March 1, 2009 Announcement to ClaimSmentor and Dimechimes Claim Staffing Roster members- Change in Claim Industry Services

March 2, 2009

 

 

To: All ClaimSmentor Participants/Dimechimes Claim Staffing Roster Members by email
Re: Announcement on Claim Community Services

We would like to announce effective on March 1, 2009 that our staffing firm and
training services will be transitioning our services to 100% Claim Education and
Claim Training services through the following website locations:

The following three sites allow you different forms for your claim career professional
development based on your preferred preference for forums or online education
needs:

1) Our main website for our clearing house to our training information on different sites is  Dimechimes Claims Staffing and Claim Training . We offer Claims Education services, support for professional training sources in the claims industry, Claim Career Coaching for new adjusters who wish individual counseling advice, Resume Preparation Services for Adjusters, Mock Interview preparation for adjusters preparing for their first insurance claims interview for staff  adjuster positions or independent daily adjuster opportunities.

This is also our site for contact for claim staffing and claim recruiting needs by Independent adjusting firms and insurance carriers.

Our goal is progressive growth as an information highway to all available professional sources of training both online and in the field.

2 ) Dimechimes ClaimSmentor Adjuster Information Blog open to the public. This was opened in July 2007 for the many in the claims industry who do not enjoy membership in website forums and wish to retain their privacy while at the same time enjoy updates on hot topics in the claims industry while also locating valuable training sources.

3) We offer ClaimSmentor Forums, Discussion groups, field training study groups, information for trainees to network with experienced adjusters. Links to all opportunities we know about for carrier certification requirements, upcoming adjusting firm seminars,
information about 100% of the online information we can find for online training opportunities for new and experienced adjusters,adjuster licensing information and much more.

Anyone that is a member of our  rosters is welcome to join  us at  ClaimSmentor without the need to provide other registration documents. Is all you need to do is reply to this email with your full name, city, and state and
we will check this information against our rosters and confirm membership by notifying you by email within 10 days of  receipt of your email what your login id and a temporary password to participate there will be.

We  provides opportunities for adjusters, adjusting firms, claim service vendors,  lawyers in the insurance industry, lawyers who handle and understand independent contractor issues , CPA’s that adjuster understand adjuster issues regarding per diem, working out of state and other, and adjusting firm adminstrative members to join us  at ClaimSmentor and network among our members. We are now in our fourth year of operation with just over 1,000 members to include 66 adjusting firm owners and managers, claim industry service vendors, software vendors of a professional nature-direct from the software vendors certified by the software developer themselves, and much more.

Our growth has been progressive and requires verification of id of all members and use of real names as we wish to maintain a postive professional source for those in the claims community. This transition will now allow  career websites with claim job posting advertisement such as www.greatinsurancejobs.com (who by the way has always been mentor friendly notifying us of Claim Career Fairs annually) and claim staffing firms and recruiters to join the ClaimSmentor online e-mentoring group to participate to locate outstanding claim candidates, purchase banner ads to their firm websites, and for a very reasonable annual cost included with the purchase of a banner ad to download resumes from our participants. The same applies to all insurance company HR departments. Contact us at Debbie@Dimechimes.com for information on the cost of banner ads so you can join and utilize our services. There is no charge to join ClaimSmentor for adjusters.

Our closed forum at ClaimSmentor requiring login id allows members to ask questions as trainees hassle free in a major e-mentoring effort to cultivate improved independent adjuster reputations with insurance companies and with policyholders nationwide
as they process claims for those suffering a major crisis in their lives.

* Just do a web search on your name or login id if you participate on blogs or forums open to the public and you would be astonished about the information a potential employer could use against you when you are under consideration for a staff or independent position.

All registrants must register in their real name and claims or bar information is required to verify as well as a work summary or resume to verify your relationship to staff and independent adjusting insurance claims. The site remains closed to public adjusters and public adjusting firms.

There is NO charge to join at this time (exception is Claim Recruiters, Insurance Recruiters, Insurance Staffing Firms, and Insurance Job Posting Sites). They may join our site to post their jobs and to download resumes all included in the cost of their banner ad purchase. The same applies to Insurance Companies who are seeking an excellent  supplemental pool of quality candidates.

 There are minimal charges should you (newly licensed adjusters) wish to participate in our online live claim classes such as our 50 Hour Fundamentals of Property adjusting class which addresses many basic essentials not covered per our participants in basic estimating and scoping classes. 

As we will now have much more time to dedicate our time as an information highway for training opportunities and for hot topics the claim industry faces, we will be actively seeking those with professional credentials to provide Guest
Blog entries for our Adjuster Information blog, to share their job opportunities for trainees and experienced adjusters, and participation in our ClaimSmentor e-mentor program.

Not only will we have this information through our forums live online but beginning April 2009 we will host group networking opportunities available to all adjusting firms and adjusters who are members of ClaimSmentor through volunteer efforts of our members participating in this e-mentor program. Adjusters on our Dimechimes Claim Staffing Rosters who chose to join us will also be able to attend as they would have transitioned to our ClaimSmentor site.

Why are we finalizing this transition?

.First and foremost is our passion for claims education to improve the image of
independent adjusters who service  insurance company claims. Carriers are
limited in understanding our industry by the adjusting firms who service their
claims. We would like to promote information from the adjusters in the claims adjusting community for a better understanding of independent adjuster information needs while at the same time refrainng from a negative environment via public posting sites creating the wrong impression of independent claims members. The public forums do provide a valuable service to our industry providing important industry resource links and articles. I am just not fond of public posting by adjusters in forums as it could create a problem for them when they are under consideration for a job opportunity.

.To enhance professionalism in the independent adjuster/ staff adjuster relationships 

. I can not bear to get one more fearful call from even experienced adjusters hammered for file handling stats while they are living out of their car with no power, showers, housing, cash or food, high speed internet to upload estimates and photos with no empathy from the carriers in many cases for the independent adjuster plight in the first wave of a hurricane. Independent adjusters are not provided housing . The larger adjusting firms may have the resources to reserve an initial block of rooms where their managers are staying but that does not happen for the majority of adjusters deployed. Carrier staff adjusters have housing locations found for them by the carriers with all expenses paid.  The difficulty of this situation is that independent adjusters have no idea how long they will be deployed on an assignment so they really cannot afford to sign rental leases at storm locations. See our posts n Temporary Housing options not only for independent adjusters but for policyholders as well.

.We work hard to create reality training by hosting a mock disaster training for new adjusters reviewing carrier reporting requirements, Dept of Ins Complaints, Consumer Complaints, reality training about assignment organization, ethical consideration for proper file documentation and much more. We prefer to educate adjusters rather than have them go out unprepared in so many cases during Katrina and Ike. There are so many current  safety issues with adjusters under those circumstances.s

. There are not alot of great options for independent adjusting firms to post for job opportunities especially on insurance industry job boards when they have catastrophe needs. The prices for advertisement is cost prohibitive when the independent adjusting firms have no guarantee from a carrier they will even get assignments. Secondly, the insurance recruiting industry normally charges up to a 33% first annual salary distribution for their fee per individual. Just check through the closed and archived purchasing documents at Citizens of FL or research this on the web. That does not work for the hundreds of catastrophe adjusting firms. They may only need these adjusters for a very limited time (carrier determines length and number of assignments) and they need a place where they can post one ad at a reasonable price for their nationwide storm assignments. Very few job sites allow for nationwide posting of jobs even though they are a good source by a candidate searching “all jobs”. We do not charge ANYTHING for job postings in the Career Forum to those recruiters and carriers purchasing an annual banner ad which is less than the cost to post 5 jobs on most job posting sites.

.To cultivate prepared claim trainees for insurance carrier staff opportunities
as well as for those newly licensed adjusters who prefer independent adjusting
opportunities and just do not know what is required beyond licensing.

.To encourage adjusting firms and carriers to do what makes sense regarding carrier certifications. I have had to turn down adjusters with 10 and 20 years adjusting both daily (non catastrophe claims) and catastrophe (known as a multi line adjuster) who were prohibited from deploying because the CARRIER was not flexible when their experience certainly could have substituted from nothing much more than an estimating test or property issues. An adjuster with that much time in the field certainly would have references who could verify the quality of their prior claim handling abilities. Look at our recent poll on carrier certifications and see what adjusters had to say that are participating on the poll. I’ll let it continue to run continuously through March.

.Claim litigation appears to be ever increasing post Katrina and post Ike
storms with a major complaint being that there were unfair claim practices in our industry and my belief that those newly licensed adjusters nationwide have no perception of  what additional training is required. I am especially concerned that they do not understand coverage issues, proper handling of insurance department complaints, and complaint resolution issues. Several of the windpools are now requiring the independents provide their own E & O and their contracts require that independent firms and independents respond to complaints without the assistance of the carrier. That was probably the final straw for me regarding staffing. Both the Citizens RFP and TWIA it is my understanding both require this. You can view the Citizens RFP to view the hold harmless agreements and information on lawsuits. You can check with TWIA for information inquiring about this. Most importantly run to an Errors and Omissions carrier and protect yourself as recommended in the Q & A  blog on here where www.CPLIC.net recommended adjusters definitely carry their own policy. Call Michael Hale there who is also a ClaimSmentor member and he can answer your questions.

You say you have E and O coverage through your adjusting firm? That may have been fine in the past and it may still be today but do not rely on that without confirming this with your attorney or their E and O provider.  Don’t take a chance it is better to be safe and protected versus sorry. Make sure to verify first if your policy provides defense costs if you are named in a suit and also if attorney fees reduce the policy limits or if they are even covered. Again refer to our blog you can find in the right hand column the Categories tab and search for information there.

What I have learned through 2 years presenting classes from trainees would amaze you.

I had no idea of the misconceptions they were learning from others even with a staff management background and claim career of 28 years.

We hope to improve their understanding of our industry BEFORE they go out and commit Bad Faith causing all E & O premiums to increase as well as major problems for adjusting firms and adjusters being subject to claims litigation for their poor ability to handle claims by going out as newly licensed adjusters without functional claims handling abilitites or claims training that was totally insufficient to send them out in the field or to handle in office claims when they have no training in claim communication and policyholder and agent relationships.

.Why don’t insurance regulators provide requirements for independents like they are now enforcing for public adjusters in many states that INCLUDE apprentice field training subject to hefty fines if  there is any fraud by the source confirming they trained under their supervision. Leaving training to fly by night pop up firms that are not monitored by the state regulators unless they offer CE is not an option in my mind t0 atleast preapproval of the course material by the state. If a class provides CE credit for your state that means that the state department of insurance has atleast approved the course material and approved a minimum acceptable instructor criteria.
. We have learned during our move to the independent side of claims operations
that there is too much lacking in communication between independent adjusters and carrier communications prior to assignments at the independent adjusting firm and independent adjuster level.

We have major hope that we can enhance the need for improved avenues of discussion unrelated to a specific deployment or assignment. We certainly cannot do it alone. We have not figured out what the appropriate method is at this time because adjusters and adjusting firms must be “yes” guys and gals to get assignments and so they don’t lose their contracts. I would never put them in that situation. I am not associated with a carrier or an adjusting firm directly any longer and there are many other retires or those that have left the adjusting field who I am sure would be glad to help bring these issues to the front line.

There are two good organizations you can get recommendations for training options. The first is your local claims association and I also highly recommend NACA – National Assn of Catastrophe adjusters. You can look at their website for a business member directory and locate adjusting firms there. I was disappointed when moving to independent status to find that NAIIA- National Assn of Independent Adjusters was for independent adjusting firms not for individual independents. They have strict requirements to include financial standards and number of years in operation before an adjusting firm can join. Adjusters check their list of business members and send your applications to those firm. I hope to live to see the day that they start a mentoring program such as NACA’s where independent adjusters can join as apprentice members. 

It just goes to show even those firms on the independent side aren’t all independent adjuster friendly except for their core adjusters who can belong to such groups. What about the 10’s of thousands of independents who have to take assignments with her ever calls them since they weren’t called out by their “A” list firm (yes we do recommend independents also make good decisions about who they will deploy with first just as adjusting firms do to determine who will go out first based on independent contract terms, fee schedules, fee splits, reputation of the firm., etc). Whatever you do , do NOT accept assignments without a contract spelling out the terms with all blanks filled in. I’ve posted plenty of blogs here about non payment issues independents could not find representation on because they had either no contract or were never given a copy of the one they did sign nor did they ever see a copy of one signed by an authorized individual with the adjusting firm.

. The claims industry has major problems in regulation of independent adjusting
firms concerning payments from adjusting firms to independent adjusters while at
the same time the adjusting firms experience significant delays from carriers who do not have enough staff claim examiners to promptly review and process claims so not only
policyholders can be paid but so that independents can survive while deployed on catastrophe or assisting branch operations for carriers. 

 Many times the adjusting firm’s reputations suffer  due to delayed payments from the carriers. Insurance departments need to establish requirements for turn around time on not only contact and inspected and closings as they do today but on time limits the carriers have to release the payment to adjusting firms so the independent industry can survive.

For example, you can view the latest RFP 08-0016 on the Citizens of FL  Closed Purchasing documents and they have 30 days to pay the adjusting firm after the adjusting firm submits the closed file. This doesn’t account for weeks or months that could pass by before an overwhelmed adjusting firm who insufficiently staffed their office administration staff or hours could process the claims and submit them to carriers.

. To provide an avenue of open communication regarding RFP or request for
proposals for consideration by carrier claim operations who need good firms to represent them during a major storm. We will post any RFP opportunities by carriers now in our forums for carriers who chose to join as sponsors on our site (see banner ad comments above). This will include a mass distribution email to adjusting firms participating on ClaimSmentor linking them to documents on the carriers site announcing RFP’s for consideration by adjusting firms. At BARE minimum, they could post the RFP and bidding process on their site and let independent adjusting firms know when they are up for consideration and who was selected.

.To foster sources for independent adjusting firms wishing to share information
on growing  technology concerns such as electronic discovery issues, claim
management systems, electronic claim files and other important topics specific
to claims.

 In today’s environment, it still surprises me to see firms who email documents in to the carrier with no way for the adjusting firms or independent adjusters to respond to insureds calling in for file status. That is unacceptable claim service when there are valuable CMS Claim Management systems that are available today such as www.Clickclaims.com that not only allow open access to the live data uploaded in a file  24/7 so anyone taking  agents or customers calls on file status can respond professionally to all customer inquiries.

In addition, systems such as www.ClickClaims.com also provide automatic zoning of claim assignments for tighter assignments so adjusters can see more claims without extensive drive time but also to save on high fuel charges thus saving on the cost of claims handling expenses for both independent adjusters but for insurance carriers as well. We all need to be cost conscious in our claim handling so we are not unnecessarily adding to increased insurance premium costs.

Another CMS feature available today is automatic loss notice uploading and automatic creation of the new file and electronic data fields. Did you know they were so progressive today that they have systems that will even place the first notice by automatically calling the numbers on the loss report submitted by the agent to let the insured know that their claim has been received, what the claim number and carrier contact numbers are, as well as the adjusters name and contact phone number. Now that is service! I have personally used the system in 2004 and 2005. I am not showing favorites but relying on a 2006 AMBest award that Clickclaims won for best CMS System. Simsol, Powerclaims, and Xactware all have them. The difference in using an outside system like ClickClaims is that it is not estimate software specific so you can upload estimates from any system.

I am no software estimate guru but the 2 people our industry can count on to answers questions no matter which software program is www.powerclaims.com and www.simsol.com (Gale Hawkins, owner of PC and John Postava with Simsol). Did you know independents are charge 20.00 just to make a call to ask a support help question. Now that is surely not a consumer friendly position when adjusters working out of hotel rooms should be able to count on them for live support good gracious with the cost they have to pay to activate the software while on storm!

. As a survey source to obtain the opinions from independent firms and
adjusters regarding claim handling issues without them fearing loss of contracts
and work assignments by opening the doors to communication by all parties. 

Polls are a good source for evaluating   independent adjuster opinions. How many times do carriers send out polls to independent adjusters or to staff regarding how the ADJUSTERS evaluate the information they received from carriers, the expertise of the temporary independent and staff claim examiners, claim managers, and reinspectors approving or rejecting their files during a storm?

The only surveys I have ever participated were either on our Adjuster Information blog here (and that would be a total of one thus far) OR via carrier surveys on employee opinion surveys evaluating employees opinions on their permanently assigned managers. Doesn’t this leave out evaluation of the entire temporary assignments while out on catastrophe? I can definitely say that we never received one from the carriers state wide in FL in 04 or 05 after processing their losses.

. To enhance adjuster understanding from a CARRIER claim management perspective through our participating carriers and adjusting firm managers assisting in panels and
forum topics both online and through new field ClaimSmentor groups where
professional sources come together for networking purposes similar to claim
association meetings. Watch for our first announcement coming soon!

. To work with carriers directly as a source for claims talent  cultivation through requests directly to enhance information on their websites so the claims adjusting community can find vendors providing required independent carrier certifications and to enhance information adjusters learn at their required training. Survey results
(unscientic on our recent poll on our blog show most adjusters do not feel that
they obtained adequate training on topics other than on than estimating to
properly service claims meeting carrier file requirements.) You see very little advertisements or job postings from the major adjusting firms as they assume everyone knows who they are. I can assure you newly licensed don’t based on information gathered from our class members who have no idea. It should be the CARRIER’s responsibility to openly post the adjusting firm names authorized to handle claims for each storm along with the information such as website and phone numbers so adjusters can apply to service their claims.

It is not enough for carriers to assume we really are out of adjusters just because a particular firm may have run out but check DOI websites. How can this be when there are over 50,000 adjusters just in Texas alone.

. Hopefully to improve carrier requirements for professional  file requirements
that are also policyholder friendly. The adjusting community has developed an
overwhelming opinion that our industry has become more “pretty file”
friendly than insurance consumer friendly. Just one example is the requirement
for “sketch” type diagrams versus allowing an adjuster to prepare a
professional hand written diagram which is adequate. How many times have you had
a file rejected for being off one inch?

While we understand in this age of claim litigation that file standards be consistent, we also understand surveys from sources such as NAIC continue to show time service issues and adjusters feel in many cases it is due to carrier excessive file requirements.

Lets together work to develop tips for carriers so they improve file review standards for their claim managers. We are NOT talking a union here or any of those options bantered about on web forums but professional carrier level panels. This may never happen but possibly the insurance department consumer affairs division can handle meetings for adjusting firms and independent adjusters without the carriers present ( I can hear them now…those dern independents we aren’t using them anymore and the cycle starts all over again instead of creating a positive training environment to mentor independents).

I innocently suggested to a few carrier claim managers and hr personnel that called me about our services to see why they didn’t use newly licensed adjusters as summer interns instead of teachers and college students. Being licensed carriers would have licensed (versus temporarily licensed) people who could be available year around. Don’t get me wrong, teachers that are off for the summer are a great resource but what about the many hurricanes that make landfall September 0 November. We won’t even go where that discussion went. Just check where your insurance carrier dollars are going by turning on the NASCAR races , golf tournaments  or better yet the super bowl.

 Wouldn’t it make sense to offer apprentice temporary independent positions they can staff through adjusting firms or professional organizations such as NACA? If they are available other than scholarships often posted on carrier sites then I have just not been able to find them. Believe me I tried  requesting grants or support from carriers for our e-mentoring program to no avail. “You know carriers don’t sponsor people that don’t work for them”??? I thought that is exactly who independent adjusters serviced. How very disappointing.

. NAIC  (National Assn of Insurnace Commissioner )cancelled the discussion on the Independent Adjuster Model National licensing recommendations in 2007 or 2008. Use the category link to locate that post here. I’ll get the links updated tomorow so you don’t have to search.

Independent adjusters are now being required to obtain non resident licenses in anywhere from 10 to 15( one email and resume this week from a newly licensed adjuster stated they had already completed 18 non resident licenses but had no other training) states versus allowing them to work under emergency adjuster licenses. There are valid reasons for this but this is also a huge added burden financially to independent
adjusters when carrier staff adjusters are not required to obtain them at all as special rules apply to staff adjusters. Some carriers do license those in call centers that handle claims nationally  but that usually does not apply when they have to resort to rotating in daily adjusters temporarily for peak work loads). Check it out on your state department of insurance licensing website).
Can we work together to promote a better way to qualify adjusters who wish to
service catastrophe claim adjusting needs? New adjusters are misinterpreting comments publicly posted on many adjusting firm websites (especially the large adjusting firms because this is what the carriers are requiring I am assuming )about the non resident requirements so rather than obtaining functional training they think non resident license is the only requirement to obtain adjusting firm deployments.

Claims handling is not a game of bingo where you just fill in the dots to win.” B- Fl license”, C- Tx license, diagram- check, photos- check, you get the idea. That seems to be the manner new trainees are being taught which drives me nuts!

. To enhance independent adjusters understanding of professional claim
development through sources such as www.aicpcu.org versus forum training and
attendance at ridiculous prices at the hundreds of new schools or adjuster websites cropping up nationwide put on by some adjusters with little more than 1 or 2 storms under their belt and no true perspective of carrier management expectations from a
management standpoint. We are here to service carriers and minimal claim
handling practices are destroying the independent talent being deployed by
carriers. One such example includes trainees sharing with us that they were taught at a “claim school” they didn’t have to climb roofs and could do “drive by ” photos. Whew- now that brings fear of Bad Faith for sure! A second example is a firm holding classes that has one 30 day assignment to a windpool as his credentials! It is getting pretty dern scary out here without regulations training firms must meet to allowed to teach something so important as claims handling.

.Together the synergy of our group networking together can improve so many
needs not only for the claims industry but for insurance consumers already
facing an insurance coverage crisis as multiple carriers leave the coast.

. To raise awareness for all adjusters on safety concerns while handling claims
in an environment often hostile to the claims industry post Katrina and Ike.  Just search for safety concern posts we have already posted on our blogs about ladder safety and an adjuster murdered while field inspecting a loss near Tampa, FL several years ago.

. To raise awareness of the often overlooked agency / claims relationship that
is being experienced in claims. I find through the 200 plus newly licensed adjusters
taking our class that they were totally unaware of the need to communicate with agents who have worked long and hard to foster clients while at the same time experiencing
underwriting restrictions worse than at any time I recall in over 30 years in claims. We have two or three blogs here on that very topic!

. To foster relationships with insurance departments to enhance information
available to adjusters regarding complaint ratios for adjusting firms while at
the same time requiring insurance companies to notify insurance departments of
adjusting firms dismissed for unethical or poor claim handling issues.

Insurance consumers should not be subject to claim handling by firms showing  trends for providing inferior claim service nor should adjusters who have spent thousands
of dollars training be subject to abuse by the few bad apples in the adjusting
firm community who repeatedly take advantage of adjusters by not paying
 fees  earned to adjusters.

We need to stop adjusters from calling policyholders to see if they have been paid as it is their only source of information as to  whether the independent adjusting firm was paid and they should have been paid. Carriers need to include information on contacting them in their carrier certification and/ or induction center classes in the event an adjuster becomes the victim of such efforts.

This is a widespread problem carriers need to be aware of. Independent adjusters are forbidden to discuss things like this with carrier staff. Advice often posted about placing liens on an insured’s property and other advice that has not been researched through expert attorneys would never be tolerated by carrier and could totally destroy an adjusting firm or adjusters association with a carrier. Let’s find out what the legal community advises through volunteer articles and guest blog posts or links to great articles found on the web written by law firms specializing both in claim litigation from a consumer standpoint as well as attorneys representing carriers. There are some great articles on so many topics available through article links on public law firm websites at no charge so there just is not an excuse for us not to learn from these outstanding resources.

How about the poor advice many new independents are given about “throw away” phones..see our communication blog for more details. Thank goodness for independent firms or insurance companies now requiring voice mail for customer messages. My personal preference which I required while managing at independent firms is that ALL messages from policyholders be logged into the activity log by the call centers or administrative help. I then required the admns bring all messages directly to me if the call was over an adjuster’s failure to show up for an appointment or to return calls. Most carriers do have such strict requirements while many of the independent firms do not implement those requirements if the carrier has not specified this requirement.

. Due to increased litigation published in news sources and blogs, carriers and adjusting firms are being served with suit papers in an ever increasing number. Questions are regularly posed regarding an adjuster’s training, and independent adjusting firm or TPA’s training for adjusters, and to the adjusters  and or carrier executives themselves.

I have been weighing these problems since Katrina litigation and have finally made a decision that I in good conscious cannot comfortably send adjusters out to adjusting firms when we have no control over their payment delays, the carriers training requirements and other liability issues.

 I have decided to pursue growth of our training services to field networking opportunities through ClaimSmentor to help improve the problems just partially outlined above.

“Pay it forward”  to thank the mentors you have had in your life by joining our efforts at ClaimSmentor and through our Linkedin contacts, and by comments adding to discussions either in the forums, this blog, or our linkedin site. Together we can make a differencef in claim relationships.

We will continue to accept registrations through ClaimSmentor. Members will
have the opportunity to upload their resumes and adjusting firms, recruiters, and carriers to upload a flyer or brochure on their company just as they do now. They will also be able to access our Rosters and find talent that may just meet their needs by considering our members.

Firms can sort by state and experience levels as we have trainees through managers and
experienced adjusters. 

As we will no longer be staffing with the exception of a very few select
existing clients or carrier staff positions, we will begin a service for
carriers and adjusting firms who desire mass distributiion of their opportunities
rather than waiting on adjusters who might just happen to find them on web
advertisements.

 We will be proactive for you so you are not left without qualified adjusters should you wish to participate in this service. This will give you additional candidates to consider for deployment when you have depleted your roster of qualified candidates.

All participants at ClaimSmentor should go to the “MY Account tab” after
login and change your preference to allow or not allow emails from our mailing
system to your registration email. However, note that this will also prevent you
from receiving notifications on topics you want updates on. All member profiles
are required to have an active valid email address under our Terms of Use posted
in the forums as well as real first and last name and city and state.

Please allow 10 days to receive your login id and password if you are a new
registrant as we are presently overwhelmed with requests for membership as we
transition thousands of adjusters from our claim staffing rosters to members of
ClaimSmentor for those who confirm they would like to participate.

 If you are a  member of our rosters receiving this announcement by email, we will not automatically register you at www.ClaimSmentor.com. You must reply to the email you receive from Debbie@Dimechimes.com requesting specifically to join. We will not upload your resume or profile fields. You can do that upon first login when you join.

Watch for much more information in our forums coming very soon as well as
upgrades on all of our sites to include this blog and our new Dimechimes ClaimSmentor Claims group located under Insurance Claims groups at :

www.linkedin.com/dimechimesclaimsmentor.com

We cannot thank you enough for your continued support and participation in our
ClaimSmentor e-mentoring project to support the claims industry and to those who were members of our deployment/assignment rosters.

We do hope you will be supportive of our ClaimSmentor efforts. The S in
ClaimSmentor has always stood for service to the claims industry and we will now
“major” in those service attempts!

The only change you should see is improvement in our forums, blog posts, and experience and credentials of mentors who join to participate enhancing your membership at ClaimSmentor, and many more claim assignment opportunities for those moving from our rosters at Dimechimes Claim Staffing as we network and register many new members to bring you information. We will be posting many more insurance and claim recruiters and job posting sites information now that I no longer have will have a competitor joining from the recruiting side.

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You can find all website and contact information at the About page here on our blog.

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Exciting News- Vale Tech now offers 500 Online Classes!

June 12, 2008

 

I had just written recently about the need for change in the way we educate independent adjusters as many of the courses available are cost prohibitive to independent adjusters who must pay their own expenses so when you add hotels, gas mileage, and the course tuition to the mix, it’s almost impossible for them to attend the many types of training that they need.

Here are links to the prior blogs on gas expenses and on carrier certification classes. In fact, I had suggested carriers use a reputable firm such as Vale National Technical schools to administer carrier certifications. Another serious problem is that we are seeing leaps and bounds in new training schools offered by adjusters who barely have experience themselves and the last place new adjusters should be going to obtain valuable training advice. I am hopeful many new adjusters will take advantage instead of taking courses such as these offered by Vale where it not only is offered by a reputable firm but also by a name that is well recognized in the claims industry thus adding value to your resume and training background.

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/insurance-carrier-claim-certifications-where-do-you-test-for-them-much-improvement-needed-in-the-process-of-certifying-independent-adjusters/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/what-role-are-rising-gas-prices-going-to-play-in-your-deployment-decisions-for-hurricane-season-2008-carriers-and-adjusting-firms-should-meet-the-need/

Well the solutions are quickly rolling out! We were very excited yesterday to receive a press release from Vale Tech  announcing they are now offering 500 online classes! I can’t tell you the many many times that I’ve talked to new adjusters or seen posts in adjuster forums from folks who wanted Vale field classes but could not afford to attend. Here is the press release:

Here’s the press release:

Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 15:54:29 -0500
Subject: Vale National Training Centers Launches 500 New Courses Online
From: Mike Holcomb <mholcomb@csbrand.com>
To: Insurance News Editor mholcomb@csbrand.com

Dear Editor:Attached please find a media release about Vale National Training Centers and the launch of an on-line extension of their training and continuing education curriculum for insurance claims professionals.

Please consider the information for publication in the near future. 

Many Thanks!  

Mike Holcomb
Media Coordinator
Cornerstone Brand Communications, for
Vale National Training Centers.

903-534-5220  FAX 903-534-5811
mholcomb@csbrand.com

    

 

 

 

Vale National Training Centers Launches 500 New Courses Online.

ARLINGTON, Texas – Vale National Training Centers, Inc, a recognized leader in insurance industry educational services, has launched an online extension to their signature classroom-based proficiency development curriculum for claim professionals.

Dramatically increasing their course offerings, Vale National has added approximately 500 distance-learning modules available immediately through a standard web browser. This new capability includes instruction for Texas adjuster licensing, multi-state agent pre-licensing and exam prep, insurance continuing education, professional designations in addition to general business, finance and professional development.

“We’ve been working on this for several years, but see the rapidly evolving industry demands for fast, convenient and cost-efficient personnel education as the perfect environment for this new service,” said Steve LeClaire, president of Vale National Training Centers. “It not only eliminates employee travel and lodging expenses, but lost productivity from being out of the office as well.”

“Combined with our instructor-led courses and their proven record of converting knowledge into applied skill, this library of hundreds of online courses allows us to custom design an ideal program for each training manager and his personnel,” said LeClaire. “We can provide comprehensive training to new employees, supplementation to experienced professionals, focused training for specialized staff and career development for personnel throughout a company. This includes department heads, supervisors, appraisers, adjusters, examiners, as well as local office managers and sales agents.”

Vale National’s online courses are available through their website and can be accessed at anytime and from any computer with an Internet connection and common system compatibility. Basic courses can often be completed in one session, but just as longer courses are divided into multiple learning sessions, the system allows students to work at their own pace, tracking their progress and storing their responses until their course is complete.

 

The system also gives training managers the ability to review and monitor their employees’ performance, maintaining a record of all subjects mastered and providing notification when course requirements are met successfully.  

Vale National Training Centers has trained over 40,000 industry professionals since 1949 and operates instructor-led classroom training facilities in California, Pennsylvania and Texas. A member company of the Cunningham Lindsey Group, Vale National’s online program is developed in partnership with 360˚ Training, an independent online training company.

For more information about Vale National Training Centers or their classroom, on-site or on-line training options, visit http://www.valenational.com or contact Steve LeClaire at sleclaire@valenational.com.

About Cunningham Lindsey

Cunningham Lindsey U.S. Inc. is an independent insurance claims services company, providing a wide range of claims adjusting services including commercial property and liability, personal lines, catastrophe response, and environmental assessment and remediation. Its national network of 141 offices also provides worldwide services through offices of sister companies within the Cunningham Lindsey Group strategically located throughout Canada, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Far East, Latin America and the Middle East. CLUS is a subsidiary of Cunningham Lindsey Group Limited.

For additional information contact David Repinski, C.E.O, at (214) 488-6713, or drepinski@CL-NA.com or visit our website at http://www.cunninghamlindseyus.com.

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Vale is used by many carriers for residential and commerical building estimating courses for their new adjusters. I attended a 3 week Vale course in my early years back in PA and I can attest to the fact the training was outstanding and our class was the toughest I ever took in my career having no residential construction experience when I attended. Whew ….was that ever nerve wracking as it was a requirement to keep our adjusting positions back in those years!

I’ll be going through the course offerings and make a list of recommendations for beginners, intermediate, and advanced courses for those interested in these classes but don’t know where to start so you have some idea where to begin and to prioritize your training if there isn’t already those suggestions on their website.

I don’t want to overlook also mentioning the Automobile, Residential, and Commerical estimating workbooks now also available that I had also just posted about on ClaimSmentor last week when I found them which also would be excellent field reference material for new adjusters or those advancing to commercial claim handling:

http://www.valenational.com/products.html

We’ll be writing another blog within the next week or so linking to a few more online programs that provide excellent opportunities for online adjuster training.

Another point to be sure to understand is that adjusting firms and carriers understand the value of Vale Tech courses so taking these would be an excellent addition to your resumes upon completion thus they have my FULL endorsement for their new programs!


Adjusters….Do you need your Nationwide Catastrophe Certification? FREE Class Next Week

June 11, 2008

 

We had previously written about the need for experienced adjusters to obtain their carrier certifications in this blog:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/insurance-carrier-claim-certifications-where-do-you-test-for-them-much-improvement-needed-in-the-process-of-certifying-independent-adjusters/

We are assisting an adjusting firm who needs additional independents for standby for Nationwide catastrophes. They are holding their Nationwide Certification next week in Charlotte, NC. The class is FREE and includes certification for Homewise ( a FL carrier who bought out some Citizens policies) and for American Integrity. According to the claim manager, Nationwide must have a manager present the training so they cannot just schedule these certification classes wherever and whenever they wish.

If you need your Nationwide Certification and are available to attend class next week in Charlotte, NC on 6/20/08 or 6/21/08 (your option of either day), please email me at  our staffing firm, Dimechimes Claims Staffing and Claim Training, with your resume, 2 references and your choice of the two dates so we can get you registered. YOU MUST HAVE TWO YEARS OF CLAIMS EXPERIENCE TO SIT FOR THE EXAM according to the Claims Manager we are working with.

We will send those who confirm they can attend all information on the class. Once we get you registered you will also receive the entire training day’s agenda and information to give you an idea of  what you need to study for the exams that day.

We look forward to seeing many of you there!

If you already have your Nationwide Catastrophe Certification and wish to be considered for catastrophe deployment opportunities, please forward your resume, 2 references, and the specific information on the approximate date you passed the certification exam as well as the name of the adjusting firm you certified with so our client can confirm your record with nationwide for approval to deploy you on new assignments.


Auto Adjuster Claim Training Updates

June 2, 2008

 

We seem to be getting more and more inquiries about Auto Claim Training options so we wanted to update our  blog for you.

First, here are links to our first two Auto Adjuster Claim training blogs:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/auto-claim-training-what-options-do-i-have/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/auto-adjuster-claim-careers-an-interview-with-adjusting-firm-owner-carey-oconnor-with-csp-claims/

We’ve located some additional information to share with the trainees looking for more auto claim training information:

Vale National Technical training school has a Basics in Auto Estimating book you can purchase online for a mere $38.00:

http://www.valenational.com/products.html#aebook

They also are developing some online auto estimating courses as outlined here:

http://www.valenational.com/online.html

You’ll find a drop down menu on Automobile Claim training options with Vale using this link:

http://www.valenational.com/index.html#

We’ve mentioned in prior blogs about some Auto Estimating program options for writing auto claim estimates in the first two blogs but I’m not sure I mentioned Audatex and here is a link to their estimating program:

http://www.audatex.us/collision/estimating.htm

Here’s a April 2008 press release advising that  Mitchell/ CCC Pathways auto estimating software firms are merging and will be known as CCC-Mitchell, Inc:

http://www.cccis.com/portal/page/portal/CCCISPagegroup/Misc/PressRelease/CHICAGOandSANDIEGOApril112008

 

For a complete schedule of Vale Tech’s 2008 Auto estimating courses which they have listed at a cost of $2,295 for the two week program (note Vale is used by insurance companies frequently thus staff auto adjusters would have this fee paid by the carrier sending them to school along with their housing expenses and meals):

http://www.valenational.com/ae3000.html

You might also wish to check with Pacesetter Claims regarding upcoming Auto Claim training classes:

http://www.pacesetterclaims.com/PCSTech1.aspx

Wardlaw Claims is offering an online auto adjuster claim training class in Investigating Auto Liability Claims for a most reasonable $23.95 :

http://www.wardlawtraining.com/wctc_selfstudy.cfm?Course_id=1035

I’ve heard through some participants at ClaimSmentor that CNC-Resource adjusting firm in Mobile, AL is also offering some insurance company auto claim carrier certification courses if you want to check with them for their next classes which come highly recommended by a moderator at ClaimSmentor who has taken their classes:

http://www.cnc-resource.com/

Pilot Catastrophe Services has recently been running advertisements for experienced Auto Claims adjusters and their website link for Auto Adjusters indicates they do offer a yearly three week auto adjusting class so you may wish to check with them as well:

http://www.pilotcat.com/Pageview.asp?edit_id=20941

There are many auto claim training programs for insurance company auto adjuster trainees and some excellent carrier staff adjuster training schools such as this Progressive Insurance ad explains from a 2005 press release:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2005_Jan_25/ai_n8708560

And this article about Progressive’s five training facilities from 2006:

http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2006/08/01/016801.html

We’ll continue to add information to this Auto Claim Training blog series as we learn of new training opportunities in the field and online by other sources.

We welcome input and replies from experienced auto adjusters who have more information to share with new adjusters.

Update 6/11/08:

Automobile Adjuster Online Estimatics book is now offered by Vale Tech at a most reasonable price and highly recommended:

 http://www.valenational.com/products.html


Insurance Carrier Claim Certifications- Where Do you Test for Them? Much Improvement Needed in the Process of Certifying Independent Adjusters

May 1, 2008

 

 **Updated 2/13/09- Participate in our Poll on Carrier Certification exams for independent claim adjusters here:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/independent-adjusters-participant-in-our-poll-on-carrier-certification-exams/

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

The recent wind and hail storms have brought up the need to centralize information as to where adjusters can obtain their carrier certification tests to go out on storm assignments as independents. We had to pass over many very very qualified senior adjusters on a recent staffing request because the carrier would make NO exception to having passed their pre-qualifying exam for an independent to work their claims.

This practice is becoming much more common and carriers are being much less willing to waive these requirements in the aftermath of Katrina litigation where training seemed to always be a common question during depositions on Katrina lawsuits.

As a result, many adjusters..new and experienced alike… are looking for firms offering their certification exams. This is the way the present system works:

1) Carrier selects adjusting firms that will work their daily and their catastrophe claims

2) The selected firms perform the IDL (Interactive Distance Learning) training and the exams for the carriers

3) If an independent adjuster happens to be on a firm’s roster offering the certification program, they will probably get an email notification of the opportunity to certify but what about the hundreds who have not applied to that particular adjusting firm?

You (as an independent adjuster) do not take the exam directly from the carrier in any case that I am presently aware of. The problems lie in the fact that independents have ZERO way of knowing which independent adjusting firms handle their claims. The carriers normally do not post information for independent adjusters on their open public websites so they are left to word of mouth or postings on forums such as  ours at ClaimSmentor. In addition, the adjusting firms being used by a carrier can change regularly as they change service vendors handling their claims.

We have rounded up all of the information we can on upcoming carrier certification exams on the following carriers:

Citizens of FL

State Farm

Allstate

Nationwide

Texas Windpool

American Family

Homewise Insurance

Farmers

USAA

We have posted this information in our Seminars Forum on ClaimSmentor. We are also working together with participants to improve on those lists to make sure that we have all of the known adjusting firms offering training and are  reviewing all of their websites and providing links to upcoming training. In addition, I will be contacting all of the major carriers media relations departments prior to the 6/1/08 storm season starting to obtain hopefully better information and publish on list of ALL information with website links.

As an example, Citizens of FL is one of the only sites who has an Adjuster Resources link that does have information on independent adjuster training directly on their website. Click here to see their catastrophe vendor list for this year and also this last link (click here) has a 46th vendor that has never made it to their list on the adjuster resource page but is also an approved vendor. State Farm has their 4 vendors listed here(clickhere). We weren’t so lucky finding the information for other carriers except through word of mouth through adjusters participating in our forums or through vendors publishing upcoming training dates either in classified ads (rarely done by most- they expect adjusters to know of them and go directly to their website event or training page) or by directly going to their websites to search for training once we knew they serviced their claims. Even with the known adjusting firms, many have nothing coming up posted on their sites as many have already held their yearly conferences this year and won’t be holding additional certifications unless there is a need at the time of a major catastrophe which we all know is the most stressful time any adjuster can go through tough exams when they are on a cat site with pending claims.

This process is ridiculous is about the best I can say for it. Carriers think that there are no adjusters left out there once a major storm has hit because their selected vendors have run out of folks. Well, I will definitely attest to the fact that after much research and hours spent talking to adjusters through my claim staffing firm that most folks – even the experienced ones- don’t know where to go to obtain their required certification tests through many carriers. More needs to be done to publish this information on carrier websites so independent adjusters can take the testing if that is what they are going to require to deploy them. They shouldn’t assume that there are no qualified folks out there- the fact is there may not be more that have their certification. We know of numerous stories where trainee adjusters who had not even begun their training are pulled out of classes when something major hits to go work files. What a shame when there are experienced folks available who had just not taken their certification classes who were willing to go but turned down over these newer certification class requirements.

Carriers also need to realize that there are MANY independents who are not willing to incur the cost of travel, hotels, and especially gas costs at today’s rates when there is no guarantee of work from a particular carrier or adjusting firm. Much needs to be done to move to 100% web based training classes which can be well done with the technology today. I hear the complaint often from adjusters who can attend an IDL preliminary broadcast locally but then have to drive quite a distance to take the actual test. There is no need for that type of requirement in today’s environment. We understand there are issues of trust that online exams are monitored when conducted such as they are for state licensing exams but there are many many service vendors nationwide that offer such testing facilities that could be utilized for carrier certification testing. Hopefully, we will see improvements in these processes as carriers consider their needs for securing qualified independent personnel to help during major catastrophes.

Other options should be considered by carriers to improve this process to ensure more independent adjusters are available at all times to meet there needs. Examples include offering CE credits for their certification programs to entice the more experienced adjusters to take them, offering them online nationwide at testing facilities, reversing the process so the cart isn’t pulling the horse where the adjuster completes a form online at the carrier site expressing interest in the independent certification exam and then the carrier distributes their information to their approved adjusting firms if they are not wanting to publish that information on their sites (who the adjusting firms are), or just simply giving them registration information through testing facilities where they take the certification exam and then only successful passers names are passed on to approved independent firms to solicit resumes from the adjusters.

The ideal situation would be if there was ONE test that was acceptable to ALL carriers via a training school that is respected by carriers like Vale National  (many already send adjusters there for auto and property training from the staff side) where they would accept that certification in lieu of their own but with each carrier having their own policies and their own company interpretations on claim handling issues such as number of hits per square for hail,etc that is very unlikely to ever happen. I’ve seriously considered opening such a facility but the start up costs and the marketing with carriers who take a long time accepting change would make it cost prohibitive but I do hope to see a professional  Independent Claim University open one day that the carriers embrace. Most carrier certification programs are very much the same with the major concentration on estimatic issues and code of conduct issues. They could easily be conducted by an outsourced training vendor for them. I think they would see a major change in results in the numbers of adjusters available when they take out the personality equation of different adjusting firms deciding who can come and go for them as far as independent claim staffing. It would give them a true count through one source as to the number of independents truly available. Many tell me part of the issue is the distant arm carriers wish to keep with independents due to the employee/independent issues this could raise so rather they rely on independent adjusting firms to totally manage the training and deployment of independent adjusters.

I also don’t think carriers realize that the process of adjusters being willing to go on standby and waiting in a holding pattern while the independent adjusting firm clears their name and social security number with the carrier to make sure they have the record of their certification and that there is no reason this individual adjuster has been put on a “do not use” list based on past poor performance is workable at the time of a major catastrophe. Independents will not sit at home for days turning down other offers for work from other firms to go out on other assignments when the carrier is back logged and delays getting information back to the adjusting firms so they can deploy the adjusters. The carriers should have online access where an approved adjusting firm can simply enter the adjusters social security number and name and confirm online that they are an approved independent adjuster just like they do for a state adjuster’s license and this would avoid your approved adjusting firm losing the opportunity to use a certified adjuster to another assignment they can deploy on immediately.

Please- help us help you by publishing the necessary information. It’s very simple to add information to a carrier’s career website pages for Independent adjusters as to 1) If you use independents 2) If you do what is required to service your claims experience wise and certificates required 3) What adjusting firms are on their current list of firms receiving assignments 4) A website link to those adjusting firms (Citizens still doesn’t provide them and I can tell you it was quite time consuming to locate all 46 websites for the Citizens Research paper I did when they did not publish that information. 5) They should also publish the estimating software they require since this is dictated by the carrier not the adjusting firm in most cases and the adjusters need to sign up and set up for that software prior to deploying.

If you haven’t registered yet for ClaimSmentor so you can access Carrier Certification information we have collected for adjusters once you are registered. All website registration info is posted on the About page here on the blog.


Haag Education Seminars available for Adjusters and Adjusting firms- Great Roof Damage Assessment Training

April 24, 2008

 

It isn’t often I’m willing to go out on a limb to recommend a specific school’s training programs but I wanted to pass along this information as we have had many participants take Haag Engineering’s educational seminars reporting back on the excellent quality of the training. I took a one week roofing class at their home office years ago and thought very highly of the program.

The classes meet our search for reputable sources of classes that also provide CE credits. At the top of my list of favorite programs they offer for adjusters are the Roofing Certification Course  and the Roof Damage Assessment classes for adjusters.

Visit www.haageducation.com for your CE credit and other training needs. In addition to their educational programs, they will come to an adjusting firm’s facility to present much needed training such as California Earthquake certification,etc which is an outstanding option given the unrealistic price of gas approaching $4.00 per gallon this summer at a time when adjuster’s have had much less work the past two seasons. You can find a complete list of ALL of the seminars they have available and search by date, city,etc here. New this year, they also offer their class room facilities for adjusting firm for field classes at a much more reasonable price than hotel facilities often used for field meetings.

I’ve often wondered just what did happen to the experiment they were working on years and years ago when I attended a one week roofing school while a staff field reinspector at their headquarters where they were experimenting with newly manufactured shingles WITHOUT the granules on them to see what it did to the life of the shingles(comparing it to a second set from same manufacture group with the granules). Their plan had been to leave this roof section ( I think it was 10 x 10) out in the field 10 years. All experienced adjusters are well aware of granule loss claims by roofers alleging they totalled the roof. It will be interesting to hear from them as to how that ever turned out.

If you get a chance, visit with John Derosa, Haag Engineering Education Seminar Manager who is most approachable and willing to service your training needs where it is most convenient for your group. I am fortunate to have met him in person at the 2007 NACA convention. In the event you’d like to talk to him directly, here is John’s direct contact information:

John M. DeRosa

Seminar Manager

Education Department

Haag Engineering Co.

Failure and Damage Consultants since 1924

Direct : (214) 614-6562

Cell: (972) 897-2947

Fax: (214) 614-6501

4949 West Royal Lane

Irving Texas  75063

I don’t want to fail to mention their publications as well for those of you unable to travel to any of their field locations. You can view those available here. This same link shows tools such as their PITCH gauge and provides information on their newest publications such as the Tile Roof Assessment guide. Having a few of these items myself in my library, I can attest to the quality of these guides and the quality of the information and training guidance for trainees and experienced adjusters alike. Their pricing is extremely reasonable on their publications so they should be within the reach of everyone’s budget. 

Here is also a link on their site where you can check the CE credits available for their classes by state:

Click here

Should you be a ClaimSmentor member or Dimechimes Corporation Roster participant, be sure to ask John for your participant discount on classes and course publications.


Adjusters- Read about Class Action lawsuit in OK on Overhead and Profit issues

April 2, 2008

The majority of adjusters on our rosters handle property versus auto claims or a combination of both thus I believe many of you would be interested in knowing about the Class Action lawsuit going on in OK against Farmers Insurance styled Burgess et al. v. Farmers Insurance Company, Inc. et al.

An excerpt taken from the Class Action website for this case says that:

This is the website for the Burgess et al. v. Farmers Insurance Company, Inc. et al. class action lawsuit.  Homeowners have sued Farmers saying that they improperly withheld payments for general contractor’s overhead and profit (“O&P”) from amounts paid on claims under homeowner’s insurance policies to citizens of Oklahoma.   The Court has not decided if the Defendants did anything wrong. You need to decide whether to stay in the Class or exclude yourself, and you need to decide this by May 16, 2008.

This is an important case and you may wish to share a link to this blog with your claim managers at the adjusting firm level or if your an independent claim manager, you might wish to share this with your insurance carrier management as they may wish to discuss this with their corporate legal departments to review their current position on the overhead and profit issues discussed in this case.

Here is a link to the first article with links to all of the court documents to include the complaint:

Click here

A link to the lawyers representing the class members:

Click here

Here’s also an article about it from a negative anti-Farmers site with their posting on the case:

Click here

It seems we are hearing more often about suits involving these issues. Here is an example from a 2007 article  addressing the standard 20% and the belief by some that 20% was not enough for Katrina claims in a case against State Farm and one against Travelers (any lawyers viewing- any updates on these cases would be great!): Click here for that article

Contractors are also discussing these issues on some of their forums and blogs: Click here for an example

These articles and developments are just one topic example of why it is utmost important that you obtain your training on estimatics and claims handling by reputable firms that are up to date with current events with issues which could effect our claims industry. Too often I hear about new adjuster turned estimating school with no understanding of claim management issues or current issues going on that students need to know about. Always check out the experience and qualifications before you sign up for the multitude of estimating classes out there these days on the market!