Let’s Compare Florida’s 2004 & 2005 Bad Hurricane Seasons with the Current Number of BP claims as of 6/12/2010 and Currently deployed Claims Adjusters- Part II- Open Letter to Obama and Admiral Allen

June 14, 2010

The news as you know is just full of news organizations analyzing BP response to the claims resulting from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill disaster.

It might help, without throwing accusations around,  to just compare a few numbers and several major differences between the disastrous 2004 and 2005 hurricane season in Florida and the Gulf Oil spill numbers as of  yesterday, June 12, 2010.

Let’s look at this  article  dating back August 2008 by the Florida Insurance Council. The article  states in part that:

” The Department’s Bureau of Licensing issued 17,488 Emergency Adjuster licenses for the four-storm 2004 hurricane season and 12,284 Emergency Adjuster licenses during 2005. Florida was again impacted by four hurricanes that year, but most of the damage was from Hurricane Wilma. In addition to adjusters working with emergency licenses, hundreds, if not thousands, of resident adjusters handled claims from the 2004/2005 hurricanes. “

Keep in mind that they are talking about emergency adjuster license numbers only. This does not include FL resident independent adjuster licenses, FL non resident independent adjuster licenses, nor staff adjusters (those who work directly for the carrier as employees) so you can just imagine how many more thousands of independents and staff adjusters just FL required in 2004 and 2005. Now add the Katrina claim statistics and number of adjusters also out working in 2005. Louisiana did not have adjuster licensing in 2005 so I’m not sure where I can get the 2005 statistics on Katrina as a comparison.

Emergency adjuster licenses are temporary licenses  that allow a non resident adjuster to work in the issuing state without an adjuster’s license in that state. The other way to work out of state is to obtain a permanent non-resident license. In addition, of course, we have permanent resident licenses. Normally, if your state of residence requires a resident license, FL and other states requiring an adjuster’s license will allow you to work for a short period of time in the disaster zone under an emergency license. These are typically only approved by a state department of insurance once a Governor has Declared a state of emergency. They are normally good for anywhere from 60-120 days and can be renewed if the state licensing department extends the deadline. The limiting factor is an adjuster operating under a temporary emergency license can only work claims for a particular declared disaster. They cannot be utilized to work non disaster related losses.

Recent trends have carriers, thus independent adjusting firms, requiring adjusters obtain a number (usually 7-15 different storm prone states) of non resident licenses. The reason being that the carrier can deploy an out of state adjuster into a state when there is NOT a Disaster Declaration by the state Governor should they have a permanent non resident license. The advantage is they can be deployed out of state to help with the smaller storms like small hail storms and the like. Worley adjusting company who is the firm appointed by ESIS to handle the BP oil spill claims and their site on the home page  shows a typical example of the non resident licenses required of independent adjusters. Each non-resident license requires a fee typically about $65.00 and reporting on CE so this is a large burden and expense for independent adjusters.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners had proposed a Model  Independent Adjusters license back in 2007. While we were all hopeful it would be adopted by state insurance commissioners, the NAIC committee looking in to it later scrapped the proposed recommendation. What a darn shame considering what we are facing today handling BP oil spill claims along multiple gulf coast states. It is needed for more prompt deployment of adjusters during major disasters rather than having delays caused by waiting on emergency adjuster licenses. Adjusters seem to think the issue is the fees acquired by each state are substantial considering the thousands upon thousands of resident, non resident, and emergency licenses each year. However,  it was not to be. The American Association of Independent Claims Professionals, AAICP still has the documents up on their site  to include their letter to NAIC requesting they reconsider passing of this model act. The Winter 2010 newsletter on AAICP’s site  provides an update on adjuster and producer national licensing and where we stand today on this pending model act for a national license. It cannot be passed too soon as far as independent adjusters are concerned. I also wrote about the independent adjuster license issues in this blog in July 2007 when NAIC cancelled further recommendations for the act and here in my “Who Moved my Claims Cheese” blog.

Should time permit,  look back on my blog “ Are Independent Adjusters a Dying Breed or Fungible Billing units ” ? This is definitely applicable SHOULD BP/Esis or others be placing non licensed adjusters in BP or ESIS claims offices. I should definitely hope this is NOT happening. Those I’ve talked to this week that are being deployed atleast by Worley  have all been very seasoned experienced adjusters who have been highly complimentary of  Worley’s induction and training process prior to deploying them to ESIS claims offices (ESIS is the insurance company for BP as explained in other blogs here the past two weeks).

Going back to my open letter to President Obama and Admiral Thad Allen, I still recommend some kind of emergency order be made waiving non resident emergency licenses as long as it can be documented that an adjuster is properly licensed in their home state. In cases where a state does not require an adjuster’s license like Tennesee  and Colorado,(this is unimaginable), most independent adjusters have obtained a Texas or FL non resident license so they can then apply to multiple other states who will accept those non resident licenses to then provide them a reciprocal license in their state.  See info in this blog about Model Independent Adjuster Act recommendations for immediate implementation as a further suggestion to improve the BP Oil Spill claims process.

Now let’s move to look at the deaths and damage from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons:

2004: click here 

This says in part:

“The season was notable as one of the deadliest and most costly Atlantic hurricane seasons on record in the last decade, with at least 3,132 deaths and roughly $50 billion (2004 US dollars) in damage.”

2005: click here

The initial sentence outlines the 2005 damage and death statistics as follows:

“The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history, repeatedly shattering numerous records. The impact of the season was widespread and ruinous with an estimated 3,865 deaths and record damages of about $130 billion (2005 USD).”

Also, it is very interesting to look back at this Insurance Journal article on “Lessons learned from the 2004 hurricane season“. In spite of the horrible hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, what we are facing as a nation and as adjusters is unprecedented. This is due to several factors and many potential unknowns as this oil spreads along our coastal communities:

1  )  Hurricanes, for the majority of claims, are first party claims meaning they are claims to an insured’s property. The insured has signed an insurance contract with an insurance company while the oil spill cases are considered third party liability claims meaning that one party is responsible for the damages to another if their actions are the proximate cause of the third party (non contract) has suffered as a result of their negligent actions.  Adjusters from the BP side of claims do not have policy terms in the contract to fall back on such as “An Insured’s Duties after a Loss” in the Conditions section of a first party policy. We will be at the mercy of following directions for handling these liability claims from the instructions of ESIS and I guess BP. In addition, Admiral Thad Allen and President Obama have their hands necessarily involved in this national disaster so we just do not know how the claims handling will proceed or these claims will be settled. There are many acts such as pollution acts, EPA clean water acts, and many more that control what type of damage BP is responsible for. We’ll expand on that information in a later blog. Many of these requirements are far outside the typical experience adjusters have so leadership direction is crucial for training adjusters unfamiliar with handling oil spill damage and losses.

2) Hurricane losses may take a very long time to settle  depending on the amount of damage to a property and the period it will require to restore the property. These BP claims on the other hand are going to be continuing open claims with a long period of time in pending status. We do not have a known “period of restoration” for the clean up in the gulf coast, we have no definite date as to when the oil will stop entering the ocean, we do not know what hurricane season may bring as far as further moving the oil contamination and disperants inland, it is unknown what illness and bodily injury will be related in the long term to the disperants or for that matter how it will affect properties.  We do not know the ramifications of the oil spill on ripple effects as businesses close, lost income for the gulf coast workers and now the oil rig workers who may be laid off now that off shore drilling is being addressed by President Obama and a six month moratorium on off shore drilling.

3) Even insurance companies may be suffering greatly this hurricane season as massive numbers of independent adjusters may be deployed to handle oil spill claims and not be available as expected for hurricane season (whoa to those carriers 80% or more whose catastrophe plan relied in the majority on independent adjusters).  Unless they become reasonable in their fee schedules and consider paying a daily per diem, they are going to have a very tough time competing for independents getting per diem and a good daily rate on the BP oil spill claims as insurance companies do not normally pay per diem allowances for independent adjusters.  The other consideration independents will have to make are whether they are willing to walk away from a long term BP assignment to go for a month or two of  wind losses for an insurance company especially given that those hurricane losses may require exposure to oil and disperants when inspecting field losses. No amount of pay can make up for exposing yourself to the possiblity of  permanent damage or death from these unknown exposures. The paid statistics on claims for BP claims does not mean these claims are settled. Far from it, from most news sources, claimants are very unhappy that $2,500 and  $5,000 advances is what they have received thus far.

4) In addition, this update on the Deep Water Horizon response site  shows that Admiral Allen has issued instructions for BP claimants unhappy with their BP claim to notify the Coast Guard. What????? Will the coast guard then be just passing these complaints on to the ESIS claims offices handling the BP claims or will they then just pass them on to the Departments of Insurance who normally handles complaints on insurance claims for insureds (yet again we are dealing with claimants here). I haven’t seen any instructions from the insurance company side on how they are going to deal with this but they need to know while they have time in their disaster planning before a hurricane hits.

5) On the same link in #4 above,  near the bottom, you will find Admiral Thad Allen’s new Media Access requirements in this Media Access pdf strongly encouraging media access and prohibiting  responders from denying access to the press unless they would be endangered in a prohibited area. Will this change insurance companies Code of Conduct forms adjusting firms and adjusters must abide by to allow media discussions by adjusting firms and adjusters  with the media which are also prohibited as oil spill workers alleged they were prohibited by BP for responding?  Something else to be reviewed by insurance company attorneys before a major hurricane hits this season.

 I cannot even begin to list all of the effects and costs incurred by claimants (third parties) with their loss of property values in areas seriously impacted by oil. This weekend, we saw a new for sale sign up at the beach here in Jacksonville that said “Marshfront” property for sale. I told my husband it might as well have shouted ” swamp land for sale due to looming oil spill expected to make the bend up the east coast of Florida” because I cannot even imagine an interested buyer until we know if oil will or will not make it’s way to the Florida east coast.

The trauma on all Americans, especially those on the gulf coast, are real. Even for those of us far from the current and ever spreading damage, it is traumatic just watching the wildlife covered in oil and tar, the grown men crying outside of their homes, offices, and claim centers. God be with them all and with the adjusters working at the claim offices and also those that are going to be handling hurricane losses should a major hurricane make landfall in any of these zones.

The June 09 2010 update by Huffington post  on BP claims states that  18,000 claims have been paid, and $84 million  has been paid out. It does not provide the total numbers  of claims received thus far. According to this article, only 600 adjusters were currently working in claims offices. No wonder this article quotes a policyholder saying they have called numerous times and get no answer on the phones! Look back and compare this to the 2004 and 2005 numbers just for Florida  where over 10,000 emergency licensed independent adjusters worked both of those years not counting thousands more deployed who were staff adjusters and you decide……..how would you rate the BP claims response on as of  today? This updated article found on the BP website  dated 6/14/10 states a total of 51,000 claims received and about 26,000 payments made totalling $62 million dollars. There is no mention in the current update on the number of currently deployed adjusters since the 6/9/10 stats I had above.

Make sure to read this  this article by www.Money.CNN.com indicating predications are that BP will spend between 3 billion and 40 billion in their response to this disaster while at the same time predicting Florida alone will have a 10.9 billion dollar economic loss along with potential for the loss of 195,000 jobs. The current top prediction at 40 billion is just 10 billion shy of the cost of damages in the 2004 hurricane season and about one third of the damage costs in the 2005 hurricane season thus far. 

Reuters news service is reporting that President Obama will require BP open an Escrow account when they meet June 16, 2010  to meet their obligations on claims. Here’s the link to this story.

God be with us all. Amen.

It is now 2:35 am ET so it will be tomorrow after A.M.  liability classes before I can go back and review this for grammar, etc so bear with me.

 

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Have License Ready To Go! Not So Quick- Take this Self Assessment Test

February 13, 2009

We receive hundreds of emails yearly if not monthly from new adjusters specifying they now have their adjuster’s license and are ready to go as they look for independent adjuster assignments. Many will have great backgrounds in construction, auto repair backgrounds, insurance agency, and other related fields.
 
What they do not have that they do not understand is a grasp on the functional essentials to properly adjust a claim. They may have learned state ethics requirements for adjusters, some basic policy to pass the adjuster’s license exam, but little regarding practical file requirements, carrier claim handling guidelines, forms required, proper communication tools and appropriate forms of communication.
 
If you think you are ready…try taking this self assessment and see how many questions you are comfortable with before you go out on assignments and see if you are ready!

Whether you take our 50 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class or obtain training elsewhere, please do not go out on assignments without taking much needed training from PROFESSIONAL sources. We post them all in our Seminars Forum, our Training Material Forum, in industry Claim Conference postings all found right  on ClaimSmentor. See About page for all website/contact information.
 
This is not by any means a complete list of things you should know but just a 125 sample assessment test of SOME of the minimum things you should know before working property residential claims.
 
Career Self Test Questions:
 
1) What are pros and cons of being a staff adjuster versus an independent adjuster?
 
2) What different type of fee schedules are available for independents to work under?
 
3) What are typical fee splits between independent adjuster and adjusting firms?
 
4)  What parts of independent contract do you need to be careful about before signing?
 
5)  What equipment must you provide yourself to perform your required field adjusting duties?
 
6)  What information will you be given at an induction center meeting versus what you are expected to know at arrival?
 
7)  What things are you required to have on an adjuster’s resume? What format should you use if you are new to the field? If you are experienced?
 
8)  What are holdbacks on fee schedule payments?
 
9)  How much money do you need to deploy on a catastrophe assignment?
 
10)  When should you expect to receive your first fee payments once you start processing catastrophe files?
 
11) What are dress codes for adjusters as required by carriers?
 
12) What are expected hours at a catastrophe assignment?
 
13) What is the difference in pay for an inside adjuster versus a field adjuster?
 
14) What is the average annual income for an independent adjuster? For a staff adjuster trainee?
 
15) What career field options are available for you to pursue?
 
16) How much errors and omissions coverage is it recommended you carry? Should you furnish your own even if the independent adjusting firm offers to furnish it for a fee? Does your E and O cover your defense costs if a claim goes to suit and you are named in the lawsuit?
 
Adjuster Ethics Self Test Questions
 
17) Is it ok to take salvage from an insured?
 
18) Is it ok to take gifts from insureds, contractors, attorneys?
 
19) Is it ok to select a contractor for an insured or recommend a contractor?
 
20) Is it ok to meet a contractor over dinner to reconcile differences in your estimate?
 
21) Is it ok to use an assistant with you in the field who is not licensed to assist with the paper work and calls from insureds?
 
22) Is it ok to discourage an insured from filing an insurance department complaint?
 
23) Is it ok to discourage an insured from hiring an attorney or a public adjuster?
 
24 ) Is it ok to inspect a large group of claims and later write them up once you conclude your inspections?
 
25) Is it ok if you are using an assistant like a husband/wife team of independent adjusters for the non file assigned person to write the activity logs for the one assigned the file?
 
Dealing with insureds- Self Assessment Questions
 
26) What is the minimum time frame most carriers expect you to go by for first contact with insured?
 
27) When should insured expect a personal inspection once you have contacted them?
 
28) Can you accept lump sum estimates from insured?
 
29) When is it required you obtain original documents such as repair estimates from an insured vs copies? Why?
 
30) When is the appropriate time to get contents inventory forms to an insured?
 
31) Who are high profile insureds you should give priority treatment during a catastrophe assignment?
 
32) How do you determine who you should see first if you are assigned a large group of files on a catastrophe assignment when you arrive?
 
33) What is the appropriate way to zone your assignments if given this large number of new claims upon arrival at a catastrophe site?
 
34) What form should you review before ever calling the insured and what parts of this form are important?
 
35) If the insured wants to talk to your manager, what is your appropriate way to deal with this?
 
36) In addition to getting contents inventory forms to an insured immediately, what other forms should be given to the insured if the home is uninhabitable?
 
37) If the insured has damage under multiple coverages on a residential claim which one should you discuss with them first?
 
38) Where would you meet with an insured if the home is uninhabitable? How would you determine the amount of an advance they might need? What authorization can you give them for getting a hotel and eating meals out?
 
39) When is proof of ownership required on a contents claim?
 
40) What 4 items should you ask an insured for on each contents item claimed?
 
Carrier File Requirement Self Assessment
 
41) What 3 ratios does the carrier constantly monitor to see if you are meeting their time service requirements?
 
42) Do carriers allow you to use custom made forms such as your own excel contents sheet?
 
43) Do carriers allow you to use email to communicate with an insured?
 
44) Do independent adjusting firms allow you to communicate with the staff carrier claim manager or adjuster?
 
45) Which carriers are going to require you to get a carrier certification exam successfully passed before you can work their claims for an adjusting firm?
 
46) What language is required on all forms a carrier gives to an insured to sign?
 
47) Who keeps copies of all claim file documents and material..you or the carrier or both?
 
48) What do you do if you receive suit papers on a claim?
 
49) What is required if the carrier receives an insurance department complaint? What steps are you required to take?
 
50) How do you close out a claim if the insured withdraws the claim? What paperwork is required?
 
51) What should you do if a severity code is incorrect in the system on a claim? Who sets up the severity code? Why does it matter?
 
52) How do you establish a claim reserve? How often are you required to change the reserve? What coverages require a reserve? What is the appropriate manner to determine a reserve amount?
 
Dealing with Insurance Agents- Self Assessment
 
53) Are you required to keep the agent up to date with the status of the file?
 
54) Should an agent be copied on all letters to an insured?
 
55) If the insured has a complaint, should you inform the agent or is it none of the agent’s business since the claim was assigned to the claims department?
 
56) What contact is recommended with agency offices when you arrive at your assigned catastrophe department?
 
57) What is the appropriate thing to do if an agent tries to get you to inspect all of their storm losses before other claims?
 
58) Do claim payments affect an agents loss ratio for regular claims? For catastrophe claims?
 
59) When should you notify an agent of underwriting concerns such as maintenance issues? Who else should you notify?
 
60 ) What would you say to an insured that alleges “the agent should have told me that” or “the agent didn’t offer me that coverage”? What process would you have to follow to investigate that?
 
Attorney and Public Adjuster (PA) requirements-self assessment
 
61) What file documentation do you need if the insured advises you they have contracted with a PA before you talk to the PA about
the details of the claim?
 
62) Where do you go to check the rules the PA must abide by in a given state?
 
63) Is the contract the insured signs with a PA a contract with the insurer meaning the insurer must comply? Does the contract waive any rights the carrier has?
 
64) Can you still talk to the insured if they have a contract with a PA?
 
65) Can you ask for the insured to be present if they have a PA?
 
66) What duties does insured have with the carrier if they now have a PA involved in their claim?
 
67) Who pays the PA and how much is allowed?
 
68) Can you talk to an insured if they have hired an attorney?
 
69) Can you inspect a claim if the insured has an attorney without the attorney present?
 
70) What documentation do you need from an attorney if they call to say they are representing the insured?
 
71) Can you send a letter to an insured if they have an attorney?
 
72) Are you obligated to notify the agent if the insured has an attorney or a PA?
 
73) What do you do if you get a time demand letter from a PA? From an attorney?
 
Good Faith Claim handling- Self Assessment?
 
74) What are you required to do to be in compliance with good faith claim handling statutes?
 
75) What do you do if an insured, attorney, or PA accuses you of being in bad faith?
 
76) What are the top reasons for bad faith due to adjuster claim handling problems?
 
File requirements self assessments questions
 
77) What 2 things are used if a coverage question or questions becomes known by the adjuster? What is the name of the form? What is the name of the letter? When do you use each? Can you proceed with investigating the claim when there is a coverage issue?
 
78) What is the name of the report used on large losses, daily claims to summarize the details of the claim? When is it due in to carrier?
 
79) What is the name of the form used to summarize all recommended payments broken down by coverage ?
 
80) What are minimum activity log file requirements? What are the “no’s” or do’s and don’ts of creating an activity log? What entries are required to be on the log?
 
81) What is proper file order for building, contents, and additional living expense documents?
 
82) What is the proper name for each of the  electronic file documents required to be uploaded to a carrier claim file if they use a claim management system?
 
83) What do you do if approached in the field by an insured and their claim is NOT assigned to you? What does the carrier expect?
 
84) When is a Sworn Proof of Loss form required? Who completes it? When is it due?
 
85) What do you do if the insured does not want the mortgage company name of the claim payment? What policy provision do you show the insured?
 
86) What forms do you use if the insured requires appraisal? Can you demand appraisal? If so, what steps do you need to follow?
 
87) Are you required to go over the settlement with the insured  in person once you have finished your estimate?
 
88) How should your file be documented when you have items still pending on the claim?
 
89) What things do you have authority to authorize without the carriers permission when discussing claims with an insured?
 
90) How do you document your claim file if you disagree with instructions from your claim manager ?
 
91) What is the best method to approach your manager about questions you have on the claim? What information should you have with you before going to them? How should the file be documented?
 
Policy Coverage Assessment- Self Assessment
 
92) Who is responsible to get the policy to the insured, agent, attorney or pa when a request is received for a copy of the policy? Do you give them a sample policy from the carrier office or who and what kind of policy is sent to them?
 
93) What reference books are recommended to have out in the field with you for policy forms and endorsements?
 
94)  What forms and endorsements and policies should you always have with you in the field?
 
95) Is it necessary to quote policy language exactly when you deny a portion of the claim?
 
96) Are you familiar with state mandated form language? How about state mandated mediation programs and forms required to notify an insured of their rights? What dollar limit applies requiring you give the insured this information?
 
97) What policy language do you refer to if an insured asks for payment for their time completing inventory forms?
 
98) What do you do if an insured claims items not covered? Property for people not covered on their policy? What letters and forms are required? What policy language would you refer the insured to to discuss this?
 
99) What many questions must you ask an insured to determine the appropriate place for them if their home is uninhabitable? Is an apt needed, a rental house, and how do you assess this? Who is responsible to locate temporary living quarters? What are abatements on Additional living expense coverage and how do you apply them? Who covers their security deposits?
 
100 )Settlements- What provision in the policy explains ACV? What process do you follow to calculate ACV and to notify the insured of RC provisons and how they collect them? How long do they have to collect them?
 
101) How long does an insured have to file suit on a claim? What is the Statute called that applies to this time limit? Where do you find it for each state?
 
Estimatic Self Assessment Questions
 
102) What are carrier guidelines on matching issues?
 
103) How does the pair and set clause apply to contents losses? To building losses?
 
104) Is it acceptable to offer the insured an appearance allowance on a damaged building or contents item?
 
105) What are line of site issues when determining how far to scope on building interior damage?
 
106) What are carrier acceptable methods of determining minimum charges?
 
107) What are general guidelines for allowing for overhead and profit on an estimate?
 
108) Can you pay an insured 10% profit if they do the work themselves?
 
109) How do you detemine the appropriate depreciation for building components? For contents items?
 
110) Is it ok to enter contents items in a building estimate as a miscellaneous item? Why or why not?
 
111) What do you do if you are unable to scope a building damaged item? Is it ok to copy the contractors scope and insert it into your estimate?
 
112) What is the best method for reconciling differences in your scope with the contractors scope?
 
113) If the insured’s contractors estimate is lower than your estimate what do you do? Which is used for fee schedule billing purposes?
 
114) IS it ok to recommend contractors to insured? If so, under what circumstances?
 
115) When are you required to review prior losses to avoid duplication on your current damage estimate?
 
116) What do you do if you suspect the damage you are inspecting is intentional versus accidental? (Example- insured uses a hammer to create appearance of hail damage to roof)?
 
117) Is it ok to round up or down on measurements? Is it ok to use the contractors measurements?
 
118) What are the major reasons for scoping issues when reconciling your estimate to a contractors?
 
119) What trades is it generally acceptable to allow overhead and profit and which trades is it considered not acceptable?
 
120) Is it ok to override a price in an estimating program with a manual entry? If so, how should you document your file?
 
121 ) What estimating program do you need training on? Where is it best to acquire it? Do you need to learn multiple systems? What is the cost involved?
 
122) Should an estimate need to be revised after you’ve given it to the insured what do you do with the original estimate once you have rewritten it?
 
123) If you reject acceptance of a lump sum bid insured provides from a contractor, should you keep a copy in your file?
 
124) Name the company many firms use to send off material samples for flooring such as carpet and tile and the process to follow to submit the sample
 
125) Are you required to agree to a scope with a contractor the insured has NOT signed a contract with to do the work?
 
*********
We cover these topics and much more during our 10 sessions of Fundamentals of Property Adjusting class held online LIVE on Monday and Thursday evenings. We will also hold class during the day should we receive enough registrants requesting the day course.  Our next class starts March 2, 2009.  IF you take the above self assessment and find you need more training, please join us at ClaimSmentor today if you are not already a member to register for our upcoming class. Again this does not begin to cover what you need to know to properly handle claims but gives you a great idea of how much more training you do need in addition to acquiring an adjuster’s state license.

We will also be posting much information in the next week on other sources of training also available as online options as well as the best of the best field training options for those wishing to pursue a career as an independent adjuster.

It is most important you avoid classes held by instructors with little to no experience themselves. It is always utmost important that you learn from experienced personnel and that you ask about the qualifications of the instructor. I personally find it important that adjusters take classes from (at minimum ) folks with both staff and independent experience as they are much more familiar with what goes on from a staff claim management perspective regarding expectations to properly train you in carrier expectations versus possible minimally acceptable file standards that barely meet the muster of carrier file reviews.

I’ve been teaching our Fundamentals of Claims class for several years now with over 200 now processing through our class. I hear their stories and in many cases from adjusters who did go out on their first assignment during Katrina and or Ike who were not given good training and had not known how much there really was to learn only to get sent home and in some cases worse yet to be told they can no longer work claims for a carrier they had worked hard to establish a relationship with. Many assume that if they pass the carrier certification test which is usually on estimatics that they are good to go. Is what these trainees are missing is that the carrier also has high expectations that you already know other basic essentials like proper communication skills, forms, policy language ,etc which definitely is not the case for many sent out.

Is what I don’t like going on in our industry is that many books available and many classes are being hosted by some independent adjusters that have little to no practical experience themselves. It takes years  before one should even consider writing a book, hosting a course or other such classes.

It is really becoming an epidemic in the independent field with classes available if you just check around the classifieds and postings on many sites. We hope to direct you in future blog postings to reputable adjusting firms and classes hosted by some of the more professional vendors our members have found in their training path.

One of the fallouts we are seeing from this inexperience being passed on is that the trainers with little background do not understand the backlash  of some of the poor instructions being given out  and as such I do believe it is leading to the increase in claim litigation  due to  poor decisions and claim handling skills by newer adjusters improperly trained.

The very last thing you should want is to barely be acceptable and only to be assigned deployment opportunities when they’ve run out of adjusters with more professional claim handling skills. The better you are the longer you will be kept out on independent assignments, the less chance you have in being sued for bad faith claim handling activities, the more satisfied insureds will be with their claim handling experience thus reducing Insurance Department complaints,  and the happier the carrier will be with your work product!

 

**Sorry about the smilee faces showing up every time I use the number eight. Every time I use it is shows up when published as a smilee face. If anyone knows how to overcome that issue please let me know!


Colorado Hail/ Tornado of May 22, 2008- Updated Damage Reports

May 23, 2008

That was quite some storm in Colorado yesterday and the hail damage report sizes shown on the NOAA storm reports indicates there was major hail there. Here’s some of the best of the news reports we located and other information you may need if heading to CO for tornado/hail storm duty:

Here’s one of the best stories with details on the structural damage:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080523/ap_on_re_us/severe_weather

 

State Farm’s CO Regional office suffers storm damage and Dept of Insurance encourages insureds encouraged to call SF corporate instead:

http://www.krdo.com/Global/story.asp?S=8368796

Colorado Dept of Insurance website:

http://www.dora.state.co.us  (Nothing on site about adjuster’s licenses- I don’t believe they are required)

Colorado Dept of Insurance Market Share and Carrier Insurance Dept complaint info- Good link for adjusting firms looking for insurance companies to market their services to with their market share for these storm claims:
http://www.dora.state.co.us/pls/real/ins_comp_ratio_report.generate_report?p_report_id=Complaint%20Ratio%20Search%20Results&p_report_year=2006&p_policy_type=HOME&p_min_complaints=5&p_min_marketshare=0.10&p_report_format=HTML&p_report_type=Standard%20Reports&p_order_by=company_name

 Here’s several links to some interesting storm stories in the Denver post on the damage:

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_9352829

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_9352828

**look for the word tornados in the left side of the box on this second link to lots of video footage of the damage

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_9352505

Here are yesterday’s NOAA storm reports showing the tornado and hail damage reports:

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

**note if your accessing the storm report link after 5/23 then you’d enter 5/22/08 on the link to find these reports

Here’s the Windsor CO website showing neighborhoods closed to public and more info today on damage there and emergency shelters:

http://www.ci.windsor.co.us/

Weld County is the county listed in the NOAA storm reports- here is some helpful info on the Weld County Sheriff’s office site:

http://www.weldsheriff.com/

Very interesting info on how very large Weld County is- and other links you may need to their Building Inspector and Building and Permits numbers:

http://www.co.weld.co.us/

Weld County covers an area of 4,004 square miles in north central Colorado. It is bordered on the north by Wyoming and Nebraska and on the south by the Denver metropolitan area. The third largest county in Colorado, Weld County has an area greater than that of Rhode Island, Delaware and the District of Columbia combined. The climate is dry and generally mild with warm summers, mild winters and a growing season of approximately 138 days. Read more…

Here are some interesting statistics on the most costly storms in the Rocky Mountain region:

http://www.rmiia.org/Catastrophes_and_Statistics/catastrophes.htm#regional

I’ll update this blog post throughout the day as we locate carrier damage numbers.


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.