What shots does CDC recommend for disaster workers? Watch for more flood adjuster training info this week

June 16, 2008

 

I have limited time available to post new blogs this week but wanted to be sure to get this information up today about CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations for shots for disaster workers. This is especially important for the many of you deploying to the flood damage in Iowa and other states. Fox news is extensively reporting about the toxic waters, the mold issues, the snakes and other harmful issues that could cause major safety concerns for insurance adjusters.

Here are the CDC recommendations. I would take heed and see your physician for the necessary shots BEFORE you depart:

http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/disease/responderimmun.asp

Watch later this week for our posts on claims adjuster/ independent adjuster flood claim training information to include NFIP certification, special estimate software specific to flood claims and much more info you need to know on flood coverage , flood policies, and more issues that differ to work as a flood adjuster versus a property adjuster on wind, hail, fire, and other type of losses as the file requirements and safety concerns differ greatly.


Current Claim Adjuster Job Opportunities

June 6, 2008

We have been requested to staff for Nationwide Certified adjusters for one of our clients. We are looking for experienced adjusters who also have completed their Nationwide certification exams.

Should you be an experienced adjuster and need to obtain your Nationwide certification, we can place you in an upcoming FREE class taking place 6/20 and 6/21/08 with our client. Email us  should you need the class for more information. You must supply your resume for consideration and referral. All Contact info can be found on the About page here on the blog. 

We have also been asked by another client to update our Commercial Large Loss adjusters roster in preparation for hurricane season. Please email your resume for consideration to us if qualified. Please be sure your email/ resume includes specifics about the types of commercial claims and the type and size of the condominium claims you have handled. Include information on the carriers you have experience working commercial claims for.

We are also accepting resumes for experienced adjusters for the upcoming hurricane season as well as for daily claims. With the large number of hail storms and tornado losses the past month, many adjusting firms are rapidly running through their rosters and are requesting staffing assistance.

You can find all information we need from applicants at our staffing firm site on the Opportunities tab. See About page here on the blog for all contact info.

Carrier requirements are much stricter this year. Many adjusting firms are requiring that you have non resident licenses versus operating under emergency adjuster licenses due to the fact many of the storms this year while causing serious damage did not generate the number of claims for a state to approve emergency adjusters thus to work claims in a state not declaring approval of emergency licenses you must have a non resident license. I will blog more about that next week and provide information that many of the adjusting firms are presenting as far as the states they are recommending you secure your non resident license in (states prone to storms).

Unfortunately, on some recent staffing requests we had to turn down even some very experienced adjusters because the carrier would make NO exception allowing experienced adjusters to deploy as they did not have that carrier’s current certification exam completed. We all know those requirements become more lax during a major catastrophe but thus far most carriers are not being flexible about waiving this requirement.

Review our FAQ for more information on our process. There is never a charge to the adjuster as all fees are paid by the insurance carrier or adjusting firm engaging our services:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/11/faq-and-current-job-opportunity-infocatastrophe-roster-opportunities-august-2007/


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!

May 29, 2008

Here is an interesting article by Dow Jones on how rising gasoline prices are going to increase the cost of claim settlements should a big one hit this coming hurricane season:

http://www.lloyds.com/CmsPhoenix/DowJonesArticle.aspx?id=393043

Basically, the cost of material goods from building material suppliers will rise due to transportation costs of materials,etc thus increasing the cost to settle not only building but contents claims.

What I wish they would have included in the article is the effect rising gasoline prices will have on independent adjusters decisions regarding deployment this hurricane season. For those not familiar with independent adjusters, they must pay their own expenses unlike staff adjusters who are employees for an insurance carrier who have their expenses covered by their employer- the insurance company.

Independent adjusters basically have four options:

1)Deploy and absorb the extra expense greatly cutting into their profits (which are now often greatly reduced to begin with due to partial assignments while the carrier staff works part of the coverage on contents and ale losses). Current hot topics on this subject include adjusters discussing different vehicle options moving from the SUV’s and trucks to smaller vehicles with better gas mileage. This presents a real issue for independent adjusters who live on the road following storms needing larger vehicles for one and two story ladders, estimatic and computer equipment, and living supplies needed for survival in often very unpleasant living circumstances at the beginning of any severe storm. Here’s a link to just two of many ongoing discussions on this topic: click here and here. The first link you may have to login to CADO to read as it’s in the adjuster den forums which require login. There is also a 3rd ongoing discussion about adjusters changing vehicles but I couldnt get my hands on the topic and will update this when I do so.

2) Deploy but only accept in office assignments in insurance companies claim central operations as many carriers have catastrophe claim central operations and use independents in this capacity for the great demand when necessary. I’ve seen many experienced independents accepting these assignments who in the past would never want to be tied to an in office cubicle environment on a daily rate instead of working off fee schedules on field inspections because of several issues to include the unfortunate increase in non paying adjusting firms on fee schedule handled files (they’ll know within 2 weeks  or so if the firm is paying or not working in office) and because of the guarantee of atleast biweekly if not weekly pay versus the unreasonable delay in some carriers offices in settling field catastrophe files so adjusters get paid (as well as insureds of course).

3) Many independent adjusters who prefer the independent adjuster lifestyle are moving to carrier staff adjuster positions. If you missed our blog on the pros and cons of each position- here is a link.

4) The last option is to leave the field altogether which many are doing due to the lack of work the past two seasons. They need a dependable stable income which the independent adjusting business has not been able to provide the last two years.

Here’s a link to an interesting AP article out this week indicating we are getting ready to break US records this tornado season on claims so hopefully independents are finding much more work these past few weeks. We’ve gotten some great news from long term ClaimSmentor trainees who picked up storm assignments in the past few weeks as assistants on rope and harness teams with some of the major independent adjusting firms which I feel sure is due to their committment to continuing adjuster education knowing these individuals who have definitely prepared for this career with licensing, estimatic courses, carrier certification exams successfully passed,  and field mentor training they’ve gone through. This is an outstanding opportunity for them to work with an experienced adjuster on the rope and harness teams to learn the practical application of all of their training in a real claims environment while being coached by this other half of their team. Hats off to the adjusting firms using this approach to develop new adjusters!

So what are some of the things adjusting firms and insurance companies can do to ensure more independents do not leave the field due to rising fuel costs?

1) Carriers and/or adjusting firms (depending on who is making the assignments to the independents)should ensure that their catastrophe claim automation folks on large cats or local field operations on smaller cats are using automated zoning systems utilizing the 9 digit zip codes to ensure that claims are assigned in tighter zones for independent assignments getting their group of claim assignments as close together as possible to  lower their gas expenses.

2) Hopefully, carriers and adjusting firms are all using current technology using CMS (Claim Management Systems) so adjusters can download assignments and upload inspection/claim documents without the need to waste precious fuel to come into pick up  and drop off assignments. CMS systems not only reduce fuel expenses but provide much more prompt settlement of claims for policyholders as carriers have immediate access to claim file documents. My top recommendation on CMS systems if you do not have one is Click Claims which won the AM Best’s Efusion Award for CMS systems- here’s a link if you want to take a free demo. I personally managed adjusters throughout FL during the 4 in 04 hurricanes in FL and cannot image accepting an assignment working without this particular program again. By the way, vendors using email only processes for catastrophe claim documents should be history as it leads to nothing but confusion and loss of claim file documents and unnecessary delays in processing file closures for prompt payments to insureds when no one can find the emailed documents. I am also aware of numerous new adjusters who were burned on adjuster fees when files were not uploaded in their name after emailing them in and a supervisor uploaded them into a different adjuster’s name. I was totally surprised but heard it enough to believe it was true for some inexperienced adjusters.

3) Keep unit meetings during a storm to a limited number reserved for critical information sharing otherwise minor details can be shared by email and teleconferences where managers conference call unit members versus requiring travel to cat offices. This would apply to meetings required by adjusting firms and for insurance carriers.

4) Many adjusting firms share in any gas allowance fees which may be incorporated into a carrier’s fee schedule. For instance, if the fee split in the independent contract with the adjuster is 60% to the adjuster and 40% to the adjusting firm, the firm will take their 40% of the mileage allowance as well as the gross billing on the amount of loss fee. One of the forum links above had adjusters discussing this issue. I’d like some light shed on this practice by SOME adjusting firms as I do not see any reason whatsoever that an adjusting firm should be taking a percentage of the travel fees when they incurred ZERO percent of the cost. If there are reasons they do so, please reply and let us know!

For those that aren’t famililar with insurance company  independent fee schedules, many require the adjuster go a given number of miles with no allowance such as 50 miles before they then consider an allowance for mileage traveled. Typical schedules say the first 50 miles is included in the regular fee on the claim.

Adjusting firms that are doing this should consider offering 100% of the travel allowance to the independent adjuster incurring the cost. Adjusting firms should also consider negotiating a gas allowance per claim particularly if the independent adjuster is assigned a rural territory incurring unreasonable mileage. During the 4 in 04, I had no trouble negotiating a gas allowance for our independent adjusters with many regional carriers at all. I know some carriers such as the recent Citizens RFP says there will be no negotiating on their fee schedule. This could work to their detriment if other insurance carriers are allowing this gas mileage allowance.

5) Carriers can host carrier certification classes online through podcasts and webinars versus requirements adjusters travel to their pre-qualified independent firms offices for testing. Today many offer IDL (Interactive Distance Learning) webinars the adjusters can take in field locations throughout the nation at agents or carrier regional offices yet they then require the independent adjuster actually travel to the independent adjusting firms assigned their claims to take the actual certification test which follows the IDL. For example, an adjuster residing in FL may be able to watch the preliminary IDL in FL at a regional office for the carrier yet the closest adjusting firm office to take the test is in LA. This makes no sense when the carriers can provide monitored testing at the same locations at their offices where the IDL sessions are held or use an examination center like the AICPCU program does for the CPCU or AIC exams where they are proctored at local colleges.

6) Carriers should seriously consider helping with this problem by assigning rural territories to their staff adjusters as their gas expenses are covered if they wish to keep independents working claims. This may not be possible during the clean up phase where territory assignments are more difficult but this should be no problem whatsoever at the onset of a large storm.

Carriers need to consider that independent adjusters when not deployed on cat are working other positions at home and also do not have unlimited time to take off of daily work they are doing at home to travel during the week to take all of the various carrier certification exams required for them to work claims and should also consider offering these exams and IDL programs on Saturdays.

7) Adjusters- have you considered two story rope and harness team assignments where you split the fuel costs? Most of these assignments are paid on daily rates so you will also be paid regularly and on a stable schedule.

8 ) Carriers need to consider claim managers dedicated to reviewing and approving independent claim files as they are often set aside by cat managers to review later due to the extra work involved reviewing and approving the fee bill. During the storms in 04, it wasn’t uncommon to have delays of 60-90 days AND MORE on adjusting firms being paid due to back logs in carrier claim operations reviewing and approving files. Thankfully, that year the FL Dept of Insurance imposed many deadlines on claim closures which helped atleast get them processed a bit more timely. The intent was to get the settlement money in the hands of insureds which is most important but it didn’t hurt getting the payments to independent adjusting firms either.

9) Adjusting firms definitely need to increase their office personnel during a major storm. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of managing independent adjusters and trying to keep them happy and funded when the adjusting firm had far below the number of office personnel to timely invoice the carrier on claims and just as important to timely follow up on unpaid invoices. Adjusters will not be able to sustain themselves this year for 60-90 day time frames with fuel expenses this high and ever going higher should a hurricane hit. Office staff also needs to be mentored on the importance of processing these payments when payments do come into the adjusting firm for timely payment to the adjusters. I have witnessed too often some pretty rude comments coming from office staff such as “if they want a regular paycheck go get a staff job” which does nothing for adjuster/adjusting firm relationships. In another case, at 4pm sharp each day the office staff walked out the door at 4pm as the adjusting firm wouldn’t authorize overtime at a time it was sorely needed to set up new catastrophe assignments and process invoices. Listen folks, if you don’t keep adjusters funded for work they have professionally completed, we will all see the fall of the independent industry. Due to partial assignments from the carrier and poor payment practices on the carrier thus the adjusting firm part, many independent adjusters are finding it most difficult to continue on this career path. This is not to say all adjusting firm office staff are negative, there are many adjusting firms who are proactive on invoicing and their staff runs an excellent operation. Adjusters just need to determine quickly what type of operation they are dealing with and depart the assignment at the first sign of payment issues.

A recent example is the Citizens policy posted in recent RFP documents where they indicate they have 30 days to pay the adjusting firm from the time a claim is submitted yet they require the adjusting firm pay the adjuster within 14 days of assignment.  So………..should all go like clock work an independent adjuster would be looking at a minimum of six weeks before they get paid on a claim from the day it is submitted for closure. How many Americans would work for six weeks without pay …not many I’d venture to guess and they are in a stable home environment not incurring hotel and these excessive fuel charges to service claims.

Here are some other ideas not just adjusting firm and carrier specific but some great ideas:

Offering incentives and rewards in the form of gas gift cards to employees is mentioned in this article which says in part:

A small but growing number of employers are offering gas and commuting incentives to help workers get to work. A May 6, 2008, survey of 553 human resource managers found the percentage of companies offering gas cards as employee rewards more than doubled between 2007 and 2008 — from 6 percent to 14 percent. The study, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, also noted that companies are organizing car pools, offering telecommuting options and public transportation discounts and giving cash incentives for employees to buy hybrid cars.

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/gas-card-price-poll-1277.php

How about gas card incentives offered by various hotel chains- you’ll be amazed at the results if you just enter “gas card incentives” in a google search to find results like the following article with numerous offers by hotel chains:

http://www.travelpost.com/articles/save-on-gas.aspx

Here’s another cool tool adjuster’s would find useful to calculate your fuel costs to deploy to another city for catastrophe duty based on your vehicle and your route from AAA:

http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com

Here is another great site for determining gas prices nationwide, mapping your trip and finding the best deals on gas along the way:

http://gasbuddy.com/

This is just another  challenging opportunity for us to work together with carriers, adjusting firms, and adjusters to find ways to solve this problem to properly service claims for our policyholders. We need to meet this challenge BEFORE the first hurricane hits by establishing plans for dealing with these gas price issues facing independent adjusters. June 1, 2008 is just days away….what a GREAT time to establish and announce your independent adjuster friendly policy for meeting the needs to cover this fuel cost crisis for independents this season!

If you know of other fuel cost savings for adjusters or some innovative way firms and carriers are dealing with this issue…feel free to reply and share your ideas with our readers.


VA Tornado Damage- The Carrier Claim Numbers Are Coming In

April 30, 2008

 

We have been monitoring the news for updates on the Carrier number of claims reported as a result of the tornado damage in VA this week in Suffolk County and other communities. Here are some news stories of interest quoting carriers. At this point, the number of the carriers polled in these news stories does not exceed 200 for any carrier so I do not imagine there will be a major need thus far for independent adjusters. Having said that, the news stories linked to below also indicate that homeowners still are not allowed into some areas due to power lines down and gas leaks so those numbers are expected to grow as many of the carriers interviewed indicated.

Here is information on the Declaration of an Emergency declared which normally triggers a state to allow adjusters in to operate under an emergency adjusters license. Checking the VA Dept of Insurance website, I am not finding any information related to adjuster emergency licenses or even resident adjuster licenses required. Here is a link to the Virginia Insurance Department-click here. I was able to get through to the VA Insurance Licensing division and spoke with “Richard” at 804-371-9631 and was advised that VA does not require a license for resident adjusters or emergency adjusters. Quite amazing and so NOT a good idea these days!

Here’s some great video footage of the damage in VA: click here

 According to the Virginia-Pilot news, none of the carriers were reporting more than 200 claims as of yesterday – here’s a link to their news article quoting several carriers and also indicating many homeowners have yet to be allowed to return to their neighborhoods thus they are expecting many more claims to be reported. Click here for the article. Also, according to this second article at the same site, the damage is expected to exceed 20 million dollars. Click here for the 2nd article. This next article contains a bit more information on damage and has some good links to photos of the damage as well. Click here to view.

The NAIIA (National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters) has 29 Adjusting firms listed for VA. Click here to view. This wouldn’t be all inclusive but a good start if your core firms you prefer aren’t sending folks in (and of course if we don’t get staffing requests for the assignment since the numbers are relatively low as far as deploying independents). Sometimes, the carriers will still deploy a few independents from some of the local firms who assist with daily claims and branch assist assignments when there isn’t enough work to warrant calling in their national catastrophe teams (usually requires 500 or more claims in a state as a result of one storm for most carriers). Here is also an AM Best Adjusters list of firms they list where you can search by state for firms-click here.

You will also find the link to the VA Fairplan for adjusters wanting to send them resume (site presently shows no employment opportunities but given the damage this week that could change) or for adjusting firms wishing to solicit their business- click here .


Citizens of FL Releases new RFP for Daily AND for Catastrophe Claims

April 23, 2008

 

Check back later today for more details on this comparing the new RFP to the prior cancelled RFP. We do have questions and things to point out you’ll want to be sure not to overlook!

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

If you missed our original blog notice about Citizens cancelling the RFP for Daily claims several month ago, here is a link: Click here

Citizens of FL has now posted (eff 4/22) the new Request for Proposal for not
only Daily (non catastrophe claims)for 2008-2011 but also for Cat claims for
2009-2011. There is less than one week for adjusting firms wishing consideration
to get their questions in to Citizens per the RFP information.

Adjusters will be interested in the experience requirements and the fee
schedules posted as well in Addendum A.

Here is the link to all information. I note quite a number of changes from the
original RFP to include rejection of your RFP if you contact anyone other than
the 1 contact provided, no fines listed in the new RFP (will they still go by
those in the Claims Manual?), and corporate business references for the
adjusting firms which may limit those applying to the firms in business for
several years versus new adjusting firms.

You can view all information here:

https://www.citizensfla.com/shared/purchasing/pdfs/08-0016%20-RFP%20Final.doc

Here is a link to all of the addendums to include Addendum A with the fee
schedules beginning on page 10:

https://www.citizensfla.com/shared/purchasing/pdfs/RFP%2008-0016.zip

Here is also a link to their purchasing site showing the 5/19/08 deadline for
RFP submissions(deadline for questions to be submitted is 4/29/08:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/purchasing-current_reqs.cfm

I’ll have a blog up shortly summarizing the differences from the original RFP
later today with some of the questions I have after viewing the new RFP at
www.dimechimes.wordpress.com .

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

Citizens also has a job opportunity posted for a Catastrophe Ops Director and a
Sr VP of Claims you can view on their Career Opportunities link on their home page for details.

Here is a link to the old RFP documents if you want to jump start your comparison while I’m updating mine:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/purchasing-archived_reqs.cfm (See Claims Admn for Daily Claims links)


5.4 Earthquake hits Illinois and surrounding states 4/18/08- Watch here for staffing requests to follow

April 18, 2008

Fox News is reporting a 5.4 earthquake in Illinois- the strongest they say to hit the area in 40 years. Later reports are now saying 5.2 centered in eastern Illinois. They say it was felt in IL, IN. MO, KY, TN and others. Below you will find some of the initial reports. They are showing photos of brick damage to buildings in Louisville, KY now. Here are some of the initial reports. We’ll update this blog entry with more news and emergency adjuster licensing information in the states involved as the day progresses. We will also update this blog with all new staffing requests received as a result of this EQ as the week progresses so check back regularly.

EQ Info:

Us Geological website– see top left hand corner for today’s EQ info:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/

This link provides info with distance from other cities– I see it’s only 38 miles from Evansville, Ind:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqinthenews/2008/us2008qza6/

Illinois EQ info website:http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/?region=Illinois

 

Fox news release:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351698,00.html

Here’s more news on Chicago and Indiana:http://www.myfoxchicago.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=6338887&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=1.1.1

 

News out of Ft Wayne, Ind:

http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080418/LOCAL/364069032/1002/LOCAL

News out of Grand Rapids, MI:

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/04/earthquake_centered_in_illinoi.html

This post will be edited with more information shortly.


Supplemental Request 4/18/08 for TX licensed/Nationwide Certified Adjusters

April 18, 2008

 

We have received a supplemental request (original was 4/11/08-click here for all details on prior blog post on the opportunity) for TX licensed (resident or non resident) adjusters who do HAVE their Nationwide Insurance carrier certification exam. Please see the prior link for all necessary information for consideration. We do need the approximate date of your Nationwide passing exam as well as the name of the vendor you took the exam through as the adjusting firm we are staffing firm must verify with Nationwide that you have completed their certification. No exceptions can be made. Last week we received resumes from some outstanding experienced adjusters but they did NOT have the Nationwide certification thus we were not able to submit their information for this particular opportunity.

We do welcome all applicants for future opportunities but for this particular one- the Nationwide certification AND the experience requirements must be met for consideration. All others- please just specify in the subject area of your email that you are requesting roster placement.

Note that a 5.4 Earthquake has hit today in Illinois, we’ll have more information up on that soon as well as posting information throughout the week on any additional staffing requests so check back often.


Immediate Need for Experienced Adjusters- TX License for Storm Claims

April 11, 2008

 

We have an immediate need for TX licensed (resident or non resident) EXPERIENCED adjusters who have prior assignment experience working field HAIL claims AND are NATIONWIDE certified ALREADY to handle claims immediately for the TX storms. I can’t make any exceptions to the prior HAIL experience requirement nor the Nationwide certifications.

If you wish consideration, send your resume to Debbie@Dimechimes.com . This request is currently for 5 experienced adjusters and may expand to more very shortly. We are getting a mass distribution email out to our Dimechimes Corporation roster folks as well as posting this to experienced adjusters who are members of ClaimSmentor so please submit the information immediately should you wish consideration.

Due to the number of storms, we are expecting additional requests so feel free to also submit your resume if you wish consideration for other requests we may receive. We are requiring current 2008 resumes for all seeking consideration. You can find a complete listing of information we require on your resume here:

http://www.dimechimes.com/Opportunities.html

***Update 4/18/08- We have received a supplemental request for additional adjusters to go on standby for the Dallas, Tx area due to additional storms. We must have information in your cover email that specifies approximately when you took and successfully passed your Nationwide Insurance certification exam and through which vendor in addition to your 2008 resume with 2 current references. The vendor we are staffing for must verify with Nationwide that you did successfully certify before they can deploy you.

 


Carrier Claim Numbers Coming in from Last Weekend’s Storms in MS

April 9, 2008

 We’ve had inquiries into the need for Independent adjusters hoping for claim assignments after last weekend’s storm in MS. By way of a brief update, here is an article indicating about 8,000 losses expected with the majority 10K or less. With no carrier in this article reporting numbers over about 2,000 mentioned in the article, it is very unlikely this will produce a large demand for independent adjusters as carriers are very well staffed this year to handle a catastrophe of that size with their own staff adjusters. If we see the numbers rolling over to any significant numbers, I’ll update this post.

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080409/NEWS/804090363

 Updated 4/10/08:

Here are some updated numbers reporting 4,450 total claims thus far reported in MS between the carriers polled with 2,300 the largest by 1 carrier for these Mississippi storms:

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080410/NEWS/804100377

I’m starting to hear from independent adjusters now being deployed to TX for the Texas hail storms and will update the blog later today with carrier numbers coming in on the other TX and midwest storms from  the last two days.


Next 40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class ONLINE-begins April 7, 2008

March 29, 2008

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We will begin our next 40 hour ONLINE Fundamentals of Claims class to be held on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6-9pm CST at ClaimSmentor on Monday April 7, 2008 through May 1, 2008.

This is 24 hours of online  LIVE instruction and 16 hours of pre-class reading material on general insurance carrier requirements for Property claim assignment handling. We touch on Additional Living Expense training and worksheets, Contents Claim handling and contents estimating software and depreciation, jewelry losses, common contents claim limits and coverage issues, estimate reconciliation issues, dealing with attorneys and public adjusters, coverage claim handling, complaint resolution handling, insurance department complaint handling, carrier/adjuster codes of conduct and ethics expectations, independent contracts and things to watch for when signing on with a new adjusting firm, and the favorite portion of the class is always our mock disaster assignment where you learn about agency relationships and carrier management expectations of you as well as  fee bill samples and discussions regarding the various fee billing types you may be asked to work under so you understand what benefits YOU as the adjuster the most. We close the class out with file requirement/documentation requirements and open question and answer sessions so trainees feel welcome to ask questions as they are in all classes. Much more is covered as well as numerous claim current events you need to be aware of before dealing with the public this storm season.

New adjusters often make the mistake of thinking obtaining  an adjuster’s license and an estimatic class is all that is necessary to go out on catastrophe or to begin handling claims. That is only a very small portion of what is necessary before you should EVER consider accepting assignments. One only has to view many of the lawsuits against adjuster’s and adjusting firms that have taken place in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to understand it is more important now than ever to have a much more indepth understanding of claim file handling PRIOR to going out on claims. The consequences for unprofessional claim handling are higher now than ever and it’s most important you obtain as much detail and understanding as you can before you accept assignments.

This course can be taken alone or in conjunction with our Career Coaching services where we personalize your resume customized for a new claims career as well as a detailed review of your background and assess your best possibilities for gainful employment in the claims industry according to your educational background. We include a roadmap to success by goal setting outlining courses you need, certifications that are a must, and other things you personally need to do to fill missing gaps to get you noticed by adjusting firms and carriers as well during our career coaching session. Just email us if you are interested in individual career coaching along with the class to maximize your future career potential. (Contact info found on About page on this blog)

If you are not a member of ClaimSmentor, you are welcome to register and join us for this next class if you are an independent or staff adjuster trainee or fairly new adjuster looking for more in depth training.  (Registration info found on About us page on this blog)


State Farm vs MS AG Hood Criminal Investigation case dismissed today per agreement reached on 2/6/08

February 7, 2008

The Sun Herald/AP breaking news story received late this evening in an alert indicates Hood and State Farm resolved their case late today.

You will recall this is the same case that Scruggs was called on for his deposition earlier this week. According to many other news reports out this week, Kerri Rigsby also received a subpeona to appear at this week’s court hearing.

Here’s the link to the breaking Sun Herald/AP article received with more news to follow as it sounds like more details will follow tomorrow:

http://www.sunherald.com/news/breaking_news/v-print/story/352391.html

Here is a similar but shorter news story over at the Clarion Ledger:

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS/80206063

David Rossmiller at the Insurance Coverage blog has been providing great updates this week on the case at The Insurance Coverage blog  as well some interesting comments and even a LIVE blogger in the court room today over at the FOLO blog at www.folo.wordpress.com.

More on this development tomorrow 2/7 as announcements and details are located.

Update 1:45 AM- Looks like Rossmiller’s been up all night as well and leave it to him to post this informative yet humorous update to yesterday’s events and possible resolution of this case:

http://www.insurancecoverageblog.com/archives/industry-developments-third-update-state-farm-v-hood.html

Update- 9:30 am 2/7/08- Folo comments indicate the court is back on at 10 or 10:30 am this morning so we’re watching for the court announcements on many sites

http://folo.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/state-farm-v-hood-deal-or-no-deal-by-nmc/#comments


Update 12:05pm 2/7-

Here is another Sun Herald article announcing the dismissal and the case under seal. Make sure to note the info in this news story about another case pending between Hood and State Farm on a civil case in another MS county though- only the Criminal investigation suit is dismissed according to this article:

http://www.sunherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/355138.html

 Update 9:15 pm 2/7:

Rossmiller has the dismissal order up here:

http://www.insurancecoverageblog.com/State%20Farm%20v.%20Hood,%20order%20sending%20case.pdf

Update 2/8/08: The settlement may be sealed but they now have the hearing transcript of 2/6 and 2/7 up on Rossmiller’s blog:

http://www.insurancecoverageblog.com/State%20Farm%20v.%20Hood%20transcript%20of%20February%206-7%20hearing.pdf

I’ll blog on that hopefully by Monday after taking 4 hours to read it this evening. Anyone in claims will be totally amazed (digusted?) at Hood’s testimony at the hearing. His figures about EA Renfroe handling 85% of the carriers claims, his testimony that he was trying to force the carrier to no longer use their anti concurrent cause exclusion in the agreement, admissions that the initial subpeona on the 1st criminal investigation had included requests for production also of the NFIP files,etc….no wonder this thing settled so quickly. He looks pretty bad across the board in his testimony and also lacked MUCH knowledge for someone called to testify before congressional hearings yet admitting in his testimony he knew little about flood policies. I could go on for hours but it’s Friday night. More on this later but I wanted to get it posted for any of you wanting the latest updates.

**Update 2/11/08- It appears I’m not the only one thoroughly disgusted about Hood’s testimony last week. You’ll just have to run over to the Insurance Coverage blog and read Rossmiller’s detailed evaluation ..you’ll love this “stupid T shirt” comments..I’m still smiing. (look at 2/11/08 posting)


Storms in TN, KY, AK, AL, IN, MO, MS of 2/5/08- Adjuster Information on Emergency Licensing and Damage

February 6, 2008

We are already receiving reports of adjusters deploying to the February 5, 2008 storms. We are providing some information to assist you in assessing damage and claim potential as well as for emergency adjuster licensing issues. You will also find some other interesting developments from 2006 and 2007 posted below that may come up while out on assignment:

Adjuster Licensing/ Insurance Carrier- Adjusting Firm emergency licensing forms

AL

AL emergency adjuster license form:

http://www.aldoi.gov/PDF/Licensing/EmergencyAdjustersApp.pdf

Here is current 2/08 info about AL- interesting info about the passes and that they will overnight them. This is an online form and looks like it must be completed by the company to register an emergency adjuster

http://www.aldoi.gov/Licensing/EmergAdjustForm.aspx

AK:

http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/License/forms.htm

http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/License/LicenseFormfiles/adjuster_application.pdf

KY:

KY Adjusters license application info- for resident and non resident- see info on the pdf about emergency adjusters/90 days info: (this is last update from June 2007)

http://doi.ppr.ky.gov/kentucky/Documents/Agent/AdjusterApprenticeAdj06072007.pdf

Here is more info on Ky emergency adjusters on this form for companies sending in emergency adjusters:

http://doi.ppr.ky.gov/kentucky/Documents/Agent/catloss83071104REV05272005.pdf

MS

Links to applying for MS license:

On-line License Applications

MS first-time licenses or reinstatements available through Sircon as of Jan. 1, 2007

Go to http://www.sircon.com/Mississippi  “Apply for a License”

Agents/Producers

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/licensing/update.html

Test scores for residents

The Mississippi Insurance Department now has the capability to receive test scores electronically for resident agents/producers. The Testing Service submits the test scores to Sircon on a daily basis. As a result, resident applicants for first-time Life & Health, Property & Casualty and Adjuster licenses are no longer required to submit test scores with their applications. Our processors will verify the test results upon receiving the application, license fee and pre-licensing certificate.

Note that this link had some emergency PA rules too but MS has a new Ins commissioner so no telling how this will all pan out these storms:

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/bulletins/20067bull.PDF

Info on MS Emergency adjusters licenses is found in this former bulletin on emergency adjusters in MS during Katrina:

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/bulletins/20067bull.PDF

which says in part that Ms Code 83-17-409 authorizes emergency adjuster authorization by the state

I’m curious if this bulletin on PA’s in MS which expired in May 2007 will be renewed:

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/bulletins/20058bull.PDF


TN:

New Public Adjuster Regs in 07:

TN new Public Adjuster licensing provisions that were in effect in 2007:

http://tennessee.gov/commerce/insurance/documents/PublicAdjusterLicPkt052107.pdf

TN Insurance Division – can’t find any info on state license or emergency licenses for adjusters- it’s my understanding resident adjusters are not licensed here but you will want to verify that before coming yourself since I am not familiar with emergency licensing standards here and nothing posted on their site:

http://www.state.tn.us/commerce/insurance/index.html

Miscellaneous Info adjusters might need/be interested in:

MS- See this bulletin about Auto total loss claims bulletin found on DOI site:

Bulletin from 6-07 about sales tax and license fees if a carrier totals an auto on a loss which says a carrier has not made an insured whole if they do not include tthese fees for title, sales tax and license fees:

http://www.doi.state.ms.us/bulletins/20074bull.PDF


 

TN- see note above on new PA licenses required in case you must deal with a PA there

Also – interesting problem contractor listing found on the TN state consumer division site updated 1/31/08:

TN – Problem Contractor listing for Contractors who have failed to respond to complaints in case any of you run into them: (list of 1/31/08 found on Consumer Affairs site on Tn site

http://www.state.tn.us/consumer/documents/ProblemContractorsList.pdf

TN Building Code info – an update from TN Dept of Ins of 1/25/08 some of you may need to be aware of if working TN storm claims:

http://www.state.tn.us/commerce/documents/pr2008EmergencyRules_01252008.pdf


Storm Reports:


NOAA Storm reports over 60 tornado reports yesterday and over 100 hail damage reports:

Here is the NOAA Storm reports link for yesterday to check back for updates for those of you new in claims that don’t have this link:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/yesterday.html

Last 3 hours reports more tornados in AL and TN:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/last3hours.html

Here is the one cumulative called TODAY’s reports (note the ones above in the last 3 hours aren’t showing up yet on the site:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/today.html

Photo Galleries of Storm Damage you might want to view:

Photo gallery of damage in Jackson,TN:

http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=DQ&Dato=20080205&Kategori=PHOTOGALLERIES01&Lopenr=802060801&Ref=PH

Gallery of photos posted at the Tennessean (Nashville) on damage throughout the state:

http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=DN&Dato=20080206&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=802060802&Ref=PH

News reports of the dead and destruction: 

Here is  a sampling of damage reports around the states from last night and this morning reporting 44 deaths and numerous injuries as well as much damage. The initial news reports here in TN were indicating 4 states involved but the NOAA reports show many others suffered hail damage as well like IN, MO, TX:

Some early reports indicating 31 dead:

http://gulfcoast.cox.net/cci/newsnational/national?_mode=view&_state=maximized&view=article&id=D8UKQ7681&_action=validatearticle

5 dead in Sumner Co, TN:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS/80206008

Reports of 3 dead in Shelby/Memphis TN:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS/80206012

Madison/Jackson,TN damage:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS/80206014

4 killed/20 injured- Madison/Jackson:

http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/NEWS01/802060331/1002

Arkansas- 13 dead/damage in 9 counties:
http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2008/feb/06/tornadoes-rip-state-kill-8/?news/arkansas

An earlier report out of Arkansas:

http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2008/feb/05/severe-thunderstorms-were-forecast-arkansas-tuesda/?news/arkansas

4 deaths reported in AL this am:

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2008/02/at_least_two_dead_in_storms_in.html


I’m sure by the time this blog is reported these numbers have risen. Our prayers go out to all damaged communities and families who have suffered losses. We also pray for the safety of all adjusters reporting to these storms. It is most difficult to work losses with these numbers of fatalities involved.

For those of you who are members at ClaimSmentor, we’ll post additional claim stats on the damage in our Storms Forum.

Don’t forget there is also a roster by state of residence of participating adjusters which now includes hundreds of experienced adjusters with their resumes uploaded which participating adjuster firms can use at no charge (it also indicates if the adjuster has uploaded their resume as well as their experience level directly on the state alpha list).

We are also available 24/7 to assist with any carrier or adjusting firm staffing needs. There is a charge for our services. Note our new office number now that we have relocated to TN is 615-435-4177 or Cell 850-496-7831 if you need additional staffing assistance.


Renfroe’s deposition in the Rigsby Whistleblower case-Interesting look into their thoughts on the case

December 18, 2007

You never know what your going to run across on different claim issues we like to follow in the claims industry. Today was one of those days that a follow up on the Renfroe / Rigsby whistleblower case lead me in a direction not expected on a Scruggs firm link to a deposition given by Jana Renfroe of the EA Renfroe firm which was given to the Rigsby attorney in March of 2007. It was hours worth of interesting reading not just from a human interest story in this major case with the players involved but from a management perspective which I felt could be a very useful training tool  as many issues came up in the form of questions that managers and owners of adjusting firms need to have a good handle on regarding employment, performance records they maintain on personnel, training records, all communications, and in maintaining all  deployment records with carriers.

I post about this deposition as it provides very useful and interesting insights into things claim managers need to be prepared to provide deposition testimony about should the need ever arise as has often happened in the aftermath of Katrina. The questions asked in the deposition of the EA Renfroe owners are things all managers should be prepared to answer should they be deposed on similar cases. The purpose of this particular deposition was made clear in the statements by the Renfroe’s attorney to Mr Hawley, the attorney representing the the Rigsbys. The deposition was taken in March of 2007 regarding the breach of contract allegations on the Renfroe / Rigsby contract. When Attorney Hawley (Rigsbys attorney) tried to bring in the issues of the wind vs water claim calls, objections were raised. I was surprised the attorney even tried to broach those topics with Mrs Renfroe as she testified in her deposition she was not an adjuster but had traveled with husband Gene in their early years prior to having children. I was most impressed with the fact that she had obtained her MBA and I  thought she made a credible witness on her own behalf  in the deposition as I read it.( I have to admit it would have been very interesting watch in person after doing kinesic interview technique training in my early years as an adjuster). I was a bit surprised at her lack of knowledge regarding more particulars on contacts at the carrier level and IDL certification specifics as the owner of the firm but her role was more financial and personnel related. I very much liked comments she made in her deposition regarding their desire to be “partners” with their independents and their wish that the Rigsbys had notified them of their concerns with what the Rigsbys felt were “irregularities” so they could have had the opportunity to investigate their allegations as they would with other concerns raised with carrier staff or independent personnel they deploy.

I have  wondered what the Renfroe’s position was on the Rigsby whistleblower case as I’m sure many of you have (they are owners of EA Renfroe who the Rigsbys worked for).

Today’s google alert sent an interesting link to this information on the
Scrugg’s site and I happened to click onto the link they had to Jana Renfroe’s
deposition taken in March 2007. It took hours to read to comprehend everything
but was a good learning tool as to things an adjusting firm or manager should
think about regarding contracts, regarding having a 1-800 hotline established
for your adjusters to report suspected fraud or wrong doing, and to consider how
your firm is going to look when being deposed on training requirements your firm
has, documents you maintain to keep up with those training achievements,
deployment selections, and how you track performance evaluations for your
independents. Of much interest is the comment on the last page of the deposition
by Jana Renfroe on page 94 when asked what she thought of the allegations made
by the Rigsby’s and her indication that “she didn’t know what to believe”.  
I’ll outline other allegations. Note on about page 80 where she testifies in her
deposition that thus far the attorney fees on the case have been about half a
million dollars….unreal! Also interesting her testimony that there is not a
joint litigation effort between Renfroe and State Farm on these issues. I’d been
wondering about that. 

*********

Here’s the Scruggs webpage:

http://www.scruggskatrinagroup.com/state-farm-on-the-defensive/index.php

Note- that the link above also has links to the AOL subpeona’s for the
Rigsbys personal email accounts ( I bet they hate having those email addresses
published!) 
 

Here’s the link to the subpeona on the Rigsbys AOL email:(watch what you say
even on your personal email!)

XXXXXX-link discard 3/09- Scruggs site down since he went to prison and no longer works.

****************  

Link to Jana Renfroe’s deposition: (from above link)-link removed 3/09 as Scruggs site down

*****************
If you missed it, here was the original complaint against the Rigsbys by EA
Renfroe: (I’ll see if slabbed has this-the Scruggs site is down)

***********************
Here is some of the more interesting information summarized from the 94 pages of the
deposition (see numbers on bottom right of each page- each page has a number
(1-94) for whole page and each page of the transcript is like 4 pages reading
1-372 but I refer to the number 1-94 for the whole page in most cases.

It is very interesting reading this entire deposition to get a history on EA
Renfroe’s beginnings in the mid 90’s. Gene had been a long term adjuster/manager
with Crawford prior to opening their own firm in 94 or 95 in Atlanta. Many of
the early members and managers came from Crawford. Most impressive is that while
Jana has no adjusting background herself, she did travel with Gene prior to
having a child and later completed her degree as well as her MBA before they
opened EA Renfroe. The deposition is a who’s who of managers and “liasons” at
Renfroe and State Farm that they dealt with. These are some of the pages I
personally found most interesting, possibly given my State Farm background in
claims for 28 years to include catastrophe management:

 The first page of the deposition which was being taken by defendent Moran and Rigsby’s attorney, Mr
Hawley shows that Cori and Kerri as well as Gene Renfroe were present during Mrs
Renfroe’s deposition(thus the comment about kinesic interview observations). Note that the Renfroes’ attorney objected to any line of questioning during the deposition that could have been part of discovery on the
wind vs water issues and wanted the questions limited to questions about breach
of the employment contract so you’ll read many objections by the Renfroe’s
attorney during the course of the deposition.

Page 29 (pages 113-116)- How they hire- Ms Renfroe said they prefer offering employment to
retired military as a second career and other recruiting is done through word of
mouth via referrals from other adjusters. (Glad to see confirmed my assessment
that some of the major carrier independent players don’t solicit new employees
through advertisements but rely on their reputation thus many good adjusters are
left out of the mix leaving carriers with impression that there are no adjusters
available when a particular adjusting firm they use runs out of core players). On various other pages throughout the deposition they discuss their number of independents and state they originally had 100-150 and have grown to
about 1200. The testimony says they deactivate about 150 adjusters per year and
that over the course of time they have serviced State Farm claims since the mid
90’s they have had about 100 requests to deactivate an adjuster over performance
issues. Also somewhere in the report it indicates they sent about 300 adjusters
to Katrina and about 20 managers. I was surprised as I expected the numbers to
be much greater on the Katrina assignments.

Page 34 begins a history of their State Farm work and initial contacts with Dan
Kerrigan ( he used to handle all independent assignments). It is interesting
reading this section and seeing there isn’t more formal “courting” of this
client and that they deal with section managers and team managers on various
assignments with very little interaction as far as yearly meetings,etc…

Page 37- very interesting comments on Sales calls by Don Goodin of Renfroe for
non cat work in Atlanta, Chicago, and Arkansas where they can pick up non cat
assignments as being some of their only sales calls on the carrier.

Page 37- mentions some of the conventions they meet with carrier such as PLRB
and possibly windstorm conference,etc

Page 48- Comment that they sent about 300 adjusters to Katrina

Page 49- see their deployment criteria- primarily qualifications then seniority
then availability is the order they used

Page 52- Begins info on Rigsbys position as liasons on the State Farm Katrina
work. Also discusses beginning here the names of the State Farm section managers
and team managers involved.

Page 53- comment that they sent 20 or so liason managers were sent by Renfroe to
Katrina work for State Farm. Discusses who from Renfroe reported to Lecki King
(she is the one Scruggs group posted the photo of pleading the 5th during her depo on engineer firm questions)

Page 54- Starts discussing the employment contract Rigsbys signed with EA
Renfroe

Page 59- I found this strange- the Rigsbys attorney asking Jana Renfroe
adjustment questions on wind vs water when it is established somewhere in the
deposition that she had not been an adjuster yet he was trying to pin her down
on wind vs water coverage issues. She is not licensed adjuster and should not
have been making those coverage decisions anyway but the attorney didn’t seem to
be getting the point.

Page 62-63- See discussions on Code of Conduct report and what procedures they
had set up in their firm for adjusters such as Rigsby’s to report fraud or other
problems to the firm

Page 64- VIP- see reasons they are NOW setting up a 1-800 hotline they indicate
will be monitored by a 3rd party for adjusters to report wrongdoing to avoid any
further “excuses” by adjusters for not feeling comfortable to report wrong doing
by the carrier personnel or other independents

Page 65- Hawley wants to know how the Renfroe’s would have investigated the
allegations had the Rigsby’s ever reported it to them prior to reporting to
outsiders (note that in various places in the deposition they ask how they
handled investigations of performance issues of their independents or of a
carriers wrongdoing)

Page 71- A discussion of EA Renfroe’s connection with Haag Engineering (see
interesting comment on page 72 also alleging State Farm says they will use Haag
Engineering again)

Page 73- starts discussion of the “data dump” weekend and what knowledge Renfroe
had about it. Important note about what they didn’t know- all Rigsby would tell
Renfroe’s Don Goodin is that they couldn’t talk to them and that it wasn’t about
Renfroe but it was about what State Farm had done to them. This page also goes
on with the testimony about how Renfroe found out about the Rigsby’s from State
Farm but again were not told what they’d done but that they were being suspended
WITH PAY (my comment- unreal SF would pay them on daily management rate while
they were suspended but later in the testimony that say that one of the Rigsby’s
went out on stress leave and one said she terminated assignment so neither ended
up on the paid suspension apparently from this testimony in the depo of Jana
Renfroe)

Page 76- Says Cori called Mrs Renfroe in August to talk although they didn’t
complete the discussion as Mrs Renfroe ended the conversation at that time

Page 77- Says they didn’t know what was going on since Cori didn’t tell them and
State Farm Section mgr Dave Randall refused to tell them. They say it was when
their employees were first getting criminal investigation request for records
that they first started to have any idea what was going on yet they didn’t
pursue any additional facts from State Farm since Section Mgr Dave Randall told them he
couldnt tell them anything else other than that the Rigsby’s were to be
suspended.

Page 78- Renfroes’ first learn finally in August 06 (2 months after Rigsby’s
suspended) about the Sun Herald articles and about the 20/20 show as Rigsby’s
husband Paul Moran notified them of the articles ( Can you imagine the position
he must have been in? He is now divorced from Rigsby). Here she goes on to
explain in response to deposition question what rold Cori and Kerri played about
going to the attorney

Page 79-talks about the call from State Farm and the suspension issue again. Mrs Renfroe
comments she was “shocked and hurt” after watching the 20/20 program.

Page 80- Jana Renfroe admits it was “pretty quickly” after the 20/20 show that
SHE made the decision to sue the Rigsby’s “to defend our contracts and integrity
of our contracts”.. Interesting also is her comment that the Rigsby’s were “long
time trusted employees” (my comment-ouch – hmmmmmmmm what effect would that comment have on
future developments in the case?).

Page 81-Continues on page 81 about the Breach of the employment contract and Mrs
Renfroe’s belief the first breach occurred when the Rigsby’s didn’t come to Mr
and Mrs Renfroe to report the problem

Page 82- interesting questions and answers about the breach not involving fact
that they participated in criminal investigation- only the fact they never notified
them of the problem. Somewhere else in depo it says they wanted to be part of
the solution – not left out of the info until they went public.

Page 83- Rigsby’s attorney refers to State Farm as a “sacred cow”

Page 84- Jana refers to fact Rigsby’s had worked State Farm claim for 8 years and no prior
complaints and finding the alleged “irregularities” strange,etc

Page 85- In response to questions about what internal investigations they
conducted after they knew with other adjusters they say none because they didn’t
want to interfere with the ongoing criminal investigations

Page 86- Jana Renfroe says no one at Renfroe consulted with anyone one at State
Farm concerning filing the suit against Rigsby’s ( interesting as I would have
thought this had been discussed!)

Page 87….Ms Renefroe approximates current litigation on the Rigsby case now at
1/2 MILLION dollars…unbelievable!

Page 88- Jana Renfroe’s “absolutely not” comment about coordination or agreement
between Renfroe and State Farm attorney’s on this or any other litigation.

Page 89- She denies any knowledge other than what the Rigsby’s said in their
depos about the State Farm documents the Rigsbys refer to

Page 92- Hawley wants to know if Renfroe has lost any adjusters due to Rigsby
disclosures or due to the 20/20 show and Renfroe responds she doesn’t know ( my
own guess here is it would be hard to tell due to lack of storms since these
revelations and whistleblower case have been going on)

Page 93- remember the recent decision on the OK case involving SF and Renfroe?
Jana Renfroe indicates they had not even been following that case and were
surprised about the decision and also what the issues were on that case she
indicates were clothing issues with independents wearing SF clothes and
performance evaluation issues

Page 94- Very interesting closing answer by Jana Renfroe when asked if she
believe Cori and Kerri Rigsby and she answered “she didn’t know what to believe”

*******************
If I later find Gene Renfroe’s deposition posted or any of the depositions of
other Renfroe managers I’ll post them.

I hope others reading this learn as much as we did reading through this. Many assumptions I personally had such as State Farm and Renfroe possibly coordinating efforts, the when and where the Renfroe’s learned of the Rigsby’s actions, and the fact that the Renfroe’s didn’t know much more than the rest of the adjusting community about this whole whistleblower case until watching 20/20 sure were a surprise to read.

The outcome of these cases remains a mystery and a soap opera those in the claims community can’t help but follow since it is so very unusual for our industry to have such crazy actions going on. Hopefully, posting of depositions such as this will open many eyes that think the only thing to adjusting is a simple 3 day class. An adjuster and adjusting firm have serious problems and responsibilities to properly document claim files, thoroughly handle investigations, and properly document personnel deployments as well as very serious responsibilities to properly train those adjusters deployed to fulfill claim obligations to the policyholders who have paid dearly for the right to insurance protection during major disasters.

Update 3/22/09 – Since Scruggs went to prison, the Scruggs site was pulled down so the links that were in this post no longer work. I’ll see if Slabbed has a link to the deposition on their site.


Just when you thought the Rigsby/ EA Renfroe Whistleblower case/Scruggs issues couldn’t get worse!

December 14, 2007

Just when we thought we’d heard it all after the indictment of Scruggs over alleged bribery, today we now come across a new lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct and inappropriate use of the Rigsby documents by another partner in the Katrina Scruggs group according to this newest post by David Rossmiller of the Insurance Coverage blog found here. Make sure you read the full complaint  found here for all of the details and alleged misuse of the documents through a key firm in the Katrina Scruggs group firm, Nutt and McAlister according to this Insurance Coverage blog entry. Here is also the link Rossmiller provided in his blog with the complaint exhibits found here. (See Exhibit C which was Judge Acker’s order on the Rigsby documents).

David Rossmiller has been providing thorough updates on the Scruggs indictment and related issues so there is no need to report seperately on them here but you’ll find them fascinating and covered in great detail in his blogs beginning with the indictiment. If you don’t already know his blog address by heart, you’ll find all the “Scruggs Nation” blogs at  David Rossmiller’s Insurance Coverage Law Blog.

Other blogs of interest also providing excellent updates on the Scruggs/Katrina issues include:

www.overlawyered.com and here are a few samples of their updates found here and here.

Here’s a good summary of the players and issues involved as well by the NY Times found here.

Another good detailed source of information providing updates on the Scruggs issue is www.legalnewsonline.com and you’ll find the link to all of their Scruggs postings by clicking here.

Another is www.yallpolitics.com and here is just one of many blog updates notifying us of the selection of a judge in the Northern Florida district who will now hear the contempt case after Alabama judges recused themselves found by clicking here.

Rossmiller and others such as Legalnewsonline.com are posting information about how this ties in to AG Jim Hood and ramifications on the pending Katrina litigation against State Farm. Thus, of interest today was this posting about Jim Hood’s redesign of his website which formerly itemized their allegations against the carrier. Very interesting seeing what the redesign is all about! The article on that issue  was also posted today by the www.legalnewsonline blog found by clicking here. This made me wonder what’s become of the Katrina Scruggs group website Scruggs was running with constant updates including the “mug shot” of Lecky King, a claim management employee with State Farm over her alleged pleading the 5th during a deposition involving communications with engineer firms involved on some of the Katrina cases. I couldn’t find that photo anywhere on the site today but things have moved around quite a bit. I’m glad for her if they finally took that dern photo down. I found this copy(click here) sent out by the remaining partners of the Katrina Law group posted at the beginning of December about Scruggs withdrawal from the group while the indictment allegations are being sorted out (and it lists Nutt & McAlister as one of the 3 remaining group partners).

If you missed our 3 blogs on the Scruggs/EA Renfroe/Rigsby ongoing cases, here is a link to my earlier blogs which provide more specifics about the claim documents and allegations. You’ll find links to all previous blogs here on the subject by clicking on this link here.

We’ll all be watching to see how the indictment develops, what ramifications this will all have on the claim suit files, Hood’s action against the carriers, and for more information about the reason for Trent Lott’s resignation after his recent notice he will be retiring. I think there is still much more to be learned in the coming weeks and months ahead…..stay tuned!

I cannot imagine the claim managers having to report on these pending cases with every new twist and turn and reevaluation of their cases. This has got to be creating a tremendous burden on the claims industry. I’ve never witnessed anything like it in 30 years in the claims business. Remember when the worst press a claim department dreaded was a dissatisfied policyholder spray painting derogatory comments on their home or roof after a storm? That’s kids play after all of these soap opera events which have happened in the aftermath of Katrina. Not a good time to be in the claims business! Not only are staff managers and adjusters bearing the burden of this nightmare (slash soap opera) but the public is bearing the brunt of the litigation expenses by way of increased premiums and reduced possibility of carriers as more and more carriers reduce policies in force in coastal communities. When will this soap opera ever end so claims folks can get back to doing what they do best…..settling claims according to the terms and conditions of the policies? I’ll be waiting for updated blogs by David Rossmiller  and others that explain how these lawyers think this indictment, the retirement of Lott, the Hood cases,etc will end up resolving specific to claim files and suits pending. So far from what I’m reading in this article on the Clarion Ledger article found here, Lott doesn’t think he’ll be able to push through legislation he’d previously proposed before his departure.

We’ll post additional new decisions on the contempt case and other related issues as they develop.


OK declares state of emergency allowing emergency adjuster licenses- link for application

December 13, 2007

Many of you may be activated to service claims in OK and other midwest states due to the winter storms.

I’ll update this blog in the next day or so with the damage statistics. In the meantime, here is the information on OK declaring an emergency thus allowing emergency adjusters along with the link to the application and emergency adjuster license information:

Here is the link for the catastrophe adjuster emergency license application:

http://www.oid.state.ok.us/www2.oid.state.ok.us/PDF/Forms/Agents/AGT-CAT%20form%20EIA.pdf

Here is information on the $15.00 application fee and mailing instructions for the application:

http://www.oid.state.ok.us/

Here is a link to the top 10 insurance companies writing in the state of OK:

http://www.oid.state.ok.us/www2.oid.state.ok.us/PDF/Insurance%20Companies%20Contact%20Numbers.pdf

Here is the news story making the announcement on the emergency declaration and use of emergency adjusters:

http://newsok.com/article/3180186/1197520514

The Southwestern Insurance Institute predicts storm damage claims in OK to reach 35 Million according to this news article posted by the Insurance Journal:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2007/12/13/85627.htm

We wish all of you deployed for these storms the safest of travels!


NFIP (National Flood) 2008 Adjuster Certification Classes are now posted!

December 12, 2007

***Update 2/5/09- They have changed the link to the 2009 NFIP workshop class list for adjuster- read about it here:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/have-you-registered-for-your-2009-nfip-adjuster-certification-class/

Here is the direct link to the classes being held January-May 2008 at a cost of $10.00. All of the information is available on their site. Here is a copy:

http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/clmpres_sch.shtm

2008 NFIP Claims Presentation Schedule
REGISTRATION FORM (PDF 13 KB, TXT 1 KB).

PRESENTATION 1
Place: Lanham, MD
Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: GreenTec IV
7700 Hubble Drive
301-794-2220 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, January 2, 2008

PRESENTATION 1a
Place: Lanham, MD
Date: Thursday, January 17, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: GreenTec IV
7700 Hubble Drive
301-794-2220 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, January 3, 2008

PRESENTATION 2
Place: Ontario, CA
Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Ontario Convention Center
2000 Convention Center Way
909-937-3000 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, January 15, 2008

PRESENTATION 3
Place: Concord, CA
Date: Thursday, January 31, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Centre Concord
5298 Clayton Road
925-671-3466 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, January 17, 2008

PRESENTATION 4
Place: Lynnwood, WA
Date: Monday, February 4, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Lynnwood Convention Center
3711 196th Street SW
425-778-7155 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Monday, January 21, 2008

PRESENTATION 5
Place: Jacksonville, FL
Date: Thursday, February 7, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Marriott Jacksonville
4670 Salisbury Road
904-296-2222 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, January 24, 2008

PRESENTATION 6
Place: Tampa, FL
Date: Monday, February 11, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: USAA
17200 Commerce Park Blvd.
813-632-4000 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Monday, January 28, 2008
ABSOLUTELY NO WALK-INS & NO SMOKING ALLOWED AT THIS FACILITY!

PRESENTATION 6a
Place: Tampa, FL
Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: USAA
17200 Commerce Park Blvd.
813-632-4000 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
ABSOLUTELY NO WALK-INS & NO SMOKING ALLOWED AT THIS FACILITY!

PRESENTATION 7
Place: Sunrise, FL
Date: Thursday, February 14, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Holiday Inn & Suites
3003 North University Drive
954-748-7000 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, January 31, 2008

PRESENTATION 8
Place: South Barrington, IL
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Allstate Insurance Company
51 West Higgins Road
847-551-2058(for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, February 12, 2008

PRESENTATION 9
Place: Carolina, PR
Date: Friday, February 29, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Embassy Suites
8000 Tartak Street
787-791-7776 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Friday, February 15, 2008

PRESENTATION 10
Place: Metairie, LA
Date: Monday, March 3, 20087
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Jefferson Parish Library
4747 West Napoleon Ave.
504-849-8817 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Monday, February 18, 2008

PRESENTATION 10a
Place: Metairie, LA
Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Jefferson Parish Library
4747 West Napoleon Ave.
504-849-8817 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, February 19, 2008

PRESENTATION 10b
Place: Metairie, LA
Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Jefferson Parish Library
4747 West Napoleon Ave.
504-849-8817 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, February 20, 2008

PRESENTATION 11
Place: St. Peters, MO
Date: Friday, March 7, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Holiday Inn Select St. Peters/St. Charles
4341 Veterans Memorial Pkwy.
636-928-1500 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Friday, February 22, 2008

PRESENTATION 12
Place: South Haven, MS
Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: DeSoto Civic Center
4560 Venture Drive
888-280-9120 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

PRESENTATION 13
Place: Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Thursday, March 13, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Radisson Hotel Pittsburgh Green Tree
101 Radisson Drive
412-922-8400 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, February 28, 2008

PRESENTATION 14
Place: San Antonio, TX
Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
200 E. Market St.
877-504-8895 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, March 4, 2008

PRESENTATION 15
Place: Humble, TX
Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Humble Civic Center
8233 Will Clayton Pkwy
281-446-4140 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, March 5, 2008

PRESENTATION 16
Place: Ft. Worth, TX
Date: Thursday, March 20, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Tarrant County College
5301 Campus Drive
817-515-4167 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, March 6, 2008

PRESENTATION 17
Place: Randolph, MA
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Holiday Inn Boston Randolph
1374 North Main Street
781-961-1000 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PRESENTATION 18
Place: Lake Success, NY
Date: Thursday, April 3, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Allstate Insurance Company
1111 Marcus Street
516-574-5900 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, March20, 2008

PRESENTATION 19
Place: Branchville, NJ
Date: Monday, April 7, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Selective Insurance
40 Wantage Avenue
3877-348-0552 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Monday, March 24, 2008

PRESENTATION 20
Place: Charleston, WV
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: Charleston Civic Center
200 Civic Center Drive
304-345-1500 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, March 27, 2008

PRESENTATION 21
Place: Norfolk, VA
Date: Monday, April 14, 2008
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: USAA
5800 Northampton Blvd.
800-531-8222 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Monday, March 31, 2008
ABSOLUTELY NO WALK-INS & NO SMOKING ALLOWED AT THIS FACILITY!

PRESENTATION 22
Place: Greenville, NC
Date: Thursday, April 17, 2008
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: Greenville Convention Center
303 SW Greenville Blvd.
252-321-7971 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, April 3, 2008

PRESENTATION 22a
Place: Greenville, NC
Date: Friday, April 18, 2008
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: Greenville Convention Center
303 SW Greenville Blvd.
252-321-7971 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Friday, April 4, 2008

PRESENTATION 23
Place: Cayce, SC
Date: Thursday, May 1, 2008
Time: 8:30 am
Location: South Carolina Farm Bureau
754 Knox Abbot Dr.
803-936-4290 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, April 17, 2008

PRESENTATION 23a
Place: Cayce, SC
Date: Friday, May 2, 2008
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: South Carolina Farm Bureau
754 Knox Abbot Dr.
803-936-4290 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Friday, April 18, 2008

PRESENTATION 24
Place: Mobile, AL
Date: Thursday, May 8, 2008
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: Cottage Hill Baptist Church
4255 Cottage Hill Rd.
251-660-2422 (for directions only)
Registration Deadline: Thursday, April 24, 2008

Last Modified: Monday, 03-Dec-2007 14:33:15 EST

**********

http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/ca1.shtm

2008 NFIP Claims Presentations
How to Register for a Claims Presentation

In 2008, the NFIP Bureau and Statistical Agent will offer 24 Claims Presentations in cities throughout the country. They will be conducted between January 16 and May 8, so that an adequate number of flood-certified adjusters will be available before “hurricane season’ begins on June 1.

Advance registration is required. You must register by mail; you must pay the $10.00 fee with a check or money order made payable to: National Flood Insurance Program. Do not send cash. Your registration and payment must be received by the registration deadline date for the session that you choose. Your registration will not be accepted after that date.

No space will be reserved until payment has been received. Refunds and changes of session cannot be granted. Registrations are nontransferable.

Please do not call the NFIP Bureau and Statistical Agent about the status of your registration. We will mail an acknowledgement of receipt to the address that you provide on the Registration Form (PDF 13 KB, TXT 1 KB).

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

Here’s the registration form:

http://www.fema.gov/pdf/nfip/clmpres_reg.pdf

************
Please submit an updated resume when you have completed your 2008 NFIP Certification as we maintain seperate rosters of NFIP certified adjusters for special requests for flood certified adjusters. Please submit your cert# and information on the certs applicable for personal and or commercial lines.

We’ve had many interesting forum discussions the past few years about the National Flood program requirement that requires four years of experience to receive the certification. My personal opinion is that since the class is so reasonably priced at $10.00 it is worth registering for the class if you are an adjuster with less than four years just so you have a clearer understanding of what the flood policy provides as far as coverages. We have also had many newer adjusters with agency backgrounds and construction backgrounds who were approved by NFIP for their certification with less than four years of experience. Others are of the opinion that newer adjusters should not register as they are taking spots for more   experienced adjusters. I don’t think that is the case at all as NFIP offers certification classes at other locations such as the special classes Pilot held last year as well as the National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters convention holding classes at the 2007 convention.

These classes do fill up quickly so I wouldn’t wait for the after the holidays to get your registration form sent in along with your payment if your interested in obtaining your 2008 flood certification.


What can adjusters learn from the 2003 Cedar Fire regarding litigation and complaints on Claims from CA Wildfires? Blog 4-CA Wildfires

October 25, 2007

Unfortunately, the news media is already reporting on claim issues surrounding the CA wildfires. In order to keep history from repeating itself, we should take a look at just what did happen regarding litigation in CA in the aftermath of the 2003 CA Wildfires so we avoid the same pitfalls in claim handling this 2007 Wildfire season. Here are some issues already in the news:

Public Adjuster Activity– see the reader comments from public adjusters and insurance adjusters going back and forth on this blog found at www.signsonsandiego.com blog:   Click here

CNN Money Article “When Insurers Play Rough- Discussion on 2003 issues on being underinsured: Click here

Note Bob Hunter of the Consumer Federation of America is quoted in the above article

Scams following fires by San Diego District Attorney’s office- make sure to read comments about adjusters: Click here

Great article on CA Insurance Commissioner saying hundreds of lawsuits were filed in aftermath of 2003 for insurance companies underinsuring claims and favorable outcome from insurer standpoint on one of the trials: Click here

5.1 million dollar verdict for insurer, Fidelity lowballing claims in 2003 wildfire- 2006 article- over 120 cases to follow in court (over 200 filed on Replacement cost coverage issues according to article): Click here

2004 Article- Lawsuits  and Class Action against 4 major carriers for renewal premiums charged in after 2003 wildfires on properties that had been a total loss in the 2003 fires(what will they do this year? This was news to me learned while researching this article): click here

Note they site 4 major plaintiff lawfirms in CA  in this article as:

“The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from four of

California’s top plaintiff and insurance bad faith law firms:

Michael Bidart and William Shernoff of Shernoff Bidart & Darras LLP;

Jerry Ramsey of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack; Tom Girardi of Girardi &

Keese; and Harvey Levine and Richard Huver of Levine, Steinberg, Miller

& Huver, who have been volunteering at fire victim outreaches all

over Southern California to provide highly sought after answers

about insurance policies and coverage.”

*********

Looking up their websites, I’ve listed below any mention of CA Bad Faith lawsuits:

http://www.sbd-law.com/CM/LP/Homeowners-Insurance-Claim-Denial-LP.asp   Not much mentioned on the 2003 cases

http://www.elllaw.com/mercury.htm   Wow! The Engstrom, Lipscomb, & Lack group was the lawfirm handling the famous Erin Brockovich case!  Click here for a list of the bad faith cases stating they handled Northridge Earthquake suits, Class action against Allstate and cases against State Farm and others following the 2003 fires: Click here for the bad faith info

Levine,Steinburg, Miller & Huver: Click here   I didn’t see any case history here on the 2003 fires although they are listed in the above article

Girard and Keese: Click here        See info on cases 200 million against Farmers for Northridge EQ claims

Here’s another very interesting interview between an expert witness on CA insurance cases and a plaintiff attorney in CA on Replacement cost coverage and claims (replacement cost/underinsurance/lowballing claims seem to the the biggest issues I found in numerous articles I read on this): click here

Miscellaneous Wildfire Articles and news:

Great ISO Report-“Trial by Fire” on Insurers use of technology when dealing with wildfire: Click here

Insurance News Network of CA update- projections 1 Billion in insured losses:  Click here

 

 

NY Times Article- 1,500 Insurer losses- 1 Billion: Click here

The Fires have disrupted the flow of legal work as law firms face numbers of disrupted employees and office closures: Click here  

(Which one of you want to work their personal claims……will we have more Dickie Scruggs/Politicians/ Anti Carrier sentiments in those type of lawsuits in CA? Maybe in addition to adding wind to government coverage with the Flood program , the politicians will now try to add wildfires also to the 2007 Multi Peril Act – see prior blog if you aren’t familiar with those House and Senate bills)

San Diego County State Park closures (for Adjusters looking for RV parking spots): Click here

The Blame Game (good blog on fires)-fingerpointing in fire agencies begins before embers die: Click here

National Interactive Fire Agency declares this Santa Ana wind event to be over and provides status on each fire: Click here

Other news on Insurance response to CA wildfires:

Nationwide responds-press release: click here

Property and Casualty news article 10/25 “Claims Pour In” , total count 1,700 plus/up to 1.6 billion in losses: click here

I don’t have time today to complete all of the intended comments on the 2003 lawsuits and will get back to finishing this up as time allows. I just received a call about a hurricane brewing and will update the blog with that shortly. I’ll be travelling back to FL tonight for the weekend and return to TN for next week’s anguishing surgery for my daughter at Vanderbilt for her recently discovered sacrum tumor. I suspect that I will not be available for blog entries next week with the exception of Monday as she will be undergoing operations on Tuesday followed by the major surgery Wednesday. I appreciate the prayers and support many of our readers have sent following the prior blog about this unfortunate discovery and our earlier absence from the blog at the end of September when we learned of her problem.

******

Update 3:40 pm- Chubb at 25, State Farm at 1,579(298 uninhabitable), Farmers at 1,725: click here


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

October 24, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farmers Insurance, 1100 claims: Click here

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

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

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

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

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

***********

Update 10pm CST 10/24

Update Day 4- Blog 3 on CA wildfires:

Which CA Wildfires  are they calling Arson related?

Santiago Fires called arson: click here

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

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

********

Update 11pm CST 10/24:

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

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

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

Zurich- no finanicial impact expected: Click here

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

Updates 10/25/07 8 am:

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


California Insurance Commissioner Clears the way for non CDI Emergency Adjusters to handle wildfire losses

October 24, 2007

Please see the following press alert notice received. I will update the blog by late this evening with information located on current insurance company damage assessments by 10pm CST.

From: California Department of Insurance <communications@insurance.ca.gov> Add to Addresses Block Sender
Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 5:08 PM
To: dimechimes
Subject: Commissioner Poizner Issues Declaration of Insurance Emergency for Southern California Fire Storms
Size: 10 KB
Attachments:  

You are subscribed to Press Releases for the California Department of Insurance. You are receiving this email because new information has recently been released.

You can access the department’s Communications Office Web page by clicking here.

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER STEVE POIZNER ISSUES DECLARATION OF INSURANCE EMERGENCY FOR

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FIRE STORMS

Insurance Adjusters Expedited to So. California to Quicken Recovery by Local Residents and Businesses

SACRAMENTO – Today Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, in anticipation of an onslaught of severe insurance claims, issued an emergency declaration to help accelerate claims from the aftermath of the Southern California fire storms.

“I am issuing a declaration which will expedite additional insurance adjusters to California to assist survivors of the fire storms with the prompt processing of insurance claims resulting from this catastrophic event,” said Commissioner Poizner. “During this state of emergency, I want to ensure Californians that I will do all that I can to help them through this crisis and rebuild as quickly as possible. For many, the first step on the road to recovery is to cut through the red tape, have their loss documented and processed for a claim. We want to remove any unnecessary delays to the system and make sure we have enough adjusters on the job.”

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) proclamation will allow CDI-licensed insurance adjusters and insurers to use the services of non-CDI licensed adjusters, such as those from out-of-state, to assist with the processing of the multitude of anticipated insurance claims arising from the fire storms. The work performed by the non-CDI licensed adjusters must be under the active direction, control, charge, or management of a CDI-licensed insurer or adjuster.

Commissioner Poizner issued the declaration in according with the requirements of Section 14022.5 of the California Insurance Code, which provides that such use is reasonably necessary in order to adequately respond to the emergency situation.

The last time Commissioner Poizner issued this type of declaration was January 22, 2007, in the face of the extreme, California crop freezes.  Prior to that, however, the last insurance emergency declaration was issued in November 2003 in response to wildfires in Southern California.

Text of declaration can be found at www.insurance.ca.gov under LATEST NEWS.

Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

This service is provided free of charge by: California Department of Insurance.

***********

Special Thanks to Helen Palmer of the Cat-Women@yahoogroups.com for sharing the following two other press releases on this:

Associated Press Release:

Calif insurance commissioner declares insurance emergency

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner declared an “insurance emergency” on Wednesday because of the Southern California wildfires.

The declaration temporarily removes the ban on out-of-state claims adjusters lacking California licenses. Poizner said that lifting the ban will help insurance companies better deal with the expected crunch of fire claims. He estimated that more than $1 billion in property damage has already occurred.

Poizner last lifted the ban in January during a devastating crop freeze in the Central Valley.

During a press conference in San Francisco, Poizner also said that he is sending dozens of fraud investigators into the burned region to crack down on scam artists posing as claims adjusters and contractors. Poziner said he has already received reports of fraud, but no arrests have been made.

Poizner said fire victims can call 1-800-927-HELP or log onto http://www.insurance.ca.gov for Department of Insurance guidance.

Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 12:04 PDT

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LA Times News Article:

State opens door to insurance adjusters

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Declaration of ‘insurance emergency’ allows companies to bring in personnel from other parts of the country, even if they aren’t licensed in California .

By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
11:30 AM PDT, October 24, 2007

SACRAMENTO

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today declared an “insurance emergency,” clearing the way for a more speedy processing of damage claims from the Southern California wildfires.

Poizner invoked special powers to suspend a law that requires insurance adjusters — the people who inspect and calculate the value of property losses — to be licensed by the state.

The declaration of an emergency allows insurance companies to bring in large numbers of out-of-state adjusters to help process thousands of claims. The unlicensed adjusters must work under the supervision of California-licensed colleagues.

“I want to ensure Californians that I will do all that I can to help them through this crisis and rebuild as quickly as possible,” Poizner said at a news conference. “For many, the first step on the road to recovery is to cut through the red tape, have their loss documented and processed for a claim.”

Poizner’s action will help insurers dispatch professional personnel to charred areas of Southern California, said Joseph Annotti, a spokesman for the Property and Casualty Insurers of America, a Chicago-based trade group that includes Allstate Corp., California’s third-largest home insurer.

He estimated that the fires, which are far from contained, would result in companies paying claims in excess of $2 billion, surpassing the state’s most costly fire to date, the blaze in the Berkeley and Oakland Hills in 1991.

“In the wake of [Hurricane] Katrina, we learned that even when insurers called out every adjuster they ever had on their payrolls, [and] people out of retirement, there still weren’t enough folks,” Annotti said. “If this helps get homes inspected more quickly and gets money to the people who need it more quickly, that’s a very positive thing.”


Claims-Portal.com/Clickclaims.com owner Thomas Brown invites you to participate in Claim Technical issues Survey-free Sprint Card and Laptop case drawing for participants

October 20, 2007


Subject: Please participate ASAP in this survey to be presented to ISO Tech- FREE Sprint Card and Laptop Travel Case Drawing 

Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2007 15:40:09 -0400
Thomas Brown, the owner of www.Claims-Portal.com and the CMS system that won the 2006 AM BEST Award for CMS systems nationwide for his www.Clickclaims.com CMS system has invited all ClaimSmentor members and your friends, work associates, members of adjusting firms and carriers to participate in this survey. The deadline to participate is 10/31/07. The survey results will be presented to ISO Tech so all of our input matters and we all love improvement in technology to assist us with our assignments!

Note there are special incentives to do so. Those completing the survey are offered a free Sprint Card and there is a drawing for a travel laptop case. You’ll get an email to thank you for taking the survey with all the information about the free Sprint card and drawing upon completion.

Here’s the link to the survey. Please assist us by taking this survey as improvements in technology helps all of us improve on our jobs. Please make sure to click the box that says you heard about it from ClaimSmentor or the Other block and input Dimechimes Blog. We appreciate it!

http://fs3.formsite.com/e-claim/form737075970/index.html

I have had the pleasure to manage with this system 2 years and as a claim manager, I cannot imagine supervising adjusters without it. You should check into taking a demo of the system if you haven’t used it. The advanced features such as carrier login ids to view live access to any uploaded claim file documents is amazing and a major selling feature for adjusting firms with carriers. It also allows remote claim examiners to review and approve uploaded documents. The enhancements made again this year bar none are the best, I’ve even considered moving my staffing firm roster candidates to the system and use it as a claim personnel HR tool as the features would work so well for that purpose in conjunction with using the program for claim assignments!

Thanks for sharing this opportunity with our members and readers Thomas. Good luck with the survey!

Best Regards,

Deborah K Moroy,AIC,IIA

ClaimSmentor

Dimechimes Adjuster Information Blog reached our 10,000th reader on 10/20/07 just shy of our 3 month anniverary. Thank you for participating both in our forums and on our blog for adjusters!

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