Book/Movie Reviews- Adjuster Stories- “Black House” and “Crazy Fool Kills Five”

February 23, 2008

Looking for light hearted (ok- the movie may be tough viewing!) books and movies about adjusters?

We came across two we had not heard about before you may be interested in checking out:

Book Review- Review by Norm Goldman- “Crazy Fool Kills Five” by Gwen Freeman about Adjusters/ Insurance Executives/ Settlements. Here’s the book review- click here.

Movie Review- ” Black House”- Story of Adjuster investigating home finding suicide/murder history (how scary is this!)

‘Black House’ Gets Unrated Release From Genius Products
Friday, February 22, 2008

By: MrDisgusting



Today we received the full specs and DVD cover art for Yoshimitsu Morita’s Korean horror film, BLACK HOUSE, which arrives unrated on DVD April 22 from Genius Products. An insurance claims adjuster investigates a decrepit house and discovers horrific secrets inside involving suicides and murder. The more he learns the more the terror mounts, building to a blood-soaked ending that is beyond any level of fear you can handle. Extra feature include: Truth about psychopaths in “making of” documentary, a production design feature and deleted scenes. Read on for the cover art.********

Just a little more amazing info thanks to Google Alerts! Let us know if you read the book or watch the show! I’d be interested to hear  what you thought about them via reply to this topic!

Lose the Hammer- 8 Characteristics of an Awesome Adjuster-book review by NU Sam Friedman

October 22, 2007

I enjoy following National Underwriter’s Editor Sam Friedman’s blogs on many insurance issues.

Here is a particularly good blog written recently “Lose the Hammer” where he critiques the book written by an instructor, Carl Van of the International Insurance Institute titled 8 Characteristics of an Awesome Adjuster.

Here is a link to the site map for CE courses they have by state. First, this link here is to the Mediation and Arbitration 14 hour CE class they offer ( next select YOUR state on the map here to see what they have for adjusters)in Florida for example. Here is a link to many other excellent “soft skill” courses offered for adjuster’s on their site and it appears these are offered in the field at the carrier sites also (click on their Training Schedule link). Many other classes are also available so just check out their entire claim training section.

We hope you enjoy the book. If you’ve missed our other blogs which contained recommended reading, you’ll find some of our past posts below:

You can’t win a fight with your Client- click here

Dinosaur Brains-if your dealing with ugly situations on claims- click here 

Neandrathals at Work- getting along with a few crazy co-workers and boss- click here

Who moved my  Cheese- click here   (In our version- who moved my claims cheese?)

While your researching reading material to stay current on claim trends, here is also a link to the Claims Education magazine put out by the Insurance Institute on their summer 2007 latest issue here. Here is also a link to National Underwriter’s Claims Magazine here.

We try to do one book review a week if we run across anything we think would be good to share and try to do so on Sundays if you want to check back.

Thank you again to our many readers for staying in touch with our blog. We are proud to announce we reached our 10,000th blog guest Friday night 10/20/07. WordPress has an awesome stat program and you as a reader can also follow our blog stats if your interested by looking at the blog count on the right hand column of the blog or “About us” tab in right hand column as well on the Blog Stats box.

You Can’t Win a Fight with your Client by Tom Markert-Claim book review

October 15, 2007

I ran across this book You can’t win a fight with your Client at Barnes and Nobles the other day and it makes excellent reading for independent adjusting firm managers and independent adjusters.

Our client is the carrier and too many new independents miss the fact that we are here to service the carriers claims the way the carriers want them handled regardless of our perception of the “right” file requirements.(As long as the requests are ethical and meet good faith claim handling standards that is!). You can’t argue with the boss over file change request instructions. The bottom line is we as independents must service the insurance companies claims the way the insurance companies require to continue receiving assignments. I remember the days of adjusters coming back wanting to argue about why something needed to be changed when they didn’t want to take the time to make necessary revisions and the bottom line is no one has time to deal with this during a catastrophe….”just do it” and move on is the best advice as well as “pick your battles” and save heated discussions for other major issues. The boss wouldn’t take the time to send the file back and have to review the revision if they didn’t feel it was necessary to comply with later file audits or carrier instructions you might not have been aware were required. Just log your activity log with the request and move on to the next file closure.

Check this out while things are slow- it’s a very quick read and worth the time. The author, Tom Markert is on the board of directors for State Auto insurance company out of Ohio and knows our industry. Here’s a link to his biography and the book:

If your interested in other recommended books on claim customer service and getting along well with our most important client, the carrier, click on the August and September archives in the right column and read about” Dinosaur Brains” and other books we’ve blogged about like “Who Moved my Cheese” to help you improve relationships while working under stress on catastrophe claim operations.

Defusing an angry Insured-Dealing with Dinosaur Brain lizard logic thinking co-workers

September 15, 2007

Continuing yesterday’s discussion regarding adjuster safety concerns in this blog, we thought we’d recommend a few good books for adjusters by Albert Bernstein, Ph.D. who is a clinical psychologist dealing with explosive people for over 30 years. His books are outstanding.

Here is a link to his website with many of his books listed and links for purchasing.

Years ago as a staff manager, someone recommended his book titled “Dinosaur Brains” which is definitely entertaining and full of great advice for dealing with troublesome relationships at work with both bosses and co-workers. Here is a link to some information on the book. You’ll love the Lizard Logic and fight or flight information. Here’s a sample of it from his website. It helped me put things in perspective when dealing with some emotionally charged situations with co-workers, staff adjusters reporting to my department, or some executive level managers who drove me nuts from time to time with unrealistic demands and the results were amazing making for a much smoother work life in the stress filled pressured environment we often find ourselves in dealing with catastrophe claims assignments when nerves are shot after months on the road. This book takes a very funny look at difficult work relationships and how to deal with them that you’ll find both informative and entertaining!

We also recommend his book on “How to deal with emotionally explosive People” ….here’s a link. Bernstein has great tips on Defusing Anger  here which provides some good advice adjusters should utilize when dealing with an emotionally charged situation while out in the field or over the phone on claims.

A third recommendation is his book “Neanderthals at Work”’s a link which explains the many different types of personalities and motivations people have for getting ahead at work. It’s a must read for career oriented adjusters!

Carriers do not expect you take abuse from insureds using profanity, physical threats, and other forms of abuse. If you haven’t already, you should participate in seminars on dealing with customer service issues. You can’t just slam the phone down on an insured who is spewing profanity or get in a free-for- all out in the field. One of the most common explosive situations occurs when public adjusters try to push a staff adjuster or independent adjuster or manager over the edge. There are professional ways to handle these explosive situations. We hope these books will be a start to a good background in dealing with these issues.

We’ll provide links to some great online classes on these soft skills next week. Many a manager who mentored me as I came through the staff ranks said they would much rather train a person with good people skills on the technical aspects of adjusting than take an experienced employee with poor people skills and try to teach them how to deal better with insureds. After years in management, I’d have to agree with these former mentors. Poor people skills leads to increased complaints to the agents, the regional carrier offices, and to insurance department complaints that can overwhelm any busy manager. I hope to see an increase at adjusting firm seminars about customer service with reality based discussions on the many issues facing adjusters both in the field and in claim central operations. We are working on a self study guide specific to independent adjuster’s on these issues and will post that in the coming weeks.

Other self study guides are available on the training page of our staffing firm website here.

We’ll be back Wednesday for our next blog as we’ll be out of town on business through Tuesday…see you back then!

Category 7 by Bill Evans – Book Review

August 23, 2007

Need to “change your brain” as my mother likes to say after all that heavy duty reading on the whistleblower cases ?

Adjuster Donald Johnston shares information about this new book out by Bill Evans he highly recommends for reading with our membership!

Here is a link to information on this new book I located on the web:

This looks like interesting reading for those of us who love catastrophe adjusting and it should provide more reason to support the need for carriers, independents, and politicians to work together to make sure events like the horrors witnessed in the aftermath of Katrina never happens to Americans again.

Maybe if we’re lucky…..Bill Evans will see this blog and send us a few autographed copies for our ClaimSmentor Roving Reporters to evaluate the book! (Include an extra for me if you do Bill!)