feature Story BY JohN a. PoSTava, r.P.a
Estimate Property Losses Accurately with Software and Training
What seems like only a couple of years ago—but in reality may have been a decade or two—a claims adjuster could get his or her hands on a computer estimating program, prepare a
detailed estimate in a matter of minutes, settle a property loss
assignment, and move on to the next one. An adjuster’s life was
made easier by the software’s ability to calculate floor, wall, and
ceiling areas, and perform “extensions” to determine replacement cost value (RCV), depreciation, and actual cash value
(ACV) amounts. Life was pretty good.
Using estimating software these days to handle property claims
is not as easy.
puter, digital camera, GPS navigator, laser measuring device,
moisture meter, and other tools, is at a great disadvantage. At the
end of the day, such adjusters cost their companies precious time
and money—and that’s only the hardware side of the equation.
Now, let’s focus on property claims technology, computer estimating software, and how it can lead to added expenses and
higher-than-necessary claims payouts. The loss isn’t in dollars,
Poor Training Yields Poor Results
Like many other technology based industries, estimating and
property claims software has evolved into a more complex organism. Although the basic estimating function is the same (the
quantity of material required multiplied by unit cost equals total
repair cost), all of the additional tools, both software and hardware, have morphed the adjusting process into a high-tech ballet
with the adjuster as the lead performer.
It goes without saying that a poorly trained adjuster who does
not know all of the functions of his or her laptop or tablet com-
Insurers should realize that estimating
software in the hands of untrained
adjusters has caused more problems
than handguns and tequila combined.
actually, but hundreds of thousands of the little buggers, if not
Software developers provide sophisticated estimating applications for virtually all knowledge levels, but they are not the eyes
and ears at the loss site. Insurance carriers need to know that estimating software in the hands of untrained adjusters has caused
more problems than handguns and tequila combined.