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

February 19, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Action Catastrophe Team, Inc.

http://www.actioncatteam.com

Alamo Claim Service

http://www.myalamoclaims.com

Allied American Adjusting Company, LLC

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

Bradley Stinson & Associates, Inc.

http://www.bradleystinson.com/

Burton Claim Service, Inc.

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

CatManDo, Inc.

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

Claims Consultants, LLC

http://www.claimsconsultantsllc.com

CountryWide Adjusting

http://www.cwclaims.com

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

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

G&G Insurance Adjusters, Inc.

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

Global Risk Solutions, Inc. (GRS)

http://www.globalrisksolutions.com

Insurance Servicing & Adjusting Company (ISAC)


http://www.isacclaims.com

Insure-Aid Claims Service

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

Integrated Catastrophe Services, Inc.

http://www.iclaimsllc.com 

Interclaim, Inc.

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

Johns Eastern Company, Inc.

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

Legacy Claim Services, LLC

  http://www.legacyclaims.net

Lozano Insurance Adjusters, Inc.

http://www.lozanoadjusters.com

Mathias and Company, Inc.

http://www.mathiasinc.com/

Nado Insurance Services

http://www.Nadoclaims.com

National Catastrophe Adjusters, Inc. (NCA)

http://www.ncagroup.com

 

Pilot Catastrophe Services, Inc.

http://www.pilotcat.com

ROL Insurance Consulting

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

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

S&S Claims Service, Inc.

http://www.SSClaims.com

Team One Adjusting Services, LLC

http://www.teamoneclaims.com

The Littleton Group

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

US CAT Adjusters, LLC

http://www.uscatadj.com

 

Walker Group, Inc.

http://www.wgclaims.com

Wardlaw Claims Service

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

 

York Claims Service, Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

*********

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

7/26/07:

 

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

 

8/24/07:

 

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

 

10/18/07

 

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

 

2/13/08:

 

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

 

4/23/08:

 

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

 

5/14/08:

 

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

 

5/14/08:

 

 

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

 

5/19/08:

 

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

 

 

 

6/18/08:

 

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

 

8/5/08:

 

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

 

8/18/08:

 

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

 

9/03/08:

 

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

 

2/19/09:

 

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

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

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

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


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Citizens expects to Post Rebid RFP for Independent Adjusters on August 19, 2008

August 18, 2008

 

We had previously posted that Citizens of FL had cancelled RFP 08-0016. They now have a Current Notice posted that they expect to repost the RFP on 8/19/08. We will post about the new RFP once they get it posted on their website. We know many are curious why the RFP was once again cancelled for the 3rd time in 2008 so hopefully that mystery will be resolved tomorrow! Here is the current notice posted:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/purchasing-current_notices.cfm?show=pdf&link=/shared/purchasing/pdfs/Notice-RFP08-0016-UpdatedReleaseInformation.pdf

 

 

INDEPENDENT ADJUSTERS FOR DAILY

AND CATASTROPHIC CLAIMS

RFP # 08-0016

Opening Date: May 27, 2008

NOTICE / UPDATED RELEASE INFORMATION

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation anticipates issuing the rebid for

Independent Adjusters for Daily and Catastrophic Claims on August 19, 2008.

We recommend monitoring the Citizens Purchasing website for the

notification of the rebid at

 

 

 

http://www.citizensfla.com

.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Purchasing Department

Citizens Center

2101 Maryland Circle

Tallahassee, FL 32303

(850) 575-0936Facsimile

E-mail:
Purchasing@CITIZENSfla.com

 

 


Breaking News- Citizens has posted 30 firms selected for Tier 1 on new RFP

June 18, 2008

Special thanks to the claims manager who has shared that Citizens has now posted the names of the 30 adjusting firms selected to fill the new RFP for daily and catastrophe claims.

The information is not in the usual Awarded or Closed Purchasing documents but is listed in the FUTURE Meeting dates section for the Board of Govenor meetings due to a 6/18/2008 2:30 PM Claims Committee meeting where they are seeking approval on their selection of these 30 firms out of the 69 firms submitting RFP documents.

Here are the links to read all of their uploaded documents as they have posted on their website:

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/mDetails_boardmtgs.cfm?event=256&when=Future

**UPDATE 6/19- they’ve  now moved the meeting notes to the PAST meetings link when you click on the Board of govenors notes. Here is the new link where you’ll find all of the documents

https://www.citizensfla.com/about/mDetails_boardmtgs.cfm?event=256&when=Past

 

**note if your system is like mine, I get a security warning any time I try to access a Citizens web page but if you just keep refreshing your web browser the page will eventually come up

These are the documents they presently have uploaded on the left side of this link to the June 18, 2008 Claims committee meeting:

Meeting Documents:
Main Agenda Document:
Claims_Agenda_6_18_08.pdf
Agenda Items:

02A: 02A RFP 08 0016.pdf

02B: 02B 08 0016 Addendum.pdf

03A: 03A IA Daily CAT Exec Summary.pdf

03B: 03B Exhibit A RFP Timeline.pdf

03C: 03C Exhibit B Statement of Work.pdf

03D: 03D Exhibit C Contract Terms and Conditions.pdf

03E: 03E Exhibit D Firms Recommended.pdf

 

It is my understanding directly from the claim manager who advised the documents were posted that they have not yet received communication from Citizens notifying them that they were not selected/were selected. They found the information by searching the web site as well. I had been watching it every several hours for the announcement but in the usual places for Awarded and Closed purchasing documents.

This is a major disappointment for the firms not selected who participated and incurred the expense to host the new face to face training for the 2008 storm season and now “feel like lame ducks” knowing they will work catastrophe claims in 2008 but not selected for 2009. Our sympathies are with these firms.

Make sure to read all of the documents uploaded for their meeting this afternoon as they contain timelines for the transitions for the new firms who will be working as well as designated training periods for the new vendors.

We note that there are several firms not on the current list of 46 firms for the 2008 season so we’ll be furnishing website links for the new firms as soon as we have the list completed for our members over at ClaimSmentor.


Concerned regarding Adjuster Fee Schedules for Citizens of FL?

May 19, 2008

 

There is an ongoing topic at CADO here where adjusters are expressing concerns regarding the Citizens Fee Schedule. I don’t normally link to their forum topics but this is an especially good discussion going on that adjusters planning to work Citizens might wish to read. It is found here:

http://www.catadjuster.org/Forums/tabid/60/forumid/28/tpage/1/view/Topic/postid/8045/Default.aspx

 While I’m not employed by Citizens or affiliated with them in anyway, I have been actively researching all information they do publish on their website for well over a year now due to my claim staffing firm who may receive requests to supply adjusters to help Citizens vendors. Here are answers that I provided in response to some things being posted regarding the fee schedule that might help others with the confusion on which fee schedule will apply this year. Should I receive any feedback that corrects any info I’ve provided based on my reading of the Citizens of FL documents, I will update this post:

I think I see what the confusion is in this topic on the  $70.00 or $700.00 fee.
 
We are dealing with 2 different RFP’s (Request for Proposal Documents) and 2 different fee schedules – one with each of them.
 
Citizens bid out the RFP in 2007 (RFP 07-0003) which the agreement form found on page 21 of the below link says is for Catastrophe Claims Agreement for the period of June 1, 2007 through 5/31/2009 so that would include this hurricane season during 2008. All of those documents can be located here on their website on RFP 07-0003 which is 2nd to the bottom on this link to include the fee schedule and the fines for violations of their service handling standards. This is the RFP that we have seen the award list for the 45 vendors which has since been increased to 46 vendors although they never published the updated list with the 46th vendor ( we wrote about that with a link to the Citizens announcement on Bradley Stinson firm  in a link in one of the following paragraphs.
 
 
They then began bidding out for daily work for Daily claims (RFP for daily claims which occur from 7/1/2008-6/30/2011 and catastrophe claims from 6/1/2009 to 6/30/2011. This is the RFP that has been revised 3 times since the beginning of 2008.(RFP 08-0001 2/08 and RFP 08-0016 the current ones issued April 08 RFP 08-0016  which replaced RFP 08-0001)
 
Here is a blog addressing the 3 revisions which included the initial RFP in 2/08 and the 2 revisions in April/May 08:
 
 
 
Here are links to the first one that got cancelled in Feb 08 AFTER the vendors wishing consideration had submitted their RFP docs:
 

***They haven’t zipped these docs yet so look for RFP 08-0001 to see the RFP and the cancellation notice (I think it was addendum 4). We wrote about this cancellation with more details here:

And a blog we wrote about the Feb 08 cancellation:

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

 
 
 
Here is the link to the current RFP 08-0016 which was initially posted 4/22/08 with a fee schedule  for the new dates in the 08 RFP then revised again on 4/28/08  and 5/9/08 to include revisions to the fee schedule and the Q & A document mentioned above that confirms they did intentionally put $70.00 versus $700.00 on the slab footprint only claims.
 
**Docs not yet zipped so just look for RFP 08-0016. Note they move documents when an RFP is closed to the Closed purchasing documents which you can access going to www.citizensfla.com then clicking on purchasing the click on the tab for Closed Competitive Solicitations to find the RFP when it does move.
 
This new RFP included a Q & A in Addendum 2 dated 5/9/08  where the vendors had an opportunity to present questions to Citizens which they then published the answers to on May 9, 2008. In that Q and A info they published, one of the vendors specificially asked the question if there had been an error on the published fee of 70.00 on the total losses where they just wanted a footprint taken since the schedule for 2007/2008 cat work had said 700.00. Citizens answered this question in Q5 of Addendum 2 that an error had NOT been made and 70.00 was in fact the correct fee for the daily work beginning June 2008 daily claims and the cat work beginning June 2009. While they didn’t use those dates, the Q &A applied to the new RFP questions so that would be the new time frame. Note they have not yet selected the firms for the new RFP. The list you’ve seen of 45 vendors (it is actually 46 now- see this blog if your not familiar with the 46th vendor info here:
 
 
 
 
Evans Claims, one of this years vendors, has the Face to Face requirement email from the interim Citizens Catastrophe Director posted on their website in a May 12, 2008 post here which explains there reason for requesting the face to face training and I’ve seen in uploaded as an attachment on some of the other vendors emails to their adjusters as well:
 
 
Here is a link to a blog we did on the new face to face training requirement:
 
 
What is interesting is that the Adjuster Resources Link at Citzens has not been updated as of this morning  on the new face to face training and still links to the online training although many of the vendor emails say the online training thousands did in 07 no longer counts for your certification: You might want to keep checking here for when they do finally get it updated
 
 
Here are links where you can find the current fee schedule for this season and the RFP document with the new fee schedule in Addendum A for the new RFP dates.
 
**Docs not yet zipped so look for RFP 08-0016
 
There are significant changes between the RFP for 2007/2008(cat only RFP 07-0003) and the new ones for July 2008- June 2011 for daily claims and the beginning June 2009 through May 2011 for catastrophe claims.Very interesting in the new RFP the fee schedule is based on the number of adjusters Citizens deploys not on the severity of the catastrophe like we usually see on fee schedules and they address this as well on the Q & A in the new RFP 5/9/08 published answers. I highly recommend anyone planning to work for any of the vendors be sure to read them. Some of the most significant include:
 
1 )Citizens comments in the new RFP Q & A on hold harmless agreements and who will be paying if suit is filed on a claim.  2) The other major issue I could see is their answer to the question posed by one of the vendors about what happens if Citizens runs out of funding to pay claims to the adjusting firm/adjuster fees and Citizens could not provide assurance as to what would happen to the adjuster fees.3) Anyone reading the FL papers is well aware of the controversy regarding Citizens freeze on rates which has now been extended and the concerns in the press that they are not adequately funded and capable of paying claims in the event of a major catastrophe. I’m very glad one of the vendors asked the question.4) The new and I think last year’s RFP which applies to the 2008 Cat claims requires an adjuster not work claims for any other carrier while working Citizens claims. While I can understand that for cat claims where you may have enough work to provide a satisfactory income, I do not understand that requirement for those working daily claims (see RFP 08-0016 and the 08 Q &A for this question) where an independent may not receive enough assignments to provide an income that would justify such dedication to one carrier.5) Also be sure to read the info in the RFP 08-0016 about limited assignments where the inside adjusters will settle the claims with the homeowner. Does this seem strange to anyone else that the adjusters with the least experience (they only require 1 year experience for in office) will be handling settlement negotiations with insureds vs the field adjusters where more experience is required?
 
Here is just one example in a blog I did this year on the fiasco with the 300 Million Dollar claim reserve problem identified this year which I’m sure those working Citizens claims this year will hear about since claim reserves are in the list of job duties for independents-see RFP 08-0016 for that list
 
 
 
 
Here is also a link to the blog we did when the new RFP was released in April 2008:
 
 
And a link to the blog written when they cancelled the Feb 08 RFP with more details:
 
***This blog also addresses Citizens published and  planned reduction in use of independents so there may be less work in the years ahead with Citizens for independents although it’s interesting to note they don’t disclose this information in any of the RFP’s but we found it through the Citizens Task force or Board of Governors meeting notes- the links are in the blog above
 
 
 
In my opinion, adjusters should be utmost concerned about the fines in this years RFP(07-0003 for cat  documents- some are up to $1,000 per violation for such perceived infractions as late reporting to the cat site and improper file handling. While the RFP says the adjusting firm will be fined, many of the independent contracts the past two years seem to be revised or updated to include passing fines on to adjusters though most are not specific about what those fines are so I’d be sure to have a thorough discussion with any adjusting firm you are planning to go out with on that issue. While RFP 08-0016 doesn’t go into the great detail the 07 schedule did, it does have language incorporating the Claim manual which last year I believe included the fine info so I am guessing the fines will be whatever they are in the manual but they say in the new RFP that the manual will be given out to the new vendors once they are awarded so we don’t know the answer to that question but you should get an answer to this from your vendor). I was hoping one of the vendors would have asked about that in the Q & A questions but it is not published with the Citizens answers if so..
 
While it may seem to some that these things are nothing to concern yourself with, let me assure you that is not what Chip Merlin,Attorney of the Merlin Law Group in Miami is posting on his blog here:
 
 
If you look at the Citizens Task Force on Claim Handling that is charged with oversight of the Citizens Claims, Mr Merlin in the June 07 presentation links made a presentation to them on the problems he saw with claims handling in the aftermath of the 4 in 04 and in 05. You’ll see from his new comments his frustration in the results of the task force and his indication he thinks litigation in the aftermath of any new hurricanes will be much the same as the massive litigation our industry has experienced post Katrina (emphasis here mine- go back to Citizens comments on the RFP08-0016 answers about holding them harmless even if a Citizens manager overrides an adjusting firms decision on a claim)..Look at the link to presentations I’ve posted in this reply  to his presentation to the task force in June 2007 and a link to his May 08 blog about his predictions on litigation post any new storm and his expectations about litigation and also note his interesting comment expressing disatisfaction with the work of the Citizens Task Force. If you aren’t familiar with Chip Merlin, he has offices in various locations in FL and has been proactive in litigation on claims in MS with a few offices over there as well .. I think we will see his name quite a bit should a  major storm hit FL as he has been very proactive following the claim problems and ongoing developments at Citizens.Here are a few links to some blogs you should read that are quite interesting on Citizens and his thoughts regarding repeat of litigation,etc:
 
 
 
 
 
Some folks above indicated a wish to be heard by Citizens. If you’ll note in the new RFP- the vendors were strictly prohibited from contacting ANYONE at Citizens to ask questions other than the one designated person taking the questions and answers that were then answered on 5/9/08 with the threat in the RFP that they would be removed from consideration if they contacted anyone within Citizens other than the designated person and prior to the deadline.. While I can understand the need for a contact person for questions to avoid confusion between adjusting firm managers being given different answers, I cannot imagine such restrictions in such a significant business relationship where there is a deadline given to ask questions and such limitations and threats being placed on firms they are asking to handle their business. I’m hoping the vendors were given more opportunities to ask questions at their recent Train the Trainers seminar mentioned in the 5/12/08 email from Citizens that is published on the Evans link above.
 
There are links at the Citizens Task Force which is overseen by the Dept of Insurance with contact information for the task force:
 
 
Here’s a link to a presentation on their website from an adjuster addressing the new FL umpire review that is going on. I had never thought about the fact some independents may be an independent in one state and a public adjuster in another state as this adjuster states in his presentation letter to Citizens. I’d be curious to know how independent adjusting firms would feel about using an adjuster who does both and can imagine how a carrier might feel about this:
 
**Scroll down to the one on Property Insurance Appraisal Umpire Legislation topic in the 2/26/08 presentation links and click on the link to the pdf from Catastrophe Specialist to see this pdf letter he sent in. This link also works to the pdf the Merlin group sent in last year addressing claim handling conerns in the links to the June 7, 2007 presentations on the same link above.
 
 I’m very curious why no where in the presentations by firms is there anything from independent adjusting firms- only from public adjuster groups and attorneys and others but no independent personnel. I can only guess this is because of course they cannot do anything so public for fear of losing an RFP award by upsetting the Citizens Claim Dept.  Also disappointing is the Citizens Claims Dept makes presentations to the Task Force but the latest information I can find on their meetings site is some meetings in Feb  26, 2008…..so where are they in reviewing all of the new RFP revisions and decisions that have gone on since?  Are they even aware of the continual changes Citizens is making to the RFP and requirements of Independent adjusting firms? The Board meeting notes also published on the Citizens site which provide much insight into decisions are continually behind by months so we can’t get any clues there. I wrote the Citizens webmaster about that issue several months ago and the response I got was that they cannot publish the minutes to the Board Meetings until they have been approved which he assured me would be at their next meeting which was months ago and they are still FAR behind in updating them so we can get a glimpse into the decisions going on there although their policy is to publish board meeting notes. The notes they are publishing have really changed as well from actual meeting notes to bullets of topics to be discussed and often not much else and I’m curious why that has changed.
 
I did some additional research looking to see how you would go about contacting some of the task force members directly since you can’t talk to anyone at Citizens and found email or website addresses for many of the board members .I’ll locate that research and post it here if anyone wants that. Right now you can go to the task force link above and find 2 primary contacts and ask them to forward it to all Task Force Board members if you wish. I don’t think we’ll see any improvements until our concerns are addressed to the Task Force which hasn’t happened yet or atleast there is nothing pubished on their presentations link.
 
Your best source is to talk to the vendors who are attending these meetings but I hope the above information atleast answers questions we can find the answers to from the Citizens published documents available to all of us on their website for viewing. I highly recommend adjusters stay up to date with the information being published on the Citizens website so you can consider ALL the facts directly from the horses mouth. We are not a Citizens vendor- just a concerned FL part-time resident with all of my family residing in the state  as well as a FL Independent adjuster who has been contacted by many adjusting firms as well and these constant changes give me GREAT concern about what is going to happen when my family, friends, and residents of FL experience a major catastrophe never mind the potential for problems for independent adjusters servicing their claims.

 

 

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http://www.dimechimes.wordpress.com
 
   
 

Update 2:50 pm 3/19/08- Citizens has added 2 new documents today to the 08-0016 RFP documents compounding the confusion:

Guess what folks? Citizens has uploaded a new Revised Addendum A dated 5/19/08 and on the $70.00 fee they show it now revised to $700.00 in spite of their Q & A answer that $70.00 was correct which they answered in their 5/9/08 Q and A. It is the last document today on the 08-0016 RFP showing revision to Addendum A revised 5/19/08. They also uploaded a new Q & A dated 5/19/08 yet the answers seem to be the same as in the 5/9/08 Q & A with the same answer to the 70 vs 700 issue saying it is 70.00. So we have two documents new today and they conflict with each other on the issue.Mr Smith- good question on the adjusting firms/adjuster issues. Somewhere in all of these 08 RFP documents, there is a comment about adjusting firms not taking adjusters from other adjusting firms. Most adjusters I know have applied to multiple vendors post all of the 07 online training criteria. So who decides who belongs to which adjusting firm? I know most folks had to list an adjusting firm when they did the online training with their codes but does that hold you to that firm? I have no idea the answers to these questions but if Citizens were smart, they’d add a clarification on this information in one of their sure to be multiple more revisions.

Also- I’d make sure everyone reads the zip documents -especially Attachment J -on RFP 08-0016 for the info I mentioned in first post on the Indemnity clause on litigation and the comments in 4.3 on “no negotiation” on fee schedules. Make sure you also note that in 10.27 on Attachment J that they are going to charge the adjusting firm 15.00 per day for an adjuster  if they work in a Citizens office so that’s about $450.00 per in office adjuster (does this apply to mgmt working in their offices too?) per month.. Before accepting an in office assignment, I’d make sure to check with the vendor to see if you are going to be charged back that fee based on the terms of your independent contract with them. Adjusters are also responsible for providing their own Xactimate(they didn’t clarify which version) so together wouldn’t you be paying well over 600 per month to work for them per month?

 

Citizens of FL New RFP- Revised TIMES 3!

May 14, 2008

Recall our prior blog on the 2nd Citizens RFP for Daily and Catastrophe Adjusting firms? Here is a link to that blog. That blog was  regarding the 4/22/08 RFP (Request for Proposal) for Adjusting firms wishing consideration to work 2008/2009 claims (date depends on if it is daily or catastrophe assignments as explained in the RFP).

The April 22, 2008 RFP was to replace the one Citizens posted and cancelled earlier in the year. Here’s the link to our earlier blog on the first cancellation if you missed it.

Now- we find that Citizens yet again made a 3rd revision April 28, 2008 which is truly beyond believable that the number one insurer in the state of FL can behave so poorly when getting it together to work with independent adjusting firms who they are counting on to handle the majority of their claims – atleast for now that is (the percentages are reduced over the next few years per documents they have presented to the Citizens of FL Claim Task Force).

Tomorrow I’ll get into concerns with the RFP and their answers to questions presented by adjusting firms they posted on May 9, 2008 which should drive off even the most die-hard claims professionals when they review the answers Citizens posted. You can catch up on these documents by reviewing RFP 08-0016 and the revisions and addendums posted in the right column here:

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


Citizens of FL changes Independent Training Requirements for 2008

May 14, 2008

 

Thousands of independent adjusters participated in the 2007 online training requirements with Citizens of FL so they could handle their claims.

We’ve all been notified by numerous adjusting firms that those requirements recently changed yet again to require face-to -face training versus the online training with the independent adjusters due to the change in requirements by Citizens. Many of the vendor emails state the online training you took in the summer/fall of 2007 will NOT qualify you to work 2008 losses.

Evans Claims has the actual email from the Citizens Interim Catastrophe Director, Mike Schwartz posted on their website here:

http://evansclaims.com/wiki/ECS/FlaCit


Here’s what it says in case it is taken down:
May 12, 2008

Memo To: Citizens Independent Adjusters

From: Mike Schwarz
Interim Claims Director – Catastrophe Operations
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation


RE: 2008 Citizens Training

Representatives from your adjusting firms recently attended this years Train the Trainer workshop. They received important updates to our workflows and processes. During our meeting, we also communicated the requirement that face-to-face training be completed by all independent adjusters for 2008. We understand that this is an additional requirement to previous years and we do appreciate the time and travel that will be involved in completion of this training. This extra step is important for us to validate the quality of training provided to our independent partners. We are committed to providing a high level of customer service to our customers and proper training is critical in the achievement of this goal. We thank you for your efforts over the next several weeks as we prepare for the upcoming storm season.

Thank you,

Mike Schwarz
Interim Claims Director- Catastrophe Operations
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

******

I double checked the Citizens website and it still has the old online requirement information posted on their Adjuster Resources page here (look at top right hand corner where it says Adjuster Training):

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

We are posting copies of all 46 vendors training emails in our ClaimSmentor Seminars Forums as we receive copies so adjusters know where they can find the training. Thus far, we’ve found classes in many states to include TX, FL, GA, AZ,  CO and several others. Most of the emails we have seen thus far are from vendors offering the training free of charge to independents. Citizens still doesn’t have the website links up for the 46 vendors either and we have posted those in our forums as well. They were difficult to find for many of the firms as they weren’t listed correctly on their award list. For example, CNC-Resource out of Mobile,AL is one of the vendors yet they are listed on the Citizens Award list on the adjuster resource link above (bottom left hand column on that page) as Resource CNC and there are several other errors we found in names. They also never updated the award list with the 46th vendor that later added to the award group.

Many adjusters are in an uproar over the continual changes, fee schedule issues and over the Citizens Q & A answers in response to vendors questions as a result of the new RFP for vendors wishing to work  their claims that was posted 4/22/08  through 5/09/2008 on their purchaing site (click here to view RFP 08-0016 and all addendums and revisions) then once again revised 4/28/08 (this is in addition to the initial RFP posted at the beginning of the year that was cancelled for changes). Can you imagine if they have this  much trouble BEFORE a storm has hit just coming up with vendor requirements what the ever changing issues will be once adjusters do begin to work their claims? The adjusters voicing concern are rightfully doing so!

I haven’t had a chance yet to write the blog on the comparison of the 2008 RFP from the 2007 RFP requirements but they are drastic and I”ll try to get that up within the next couple of days and leave this post to addressing the new training challenges only.

If you wish to join  our claim industry group at ClaimSmenor to view the Seminars Forum for this info, you’ll find the registration link on our About Page here on the blog.


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)


Citizens of FL adds 46th Adjusting Firm / Tornado damage in Pensacola, FL

October 18, 2007

We’ve received word this week a 46th vendor has been added to the roster of Citizens of FL vendors. Apparently, there had been a scoring error for this firm which has now been documented and recommendations have been made to add them to the list of approved vendors.

Here’s the information and a recent advertisement from this adjusting firm for those of you interested in applying. I’m not sure why their ad reads as if they will be handling all of the claims as I’ve verified with another Citizens selected vendor what the situation was.  I just found the wording “all of their staffing needs” a bit curious since there are 45 other selected vendors.

Here is the ad that Bradley Stinson and Associates  had up here. Their website is here.

Here is the Citizens Board of Govenors 9/20/07  information  here with the announcement.

Possibly someone alerted Citizens to my prior blogs (yeah right!) stating how disturbing that they were relying on 45 adjusting firms with 6,000 adjusters yet they had not even bothered to post on their job opportunities page the list of the vendors so independents would even know where to apply. Well they now have the list of the 45 vendors up on their adjuster resource tab(still nothing on the job opportunities page directing an independent to this information )and it’s still the original unprofessional list with adjusting firms names incorrect on the list and no contact information or website information for the adjusting firms. It frustrated me so much that I  spent atleast a week researching firms and processes and wrote a research paper on all 45 adjusting firms selected to provide information about each firm and even linked to each of their ads,websites, and emails adjusters were sharing with us as to what each firm was advertising for training conferences.The research paper also included lots of news articles in the papers around Florida and much task force information. If you’d like a copy so you don’t have to do all of the research yourself, just order a copy from our staffing firm where you can purchase a copy. ( Website info up on About page on this blog) 

 If you weren’t involved, you would be thoroughly disgusted as a Floridian or claim professional at the ever changing training they put all of the adjusters through as the training requirements and procedures changed regularly. They selected the vendors with no clear training path initially leading to a ridiculous amount of confusion for the selected vendors and for the independent adjusters. I think that is finally squared away as we’ve documented all the new reporting in the  forums  at ClaimSmentor for our participants. Here is also a link to the adjuster training link directly on the Citizens website you’ll find below. The Bradley Stinson ad mentions you can change your vendor selection on the training registration but I’d check with each vendor as information seems to differ from adjusting firm to adjusting firm if it’s anything like the initial training information and rounds of training conferences initially held BEFORE Citizens changed the procedure and presented the information to the vendors that they wanted given to the adjusters (they gave them I believe it was less than 2 weeks notice to do it with a deadline of 7/31 for the first 50% of their rosters…they have no clue apparently how independents work when it’s awful hard to commit to someone who has given you no work assignments!)

Also, here is a link they have up on their website for contract and they are showing adjusters as employees W2 status on this schedule. Without interviewing them yet, I don’t know if this applies to all adjusters or just daily. Interesting wording also on the fees for payment. Would you get the full 65% only if your out on cat assignments working overtime and only 40% on daily claims? I don’t know but you’ll want to check this out if you apply. Their site does read very professionally and they may be worth exploring for consideration for assignments. We had a blog a few weeks ago on this very question about whether you are an employee or an independent you might want to view here if you missed it.

Here’s a copy of the small window of information they atleast now have up under Adjuster Resources for independents:

******** 

Adjuster Resources

Looking to become an Independent Adjuster for Citizens? Citizens does not hire Independent Adjusters directly. You must be signed up with one of our approved firms. Please go to Awarded Competitive Solicitations for a list of firms we will use during the 2007 storm season.

********

And here is a link to the award announcement- if you compare the real names on my research paper with the way the names are listed on the announcement you’ll find it interesting the number of adjusting firm names with errors. Had I not been following each help wanted ad, I might never have found a few of the firms. Why they can’t list the website and phone numbers for each adjusting firm is beyond me. It doesn’t give me much faith in the professionalism of their claim handling abilities if they can’t even get a list of their selected vendors completed with accurate details an independent would need to locate them. I’m surprised the Bradley Stinson group hasn’t insisted that they get their name added to this list per the earlier link above that they’ve been added as independent adjusters aren’t going to know about the pdf document of the September Board of Govenors adding them. Come on Citizens…let’s get it together…please for the sake of all of your policyholders living in this great state!

Here are links to my prior blogs that included information about Citizens of FL and these events:

This link here is the blog on the update on Citizens training presented to the task force.

This link here is the blog about opportunities to work for the initial 45 vendors.

Here is a link to the blog here on Citizens claim reserve problem to the tune of 300 million!

Here is also a link to our former blog on Temporary Housing if anyone needs it that may be heading out to the panhandle to work storm losses. There were also many losses in the midwest yesterday so plenty of you may be needing temporary housing:

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

Possibly they’ll be put to their first test this week due to today’s tornado damage in Pensacola, FL. Apparently according to friends and family, there was some significant damage to boats in marinas and the Cordova Mall area. Please note if your an adjusting firm viewing this blog that we have over 40 permanent experienced resident adjusters in the Pensacola-Panama City,FL area who would be more than glad to assist with claims on our Dimechimes Corporation rosters.

Here are links to a few of the Florida panhandle storm reports:

http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071018/NEWS01/71018003/1006/js04

Here’s a Youtube video one of our moderator’s friends took of it:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=aqj7iEXHo

And here’s the link to yesterday’s storm reports on NOAA (these will change after midnight to todays reports):

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

We’re hearing from local panhandle daily adjusters that the loss reports are coming in so hopefully many of you waiting on work will get the deployment calls.

For those of you who may be deploying on your first assignment whether cat or staff, here’s a great quote to take with you:
“I’m not afraid of storms
for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”

Louisa May Alcott, Author (1832-1888)


Enough is enough- Citizens FL Claim Reserve problem-to the tune of $300 Million

August 24, 2007

Hadn’t I just written about claim reserves last week in this Claims / Agency Relationship blog?

August 22, 2007 www.Tallahassee.com published this article regarding Citizens of Florida stating that an outside auditor has told Citizens it needs to add almost $300 million to its reserves. The article goes on to quote some folks from Citizens who indicate it’s due to files reopening from Wilma at the encouragement of public adjusters and south Florida attorneys.

The article quotes Mr Julio Robaina, who chaired the legislative task force on Citizens claim handling, as saying “he will introduce legislation to stiffen regulation of public adjusters and to reduce the amount of time consumers have to file a claim”. Chip Merlin of the Merlin Law Group had quite a comeback you’ll have to read about in the link above to this article. Does Mr Robaina really think he’d get the votes necessary to “reduce the time consumers have to file a claim”? Look at what is going on all over this great state to property taxes and mortgage foreclosures and Mr Crist’s efforts 100% pro consumer/ 100% anti carrier as recent articles explain. Does this political representative know anything about the statute of limitations and what is involved in over turning the state laws on these regulations?

Read further here on this Merlin Law group presentation to the task force on page 7 where he addressed the fact Citizens lacks sufficient home office and staff management. Now I’m not sure what the Merlin group who handles bad faith cases against insurers has to do with presenting to the task force but I am sure glad someone is pointing out the problems. Don’t you think that is giving them fair warning of the problems they should already be more than aware of? Where is Citizens going to be when it comes to defending adjusters accused of bad faith due to their claim handling instructions if that becomes an issue as it has with other insurers during Katrina?

Didn’t FL just tighten up public adjuster licensing 7/1/07 which now requires a public adjuster to take the exam versus the exemption from licensing exams by taking online courses? As to the other practices by PA’s made in this article about giving gifts to insureds, we can surely hope the Dept of Insurance is curtailing that now rather than waiting for new legislation to be passed. Here is a task force document  on page 10 already addressing PA’s and task force recommendations.

I did double check the Merlin blog to see if there was a current blog entry on this new announcement.There is not yet but this entry from late July  goes into a great deal of information on the financial problems at Citizens of FL. There is another more recent blog here addressing the Florida crisis and insurance reform problems.

New adjusters may not be familiar with loss reserve procedures and should read  this great simple explanation on claim reserves and how they are set found here. Many independent adjusters are surprised reading this to learn that this is part of their duties when evaluating a claim even long before your estimate is completed based on your initial assessment of the damages as this article does a great job of explaining. While bulk reserves may be set up by a carrier on all claims based on past historical data at the onset of a new cat, there is still a responsibility to have accurate reserves…especially when it comes to large losses. In recent years, there has been concern expressed about reserves set coming up in court cases when they differ from settlement amounts so you will need to know the carriers current reserve procedures before making recommendations to a manager in your log notes and reports.

The part I do not understand is how the Citizens Board of Govenors just got the news. Establishing and updating reserves on pending claim files is one of the most basic of carrier management duties during an open file review which should be done at regular intervals (bi weekly or monthly) on large pending cases to determine how the case is progressing and to double check that reserves are either adequate or that a revision to a reserve needs to be made either up or down based on the current damage assessment on the case. Most carriers produce management reports listing the cases that need a reserve review on a regular basis.Was this not being done (that seems pretty obvious …… what am I missing here)? Claim file reopens do not all happen at one time unless there is unusual activity such as a class action lawsuit? The only two cases I’m aware of are the two mentioned on the Hurricane law groups site here with one for roof damage building permits and the other on wind damage to glass and FL building codes. The class action link does have attachments to the suit in pdf forms. It is routine for storm losses to reopen due to  construction industry price increases after a storm. This can occur much later than when the initial estimate by the adjuster was written due to contractor workloads or lack of available local contractors in a given storm zone. No surprises there either. Adjusters remaining on the site handle those revisions as necessary on an ongoing basis. So what’s up?

You can find all minutes of the Board of Govenors meetings right on the Citizens of FL website here. I’ve been very disappointed with the promptness with which the website posts the meeting minutes from the Claim Committee notes. For instance, there was a meeting June 14th and the minutes for that meeting still showed minutes from an April Claim committee. I wrote the web master and received a response that the June minutes were still not up in August because they have to be approved by the committee and they did not know when the next claim committee meeting would be. Come on’ folks…the task force shows the claim committee met with the task force I believe it was August 1 yet the minutes from a June meeting were still not up? Those committee notes are the only direct source information adjusters can go to to verify information they are getting from different vendors since the emails they are getting vary so greatly! If you can’t get the minutes up timely to your meetings, how in the heck are they going to manage claims for 1.3 million Floridians in a timely fashion?

I am not picking on Citizens but I do think it is very important to bring out issues independents are concerned about. Citizens of FL is now the #1 insurer in our state. Our independent adjusters want and need the claim assignments. PLEASE treat us fairly, please enhance the communications, and please be alot more realistic about time service expectations during a major disaster. Your threats of imposing huge fines is not having the effect you apparently expected (what else are we to assume?)..instead, adjusters are hesitant to service your claims and you are confirming their concerns every day by the way you are handling the pre-assignment training. (Example-one vendor email says Citizens now requires adjusters must enter their Xact  email address…hello ..you make sure independents understand they are not “employees” yet to have an Xact email they need an active keycode…are you going to pay that hefty fee for a quarterly subscription to Xactware while they are sitting at home idle waiting for THE POSSIBILITY you may deploy them???).

It is appalling to me that Citizens outlines many different fines for infractions against adjusting firms in their Adjusters RFP which are going to be passed on to adjusters but there is no effort to give timely notice to independents on important information they need. Some of these fines are listed at $1,000 each. Just in the past two weeks adjusters who had completed pre-disaster training were again told to go back and take another course on ethics and apparently the adjusting firms had as little or barely more than 1 week’s notice to get this information out to their rosters, accomplish the training, and report back. What a mess this continues to be and adjusters don’t have claim 1 yet from a new hurricane nor one dollar in income from you !

I’ll be making another blog post next week on the current “pre-disaster” training issues adjusters are experiencing as well as I have great frustrations regarding some comments in the June Board of Govenors meeting where a large FL Independent agency group, FAIA, expressed concerns about Citizens training from the agency side feeling that agents are regulated by state insurance departments for licensing and for CE credits and they had some issues with the mandatory Citizens training for agents (they didn’t mind taking it but I gather it was the way it was being administered). At this same meeting, the Citizens claims committee was there and there was no one representing the 6,000 expected independent adjusters at the meeting to express what would be our major concerns about what has taken place the last month over the continual changes and adminstration of independent adjuster training to work their claims. Just one minor example is the fact Citizens has never even bothered to post the website addresses and email contact information on their Job links so these independents would even know where to apply. The only information, if you searched hard enough, is in the purchasing documents where the announcement was buried (like adjusters would even think to look in purchasing documents? ). The announcement has several incorrectly named firms and no contact information. Here is the link to this meeting board notes. You will find the FAIA (FL Assn of Insurance Agents) comments on page 32-37 and the claim committee comments to the Board on page 45.

I guess if we have one thing to be thankful for over this additional Citizens of FL reserve fiasco, it’s that it isn’t as bad as the Citizens of LA case where they have major computer glitches going on and lots of lost financial data. They apparently aren’t doing a good job of managing claims either. You can read all about the Citizens of LA fiasco here and here.  This article addresses further issues of information blocks while they are trying to  gather information needed to fix the problems over there.

This Insurance Institute article on carrier insolvency brings up the recent FL insurers, Poe Financial Group and Vanguard Insurance, insolvencies. Why is Citizens allowed to operate with inadequate rates and improper reserves? I just don’t understand. Hopefully, someone will come forward and explain to our readers why this is different.

Make sure when you read the document linked above from the Board meeting notes on their discussion on Citizens being a “governmental” agency on page 10. Well, if Citizens of FL actions on reserves, pre-disaster training, the Citizens of LA issues, and the FEMA and congressional hearings on the wind/water issues are any example of government running as an insurance carrier and their suggestion of the Multiple Peril Act of 2007 adding wind coverage to FEMA ,then why should we want any part in supporting such proposals? Please let the private carriers go back to doing what they WERE doing best in the private market.

While none of us in the adjusting community like denying claims under the wind/water controversy- it is still the contract insureds agreed to no matter how many cry “big bad insurance company”and until private carriers develop a comprehensive policy covering both, I’m 100% against the government administering additional programs. Insureds need to ask themselves…if they  signed a loan agreement to pay back x dollars and did so then the loan company came back and told them that the contract didn’t matter- they need to cough up several more thousand dollars they did not agree to- what would they do? I assume as a loan recipient, if they used the same line of thinking they use with carriers, that they would just roll over and pay the extra thousands so they don’t get bad publicity. I still do not understand why so many expect that carriers should pay what was not covered in the insurance contract. I do “get it” that some bad calls may have been made on a small percentage of individual claims which never should have happened. The current midwest floods show that the public still does not “get it” regarding the need to buy flood coverage. Just this week- 2 years post Katrina- news reports are coming out that many locations in the midwest are reporting much damage with only 5-10% of homeowners in flood zones having purchased coverage. Again, I do believe we will see the carriers and the adjusters be the “fall guys”. Things need to improve in this industry but I think the FEMA and Citizens examples show it’s not the answer to turn it over to “governmental” agencies.

If the government wants to do something for the very necessary adjusting community, how about developing an Insurance Claims Advocate group member on your task force like you do for consumers..click here for task force member links. This committee list shows two claim members- one from Citizens and one from another insurance carrier. There is not one member of the task force committee investigating claims from the independent adjuster group yet they are relying on 6,000 plus independents to service their claims. It could not be one of your 45 selected vendors if you want valid input as they would have to give you “politically correct” input to maintain their appointment. Think about it…we might be able to help straighten out some of these “claim handling issues” you are investigating. Independents work for many different carriers and they might just be able to provide outstanding information on improving claim handling procedures. It sure seems like Citizens is missing the boat if these articles are any examples of what we are going to face servicing their claims.

Please don’t get the wrong impression- we have LOTS of empathy for insureds when we must deny a claim due to coverage issues. That still doesn’t give us the right as adjusters to change the settlement terms we must abide by. We are also very concerned citizens of the state of FL with our friends and families in this state. We have inside knowledge of how claims should be handled and we fear for what the coming hurricane season brings our state.


Opportunities to work Citizens Insurance of FL claims

July 26, 2007

We continue to receive many inquiries from adjusters about the opportunities available to work claims for 1 of the 45 Independent adjusting firms selected to work claims for Citizens Insurance of Florida.

Due to the number of requests, we have spent months following the topics to provide you links to information you should know to work the claims. We now have a list of the 45 vendors, the 103 page RFP the vendors had to use for operating standards to handle the claims with the amendments, the links to the 2007 Claim Procedure guide, links to the Citizens of FL Task force website and videos of task force committee meetings, Citizens Board meetings and links to the 45 vendors websites and have uploaded each of the Citizens pre-orientation meeting ads by selected firms  we could locate as well as informational emails put out by many of the adjusting firms involved. If you need the details so you have the whole picture (not just information shared by your vendor), visit ClaimSmentor for links to more information.

This independent reference material includes links to so many good news articles on issues you will be facing working in Florida should a hurricane be suffered by our residents again this year. We as adjusters well know that the Florida financial insurance crisis will increase the stress of the policyholders we serve and you should be aware of the many issues they are reading about.

Many adjusters do not know where to locate this information and the reference links you need are all located and provided for you. This will serve as a great field resource when you are out working assignments. Other important information you should view includes Citizens Fee schedules, the fines to be imposed for adjuster infractions of time service guidelines, and contact information for Citizens personnel should you have difficulty recovering your fee payments from firms as some have experienced in prior seasons. That is a whole new topic in and of itself we’ll address in another posting. This reference material is independent research- we are not affiliated with the task force or Citizens of Fl. We are simply a claim staffing firm and also citizens of the state of FL very concerned and proactive in our followup on claim handling issues adjusters are facing.

We are going to continue to follow the developments in training options for you and additional reference material.