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Last Post 05/20/2010 11:51 AM by  Ray Hall
SATELLITE ROOF TECHNOLOGY (FRIEND OR FOE)
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ChuckDeaton
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04/25/2010 11:42 PM
My understanding, my information is old, is that the Federal courts in Texas require, court mandated mediation, before any insurance claim goes to trial.

Anyone know any different?
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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roofmates
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05/11/2010 2:18 PM
I believe an adjuster will always need to be used in any storm that is not clearly obvious. Even if new technology is adapted no camera is going to lift up shingles and be able to feel whether it is a hail mark or a blister. Also no camera is going to provide the customer service so many companies are making a push for right now. My ladder assist company uses geoestimator on every single claim, it makes the adjusters job much easier on site and allows them to spend more time with the insured. This in addition to less claims being reopened for supplements and less disagreements with contractors. We send diagrams to adjusters before they ever get onsite, and also send them in xactimate format if they use it so they spend no time sketching or measuring on site, and well neither do we. I see it as another tool to make adjusters more efficient but I don't think it will ever truly replace onsite adjusters. I deal with too many contractors on a daily basis trying to claim hail when there is none and an offsite adjustment wont handle this.
*** I have never done an assist with an IA, All my employees are IAs and we only do work for major carriers and their cat or staff adjusters because the big carriers will pay for it. IAs wont pay for a ladder assist but I would definitely use the satellite imagery if i knew I had a large house that would take me a long time to measure. $25 to save me an hour or more of time when I could be completing another entire claim in that time. It may cut down on a small percentage of claims available for IAs but not enough to make real difference. The carriers we work for all they tell us is customer service customer service customer service. Theya re hiring more and more people without insurance backgrounds and better customer service skills. Technology only goes so far, the face to face is still what carriers have to have to hang their hat on.
just my 2cents from someone who uses the imagery everyday :)
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Ray Hall
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05/11/2010 3:49 PM
I do not know many adjusters who lift up a shingle to feel the bruise on the back. The shingles are sealed down in most cases. 50 years ago we did this test. The thumb is still a very good tool on the exposed surface, some time you can feel what you can not see in some light conditions.
 
I am an old timer that is  uses ever tool to get to the real damage on a roof . $25.00 would be a good fee on a steep, large, cut up roof if you could see all the missing, broken from the top of the ladder or ground. If large hail hits a comp roof you can see it from your auto, or at least from the top of the ladder. This climbing steep roofs will go away when a few more widows collect the death settlement.
 
I ask this question when my employer trained me on roofs. The only answer I got was "get as close to it( roof inspection) as you can " I have been doing this for many years and it still works for me.
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Ray Hall
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05/11/2010 4:04 PM
Texas State Courts have the same mediation rule. The problem with Texas is the District Judges will not enforce the appraisal clause, after suit is filed, but will take it under "advisement". The next TX storm like Ike will be a big chance from Ike. When the adjuster leaves the dining room table top, that failed. A letter demanding appraisal will be sent out the next day. This will be a minor bump for the lawyers, but they will be working the TX. coast until the carriers flee.
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rlack72
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05/14/2010 6:50 PM
I started as an adjuster and now own a roofing company. We use it on most roofs since we have slowly become confident in the numbers over time. We order by it also and rarely have shortages or big amounts of overage.
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Ray Hall
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05/14/2010 7:31 PM
Well thats from the horse,s mouth
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ddreisbach
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05/17/2010 8:35 AM
Just finished a storm where EagleView was used extensively.  On a significant proportion of the houses (at least a third) they came back and said they weren't sure they had the correct address, or the roof was tree-covered to some extent. 
 
On the other hand when it worked, it worked well.  It allowed me to assess the damage without having to get roof measurements in the rain or on a steep roof where it's difficult and dangerous to move around.
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RandyC
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05/18/2010 8:56 AM
I use Assurecalc. It costs about $7 per claim and the adjuster controls all the pitch values, double overhangs, and edge decisions. It is similar to drawing a diagram in MSB, only you have to supply two good measurements.

Yesterday during a Geo Estimator presentation, the guy said you could go to the risk, call their number, and they would triangulate your position to insure they had the right aerial photo. That was cool, but it takes time to get your estimate if you do it this way. Assurecalc can be done roughly before you inspect and then adjusted after the inspection for great accuracy.
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ranger
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05/18/2010 2:18 PM
I adjusted USAA claims during Ike and after Ike USAA made it a requirement that all IAs handling their claims in the future were required to have an account with Eagleview.
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Ray Hall
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05/18/2010 5:12 PM
O boy Eagleview and one crew of Mexican roofers with a camera and we can get back to closing 25 each day from HOME. Do you think they will cut the fee bill ?. But hold on with Eagleview and Mexican roofers they can hire old farts for $30.00 per hour to write up the files in exactimate from home and send them in. Thats about right two per hour. But I will hold out to make the carrier pay for xmate. I will not just roll over and let them shaff me for all my years in the service of the carriers. Oh yes another biggie DEFENSE and INDEMNITY. Its really slow now and I may pay for xmate and E & O if I can get $15,000 worth of fee bills, as I will not have much expense, because I am not on the road.
 
ALL satire, but about 6 years ago I predicted this...Makes FICUS TREE kinda a dud...huh... I see lots of vendors closing their doors, or open up boiler rooms for exactimate in/out people .
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Ol' Ghost
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05/18/2010 5:33 PM
Ray, you forgot to say, " Thank-you-verry-much! Come-again-please!" Like they do in Bombay, India. ( I know that's not how they spell these days, but I don't care. It'll always be Bombay, or Burma, or Peking to me.)

Ol' Ghost
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Ray Hall
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05/18/2010 5:43 PM
Aw ghost, contractors use India to write estimates in exactimate, but I don,t know one insurance company that does. But the 2nd but is, my wife is right this time, I really don,t know every thing about insurance adjusting...... could be true... we need some inside poop, staffers.
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PDB
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05/18/2010 11:09 PM

I can safely say my carrier would never tell me about any plans to outsource skilled work to a foreign country until the complaints started coming in.  I am sure there are plans and processes in play to eventually move express claims offshore.  I would like to think my carrier would never send skilled work offshore, but you know how that goes.  If I had to estimate, I would say approximately 85% of our non-large-loss work is done inside.  There has to be a huge target on our backs.

 

A close friend of mine handles the agency issues pertaining to our claims work.  A few months ago there were three or four complaints within a few days from the agents about the first notice of loss people not speaking understandable English.  My friend made a few calls and found out that our company was piloting a first notice of loss center in India.  He was told this was going to be used for CAT overflow only.  To date there has not been any official communication regarding FNOL in India.

 

I have been an adjuster for a little over four years now (I know, I know), but one thing I have learned never to say is, “It won’t happen to me.”  The vast majority of claims are handled inside.  My carrier developed their claim system to be easily understood by less skilled people.  Maybe I have seen one too many old timers shot by their younger prostitute friends, but I think outsourcing is going to be the future of claims.

 

When we start outsourcing the service portion of our service based economy, we will really be in trouble.

       

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Ray Hall
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05/19/2010 12:43 AM
2nd paragraph..... "cat. overflow only"   next month cat. losses only....this guy is inside, thanks for giving us a heads up.
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Ol' Ghost
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05/19/2010 9:07 AM
And there you have it, Ladies & Gentlemen! Enjoy the ride while it lasts for your ticket on the merry-go-round lasts but such a short time.

What was that you were saying about the lawyers and their legal blackmail scheme? All it takes is a friendly judge to make the wonders of large settlements happen? And, maybe they could use the pencil whipping skills of a few old mossback dinosaurs?

Ol' Ghost
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ddreisbach
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05/19/2010 9:54 AM
Geez!  Chill out, guys!  The sky isn't falling.
 
PDB said they tried using a foreign call center for FNOL only, and they got complaints because of it.  That's a long, long way from sending cat claims overseas to be worked by phone.
 
The problem I see with most of these doomsday scenarios, from FICUS to EagleView to outsourcing, is that they treat claims as isolated incidents that don't involve an insured that has suffered a loss.  Ray has said many times that all an insured wants is a check in their hand.  I think they also want someone to explain whats going on.  A little hand-holding if you will.  The major players promote their customer service: "Like a Good Neighbor", "You're in Good Hands", etc.  That's a hollow promise if you're treated as nothing more than a claim number, and the word will get around.
 
No question the carriers will try to cut costs, and a foreign call center to take FNOL's makes sense.  I mean, how hard is that?  Take some information and read a script.  They'll likely try it again but insist on better English. 
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stormcrow
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05/19/2010 10:40 AM
The cycle never ends. Cat adjusters are bad guys to the money men, expenses cann't be used to increase pemiums. They would rather over pay.  But loss of business due to a lack of service and when the over payments get too high will bring us back. Same with contractor programs. They always seem to end up costing more and more until they bring back the adjusters. I do see our role eroding more and more, but I expect to be retired before they phase us out.
I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
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ddreisbach
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05/19/2010 11:08 AM
Posted By stormcrow on 19 May 2010 10:40 AM
The cycle never ends. Cat adjusters are bad guys to the money men, expenses cann't be used to increase pemiums. They would rather over pay.  But loss of business due to a lack of service and when the over payments get too high will bring us back. Same with contractor programs. They always seem to end up costing more and more until they bring back the adjusters. I do see our role eroding more and more, but I expect to be retired before they phase us out.
Ditto!  Couldn't have said it better!

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Ray Hall
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05/19/2010 1:26 PM
Let be practical folks. You are the branch manager of a claims office in OKC. Your company does not have a catastrophe vendor program. You have lived in OKC all your adult life and worked claims for this one company for the last 29 years in OKC. You know the town, you know the people. You call an insured who lives right in the middle of softball size hail that hit ever building. You may not think that loss can be settled on the phone, but it.s done in less than one hour by the manager or one of his adjusters on the telephone and the loss was $25,000 to the exterior only. And the IA bill would be  $1320.00 if assigned out. Who has not got wonderful service on this loss? Up into hundreds of thousands of auto collision of settled this way.
 The real adjusters will always have a job. The people with a license only will not,  they will starve out. Oh yes I think the catastrophe vendor system is undergoing a good flushing out at the time of this post.
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PDB
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05/19/2010 6:26 PM

The offshore handling of FNOL has been the only example of any portion of the claim dealing with the customer that I am aware of.  IT tech support, HR, and at least one minor expense portion of the claim are done offshore.  I am not quite ready to jump off a bridge because the Indians are coming.    

I anticipate larger scale experiments in the future.  I also anticipate that with the exception of the simplest of the simplest claims, there will be a failure on the claims level and customer retention level.  A huge part of any claim is dealing with a stressed out insd.  Americans do not deal with stress very well (observe, over react, destroy, apologize).  I have several friends who are no longer with the company due to a pissed off insd who was mad at the adjuster for following the policy.  Of course this was not acceptable excuse to management.  Right or wrong, American society is a society of consumption.  Consumption of stuff, and the insds stuff is broken.

A huge part of the problem is that the powers that be within the carriers only look at numbers and metrics that can be charted and quantified.  Why hire Ray Hall who just inside handled a $25k loss when you can still pay the $25k but have a lower expense?  The cheaper adjuster may have to re-inspect five times and the handling may take a month and a half, but so what?  Maybe the insd will get tired of hounding the carrier after the fourth re-inspection and the carrier will actually save money.  I specialize in water mitigation claims and I have personally encountered this scenario many many times (in regards to interior damage).

I handle water mitigation bills for my office.  Every bill I pay is tracked and measured.  What is not measured is how much my carrier does not have to pay because I was involved.  In the last thirty days my input saved four or five complete sets of cabinetry.  In each case the mitigation company called in to the claims office and requested permission to pull the cabinets.  

Skilled adjusters will pay what is owed and do what is right.  This may save money on some claims and not save on others, but the insd will be indemnified and fairly treated.  Right now, this is what I live; in the future I just hope management shares my appreciation of good adjusting skills. 

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