The sad reality of our business is pointed out in the first post.
No so long ago you could work for a carrier / vendor because you had successfully worked prior storms and if available were licensed in your home state. Post-Katrina the volume of storm work has decreased significantly, however, look at all the "Certification Classes" Training Schools" "Software Training" 'State and Local licensing changes" that have sprung up. It is more profitable to run a "Certification and Training" school than it is to work the claims. Almost every carrier now requires " training and certification just to work their claims" amazing is there really that much difference in an HO-3 policy wheh they are all issued as an ISO form?? Has the NFIP Flood policies changed that much over the years?? Add to that "IF YOU WANT WORK YOU WILL HAVE XACT 25, 25.1, 25.2, 25.3, 26, 26.1, 27, 27.1 ET AL PLUS MSB AND SIMSOL". Guess who gets to pay for that software?
On top of that our business is flooded with "Newbies" who are told you can be a millionaire after one storm. So now you arrive at a loss site all your certifications must be in order, irregardless if you have been adjusting for 30 years, and if so we will graciously give you 15-20 claims to see how you perform. Get those back is 5 days completed without any mistakes from our team and reinspectors, who to keep their jobs must find something wrong with every claim submitted, and maybe, just maybe we will give you 10 more. Then we will decide if we want to keep you on. Considering the cost just to reach an area then do this job that is daunting. You may or may not get more work, if not you might not clear enough to even pay expenses.
I was being paid more in 1985 on basic fee schedules than I am paid now on the best schedules. Digital and technology has destroyed billing. Digital photos are free now, forget the cost of the camera, cost to label and post,cost to have internet access and cell phone use, we used to get $2/each no more, Mileage in Katrina I was paid $1.25/mile if a storm comes today I get zero mileage. See how long that last one works if gas goes over $4/gal or hits $6/gal by 2012
I worked Dolly and Ike from an office on a day rate. The office was 2 miles from my home. I worked 7 days a week was home every night, bought one tank of gas per month, did not have to worry about photos. I could use my 30 years experience to an advantage. But inside has pressures sometimes worse than the field; you heard daily from your vendor and their carriers, push, push, push, make that IA do more, carriers changed prices, make them change the estimate, then change it back or better go to Xactanalysis and change the estimate for them then add on all the things we would not pay the IA to do, revise the billing and we can keep the profits. If the IA cannot see 10 claims in two days, forget that every loss he has is a nightmare, and send a report, pull his files we have IA's a plenty looking for work. Inside has production requirements just like the field so there is no easy job anymore.
Ahhh the days when you could show up on site with 30 years experience, were handed 100+ claims and told go work these, will have more tomorrow. You could use the software program you chose to use and reviewers adapted to it because they were "old dogs" who knew how to adjust a claim. No cell phones, no internet, no fax machines, no computers, almost no complaints from insured's. If an insured called your supervisor or manager handled the question, he did not want you to bother his field adjuster, because he is out there every day do all he can to see your loss and settle your claim. Best of all claims got closed, were settled by the adjuster in front of the insured, and short of a supplement or holdback recovery almost never reopened. No attorneys, no PA's, no DOI complaints.