Just one ClaimSmentor Moment #2 – TWIA Adjusters Blog on Ike Claim Handling Issues

March 6, 2009

I found this today when looking at a new feature on yahoo linking to this blog:

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2009/02/articles/hurricane-ike/views-from-hurricane-ike-twia-insurance-adjusters/


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

Compare TWIA Manager Jim Oliver’s comments about a major Galveston storm 6/08 to 2/09 Statement on Ike Claims- Part I of II

February 26, 2009

It is amazing what you can run across on the internet when you just spend some time looking around.  Anyone that follows posts made here knows we certainly do that…if only we could afford a great editor to turn this information into fine editorial posts!

Atleast we plug along the best we can here given very very limited time these days due to my daughter’s medical recovery from tumors discovered in 2008 and subsequent major surgery a few weeks ago to correct damage caused when the tumors shattered nerves and bones as they developed and the radiation damage caused in the aftermath of tumor removal operations. So bear with me  here and take the information and article  links we post here and gather as much information as you can from the articles. Our goal here is very clear to those in the independent claims industry who have a most difficult time when they are not on assignment with carriers gathering hot topic information to educate them on the problems facing our industry. Reporter NOT…Editor NOT..Journalist NOT but interested in helping independent claims adjusters understand our industry…now that is a BIG YES! I sure miss the days with a carrier having a great administrative assistant to take my reports and by magic turn them into professional appearing work product! (Thank you Gail, thank you Cindy and many others!). So set aside your grammar, spelling, and run on sentence checkers and read the professional articles linked within this post.

While researching information today after reading an article from the Galveston news the other day updating the statistics on TWIA (Texas Windpool ) claims from Ike quoting manager Oliver found here, I ran across another article quoting the General Manager at TWIA, Mr Jim Oliver, over at Gene Taylor’s old website/blog here .

I hope you read both- it is almost scary how very dead on he was about the “what if a Category 3 hit Galveston” written in June 08. I have to say that manager had the intuition and knowledge to evaluate the what if’s correctly and what effect it would have on the state of  Texas and the policyholders. He was almost dead on as well about the dollar amount of damage. This is a don’t miss comparison. Do his comments sound familiar about major carriers pulling off the coastal coverage?

A few comments on the first link in the February 09 article found on MS Congressman Gene Taylor’s old blog.

Here we go again about “inexperienced adjusters” quoting from comments by Jim Oliver. I’m sorry but someone has to stand up for those inexperienced adjusters  and independent adjusting firms (whose hands are tied as to who can and cannot attend the carrier training based on experience) who they had working some  of the TX Windpool claims. I am not blaming TWIA .It is a constant problem in the Insurance Company/ Independent Adjusting firm/ Independent Adjuster relationships.

Let me explain why. I feel qualified to do so after founding and supporting our site  at ClaimSmentor where we have over 1,000 partipants with about 50% of them being new independent adjusters. I can tell within 30 days of membership those who are serious about their training and those that thought  it was a “get rich quick scheme” or career because they either 1) walk away and forget the thoughts of a claims career  when they find out how much is really involved BEFORE deploying or 2) they are extremely serious in their pursuit of professional claims development and I see them on the site forums at night and on weekends (you would NEVER find staff doing so if they aren’t on salary or on the clock).

They spend literally thousands  of dollars and time without the benefit of an employers expense account for per diem while attending carrier certification classes, taking required estimate software training classes, adjusting firm conferences, being forced in some cases to pay for training   just to get on rosters in hopes of being deployed on a storm (I’ll post some unbelievable samples for you tomorrow).

Now here is the real kicker that goes on every day in this industry which drives all of us crazy as there is no such thing as a carrier mentoring new independent adjusters. All national carriers and the windpools set a minimum number of years experience  required BEFORE an independent adjuster can sit  in at an independent adjusting firm designated by the  carrier’ to administer  required training for them. The carriers may send one to a few representatives to the adjusting firm selected to present the material but that isn’t always the case either.

It is usually a minimum of two or three years experience required yet the carriers do NOT allow them to take carrier certification exams without the experience….until something major hits and then they often waive the certification requirement if they are licensed. Heck- look at TX emergency adjuster license information  on the TX Ins Dept website and they even allow emergency adjusters to work under an experienced adjuster (unless they changed something recently).

 Also, check around on the majority of carrier websites and you will not even find mention on their claim links  information or links to independent adjusting firms who they can take classes with so independent adjusters  even know who presents them. It is all based on who they  (independent adjusters )  know and what advertisements or forum posts they find as to where they can find an exam to take.

In additon, thousands travel across the country just to find one. I do not know of any carrier yet adminstering them online. Rumor has it one major carrier will be presenting their training on laptops given to the adjusting firm but the independent will still have to travel across the country to watch the laptop presentation and to take the test. We understand the need for a proctor to administer the exam but come on….how about Prometrics or one of the exam centers with national services where adjusters take license exams? How about the fact that an independent has no clue who may call to deploy them from an adjusting firm standpoint so they have to take as many carrier exams as they can complete before each storm season so they can go? What about the fact the carrier’s often think that there are no experienced adjusters available when the reality is there are many many independents who are turned away because they just haven’t taken their exam yet prior to the storm the carrier will not make any common sense exceptions yet they have 20 years in the  claim industry? Believe me this does go on…I hear it from adjusters, adjusting firms, and my claim staffing firm has experienced this many many times.

I am not supporting inexperienced adjusters with a license only…just the inexperienced adjusters who have taken classes (not 3 day schools or worse yet a one day class!)  and by that I mean classes approved by state insurance departments who approve  trainers  for CE courses sometimes requiring  at minumum 5 years or more experience in the m industry person and continuing insurance education in insurace such as the AIC or CPCU designation?  It is one thing to have field adjusted claims and an entirely different thing to manage claims and understand all of the reasons there are file requirements due to Bad Faith claims and the current litigation environment.

Today there are many experienced adjuster resumes from adjusters with 10 plus years experience with a vast amount of litigation experience that can run circles around some carrier “claim examiners”, reinspectors, and entry level claim managers. I hear these war stories too from the field. Why is ok for all the blame about what went wrong on a storm squarely on the shoulders of independent adjusting firms and independent adjusters who are required to follow carrier established guidelines. As the saying goes “if they tell you to staple the photos upside down…don’t argue or we will lose our contract to service their claims”.

Now exactly how are they  (independent trainees ) supposed to gather that experience?

Experienced independent’s do not have time to train them as it slows down their productivity and they do not make one dollar until closed files get approved and they receive payment usually weeks and months later. Believe me, the carrier quotas for contact and inspections in  this industry are sometimes impossible for staff or independent adjuster to meet. The carriers are driven by Department of Insurance deadlines for contact, inspected, and closing numbers and atleast in the past they had to report those numbers at minimum to the department of insurance on a weekly basis. The second concern I hear regularly is that they would be concerned about liability issues if a trainee they aren’t responsible for as an independent fell off of a roof or if the adjuster happened to be involved in an accident while handling inspections on their daily agenda? These are valid concerns. That is why we started ClaimSmentor- to see what we could accomplish online to avoid those concerns and I can tell you – it works and they will be much better trainees when they can accompany a field adjuster later during a storm.

I agree with the decision of carriers to best service the policyholders however….when something major such as Ike or Katrina causes massive damage those requirements are thrown out the window and anyone with a license can successfully deploy without any real life training or often given a one day training seminar when they arrive on site.

How about the carriers that cross train  staff claim central adjusters who have NO field experience versus a good percent of independent adjuster trainees that often have fantastic construction general manager experience, insurance agency experience, or other skills much more easy to work with than trying to train someone on construction.

I can vouch for the fact it is easier to teach a contractor who knows construction and estimate programs to complete claim forms and learn policy than it is to teach an in office phone adjuster who has no construction experience to learn that side of adjusting. I know- I started in office and moved to the field after two years in office so I understand the difficulty dealing with construction training while handling an insured in crisis.

Ask anyone who has deployed with merely a license if an adjuster’s license prepared them whatsoever for a carrier’s file requirements, estimate format or estimate scoping guidelines and they will tell you definitely NOT!

What about the carrier staff adjusters who may not even have a non resident license in that state? Check any insurance department website and see what they have to say about waiving non resident licenses for staff adjusters. Is it because the carrier has deep pockets and independent adjusting firms and adjusters do not in the event something goes wrong or do the insurance departments merely assume the carrier’s have trained all in office folks before deploying them on a major disaster?

 How about the carriers that are forced to use auto adjusters to adjust property claims because their executive office forbids use of independents in these poor economic times and worse yet underwriters who definitely have a great grasp on coverage but no clue how to handle a claim or to understand construction  repair concepts?

This is a nationwide problem with most carrier’s which I have never understood.  If we accept premium dollars do we not owe it to policyholders to have the properly trained claims adjusters?

Hail damage experienced adjusters do not necessarily understand total losses for major hurricane damage or major fire loss damage estimates.

There is alot of improvement needed all around in the catastrophe claims industry on the carrier side , the independent side, the insurance department regulations, and the National Assn of Insurance Commissioner’s who cancelled the proposed National Independent Adjusters Model Licensing Act which those who are independents do not understand to this day. I’ve blogged about that in the past and will post a link to that blog in Part II.

Watch later this week for part two….for tonight- enjoy reading the two articles. You will definitely be quite shocked at Jim Oliver’s correct assessment of what would happen in Galveston.

I’ll also leave you with a link for Slabbed’s  interpretation of this article and TWIA from a consumer perspective written today after I shared a link to the Galveston article with them based on an entirelydifferent  blog discussion we had the day before . You’ll find their blog article here.

You may disagree with Slabbed posts but if you follow them regularly you will atleast come to the understanding they are diligent in their efforts to help slabbed  homeowner’s(those who lost entire home but the slab during a storm) in the fight about homeowner policy exclusions that create the non coverage issues . I feel the same way about Attorney Chip Merlin’s blog entries. If you don’t know Chip…and I have never personally met him..he is a force to be dealt with. He has offices in FL, MS, and now Houston as well.You can also find photos of him giving a seminar at the National Public Adjuster Association conference at www.NAPIA.com.  

 In fact, I link to his  blog often as well for training purposes. Yes, I do understand he represents the insured not the insurer but that does not change the fact we can learn from his articles and blogs when you don’t find any insurance attorney’s writing such great blogs (except Rossmiller who hasn’t blogged for almost 6 months). If an independent or staff adjuster read them such as his posts on Bad Faith…he is “shouting from the roof tops “that would prevent adjusters from being sued if they just followed fair claim handling guidelines. You just have to “toughen up” to read both and have a thick skin so you don’t take the negative comments about the insurance industry as a whole personally. By the way…if you are a Fox news  fan or Headline News  fan it might be, he is regularly interviewed on the horrific missing childrens cases in central FL (Caylee and Haleigh) . You shouldn’t let the negative comments keep you from reading some important information and articles on his website and blog. Both Slabbed and Merlin’s blogs post links to court documents on active insurance claim litigation we all rarely ever get an opportuntiy to view since staff nor independents are privy to file documents on a claim not assigned to them.

 Truth be told, adjusters inheriting files from a few bad apples  (experienced and inexperienced it just depends on the adjuster’s ethics and training) make the same comments about some files involving poor file claim handling by a percentage of adjusters. The only difference is staff and independents cannot post publicly for fear of losing their jobs. It still doesn’t mean we can stick our heads in the sand and not study the issues and all work a little bit harder to do the right thing no matter what pressure we are under and we all know how bad that pressure is on storms such as Ike and Katrina.

I’ve been there and have so much empathy for not only the claims industry but for policyholders suffering these losses with no coverage. I’ll post more on the 2009 Multi Peril Act as well later this week.

Speaking of Attorney’s, what happened to one of the rare great blogs with the insurance company perspective many of us followed over at David Rossmiller’s blog? Those of us who follow these forums and blogs miss the point and counterpoint between the insured’s perspective and the carrier’s perspective! If you know if Rossmiller is ok, let us know! I think his last blog was in September of 2008 which is remarkable considering his opinions posted on Scruggs and Scruggs recent appearance in MS court with no comment from Rossmiller.

********

Update 1:24 am CST- Ok- I just had to add one more great article titled “Talent Cultivation” from a February 09 issue of Claims Magazine found here:

http://www.claimsmag.com/cms/Claims/Monthly%20Issues/Issues/2009/02/Features/FEATURE%20cover%20story?origin=channels-Education-Training

**Link will move to archived links there when the March issue comes out.

When will carriers learn if they are going to depend on independents for major catastrophes as they downsize their staff that they need to make carrier certifications more accessible online and that independent adjusters need to be trained when they don’t have an inbox overflowing with new assignments waiting for them after a storm class on scene. They can have an “A” list of experienced certified independents that are activated on regular hail storms and a “B” list of less experienced independent adjusters also trained and ready to go when the major storms like Ike and Katrina! Now that would be talent cultivation and a claims mentor of the finest nature! We have hundreds of very trained adjusters  as well as experienced adjusters. At ClaimSmentor  you can deploy with NO fee as we invite your HR departments to post job opportunities for both experienced and for trainee adjusters  and independent claim managers and claim examiners regularly!

Join us and come in and download their resumes!  You decide if many of them are better than a newly licensed only trainee!

**Update 2/27/09…Just one more link: Here is a Self Assessment Test with 125 questions a newly licensed adjuster can review and see how many of these topics covered in our Fundamentals Class at ClaimSmentor  and this is far from a complete list of basicessential things they need to know before deploying.

You can’t teach this im a 1 day or a 3 day class. They may learn very very basic essentials but many that take my class online after taking many very good field classes advise that much of this material was not covered. Mind you these are new adjusters who have taken and passed adjusters license exams, estimate software classes, and in many cases have passed atleast 1 carrier certification exam. They usually have the 3 basics at minium (license, software, and 1 carrier certification ) and tests that cover basic estimating but not the majority of these other important topics. Is it any wonder we have files often mishandled due to a lack of training?

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

Carriers should not complain about needing inexperienced independent adjusters not trained on claim file requirements if they are not willing to let them take their training. They pick up the expense as independents. Follow the example of NFIP who allows them to attend their workshops but will not certify them without 4 years experience….but sometimes make exceptions during major disasters IF they took the current year’s workshop.

My many heartfelt thanks go out to the now hundreds of experienced adjusters who participate on ClaimSmentor to help answer trainee questions without any hassle in our forums and even join us sometimes stopping by in our live online classes for trainee adjusters as well as thanks to the claim managers who also do the same. Our site would not be possible without their partipation and willingness to support our e-mentor project.

**Update 2/28/09 10:45 AM: I had not been following the claim statistics that often recently and today ran across an Insurance Journal article form August 08 about the TWIA losses already depleting funds when two other minor hurricanes came in before Ike. Read this link for the information:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2008/08/26/93100.htm


Citizens of FL Board approves selection of 30 adjusting firms for 2009-2012 See website links here

February 19, 2009

 We have posted numerous updates on our blogs about the Citizens of FL Request for Proposal (RFP 08-0016 last rebid in September 08) which was rebid several times in 08 as Citizens of FL cancelled the RFP several times in 08 taking one year from the initial bid process in January 08 to finally announcing the final selections in December 2008 and January 2009.

This caused an impossible situation for the adjusting firms and if you track the rebid posts and claim committee and Board of Governor meetings notes posted on their site, you’ll notice they selected different vendors several times which is quite confusing for independent adjusters as well as the independent adjusting firms who were trying to build rosters of adjusters and plan training sessions. It has been a very rough process and quite expensive for the adjusting firms bidding as well as the RFP documents they had to supply to Citizens changed throughout the year and required many copies of their documents be turned into Citizens to be in compliance with the bidding process. If you follow the document and meeting tracks, with each rebid….less firms applied and you cannot blame them!

 They confirmed with the Citizens Board of  Governors meeting in a January 2009 meeting the selection of 30 adjusting firms selected  to use for  2009- 2012 when workload requires use of independent adjusters.  There were 58 firms that applied on the latest RFP and 30 firms selected. The committee notes post two lists. The first is the 30 firms selected and the second list is called “remaining list” which is the adjusting firms who applied but were not awarded contracts.

You can view the Claim Committee and Board of Governor Meeting notes on these links where this was announced  in a  12/12/08 Claims Committee meeting (see minutes of meeting notes in January 09 and approved by the Board of Governors on 1/29/09 on this  link to all past Board of Governors meetings and Claim Committee meeting notes:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/past_boardmtgs.cfm

You can view the entire RFP to include the evaluation scoring information sheet in their archived RFP information here (just scroll down and look for RFP 08-0016 which includes the fixed fee schedule, the scoring evaluation criteria and other important information independents should know about the expectations of adjusters and adjusting firms processing their claims):

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/purchasing-solicitations.cfm?type=closed

While these meeting notes do list the adjusting firms, they do not list their websites. You will also see the listing here on their Adjuster Resources page:

https://www.citizensfla.com/adjuster/index.cfm

**see link in top right corner to Awarded Competitive Solicitations link which lists the 30 adjusting firms.

You will find the list again in their meeting documents along with the “remaining list” for firms that applied but were not awarded contracts to service their claims on the past meeting link above by looking at the Board of Governors meeting in January- search the documents in  the left column for all lists and the claim committee presentations and info at those meetings.This is public information posted on their website. 

We have located the websites for adjusters to contact these firms about their upcoming Citizens of Florida required carrier certification training. It is our understanding many of the firms are already hosting the daily (non catastrophe) training right now and that the independent catastrophe training will be held beginning April 2009. It is best to check with them as we are not a Citizens vendor but simply provided much needed information for independent adjusters looking for the firms designated to handle their claims.

We post ALL adjusting firm training classes we learn about on our  site at ClaimSmentor  in our Carrier Certification forum for participants on our site. Before you pay to attend any of these sessions make sure to note that a large number of those hosting the classes are hosting them FREE so  be sure you check around for those classes. There are so many going on, it will not be difficult at all to find one in a location near you. The majority of advertisements we see for these are being held in popular locations in Florida and Texas. Now if we can just get them to hold some of them in the central of the US like here in Nashville, TN!!

If you are an adjusting firm wishing to post information about your classes, please contact Debbie@Dimechimes.com for more information about joining ClaimSmentor or posting your class information here on our Adjuster Information blog.

Here is the list of websites for the 30 selected firms. Be sure to ask the firm before you sign up with them if they are one of the firms that did agree on their response to the RFP to offer Citizens a 5 or 10% discount off of their fixed fee schedule. Citizens used an evaluation criteria where each firm applying got X number of points if they offered Citizens a discount.

 I had significant concerns about this as an inexperienced firm could gain points almost forcing them to offer a discount on the fee schedule to be competitive on the evaluation criteria. Other concerns I had/have are:

1)  How would this work with independent adjusters working side by side and some making 10% more than other independents if they happen to be working for one of the firms offering the discount?

2) Would this reduction in fee schedule cause a poor selection of adjusters sending the more experienced adjusters running to other carriers where they can earn a larger fee since they incur significant travel expenses when they work out of town to begin with during catastrophes?

3) Would this run off  excellent firms who are not interested in working for reduced fees when they can service claims for other carriers at greater fees? (When you look at the remaining list on the link above you’ll wonder too!)

The information I have gathered from some of the adjusting firms participating in the RFP is that even when they did offer the 10% discount to Citizens they did not plan on passing those discounted fees on to the independent adjuster. Instead, they plan to absorb that 10% from their portion of the fee bill. Thus for example if the adjusting firm agrees to a fee split of 60/40 with the independent adjuster, the adjuster would still get their 60% of the fee schedule, the adjusting firm 30%, and adjusting firm absorbs 10% of what they would have gotten had they not agreed to the 10% fee schedule discount. Just check with the adjusting firms you apply to to be sure you are not working at a 10% discount should this concern you. You can check the Fixed Citizens Fee schedule by asking the adjusting firm for the FIXED fee schedule from the RFP or look at it yourself in the RFP documents which are linked to here  on the above links to Closed RFP documents on the Citizens Purchasing link on their home page at www.citizensfla.com ( look for RFP 08-0016 )

Here are the websites for the 30 selected firms where you can apply and register for their Citizens Certification training:

Action Catastrophe Team, Inc.

http://www.actioncatteam.com

Alamo Claim Service

http://www.myalamoclaims.com

Allied American Adjusting Company, LLC

http://www.americanadj.com/contact1.html

Bradley Stinson & Associates, Inc.

http://www.bradleystinson.com/

Burton Claim Service, Inc.

http://www.burtonclaimservice.com/contact.htm

CatManDo, Inc.

http://www.catmandoinc.com/contact-us.aspx

Claims Consultants, LLC

http://www.claimsconsultantsllc.com

CountryWide Adjusting

http://www.cwclaims.com

Florida Claims, a division of Weathers Adjustment Company, Inc.

http://www.floridaclaims.com/contact.asp

G&G Insurance Adjusters, Inc.

http://www.ggadjusters.com/upload/jobs.asp

Global Risk Solutions, Inc. (GRS)

http://www.globalrisksolutions.com

Insurance Servicing & Adjusting Company (ISAC)


http://www.isacclaims.com

Insure-Aid Claims Service

http://www.insure-aid.com/ContactInformation.htm

Integrated Catastrophe Services, Inc.

http://www.iclaimsllc.com 

Interclaim, Inc.

http://www.interclaiminc.com/about.html

Johns Eastern Company, Inc.

http://www.johnseastern.com/career.html

Legacy Claim Services, LLC

  http://www.legacyclaims.net

Lozano Insurance Adjusters, Inc.

http://www.lozanoadjusters.com

Mathias and Company, Inc.

http://www.mathiasinc.com/

Nado Insurance Services

http://www.Nadoclaims.com

National Catastrophe Adjusters, Inc. (NCA)

http://www.ncagroup.com

 

Pilot Catastrophe Services, Inc.

http://www.pilotcat.com

ROL Insurance Consulting

http://yellowpages.aol.com/business/fl/oldsmar/rol-insurance-consulting/0-116929477/?query=Insurance+Adjusters

**I couldn’t find a website for them but found phone number above. Anyone know their website?

S&S Claims Service, Inc.

http://www.SSClaims.com

Team One Adjusting Services, LLC

http://www.teamoneclaims.com

The Littleton Group

http://www.littleton-group.com/catastrophe_services.html

US CAT Adjusters, LLC

http://www.uscatadj.com

 

Walker Group, Inc.

http://www.wgclaims.com

Wardlaw Claims Service

http://www.wardlawclaims.com/contact.cfm

 

York Claims Service, Inc.

http://www.yorkclaims.com/YCS/ContactUs/ExecutiveContacts.aspx

***Before you consider working for any adjusting firm, you might want to check the Vendor Feedback forums over at www.catadjuster.org on this link to see what other adjusters may be discussing about these firms as we do not provide vendor feedback on ClaimSmentor since 50% of our members are trainees. I do always have concern with “vendor feedback” as you never know if it is a disgruntled employee if they post negative comments and/or if there were work performance issues. I can assure you based on my claims management background that some of the worst performers are the loudest complainers but at the same time I can also tell you that there are many non payment issues we need to clean up in the independent adjusting business. Unfortunately, the few firms with these issues give others a bad name for all independent adjusting firms:

http://www.catadjuster.org/Forums/tabid/60/afv/topicsview/aff/40/Default.aspx

**Note you have to register on CADO (www.catadjuster.org) and have a login id to get into this Vendor Feedback in the Adjusters Den there as that forum is not open to the public.

There are so many reputable firms, some who have even serviced their claims for years, on the “remaining”  list that it makes you wonder if the evaluation process was the proper tool for evaluating the professionalism of all adjusting firms. I am not by any means putting down those selected, just concerned about many of the GREAT adjusting firm names on the “remaining” list. I will get the websites up to the firms on the “remaining” list within the next week since there are so many good firms on that list as well.

Note the Citizens Minutes of the Board and Claim Committee meetings usually run about a month behind getting posted on their website so we don’t yet have a link to any details about the finalization of the contracts with these 30 firms which their site says was going to be done once they got the board approval for these firms in late January. (See past Board of Governor and Claim Committee meeting links on the link above to past meetings.

*********

Update 6:35pm CST: If you want to see the history of RFP 08-0016 and what independent adjusters  and independent adjusting firms have been put through on Citizens adjuster training in 07 and 08 (with the majority never getting an assignment) you can look at this list of prior blogs we wrote since we started this blog July 07:

7/26/07:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/hot-topic-for-independent-adjusters-opportunities-to-work-citizens-insurance-of-fl-claims/

 

8/24/07:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/enough-is-enough-citizens-fl-claim-reserve-problem-to-the-tune-of-300-million/

 

10/18/07

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/citizens-of-fl-adds-46th-adjusting-firm-tornado-damage-in-pensacola-fl/

 

2/13/08:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/citizens-rfp-for-daily-independent-adjusters-cancelled-the-claims-cheese-is-on-the-move-again/

 

4/23/08:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/citizens-of-fl-releases-new-rfp-for-daily-and-for-catastrophe-claims/

 

5/14/08:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/citizens-of-fl-new-rfp-revised-times-3/

 

5/14/08:

 

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/citizens-of-fl-changes-independent-training-requirements-for-2008/

 

5/19/08:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/concerned-regarding-adjuster-fee-schedules-for-citizens-of-fl/

 

 

 

6/18/08:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/18/breaking-news-citizens-has-posted-30-firms-selected-for-tier-1-on-new-rfp/

 

8/5/08:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/citizens-of-fl-cancels-rfp-for-independent-adjusters-yet-another-time-in-2008-rebid-now-times-4/

 

8/18/08:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/citizens-expects-to-post-rebid-rfp-for-independent-adjusters-on-august-19-2008/

 

9/03/08:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/citizens-of-fl-now-has-a-new-date-published-for-new-rfp-for-93008/

 

2/19/09:

 

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/citizens-of-fl-board-approves-selection-of-30-selected-adjusting-firms-see-list-here-with-websites/

Note alot of the links have probably moved in these blogs as Citizens moves information to the “Past ” link on the Board of Governors Meeting (there is a future meeting link and a past meeting link you will find on the home page at www.citizensfla.com and the RFP 08-0016 information is moved from the Purchasing documents link to the Closed and Archived documents link which you can still find on the home page linked to a minute ago. 

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

Updated 3/6/09: To help adjusters who keep asking who should they take the classes from, who would I recommend,etc (which I don’t do as I have no control of these firms so if I have not been participating with them for years or deployed adjusters for them and gotten great feedback I must refrain from doing so…..in the same vain, we do not provide vendor feedback in our ClaimSmentor forums since we have not personally worked with these firms)….anyway….try the membership directory at www.naiia.com  and also view their membership criteria to understand why we are suggesting you go there to see which members above are approved members at NAIIA. While you are there, be sure to click on their link to the Code of Conduct form they require members comply with. Search our Archives found in the left column of this blog and read our entire blog about this posted on 3/5/09. You can click on the Calendar on 3/5/09 and it will take you right to it!


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


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


Independent Agents Rank Claim Service as Top Measurement of Carrier Performance- Part III of Claim and Agency Relationships can Make or Break an Adjuster

September 17, 2008

 

Due to major storm damage as a result of Hurricane Ike, it is timely to bring back to the surface a former blog we wrote on Claims and Agency relationships due to the fact many adjusters do not understand the need to keep the agent in the loop on the status of the claim. I was amazed when teaching a fundamentals of claims class how many new adjusters felt they had no obligation to communicate timely with the agency force. If you missed our first two  blogs on this here is a link:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/08/agents-can-make-you-or-break-you-the-often-overlooked-piece-of-the-claim-service-puzzle/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/claim-adjuster-and-agent-relationships-part-ii/

The Claims Journal has just released the results of a survey of Independent Agents who also consider claims and agency relationships a top concern by considering it a top measure of performance of a carrier. Here is a link to their article:

http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2008/09/15/93683.htm

Please keep the agents- both agents who are committed to one insurer as well as independent agents informed timely on their claims. It will make a world of difference in your ability to resolve difficulties on some of your toughest claims.


Hurricane Gustav Expected to be Major-Emergency TX and LA license links / Claim Statistics for TS Fay/Eduardo/Dolly

August 26, 2008

 

What a surprise to wake up today to find that Gustav reached hurricane strength so quickly and also to hear the current news with predictions it will make US landfall as anywhere from a Category 3 to a Category 5 strength hurricane.

My favorite weather reports over at Ralph’s Tropical weather show not only Hurricane Gustav now at 90 MPH but other areas with potential for development:

http://ralphstropicalweather.homestead.com/RalphTropicalWeatherOut.html

Here is also the latest 11am stormtrack report over at Ralph’s:

http://ralphstropicalweather.homestead.com/StormTrack.html

The 2pm NOAA hurricane tracking map looks dead on for LA again (unreal with the 3 year anniversary of Katrina this week):

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at2+shtml/084813.shtml?5day#contents

Here are important links on Adjuster licensing for TX and LA. It’s important to remember that LA has added adjuster licensing post Katrina so the rules have changed since the last major storm in LA:

TX emergency adjuster license info:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/licensing/agent/revagtemeradj.html

TX Resident and Non Resident adjuster license link:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/licensing/agent/index.html

LA emergency adjuster licensing info as well as resident and non resident info is very difficult to find. The new law was effective January of 2007. Here is a link to the info we found last year on their website:

(Make sure to read all such as Claims Adjuster License Act,etc):

http://www.ldi.state.la.us/Licensing/Producer/index.htm

http://www.ldi.state.la.us/Documents/Licensing/Producer/LAClaimsAdjusterAct.pdf

Worley adjusting firm actually has the LA Adjusters study guide link up on their site:

https://worleyco.com/publications_sale_adjuster.php

**Update Wednesday 8/27- See comments at end of this blog for addition of MS emergency adjuster and non resident/resident license info and applications

You might want to keep this LA Road closure and evacuation route info handy if traveling into the area next week:

http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/evacinfo/rdclosureindex.htm

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

Many of you are following or searching for claim statistics from TS Fay. Thus far, the majority of reports are showing statistics anywhere between 9,000 and 11,000 claims from the top 5 carriers depending on which report you read. Here are numerous links to update you by carrier:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/insurance/entries/2008/08/25/fay_claims_growing.html

Here are more stories of St John’s River flooding HO claims:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/weather/hurricane/orl-floods2608aug26,0,6799981.story

Another interesting story on flooding hitting non covered HO’s hard:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/content/business/epaper/2008/08/25/0825floodinsure.html

This report alleges 11,000 claims vs the 9,200 in other reports above from top 4 carriers:

http://www.propertyandcasualtyinsurancenews.com/cms/nupc/Breaking+News/2008/08/25-FAY-mr

*******

In other interesting 2008 Hurricane Season updates, you’ll want to take a minute to read this update on the status of the Texas Windpool (TWIA )funds available post Hurricane Dolly and Eduardo:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2008/08/26/93100.htm

Updates 9/2/08: Damage Stats and Temp Housing Links in Gustav damage zones:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/preliminary-damage-statistics-from-hurricane-gustav-updates-on-temporary-housing-in-gustav-damage-territories/