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alanporco

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  12:16:27  Show Profile
Any chance settlement offers are low because they don't include items excluded from coverage? The flood policy is not intended to make the insured whole again. Are insureds complaining about low unit prices or overall estimates? Are they looking for payment for things that are not covered? If the insureds are looking to be made whole, they need to rethink their expectations. I would expect that many homes in the MD area had plaster walls; estimates for NFIP will reflect repairs made with sheetrock at about 1/3 the cost of plaster.

The one thing that price lists always fail to reflect is the run up in local pricing that occurs after an event like Isabel. This is usually 15-25%. So adjusters are behide the curve from the get go.
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aagreen

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  13:22:13  Show Profile
I certainly have seen cases where people are complaining about things that are not covered in the policy -- tough luck for them, as you say -- but there are others who have legitimate unit pricing problems. Then there are cases where it's less clear what is covered nad what isn't, though this seems to be more of an issue in North Carolina, where I understand there's some dispute about newer construction methods eing used to elevate houses.
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olderthendirt

USA
370 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  14:04:22  Show Profile
I know it has been 2 years since I attened a flood seminar, but when did they start replacing plaster with drywall. Tell me how do you replac the bottom four feet of a plaste wall with drywall?
Perhaps it is time that NFIP allowed replacement cost for an appropriate premium!
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alanporco

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  15:10:02  Show Profile
Sorry olderthandirt, my bad! Thinking of something else - the CEA policy.
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CCarr

Canada
1200 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  15:40:25  Show Profile
Near the bottom of page 3 of this thread, Chuck tried to steer the herd to focus on the issue, and that was followed by Andy's post. The door did / does seem open for adjuster's to have their opinions heard, relative to training and experience. The olive branch does seem to be extended for your participation on what an adjuster's function used to be, might be, or will be. I'm just an armchair dummy, but why hasn't the collective voice of your niche taken advantage of the opportunity?

Again I ask, as I did with my earlier post to this thread, who is speaking for the "real adjuster"?

It is pretty dismal to read Andy's note that not one adjuster he spoke with wants to be quoted on the important issue that lies within his reporting.
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katadj

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  16:17:26  Show Profile
Is it any wonder that none want to be identified?

This thread has been read over 1200 times in less than a week.

We know that the Carriers and IA firms are reading it along with the adjusters. We also realize that once we are identified by these potential employer’s our future income will be cut off.

Each of us has expended many years and dollars to become an adjuster, be it an independent or a staff adjuster. WE are aware of many issues that have an effect on our incomes and those that have an effect on the policy holder.

We are temporary employees, independent 1099’s, or staff. We have little to say, (short of turning back a file we have invested many hours in), when things do not go the way we see them, or are instructed to make changes we do not agree with, IF we wish to remain employed.

There is no one backing us, like the Teamsters, AFL-CIO, or any other organized environment. We may have unknowingly or unwisely dealt ourselves a hand of Aces and Eights. (For those younger people, that’s known as a dead mans hand).

Times are changing, and we are the victims of the changes, outsourcing, call centers, cheaper labor, whatever.

If there were a way to present the issues which Mr. Green has requested, and remain employed, IMHO there would be a river of information flowing his way.
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ALANJ

USA
159 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  16:52:27  Show Profile
Maybe Mr. Green can point his readers to www.catadjuster.org>
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JimF

USA
1014 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  16:54:05  Show Profile
Let it be known that there is at least one adjuster who has spoken to Andy Green and on the record no less. If that costs me an assignment somewhere, then so be it.

So if we all speak out, what are they going to do? Fire all of us? Who are they going to call for the next hurricane? Leonards?

Edited by - JimF on 03/16/2004 17:16:45
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katadj

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  16:58:10  Show Profile
KUDOS to you Jim.

Perhaps if several of us did the same, we would become a force that everyone would have to recon with?

I shall SERIOUSLY consider same. AND, Thank you from me and im sure a lot of the others.

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JimF

USA
1014 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  17:10:39  Show Profile
Dave, I have also sent a couple of emails and made a couple of phone calls to close friends who are much more the flood adjuster experts. I never have nor never will pretend to be a flood adjuster and likely know just enough about flood to get my butt in deep doo doo.

But there are many other facets to this story which I am comfortable in discussing, which I think are necessary as part of any basic story if one is to fully understand the larger picture and issues.

Needless to say, the lack of proper education and training as well as bringing in and allowing warm bodies to adjust is only one part of the story with which I have very strong feelings and comfortable in discussing with my name attached as needed.

I hope others with strong feelings will feel similarly comfortable in sharing their thoughts with Andy Green.

Edited by - JimF on 03/16/2004 17:14:13
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trader

USA
236 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  17:41:39  Show Profile
I left my email on The flood story". dated the 14th. I left my number today. The catastrophe adjusting profession... really is. signed Ray Hall
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Steve H

Switzerland
30 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  19:08:45  Show Profile
Though I have not handled a flood claim since 1978, I would like to contribute my two cents, as I am flood certified and recently attended a certification class for 2004.

The first point is that we do not know what the problem was with any of the claims in contention. We saw the results of political involvement with the Northridge earthquake. There is considerable mud slinging that quickly conceals the real issues. Then all we are left with is the public issues and the facts of the individual case are buried under politicized contentions.

The second relates to a comment by one of the flood seminar presenters. The reason for the problems in this one area in Maryland is that there has not been a flood in recent history, so the coverage was not in line and had not been evaluated in ages.

Rather than rushing to judgment and grinding our favorite axe, someone who knows about the coverage should review the files that are the subject of the complaints and see what the problem is with each one. They may each be different, but they may all revolve around one cause. We just have no way of knowing from here in our arm chairs.

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JimF

USA
1014 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  19:40:07  Show Profile
Steve, I really can't disagree with anything you have said.

As I mentioned before, I do not consider myself among the ranks of experienced or qualified flood adjusters, though I have in the past attended flood seminars and been "certified."

Much of my conversation with Andy Green was background in answering some questions about cat adjusting in general, pricing issues in general, problematic factors in estimates and estimating, the front end costs borne by cat adjusters having to finance a storm for vendor/carriers, the costs of road and equipment expenses for the cat adjuster, the lag time between closing a file and getting paid for claim services, and the absence of training, education and experience standards in general. I do believe that these are issues which can at least indirectly and ever so subtly have an effect on the quality and accuracy of the insurance claims work product.

As well, pressures from a vendor or carrier, a presence or abscence of (micro)management of the adjuster, cannot be ignored either. At least in subtle ways, these nuances, I would argue, can influence the accuracy and quality of the claim estimate and coverage determination.

Whether these issues are suspect or at fault in the Maryland losses, no one here (as you suggest) can say with any degree of veracity.

However, it was in the back of my mind, that perhaps a group of 8 to 10 experienced (and inexperienced) (flood) adjusters from amongst our CADO ranks, could/would/should volunteer to Andy and the Baltimore Sun to independently inspect and review perhaps a half dozen of these contested claims, write their own damage estimates, determine coverage for these "test losses" and then submit the individual results to the newspaper to compare.

Perhaps the criteria in selection would be from among a group of cat adjusters who in fact handled claims during Isabel albeit not in Maryland (so as to avoid any conflict of interest).

I am certain that would be an eye opening experience for all concerned and would effectively illustrate that bottom lines on estimates are much more dependent on the skill level/experience/training of any specific adjuster than they are on an estimating software package.

I yield to no quarter in denigration of the argument, that attendance at a one day NFIP seminar qualifies the unqualified to be considered 'certified' as 'flood adjusters' capable of properly adjusting flood claims.

And all the more so, for some of the untrained warm bodies who are turned loose to wreck havoc on an unsuspecting public.

And without complaint, we too are branded by their ineptitude.

Unlike the public, perhaps we get what we deserve.

And if Andy Green and the Baltimore Sun can help us to change that, then they have my blessing, my support and my wholehearted endorsement.

Edited by - JimF on 03/16/2004 20:16:48
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Ghostbuster

476 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  20:38:36  Show Profile
Andy Green, if you would like to ask us any question, we would be very pleased to provide a unique and truthful answer to the mysteries of the adjusting business. Should you require authentification, that can be arranged thru sending us a note on the CADO PM inbox and we can then make contact. There is no greater font of knowledge about catastrophe adjusting than here at the CADO clubhouse.

Edited by - Ghostbuster on 03/16/2004 20:41:39
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katadj

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2004 :  21:11:18  Show Profile

Jim, your concept of having real flood adjusters from among our ranks performing “Pro Bono” investigations of a limited amount of the contested claims would indeed reflect the accuracy of the original findings.

We all know that any given loss inspected (word used instead of adjusted, purposefully) by several people will most times result in differing findings. That’s only human nature.

I, for one will hereby volunteer to inspect any three (3) losses in the area, write an exact sheet, on a recognized soft ware program and supply same to Mr. Green.

Some basic flood certification information:

As regards flood certification, it is now mandatory for every adjuster to attend an annual NFIP presentation. At this time, IF you have been previously certified, and have your Flood Certification number, you are allowed to service floods claims for that year.

If you are attending for the first time, or are NOT certified, you can, after attending, get an application from the NFIP. This is then completed and submitted to the NFIP for consideration to be flood certified.

Attendance at a NFIP presentation DOES NOT certify you to handle flood losses. Only after your application is submitted, and accepted, and you are in possession of your certification number are you allowed to handle losses. The NFIP requires specific, verifiable information on your experience prior to your being considered.

The only exception to this ruling is that a staff WYO adjuster did not have to complete the above. (This, in fact, may have some relevance to the current dilemma). It is my understanding that the WYO staff adjusters will also have to conform starting this year.

For the record , I did not work that storm on any type of loss.

Edited by - katadj on 03/16/2004 21:13:31
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