Anyone else out there having trouble getting Eberl Claims Cervices, Inc. (Engle-Martin Associates) independent adjusters to properly pay their claims – particularly on State Farm claims? It is my understanding that Kirk Eberl who earns an incredible compensation (or is it dividends) as owner of Eberl Claims Service, Inc. pays his independent adjusters above the industry average. Common sense says that doing so increases loyalty to the company. It also incentivizes those adjusters who enjoy the above average income to close as many cases as possible per XYC insurance company protocols at the lowest possible cost to the insurance companies his company represents. The end result of course being that insured’s are left dramatically underpaid while the claim assignments to Eberl keep coming.
I was recently contacted by a previous customer from eight years ago who’s Farmers claim came to, after a fourth and final inspection, slightly over $72,000. After meeting with them re the recent Minnesota hail damage, they scheduled an adjuster inspection. The first adjuster (Pilot) estimated the very same damage minus three elevations of vinyl siding at around $55k. Although he stated that his EagleView report had missed the very substantial roof sq footage over the porch overhangs on the house (almost 16 Square) he failed to make the correction in his estimate. Existing roofing is GAF HD so I bid the roofing as High Grade rather than basic (Natural Shadow). Also missing were starter, drip edge, step flash, chimney flash, and other line items. In regards to the NLA siding, he said he would contact State Farm to find out if there was a match and would get back to the insured with the results. He then gave me an enthusiastic “high 5” as he got into his truck to leave.
A few days later, State Farm informed the insured’s that a replacement siding was available from Alside. Upon learning that, I picked up a sample piece so I could prove that State Farms recommended siding would not match. Upon reviewing the insured’s first loss report I told the insured’s to request a re-inspection. When the day arrived, a Minnesota based Eberl adjuster who, according to his LinkedIn page, specializes in residential window claims, arrived.
During the re-inspection the insured’s and I met with the adjuster to show him the physical proof that State Farms recommended siding panel would not match. Although he did slightly correct the roofing sq footage, he totally disregarded the siding mismatch and excluded the other three sides of the house. He also excluded the items mentioned in paragraph two as well as O&P from the total price. As well, although I averaged the total waste of the house and barn at 13% as opposed to Farmers 2008 14.6%, the adjuster, saying something about including ridge and felt in the waste, dropped the total waste factor down to 10%.
After running the waste calculations using a well-respected mechanical engineers waste calc software, the actual waste factor overall should have been at the 15% mark. The end result of the re-inspection? An additional payment to the insured’s in the amount of $6,000 for a total and still gravely insufficient settlement offer of $61,600. Although I had faxed a 31 page document to State Farm claims that according to them had been made available to the Eberl “window claims” expert, he failed to respond. At this point, State Farm is still, with O&P factored in, about $40k short. Later this afternoon I will be sending a copy of my 31 page claim doc to 2018 Financial Services Roundtable chairman elect / State Farm CEO Michael Tipsord for his review and will update all re any response.
In regards to Eberl and their questionable claims adjusting practices, I’m thinking that as many contractors and PA’s as possible getting together and sharing their customer redacted Eberl prepared loss reports and the problems associated with them would be productive. If interested, feel free to contract me through the methods provided. Take them on and expose them one at a time…
Larry Burtis - 3RSystems, LLC