Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Insider's Guide to Claims Adjusting for Outsiders

Patience is a virtue.

Look. We get it. You just had an accident. Your upset, frustrated and maybe a little hacked off. You want your car fixed, your medical bills paid and you don't want hassles.

Calling your adjuster's phone line once (or more) every minute, for several minutes is NOT going to help matters.

Your typical claims adjuster is trying to work upwards of 150 claims at any given time. Though, one adjuster I spoke with at a major personal auto carrier said their average pending was up around 260 active claims. Of that number, a typical adjuster is getting anywhere from 5 to 10 new claims a week. More if there has been a severe storm of any variety recently because people apparently lose the ability to drive when faced with a small glob of spit on the road much less a massive thunderstorm.

If an adjuster is particularly good at time management, works efficiently, types VERY fast, etc....they might get to work, really work, 20 existing files a day. Working a file means being able to put quality thought, analysis and documentation which takes a minimum of 15 minutes per file per touch. When you parse that out to a typical workload over a business day/week/month, it means that, at best and on average, a good adjuster is going to be able to touch your claim once every 7 business days.

New claims take up a lot more time because of contact requirements, recorded statements, assigning appraisals, etc. New claims take away from the time an adjuster has to devote to existing files. A new claim can take anywhere from a half hour to an hour to get off to a good start if an adjuster is lucky enough to get a hold of everyone on the first call, doesn't get interrupted, etc.

That doesn't count working incoming mail, email, voicemail messages, making payments, presenting claims at round tables, being out of the office for business/vacation/illness, etc. which all takes time.

Being out of the office is a nightmare at best for an adjuster when the time off/out is planned. It usually takes about a week to recover from being out of the office for 1 planned day. Unplanned days off are worse. It's like throwing a bomb at your diary screwing up every bit of carefully planned out and prioritized work.

We do not get some perverse joy out of making you wait. We want your file closed as much as you do. Probably more so so we don't have to deal with your cranky, impatient butt anymore. Contrary to popular belief, we do not get bonuses for keeping files open or denying claims or settling claims for less than they are worth. We get measured on how efficiently and timely we handle claims, if we make initial contacts within a certain time frame defined by the claims standards, whether we make payments timely, etc.

That's not to say we're not human. When we get a difficult claimant who yells at us, calls us incessantly and just generally acts like a spoiled child mid tantrum, we don't feel an overwhelming desire to bend over backwards for them.

And, yes, we have caller ID. We recognize certain phone numbers especially when we see them pop up every minute when we are in the middle of trying to help someone else. It's irritating as all get out. Knock it off. Call, leave a detailed message, and wait.

We will call you back as soon as we can.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


"...no one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away." - Sir Terry Pratchett Reaper Man

Try to make a big splash.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

They Come In Peace...

...but dang those probes are cold.

That's about as good an explanation as any for the last month or so since my last post. Let me hit the highlights of the goings on, and then I will figure out what to do with this post.

Went to Florida, interviewed, returned home safely. Found out two days ago, not selected. The Queen was not pleased. She was looking forward to living near a beach.

A happy Queen and Princess enjoying some "chockit" ice cream near the beach.
Winter decided to dump a last minute winter storm on north Texas. You folks up north can scoff, but snow and ice shut DFW down hard because ice goes in your tea, not on your roads. Any global warming/climate change nuts in the audience can take your thinly veiled leftist, propaganda and stuff it. Be sure you fold it into sharp little corners for an origami suppository first.

That storm screwed up my other job interview. We were able to squeeze it in between ice storms. Found out yesterday, not selected. That was a bummer because it was a really good opportunity.

Got a call Monday from an HR person that I had written off after they had failed to respond to several phone calls and emails over several weeks regarding next steps letting me know I was still on the list of candidates they want to move forward with, but they have put the position on hold because of some other stuff. We shall see. At this point, my track record may see me still on the market when they get their act in gear.

For those that are interested, the job search enters its eighth month today. The stats so far are:

91 jobs applied for
8 in person final interviews so far
75 rejections (formal and informal)
16 applications still in limbo

Welcome to the new economy. That's hope and change you can believe in right there. To be fair, some of those applications were a bit of a stretch; but, you don't know if you don't try. And, based on the limited feedback I've gotten, companies are reluctant to make an offer to me based on my prior earning history. It's nearly impossible to hide that the way online applications are structured these days.

Castle Erickson has been besotted by various plagues. All three of us at once. I have to suck it up and go to work because we can't afford for me to miss anymore time after the time missed interviewing and waiting out the ice storm office closings. Being a temp on an hourly rate contract sucks sometimes.

Learned today that my favorite author passed away which leaves me in a deeper funk than I was already in to begin with. Sir Terry Pratchett is a British author I have spoken about here before. He has been dealing with the effects of Alzheimers for the last several years. His Disc World series is an absolute gem. If you haven't read it, I can give you suggestions. But, as another, more eloquent blogger said, "The worst was good, and the best was magic."

Farewell, good sir. I'm sure DEATH and Binky gave you a clean exit from this mortal coil and a smooth journey.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Travel Bleg

Anyone out there amongst the readership who lives in or around the Jacksonville, FL area?

It appears that I will be coming into that fair city sometime in the next 7 to 10 days. The Queen and I are discussing making it into a little long weekend getaway. Perhaps there is a willing native who would be kind enough to give us the nickel tour?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

With my apologies to AC/DC.

Still bupkis on the permanent job search front. The last rejection email is making my eye twitch a little. So, I thought I would endeavor to jump start my entrepreneurial spirit a little with a price list for services I am willing to render. All services provided in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Other locations negotiable subject to travel and mileage fees.

Babysitting - $50 per hour per child (you supply the duct tape)

Concrete Shoes - $100 per pair ($150 for lace up)

Divorce Settlement Mediation - $500 (double if children are involved)

Dog Shaming - $10 ($15 for large breeds)

Malicious Yenta - free of charge with a $100 retraction fee

Matchmaking - $50 per couple (double for nerds)

Neckties - $10 Windsor / $20 Bowtie

Political Campaign Manager - $1000 per hour plus travel expenses

Political Campaign Promise Writer - $100 per promise

Political Campaign Promise Enforcer - cost plus 10%

Toilet cleaning - $25 each ($50 for failure to courtesy flush and bad aim)

Wake Up Calls - $5 each 5:00 AM Central and later ($5 each additional minute before 5:00AM)

Yenta - $5 plus unlimited hot tea

Additional services subject to negotiation and availability

Friday, January 23, 2015

My Thoughts on The State of The Union Address

Didn't watch it. Didn't read it.

Wouldn't have believed the words that emanated from the horse thief in chief's pie hole if I did.

From what little I've gathered from reading the news and other opinion sources, it was a mixed bag of delusion, half truths, questionable science, posturing, threats and childish taunting.

The only state of the union that matters to me anymore is the state of my union to The Queen.

Liberal...conservative...makes no difference anymore. If I'm doing good in the eyes of God and The Queen, I'm happy.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rumor Has It...

...that I surprised The Queen with a ski trip for our 11TH wedding anniversary.

The drive from the DFW area to Santa Fe, NM was a fun filled, icy adventure punctuated by one moment of almost terror as we watched an 18 wheeler lose control on black ice, head straight for the median and jack knife to a stop just before careering into our lane at the exact moment we were skating by while trying to get the ABS brakes to do something besides take a nap on the ice.

Here's some photos from the trip for your enjoyment.

Just as an FYI, allergies, high altitude, and a sedentary lifestyle do not mix well. An hour and a half of attempting to teach M&M was enough to have her and I both worn out and ready for a nap. The Queen was sent to enjoy the slopes without us.

Just as a PS to the FYI, planning a ski trip for New Years when everyone and their dog are off work makes for a very crowded ski area.