The FreeClaims Project FAQ

  1. What is the FreeClaims Project?
  2. What is stormcentral.com/theadjuster?
  3. How do I get the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program?
  4. What databases make up the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program?
  5. What functions does the program provide?
  6. What is required to run the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program?
  7. Who is the target user for this project?
  8. Who is this project not for?
  9. How do I get installation help?
  10. How do I get technical support?
  11. How do I get program updates?
  12. How do I apply the program updates?

What is the FreeClaims Project?

The FreeClaims Project is an attempt to create a new model for software application development.  The FreeClaims project is built on the stormcentral.com/the adjuster program.  The FreeClaims project will be totally Internet based.  The program will be available for free download, and all support, installation, training and upgrade services will be available across the Internet.

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What is stormcentral.com/theadjuster?

Stormcentral.com/theadjuster is a series of Access2000 databases.  These databases act together to function as a full featured claims management program. This system has been developed by myself over the course of the last six years.  As best I can track I have well over three thousand man-hours in the development of this system.

I have used this system to close thousands of insurance claims.  Many other adjusters have used this system as well.

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How do I get the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program

The program is available for download at ftp://ftp.stormcentral.com.  You must use the Username of  claims2002 and the password of claims2002.  Both the username and password must be all lower case letters.

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What databases make up the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program?

As downloaded from www.stormcentral.com, the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program consists of six Access2000 databases, Claims2003.mde, Sampledata.mdb, BuildingData.mdb, ExportTemplate.mdb, smalldata,mdb and Station.mdb.

Claims2003.mde is the executable database that contains all the program code, reports and forms.

SampleData.mdb holds the claims data.  There can exist an unlimited number of claims data files, allowing the user to separate storms or insurance companies.  Instead of the generic name SampleData, names such as Humberto2001, or HailStorm062001 could be used.  

ExportTemplate.mdb is the database used for claim upload and download.

BuildingData.mdb and smalldata.mdb hold the building price databases.  Smalldata.mdb is a very small price library that can be used as a template for your custom price library.  BuildingData.mdb is a price database that has been developed by several people over the years.  THE PRICES IN BOTH ARE NOT ACCURATE, they are just there to provide the text.  There can exist an unlimited number of building price databases as well.  Once again, BuildingData is just a generic name, actual price libraries should be names such things as Allstate062001 or NWide062001.  This allows different price databases for each carrier for which you do claims.

Station.mdb hold setup data that allows the system to function in an multi-user environment.  This is what allows each user to have their own default insurance company, vendor, or adjuster.

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What functions does the program provide?

A sampling of functions:

Short Property Report (Multiple Instances)

Building Estimate (Multiple Instances)

Contents Estimate (Multiple Instances)

Proof Of Loss

Photo Sheets

File Time Sheet

File Acitivity Log

ALE Worksheet

Billing Tracking

Expense Tracking

Replacement Cost Agreements

Diagram Sheets

NFIP Forms (blank and filled out)

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What is required to run the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program?

The only requirement to run the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program is Access2000 or AccessXP.  The hardware requirements for the stormcentral.com/theadjuster are the same as the hardware requirements for Access2000 or AccessXP.

But remember, when it come to computers, MRIB, which is an acronym for More RAM Is Better.

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Who is the target user for this program?

The Internet savvy catastrophe adjuster.  Since the program is free to download and install, it can be very cost effective for those that learn on their own well.  At the very least, users must be comfortable downloading and uncompressing archived files, creating folder trees and copying files.  

The end user who wants to be able to have the system they run customized.  Stormcentral.com/ theadjuster is designed to easily allow changes both to the forms used to interact with the claims data, and the reports that print this data out.  If there is a certain form you desire, contact me, I will give you an estimate of cost, and you can decide if you want that feature added.  All added features get posted back to the www.stormcentral.com website, so all benefit from any upgrades.

Support, training, and upgrades are all readily available, at my customary hourly rate.

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Who is this project not for?

The person whose philosophy is, "I do not want to know anything about computers, I just want to make money with them."  If you plan to use the computer, you must know about them.  Some things are essential like proper backup, licensing, and maintenance.  To use this program, you must download, decompress and install it yourself, and well as apply updates.  If these tasks are beyond your capability, this project is not for you.

The person who has to be taught the same task repeatedly.  Since information is not retained well, these people will need to be trained repeatedly, and at $65.00 an hour for training, the program will soon cease to be less expensive than competitors.  You wil want to consider one of the other estimating programs available.

The cheapskate.  While the program is inexpensive to obtain, the goal of this project is not free software.  The goal is to produce the best software application available while making a living doing what I enjoy most of the computer services that I offer.  If you are just too cheap to buy other software, do us both a favor and choose another software solution, or hand write.  The adjuster that is so short sighted that they do not see the value in software, is not an adjuster that I choose to work with.

Anyone without a valid licensed copy of Microsoft Access2000.  While I personally detest much of what MS does, Access2000 is a fine product and is worth the purchase price.  It is an amazing example of a data management system.  I write computer software for a living, so I take a dim view of software privacy.  If you are a storm adjuster and cannot afford $400.00 for software, you should not be a storm adjuster.

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How do I get installation help?

Installation support is available at service@stormcentral.com.  At present, only installation email support is free, and that is dependent on me having spare time to answer the email.

Paid installation support and technical support are also available.  Click here for more information.

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How do I get technical support?

Technical support is available at service@stormcentral.com.  Technical support is purchased in one hour blocks.  Click here for more information.

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How do I get program updates?

The program updates are available for download at ftp://ftp.stormcentral.com.

The file containing the updates is named "Claims2001Updates.Zip".  The databases in the update file are named "claims2003.mde", "ClaimsUpdate.mde", "PriceDBUpdate.mde", "StationUpdate.mde".  The "claims2003.mde" database is the program updates.  "ClaimsUpdate.mde" adds any new data fields required by the updates to existing claims databases.  "PriceDBUpdate.mde" adds any new data fields required by the updates to existing price databases.  "StationUpdate.mde" adds any new data fields required by the updates to existing local setup databases.

NOTE:  After running the system for an extended periods, you may have multiple price database and claims databases.  The field update databases must be run on any database that you plan to continue using.

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How do I apply the program updates?

The first step in the update process is to save the "Claims2003.mde" program you are presently using.  Then if any problem is discovered in the update, or you do not like the way it works, you can revert to the old program.  

The recommended way to do this is to rename the present "Claims2003.mde" to "Claims2003old.mde".  If a "Claims2003old.mde" already exists, delete it.  It is an old backup copy you no longer use.  

Extract the updates from the "Claims2003Updates.zip" to the folder in which you have the system installed.  

Open the "ClaimsUpdate.mde" database.  Click the Browse button on the forms that opens and navigate to the claims data database you want to update.  Select the file, and click the Update Fields button.  Repeat with each claims database you want to update.  When finished click the Close button.

Open the "PriceDBUpdate.mde" database.  Click the Browse button on the forms that opens and navigate to the price data database you want to update.  Select the file, and click the Update Fields button.  Repeat with each price database you want to update.  When finished click the Close button.

Open the "StationUpdate.mde" database.  Click the Browse button on the forms that opens and navigate to the local setup database you want to update.  Select the file, and click the Update Fields button.  When finished click the Close button.

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Copyright 2003  Jeffrey B. Goodman. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 20, 2005 .