Virtual Adjusting and Flood Claims!

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Virtual Adjusting and Flood Claims

Virtual Adjusting and Flood Claims

Virtual Adjusting and Flood Claims!

Robert L. Ballard ANFI

An article published today , NFIP enters new millennium with virtual adjusting and Risk Rating 2.0 by Alicja Grzadkowska caused my inbox to light up by flood adjusters.

NFIP Flood Boot Camp™ and Bullseye Training is not the follower related to this issue. After Hurricane Harvey, as the leader of my team and hearing the frustrations of many NFIP policyholders, I asked the question, “what can be done to make them have more confidence in their flood claim experience?” We were on it!

Clearly it is all about training. Experienced flood adjusters realize that attending the 6- hour Annual NFIP Claim Presentation is a check box that must be marked every year. New Adjuster Register Applicants or those interested in the career of flood adjusting attend the presentation thinking they have all they need regardless of the “specialized knowledge” requirements. Not to mention the implementation of virtual adjusting.

I just returned from a bike riding tour in Colorado to thirty inches of water in my basement. Thank God it was a broken water pipe because I do not have flood insurance. I am insured with the largest carrier in the US. My handyman who looks after the house when I am out of town pumped out the basement and took photos. Carrier did not send out an adjuster due to the pandemic. They also did not know I am an adjuster and certified to work their claims. The claim is being processed virtually and 80 percent has gone well. It is the 20 percent that is going bad. Of the 20 percent, 75 percent is being questioned; content!

With my flood adjusting experience, I knew that content will need to be well documented with photos, individual lines and age/condition. I have called the desk adjuster three times with a response that it will be next week before it is approved. This desk adjuster does not have authority for less than $10,000 of content. The failure of virtual adjusting; just another claim number!

Because I have processed thousands of claims, I knew what to do. I was calm in the midst of losing photos, collectables, clothing, furnace, water heat and all the hardwood floor on the main level. I reminded myself, this is what I do!

Can you imagine what the owner or tenant of a flood policy is experiencing when their most valuable asset has been destroyed. I know what they do! They are in denial and I have to help them realize it happened. They are angry and I have to let them take it out on me. They try to bargain with me and I have to tell them what the policy states. They are depressed and cry; I have to hug them. When I am done, they have come to acceptance of knowing it will get better.

All of these things cannot be done virtually.

After real life experiences of working with policyholders, I developed a process to help put the policyholder at ease. One of the steps is getting the policyholder information at the start that will reassure them this flood event will change their lives.

After hurricane Harvey I went into the studio and produced the “Flood Changes Lives” video. I put this video in the hands of prior policyholders who have become very good friends with a review of, “I wish I had this during the flood event.” With positive feedback, the video was sent to National Flood Services (NFS) training for review. You can find snippets of the video by clicking here.

Those who have attended the Five-Day NFIP Flood Boot Camp™ are ahead of the curve related to virtual adjusting. This video, “Flood Changes Lives” has been out there. We can put this in the hands of thousands of policyholders within seconds, helping them to the road of recovery.

Bullseye Training and the NFIP Flood Boot Camp™ are working on new tools that are pragmatic and usable in the field of insurance claims adjusting to deliver Excellence in Claims Experience. We need to learn how to overcome the 20 percent of what is going bad in virtual adjusting and realize there will be a time that someone needs a hug!

CoreLogic has stated, Virtual Adjusting Is The Cost Effective Way To Settle Small Claims Quickly & Efficiently. What is a small flood claim? On the FloodSmart.gov/costofflooding/index.html, one inch of water cost in a 1,000 SQFT one story building will cost $10,819. I have not adjusted one of those buildings as a flood adjuster. So, what is going to be the best practice in determining what is a small flood claim? The denial of flood claims because of virtual adjusting gone rogue will open the door to a plethora of issues.

The failure to give the hug or denial of claim because of poor training will lead to loss of policyholder retention, a poor review of claims experience, open doors for more public adjusters, lawsuits and Sandy Task Force 2.0.