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taozilla

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2004 :  13:41:14  Show Profile
Hello Everyone,

I was just reading the post about Powerclaim and had a few comments about the current crop of software available for adjusters today.

I have been using Xactimate since 4.4.2 DOS, and either Accupro or Integriclaim for a well known carrier since 1995.

The problem I am having is that I am tired of paying the license fees every month. If an adjuster works for Allstate one month then American Family or USAA the next month. It is possible that he or she is going to pay $250-$300 per month to complete their claims. After reading the post on Powerclaim, I wondered what if a carrier suddenly forced their venders to start using Powerclaim? No offence to the makers of Powerclaim, as this is probably in their business plan:).

As some of you are aware, there is a new trend emerging in the software industry that is based on what is called the "open source initiative".
What this means is that anyone can download the software for free and modify or restribute it providing they respect the copyrights. This allows for rapid development of the software from people all over the world. Most of the software currently being developed under the open source initiative, relates to Linux, a free alternative computer operating system.

I am thinking of putting together an open source project to create a free claims management program using the Kylix programming language. This is the language similar to Delphi which is what was used to create DDS/Integriclaim. I was wondering if there are any adjusters who might also happen to be programmers, out there that would be interested in starting a project?

I think a project like the one proposed today would have lasting benefits to the entire industry.

I for one am tired of paying $149.00 to take care of one supplement!

All comments are welcome!

Gale

USA
231 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2004 :  19:15:08  Show Profile
David, you drive home a point of contention that I have been hearing for over 10 years. I do not see how any software vendor would expect an adjuster to receive $149 of value from their software doing only one supplement. Since most of adjusters do not do CAT claims for more than one vendor your situation is not all that common but never the less it is real for you and others on CADO. Now that vendors are requiring PowerClaimXML it does hurt some when I am trying to sell an adjuster on why he may wish to purchase PowerClaim and they tell me it is being forced on them. When they learn it is only $599 a year or $75 a month sometimes they get to feeling better. I know a few adjusters that have all 4 major used packages on their computers for the reason you stated.

Jeff Goodman with his Free Claims Project might be of interest to you since you may not have read his post on CADO. http://www.stormcentral.com will fill you in on how you can use his adjusting software free. I looked at it a few years ago and if I were an adjuster I would try it. It is not open source but it is free. He will make changes by an hourly rate so if 200 or 300 CAT adjusters would form a user group you should be able to get what changes you want made for peanuts per adjuster and the user group could support one another. Jeff is a very smart person and you may want to contact him to see if his offer is of interest to you.

As you read more and more carriers and vendors will be running adjusting software using Citrix and other similar solutions so the adjuster will not have to keep or update adjusting software. Some might charge CAT adjusters like $3, $5 or $8 per file to cover technology cost but most would eat it I would think because of the savings the technology brings them. As I mention in the thread, Citrix or Terminal Services with IntegriClaim this solution requires at least a 56K dialup connection but at NACA there was an adjuster demonstrating the “Air Panel” which is a tablet computer screen but no computer. It used the wireless cell phone card to hit his server back in Dallas. With this set up in the field and IntegriClaim, PowerClaim, etc on a Citrix server back at the home office you would be good to start adjusting and be hundreds of miles from you adjusting software. You could get the homeowners signatures on the screen just like the UPS drivers do.

David nothing happens over night especially in the property adjusting industry where half of all staff adjusters still do not have any estimating software today but change is coming. Today I got a call from a carrier with no claims estimating software but they are starting from ground up and the claims handling software will use the XML technology. The funny part is these carriers can become state of the art for very little money compared to those carriers now stuck with legacy claim systems base on proprietary formats controlled by their software vendor.

From our personal experience we found developing the code and getting PowerClaim into the field was the easy apart. The hard part is staying around long enough with technology for the carriers to embrace your software with open arms. I think this industry expects all new adjusting software vendors to fail to get to a positive cash flow and for the source code to change hands maybe a few times or just vaporize with time. As long as you have been around you know why that expectation exist in this industry.

Carriers want to know an adjusting software vendor is financially healthy and will be there for years to come. While free software is of interest to the handful of adjusters like you that actually every purchase any estimating software, the fact remains that most adjusters in the world are provided software by their vendor or carrier. Many users of PowerClaimXML only pay $399 a year because their vendors make group purchases of 100+ copies on their behalf and back charge the $399 annual fee to the adjusters of the group but we are paid by only one source. David I am sure you have by done the math by now and realize that many adjusters are only paying $33.25 per month for software and the for most the company is picking up the full cost.

David you see that is only a handful of adjusters paying anything close to $149 a month for software even if they are footing the bill. This has been discussed before and I just do not see a short-term solution unless your vendor goes to bat for you but not all will. We are working on the long-term solution everyday and making real headway.
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Gale

USA
231 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2004 :  20:20:09  Show Profile
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2004-03-03-sco-autozone-linux_x.htm?POE=MONISVA

SCO sues AutoZone, DaimlerChrysler over use of Linux

David, I found this article to be interesting. If some get their way Free may not mean Free.
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