Time for our Annual Adjuster Safety Tips Reminder- CDC Shots, Ladder Safety, Personal Safety and Much More/Guest Blog also by Robby Robinson, Independent

May 6, 2010

Each year I like to post this reminder about adjuster safety issues as work picks up for independent adjusters with hail season, tornado season, and hurricane season soon approaching.

Below is a copy of our annual safety tip reminders which is especially important this year with the BP Oil Spill claims and the Nashville, TN flooding which occurred this past week. Both may lead to alot of denials due to coverage issues and exclusions in policies at a time when homeowners and commercial businesses are suffering major life altering losses and tempers may flair when adjusters are in the field inspecting these losses.

 So first, here is our annual links to blogs written on adjuster safety concerns followed by a guest blog entry by 6 year independent adjuster Robby Robinson who suffered injuries this past year and wants to warn other adjusters. Robby is the owner of a new site for adjusters called From one Adjuster to Another:

Spring has Sprung- A Timely Reminder about Adjuster Safety Concerns is Due!

March 23, 2009

We’ve previously posted numerous blogs about adjuster safety issues. With spring’s arrival Sunday, now is a great time to bring these old blog entries back up for new reader’s viewing our blog:

Safety Equipment/Ladder Safety issues for Adjusters:

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

Center for Disease Control Shot Recommendations for Emergency Workers in Disaster and Flood Zones:

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

Adjuster Shot in TN in March 08 while on storm duty:

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

Field adjuster safety concerns- Remembering Katie Froeschle of Tampa, FL murdered while on a field appoint:

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

Defusing an Angry Insured:

https://dimechimes.wordpress.com/2007/09/15/defusing-an-angry-insured-dealing-with-dinosaur-brain-lizard-logic-thinking-co-workers/

Crisis Intervention while Catastrophe Adjusting-Guest blog by Steve Ebner

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

Please be safe while out there working this season!

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Printed with permission of Robby Robinson:

 

From: Robby Robinson <catadjusterx@gmail.com>
To: Dimechimes Claim Staffing and Claim Training <debbie@dimechimes.com>
Sent: Wed, April 28, 2010 4:00:34 AM
Subject: Robby Robinson’s ladder accident

Hi guys
I want to tell you about what happens when you get in a hurry out on a
claim and  the consequences that you may have to live with or even
worse ,what your family has to live with from you being DEAD !!

26 October 2009

I was on the very top of a 24 ft extension ladder(not my ladder ,but
someone elses ladder and what happens when you use someone elses
ladder, nothing good !!)

The roof was high and to reach the roof , the ladder was close to
vertical and I threw common sense out the window and made the climb
with one person bracing the ladder at ground level and another from a
2nd floor window, the only thing more ridiculous than that set up was
the fool (me) that made the climb.

I didn’t want to reschedule the claim as it had already been
rescheduled twice and did not want to give the risk to a steep roof
team , so I made the climb and everything that followed was what I
deserved.

Coming off the roof to make the downward climb, the person on the 2nd
floor was not holding the ladder and I tipped the ladder. I don’t
remember the accident , I awoke a day later in the hospital, but the
police report had statements from the homeowner and the Public
Adjuster that was there for the re-inspection with me repping the
Insurance company.

I landed on a 4 ft chain link fence and had a compound fracture
(through the skin) of my left leg, broken pelvis, 4 broken ribs that
separated from my sternum, broken jaw and a fractured skull.

The PA stated that I stopped breathing so he gave me CPR  until the
paramedics got there (I guess all PA’s aren’t all bad : ) He broke my
ribs from the CPR, I have since learned that is a common occurrence in
prolonged CPR.

I had my jaw wired shut for 3 weeks, my pelvis and skull have healed
nicely as they were only fractured. My Ribs took some time but are now
good.

When my leg broke , it tore and severed alot of my leg muscle and I
had some muscle death and was told I’m looking at over a year till it
would fully heal.  As an Independent adjuster I couldn’t afford to
take a year off and I had the option to have a surgery to put rods in
my leg bones for stability and would drastically reduce my recovery,
so I went for it , that was in December and as of today, I have been
out of my wheelchair for over 3 weeks and can walk with a cane
reasonably well.

I had a complication from my skull fracture as an aneurysm developed
under the fracture line (blood clot).  I had surgery to remove the
nasty and I am looking at being able to go back to work around the
middle of May 2010.

I will be looking for a new job as well

because I was fired from the company I was employed by for over 4
years. Don’t misunderstand because I deserved to get fired for my
stupidity and I just want to let not only new adjusters, but even
adjusters with a few years under your belt to know that just one
moment of stupidity , a momentary lapse of judgement can not only cost
you  your job and families security, but could cost you your life !!

Please learn from my stupidity, reschedule or hand it over to a steep
roof team , it’s not worth your job or your life !!

                                          Robby Robinson

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If not mentioned in my safety blogs above, here are links to two of our ClaimSmentor sponsor sites that offer Rope and Harness field safety courses which I highly recommend as do many of our members who have taken these classes:

Catastrophe Career Specialities( formerly KSQ2) at http://ksq2.homestead.com/Rope_and_Harness.html

ERT Rescue Rope and Harness Class at: http://www.ertrescue.com/SteepRoof/SteepRoofIndex.html

If you also have a story to share about an accident or dangerous situation you have encountered that would help other claims adjusters, please either reply to this topic as a comment which I will approve OR send me an email to Debbie@Dimechimes.com with your story which we’ll publish here as well.

Thanks Robby for providing your guest blog for others benefit!

 

 


Welcome to our two newest sponsors at ClaimSmentor

May 9, 2009

We’d like to welcome Adjusters Now and Emergency Response Training  as our newest sponsors at ClaimSmentor to help support this volunteer project to mentor new adjusters. Both firms come to us based on recommendations by ClaimSmentor members.

Emergency Response Training provides Rope and Harness field safety training classes for Independent Adjusters in the Texas area near Houston. They do provide a 10% discount off the cost  to  register for classes  to our  ClaimSmentor members. In the past there has been quite a shortage of  rope and harness classes available yet just in the past  week,    I’ve been informed of several new programs becoming available and will post more on those as we are notified when their facilities for training are completed. ERT provides training for emergency rescue and other safety courses for Fire Fighters and other reputable organizations and is just extending their program to the independent adjuster community in June 2009. One of our long term participants on ClaimSmentor will be working with the program from the independent adjuster needs aspect. We do hope you will visit their site soon on the link provided above. http://www.ertrescue.com/SteepRoof/SteepRoofIndex.html

Our second new sponsor is Adjusters Now which is an Xactimate training class option hosting classes in FL in the Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach areas. The owner is Robert Valden who has his level three Xactimate 25 certification from Xactware and 5 years of property claims adjusting experience. The class provides extensive CE’s for Florida adjusters. www.Adjustersnow.com To see all of our additional sponsors, you can use this link for information on supporting the ClaimSmentor project through your sponsorship of our ClaimSmentor projects:

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


Guest Blog by Ray Hauser of ClaimSmentor-Ray Shares His Personal Story in our “Luck Where Preparation Meets Opportunity Series”

March 17, 2009

 

 

Claims Education Magazine published my article in 2008   “Luck…where Preparation meets Opportunity”.

To continue with our strong recommendation that newly licensed adjusters seek reputable training opportunities that are recognized in our industry, Ray is a prime example of  what independent trainee adjusters are going through to get a foot in the door for adjusting assignments.

Here is Ray’s story on the long  journey post license to fill in the squares due to  insurance company and adjusting firm requirements before he can receive assignments. Ray, we appreciate your time contributing to this series of articles. I thoroughly enjoyed your participating in our January/February 50 Hour Fundamentals of Property adjusting course. 

This article link will also remain on our Guest Blog page above with all other entries by contributing bloggers. I do think it is important to highlight what those wanting a career in claims can expect  (from the independent side) and we have several interesting blogs by others when they were new in the field. If I asked Ray what he has spent thus far on licensing, rope and harness classes, and all of his other course fees plus transportation and lodging, I would guess he is in the 7,500 to 10K range. I see this regularly thus my push on looking for other sources for this education.

                  Getting Started in Adjusting by Ray Hauser

 

After I completed my 4 day licensing course I became aware very quickly that the process of finding work may be just a little harder than what I had expected. Many of my fellow course-mates fell by the wayside believing the task was next to impossible. Company after company stated on their websites that they required either a  4 year degree, or at least 2 years of experience, neither of which I had. Here I am, just a few months down the line, with a totally different perspective in terms of what it takes to find a job. What’s changed? Knowledge! The claims companies want knowledge, and they need to know you have the ability to settle a claim and leave the insured with a good experience. Knowledge and customer service drive this train! We adjusters have to understand that the claims companies are not going to hand out jobs to people with just a 4 day crash course in insurance and a 3 day course in Xactimate! That kind of knowledge is only the starting point. So the question becomes, “What else do I have to do, and where do I go to get it?” Of course it’s always beneficial if you start with some construction and customer service experience. I’m a new adjuster too, so believe me when I say “I don’t have all the answers”. But here’s my opinion.

 

First, you should register on web sites that offer information that can help you build your resume.

 

There’s no better place to go than to ClaimSmentor.  Here’s a website that’s a source of information not readily found anywhere else. Anything to do with insurance is found right here. The gal that runs it, Debbie Moroy (debbie@dimechimes.com), has dedicated her life to training new people. She started her career in 1973 with State Farm, and started the adjusting aspect of it over 26 years ago. Who better to learn from? Reading her resume is like reading a dictionary:

 

State Farm Basic, Intermediate, Commercial, and Management Schools. Vale Tech Residential Estimatics,Haag Roofing School, Georgia Arson Fraud School, many others too numerous to list. Have all 5 State Farm certifications to include wind, estimatics, commercial, earthquake, etc.. Have completed IIA, AIC, and 9 parts of CPCU.

 

Because of her reputation in the industry and the fact that she’s so well respected, and knows so many people after these many years, it’s my opinion that having her knowledge as your foundation in claims adjusting is absolutely paramount and priceless!

 

Once you’re registered on her site, you have access to up to the minute information on certification courses, other website links, insurance industry news bulletins, magazine articles, and far too many other items for me to list here. Everyone getting started should take her 50 hr Fundamentals of Property Claims course. In that course you’re taught : Contents Claim Handling Guidelines, Additional Living Expense Claim Handling, Condo Master and Condo Unit-owner Claims , File Documentation Requirements , Carrier Service Standard Expectations,  Insured/Agency Communications, and so much more. “ The class is designed to fill in major gaps of important things you need to know. The course does not cover the estimate software programs and scoping classes but concentrates on the majority of other things that are a must to know before you handle your first claim. You cannot go out in the field and “wing it” and learn as you go when dealing with consumers who have bought a policy expecting “above and beyond” service”.Then, you use the information from that course and on that website to move forward in your search for more certifications and courses.

 

Another very good idea is to get as many licenses from as many different states as you can. That way, if a hail storm hits Georgia, and you have a Non-Resident license for that state, you can be used to work the storm without having to wait for a state declared emergency. You become far more valuable to the claims companies than other adjusters only having one license from their State of Residency. Sircon is a great site for acquiring other licenses for a nominal fee. In most cases, another licensing test is not required.

If possible, pair up with another adjuster you’ve met at your local Claims Association or elsewhere, and mentor with them for a short time. 

 

Immediately after I got my license, Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf coast states. Everyone was in demand. I worked a number of claims for The Mission Group  in Beaumont, Texas. Fortunately, I had a great CEO with a lot of patience. I’d partnered up with somebody who had procured the job, but had about as much experience as I had. Ultimately, the number of mistakes we made was embarrassing. But Mr. Phil Spotts went into the training mode and demonstrated the finest managerial traits I’ve ever witnessed. To this day he’s still a hero of mine! Talk about performing under pressure by training a couple of newbies in the art of adjusting. It was a pleasure to witness, yet embarrassing to be a part of. 

 

Shortly thereafter, I joined a couple of other course-mates and proceeded to take a Two Story/ Steep Roof Rope and Harness course from Kevin Kramer  (k.squared@earthlink.net) in Montgomery, Texas ( great course!). Apparently, for those that have that certification, they’re the first to be called out and the last to leave because they can handle all roofs, not just the easy ones. Kevin also sells an OJT Training Manual that has lots of very good information in it concerning construction, scoping, roof calculations, roof pictorials, estimating interior damage etc etc. It’s a very good manual to have in your library when you’re trying to gain knowledge.

 

Another great manual to have is one published by Richard Beckner . He gives in depth details and step by step instructions in using Xactimate. It truly is geared for the adjuster having problems in using the software. It’s one of the best manuals I have. It can be accessed at: www.learnxactimate.com .

 

After my R & H course we proceeded to Pilot Catastrophe Services Inc. in Grande Prairie, Texas, hoping to acquire a successful evaluation, then 4 days of additional training in Allstate, Integriclaim, and NextGen.

 

 I’ve just completed a Citizens certification class in my search for a job in Daily Adjusting here in Florida, and I have 4 more certifications scheduled.

 

So, in summary, you need to have knowledge that you didn’t pick up on your licensing course. Knowledge like measuring roofs, replacing the shingles with the appropriate amount of waste rounded up to the nearest shingle bundle, replacing or repairing fencing…..depreciated or not depreciated? What are the important things you have to ask the insured when you’re making first contact and arranging an inspection? If you can’t answer these questions, you just need to take the appropriate training. It’s all out there. You just have to access it. 

 

Family members have asked, “Who will I work for?” The answer to me is obvious. I’ll work for anyone wise enough to hire me, because I’m going to be prepared by being ready to go to work, educated enough to do the job, and wise enough to only hand in great claims. I’ll get my local adjuster in town to preview my work if I have to. But my claims will absolutely be as good as anyone’s.  I am not going to be the first one to go home after a storm because of my shoddy work.  And hopefully, I’ll be one of the last ones working the storm!

 

           

Ray Hauser, Port Orange (Daytona Beach), Florida

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To View more information about independent adjuster Ray Hauser, you can view his Linkedin Profile here.

To Join our Claims Industry Group, you can view our Linkedin Profile here.

 

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Ray we thank you for sharing your story and also for your testimonial about the ClaimSmentor online claim mentor group. Deb