Tropical Storm Isaac approaches US…Now is the time to refresh your Xactimate skills with newest sponsor www.TopAdjuster.com

August 23, 2012

ClaimSmentor welcomes our newest sponsor at www.topadjuster.com run by Chris Hatcher, AIC who provides an excellent opportunity to obtain your Xactimate Level I and II certifications online at a most reasonable cost.

To view more details about Chris’s claims background, you can view his Linkedin profile here. Make sure to notice the many recommendations on his profile from prior students. I did further research through Xactware who certifies instructors and verified Chris’s certification which you too can view here along with his excellent feedback score here.

As any followers of this blog or our ClaimSmentor forums knows, I have always believed in direct training through Xactware and rarely allow an individual training firm to be a sponsor at ClaimSmentor. I have made an exception with Chris Hatcher after watching him several years and first hand observing his professional skills and development with his program resulting in his association with the National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters and a featured speaker and trainer of Xactimate for the Windstorm Network.

Many independent adjusting firms are now requiring the independent adjuster obtain atleast their Level I and II certification on Xactimate usage to provide some comfort level that they are not deploying an adjuster who may be deploying with insufficient skills to be productive on assignment or an independent adjuster who believes they can “learn on the fly” on a catastrophe assignment. This is a development I am happy to see as the Level I, II, and III certification require the adjuster be tested on their Xactimate skills.

I receive numerous complaints annually about Xactimate training firms who have overcrowded classrooms, lack enough instructor help in the classroom, and little support help or material to use in the field when preparing their own estimates. Most Xactimate classes advertised online by most firms do not offer the actual certifications thus you still must pay a seperate fee to obtain your certifications through Xactware.

Top Adjuster is providing the actual certification Level I and Level II certifications so you are getting your training as well as your certification at a substantially lower cost. Definitely worth giving them a try for your certification needs.

Top Adjuster also offers field training classes for independent adjusting firms, insurance carriers, and for claim seminars so please contact Chris and Rachel Hatcher for further details at info@topadjuster.com . If you need Xactimate Sketch training as well you can ask Chris about their new training course on Xactimate Sketch usage.


Mariposa Claims announces their 2012 Meet and Greet Independent Adjuster Sessions along with Xactimate training sessions- CA, FL, LA, and TX

October 26, 2011
 

Mariposa is teaming up with Xactware Level III Certified Barry Smith for an 8 hour XM8 training. Xactimate 27.3: “Preparation is the Key to Success” Acquire the knowledge and skills to quickly create accurate estimates using a variety of Xactimate tools including advanced sketch features. Learn the most efficient ways to set up, dimension, scope, and deliver professional estimates through valuable hands-on training. Class is limited and includes 8 hours of Texas CE credits “Pending registration by the Texas Department of Insurance.” Your paid reservation also includes a full Mariposa Meet and Greet cocktail event from 5-7pm where you will have a chance to meet with Mariposa senior management and executives.

 
 

February 22, 2012 Palm Springs, CA Renaissance Palm Springs ($100)

 

March 2, 2012 Orlando, FL Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown ($100)

 

March 12, 2012 Houston, TX Spring Hill Suites by Marriott Houston Intercontinental Airport ($100)

 

April 12, 2012 New Orleans, LA  Boomtown Casino ($150)

 

April 26, 2012 Denver, CO Residence Inn Denver International Airport ($100)

 

For online reservations please click on this link http://www.mariposaltd.com/index.php?/resources/events

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Note if your adjusting firm is interested in posting your announcement on our ClaimSmentor adjuster information blog please email dkmoroy@dimechimes.com for more information along with your press announcement on adjuster seminars, adjuster classes, roster needs, vendor services and products, and other news to share with the Property and Casualty claims industry.

 

Xactimate Training Options through Xactware Why take it anywhere but directly from the source!

August 17, 2011

Let’s talk Xactimate training!

I continue to be annoyed each and everytime I see another outrageous charge for Xactimate training by many sources who have little under their belt besides a few months to a few years of catastrophe adjusting.

First and foremost, before you pay any fee to any organization you need to verify through Xactware whether or not they are even Xactware certified to vouch for their expertise in the Xactimate programs. It is simple to do so, here is a link at Xactware where you can find instructors and verify if they have certified with them to teach a course to assure you are learning from a true and TESTED expert in this field: View list here

The second most important reason to take your training from an Xactimate certified instructor is due to the fact only XACTWARE can actually certify you in your training by truly testing your skills to verify you are adept at using their software. They offer Level I,  Level II, and Level III online certification tests. I have seen variations in requirements by adjusting firms asking adjusters to obtain their Level I and Level II and sometimes Level III certification. Thus, even if you paid an outrageous price from a non certified vendor and haven’t taken the certification level testing, it is worthless from the standpoint of securing the required Xactware certification.

You will also note that Xactware lists Certified users on their website which you can view here . It is without a doubt if I owned an independent adjusting firm and searching for qualified adjusters, I’d definitely start with this list which even shows the adjuster state of residence as well- what a find for an independent firm looking for good daily property adjusters!

The contact I received that prompted this blog post was from one of my favorite claims associations. They were proposing offering of Xactimate training by a source offering the class for $5,500.00 to the group thus the cost per participant would be apparently divided among the participants. The name of the trainer was not revealed in the email received and they could or could not be Xactware certified but I have let the group know my thoughts which was the very reason for the existence of ClaimSmentor to prevent the training abuses I have witnessed in the independent field by, in some cases, very poor trainers and very worthless certificates for attendance being given to class attendees. As a claim manager and knowing the problems existing out there with many of the training firms, a certificate of attendance at training is worthless when it isn’t backed up by proper testing to make sure you can actually produce a professional estimate and claim file.

It is almost certain trainee adjusters are spending upwards towards $10,000 dollars attending claim conferences, seminars, insurance carrier certification workshops and in the majority of their cases they have yet to receive their first assignment. It is actually shocking. More on this subject later.

In the meantime, I cannot stress enough that you should take your Xactimate training directly from the source. It is more cost effective, it accomplishes the need to properly get certified to your own advantage, and with all of the new options they have available through webinars, online training, self study training, and opportunities to take field classes you obtain the proper workbooks so you’ll have them on the road with your first assignments, but also find step by step guidelines to reference as needed.

The most common complaints I hear constantly from adjusters taking Xactimate courses from numerous other sources include but not limited to the fact that the trainer to student ratio is very poor, that hours into the first day are wasted while instructors have to load Xactware on adjusters computers who didn’t follow instructions to do so before classes, and that they walked away with no training material whatsoever for future references which is greatly needed when it may be months between your class instruction and when you actually receive your first assignments.

Listen folks, do yourselves a favor and take this training seriously. It isn’t he with the cheapest class or the class most convenient to your home that matters. If your estimates are not professional and properly formatted, as an independent you will earn NOTHING as your files will continue to be rejected for corrections. Over the years of running ClaimSmentor, I’ve heard countless number of stories from trainee adjusters who couldn’t cut it in the field and were released and sent home due to poor estimatics, poor estimating skills, and many other reasons we discuss in our Fundamentals of Claims courses.

Do the right thing for your own career.Here is the list of all programs Xactware offers on webinars and Xactimate training….run don’t walk to register through Xactware for all of your Xactimate training needs. I just cannot stress this enough. You can prevent becoming a victim of poor training without certification and have all of the options to meet your individual learning styles such as instructor lead, self study, webinars, etc all the while saving on those costly traveling expenses to attend field classes.

We continue to thank Xactware for the ever continuing effort they make with great progess I’d say in the last year or two to making Xactimate training options even more user friendly for adjusters today than ever before!

To all of you Xactimate users who have obtained your Level I, Level II, and even your Level III certification- my hat’s off to you for taking the professional route to learning the software. I understand there is a fee for each level of testing which is outlined on the Xactware site but for what it can do for your career and opportunities as well as your own comfort level- BRAVO to you!


Xactware released Xactimate 27 Training Booklet/ Also has great discount on Xactimate 25 Training Book

April 30, 2010

 

Xactimate 27 Training Workbook

We are excited to have Xactware  as  a  renewal sponsor at  ClaimSmentor!

We are even happier to let our members know that Xactware has released an Xactimate 27 training manual at a very reasonable price for adjusters. What a great tool to have with you on the road for those late nights entering estimates after scoping catastrophe losses all day!

They also have their Xactimate 25 training booklet now discounted to $15.00!

Please be sure to use this link:

http://www.xactware.com/store/SelectProd.do?prodId=173&SFCID=70130000000Wy2z&LS=ClaimsMentor201005

 so they know you heard about it through ClaimSmentor postings! We’d sure appreciate it.


Basic Material Identification Construction Training for New Property Adjusters -Avoid GIGO Estimates-Take Xactware Construction ILX training online

March 31, 2010

Remember the term GIGO- Garbage in / Garbage out?

That term is definitely applicable to property estimating with any estimate software systems such as Xactimate, MSB Integri Claims, SimsolPower Claims, or Symbility.

New adjusters take Xactimate training classes to learn to use the software estimating programs but if they are not familiar with construction, material identification such as carpet grades, counter top material,types of roof shingles, and other building components, as well as the proper construction methods to repair property then it doesn’t matter  how great your estimate software data entry skills are- you’ll still produce garbage in the way of insurance claim estimates necessary to settle claims.

I’d highly recommend the Construction ILX  training through Xactware who produces the Xactimate software program which is the most often  required estimating software required by insurance companies. If you are new to independent adjusting, you need to know it is the insurance company that dictates the estimating software they require the independent adjusting firms must use.

This Construction ILX training is part of Xactware’s e-learning courses and consists of 50 courses on building components and is very comprehensive. It is very similiar to a carrier training I took years ago as required training prior to attendance at  Vale National  for additional training in the field on building estimating at their 3 week construction class. It was an excellent plan to train people like me that were new to adjusting but with no construction background. I spoke with their sales department today and confirmed that you do take tests at the end of each part, a unit test, and a test at the end of the program to show your competency should you wish to obtain their certification. Here is the link to the certificate and CEU options.

The cost of the ILX training on CD  program is $595.00 which is an outstanding price considering you can study from home and at a self paced environment and especially with the CD’s you can take them on the road with you so you can look up something you may have a question about on the applicable CD. You save extensive travel and hotel expenses while training and it allows those working at regular jobs the opportunity to train around their work schedules. Here is the link to purchase the program. According to information I got when calling them and speaking to their sales department, you can take the program online or by cd’s.

 I will be covering other Xactimate software training options in a blog tomorrow. There are so many firms offering Xactimate training in the field but we constantly get complaints from new adjusters that they felt many of them were a waste of hundreds of dollars spent on classes that were overloaded with students and short on instructors so they got little out of attendance to feel confident using the software. Another disadvantage which I personally consider significant is that you are not getting tested at most of those schools so you only get a certificate showing you sat through a class which doesn’t provide alot of comfort to a hiring claims manager. If you take the Xactimate training directly through Xactimate you can obtain your level 1, level 2, and level 3 certification which provides certificate comfort to an adjusting firm or carrier seeking to deploy adjusters as their certification vouches for the fact you have not only taken Xactimate training but that you passed difficult training and passed at an acceptable level to get certified by Xactware themselves. More on that tomorrow when discussing other valuable Xactimate training field class options if your not good at self study.

Wait- it gets better yet! It was beneficial calling their sales department today seeking a discount for all ClaimSmentor participants, they will call back this afternoon to let me know if that is possible due to our extensive network ( 1,150 ClaimSmentor forum members, 658 Twitter followers, almost 300 members of our Linkedin ClaimSmentor group and 180 plus following my individual profile on Linkedin, and we’ve had over 145,000 hits in 1.5 years here on our ClaimSmentor adjuster information blog, and thousands on our staffing firm rosters). I hope to have good news on that today.

The second highlight I learned in my call today is that you can take the course even cheaper doing it online verus buying the CD program and cover the same material. The disadvantage is you wouldn’t have the program to take with you on the road later when you are working on a storm and need to refer back to something but I’d highly recommend the online option as well as it is very affordable to people who can’t afford the $595.00 which is very possible there are many after a slow claim assignment year thus far in 2010. Here are the online options at their self paced training link where they have options to have access to all of the construction training online for 90 days access to all of the training for $205 or if your fast at online training- you can even just buy the cheaper monthly version where you can have 30 days access to a bundle of the courses  for $110 or even train by the course at $35 each!

GIGO estimates will cause huge problems for adjusters, insurance companies, and most importantly for policyholders who can not get repairs don’t off of an inadequate estimate. Here are just a few crazy examples of estimating GIGO I’ve run across over the years managing adjusters who didn’t know about construction materials and especially construction repair techniques- and these are true stories!

1) Field adjuster gets a call from in experienced in office adjuster who has to review and approve the claim- desk adjuster tells experienced field adjuster to remove the crown molding (finish carpentry item) because MOLD is not covered under the policy

2) Working file reviews during a major hurricane, I actually ran across an estimate that the adjuster climbed in the attic and found a broken rafter where the tree hitting the roof had cracked the rafter. The adjuster measured the crack and put to remove and replace one inch of rafter. They did not allow a minimum charge and surely did not consider the repair method for a contractor to access the rafter and make a proper repair.

3) Repair estimates are often wrong even just on roofing repairs when an adjuster does not have the proper training to know when a roof can be repaired or not and no training in hail damage identification. I’ll be blogging about that as well this week.

As part of our Fundamentals of Claims Property Adjusting class, we spend 2 nights just reviewing estimates to train you on estimate reconciliation and the common carrier general guidelines on estimating. Repairing a property is entirely different than remodeling work an insured may want done to upgrade their property and you need to know what the carrier guidelines are on many issues such as waste factors, overhead and profit, minimum charges, matching issues and much more.

Run don’t walk to sign up for this construction estimating whether you are independent or a public adjuster if you do not have a construction background. It will help you prepare professional estimates to settle your claims and help you avoid rejections of claim settlement estimate for improper scope.

Watch for more postings in this week and next on estimate training options. Know the basics before you learn to enter estimates in a software program as it will do you NO good to learn data input if what you put in is GIGO!