We now have 10 additional openings for registrants for our ClaimSmentor Fundamentals of Property Claims course starting 5/8/12

May 6, 2012

We had previously closed registration for our ten part series online LIVE of our ClaimSmentor Fundamentals of Property Claims Adjusting course which starts up May 8, 2012 and will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from May 8, 2012 through Jnne 14, 2012 (off Memorial Day week).

We have now moved our class to a new software program which will allow to now accept 10 additional registrants for the course if you missed the deadline.

All class info and registration information was in this prior blog along with a link to our 125 question self assessment test to see if you can benefit from this class on this link:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/claimsmentor-fundamentals-of-property-claims-handling-class-begins-may-8-2012-deadline-to-register-is-may-5-2012-at-5pm-et/

We can accept 10 more registrations with a new deadline of 2pm ET Monday May 7, 2012 to register.

 


ClaimSmentor Fundamentals of Property Claims Handling Class Begins May 8, 2012- Deadline to Register is May 5, 2012 at 5pm ET / New Referral Bonus!

April 28, 2012

We have changed the start date of our 2012 Fundamentals of Property Claims Handling Class to begin on May 8, 2012.

We will meet every Tuesday and Thursday evening online LIVE for active class participation and question and answer participation as we go through all class material.

The deadline to register is 5pm ET on May 5, 2012. At that time, all class registrants will receive their login id to access all pre-class reading material before our first session on May 8, 2012.

We look forward to working with all of our class participants then!

Here is a link to read the registration instructions and class details:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/registration-details-on-our-may-2012-claimsmentor-roots-and-wings-fundamental-of-property-claims-adjusting-online-live-class/

Please note we sincerely appreciate all of the referrals we receive from our ClaimSmentor associates and social media group members. As our way of thanking those referring folks to our class, we are now providing the member referral fees of #25.00 for each member when we receive  their paid tuition fee when they let us know you referred them!

 


Registration details on our May 2012 ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Fundamental of Property Claims Adjusting Online live class

April 17, 2012

Yesterday, I posted information about our upcoming May 2012 five week live online training class for newly licensed adjusters in the following blog which also includes a link to our 125 question self-assessment test to see if this course will benefit you.

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/now-accepting-new-registrants-for-our-50-hour-fundamentals-of-claims-course-10-sessions-live-online-take-our-self-assessment-exam-and-see-if-this-is-for-you/

We are overwhelmed with requests for additional information and instructions for registration. We hope the following additional information will help you with your questions and registration information:

2012 ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Fundamentals of  Property Claims Course Information

Thank you for your inquiry into our upcoming May 2012 Fundamentals of Property Claims Online LIVE class for newly licensed claims adjusters.

We recently wrote about this upcoming course in our social media outlets on Linkedin and in our forums as well as in this post on our Claims Adjuster Information blog  on April 16, 2012 here:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/now-accepting-new-registrants-for-our-50-hour-fundamentals-of-claims-course-10-sessions-live-online-take-our-self-assessment-exam-and-see-if-this-is-for-you/

General Class Information- Dates/Times/ Format

This online LIVE training session will be held beginning the first week of May 2012. It consists of five weeks of training at two sessions per week held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30-9:30 PM ET. We will provide the location on the internet to login to access all course material and to log in for classes to paid registrants. All material will be uploaded prior to the first session so class members can read the weekly pre-class reading assignments and class homework session questions at their own convenience to prepare for each upcoming class. All classes are LIVE and we value your input as we discuss the class material for each session to make sure you learn the material and your questions are answered. You will find each class very informative without rose colored glasses giving you the true picture of the property claims industry, carrier expectations, file requirements, employment options as either an independent adjuster or staff adjuster for an insurance carrier.

Please note that Memorial weekend will fall within the class term thus we will not host class Memorial weekend week to allow everyone to enjoy the holiday with family and friends thus we will finish up the course the second week of June 2012.

What is the cost to enroll in the ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Fundamentals of Claims class?

The class consisting of the ten live sessions is $200.00 plus $25.00 for class material. This is a very reasonable $20.00 per class plus $25.00 for class material.  Divide that
down even further for the 50 class hours and you’ll find this price is unbelievably low.

How do I enroll in the class?

Enrollment is a simple two step process:

1)      Email dkmoroy@dimechimes.com to confirm your intention to enroll. Provide your full name, address,  phone numbers, and adjuster license number so we can begin to complete the registration process to be sure you are included in distribution of class information and emails.

2)      Payment which confirms your enrollment in the class is due no later than April 28, 2012. Payments are accepted through Paypal  at www. Paypal.com.  Paypal accepts payment in the form of credit cards, debit cards, and  electronic checks. Once you login to your Paypal account, you simply click on Send Funds tab at the top of the page. You then send funds to Debbie@Dimechimes.com.  Paypal will send you a receipt for your payment and we will acknowledge your payment and class confirmation.

3)      Refunds are only available for 48 hours after receipt of payment. If for any reason you do need to withdraw from the class at a later date, you will receive credit for any unused portion of your payment to attend any other session held during 2012 or 2013.

4)      Note there is a 20% discount offered to partner/spouses who register at the same time which helps those planning to work with an assistant who may or may not be a licensed adjuster but needs to know the claims protocol to assist you professionally. Just note on your payment in the comments who will be registering with you as an assistant to pay the discount.

Who will be instructing the course?

 

The course is created and hosted primarily by Deborah Moroy, Founder of ClaimSmentor, with over 35 years in the claims
industry with experience progressing through the claims ranks as an in office adjuster, field adjuster, reinspector trainer, claims supervisor, claims superintendent in both field and claim central in office operations, National Catastrophe team management which included supervision of both staff claim representatives and estimators as well as independent adjusters and call center operators and administrative support staff.

Thus the goal is to train you from the perspective of an insurance company claims management perspective so you know the true expectations to excel in the claims business.

You can view my complete profile and background on Linkedin along with recommendations for my work in positions held at:

www.linkedin.com/in/ClaimSmentor

I have taught this program to over 300 participants since 2006 and am amazed at the progress of these class members from the time they took the initial 125 question claim handling assessment test found on our blog to the professional responses to these same questions at the end of the class.

Does the class provide CE adjuster credits?

 

Not at this time. We teach this course for a most reasonable fee and to maintain that expense level, it is virtually impossible to obtain CE Credits from 50 states as we present this material to adjusters registered with ClaimSmentor throughout the USA and Canada. We will be providing CE credits with our extended version of this course in our field five week classes as they will be held in states with a large number of new adjusters making it possible to apply the CE  to the field classes.

Where can I find the class syllabus?

 

All 125 questions in our self assessment test are taught in an organized format to include adjuster resumes, independent fee schedules, independent contracts, agency and claims relationships, file requirements, estimate reconciliations for in office assignments, contents claims handling, additional living expense claims handling, catastrophe operations claim organization and carrier ratio expectations, bad faith claims handling, claim litigation,  working with attorneys and public adjusters, and much much more.

The full syllabus will be included in the class material for registered class members.

Will I obtain a Certificate of Class Completion?

 

Absolutely!

 

The class certificate is provided to all participants in one of two formats:

1)       If you participate in all 10 classes but chose not to submit each class pre-class homework assignment you will receive an Audit Only certificate verifying your attendance and participation in all 10 classes. We will be going over all pre-class assignment questions during each session so you will still acquire the information you need to learn applicable to each session. This option works well for those with a busy schedule which does not allow them time to do the homework questions but please note ALL participants must read all pre-class reading assignments so they can participate in discussions with each class.

2)      If you participate and complete all pre-class assignments, you will receive a full certificate of completion.

3)      NOTE: No certificates can be provided to any participant who does not attend all 10 class sessions without exception as we value the reputation of our classes and want to assure all  registrants receiving our certificates actually grasped the information important to excel in the claims industry.

Thank you again for your interest in learning more about our online classes at ClaimSmentor!


Crawford and Company Education Fair coming 12/9/09 in Atlanta, GA

November 8, 2009

Crawford Educational Fair Coming in December – Details below.

Do you fit in one of the following categories?

1. Are you a claims professional who is interested in obtaining your professional designation (such as an Associate in Claims, an Associate in Risk Management or Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriting)?

2. Are you contemplating a career as an adjuster in 2010? Are you thinking of diversifying your current administrative abilities by obtaining a professional designation in 2010?

3. Have you wondered how training provided by Crawford Educational Services could potentially benefit you and your career?

If so, then you should plan to attend the Educational Fair sponsored by Crawford Educational Services in conjunction with Operational Compliance on Wednesday, December 9, 2009. The Educational Fair will be held at the Crawford Corporate Headquarters in Atlanta. Refreshments, door prizes and giveaways will be provided.

The Educational Fair will spotlight self-paced training, continuing education opportunities, the tuition reimbursement policy and on-line learning opportunities provided by Crawford Educational Services. In addition, this year there will be an opportunity to earn free continuing education credits from select vendors.

More details to follow – please stay tuned.

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/elise-quadrozzi-cpcu-aim-au-arp/3/586/bb

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

I strongly encourage anyone with the time and expense funds available to attend this Crawford and Company Education Fair. We will definitely try to be there. We have strongly recommended their online classes at www.KMConDemand.com (knowledge management courses) as well as all of their field classes at their headquarters in Atlanta.


Claim Class Updates and Carrier Certification Class Updates for July 2009

June 17, 2009

We have updated the ClaimSmentor forums with the following upcoming classes:

Day and Evening online Live Class for Florida Condo Unitowners and Master Policy Claim Handling Classes- July 2009

Day and Evening online Live Classes for Additional Living Expense Claim Handling for Homeowners Insurance Claims- July 2009

You must be a registered member of ClaimSmentor to attend these classes.

Today we also posted field classes coming up in July with numerous adjusting firms for:

NFIP- special class FREE in AL for Standard Flood Policy coverage and form completion seminar

Nationwide Certification class- FREE in ALabama

USAA Carrier Certification classes- 3 different adjusting firms offering these in July 2009 from no cost ranging to 50.00 per course depending on vendor offering them

State Farm Auto and Property Certification classes in August 2009

To register for ClaimSmentor, here is the registration link so you can view these topics for complete details in our Carrier Certification forum, Roots and Wings Training Forums for our Live ALE and Condo class info and much more:

http://claimsmentor.com/register.php


We are now taking registrations for our 50 Hour Fundamentals of Property Claims online class for June/July 2009

May 21, 2009

We have just posted our registration list on ClaimSmentor for our next live online 50 Hour Fundamentals of  Property Claims class which starts up on June 8, 2009 and runs through July 16, 2009. We will not be holding the class the week of July 4, 2009 so participants can enjoy the week with their families. Classes are held at www.ClaimSmentor.com from 6-9pm CST. We meet on Monday and Thursday evenings for 5 weeks to cover the 10 classes that make up this course. The complete class agenda as well as our 125 question self- assessment test are posted in the class forum topic you will be able to view once you are registered and logged in. The course consists of 10 live classes meeting for 3 hours each along with 2 hours of pre-class reading material for the 50 hours of study in this course.

If you are a newly licensed adjuster (we love experienced adjusters to register too) who is not yet a member of ClaimSmentor, you can find all registration information for our site at:

http://www.claimsmentor.com/register.php

The deadline to register for this class is June 3, 2009. ***Update 6/6/09- We have extended the deadline through Sunday 6/7/09 as we have a few spots left.

Wondering if this class is for you? Read our prior blog with our 125 question self assessment test and see how many of these property claim basic questions you can answer and you decide!

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/have-license-ready-to-go-not-so-quick-take-this-self-assessment-test/

***Update 6/6/09  All of the above information is on the Evening class which does start Monday night 6/8. We are also receiving requests to host a DAYTIME SESSION of the 50 Hour Fundamentals class. We have agreed to do so should we receive atleast 10 requests. The deadline to register for this class is 6/12/09. If interested, just email Debbie@Dimechimes.com as we will need to register you on ClaimSmentor to participate and give you specific details about this class agenda.


Crawford and Company Online Adjuster Training Courses look Excellent- KMConDemand programs!

March 21, 2009

We are very happy to announce an outstanding source for your key essential training needs for newly licensed adjusters and for experienced independent adjusters for continuing education as your improve your knowledge base in our industry. Our newest sponsors hosts online auto claim training and online property claims training as well as online workers compensation claim training. 

ClaimSmentor is proud to announce our newest sponsor-KmconDemand by    Crawford and Company. Kmc online claim training provides an outstanding alternative for newly licensed adjusters and for experienced adjusters looking for continuing claim education to enhance your skills. The online claim training classes are very reasonably priced and provided by a firm with an outstanding long term reputation in the claims industry.

What an excellent alternative to the number of ever increasing field classes being hosted by an inexperienced number of instructors with only field adjusting experience and in some cases only 1 or 2 assignments in claims under their belt. It especially concerns me that courses are being taught by those without claim management experience and/ or years of progressive staff management experience so you are being properly trained. I hear word from class participants regularly about poor information they were taught in some of these programs. We always encourage trainees taking our 50 Hour Fundamentals of Property Claims Class at ClaimSmentor to research how long a training vendor has been in business and also to investigate the claim instructors backgrounds in claims before paying for a class..

We are very excited to announce that KMC on Demand– the online training branch of  Crawford and Company – is now a sponsor for us at ClaimSmentor. This is exactly the type of professional sources we are seeking to connect with for new adjusters that don’t know what courses to take  or which training firms will offer them reputable courses.

Here is additional information KMC has shared with us for this blog. You will see their program is an excellent tool also for adjusting firms looking for online training options for their adjusters as the classes can be customized to include information specific to your firm:

Hi Debbie –

Below is some information you can use for the blog.  Also feel free to look over the website www.KMCOnDemand.com 

Learning Management System
KMC OnDemand’s Learning Management System (LMS) provides comprehensive learning management for identifying, managing, developing, and measuring the capabilities and knowledge of people throughout your enterprise. KMC OnDemand LMS helps employees increase their contribution to the organization’s goals and performance. It helps organize and ensure that your associates have the right skills and knowledge to perform at their best.
 
We deliver vital formal and informal learning that is tied to clear business outcomes. KMC OnDemand provides the full continuum of learning – formal, informal, self-paced, live, blurring the line between learning and support of workplace performance.
 
Performance Support
Improve employee efficiency and performance with our repository of reference information and encyclopedias providing just enough, just-in-time information. This informal learning will especially appeal to the digital generation by providing easy access to critical information. Adjusters can access hundreds of e-books for vital information at the moment of need. We give you the capability of editing ready-made support files or creating and adding your own. The access to the Performance Support tools can be customized for the individual, group, region or enterprise.
 
Expert Forum
KMC On Demand provides new and better ways to collaborate and share information. KMC On Demand Expert Forum provides the infrastructure to provide live solutions that then automatically populate a searchable database by discipline and key search words.
This permits you to put the best minds in your organization to work for the benefit of all. Now everyone is getting the same advice and instructions from a trusted and vetted source, your top performers.


This is an optional service your can incorporate within your KMC.

 
Claims Glossary
Easily decipher claims and technical terminology with the most comprehensive claims glossary available. This easy-to-use tool provides point and click access to hundreds of categories.
 
Claims Web Links
The most comprehensive listing of claims-related web sites will make web searches more focused and successful. Give your people access to all our researched and vetted claims links and save them time and effort. All claims links can be customized for the individual, group or enterprise-wide.
 
Adjuster’s Desk
We will upload your custom forms, documents, process flows and letters to your proprietary KMC so only your company can access them.
 
Continuing Education
KMC On Demand Courses have been accredited for all states that require adjuster continuing education. Agent/Producer continuing education credits are in the process of being obtained for all states.  All accreditations are listed for each state on our web site.
 
For your added convenience, we apply for the CE credits in all states where this is permissible. Simply complete the course and click on Apply for CE’s and we do the rest. We provide excellent education that also delivers CE’s for adjusters and agents to remain in compliance.
 
You may also utilize our CE database which tracks your compliance with state requirements and alerts you when you are close to default. This database is free for your usage.
 
Customize Our Content
KMC On Demand gives you the capability to edit and revise our modules and courses. Every module that comprises our courses can be downloaded to the Module Editor and added to, edited, or changed in any way you see fit to serve your processes and business practices.

 
Complete Training
We’ll provide complete training on the Module Editor. During this training, you’ll learn how to customize both existing content and create new content. For example, if you like 90% of the content on a given module but need to customize the remaining 10%, you’ll be able to make these changes in-house with minimal effort. The end result is tailored, company specific content that requires only 10% of the effort of a full custom course.

 
Create New Content
The Module Editor also permits you to create new modules from scratch. You could convert existing paper based courses to online modules.This Learning Content Management System is a quick and easy way to produce interactive distance learning in an attractive and usable format.
You can also do your own voice-overs and attached them to your newly created modules.

 
We Create Custom Content
Need KMC On Demand to create custom courses? We will research, storyboard, instructional design and convert to online course. We can collaborate with your training or business team to come up the best solution at the best price.

Do your inside adjusters need to decipher technical estimates from third-party providers? Utilizing the claims glossary will help them understand.

All our glossaries are editable and may be added to with proprietary lists.

This provides a one place solution for all knowledge needs; a true  Knowledge Management Center .

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

These online  adjuster training classes start at only $35.00 and provide CE credits. Also view their Charter annual fee where you can pay 1 fee of $135.00 for all classes you wish to take. Here is a complete list of classes-click here. Take a demo by clicking here. 

Is this not a fantastic opportunity to get better training on policy coverage? While teaching our fundamentals class, we drive home the point that the adjusters need to relate the training to actual policy terms and know where to find these terms to share with an insured when necessary. This is often their weakest link even after spending thousands of dollars attending some of the much advertised classes. The KMC online classes have personal lines and commercial lines policy courses and auto claim policy training you will find on the list as well as many technical programs on building component estimating, recorded statement essential training, and much much more. 

I cannot highly recommend these courses more and hope many of you will participate. Just think of the savings on travel expenses attending field classes as well as the significant savings off of the fees of many of the field “cat 101 classes”.

Please use the following contact information if you are interested in these classes for your personal or adjusting firm training needs. We are very very excited about their affiliation with ClaimSmentor. Please be sure to let them know you were referred to their program by ClaimSmentor:

Colm Keenan    
Vice President e-Learning Services


Crawford & Company

8517 Excelsior Drive Suite 201
Madison WI 53717
phone: 608-824-9008
fax: 608-836-5584
cell: 608-335-8874
email:
Colm_Keenan@us.crawco.com
web:
www.crawfordandcompany.com 

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

While visiting the KMC on Demand online classes, it’s also a great time to look into the classroom courses if you prefer live classroom settings. The Classroom courses are also much more reasonable priced than many of the other advertised week long Property 101 classes and much more comprehensive. Here is the Link for Crawford and Company’s classroom training in three available career tracks, Property, Casualty, and Workers Comp.

http://www.crawfordeducationalservices.com/CU_Courselistform.aspx?CATID=1&SID=11&cmed=1

Special Offers and Discounts

http://www.crawfordeducationalservices.com/content.aspx?CID=470&SID=11

This is an excellent chance for Adjusting firms to present the policy courses to their roster members. We hope to be getting these valuable discounts for individual ClaimSmentor members as well since discounts are available for 3 or more participants registering for the same class.

We appreciate Colm Keenan and Kevin Winter sharing this information with our ClaimSmentor participants!

************************* 


Just A ClaimSmentor Moment #4- LexisNexis List of Top Law Blogs on Insurance and Claims Issues

March 12, 2009

I don’t have time for blogging today but did come across this list over at LexisNexis on top blogs for insurance. There are so many good ones I had not heard of on this list so hopefully this will link us to some great new sources of information. Clck here to view the list.

We also have our list of favorites where we find so much good information already shown in the Claim Blogs of Interest section located in the right column of this  website blog. I’ll add to my list of favorites for claims news as I get through the LexisNexis list.

Here is a video hosted by the Insurance Journal suggesting insurance companies should be blogging in this blog entry.

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/01/09/should-your-adjusting-firm-or-carrier-be-blogging/

Here is a link to other great Insurance information resources found at Lexis Nexis:

http://w3.nexis.com/sources/scripts/eslClient.pl?GSDINDUSTRY=Insurance


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.


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

February 13, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


August 2008- Career Coaching Updates and August Online Claim Class Updates

August 5, 2008

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We had previously blogged about our Career Coaching Services for individual one on one sessions for claims career consultation services here:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/29/claim-career-coachingconsultant-services-for-new-adjusters/

We are receiving many many emails that basically say “help me” from folks who do not know where to get started in the claims business and from those who have obtained licenses but don’t know where to turn next.

If you are interested in information for new adjusters in a group setting, we offer our services at no charge on ClaimSmentor which is an online mentoring site for new adjusters through forums where we provide information about upcoming adjusting firm and vendor training seminars for CE credits and for Carrier Certifications and other valuable training offered in the Claims Industry. You can find contact and website information for all of our Claim Industry websites on the About page here on our blog.

Website search and information in group settings isn’t for everyone and many prefer one on one information specific to their background for a quicker jump start into their claims careers. If this is your preference, you can order our Career Coaching Services to assist you with goal setting, resume development, mock interviews to prepare for upcoming claim interviews, and much more training available on an individual basis through our Career Coaching services. Here is a link:

http://www.claims-portal.com/psps/psitem.cfm?psid=234

We have also updated our online claim training options for new Adjusters for August on ClaimSmentor for the following August Classes:

40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class for Property Adjusters-Starts 8/11/08

Condo Loss Adjusting Class for Condo Unitowners and Condo Master Policies- begins next week- 2 night online Live Class with pre-class self study material

Contents Loss Adjusting Class- 1 night class- online Live- begins next week

Additional Living Expense (ALE) 2 night training class-August 2008

To learn more about these classes, you can view complete details once we get you registered on ClaimSmentor in our Training Roots and Wings Forum.

We also offer self study guides for those needing training but no time for classes due to other obligations. This material can be ordered through our Training link at our staffing firm site. (See About page on blog for contact info)

Note- contact us for pricing information if you are a carrier or adjusting firm wishing to have these programs presented LIVE to your group for a group discount. These can be presented online OR in the field.

We hope to see many new members join us! We presently have over 850 members registered at ClaimSmentor to include experienced adjusters, claim managers, claim firm owners, and trainee adjusters as well as adjusting firm HR staff visiting regularly accessing our resume data base for assignment potential among our members.


Top Blogs of Interest to New Adjusters July 2007- April 2008

April 28, 2008

 

You can search the Archives for all blogs we’ve entered since we began this blog in July 2007 but it’s very time consuming we know! In an effort to assist new adjusters entering the claims field, we are providing the links to the top read blogs on careers, fee schedules, claim salaries, adjuster safety issues, errors and omissions coverage and other blogs that would be of interest to new claims folks such as those seeking careers also as auto adjusters. Here’s a link to everything in our archives applicable to new adjusters (and experienced alike who may want some up to date information):

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https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/07/27/claim-career-information-the-pros-and-cons-of-going-staff-adjuster-versus-independent-adjuster/

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

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

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

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/adjustin-to-adjusting-guest-blogger-linda-goodson-first-storm-duty-was-katrina/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/claims-magazine-claims-salary-survey-is-upplease-participate/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/claim-salary-survey-is-up-at-claims-magazine/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/08/17/billingual-adjusters-in-big-demand-please-update-your-resume-if-applicable/

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

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

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/27/independent-adjuster-vs-employee/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/insurance-adjuster-overtime-pay-issues-and-complaints-in-the-news/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/field-adjuster-safety-concerns-be-careful-remembering-katie-froeschle-of-tampa-fl/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/adjuster-safety-another-warning-march-08-nationwide-adjuster-shot-in-vehicle-in-tn-while-on-storm-duty/

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

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/24/california-insurance-commissioner-clears-the-way-for-non-cdi-emergency-adjusters-to-handle-wildfire-losses/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/10/20/cat-tales-by-guest-bloggers-kim-and-nelson-stegall-their-first-storm-experience/

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

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/major-changes-in-the-way-carriers-recruit-and-train-adjustersis-there-really-a-lack-of-available-adjusters/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/11/14/tomorrow-is-postmark-deadline-to-get-applications-in-to-join-naca-national-assn-of-catastrophe-adjusters/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/12/12/nfip-national-flood-2008-adjuster-certification-classes-are-now-posted/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/do-you-really-know-what-your-errors-and-omissions-coverage-covers/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/errors-and-omissions-coverage-guest-bloggers-dale-moore-client-relations-director-for-cplic/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/05/luckwhere-preparation-meets-opportunity-published-208-in-claims-education-magazine/

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/registration-deadline-42508-for-next-40-hour-fundamentals-of-claims-online-live-class/
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Registration Deadline 4/25/08 for Next 40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Online Live Class

April 23, 2008

 

We have extended the deadline to register for the Next 40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class held Live ONLINE at our e-mentor site  at  ClaimSmentor to April 25, 2008. The class will be held from 6-9pm CST on Monday and Thursday evenings beginning Monday April 28, 2008. If you missed the original posting, here is a link with more information on the class.

I’m always amazed at the feedback from class participants who advise after taking the course how unprepared they actually were to go out on their first assignments. Many have obtained their adjuster’s license and a portion have taken an estimatics class to learn estimating software. Most have no idea how to answer questions like those posed below that is just a touch of what we cover in our basic adjusting class:

1) How do I zone my assignments to meet carrier expectations on inspection quotas? What do received to inspected/inspected to closed ratios have to do with you and carrier expectations? How is your production monitored and how does it differ for independent adjusters vs staff adjusters( or is there a difference?)

2) Who are high profile clients that I must inspect immediately regardless of severity code of the damage?

3) What are severity codes? In addition to severity codes, what other factors do you need to know to comply with management expectations when prioritzing catastrophe assignments?

4) What does the carrier expect of me regarding Agency relationships when an agent is pushing for their claims to be handled first?

5) What actions/steps must you take when you are dealing with a coverage issue? What forms are required and what steps must I take to keep the carrier out of trouble on a claim?

6) What things should you avoid signing on an independent contract with an adjusting firm? What are the most common problem areas for adjusters getting paid on assignments that you can avoid so you don’t go unpaid this storm season? Where can you seek out information on reliable adjusting firms? Who do you report non paid invoices to? Should you carry your own E and O insurance if the adjusting firm offers to cover you…info by expert E and O firms.

7) What different type of carrier fee schedules are there and which are most advantageous to you as the adjuster? What is the difference in a daily rate vs a fee schedule or time and expense schedule? What are typical fee splits with the adjusting firm? When can you expect payment on your fee bills? How do you track outstanding fee bills?

8. What are file requirements for the claim file for a paper file and for an electronic file submission? What is the standard file order for document submission? On an electronic file submission, what do I name my documents for future reference? See examples of all standard required forms.

9) What are my contents claim software choices? Who pays for this? How do I calculate depreciation and “absorb” deductibles on special limits?

10) How do I handle an Insurance Department Complaint file? How do you  deal with a Public Adjuster? An Attorney letter of representation? What are time demands?

11) How do you determine what kind of advance is needed and housing options for a policyholder? How do you complete an additional living expense worksheet? What are abatements?

12) What information do you need to obtain regarding insurance carrier management file and customer service expectations BEFORE you start working files to avoid claim file closure rejections?

13) What are typical code of conduct requirements by a carrier for adjusters? What ethical standards are you expected to meet while on assignment? What are the most frequent type of problems that get adjusters sent home? Can you work for multiple carriers on one catastrophe? Can you use an assistant? Must they be licensed?

We cover much more than this during the course to include pre-reading assignments, pre-class homework assignments covering these issues and more on building losses, contents claim losses, and additional living expense claims.

Should you wish to join us for this upcoming class- the last prior to Hurricane Season, you will need to register at ClaimSmentor so you can access our LIVE ONLINE class room and have access to all class assignments. More information regarding the class is shared in our ClaimSmentor Forums. All website and registration information is found on the About page here on the blog.

Contact us (About page) if you have questions regarding class tuition (minimal for such a detailed course) or questions regarding registering.


Next 40 Hour Fundamentals of Claims Class ONLINE-begins April 7, 2008

March 29, 2008

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We will begin our next 40 hour ONLINE Fundamentals of Claims class to be held on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6-9pm CST at ClaimSmentor on Monday April 7, 2008 through May 1, 2008.

This is 24 hours of online  LIVE instruction and 16 hours of pre-class reading material on general insurance carrier requirements for Property claim assignment handling. We touch on Additional Living Expense training and worksheets, Contents Claim handling and contents estimating software and depreciation, jewelry losses, common contents claim limits and coverage issues, estimate reconciliation issues, dealing with attorneys and public adjusters, coverage claim handling, complaint resolution handling, insurance department complaint handling, carrier/adjuster codes of conduct and ethics expectations, independent contracts and things to watch for when signing on with a new adjusting firm, and the favorite portion of the class is always our mock disaster assignment where you learn about agency relationships and carrier management expectations of you as well as  fee bill samples and discussions regarding the various fee billing types you may be asked to work under so you understand what benefits YOU as the adjuster the most. We close the class out with file requirement/documentation requirements and open question and answer sessions so trainees feel welcome to ask questions as they are in all classes. Much more is covered as well as numerous claim current events you need to be aware of before dealing with the public this storm season.

New adjusters often make the mistake of thinking obtaining  an adjuster’s license and an estimatic class is all that is necessary to go out on catastrophe or to begin handling claims. That is only a very small portion of what is necessary before you should EVER consider accepting assignments. One only has to view many of the lawsuits against adjuster’s and adjusting firms that have taken place in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to understand it is more important now than ever to have a much more indepth understanding of claim file handling PRIOR to going out on claims. The consequences for unprofessional claim handling are higher now than ever and it’s most important you obtain as much detail and understanding as you can before you accept assignments.

This course can be taken alone or in conjunction with our Career Coaching services where we personalize your resume customized for a new claims career as well as a detailed review of your background and assess your best possibilities for gainful employment in the claims industry according to your educational background. We include a roadmap to success by goal setting outlining courses you need, certifications that are a must, and other things you personally need to do to fill missing gaps to get you noticed by adjusting firms and carriers as well during our career coaching session. Just email us if you are interested in individual career coaching along with the class to maximize your future career potential. (Contact info found on About page on this blog)

If you are not a member of ClaimSmentor, you are welcome to register and join us for this next class if you are an independent or staff adjuster trainee or fairly new adjuster looking for more in depth training.  (Registration info found on About us page on this blog)


Next 40 Hour Fundamental of Claims online LIVE Class begins 1-7-08 at ClaimSmentor

December 28, 2007

We have now set the schedule for the next online 40 hour Fundamentals of Claims Class to begin January 7, 2008 and completed on January 31, 2008. The classes are LIVE ONLINE at  our mentor site at ClaimSmentor and run on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6-9pm CST in our online classroom.

This class is much different than what you will find at vendor seminars where estimatics and scoping are the agenda and high point of all classes. That is a very important aspect of adjusting but there is so much more to claim handling than merely the estimatics. Our course concentrates on other things not often found out in the field. We have had over 100 course completers in 2007. The course consists of 24 hours of online LIVE classroom time where you can ask all of your questions regarding pre-class reading and homework assignments and network with other new adjusters. We often have experienced adjusters and prior class members come in and share experiences they’ve had with the topics being covered. There is 16 hours of pre-class reading and pre-class homework assigned for a total of 40 hours of much needed information covered. In addition, the course cost includes many self study guides to use in the field covering Additional Living Expense handling, Contents Claim handling, Condo Loss handling, and much more!

The course itself includes 2 nights of Additional Living Expense training to include working sample problems with actual ALE worksheets, Complaint resolution handling to include Insurance Dept complaints, dealing with Public Adjusters and Attorneys, Time demand correspondence handling, an evening of estimate reconciliation tips so you have tips to enhance your negotiations with insureds and contractors rather than going item by item so you know the most common problems you’ll run into with estimate comparisons, ethics, carrier standards, file requirements both for paper files and electronic claim submission, expected file order, carrier expectations for adjuster ethics, and much news you need to be aware on claim issues facing our industry in the aftermath of Katrina. One of the highlights of class the adjusters seem to enjoy the most is our mock zoning practice sessions where they enter the world of real life cat assignments where they are assigned over 50 files at a time day 1 and have to set up their inspection agenda for the next 30 days in the proper priority order according to carrier management expectations.

We’ll feel you’ll walk away from the class with a much better understanding of the job detailed requirements as licensing and estimatic classes cannot begin to cover the other much needed information.

Mariposa Claims owner David Swank provides the following endorsement for the class and our online site for mentoring adjusters on his recent blog this week:

http://www.mariposaltd.com/dasblogce/2007/12/27/40HourFundamentalsofClaimsatClaimsMentor.aspx

We’ve had many adjusters who worked Katrina claims take our class and express the wish they’d learned this material prior to the nightmare they experienced working their first catastrophe claims assignments.

Whether you take this class or any others, training is a very hot topic for adjusters. Reading depositions of many adjusting firm owners or staff claim adjusters and managers in the aftermath of Katrina, training is one of the most often covered discussions in depositions as bad faith allegations are made against many in our industry. I cannot stress the importance enough of obtaining necessary claim education outside of just taking estimatic classes. You need your license, your estimatic training, and much more to be a successful member of the claims adjusting community.

To register for the class, you need to register as a member of ClaimSmentor. Once we register you, you’ll receive an email with a login id and password to participate on our site where you can access the Training Sessions- Roots and Wings forums where you can view all available self study course material that is included with the class as well as all class details and cost associated. The course is a mere $80.00 to our members (2 dollars per credit hour….a very reasonable price for the mass amount of material covered but we keep all classes reasonably priced so all members can afford our live online classes). The beauty also of the program is you can work around your present job schedule and family obligations without the need to incur travel expenses.

We hope to see many of you there! We had over 20 new registrants to our site yesterday to include some very impressive adjusters with many insurance designations.

We’re also pleased to announce that Symbility Claims estimatic software had a management member of their firm join ClaimSmentor so we now have an important member or owner of all 5 major estimate software programs as members of ClaimSmentor. We reached 761 members yesterday with our new registrants! This includes now over 50 adjusting firm owners as well as many experienced adjusters. We appreciate all of the help from these experienced folks as we continue our online claim mentoring project to assist new adjusters. We will be entering into our THIRD YEAR of operation mid January and are looking forward to the new year and many new enhancements to our program are planned.

Note, we are very supportive of all adjusting firm and industry seminars and conferences and post ALL in our Seminars Forum and on our ClaimSmentor Calendar for our participants as well as preparing a yearly Claim Conference and Seminars comparison record so you can compare cost, CE credits offered, and other information such as number of adjusting firms you will have the potential to meet at the exhibit shows providing you more opportunities for exposure to new firms and new potential assignments. We also cover it from the aspect of claim managers and adjusting firm owners from the carrier aspect so you can compare the opportunities to network with important members of the insurance carriers for potential new work.

Our two favorite picks for conferences in January 2008 are:

NACA Convention- Myrtle Beach, SC January 14-17, 2008  – I had the opportunity to attend the 2007 convention in Dallas last year and it was as professional as any carrier yearly claim convention I ever attended and provides lots of opportunities for networking and CE credits as well as your NFIP yearly certification included. http://www.nacatadj.org/Convention08/Conv08TopPage.aspx

Evans Claims- Huntsville, TX – reason- one of the few offering TX Windpool Certification which is harder to come by as well as official NFIP certification and California EQ as well as many other valuable classes. While I haven’t attended their conference before, many of our ClaimSmentor members attended the 2007 session and recommended it. It is most reasonably priced and discounts for early registration prior to 12/31 bring it down even further to $169.00.

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

Participants on ClaimSmentor often provide feedback on the conferences so other members can consider attending them the next time around. If you know of other conferences or your firm is sponsoring one you wish listed, just email me  for posting on our site.

Best Wishes to all for a safe and enjoyable New Year’s holiday. We will be traveling and back online on January 3, 2008.


ClaimSmentor and UCF’s Florida Insurance University form Sponsor Partnership

September 10, 2007

We are pleased and honored to announce agreement with the University of Central Florida’s Insurance University to a mutual sponsorship of our  education programs between their Florida Insurance University and ClaimSmentor.

Here is a link to their site with our ClaimSmentor banner ad. Watch for their banner ad up  shortly on our sponsors page here.

Dr Michael Birzon of UCF’s Florida Insurance University has been of great support to ClaimSmentor members providing updates regarding adjuster’s license information as there are new developments in Florida as well as clarifying questions participants have had on the new 2007 CE information (FL no longer sends out CE reminders) and the very confusing issue of self- appointments for independent adjusters in our ClaimSmentor forums.

The program at the University of Central FL provides online adjuster licensing courses which waive the FL exam for both resident and non resident adjuster licenses. They also provide continuing education classes for FL adjusters. Dr Birzon has been instrumental in helping clear the confusion on the TX license issue as we’ve run across many Florida residents who thought that the TX non resident license would apply to them since it is reciprocal with FL only to learn as a permanent resident in FL that the exam was not waived for them without taking the FL exam or the online course options. We do enjoy also following Dr Birzon’s regular updates on his blog here.

We hope you’ll take some time to review their website and see the many carriers they are associated with. We highly recommend their programs and CE courses for your adjuster licensing needs. You will find Dr Birzon very approachable should you have questions and need to contact him directly reqarding your FL licensing needs.


Next Homeowner Additional Living Expense Training Class begins 9/11/07

September 4, 2007

We are receiving additional requests from new adjusters for Additional Living Expense training on ClaimSmentor.

We have scheduled our next class to begin 9/11/07. This is a two night class held LIVE online in our LIVE Classroom in our forumsat ClaimSmentor. You must register for ClaimSmentor membership. Once registered on our site, you can register for the class in our forums once we return your login id to participate. All registration/website links can be found on the About page here on the blog.

All participants will receive our Additional Living Expense Self Study guide and ALE excel worksheet for your use in practice sessions and use handling losses upon registration for the class. This will be pre-class reading homework with a short Q & A pre-class homework assignment. The first assignment will be posted in our forums on 9/8/07 and is due by noon on the 1st day of class on 9/11/07. Class will be held LIVE online from 6-9pm CST on 9/11/07 and 9/13/07. There will be a 2nd pre-class reading and homework assignment to be completed the evening between classes on 9/12/07. All homework will be posted in the forums.

All participants completing the program will receive a certificate upon completion for Additional Living Expense training for this 10 hour course ( 6 hours live online/ 4 hours of pre-class reading and homework).

Additional Living Expense claim handling procedures are MUCH MORE than telling an insured to “get a hotel and save your hotel and meal receipts”. That will get more new adjusters in huge trouble when possible ALE limits are exceeded and you have not properly advised an insured regarding coverages and options for assisting them in the Additional living expense needs. Our course covers  generally accepted carrier guidelines for handling all ALE expenses. Review of any ALE insuring agreement reveals very little information carrier settlement guidelines and  procedures for handling and settling ALE claims so don’t go out on assignment assuming you can “wing” it.

If you do not have time to attend the class and prefer self study, you can also purchase the study guide using the BUY SUBSCRIPTION link inside our forums. If you are a non member, you can purchase the self study guide on our staffing firm website. (See About page here on blog for info)

Our ClaimSmentor Roots and Wings Training program also includes many other program options for a 40 hour Fundamentals of Claims Course, Contents Claim handling training, Fl Condo loss training, and other courses as needed for our members all in a LIVE online classroom environment where adjusters are free to ask any questions during the class. These classes can also be presented out in the field for adjusting firms, insurance carriers, and agency field groups…just email us should you be interested in presenting these courses to new adjusters on your rosters.


Time Management Skills- “How to start a storm” By Lenz with Mariposaltd Claims

July 29, 2007

Thanks to VP David Swank  of Mariposa Ltd  for allowing us to share this article on our blog. This is outstanding advice for new adjusters for their first storm. We often refer to this article in our mock disaster assignment and appointment setting drill exercise in our 40 hour Fundamentals of Claims online course.

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How to Start a Storm . . .             Some gentle suggestions for adjusters just climbing their first ladders . .  from Dan & Leslie Lenz, Mariposa Insurance Adjusters                                www.Mariposaltd.com

 When a disaster hits . . . sometimes it’s the adjusterInundated with claims from a vendor and beset by people who want you there yesterday, the easiest thing to do is to call people nearby and go to see them as soon as possible.  Scoping is much faster than writing, so the inclination is to fill the day with inspections and head for the motel/office — once it’s too dark to take any more photos — to write claims until midnight.  If there’s not much drive-time between loss locations, it’s conceivable that eight to twelve losses can be scoped in a day (even more if the CAT is hail).  45 minutes for a meal, half an hour of responding to messages and setting appointments, and three hours of writing estimates rounds out a pretty full day.  But, most claims take at least an hour to work up properly with diary notes, drawings, reports, detailed estimate and final review.  So if you write three after scoping eight, you’re five behind…the first day.  Do this for a week, and you’re 35 behind; three weeks later you could be have more than 100 files waiting to be written.  Not a good deal for the adjuster or for the Insureds.  And it’ll drive the vendor/adjusting company crazy!  If the vendor has several adjusters working like this, it really hurts their performance numbers with the insurance company . . . a sure recipe for disaster.Another tendency is writing up the shortest and easiest claims first, putting off the more tedious, complicated and time-consuming ones.  If you do leave them until later, believe me, they’ll hang over your head like Damocles’ sword*.  The best way to improve your effectiveness as an adjuster is to establish an organized routine and stick to it as much as possible and keep in touch with your vendor.Once you have your claims in hand and settle in at your base of operations (motel, room suite, RV, whatever…) review your files for notes that will help you prioritize damages.  Mark claims that need to be seen immediately (color coding with red can help) and call them right away.  Find out the severity of their damage, give them your number and let them know (if you can at this time) when you’ll be out to see them.Take a whole day just for contacts, data entry and organizing your scoping schedule.  It will be worth it.Contact everyone on your list, leaving a number where you can be reached.  Spend the whole day doing this if necessary.  Have Insureds prioritize themselves regarding severity  (most will admit they know others are worse off than they are, so you can then set your schedule pretty much the way you want it.)  Asking them for input makes them more patient with your inspection schedule.  Explain that you will call back in a few days to set an appointment.  Then, do it!Enter basic data in your computer & use the locating function in SimSol to mapspot claims so you can schedule your appointments efficiently.  (If your claims were downloaded directly…lucky you!)  Your first two or three days may be a bit scattered because you’re going by damage priority, but this should settle down once the worst damages are dealt with.Call your first two or three days’ worth of people and set appointments, giving yourself at least a two-hour time frame for arrival.  (It’s a good idea at this point to ask about any protective pups that might be around, requesting they be confined if possible.  Even the gentlest dog can become a barking/biting machine when it encounters a strange person with a ladder and clipboard!  And most people with ladders and clipboards are a little strange…)Scope only three or four losses the first day or two, and make every effort to write them up that night, following the spec list of report requirements provided by your vendor.  Turn them in immediately for review so any discrepancies between your reports and the vendor’s preferences can be noted and adjusted before you’ve done a dozen or more that have to be returned for correction.  Check with your vendor for feedback on your first finished files and ask how you can make them better.Only scope as many losses as you can write up that night.  Five is a good goal.  Six is excellent.  Seven or eight . . . well, it’s either light damage or a hailstorm or you’re Super Adjuster!  Make an effort to do it right the first time.  It often takes twice as long to work up a file (labeling photos, drawing the roof or floorplan, writing reports, itemizing the estimate, reviewing the paperwork) as the time spent in the field, and a detailed and thorough finished file that passes review the first time (and, hopefully, won’t require a supplement) is your goal. Set your files up in the order you scoped your losses and write them up in that order.  It’s really not fair to your Insureds to do otherwise.  Return phone calls the day you receive them if possible; otherwise, within 24 hours.  Call to set appointments only a few days out, allowing yourself a little free time for the inevitable emergencies.  If the free time isn’t filled with a claim, head home early and write another estimate.  There’s always another estimate!

In summary:•  Prioritize your claims•  Make initial phone contact & leave a number with your Insureds  (it makes them much more comfortable knowing they can reach you)•  Establish a routine•  Call your Insureds•  Pace yourself•  Don’t over-scope•  Call your Insureds•  Keep to your routine as much as possible•  Don’t be afraid to ask for help/suggestions.  (The company you’re working for would much rather be aware of your situation so they can refrain from giving you work you feel you can’t handle than have you become so bogged down & frustrated that you dump the whole thing and head back home!)•  Did I say “Call your Insureds”?Getting so far behind that you rush through your claims or become so frustrated that you can’t complete your work makes an adjuster who is almost worse than the disaster that brought him or her to the storm. Having and following a specific and logical work pattern can keep you on track to becoming a thorough, competent and sought-after adjuster, one who works more than just the biggest catastrophes. *(If you are familiar with allusions to the “sword of Damocles,” you probably already know that to feel that the sword of Damocles is hanging over you is to have a sense of anxiety and of impending doom.)

 


Welcome to Dimechimes Corporation Adjuster Information Blog

July 26, 2007

Welcome to the newer version of our blog! We will post updates to claim data from new significant storms, updates to job opportunities, and updates to information independent adjusters, claim representatives, cat adjusters, and claim managers need to know about developments in the claim adjusting community.

We have moved to a new blog site which allows us to have pre approval on comments posted to maintain the professional intention of our blog for members on our rosters and firms using our services.

We hope you visit us often!

Best Regards,

Deborah K Moroy, AIC,IIA

President/Founder

Dimechimes Corporation Claim Staffing and Recruiting

Proud sponsor of ClaimSmentor