS adjuster’s license for independent adjusters. Just take a look at the many classifieds telling those interested in a claims career that the TX license with give them licensing in any where from 25-32 states.
 
This is inaccurate as the adjuster still has to fill out applications, finger prints and pay licensing fees for those non resident licenses. Dr Birzon at the University of Central Florida’s Insurance licensing online program has been forced to post a warning such as this on their website link (see News flash column on left of that link) because so many residents of FL had taken TX licensing classes thinking that they were waived from taking the FL Resident adjusters license.
 
I regularly receive resumes from adjusters who are permanent residents of FL that is all that I see in the licensing information of their resume is their TX license info. Dr Birzon has been so helpful answering questions on ClaimSmentor on licensing issues and even helped out a few of our adjusters who were in non compliance on CE’s and had to retake Fl license requirements again so we referred them to his online FL licensing program which the state regulators approved as a means of getting your FL license and bypassing the FL adjusters exam. These adjusters who were working out of a state on a catastrophe assignment could meet the FL Department of Insurance requirement they sit for the exam again by taking Dr Birzon’s online class at night and still service claims assigned to them out of state.
 
10 ) Insurance regulators need to require that any training firm producing adjuster 
training classes be approved by the state department of insurance to meet minimum claims experience requirements ,which I would insist included experience in claims management, as well as professional insurance education requirements that are recognized in the insurance industy such as AIC (Associates in Claims) and/or CPCU course through AICPCU. I have completed IIA, AIC, and 9 sections of CPCU with only one left to go (the much dreaded Accounting session). I cannot tell you strongly enough how much I recommend these courses  for independents as well.
 
11 ) While the insurance regulators do not control which independent firms a carrier uses, they should at minimum require that adjusting firms and TPA’s require some kind of screening. The one I prefer the most is the membership requirements at the National Association of Insurance Adjusters which is an association of independent adjusting firms who have had to go through substantial financial screening and other membership criteria you can view here.
 
12 ) There are good procedures established by the insurance regulators, emergency management, and state governors for adjusters coming in from out of state. They are called emergency adjuster regulations.
 
In a new trend the large adjusting firms are now requiring of independent adjusters, they are requiring that adjusters obtain non-resident licenses in all coastal states and those like Oklahoma  and Minnesota that have regular windstorms. There are valid reasons because carriers and independent firms cannot activate non resident adjusters who do not hold a non resident license in the state of a storm until the governor announces that by his order at the time of an emergency that independent adjusters are allowed in the state to work claims on an emergency license. 
 
If an adjuster secures a non-resident license in all the states a carrier MIGHT deploy them, they can stay longer because emergency licenses are temporary in nature and only allow adjusters to work a storm designated a catastrophe by the governor. Carriers also do not use their national catastrophe teams if there isn’t enough volume in a given state although I’ve read about alot of improvements on this. This is usually do to the fact that they have to bill the region where they deploy the adjusters for their services. Can we do something about this? It appears to me to be the only way carriers and adjusters can deploy adjusters and get around the governors emergency disaster authority. It has created a huge financial burden on independents and on CE reporting requirements when they should be concentrating on servicing insurance consumers. It is also creating a “dumbing down” of independent adjusters that can be used as we often see less experienced independent adjusters deployed because the experienced adjusters tend to leary of jumping through the huge volume of hoops and know that when the big one hits they will be deployed when carriers through out all pre-storm requirements.
 
I regularly refer new independent adjusters to these firms meeting the NAIIA criteria as hopefully a safety net for them when finding reputable firms. See their membership directory here. While I cannot guarantee it will, I would think that it would atleast provide a place to start when considering who is your “A” list of adjusting firms you will work for. How about for carrier independent staffing needs when their core adjusting firms “run out “of  core adjusters (their A team of who they will first deploy based on experience and certifications and licensing”.
 
I do know some excellent firms that might not yet meet all of the NAIIA membership criteria who are trying to do the right thing. Several that come to mind as I have gotten to know their owners through years of membership at ClaimSmentor or through the staffing side of my operation are CSP claims (owners are retired carrier management), Legacy Claims (the one owned by the Ellis’s), and Action Catastrophe Claims. I do not post those here lightly as I have spent almost four years now getting to know them and I listen intently to what experienced adjusters working for them have shared with me, I’ve watched their adjuster training programs, and I’ve heard great reports on their CMS Claim Management systems and payment records with adjusters who complied with file requirements.
 
I know of very very few independent adjusting firms run by owners or managers who have these course certfications. One of my clients who feels as strongly about this is Dennis Martin, CPCU  who runs the FL Division and catastrophe division  of William Kramer and Associates. He is a joy to work with since he understands the issues facing our claim industry , the Florida insurance crisis , and knows what happens when an adjusting firm doesn’t properly manage claims and claims adjusters and CONTROL compliance with file requirements. This is especially important with their primary concentration on commercial claims such as very large Condominum Claim Associations.
 
We co -authored an article for Claims Magazine as the featured story titled “ A Box of Chocolates” in 2008 about condo claims handling. We both can’t thank Eric Gilkey, Editor of Claims Magazine for his skills and patience working with us as neither of us had significant experience in writing an article)!
 
                                                                                                    Some Things to Ponder
This is also another thing that inquiring minds want to know!  If a file is approved first by an independent adjusting firm manager and sent on to the carrier management for approval and they approve the file and pay the claim based on their review how can they possibly go back and fine an adjusting firm a year later when their auditors catch the mistake. I know of a few firms this has happened to. Where are the insurance regulations on this?
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Why do carriers always tell our members and my staffing firm that they don’t want to consider very good experienced catastrophe adjusters for staff positions when they meet all other qualifications such as a four year degree, insurance continuing education requirements,etc? I was astonished over the past four years to receive staffing requests from 3 major carriers that said the following ” we need adjusters but we can’t get approval in our budgets to use a staffing firm. Will you send them out free to your rosters? ” You’ve got to be joking! Take the resources I have developed over 4 years of staffing and building contacts and mass emailing for them free? I did post their notices in our Career Forum where we do post jobs such as these that we come across but I sure wasn’t servicing them free. Also, while I can understand that they think cat adjusters will jump as soon as a major storm hits, don’t tell us that your staff adjusters do not do so as well. What is your turn over rate? The only thing that keeps staff adjusters on your employment lists is the fact you often offer benefits such as health but adjusting firms are
getting just as savvy in some cases and they often get employment applications from your staff adjusters just like my firm does.
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Last but not list in the things to ponder list is the failure of carriers to put a stop to “hand me down” claims. Almost every issue of non-payment to new independent adjusters has come through a 2nd or more tier adjusting firm subcontracting claims out to another adjusting firm when they run out of adjusters. Often , I doubt the carriers even know about it. When the unpaid adjusters contact the carrier, they are often told “sorry….we don’t have a contract with that adjusting firm”…well dang….I guess the first tier firm made a sidetrack agreement with the 2nd tier firm leaving the independent adjusters to hang out to dry. I’m referring to adjusters who have a contract with firm 2 or on down the line but they have no contract with the adjusting firm who had the contract with the carrier. During the 04/05 season when the FL Dept of Insurance set deadlines with HUGE fines, I saw many a carriers hurt when the primary adjusting firms couldn’t account for claim file status. I never even knew this went on until I transferred to the independent claims industry. I had one firm call me and say “and we have the 1st tier contract with the carrier” on this one. Maybe I am wrong and this is a regular practice, but I can tell you the majority of calls my staffing firm received on non-payment issues when they were looking for a new assignment because they weren’t getting paid was from 2nd or more  hand me down claim adjusting firms. I simply think the practice should be forbidden.
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There are four ways I can think of to add these regulations which are long overdue. Not being an insurance regulator, but someone with a huge interest in protecting independent adjusting firms and independent adjusters to preserve our important service to the claims industry:
 
1) Click on the link here to all insurance departments and print out a copy of this blog (just click on the blog title and it will open up just this blog versus reviewing a string of our blogs) and send a copy to either your state insurance department or to any insurance departments where you have worked assignments and/or are licensed. If you fear for your career in claims, just print it out and mail it in and don’t sign your name. If they get flooded with enough copies of this blog, maybe they will listen.
 
2) Print and send a copy to the NAIC who is responsible for cancelling the recommendations for National Licensing. Again, don’t sign it if you don’t want to. Volumes of copies of this might help. The link to the blog on this act is included at the bottom of this blog entry.
 
3) Insurance regulators who are responsible for claim handling regulations can add requirements such as these to their Good Faith claim handling regulations and licensing requirements for independent adjusters and adjusting firm licensing requirements.
 
4) How about Insurance Regulators developing a Code of Conduct form for independent adjusting firms (similar to what carriers require independent adjusting firms and adjusters are required to sign). Look at the NAIC Code of Conduct they require their member adjusting firms comply with
 
There are so many possibilities that can be done to improve the industry, reduce insurance consumer complaints, to reduce the number of consumers who have to resort to use of public adjusters thus reducing their insurance indemnification dollars, and to reduce the ever growing field of claim litigation. It is worse now than I have ever seen in over 30 years in the insurance industry.
 
Which claim career field is really responsible for the problems in our industry? Here’s a complex self assessment test. Is all it takes is four questions:
 
1) Who issues an insurance policy with insurance consumers with obligations required of both insurers and insureds? (Key to answer you will find the answer in column 1)
2) Who has to take instructions from who? (Key to answer- see column 2, 3, 4  as they answer to #1)
 
3) Who contributes to the training issues for the claim industry? See columns 5,4,3,2, and 1
 
4) Are public adjusters and consumer advocate attorneys the only driving force behind the increase in claim litigation? Yes in some instances they are but could they be successful in winning claim litigation cases by the hundreds if they weren’t finding examples of bad faith across the board- see 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the graph).  I don’t think  they are the only contributors of these huge costs which are being passed on to insurance consumers when carriers have to consider defense litigation costs when rates are determined by insurance companies.
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So why are we all mixed up and playing the blame game? This is such a goofy game not befitting of an industry that has such an important place in the lives of  every person in America that has been going on as long as I’ve had a career in claims. Here’s how the game works:
 
Step 1 ) Insurance Companies (common to all major insurers) use independent adjusters when a major storm such as Hurricane Katrina and Ike
 
Step 2) Insurance Companies provide training before the storm only to independent adjusters with atleast 2 years experience and to their staff claim departments UNTIL the big one hits
 
Step 3) Carrier Auditing Departments, Claim Examiners and Managers.  and Reinspectors start rejecting files because they don’t provide training or enough information to adjusters. It is provided during a carrier certification class which is usually a one day training session put on by CARRIERS through ADJUSTING FIRMS THEY SELECT or at a one day catastrophe induction center where they do present a good outline of file handling guidelines if you are experienced enough to just make exception to general claim handling instructions you already know
 
Step 4) Newly licensed adjusters are activated to handle claims when carriers lower their 2 and 3 year experience requirements when they THINK they have run out of adjusters based on information from the pre-selected adjusting firms who may service there claims. ***Let me point out here it is like a “where is Waldo” game for independent adjusters entering the industry to find out who is servicing the claims because the majority of CARRIERS provide no information on their website about which firms are handling their claims (God forbid someone might consider them “employees versus independents). See our prior blogs on the cycle
 
Step 5) Don’t overlook the fact that the file requirements and claims guidelines are changed by CARRIERS almost daily when on storm. Even if an adjuster’s file meets file requirements one day, by the time it make’s it through the claims management cycle (Independent or staff adjuster →Claim Examiner or Claim Manager→Insurance Company who approves claim settlement payment and settles claim with insured (often with in office claim trainees who have never handled a field inspection or an inoffice claim operation TEAM so the insured can get bounced around and never talk to the adjuster who actually inspected their claim?
 
Step 6) Who pulls the authority from most independents which takes away great customer service of explaining their itemized estimate to the insured in person while they are out there …see column one. This also applies to carriers who have pulled field adjusters from handling contents claims and additional living expenses so the insured once again has to deal with multiple adjusters (field and in office) rather than having the personal claim service they desire from one adjuster?
 
Step 7) Carriers then blame everyone in column 2, 3, 4, and 5 for causing poor claim survey results and swears to never use much needed independents so experienced independents leave the claim industry as they have no way to support their families.
 
Step 8. ) A major catastrophe such as Ike and Katrina hit and independent adjusting firms are asked to deploy again to assist storm insurance consumers who have no idea what changes have taken place at the carrier’s regarding claim handling standards as the Carriers in Column 1 do not communicate with individual adjusters or hold yearly claim conferences updating them on the hot topics they have been dealing with while independents were at home trying to support their families. Why don’t they have newsletters for independents (refer to comment above on employee/independent issues). No instead they insist they will stop using independents again.
 
Step 9 ) Return to Step 1 and the cycle we regularly experience starts once again.
For two examples of the blame game see the final report of the Citizens  FL Task Force on Claim handling where they submitted their findings to the Citizens Board of Directors blaming both independents and public adjusters for reopen claim issues. I don’t recall seeing where any responsibility was accepted by this now largest insurer in FL except possibly understaffing with field adjusters but they are moving in the right direction training staff and Independents deployed pre-storm and with face to face meeting requirements that they are visiting unannounced to be sure the adjusters are being taught their claim handling expectations and not just glossed over.
 
See also this news article I posted recently where General Manager, Jim Oliver, of the Texas Windpool partially puts the blame on inexperienced adjusters. This is very exasperating to me when I am going on my fourth year of searching for all carrier claim certification classes for members of ClaimSmentor. I can rarely find them except by the few adjusting firms posting in classifieds which are cost prohibitive to most firms when they haven’t gotten many carrier assignments such as in 2006 and 2007. Carriers have staffed up with employed staff adjusters due to their erroneous decisions in the steps above instead of looking SQUARELY in the eyes of their claim training operations, their current trend to leave the responsibility of deployment of independent adjustering firms instead of the carrier maintaining control (again employee vs independent issues).
 
Should anyone question my dedication to keeping independent adjusters informed for the right reasons…it took me 8 hours of volunteer time to produce this one blog entry to provide resources and information for you.  I had no clue as all of our resources were internally generated as claim staff employees.
 
It has been a very long four years studying the independent insurance adjuster industry and learning that while  I had managed them for years that I knew nothing about what went on before they deployed with us. It has been a major eye opener which I openly share with those in our field who need to get caught up to speed immediately in their decisions on entering the independent field and once they confirm that decision learning the professional way to perform their duties. **Update 3/7/09: You can follow this blog through RSS feeds as long as you are not placing it on a site that has banner ad sales or revenue generated through google ads (exception CADO who also spends untold hours volunteering his time for his site). I am getting referrals to this site from Blog Colony which I still have to research which are new this week and have another site copying my links on right column on their website. I am taking proactive action through ICAN  and this wordpress administration who controls websites so be forewarned if you want to remove them if you are using a link to this site to generate revenue for yours. All independent adjusting firms or claim groups are free to put up a blog roll on this such as the one CADO (www.catadjuster.org) has on their blog page in bottom left corner. WordPress does NOT allow banners or search engine ads at this location so I will be proactive with them to shut your feed to this blog if you are using it for such purposes which we can see on our administation dashboard.
**************
I welcome any volunteers who want to edit my blog entries to correct mistakes made. I was always taught by my mentor , my dad, not to present a problem without a solution….smile. If you have the solution for my lack of social networking editorial skills I welcome your help in this additional e-mentoring project.
 
For other great resource links, articles, and claims news I highly recommend Roy Cupps CADO  site at www.Catadjuster.org which has operated atleast 10 years. His article section, news section, employer rating section, adjuster resume data base, and so much more . The archived forums provide a wealth of information about the independent opinions. We formed ClaimSmentor with Roy Cupps blessing initially in those forums but took quite a bit of harassment from a few bad apples who felt we were taking away their job opportunites so we moved the site to a private site at www.ClaimSmentor.com. I have nothing but the very highest regard for Roy Cupps and the resource links he keeps updating on his site.
 
Here are links to all prior blogs we have written in our archives since we began this service in July 2007 that discuss these issues on emergency licensing, carrier’s deploying adjusters, claim training, insurance regulations, and all other topics we’ve discussed in today’s current blog for a more thorough understanding of the changes needed :
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/just-one-claimsmentor-moment-2-twia-adjusters-blog-on-ike-claim-handling-issues/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/adjuster-overtime-issues-supplemental-info-from-none-other-than-attorney-gloria-allreds-current-news-letter/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/compare-twia-manager-jim-olivers-comments-about-a-major-galveston-storm-608-to-209-statement-on-ike-claims-part-i-of-ii/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/branch-consultants-whistleblower-case-reinstated-appeal-court-decision-february-2009also-links-to-info-on-the-rigsby-whistleblower-cases/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/citizens-of-fl-board-approves-selection-of-30-selected-adjusting-firms-see-list-here-with-websites/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/citizens-of-fl-board-approves-selection-of-30-selected-adjusting-firms-see-list-here-with-websites/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/twia-texas-windpool-offers-two-adjuster-certification-workshops-in-march-and-april-2009/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/independent-adjusters-participant-in-our-poll-on-carrier-certification-exams/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/have-license-ready-to-go-not-so-quick-take-this-self-assessment-test/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/have-you-registered-for-your-2009-nfip-adjuster-certification-class/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/2509-updates-on-the-state-farm-announcement-in-fl/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/we-are-back-next-50-hour-online-fundamentals-of-claims-class-begins-march-2-2009/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/10/08/2008-claims-magazine-claims-salary-survey-is-up-in-the-october-2008-issue/
 
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/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/independent-agents-rank-claim-service-as-top-measurement-of-carrier-performance-part-ii-of-claim-and-agency-relationships-can-make-or-break-an-adjuster/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/preliminary-damage-statistics-from-hurricane-gustav-updates-on-temporary-housing-in-gustav-damage-territories/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/08/26/hurricane-gustav-expected-to-be-major-emergency-tx-and-la-license-links-claim-statistics-for-ts-fay-eduardo-dolly/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/fl-emergency-adjuster-regulations-for-tropical-storm-fay/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/08/26/hurricane-gustav-expected-to-be-major-emergency-tx-and-la-license-links-claim-statistics-for-ts-fay-eduardo-dolly/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/ms-ag-hood-and-state-farm-reach-agreement-on-katrina-disputes-wednesday-86/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/citizens-of-fl-cancels-rfp-for-independent-adjusters-yet-another-time-in-2008-rebid-now-times-4/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/hurricane-dolly-makes-landfall-in-texas-checking-availability-for-rosters/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/nationwide-insurance-proposes-one-policy-covering-wind-and-flood-coverage/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/auto-adjuster-claim-training-updates/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/what-role-are-rising-gas-prices-going-to-play-in-your-deployment-decisions-for-hurricane-season-2008-carriers-and-adjusting-firms-should-meet-the-need/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/23/colorado-hail-tornado-of-may-22-2008-updated-damage-reports/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/concerned-regarding-adjuster-fee-schedules-for-citizens-of-fl/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/citizens-of-fl-changes-independent-training-requirements-for-2008/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/insurance-carrier-claim-certifications-where-do-you-test-for-them-much-improvement-needed-in-the-process-of-certifying-independent-adjusters/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/30/va-tornado-damage-the-carrier-claim-numbers-are-coming-in/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/top-blogs-of-interest-to-new-adjusters-july-2007-april-2008/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/supplemental-request-41808-for-tx-licensednationwide-certified-adjusters/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/immediate-need-for-experienced-adjusters-tx-license-for-storm-claims/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/overhead-and-profit-claim-settlement-issues-under-attack-in-3-ongoing-cases/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/state-farm-seeks-dismissal-on-rigsby-false-claim-actklg-update-levee-break-sher-decision-including-overhead-and-profit-issues/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/fifth-circuit-appeal-opinion-overturns-punitive-damages-in-broussard-vs-state-farm/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/07/allstate-releases-mckinsey-documents/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/adjusters-read-about-class-action-lawsuit-in-ok-on-overhead-and-profit-issues/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/cori-rigsby-january-2008-deposition-hoped-to-remain-anonymous-lets-compare/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/branch-consultants-whistleblower-case-appeal-filed-on-the-dismissed-case/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/rigsby-whistleblower-rico-case-motion-to-dismiss-3-of-insurance-carriers-to-focus-on-state-farm/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/national-association-of-catastrophe-adjusters-membership-drive-to-31508/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/23/state-farm-vs-hood-part-iii-an-interesting-news-alert-today/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/21/60-earthquake-rocks-nv-ut-parts-of-ca-22108-adjuster-information/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/errors-and-omissions-coverage-guest-bloggers-dale-moore-client-relations-director-for-cplic/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/06/storms-in-tn-ky-ak-al-in-mo-ms-of-2508-adjuster-information-on-emergency-licensing-and-damage/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/05/luckwhere-preparation-meets-opportunity-published-208-in-claims-education-magazine/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/update-on-the-rigsby-ea-renfroe-whistleblower-case-will-the-klg-get-dismissed-on-cases/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/do-you-really-know-what-your-errors-and-omissions-coverage-covers/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/01/09/should-your-adjusting-firm-or-carrier-be-blogging/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/renfroes-deposition-in-the-rigsby-whistleblower-case-interesting-look-into-their-thoughts-on-the-case/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/ok-declares-state-of-emergency-allowing-emergency-adjuster-licenses-link-for-application/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/major-changes-in-the-way-carriers-recruit-and-train-adjustersis-there-really-a-lack-of-available-adjusters/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/11/14/tomorrow-is-postmark-deadline-to-get-applications-in-to-join-naca-national-assn-of-catastrophe-adjusters/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/25/what-can-adjusters-learn-from-the-2003-cedar-fire-regarding-litigation-and-complaints-on-claims-from-ca-wildfires-blog-4-ca-wildfires/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/29/claim-career-coachingconsultant-services-for-new-adjusters/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/27/independent-adjuster-vs-employee/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/insurance-adjuster-overtime-pay-issues-and-complaints-in-the-news/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/21/valued-policy-law-in-florida-thrown-out-update-on-mierwza-safety-concerns-part-2fl-insurance-crisis-update-go-jeb/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/field-adjuster-safety-concerns-be-careful-remembering-katie-froeschle-of-tampa-fl/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/13/humberto-makes-landfall-as-category-1-hurricane-damage-links-and-stats-and-adjuster-licenses/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/commitment-part-2-standby-calls-what-should-i-do-how-are-cat-codes-determined/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/tropical-depressions-8-and-9-humberto-and-ingrid-standby-discussion-commitment-discussion-continued/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/10/the-big-c-commitment-problems-with-independent-adjuster-relationships-advice-by-guest-blogger-rocke-baker/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/08/ts-gabrielle-east-coast-windpool-and-emergency-licensing-information/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/adjustin-to-adjusting-guest-blogger-linda-goodson-first-storm-duty-was-katrina/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/23/whistleblower-cases-and-your-e-and-o-coverage-part-2/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/splish-splash-dont-go-takin-a-bath-understanding-independent-firm-contracts/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/31/naic-model-independent-adjusters-licensing-act-cancelledand-changes-in-nm-nc-and-tx-licensing/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/30/who-moved-my-claims-cheesedealing-with-change-in-the-insurance-adjusting-community/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/27/claim-career-information-the-pros-and-cons-of-going-staff-adjuster-versus-independent-adjuster/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/catastrophe-adjuster-resumes-the-requirements-to-get-noticed-do-differ/
 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/most-commonly-asked-question-is-how-much-income-can-i-make-as-an-adjuster/
 
 

Are you getting any Chinese Drywall liability or property claims? Is it the new “Mold Gold” as Trader likes to call it?

March 5, 2009

Very interesting. Last night I got a call from a firm owner wanting to know what I knew about Chinese drywall claims. I promised to research it when I had a chance to since I’m still playing catch up.

This morning what do I run across but a Harleysville Construction Litigation Claim Manager posting a discussion question in his Claims group. Here is a link if you can help him out. This would be great training informations for all independents working daily commercial liability claims:

Chinese Drywall Claims- Are you getting these claims?

This is interesting. I got a call yesterday wondering what I knew about Chinese Drywall Claims. Zip…since I’m Training but that also intrigued me. Today I then ran across a Linked in Discussion question by a Claims Manager for Construction defect claims wanting to know if anyone knew about it.

Here is a link to this Claim Managers question. I’ll be very interested to see if anyone from our group can provide more details.

http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=1789072&gid=1808294&trk=EML_anet_qa_ttle-0Pt79xs2RVr6JBpnsJt7dBpSBA

Either reply here as a comment on this topic which we always welcome or reply to his profile on our Dimechimes ClaimSmentor Linkedin Group at: www.linkedin.com/in/dimechimesclaimSmentor.com

We welcome anyone in the claims industry to join our group as long as your profile at Linkedin is completed.

Thanks for helping the Harleysville Claim manager out! 


We Support www.Caringbridge.org- A Great tool for All Insurance Adjusters on the Go!

March 4, 2009

 

As many of you know, my daughter, Crystal , was diagnosed with a giant cell sacrum tumor  (benign but very very rare) in September of 2007 which then returned again in January 2008.  She has been through a year and a half of multiple operations and radiation treatments with the most recent operations at the end of January 2009 so she still has quite a way to go on the road to recovery through physical therapy to rebuild her stamina.

We cannot say enough good things about the way her law firm  has supported her through this entire process and following updates on her CaringBridge blog. We were able through one post to keep our family, her friends, her work associates, and her clients spread nationwide informed with one simple post on their journal feature.

 Everyone we needed to tell as we have been on “this marathon” as she has called it is kept informed without us having to return phone calls and reply to individual emails because the caringbridge feature also allows you to update news on their journal, photos, and has a guest book blog where your work associates, family, and friends can provide well wishes. I just can’t say enough great things about this and the agony it saved me from having to tell Crystal’s story over and over on the phone during many times I just have been too down to talk about it as we had our ups and downs of the good and bad news we learned along the way to recovery.

When you register your Caringbridge site it is entirely free and supported through donation links found on their site. Here is a link to brochures you can download, buttons you can post on your site, website codes so you can upload a link for your employees and much more.

We learned of this site through the outstanding Cancer pain management clinic where we regularly have to go through this process which is a department through Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville, Tn.

 Many many thanks to Rachel  McDowell at this clinic who has been our source of strength at times we were just not up to it. Also many many special thanks to Ginger Holt, who with  her “attorney jokes to Crystal” about ” i drew the bad straw having to carve into an attorney” has provided us with  the most miraculous results. I cannot begin to say enough fantastic things about her. Even when an operation did not involve the oncology side of things, she would come by and visit us to provide encouragement, much needed jokes, and follow up with other specialists. Crystal , Chad and family are all now vigorous supporters of Vanderbilt hospital and the CaringBridge program they told us about. I’m not sure we would have gotten through this horrid past 1.5 years wihout Caringbridge’s site.

The Caring Bridge site also allows donation Tributes to your fallen comrades in their honor which is a great way to solve the issue of where associates can make donations on their behalf.

I decided to publish it on this blog because of the mobile nature of the claim industry with adjusters out on temporary catastrophe assignments. What a fantastic tool this would be as well as a time saver for adjusting firms, carriers with national catastrophe teams, and for adjusters who might get sick, fall off a roof ,or otherwise injured while away from home.

Registering for the site does not require that you disclose your name, instead you can use a nickname or other options. How about naming it in your adjusting firm name where you can post any news on serious health issues of your firm members for your entire group? Once you register for a caringbridge site, you just invite those who are looking for news to stay informed while working on the road.

Their brochures would be great to pass out at your yearly conferences for your adjusters or at annual claim conventions. Who better to support such a valuable site for associates injured or facing substantial medical issues than the insurance claims industry?

Through my daughter’s use of the site, we were able to communicate 24/7 when we could not get cell phone or blackberry email coverage in the hospital during long stays. Doesn’t this sound just like adjusters out on the road in the first wave of a major catastrophe?

Possibly if enough of us in the insurance claims industry whether you are staff, independent, or public adjusters or adjusting firms support this program they will create a category just for insurance adjusters to support us as well? Claims adjusters need to be supported by communities nationwide instead of all the negative news posted after a major disaster. Just like Red Cross disaster or other emergency responders, they do suffer extreme emotional issues when dealing with insurance consumers who have experienced a major crisis.

Thank you especially to Crystal’s employer Boult-Cummings-Connors-and-Berry (recently merged with another firm to become Arant, Boult, Cummings, Plc . Here is a link to my daughter’s bio  from one proud mom.

**Update 3/5/09- She gave me permission today to link to her CaringBridge site as she agrees it would be educational for adjusters- especially those in health care claim processing and approvals:

www. caringbridge.org/visit/cricklepickle

Through the Caringbridge updates, members of this remarkable firm have stood behind her supporting her with their prayers, prayer groups during operations, flowers sent to her regularly, cards to her home, and meals delivered to her home for months as she repeatedly underwent operations.

We had volunteers from her firm come to her home and assist with the children’s transportation needs, attorneys and paralegals come and clean house from top to bottom on their weekends, and many times (thank you Julie, Sandra, Dale, Sharon, her bosses , Ann Cargile and Bob Wood, and so many many more I don’t know the names of) just come sit at the hospital with me while we sat in fear waiting for news from the doctor when operations were finished.

 Many also filled in for me on nights or weekends when I was just exhausted beyond belief and just needed sleep as Chad (her husband) majored in the 3 boys needs while I concentrated on her. We could never have gotten through this road to recovery without “the Boult family” who continues to support her on the road to recovery.

 This firm will never know what a comfort it brings to our extended family nationwide to know that her position awaits her after such a long period of  recovery. It makes her very happy to just know her office  is waiting for her. It does wonders for her! This law firm should definitely be rewarded as the top law firm in the US for any awards available for their empathy and compassion for a  fellow attorney. They have gone above and beyond any possible expectations we could have imagined to support her.

Won’t you share a link on your site and share their brochures with your adjusters today? They have options for button tabs and other advertisement tabs and you can upload all kinds of other great tools for your mobile adjusters.

I know I cannot thank the members of   ClaimSmentor enough who have offered up prayers and well wishes on the guestbook link to my daughter’s caring bridge site. I had never met most of these folks in person such as Tom N, owner of Action Catastrophe Claims, but this firm has supported us by regularly posting guest entries on the Caringbridge guest blog.

There are so many other adjusters and claim managers that have also supported me behind the scenes through posts in our forums, private messages, calls, emails and prayers by reading her link at our e-mentoring site based on their reading of her journal entries.

I spent hours last night reading back through all of her journal entries and it really helped lift my spirits and to realize how much progress she has made and  to reconfirm what a courageous remarkable person she is. She has had such a remarkable knack I do not possess for remaining calm while dealing with medical emergencies or the ups and downs through the recovery process.

Her journals which  bring so much insight into the fears a person faces while being bomblasted with radiation  and undergoing operations. I told her this morning that it should be required reading for all liability adjusters, workers compensation adjusters, and health claims adjusters processing medical insurance claims so they might learn a little empathy about not only what a patient has undergone but the nightmares their families suffer through. It just might help insurance companies and adjusters better evaluate damages when evaluating the settlement value of a claim or processing health care benefit claims.

Whether you know her or not, her road to recovery through her CaringBridge story would bring tears to the most toughened adjuster’s eyes.

Hopefully one day I will have her permission to make the link to her journal public versus limited to her network circle (ok Crystal I know I shared it with my network circle through ClaimSmentor too and their support has been outstanding). While I do not have my daughter’s permission to share her link yet, here is one you can view that I just had to post for a very good friend who just learned she has stage 4 cancer but no computer skills to keep her family and friends updated so you can see a sample of how an active one works:

www.caringbridge.org/visit/myspecialsistersandra