Hurricane Rina- Now a Category 2 Hurricane- see projected path- Is Florida a Potential Target?

October 25, 2011

Here is the latest 11 am statistics for Hurricane Rina and projections for a possible Florida target location from Central Florida news:

http://www.cfnews13.com/article/news/2011/october/333804/Could-Florida-be-a-potential-target-for-Rina-and-new-low-in-tropics

I’ll have the selected Citizens of Florida 2011 Vendor link posted later today for those looking for legitimate Florida assignments from assigned vendors. As anyone who follows my information, I do not recommend ANY adjuster work for anything but a Level I adjusting firm- meaning a firm who has the direct assignment with a carrier- not a 2nd, 3rd, or more tier adjusting firm for your own protection getting paid. More on all of this in a later post today.


Here is a link to North Carolina Windpool Independent Adjusting firms for Independents Looking for Work

August 24, 2011

Here is the link to the NC Wind pool Association’s list of 2011 Independent Adjusting firms for those wanting to get their resumes in early as Huricane Irene, now a Category 3 hurricane, approaches the projected North Carolina coast for those wishing to submit their resumes ahead of landfall:

http://ncjua-nciua.org/claims/2011%20Approved%20Adjusters%2020110404.pdf

Best Regards and be safe as you travel and work your new assignments!


Hurricane Season starts 6/1/2010- Must read article for Claims- Hurricane Plus Oil Equals More Problems

May 28, 2010

I highly recommend reading this article in addition to yesterday’s blog on CDC recommendations for those working in the oil spill zones which may end up effecting many of us in the claims industry this coming hurricane season if we have a hurricane make landfall in the gulf coast.

Here’s a link to the article which makes it clear we will be operating in unknown territory should we suffer damage in the gulf coast:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/27/hurricane.season.worries/index.html?hpt=T1

We had a beautiful afternoon collecting sharks teeth on the beach at Mickler’s landing today here in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL  but it was hard not to feel guilty about having such a great beach knowing what’s been on the news about Grand Island in LA.

Our hearts and prayers are with the residents suffering from this disastrous oil spill. We also wish safe travels and assignments for all adjusters heading out to new hail storms and bp oil service assignments.

Here is a link to the claim statistics from the BP Oil Spill for today indicating over 26,000 claims thus far reported to BP with over 11,000 paid and over 96,000 calls into their claim operation:

http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7062470

*update added 5/29/10: More information on the BP Oil Spill Claims Process- BP to Appointment Independent Mediator-BP Claims Process and update on federal court hearing on BP Oil Claim Litigiation:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-26/bp-to-appoint-independent-mediator-for-claims-process-update1-.html

Here is an article by medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta regarding health concerns and the BP oil spill. I’ll also try to find a link to a video he did in Louisiana this week while exploring the spill that was also excellent:

http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/06/how-will-the-oil-disaster-impact-our-health/


National Hurricane Center Changes the way the Saffir Simpson Scale will be used due to Storm Surge stats

June 17, 2009

This was a very interesting article about the 2009 changes to the way a hurricane is categorized using the Saffir Simpson Scale due to problems with the storm surge and hurricane categories. For instance, the article indicates Hurricane Ike came in as a category 2 but the storm surge was equivalent to a category 4 hurricane at landfall. Most interesting are the arguments for and against the proposed 2009 changes in the comment section of this article:

http://weatherblog.abc13.com/2009/06/save-the-saffirsimpson-scale.html

For more details from NOAA National Hurricane Center on the 2009 changes here is a link on the storm surge component of the saffir simpson scale and reasons for the changes:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshs.shtml


FloodSax- New product to combat flooding- replaces cumbersome sandbags for flooding

June 6, 2009

This new product looks quite promising for combating flood damage- called FloodSax:

Here is the link to the firm’s June 3, 09 Press Release announcing this product:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/06/prweb2485034.htm


Preliminary Damage Statistics from Hurricane Gustav/ Updates on Temporary Housing in Gustav damage territories

September 3, 2008

 

Prior Blogs on Temporary Housing for Adjusters- includes temporary rental apartments through corporate housing vendors, RV rental locations and much more: 
https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/temporary-housing-links-for-adjusters-temporary-housing-optionsadditional-living-expense-training/
 

Great FEMA website with Housing Portal currently shows 2,310 rental locations available in LA- great resource for adjusters: 

https://asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home.htm 

Two other great sources are In Town Suites and Microtel which both are reasonably priced and have locations in MS and or LA: 

http://www.intownsuites.com/  **rates usually about 200.00 per week 

http://www.microtelinn.com/ 

You can always check with the carrier you are being deployed with as well to find out if they have reserved a block of rooms for independent adjusters and/or if they have a corporate discount at near by hotels you can take advantage of. 

Here are some very preliminary damage statistics showing while initial damage assessment were between 7 to 10 million that damage assessments are now being decreased to the 2 billion to 5 billion dollar range as of late last night:

Very low numbers of claims thus far reported to carriers as evacuees have yet to return:

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080903/NEWS0110/809030361/1005/biz

Initial reports were at 10 billion:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/sep2008/gust-s03.shtml

Bloomberg news reports damage estimates reduced to 2 billion to 5 billion dollar range:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aRzidu4U7Owk&refer=news

Updates on Deployed Adjusters:

State Farm deployed 1700 and Allstate 1000 adjusters:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/02/business/02insure.html?_r=1

Discussion of SF and Allstate Mobile units and satelitte equipment. This takes about the SF Dallas and Jax facility too which are both of their cat claim central in office operations:

http://www.insurancenetworking.com/news/insurance_technology_mobile_claims_hurricane_gustav_CAT_modeling11150-1.html

Carrier Market Share for Residential and Commercial Policies in States with Gustav Damage:

http://www.iii.org/media/facts/statsbyissue/hurricanefactfiles/


Hurricane Gustav Expected to be Major-Emergency TX and LA license links / Claim Statistics for TS Fay/Eduardo/Dolly

August 26, 2008

 

What a surprise to wake up today to find that Gustav reached hurricane strength so quickly and also to hear the current news with predictions it will make US landfall as anywhere from a Category 3 to a Category 5 strength hurricane.

My favorite weather reports over at Ralph’s Tropical weather show not only Hurricane Gustav now at 90 MPH but other areas with potential for development:

http://ralphstropicalweather.homestead.com/RalphTropicalWeatherOut.html

Here is also the latest 11am stormtrack report over at Ralph’s:

http://ralphstropicalweather.homestead.com/StormTrack.html

The 2pm NOAA hurricane tracking map looks dead on for LA again (unreal with the 3 year anniversary of Katrina this week):

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at2+shtml/084813.shtml?5day#contents

Here are important links on Adjuster licensing for TX and LA. It’s important to remember that LA has added adjuster licensing post Katrina so the rules have changed since the last major storm in LA:

TX emergency adjuster license info:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/licensing/agent/revagtemeradj.html

TX Resident and Non Resident adjuster license link:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/licensing/agent/index.html

LA emergency adjuster licensing info as well as resident and non resident info is very difficult to find. The new law was effective January of 2007. Here is a link to the info we found last year on their website:

(Make sure to read all such as Claims Adjuster License Act,etc):

http://www.ldi.state.la.us/Licensing/Producer/index.htm

http://www.ldi.state.la.us/Documents/Licensing/Producer/LAClaimsAdjusterAct.pdf

Worley adjusting firm actually has the LA Adjusters study guide link up on their site:

https://worleyco.com/publications_sale_adjuster.php

**Update Wednesday 8/27- See comments at end of this blog for addition of MS emergency adjuster and non resident/resident license info and applications

You might want to keep this LA Road closure and evacuation route info handy if traveling into the area next week:

http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/evacinfo/rdclosureindex.htm

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

Many of you are following or searching for claim statistics from TS Fay. Thus far, the majority of reports are showing statistics anywhere between 9,000 and 11,000 claims from the top 5 carriers depending on which report you read. Here are numerous links to update you by carrier:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/insurance/entries/2008/08/25/fay_claims_growing.html

Here are more stories of St John’s River flooding HO claims:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/weather/hurricane/orl-floods2608aug26,0,6799981.story

Another interesting story on flooding hitting non covered HO’s hard:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/content/business/epaper/2008/08/25/0825floodinsure.html

This report alleges 11,000 claims vs the 9,200 in other reports above from top 4 carriers:

http://www.propertyandcasualtyinsurancenews.com/cms/nupc/Breaking+News/2008/08/25-FAY-mr

*******

In other interesting 2008 Hurricane Season updates, you’ll want to take a minute to read this update on the status of the Texas Windpool (TWIA )funds available post Hurricane Dolly and Eduardo:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2008/08/26/93100.htm

Updates 9/2/08: Damage Stats and Temp Housing Links in Gustav damage zones:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/preliminary-damage-statistics-from-hurricane-gustav-updates-on-temporary-housing-in-gustav-damage-territories/


Tropical Storm Fay heads towards FL- Standby calls abound!

August 18, 2008

 

Adjusters are reporting receipt of numerous standby emails from adjusting firms nationwide with the impending arrival of TS Fay early this week. Many are headed to Citizens of FL duty already in preparation for the arrival of TS Fay.

Here is the latest of hurricane advisories based on the 5am advisory. The storm is moving more east than originally expected and this link shows the projected path:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/090246.shtml?3day#contents

We will continue to update the blog later today as our staffing firm also receives standby requests for adjusters on our rosters. Watch for updates late today.

Please send your resumes to Dimechimes Claims Staffing and Claim Training should you need to update your resume or wish consideration for opportunities to deploy as they become available. All contact information is found on the About page here on the blog.


Hurricane Dolly Makes Landfall in Texas-Checking Availability for Rosters

July 23, 2008

 

We are receiving numerous inquiries and stand by requests from adjusting firms as I am sure most independent adjusters individually are receiving. We will be contacting adjusters as we receive more definite information on deployment opportunities. If you have not already submitted a resume and would like consideration for any staffing requests received, please view our Opportunities link for a detailed list of information we need contained in your resume for immediate consideration (preference to those with TX resident or non resident license). We have a heavy request list for large loss commerical adjusters and for billingual adjusters as well.

This is the latest NOAA report stating Hurricane Dolly now has sustained winds of 100 mph and currently a category 2 hurricane:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT4+shtml/231457.shtml

WTNT34 KNHC 231457
TCPAT4
BULLETIN
HURRICANE DOLLY ADVISORY NUMBER  13
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   AL042008
1000 AM CDT WED JUL 23 2008

…DOLLY VERY NEAR THE TEXAS COAST WITH 100 MPH WINDS…EYE SHOULD
CROSS THE COAST IN A FEW HOURS…

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE COAST OF TEXAS FROM
BROWNSVILLE TO CORPUS CHRISTI…AND FOR THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF
MEXICO FROM RIO SAN FERNANDO NORTHWARD TO THE BORDER BETWEEN MEXICO
AND THE UNITED STATES.  PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY
SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

AT 10 AM CDT…1500 UTC…THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING NORTH OF PORT
O’CONNOR HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.  A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN
EFFECT FROM NORTH OF CORPUS CHRISTI TO PORT O’CONNOR.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND A HURRICANE WATCH ARE IN EFFECT FROM LA
PESCA TO SOUTH OF RIO SAN FERNANDO.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 1000 AM CDT…1500Z…THE CENTER OF HURRICANE DOLLY WAS LOCATED
BY RADAR AND A RECONNAISSANCE PLANE NEAR LATITUDE 26.0 NORTH…
LONGITUDE 97.0 WEST OR ABOUT 30 MILES…50 KM… EAST-NORTHEAST OF
BROWNSVILLE TEXAS.

DOLLY IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 7 MPH…11 KM/HR.
A WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION WITH A SLIGHT DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED
IS EXPECTED LATER TODAY.  ON THE FORECAST TRACK…THE EYE OF
HURRICANE DOLLY WILL BE CROSSING THE COAST NEAR THE TEXAS/MEXICO
BORDER IN A FEW HOURS. PERSONS ARE ADVISED NOT TO VENTURE OUTDOORS
DURING THE RELATIVE CALM OF THE EYE BECAUSE WINDS WILL SOON
INCREASE QUITE RAPIDLY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 100 MPH…160
KM/HR…WITH HIGHER GUSTS.  DOLLY IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON
THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. STRONGER WINDS…ESPECIALLY IN
GUSTS…ARE LIKELY ON HIGH RISE BUILDINGS. SOME ADDITIONAL
STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE BEFORE LANDFALL.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 25 MILES…35 KM…FROM
THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140
MILES…220 KM. PORT ISABEL AIRPORT JUST MEASURED 54 MPH…87 KM/HR
SUSTAINED WINDS WITH GUSTS TO 70 MPH…113 KM/HR. AN UNOFFICIAL
OBSERVER JUST EAST OF MATAMOROS MEXICO REPORTED SUSTAINED WINDS OF
65 MPH…105 KM/HR WITH GUSTS TO 119 MPH…192 KM/HR.  

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE
PLANE WAS IS 964 MB…28.47 INCHES.

DOLLY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 10
INCHES…WITH ISOLATED AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES…OVER PORTIONS OF SOUTH
TEXAS AND NORTHEASTERN MEXICO OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.  THESE RAINS
WILL LIKELY CAUSE WIDESPREAD FLOODING ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTH
TEXAS AND NORTHEAST MEXICO.

COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 6 TO 8 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE
LEVELS…ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES…CAN BE
EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL.

ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF SOUTH TEXAS TODAY
AND TONIGHT.

REPEATING THE 1000 AM CDT POSITION…26.0 N…97.0 W.  MOVEMENT
TOWARD…NORTHWEST NEAR 7 MPH.  MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…100 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…964 MB.

INTERMEDIATE ADVISORIES WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER AT 1200 PM CDT AND 200 PM CDT FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE
ADVISORY AT 400 PM CDT.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA

Here is some pertinent information and links you will find useful should you be considering deployment opportunities for  Hurricane Dolly and emergency preparedness information coming out in the news:

Texas Department of Insurance Adjuster License Information:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/licensing/agent/index.html

Texas Department of Insurance Emergency Adjuster License information (for those who do not carry the Resident or Non Resident adjusters license):

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/IN/content/htm/in.013.00.004101.00.htm#4101.101.00

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/licensing/agent/revagtemeradj.html

Note that an adjuster must apply within 5 days of beginning work and the emergency adjuster license is only valid for 90 days unless that time is extended by the state.

Be sure to read this special memo to catastrophe adjusters and emergency adjusters in Texas for current information as well:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/licensing/agent/agemeradj.html

Here is the link for the emergency adjuster form and other TX license forms:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/webinfo/08qforms.html

It should be noted that the firms we have staffed for have all been requiring either a resident or non resident license versus allowing adjusters to operate on emergency licenses on all storms we have helped staff for this year so I have no doubt the same will apply to those we help deploy to Hurricane Dolly assignments since it is not a major catastrophe although the winds as of 10am have now increased to 100 mph.

Here is an interesting story from July 2008 on TX cracking down on unlicensed contractors you should also view:

http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou080710_tnt_contractors.40e37006.html

This next link is also an interesting June 2008 news article on what financial impact is expected should a major storm hit the TX Coast and information on carriers there as well as impact on the TX Windpool:

http://polfeeds.com/item/Texas-Wind-Pool-Update

Also, in the event you need information to verify a  TX Public Adjuster license information, here are the links on the requirements of Public Adjusters in Texas:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/licensing/agent/agpubadj2.html

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/licensing/agent/revaglityppia.html

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/IN/content/htm/in.013.00.004102.00.htm#4102.105.00

Texas Windpool Adjuster News Links:

http://www.twia.org/news.html#adjuster_news

Texas Windpool new policy limits and rates info effective 2/2008:

http://www.twia.org/pdf/uw_bulletins/limits_revise_bulletin_Nov2007.pdf

Info from Tx Windpool on changes to Loss of Rents January 2008:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/alert/event/2008/documents/P-0907-13.pdf

The above link explains the proposed changes to Loss of Rents in Tx on secondary wind policies and below you will find the link to the hearing info on 1/29/08:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/alert/event/2008/event20087.html

Link to Texas Windpool Forms and Endorsements:

http://www.twia.org/downloads.html

Here is a link to the Top 40 Homeowner Insurance Companies by market percentage for the State of Texas:

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/company/top40.html

 

 

If you are a newer adjuster and missed many prior blog entries on standby, independent contracts, temporary housing links to find housing for your assignment, you will want to review these prior blog entries providing you still current information:

1) What shots does CDC recommend for disaster workers (be sure to check this out if you are working flood claims):

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/16/what-shots-does-cdc-recommend-for-disaster-workers-watch-for-more-flood-adjuster-training-info-this-week/

2) Ladder Safety Concerns:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/18/ladder-safety-concerns-for-adjusters-safety-equipment-suggestions/

3) Claim Adjuster and Agency Relationships- Part I and II:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/08/agents-can-make-you-or-break-you-the-often-overlooked-piece-of-the-claim-service-puzzle/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/claim-adjuster-and-agent-relationships-part-ii/

4) Standby Calls for Adjusters Part I and II:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/10/the-big-c-commitment-problems-with-independent-adjuster-relationships-advice-by-guest-blogger-rocke-baker/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/commitment-part-2-standby-calls-what-should-i-do-how-are-cat-codes-determined/

5) Here is the prior blog on working claims in Mexico with links to information you need to know to work claims there:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/20/hurricane-dean-info-on-adjusting-firms-working-in-mexico-misc-adjuster-needs-in-mexico/

6) Crisis Intervention while working Catastrophe Claims:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/16/crisis-intervention-while-catastrophe-adjusting-by-guest-blogger-steve-ebner/

7) Temporary Housing and RV Park Information for Adjusters and Insured ALE needs:

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

8 ) Understanding Independent Adjusting Firm Contracts:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/splish-splash-dont-go-takin-a-bath-understanding-independent-firm-contracts/

9) Understanding Adjuster Fee Schedules:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/14/adjuster-fees-in-the-news-the-time-is-now-to-educate-the-insurance-media-and-press/

10 ) Disaster Communications- Throw Away Cellphones You Say?

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/06/disaster-communication-issues-and-throw-away-phones-you-say/

11) Time Management Skills- Starting a Storm:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/time-management-skills-how-to-start-a-storm-by-lenz-with-mariposaltd-claims/

12) Catastrophe Adjuster Resumes Do Differ:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/catastrophe-adjuster-resumes-the-requirements-to-get-noticed-do-differ/

13) How much income can I make as an adjuster?

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/most-commonly-asked-question-is-how-much-income-can-i-make-as-an-adjuster/

14) Carrier Certification Requirements (you may not be able to deploy with them for some major carriers):

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/

Note, should you be looking for TX based independent adjusting firms for additional deployment opportunities here are several links which may be of use to you:

National Association of Independent Adjusters (you can search companies by state. This is an excellent link as NAIIA has experience and reputation requirements for member firms which should provide a safety net to adjusters looking for reputable adjusting firms):

http://www.naiia.com/   * See search tool to search state of TX in top left of home page

National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters:

http://www.nacatadj.com/Members08/MDList/Business.aspx

Catadjuster.org Employer listing search by state:

http://www.catadjuster.org/Directory/tabid/64/agentType/ViewType/PropertyTypeID/37/Default.aspx

Catadjuster.org Vendor Ratings (Also be sure to enter Vendor Feedback in search tool to check some available information on Independent firm reputations with adjusters:

http://www.catadjuster.org/Channels/EmployerRatings.aspx

Catadjuster.org Vendor Feedback Forum Archive Information:

http://www.catadjuster.org/Forums/tabid/60/forumid/40/postid/1915/view/topic/Default.aspx

We wish all adjusters reporting very safe travels! We will be contacting those on our rosters as our needs are definite.

Update 1pm CST:

Links to current damage reports at South Padre Island:

http://www.spislandbreeze.com/news.php

Counties involved in Hurricane Dolly landfall area:

Cameron County: Population in 2005- 374,000 plus- see Census reports and links to local hotels,etc:

http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/popInfo.php?locIndex=22606

Links to other Cameron County info such as motels and airports:

http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=22606#Cens

Road closure information for Cameron County to check for Road Conditions:

http://apps.dot.state.tx.us/travel/road_conditions2.htm

Willacy County poplulation- approximately 20,000 and other census info:

http://www.city-data.com/county/Willacy_County-TX.html

Willacy County Road closure information:

http://apps.dot.state.tx.us/travel/road_conditions2.htm

This news report states many more in the path of the storm and discusses some of the current damages witnessed:

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/topnews/story/419810.html

Tx Emergency Management Situation reports (latest about 1pm):

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/sitrepindex.htm


Hurricane Season 2008 begins today..read some interesting articles you may not have seen

June 1, 2008

 

We’ve all read the normal yearly hurricane season predictions/announcements predicting the number of storms as well as the intensity such as this NOAA report:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20080522_hurricaneoutlook.html

We all know how well the forecasts matched the reality the past two years when very few independent adjusters were deployed due to the lack of actual hurricanes.

I thought you might enjoy these other less common articles discussing hurricane season this year:

This first link discusses the change in the jet stream and what that can mean to the future increases in damage caused by approaching US hurricane:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416153558.htm

Here’s a most interesting article indicating the Hurricane Prediction center would like to de-emphasize the hype around the yearly predictions:

http://www.floridatrend.com/article.asp?aID=48760#link1

Here’s another story explaining the drones that are going to be used in forecasting this year which should be able to improve hurricane strength forecasts for hurricanes approaching landfall and also provides some interesting discussions about the personnel changes and problems at the Hurricane Prediction center:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hurricanes1-2008jun01,0,2272150.story

Today we released a list of great free downloads for training information for new adjusters as well as some cool tools for their use at ClaimSmentor to mark the day to include detailed business interruption training, comprehensive equipment lists and some great excel worksheets for adjusters use on ALE claims, to track fee billing invoices, and excel call log sheets . If you are a member of the staff or independent adjusting community and have not yet joined us, you can submit your registration documents and we’ll get you registered to join us so you can also enjoy the huge library of information we’ve gathered for adjusters at ClaimSmentor.

View our About page here on the blog for all website and contact information.


What role are rising gas prices going to play in your deployment decisions for Hurricane season 2008? Carriers and Adjusting Firms should meet the need!

May 29, 2008

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

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

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

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

Independent adjusters basically have four options:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com

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

http://gasbuddy.com/

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

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


Humberto makes landfall as Category 1 Hurricane- Damage links and stats and adjuster licenses

September 13, 2007

Fox news is reporting 1 fatality and over 100,000 without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Humberto’s landfall about 2-3 am near High Island, TX. It’s been a real surprise that Humberto progressed from a TD to Hurricane 1 status in the early hours this morning. Fox is showing video footage this morning of the damage in High Island.

 There are reports of a possible tornado near High Island. Reviewing reports on the population of the area, it appears to be about 500 and here’ s some stats on where this is located:

HIGH ISLAND, TEXAS
Galveston County, Texas Gulf Coast
Hwy 87 and Hwy 124 on the
Bolivar Peninsula
21 miles S of
Winnie
47 miles S of
Beaumont
19 miles NE of Crystal Beach
26 miles NE of Port Bolivar
Population: 500
Here are two updated news reports out in the past few minutes about the one death and the power outages here and here.

Here’s a hurricane blog from Lake Charles, LA for further updates from the Louisiana area. Here is also a link to the state of LA Executive Emergency order. Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance does have some binding restriction notices posted yesterday here. Before you accept an assignment working their claims,  you might want to read these articles here , here,  and here on the financial records problems and other issues faced by this organization. It sure doesn’t seem that the $220K salary for the head of this group mentioned in this article is worth the hornet’s nest he walked into!

 Some of you may also find this blog humorous about one writer’s storm damage from Humberto which gave me a chuckle this morning.

Reports about Hurricane Humberto landfall from several sources this morning:

Reuters News

Beaumont News

Port Arthur News

Houston AP news

Checking the TX emergency management site, there have not been updates since about 8pm last night. This always drives me nuts as we have the same thing happen in FL for the most part where we can gather more  current news from the local press than the emergency management websites . The link is posted here anyway to check back for new updates. There is also nothing yet up on the Texas Windstorm Association news but here is the link to check back for updates on claims.

Here is the link for Texas emergency adjuster license information.

Here is the link for the Louisiana new 2007 adjuster license information and the emergency adjuster report form here.

Prior blogs here provide links for those of you deploying who may need temporary housing while this link provides information on billingual transcription services. We also hope those of you that are new take a few minutes to review this timely article by Mariposa LTD with great advice on Time Management when starting a storm and this blog by guest blogger Steve Ebner on Crisis Management while dealing with policyholders. It’s also important for new adjusters to remember how important agents are in the claims process so you might want to review our blog on agency and claim relationships here. Disaster communication and a discussion on throw away phone advice is here.

The latest 11am reports showing winds now at 63 mph can be viewed here and the projected path  and information on other tropical information here at Ralph’s and at Caribbean36o here.


TS Gabrielle- East Coast Windpool and Emergency Licensing Information

September 8, 2007

Reports indicate tropical Storm Gabrielle off the East coast of the US is at about 45 mph. Fox news tv reports are stating it could reach minimum hurricane strength before making landfall. They do not mention it in this report issued after today’s 8am forecast which says it’s about 280 miles off of the coast from Cape Lookout, NC. Here is a visable satelitte loop off of Cape Hatteras to take a look at the storm. This discussion model indicates that tropical storm warnings may be issued later today. This report on the local storm forecast from Charleston,SC indicates that they expect storm warnings for GA and southeast SC to be cancelled later today as the storm remains out to sea while this report from NC states there will be little flooding.

This doesn’t look like it will be a big weather event for adjusters. We have previously posted information on ClaimSmentor about emergency adjuster licensing and the windpool information for the coastal areas of SC, NC, and VA as well as information on the adjusting firms working claims for these windpools as well as emergency adjuster license information for these states. We will update this blog late tonight or early tomorrow if there are significant changes in the storm or expected flooding situation for these east coast states so check back by 10am Sunday for updates on the state windpools and emergency adjuster licensing information you will need if it appears there may be a need for independent adjusters.


Hurricane Felix – updated 9pm 9/2/07-Category 5

September 1, 2007

We received our first notice of TS Felix about 5pm 8/31/07.

Here are some of the less visited weather sites providing updates with more information:

This entry from the website www.caribbean360.com does indicate it will be a hurricane passing near the Grenadine Islands:

http://www.caribbean360.com/News/Caribbean/Stories/2007/08/31/NEWS0000004841.html

This storm watch from Claims Pages has a good view of the projected path and info in their 8am reports:

http://www.claimspages.com/news/stormwatch.asp.

The visuals on this site are the best but the author is on vacation until the 3rd but I’m posting it here to check back for regular updates next week. There are links to many other hurricane sites also on this link to check in the meantime:

http://ralphstropicalweather.homestead.com/RalphTropicalWeatherOut.html

This Fox news update indicates TS warnings are being issued in Netherland Antilles and Aruba:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,295475,00.html

If your looking for vendors working down there and missed our  blog with that information, here is a link to it. Here is also a link to our blog on billingual services adjusters going down may need.

**Update 9/2/07 8am now Hurricane Felix has winds up to 100mph (Category 2) here’s the latest computer models http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200706_model.html#a_topad

Here’s the 8 am advisory:

http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/at200706.public.html#a_topad

8pm CST -Felix is now a Category 5- appears heading for Mexico

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/022359.shtml?


Hurricane Dean – Info on Adjusting firms working in Mexico, Misc adjuster needs in Mexico

August 20, 2007

We’ve done a bit of research for those of you asking for information on working losses in Mexico due to Hurricane Dean making landfall in Mexico. While we are not yet staffing for a firm planning to work there, we have done some initial research for adjusters on firms that do work there.

We also include links on visas, work permits, auto insurance needs, internet services you will need and cell phone coverage information. We’ll do additional checking tomorrow should the need arise for additional information and will post it in reply to this topic. Should you have additional information for adjusters wishing to work in Mexico on Hurricane Dean claims, please provide reply comments below we’ll post to aid in their search for work on Hurricane Dean losses. For example, I was not able to locate information on estimatic software used while adjusting claims, book value guides for Mexico which might be helpful to auto adjusters, and a few major other items such as Errors and Omissions coverage for adjusters going over, workers comp coverage issues while working there, and Mexico insurance adjuster license requirements. We’d appreciate any details our readers can provide. Here are the links you may wish to view if your considering assignments:

First see this article which says US Insurance adjusters can’t go to Mexico to adjust claims so tells RV owners to drive their RV to nearest point in US for inspection:

http://www.aonrecreation.com/ardhome.aspx?_act=display&_con=RVing%20In%20Mexico

Crawford and Company- Mexico location contact info

http://www.crawfordandcompany.com/content.aspx?CID=222&SID=7#Mexico

Cunningham Lindsey Mexico Contact Info

http://www.cunninghamlindsey.com/office_locator.asp?country=Belize

GAB Robins-handles claims in US and Mexico:

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-138311034.html

Coast Claims

http://www.coastclaimsadjusting.com/aboutus.htm

Jeremy Bellemy Adjusting Co

http://www.jimbellamy.com/

Risk Mexico

http://www.riskmexico.com/eng/ctc.asp

Spencer Claim Service

http://www.spencerclaimsservice.com/

Claim Service Guide with contact information- may be able to locate adjusting firms here: (Also see Legal guide on this site.

http://www.igib.com/claim_service.html

Mexico Insurance Professionals out of AZ may be able to provide some adjusting firm names:

http://www.rockypointdirectory.com/mexican_insurance.htm

Temporary Vehicle permits needed to go beyond 15 miles of border- Link to order permit online:

http://www.mexicoinsuranceconsultants.com/Travel.aspx

What personal things are you allowed to bring in

http://www.mexicoinsuranceconsultants.com/Travel.aspx

Pemex Gasoline only allowed in Mexico

http://www.mexicoinsuranceconsultants.com/Travel.aspx

Passport / Permit info for Mexico

http://www.mexicoinsuranceconsultants.com/faq.aspx

Passport needed if flying/ permit if driving:

http://studenttravel.about.com/od/mexicostudenttravel/f/border_mexico.htm

Frontier Airlines- to 7 Mexico Cities from 13 US Locations

http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2007/08/13/daily3.html?jst=b_ln_hl

Excellent advice on Auto Insurance needs if going to Mexico:

http://www.mexpro.com/press/dsun062006.php

Driving in Mexico and your US Insurance may not cover you- FAQ:

http://www.mexadventure.com/MexicanInsurance/Frequently_Asked_Questions.CFM

Tips for Driving in Mexico:

http://www.mexicantouristpro.com/in_mexico/driving.html

FAQ- Can you take a rental car from US to Mexico:

http://www.riskmanagement.ucsb.edu/faqs/mexico.htm#19

Work Permits to work in Mexico

http://www.mexperience.com/liveandwork/working_mexico.htm

Mexican Visas

http://www.mexperience.com/liveandwork/immigration.htm

Summary of differences in Auto and Property policies in Mexico vs US coverage

http://www.ontheroadin.com/travelinnformation/comparingusandmexicoinsurance.htm

Sample of a Mexico policy for auto coverage

http://www.mexinsure.com/coverage_terms_and_conditions.php

US Consulant General Mexico- More info on VISAS/Work permits

http://ciudadjuarez.usconsulate.gov/wwwhnivtnlist.html

TN Visas for Mexican and Canadian Disaster Insurance Adjusters

http://www.visaus.com/tnfaq.html

Mexico Business Visitors rules

http://pubweb.fdbl.com/ihp8/global/media85.nsf/public-country-briefs/mexico?opendocument

HIgh Speed Internet Providers in Mexico

http://www.google.com/search?q=+high+speed+internet+service+in+mexico&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLJ

Cell phone coverage in Mexico

http://www.google.com/search?q=Cell+phone+coverage+in+mexico&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLJ

US Consulate- Travel Accommodation Guidelines for Mexico June 2007

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html

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

Here is the latest Bloomberg report put out just after midnight with lots of facts and info on the territories and population in Mexico where the eye wall is approaching now:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aLnbekJbtTik&refer=home

Thank you to Claims Magazine Managing Editor, Eric Gilkey for requesting to link to this blog entry in their breaking news feature here:

http://www.claimsmag.com/cms/Claims/Breaking%20News/2007/08/21-mexican%20claims

9/1/07- Update- here is another contact for adjusters on another firm operating in Mexico:

Mexico City


Felipe Ramírez
Orizaba 32
Col. Roma Norte
Del. Cuauhtemoc
Mexico City
Mexico
C.P 06700
+52 55 3000 1880
+52 55 3000 1889
felipe.ramirez@charlestayloradj.com