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Last Post 01/06/2013 10:57 AM by  olderthendirt
The best Xactimate training manual I have ever seen
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keithb1222
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02/14/2008 12:50 AM

    So many of us are looking for the best training schools, unfortunately with so little work out there our pockets are getting very lean and can't afford those $500.00 classes.   I recently purchased what I think is the best self study Xactimate 25 manual I have ever seen. This book has 377 pages and I was able to teach myself the software.  I just wanted to let everyone know that there is a cheaper alternative out there. The web site is www.learnxactimate.com 

    Good Luck, 

    Keith

    stephen addkison
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    02/14/2008 12:01 PM

    the best trainning book if have ever reviewed for xactimate 24 and 25 is produced by richard beckner it tops the sf staff material

    Chrisdody
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    02/14/2008 7:01 PM

    I wrote the largest checks in Ft. Lauderdale during Rita, closing 420 homeowner and commercial claims.  Closed 400 claims the following year in Madison WI and St Louis MO.  I thought I had all the training and on the job experience that could be had.  I was wrong I learned more from Richard in 2 days than any Cat adjuster provider company or company trainer could offer in weeks of training.  The material teaches you what you need to know and all the tricks to make you efficient, accurate and effective.  The best money I have spent since starting this profession, well maybe my gps was as good.  It is obvious: "been there done that" applies to Richard.

    CBiancardi
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    02/15/2008 5:28 PM

    This is the real deal. I purchased the Xactimate24 manual because I was assigned to a hail storm where the carrier required the use of Xactimate. So there I was scope notes in one hand and this manual in the other. After the first minute it became obvious that Richard knows what he was talking about. The manual was easy to understand, diagrams and pictures in the right places to make it easy. I learned Xactimate24 in a very, very short time and to this day I have it with me as a reference. The best thing is I just received Xactimate25 which is better than Xactimate24. Finally, a useful tool for the field. 

    rcarv3135
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    02/16/2008 1:19 AM
    I met Richard about 2 years ago on a storm site. Most of us still had xactimate2002 loaded on our computers. The carrier we were working for required us to upgrade to xactimate24. The vendor we were working for had their tech people up there installing and setting up our computers to the new version. We soon discovered that about 20% of the adjusters were having problems with our Tokens populating in a word document (a required form provided to us). The tech department spent days trying solve the problem. First they had us buying newer versions of Microsoft Word, then they told us it was our computers. Like I said, this was going on for days. I ran into Richard in the hallway at the hotel. Seeing that we both were wearing the same shirts, he asked me how I was doing. I advised him of my frustration about the problems I was having. Richard said he had the same problem at first too and advised me what the problem was. He said that when the tech people installed your software they didn't install it to the default root directory and the MS Word file was trying to load the Tokens from a different location. Richard said I could do one of two things, either reinstall the software using the default settings or use his revised MS Word file. Due to time restraints, I took the MS Word file. Had no problems since. He is an Xactimate guru.

    Thanks again Richard!
    KMCQ
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    02/16/2008 10:09 PM

    I have reviewed Rich's Xactimate 24 manual cover to cover and I can attest that it is the most effective and thorough guide as a hands-on practical reference of this popular estimate program.  His use of easy to read graphic screen captures and notations along with step by step instructions makes this book the definitive source for learning Xactimate.  This manual is not just for those learning the software, but is also a quick reference to experienced adjusters that need to brush up before a storm.  With this manual, you will be able to keep writing your estimate into the wee hours of night when your tech support specialist is not available.  I highly recommend Rich's books.  They should be in every adjuster's took kit of reference guides.

    Tom Toll
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    02/16/2008 11:50 PM

    I am technically soft on Exactimate. Are the companies requiring the use of 25 or 24. If I learned 25, would I be wasting my time, I assume you have to buy both programs if one company wants 25 and another wants 24. Good lord, that sounds ridiculous.

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
    OdieWyatt
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    02/17/2008 12:57 AM
    Does anyone else wonder about all these 1 post "testimonials" in such a short period of time?
    stormcrow
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    02/17/2008 12:32 PM

    Just co-incidence.

    I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
    BobH
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    02/17/2008 1:26 PM
    Does anyone else wonder about all these 1 post "testimonials" in such a short period of time?

    Yep.

    If I learned 25, would I be wasting my time

    Tom I have been using Xactimate since 1993 and the changes have been fairly gradual. There was a major change when it went to a Windows based interface around 1997, and when Sketch got debugged enough not to crash daily a couple years later that was a change, now it has been some refinements - but not like serious changes if you had learned the previous version.

    There is a tutorial within the "help" section of the program that has demonstrations with sound, and you can navigate to the early basics of the program and do separate chapters including how to make a staircase with landing, roofs, etc. That is the basic knowledge that needs to be known before any "macros" or "speed secrets" would have meaning. And there is a DVD that Xactimate will send out for about $30 that has good tutorials.

    Once the basics are established, further training is always good - but I find the best bang for the buck to be actual use of the product on a paying claim file. And I like to do the Xactimate Sketch ON-SITE whenever possible, because if you scribble a bunch of notes and then try to put the floor plan together the next day, you may find things that don't line up like they did in the real world. It doesn't take that much longer to do it on-site, even if you enter the repair steps later - the diagram is vital with Xactimate and the sketch part is no longer a novelty. People pretty much expect you to use Sketch if you are using Xactimate.

    You are shifting gears from MSB - and that is going to be the largest single change, using Sketch.  MSB has that little place where you can draw a diagram, but it is very limited compared to the diagramming features in Xactimate.  And the way you find the repairs steps in Xactimate is going to be a change for you - the trades are "grouped" in a way that makes sense but won't be familiar to an MSB user.  The doors are in a category of doors, but the knobs-locksets-hinges are in a different Finish Hardware category.

    If you use the "search" feature to look up your repair items, it will put you where you want to be.  And as you are looking within the doors, or drywall or whatever there are so many items it can be like a needle in a haystack - so you hit F2 and search within that category.  I prefer it to MSB because the database is better, and I don't feel as constrained by the limits of the program as I do with MSB.

    Bob Harvey
    rcarv3135
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    02/17/2008 2:02 PM
    Posted By Tom Toll on 02/16/2008 11:50 PM

    I am technically soft on Exactimate. Are the companies requiring the use of 25 or 24. If I learned 25, would I be wasting my time, I assume you have to buy both programs if one company wants 25 and another wants 24. Good lord, that sounds ridiculous.

    Tom,

    Some do still use xactimate 24 but I believe most of the major carriers have moved to xactimate 25, and the others will most likely upgrade shortly. As an Independent Adjuster, this is something we deal with constantly.  Thats why I use two laptops.

     

    BobH
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    02/17/2008 3:02 PM
    As an Independent Adjuster, this is something we deal with constantly.

    I'm still using Xact 24 because I have no reason to change, and it is very stable. I work for dozens of different carriers, and for years have simply sent them a PDF of the estimate. Even with USAA that has now moved over to the on-line XactNet system - we are just uploading a PDF report with PDF'ed estimate (as opposed to something that they can make changes to - the actual estimate file). Maybe some of you are giving them the ".esx"  file but they haven't asked me to do that. We had guys for years using the old X-2000 on a network server while I had switched to X-24 on a laptop for use "on site". the estimate gets PDF'ed and sent to the client - really can't tell the difference.

    This is a good thread to talk about Richards training manual, and http://catadjuster.org/Forums/tabid...aspx 

    Bob Harvey
    rcarv3135
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    02/17/2008 3:28 PM
    Bob, you are correct about xactimate 24, I use it too, and like it. I'm certified with many carriers, but I am only going to mention two of them as that it relates to this subject. I was recently advised by the vendor I work for that I needed to upgrade to xactimate 25 for Liberty Mutual, but I also do work for AMFAM and they use Xactimate 24.12 (last I heard, its been a while) both carriers require us sending file via xactnet. Like you, I wouldn't change either if I didn't have too.
    BobH
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    02/17/2008 3:43 PM

    Gotcha. The longer I do this - the more amazed I am at how some of the people I report up to (claims examiners) could not write an estimate if their life depended on it.

    There are exceptions, and there are exceptional people out there. But they are rare. In other words, if they need to have something changed in an estimate they usually will ask me to do it rather than tweak the estimate on their end. Sometimes it is a simple change, like "our mobile home policy has non-recoverable depreciation on carpet - can you change recoverable to non-recoverable?" and that would be something they can adjust on their end.

    I totally understand the benefit of uploading a file that can be tweaked on the other end. Just hope the person on the other end knows what they are doing. An exception to this is State Farm, everything is dynamic, editible, and the Nat Cat phone team is staffed with people that have worked the field and know what they are doing.  The Insured calls in, says their ceiling is not the default 8', you can see in the photos they aren't 8' and make the changes.  If it's a PDF file - he would have to re-enter the entire estimate. 

    Bob Harvey
    rcarv3135
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    02/17/2008 5:24 PM

    As I'm sure you are aware of, the purpose of using xactnet is to transmit files is more complex than just editing estimates. There is a whole other world out there on the other end. They use xactimates database track, manage and distribute files all within xactcentral. Each caiirer may be using a certain version of the sofware and us adjusters need to comply with it. Of course I always enjoy working for the carriers that let us just PDF an estimate, but I am finding this less and less.

    To all:

    By the way,  I said I met Richard a few years ago and he helped me,  I have never seen his book.

    HuskerCat
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    02/17/2008 8:22 PM

    Posted By Odie Wyatt on 02/17/2008 12:57 AM
    Does anyone else wonder about all these 1 post "testimonials" in such a short period of time?

    Caught my eye too.  Perhaps...hmmm..."these are real customers, and to help them tell their story we had them be first-time posters because we couldn't afford to hire a celebrity.  Guyco.com!!"

     

    rbryanhines
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    02/18/2008 1:14 AM
    Bob said "There are exceptions, and there are exceptional people out there. But they are rare. In other words, if they need to have something changed in an estimate they usually will ask me to do it rather than tweak the estimate on their end"

    Whats the deal with this. I've had claims where an adjuster came in later changed(much more than a tweak) my estimate(without my consent or knowledge) in a way which I actually disagreed, but left my name on it. I was wondering what others felt concerning this practice. Any thoughts
    Ray Hall
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    02/18/2008 1:04 PM

    I have changed some estimates I reviewed with a red pencil on the paper copy if it was a minor typo or a math error. I do not think any examiner should change the authors report or estimate without their knowledge IF IT CHANGES THE SCOPE OF DAMAGE OR THE FACTS OF THE LOSS.... IT may be criminal, if entered into evidence.

    Tim_Johnson
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    02/18/2008 4:56 PM
    Tom,

    At this point don't learn 24, we are all going to have to go to 25. It all about the same, just an upgraded version, but there is a quirk where earlier and later copies will not communicate with each other. I can post it here if anyone is interested. Nobody is going to request that you use 24 if you are already using 25.

    Tim
    Tim Johnson
    rcarv3135
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    02/18/2008 5:17 PM

    Tell us about it Tim, and thanks for your input.

    You are not authorized to post a reply.
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