Former State Farm adjusters say they were trained to “dupe” customers!

If you put two and two together, you’ll get four today – as long as one is the information LA attorney Rick Trahant provided SLABBED and this is the other.

Tuesday night, I spoke with three former State Farm adjusters. All three spoke of the pressure to handle and close more claims, to closely read the policy language, and to not pay for certain items following disasters before actually adjusting losses.

They went so far as to have role playing scenarios where they practiced negotiating techniques which dupe customers into believing the insurer position regarding adjustment is proper.

Looks as if the real stars of the training were sent to Louisiana to sell this line from the document Rick sent that surely had our readers ROFLAO.

There was a lack of wind damage to the roofing, indicating that the roofs were likely underwater when the winds were the strongest and/or the winds were not very strong at roof level.

Now, back to more of what the three former State Farm adjusters, all currently working as public adjustors, told Floria attorney Chip Merlin.

One…adjuster talked of going to a Haag Engineering seminar regarding roof damage. These are generally attended by the insurance company adjusters. The Haag trainer opened the seminar claiming that adjusters would learn techniques to pay for little, or possibly nothing, on roof claims where the adjuster would otherwise pay for complete replacement…

These former insurance company adjusters revealed that all these wrongful activities were culturally accepted as proper. Some admitted they were “brainwashed”, by subtle motivation and goal setting on how they paid claims, into thinking they were the guardians of the insurance company treasury.

Merlin concluded his post with a great suggestion.

In today’s claims environment, every policyholder with a significant loss should consider hiring their own claims professional.

Maybe some of our readers can explain more about how a policyholder would go about hiring their own adjuster. Sounds like a winner to me.

13 thoughts on “Former State Farm adjusters say they were trained to “dupe” customers!”

  1. You hire a public adjuster Nowdy. They work for you, not your insurance company. In a blog entry several months ago Rossmiller explained the assumed adversarial relationship between an insurer and their customer. Given the current legal climate I think Chip Merlin’s advice is good.

    The big change in claims adjustment that resulted from adopting the McKinsey and Comapny recommendations means the process ceased being centered on following the terms of the policy in favor of an insurer settling the claim as cheaply as possible regardless of what the customer is contractually due.

    Insurance types will spout chapter and verse on how they are at a disadvantage in claims adjusting due to information asymmetries between them and a first party claimant but that is collegiate Ivory Tower bullshit. People that lose their houses and most if not all of their possessions are at an extreme disadvantage when their insurer decides to play hard ball with them after. And given the circumstances, pretending that it is the insured’s fault that a company like State Farm dumped their claim on NFIP because they took a check is more patent BS. That line of bull may sound good in Portland but it ignores the reality of the situation.


    1. State Farm is the worst insurance company that has ever been exempt from prosecution. They’re in bed with congress and the worst thing is that all insurance companies are a sham. There agents and adjusters are the scum of the earth

  2. Morning, Sop, I understand what happens after you hire an adjuster. : ) I was asking how you find one. Yellow pages?

  3. Quote:

    “Tuesday night, I spoke with three former State Farm adjusters. All three spoke of the pressure to handle and close more claims, to closely read the policy language, and to not pay for certain items following disasters before actually adjusting losses.”

    Wow! You guys have blown the lid off of this scandal! Adjusters told to READ THE POLICY! For shame! How dare they!

    And closing claims? (Which requires PAYING them.) Horrific!

    You guys have changed my mind. You win. All carriers are evil.

    On another note: are you suggesting that the McKinsey documents address first-party claim handling? If so, could you cite me to a particular part? I thought they dealt with thrid party claims.

  4. Incredible. Simply incredible. I have personally watched Mr. Merlin present this hilarious position that the great evil insurance companies want to screw over everyone several times now.

    I begin with the request to provide documentary evidence of any allegation being brought up by these prior “State Farm” adjusters. They’ll have none. I imagine anyone who gets fired or has a boss they hate will generally take that aggression out on a company rather than the individual. Not to mention that America loves Drama… So of course, they were told to screw the policy holder over. Yes indeed there is a secret group of white haired fat men sitting in front of a huge oak table smoking fine cigars and sipping brandy laughing at us all.

    Does it sound ridiculous yet. The saddest thing to me is the continued position of stating that Mr. Merlin wants to “Help” these people. Well Mr. Merlin, I reqeust that you post how yo bill these individuals.

    Typically, the PA will bill for 30% of the final paid sum. So, if you the insured receive $10,000.00 in damages, you will get to keep 7. But that isn’t generally brought out when making your high and mighty sales speech is it Mr. Merlin?

    So lets think about it… As a 20 year insurance adjuster, I state in fact, and please look this stuff up at credible sites to verify rather than the words of a blood sucking attorney or even myself who you dont know,that you can always retain PA assistance when you need it regardless of the current position of the claim. Other than entering a courtroom, you can bring a PA in anytime, so why just immediatley offer up 30%.

    Would it not make a great deal more sense to let the insurance company handle it, then, if you feel that you are being screwed, retain the PA. If you take them at their word right off the bat, then you may hand them a chunk of your money that you would otherwise keep and who is screwing who then.

    I’ve been in it a long time, and I tell you from vast experience, by in large, insurance companies do not directly attempt to pull the wool over their insureds. It is a competitive industry.

    It is not fiscally sound to believe that the insurance industry doesn’t care how they look or are interested in not paying you $5,000.00 dollars when they are in a game of billions. Customer service like in any other industry is highly promoted at everyplace I’ve been.

    So take a second and rationalize, is it believable that a long term billion dollar industry stared by Ben Franklin is now evil and hiding under your bed… or that maybe this venomous attorney and his legion of PA’s he works with are ready and willing to play to your heart strings while reaching down your back pocket.

    Attorneys have their reputations for a reason as well… Just food for thought…

    1. True and false….im a public adjuster…just not a blood sucker…only ever ask for 17-20% or less. And develope good relationship with company adjusters and my client. This get rich quick BS in the public adjustment world is pretty disgusting.

    2. Well thank you Clams Pro for affirming your high opinion of yourself and your industry for us. We never knew that you thought we were all that dumb.

  5. Talk about a “blast from the past”, Claims Pro, that post is 2 1/2 years old – and, I didn’t know what a PA (public adjuster) was back then!

    I do now and gather your point is give the insurance company a shot at handling the claim before hiring a public adjuster.

    Just what world do you live in? It definitely is not the real world of insurance.

    True enough, there are some lucky folks who have their claims promptly and properly adjusted by their insurer – but those IMO are people whose number came up in the insurance roulette played daily in our country.

    Personally, I’m not a gambler and don’t recommend anyone take the risk of relying on “luck” when they could rely on a PA.

    I have a close friend whose house burned Labor Day weekend and the claim isn’t close to being settled – the delay may or may not amount to “bad faith” under applicable law but it’s definitely bad faith in terms of the faith she had in her insurer.

    If she’d hired a PA, it wouldn’t have been necessary for her to hire an attorney – so there’s no question in my mind that any money spent on the services of a PA is an investment that pays off.

  6. To ClaimsPro: You are a prejudicial, preKatrina, pre-historic , premier piss ant who is in desperate need of a total wipeout claim on your home/business with thousands of other victims and then have to allow people like yourself into their temporary homes to hear the same bullsh!t you and your type dish out.

    But I’m sure your wonderful insurance company/s would not treat you like we were treated because you are both one in the same. Please take your Ben Franklin bullsh!t somewhere else because the SlabbedNation has been through enough.

  7. Please note that as of 2011 State Farm is forcing independent adjusting firms to pay their 1099 (independent) employees a w-2. This is unjustly causing those independent employees to forfeit their rights and eliminate the chance to write off ALL work related expenses. It is costing the average independent adjuster 20 k per year.

    I have notified IRS and several tax lawyers and both recommend legal action. If you are affected by this please respond.

  8. The biggest problem we have is people think insurance is a lottery . Most buy premiums not insurance. Since Katrina and BP the pity pot deepens!

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