Key Points To Remember
As of May 20, 2005 , the FreeClaims Project is a hobby.
I am a computer consultant. I sell my computer expertise, and I do so by the hour. Most of my billing is for network support and installations, software training, and custom application development. This is the way I make my living.
So the FreeClaims Project is a hobby that, like most hobbies, provides me with no income. This means it takes a back seat to my revenue producing business activities, for sure, and other hobbies at my option.
If you want me to make your question a priority, open a support incident. Click here for details.
The FreeClaims Project started when I decided that it was a waste for my adjuster claims management program to sit on the shelf and rot. At that time, I invested over two thousand hours in the development of this system. I added a few features I considered essential, or a least they will be essential if I have to use the program again, and posted it on my web page.
The program is posted in the hope that other adjusters will find it useful enough to use. The program is free because I cannot afford to build a technical support team for the program, which would be required if the program is sold. This way the program can be made available to those who choose to put forth the effort to use it.
By far the most frustrating task in the computer insurance software industry is training an end user that does not want to be trained. Lack of desire to learn, unwillingness to change from an older software package, or just plain laziness are impossible to overcome for the computer trainer. Setting up the FreeClaims Project as it is prevents me from having to deal with these people, or at least compensating me by the hour for doing so.
The FreeClaims Project is a hobby, but stormcentral.com/theadjuster is a serious application
I take my hobbies seriously, whether it is writing a song, taping a live show, or building an application. I take my data management seriously.
The stormcentral.com/theadjuster program started as a homegrown method of helping to close claims after the Northridge quakes. The first document it produced was the GAB Proof Of Loss in March of 1994. Flood forms and status reports were added as I worked the Beaufort/Hilton Head, SC floods in Oct of 1994. Working San Francisco wind storms in the winter of 1995 I added the reports required for all of GAB clients for which I worked, such as the GAB 139 and 114. These reports are still in the system should anyone who works for GAB require them.
When I went to work the Fort Worth/White Settlement hailstorms, State Farm required us to either use Exactimate or hand-write. I created exact replicas of the State Farm hand-written forms and used these to settle over two hundred claims for myself. Six other adjusters used the same system with the same results. The only hand-writing on my claims were the signatures.
Over the intervening years, I wrote an adjusting company management program. Features from this system made their way into the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program. The adjuster program now features a claims diary function in which the adjuster can record all file related activity. This is separate from the File Time Sheet function where the T&E billing is tracked and billed. Also an unlimited number of reports can be used and saved for a claim. No more overwriting the last report to file a new one.
More recently the capability to have an unlimited number of coverage's per claim, the ability to flag an integrated estimate to a coverage so estimate totals automatically update the statement of loss, as well as the ability to have an unlimited number of estimates per claims have been added.
A estimate template function was added to allow any estimate to be easily saved as a template to be used to create future estimates. Once a hail estimate is written, it can be saved as a template to be copied and re-size for other estimates.
The program can import and export claims, either for transmission to another adjuster or to the vendor for closing.
Expense tracking for storms is soon to follow.
Stormcentral.com/theadjuster, a hobby for me, a serious solution for you.
Stormcentral.com/theadjuster is a claims management system, not an estimating system.
As detailed above, the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program came to exist as a source of managing claims. At the time, I had a DOS based estimating system I had developed and used, so to duplicate that capability would be a waste of time. So the development effort went into producing the accompanying claims documentation and tracking the claims.
Estimating ability for structure, contents and ALE is now integrated into the system, and the totals flow back all the reports. However the system can be used with an external estimating system as well.
The estimate template function lends itself very well to hail estimates, but if you are handling large commercial wind claims, you might be better off sticking to an older more established estimating system, that comes with a verified price database.
The Estimating Wizard, Simsol, Xactimate, MSB, ProClaim and PowerClaim have all put much effort into producing quality estimating systems, and to a certain degree all have succeeded. Each has people that swear by them and people that swear at them. I would never try to talk someone into changing from a software package with which they are happy. It is my recommendation to try as many as you have patience to try. Use the one you like best that fits your budget. Vendors might force you to use a certain package as well.
The stormcentral.com/theadjuster program does many things well, does some things other packages do not do, but does not estimate as well as the dedicated estimating systems. Please consider all options when making your software choice.
The FreeClaims Project shows a result for your software dollar.
If you do choose to spend money on the stormcentral.com/theadjuster program you see a definite return on your investment.
If you purchase training, your return is your increased knowledge and efficiency with the program.
If you purchase support, your return is the solution of your problem.
If you purchase a new form or report, your return is the use of the form or report.
Remember all updates contracted to the stormcentral.com/theadjuster are posted back on the web site to benefit all users. The stormcentral.com/theadjuster program is designed to allow custom forms to interact with the data as well as custom reports to show that data. The program can be set up so that each end user can use a different forms package if that is what they desire.
This also means that any report you have to use, can be developed so that the system produces that report. This could be any variation on the statement of loss, proof of loss, property report or estimate.
Stormcentral.com is a one man operation.
I have no staff other than myself. This means my time is limited. I can only do one thing at a time. This means often response will not be instantaneous. It also means that if I am working on your problem, I may have to take a break to handle a higher priority problem.
Our telephone training session may need to be interrupted if one of my client's servers crash. A server crash is a business critical situation and requires immediate attention. The interruption of the training session costs nothing, while a server down situation can cost thousands of dollars an hour.
If this lack of staff, or my setting of priorities for my business activity, bothers you, you should look elsewhere for your computer solutions.
I do not need the practice.
I have solved hundreds of computer resource conflicts. I built hundreds of computers. I upgraded more operating systems and hard drives than I care to remember. I have written over twenty application packages of various levels of complexity. I have installed many networks and supported even more. I have done thousands of hours of phone technical support. I have taught numerous computer software training classes. I have talked many people through learning a software package over the phone.
I do not need the practice. I need the work. So please do not ask me to look at your computer problems for free and I will not ask you to come adjust claims for me for free. You probably do not need the practice either.
Copyright © 2002 Jeffrey B. Goodman. All rights
Revised: May 20, 2005 .