More From Inside Nationwide. A Manifesto That Threatens Termination For Appraisers Who Fail to Get With The Program.

January 3, 2007 by
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

My previous article highlighted some of the methods being used by Nationwide Insurance (in my little part of the world, anyway) to suppress the severity of initial estimates in the field. As you could tell by the tone of language, the claims manager was under intense pressure to straighten out his crew of appraisers. It should come as no surprise, but several appraisers were eventually fired or quit.

Today I am posting an email sent out to 22 subordinates by one Paul J. Connell, Materials Damage Claims Associate Director. This email followed a meeting they had that day. I have been told that many who attended that meeting had the urge to quit when they left the building. It’s also interesting to note that some of Progressive’s people have been migrating to Nationwide. Starting to make sense now?

Here’s the email. Much of it is just boring crap, but to be fair I decided to post it in its entirety. I have highlighted the interesting parts with Bold Italics. I could comment on every word and turn this into a book, but I will leave that to you. Let’s hear what you think. Let me know if you’d like a job working for this guy. I hear there are plenty of openings. Remember, I’m just pasting it here with no spelling or grammar corrections.

To All,

Below is a summary of today’s MD Meeting in Rocky Hill. Take a moment to read and review. You have all been made aware of the changes to the claims environment and are all responsible for the next move regarding your careers. Take it to hear and move the needle up a notch.

  • More accountability for the ultimate result of each claim
  • Communicating to customers on an ongoing basis rather than at the beginning of the claim
  • Status quo is the thing of the past. As an organization, we must change our approaches on an ongoing basis to stay competitive in the market. If we don’t, we will fall behind and jobs will be lost.
  • Management direction and follow up
  • Using the calendar in Lotus Notes is mandatory and not an option as of today.
  • You all have had training but if you need some help, call your manager.
  • Only four people raised there hands today who are actually using the calendar, the expectation moving forward is 100% compliance.
  • The calendar is not to “keep an eye” on you but rather to help manage your day and time.
  • The calendar will help us “load level” your assignments if the situation warrants.
  • The CA’s who use the calendar didn’t have any problems using the system to manage their day
  • You are all being held responsible for all facets of the claim you handle (customer contact, rental, repair process, cycle time, APU, etc). Take it, plan it, execute. WORK THE CLAIM TO RESOLUTION…NOT EXCUSES. Excuses get in the way of results.
  • Calling Fran’s unit for help is history. Any issues, work it out or call your manager.
  • Complete all calls to customers, body shops, rental vendors, part vendors, etc during the repair process. Don’t be afraid to manage the repairs with the shop. Work with them to get repairs done as soon as possible. You have all been around long enough to handle body shops, use your experience capital to get to resolution. If there are delays in repairs, what’s being done to manage? Is the vehicle torn down? Ordering parts while inspecting vehicle for original estimate or supplements?
  • Supplements are to be handled in the same manner. Make your calls, hold shops accountable to completion. If they delay, they owe the rental. The more you work with the shops, the better closing claims will be.
  • You do not need multiple supplements on a small hit. Spend the extra five minutes for resolution and hold shop accountable for your negotiation. We can’t let shop continue to call us back. It’s a waste of time for all parties. However, there may be times for legitimate supplements, such as part price differences.
  • Anyone going on an Action Plan must fullfil all requirements. If requirements are not met, other options will be implemented. We have strong candidates waiting to join the Nationwide Team that will complete all necessary tasks to complete a detailed claim.
  • Documentation must be entered at all times. Joe and Brad introduced a new protocol for all to follow. As soon as you receive the new copy, implementation is immediate. If you have questions, call Joe or Brad immediately
  • Drive-In: write the estimate as accurately as possible. Given the severity of the drive-in claims, 45 minutes should be sufficient time. When customers come late, manage it and resolve because that is the nature of the beast. Supplements for drive-ins will be handled by field and BRRS managers.
  • Keep aggressive with same day contacts and inspections. If you get an assignment at 3:30 pm, make all your calls and work the file as far as possible. Do not postpone or schedule far off appointments. No better time than the present. WE ARE WATCHING.
  • Bottom line, we are ALL responsible for rental.
  • There are no excuses. You are all adjusters, manage the rental with everyone involved in the claim (customer, shop, CL1, MD, etc)
  • Regardless of what rental vendor is used, you need to manage it.
  • Do not take the approach that “it’s someone else’s job”. This responsibility belongs to all of us.
  • Agents are also required to properly educate and inform customers of rental coverage. You also must visit agents in the endeavor to raise awareness of any rental issues.
  • XXX XXX announced that he is leaving the region and will be working in PA. We all wish him well.
  • A position will be posted for XXX’s replacement.
  • Meanwhile, XXX XXX will continue to handle his current territory
  • ACE will be providing live feedback on trends identified in the field.
  • ACE Will be helping us all keep track of how we are doing in the field and continue to hold us accountable for our decisions in the field.
  • We are looking for leaders. Only two hands were raised when I asked the question. This is disappointing.
  • The expectation from you is to take your job to another level and manage you day / claims.
  • I did not get the sense that the majority of the group has any desire to move up in the ranking. That is fine, however, you need to complete all tasks necessary for quick and final claim resolution
  • The Leadership Group is looking at everything and will be approaching each one of you in the near future to find out what you’re doing to better yourself, claims handling, and Nationwide. BE PREPARED TO ANSWER THEM.
  • The NERO meeting tomorrow will outline how we are doing as a region as well as XXX XXX expectations from both you, the organization, and agents.
  • Changes are here with more to follow. We need to change to stay competitive in the insurance market. Accept and embrace it.
  • Work with the changes and implement what we are asking of you. If you are having trouble, seek help immediately.
  • Anyone going on an Action Plan must meet all requirement or face alternative job opportunities.
  • Work the claim to the bone. Manage everything, even if it’s not “traditionally” your job.
  • Provide feedback to the management group if something is not being completed properly before, during, or after you handle the claim.
  • Manage the repair process more aggressively and work with the shops to maintain adherance to completion dates. Don’t forget about rental.
  • Document, Document, Document. If it’s not in CLASS, it didn’t happen.
  • You are adjusters, adjust the claim. Do not just appraise the vehicle.
  • We have people in the wings ready to step in and do all the things we’re asking of you. Whose ready to step up to the next level?

Kevin – please add any additional comments you see fit.

Paul Connell, Materials Damage Claims Associate Director

 Is this guy obsessive with micro management or what? And he wants his appraisers to micro manage every repair. I wonder if this guy came to Nationwide from Progressive. It sure sounds like it.

As a foot note, I have an email from the same person who wrote the emails in my previous article, that tries to control the damage done by this email. So many appraisers were appalled by this manifesto their direct supervisor had to try to smooth over the rough edges and contradict what Paul here had to say, especially with regards to appraisers losing their jobs and being watched by big brother.

A manifesto is the perfect description for Paul Connell’s rant. He makes Nationwide sound like some sort of cult, much like Allstate did years ago. Is that what it’s like inside Progressive? Do we really have to ask that question? I’ll bet Progressive is worse.

What really cracked me up was when he said, “We have people in the wings ready to step in and do all the things we’re asking of you.” Yeah, right! We all believe that don’t we?

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24 Comments on More From Inside Nationwide. A Manifesto That Threatens Termination For Appraisers Who Fail to Get With The Program.

  1. George A. Moore on Wed, 3rd Jan 2007 5:47 pm
  2. The two worst companies that we deal with are consistantly Progressive and Nationwide. The appraisers,except for a few are like Zombies that have been micro-chipped by their companies to behave like mindless idiots that constantly repeat the company mantra when challenged on an estimate.
    There used to be a “reasonable” dialogue to have with these people but that is no longer the case. They used to pay for reasonable items to repair cars correctly but that is no longer the case. All we want is to get paid a reasonable amount to correctly repair a car according to acceptable standards in the industry. These companies keep lowering the standards and simply lie to their insureds as to what is truely a
    well repaired car.
    If the idiots running shops dependant on DRP work would stop cow-towing to these thiefs just to get work, alot of these problems would go away.

  3. Scott G. on Thu, 4th Jan 2007 7:56 am
  4. These guys are incredable. They will spend $500.00 to save $5.00!!!!!!

  5. ed on Thu, 4th Jan 2007 7:28 pm
  6. wow i would walkout the day they handed this crap to me.

  7. Rob Lynn on Fri, 5th Jan 2007 11:03 pm
  8. I guess I’m confused about your complaint. Mr. Connell’s email seems to only create a more efficient division for his employer and more importantly give the best product to his employer’s customers. In fact, he seems to be only concerned about making his employer’s customers happy. Is this not a concern of your business as a business owner? Are you saying that in your business you are okay with letting your employees “slack off”, and then charge the customer as if the employee was as efficient as possible? Because that alternative borders on a slippery slope of insurance fraud, let alone slimy business practices? My advice to you would be to create your own “manifesto” and get your employees to be as professional as Mr. Connell expects his employees to be and then you don’t have to continue to cut off the hands that feed you. By the way, a “manifesto” is a public declaration, and I don’t think Mr. Connell ever meant for his internal email to be public…you may want to use another phrase…like Mr. Connell’s “professional advice” to his division.

  9. Vama Emfinger on Thu, 11th Jan 2007 9:48 am
  10. I can’t believe they expect these people to be able to do everything! If you work for an insurance company, they can fire you at any time because there’s no way you can do all the things these people are required to do. It’s just not possible in an 8 hour day. I worked for someone who “puts you where you belong” and it was the same thing. I had bad time mangement but they couldn’t give me an example of someone who had ‘good’ time management. But I’m glad I had the experience plus I was awarded over $100,000 in a class action lawsuit filed by the claim reps. So it was worth it.

  11. George A. Moore on Thu, 11th Jan 2007 6:07 pm
  12. Mr.Rob Lynn needs to experience and have the thrill of trying to run a profitable bodyshop business in todays climate. He sounds like someone
    who`s never fixed a car let alone had the balls to be in business himself. As a business that is controlled by an uncaring and profit at any cost driven trend of companies that rule the auto collision world of today, I for one am sick and tired of the constant ruthlessness of their profit at any cost mantra. The book times on labor are even being
    lowered by the pressure from the insurance industry to the data providers. I save all my old labor guides and if any of you out there have them sitting around look at the ones from just a couple of years ago and you will find that paint times have been mysteriously lowered.
    How is it that it has gotten to this point?

  13. Dan on Mon, 22nd Jan 2007 3:21 pm
  14. I just want to respond to Mr.Lynns observation of Paul Connel.It is more than obvious you work for Nationwide or a similiar company.I had the unfortunate privelage of being at that meeting.This was the first meeting Mr. Connel had taken part in since he was hired at Nationwide.You must know we were all thrilled that they wanted us to basically work around the clock and then try to negotiate overtime with you,like it was time to repair a fender.How fare does that sound to you.Try working for managers that wants you to call them back in 10 minutes after they leave you a message and when you call them,you’d be lucky to get a call back.It wasn’t to long after that meeting, and when Paul was hired,that we started loosing good claim reps.Before I quit,they had lost or fired 3 others.This company is not capable of good CSI as they ask you to to handle the job of 2 adjusters in the same time or else face the rath of the dredded coaching plan.It is impossible,trust me.I worked for the same manager for the 1st five years I was there and was put on 1 coaching plan.The last manager I had put me on 3,I worked for him for about 3 months.Could I have changed that much and became such a bad adjuster in that short of time?I think what it boils down to is they wanted some of the hire paid guys out and people with little to no auto experience in.The Progressive way,right.Does all this come from Mr Connel,very doudtful,but it went through him this day.

  15. ED on Wed, 24th Jan 2007 5:16 pm
  16. I find it hard to belive this garbage company cares at all about its customers or employees. Keep in mind this is the same company that insists on lkq or a/m parts for even the 2007 (current year) vehicle. This company is now using lkq parts from older vehicles than the vehicle that is being repaired as long as it fits. Example if a 1999 suspension fits on a 2007 USE IT!. YEA THEY CARE ALOT. As far as employees go if I were you mr Lynn I would be worried about being the next ex-employee to file for unemployment. NATIONWIDE CARES ONLY ABOUT THE BOTTOM LINE PROFIT THATS ALL.

  17. Rob Lynn on Thu, 25th Jan 2007 11:25 pm
  18. Dan and Ed,

    I don’t even know where to begin…so many emotions unloaded in your emails. Wow. I don’t know, maybe Oprah can help you guys with that. For me, until you agree to re-read your own emails before you send them, then why should I have to decipher them? English boys, come on, let’s at least try to make some sense. For now, best I can do is to help you answer your own question. Would Mr. Connell actually be responding to you? Or, that I am a co-worker? What? You think that would fly in the “Big Bad Company” as you describe it? Come on guys, your arguments lose because the assumptions you make are based on facts that are speculative at best. In other words, you two would have gotten a couple of D-‘s on you homework (again).

    And Mr. Moore, don’t laugh so fast, your assumptions above were no better.

  19. ed on Fri, 26th Jan 2007 6:40 am
  20. Wow! Rob It soudns like you have no comeback to our FACTS, not speculations. Why are you grabbing at straws for something to say. I never claimed to be college educated, this inn’t about that. this is about the porking Nationwide is doing to the consumers, employees and bodyshops. I think anyone with just a little commensense can see that (something you obviously do not have).

  21. Dan on Fri, 26th Jan 2007 6:59 am
  22. Rob,We all know I worked for the company and have a pretty good idea what went on there.What is it that you do since your on this personal attact for the way Ed and I spell?I also find it amusing that you did not respond to anything either of us had to say or deny the way this company does business.If your not going to defend Nationwide,why bother attacting us.Do you know us?

  23. George A. Moore on Tue, 30th Jan 2007 7:26 pm
  24. Dear Mr.Lynn

    I worked for Nationwide. I know. I am not laughing, nor am I laughing too fast. I quit because I didn`t want to work for a corrupt company.
    I can debate you on the facts any time you would care to have an honest and open discussion on policy, ethics and business.
    Don`t forget, the first act of insurance fraud is a drive in estimate. These acts are committed daily with full approval and knowledge of most insurance company personnel as to how they systematically low ball the policy holders on the true cost of repairs.
    Spell out what an insurance policy will pay for in clear, plain understandable language before someone pays their hard earned money towards what basically amounts to is a false promise enhanced by advertising that mis-states and lies about what the true meaning and reason why insurance exists in the first place.

  25. MB on Fri, 9th Feb 2007 5:12 pm
  26. As business owners we want to be paid fairly for the work we perform, but we also need to make sure we’re not wasting time & money on people who work inefficiently. Sounds like Dan’s jig was up and he’s been eating sour grapes since

  27. Dan on Sat, 10th Feb 2007 4:43 pm
  28. Thats pretty amusing MB.What do you consider a jig?I had to eat sour grapes for 6 years.I’m assuming your saying I was an ineffient employee?I dont understand why your making comments about me when Nationwide Ins should be the focus.I am just stating my opinion on what everyone in this industry already knows,Nationwide Ins is one of the 2 worst insurers in CT.Please debate that fact and stop worrying about me, a jig, and some sour grapes,your just wasting space.

  29. AutoMuse » Blawg Review # 95 on Mon, 12th Feb 2007 9:49 am
  30. […] Shortell of the BodyShop Solutions blog has an enlightening post called More From Inside Nationwide.  A Manifesto That Threatens Termination for Appraisers Who Fail to Ge… about the realities of how insurers treat consumers, collision repair facilities, and their own […]

  31. Shell on Fri, 16th Feb 2007 7:28 am
  32. The insurance companies should start teaching the realistic way a vehicle is repaired and how things work in the real world and stop trying to squeeze every penny from people who actually work for it, then maybe everyones life would run a lot smoother and everyone would actually save money and make money. Insurance companies are so focused on cutting their cost that they have NO idea how much money they are wasting (it’s a joke). The solutions are simple but implementing them are impossible. In the 12 years I have been in the business I have seen so many mistakes made by insurance reps. and I know because I do there jobs everyday. If I ever look for another job I will either work for an insurance co. or parts dept. because in both jobs you really do not have to have any idea what you are doing and someone else will do your job. The problems go way beyond what outsiders actually see, only if you work in a body shop and have a heart and soul could you understand the severity of the situation. The only way things will change are if the insurance companies are goverened, held responsible for their actions and are made to understand how the business really works.

  33. brad on Thu, 19th Apr 2007 9:08 pm
  34. I have been around collision repair business my whole life. I have worked with Nationwide insurance adjusters a number of years. For the most part they are good people who have had their souls removed by some regional manager who was summon from hell to make these poor souls second guess themselves on a daily basis. I have never met a happy adjuster. But a long time ago the heavens opened up and down came a claims manager who knew his stuff. He was a godsend to the collision repair business. The quarterly numbers soared and the bar was set high. He was the Man. Well as always someone up the ladder felt threaten by this outstanding performance and banished this heaven sent person. Although he was banished his numbers were still untouchable. This is now a problem not only for the next claims adjuster but the collision repair shops. The numbers were so outstanding no creature from Hell could touch them. They became angry and reign terror down on the collision repair shops. There will be no respect for a claims manager with no balls and who has no clue how to motivate the shops to once again reach the level where the sun shines and everything is right with the world. Until claim managers can stand up and think like concern business people and treat the shops like the professional business they are the numbers will be out of reach, just like the pay raises.

  35. Peredelise on Tue, 7th Aug 2007 11:51 pm
  36. Hi, some smooth ocelot jauntily took across from that wholehearted leopard. where was depression org

  37. jonnyoiu on Wed, 29th Aug 2007 8:20 am
  38. Anyone tried nvest free money into real estate property?
    I guess investment into real estate things can be the best investment in your life. Real estate is good because it is like gold.

  39. dralandex on Thu, 27th Sep 2007 1:29 pm
  40. Nancy on Wed, 12th Mar 2008 12:09 pm
  41. I had a collision a one year old Acura and let me tell you Nationwide was NOT on my side. The repair shop had my car for over 6 months and additional time for doing all the other things discovered after the return. The body shop begged the adjuster to total the car, he would not and now I am still having problems with this car including diminuted value for all my warranties. It is a nightmare.
    After I got the car back the first time, I had trouble stopping. Seems a major bolt to the frame was not on and I almost got killed.
    Then it was the windshield which was not up to standard.
    Then it was my radio.
    Then it was my tires wearing badly.
    Now it it my sunroof which they never replaced the tracks and never opening it since the accident all the tracks are broken inside my frame. Warranty not honored due to accident. I have had it anyone who knows anything please email me.

  42. mini me on Wed, 12th Mar 2008 7:38 pm
  43. Nancy your car sounds like it might still not be safe to drive. Go to the ICAN or ICAN 2000 website and look for a shop in your area that does – post repair inspections. Insurance company employees generally don’t know how to repair cars, and should never tell shops how or if a car should be repaired. It sounds like the shop thinks the insurer is the customer and not you.

  44. Trenfliltet on Thu, 27th Mar 2008 5:21 am
  45. Do you know if some company use the same marketing concept as Webkinz?

    I’m writing a few articles right now and want to get some info and opinions.

  46. Blawg Review # 95 | AutoMuse ® on Sat, 28th Dec 2013 1:25 pm
  47. […] Shortell of the BodyShop Solutions blog has an enlightening post called More From Inside Nationwide.  A Manifesto That Threatens Termination for Appraisers Who Fail to Ge… about the realities of how insurers treat consumers, collision repair facilities, and their own […]

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