Is Vale Worth It? An Interview with a Vale-Trained Insurance Company
Since our partnership with Vale Training Solutions began, we’ve fielded hundreds of inquiries and many specifically interested in the value of Vale’s training. Recently I was given the privilege of interviewing a company with Vale-trained adjusters, and I thought I’d share this info with the blog. I think you’ll find it informative!
Federated National Insurance Company (FNIC) is a small boutique carrier in South Florida. Nathaniel Wimberly, PCLA, Claims Operations Manager at FNIC, was kind enough to expand on just how pleased he is with his Vale-trained adjusters and with his own Vale training. Also present in the interview: Carlos Infante and Rod Savitt – both full-time field adjusters for FNIC.
Here are some highlights, quotes and tidbits from the interview. Please note that some sections of the interview are paraphrased, but have been reviewed by the interviewees.
AdjusterPro: Is the investment in Vale training worth the cost?
Nathaniel Wimberly: I’d say so! FNIC has been sending adjusters to Vale for years. In fact, FNIC has an ongoing policy of investing in Vale education for their adjusters, and plans to send several to the advanced homeowner’s class in the near future. FNIC has invested significantly in my Vale education; they’ve sent me to Vale three times – for the basic homeowner’s class, the advanced homeowner’s class and the advanced auto class.
AdjusterPro: What is the biggest difference between a Vale trained adjuster and an adjuster who has not attended Vale?
Mr. Wimberly: The biggest difference is that my new adjusters who’ve graduated from Vale [basic homeowners course] can basically hit the ground running. They come back pretty much ready to write claims. You don’t have to spend a lot of time teaching them, just a few tweaks to tailor their education to the specific policies and procedures here. A very important fact is that they teach you procedures. They show you everything from foundation to roof, they give the knowledge then, you apply at your own company.
AdjusterPro: We’ve heard from carriers that a Vale education is equivalent to 6 months of experience in the field. Do you agree?
Mr. Wimberly: That’s about right.
AdjusterPro: Vale training is a significant expense. Is it worth it?
Mr. Wimberly: I’d say so. We’re asking the company to send us back for more classes. I’ve been to Vale 3 times. Advanced auto, homeowners, advanced homeowner. I came back with a lot more knowledge and confidence. That’s another thing that Vale gives you – confidence. It’s a crash course, but you still learn a lot. It’s very valuable, for the money.
Rod Savitt and Carlos Infante, two claims adjusters at FNIC, were also present at the interview. They had attended the basic homeowner’s course approximately two years ago, and they both agreed that it was very valuable to them as adjusters and gave them a big edge.
AdjusterPro: How’s your Vale training treating you?
Carlos: It was very beneficial, I learned a lot about how to scope a loss. The mock houses, using tape measures, writing full claim reports in different scenarios. It was very beneficial. I liked the simulation of the claims atmosphere. We spent lots of time in the mock house. How to measure carpet, flooring, siding, how to do a fire loss. You get to experience everything. Roof, kitchen, everything. Every elevation looks like a different house! We’re asking the company to send us back for more classes. I came back with a lot more knowledge and confidence.
AdjusterPro: Had you done claims before going?
Carlos: No. I went to the two week class.
AdjusterPro: Did it prepare you to handle claims?
Carlos: Pretty much. My Vale instructor wanted different writing, report order, etc. than FNIC, but they teach you the basics of what you need to know [and then you can apply it to your own company].
Rod: Vale was very beneficial. They show you how to write, how to scope, you get to work in the mock house, work with scenarios. It prepared me to handle claims.
AdjusterPro: You guys were also sent to Vale’s liability class. Was that worth it?
Rod: Definitely worth it.
Adjusterpro: Is the fact that you have a Vale education ever useful when you’re in court or when your competence is questioned or have to prove your authority?
Mr. Wimberly: Yes, I use it all the time. The fact that I went to Vale, that is. I utilize that when necessary. Some fellow students at Vale had been adjusting for years and already knew the info. They just wanted the Vale certification as a “feather in their cap”.
Closing notes: FNIC is in South Florida. All interviewees mentioned that they would have liked more Florida-specific knowledge. Knowledge of basements and furnaces was not helpful in S. FL. More teaching on tile roofs and other geographically specific construction issues would have been nice. However, all interviewees agreed that, for the most part, it was a huge benefit to have the Vale experience.