Doss and Assoiciates Vehicle Appraisal Standards Doss and Assoiciates offers a variety of claims administration services to numerous clients, and regardless of the particular service required, we will always be dedicated to providing the client with a quality product. In keeping with this philosophy, and to insure compliance by all personnel, Service Standards have been developed and are set forth herein. In lieu of any specific instructions from our clients to the contrary, the Service Standards will provide guidelines to insure quality and uniformity to the handling of all loses for all clients. Personnel, at all levels, are expected to comply with the procedures set forth in the Service Standards. Job performance evaluations will be considered on the basis of an employee’s degree of compliance to the Standards. Associate office management and supervisory personnel will train, instruct, and conduct all claims supervisory functions within the branch office on the basis of and in accordance with the Service Standards. Supervision will continuously stress and monitor adherence to the Standards by all associates. Futurity review audits will be performed continuously to assess total compliance to Standards. IMPORTANT! SOME CLIENTS HAVE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED AND WHICH MAY DIFFER FROM DOSS AND ASSOCIATES SERVICES STANDARDS. ALWAYS MAKE CERTAIN TO DETERMINE THE EXISTENCE OF ANY APPLICABLE INSTRUCTIONS PRIOR TO HANDLING ANY ASSIGNMENTS. ALL INSPECTIONS WIL BE PERFORMED IN STRICT ADHERENCE TO STATE AND FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS. I. Service Time Requirements a. Appraisal Service Time Standard: Appraisal contact is to be made the same day we receive assignment, inspection of vehicle within 48 hours, and appraisal within 72 hours. In those cases where appraisal cannot be completed as scheduled, notify adjuster/client by Status Report indicating the delay and the cause. The Report must be sent if the appraisal is not completed within 72 hours. b. Appraisal Futurity: All personnel need and will receive supervision on a regular basis. Claims handling personnel with less than one year of experience will be placed on a weekly file review system. Claims handling personnel with more than one year of experience must have their files reviewed every two weeks, unless the manager of that office deems it necessary to continue a weekly review in view of that person’s ability. Claims handling personnel who have in excess of five years experience, and whose ability permits, may have their futurity read at longer intervals, but under no circumstances may it exceed a monthly review by a supervisor or branch manager. Supervisors will note and initial futurity review dates in the spaces provided on the Claims Progress form. After a futurity review has been completed, it is the associate’s responsibility to review and follow the comments and recommendations provided. To achieve accuracy and adequacy of report content, a manager or assistant manager is required to review (prior to mailing) all reports to clients. c. Heavy Equipment Service Standards: i. Unit Inspection Standards Service Time Standards-24 hour contact -72 hour inspection ii. First Client Contact- Phone contact to be made with client upon completion of initial inspection. iii. First Report- Completion within seven (7) calendar days after receipt of assignment. iv. Subsequent Reports- Intervals of fourteen (14) days, unless otherwise specified by client or when file has been noted for longer reporting. Duration not to exceed thirty (30) days. v. Closing Report- When all necessary activity has been completed. II. Quality Control Mechanisms a. Procedural/Service Time Compliance Rating Key: 1 Performance is Unsatisfactory Below 75 2 Performance is Below Requirements 76-83 3 Performance Met Requirements 84-90 4 Performance Exceeded Requirements 91-95 5 Performance Outstanding 96-100 Variance Level More than 6% 1 Performance is Unsatisfactory 4-6% 2 Performance is Below Requirements 2-4% 3 Performance Met Requirements 0-2% 4 Performance Exceeded Requirements 0 5 Performance Outstanding b. Heavy Equipment Quality Control: In order to monitor and maintain a quality heavy equipment program, the following review procedures should be followed by all employees writing appraisals on heavy equipment of any type. i. A Copy of the completed file contact on all heavy equipment assignments completed by Material Damage Appraisers in excess of $5,000.00 will be forwarded to the Material Damage Advisor for review and recommendations. ii. Reporting limits will be raised or lowered by authority of the Branch Manager. File will be reviewed for the following procedural and technical information: Service Standards Reporting content and accuracy Technical content and application Form completion Total Loss Evaluation Charging and billing procedures III. Reporting Requirements a. Preparation of Damage Appraisal: The independently prepared appraisal must include (1) a dated, signed appraisal showing the location of inspection; (2) the make, year, model, vehicle identification of serial number, license number, and body style, plus all extra equipment; and (3) the condition of the vehicle described completely, including the odometer reading and a listing of old, pre- existing, or unrelated damage. Use a tread depth gauge when indicating tire condition on all appraisals and indicate in 32 seconds of an inch tread remaining. Every area of information is to be completed. If there is a reason why it cannot be, it must be so indicated (UNK- for Unknown, None, N/A for Not Applicable). Absolutely no empty blocks or spaces should remain on a completed appraisal. Accurate time allowances should be established in hours on all items to be repaired or replaces; overlap or related operations should be removed. Replacement allowances should be made only when parts cannot be economically or properly repaired. Replacement figures should be based on new, used parts of Like, Kind and Quality (LKQ) exchange parts or aftermarket parts, whichever is available, appropriate and most cost effective. Depreciation or betterment should be applied whenever there is a change I in value because of wear, age, usage or other cause. Do not copy, rearrange, or use a shop estimate in preparation of an appraisal. The appraiser’s objectivity is removed by knowledge of the shop estimate. b. LKQ Replacement Parts: Apply appearance allowances whenever damage is slight and the age or condition of the vehicle or part does not warrant replacement, and does not affect the safety or operation of the vehicle. This can arise under many circumstances and can involve almost any part of a damaged vehicle. When possible, recycled parts should be utilized in the repairs and/or replacement of nonfunctional sheet metal parts on all model vehicles. The recycled parts must be serviceable and in good condition. In this respect, the appraiser should have prior knowledge of the type and condition of the merchandise a particular salvage yard sells. Replacement assemblies for suspension parts, steering, brake parts or any other safety item will not be recommended, unless specifically requested by client; then comments must be made on the Appraiser’s Report. c. Exchange Items: User rechromed bumpers, record radiators and other rebuilt parts. This applies particularly to generators, starters and certain other mechanical items. Their warranties often exceed the new, and the savings are considerable. If not available consider betterment when applicable. d. Aftermarket Parts: Aftermarket parts should be considered and utilized whenever they are acceptable to the owner. e. Sectioning: Sectioning or repaneling procedures on frame type vehicles should be followed wherever feasible, as opposed to complete replacement operations. Unibody structural sectioning should be applied only according to manufacturer’s specifications or specific client instructions. f. Front End Alignment: Front end corrections should be allowed only in those cases where there is obvious or related damage to the frame rail, unibody suspension supporting components, suspension, wheels or the steering apparatus. g. Contract Prices: “Contract” prices to avoid a total loss or accommodate an owner should not be established. If the owner wants to save the unit, advise the adjuster that the shop has indicated a willingness to contract for a given figure. The associate can them conclude the claim with the owner leaving him and the shop to work out the details. A contract repair arrangement releases the repair facility of any control over the manner of quality of repairs. The vehicle owner can only do this. No contract repair figures are to be established unless specific client instructions request it. Explanation is to be made in the comment section of the Associate’s Report. h. Comment Section: Consistent and generous use of the comment section of the Appraiser’s Report is urged. Only by receiving a full report can the company or the adjuster view the loss through the eyes of the appraiser. Use additional narrative reports if it is deemed advisable. Comments made on the Appraisal Form should be limited to situations involving the repair facility only. i. Recap of Appraisal: When the final computations are being made the following items must be clearly shown: (1) the repair facility’s labor rate being applied; (2) the parts discount being allowed when applicable; (3) the percentage of tax being applied and what sum of money it is being applied to; (4) all towing and storage bills must be verified and a copy obtained. When this is not possible, a comment explaining why must be made on the Appraisal’s Report. Repair Time_________Hrs._________$_____________ Parts_______________Less_________$_____________ Sublet______________ $_____________ Sub Total___________ $_____________ Tax________________% on $_______$_____________ Towing_____________ $_____________ Total_______________ $_____________ Total Amount of Repairs $_____________ j. Agreed Figures: A signed figure will be established whenever reasonably possible. Associate will discuss repairs with repair facility wherever possible. Should specific client instructions request any variation in handling, only those areas specifically altered by those instructions should be changed, but in no way should we compromise our ethical standards. k. Authorization to Repair or Disassemble: Do not under any conditions authorize a shop to make repairs or to disassemble a unit. The owner must authorize repair or disassembly at shop of his own choice. Though it is Doss and Assoiciates policy not to recommend any repair shop, when owner is transient or otherwise requests names of quality repairers provide him with names of several reputable shops including a dealer for his own selection of a repairer. The foreman at the repairing shop should be furnished with a copy of the appraisal, and his approval of it obtained when possible. l. Supplements: When a supplement or reinspection is necessary, the appraiser who prepared the original appraisal should return to the repair facility and verify any additional damage. If this is not possible, the reinspection should be assigned to an alternative appraiser. No supplements will be authorized without an inspection. During the visit to a shop for a requested supplement, the appraiser will determine whether all items allowed for replacement on this original appraisal have actually been replaced. If they have not, and some of them were repaired, the appraiser is in an excellent negotiating position and should correct the original appraisal and/or the supplement by deducting for work not performed and parts not replaced. The repair facility representative accepting the revised repair figure must sign the supplement. Any deviation from procedure must be cleared with material damage advisor. m. Total Losses On all borderlines, when damage exceeds 70% of replacement value, and total losses, indicate the retail and wholesale book prices or the true value of the particular unit depending on client preference. Include a condition report showing old damage, excessive wear and tear, rust or other reconditioning necessary, to substantiate your values. Include you opinion of the salvage value or bids depending on client preference on both totals and borderline totals. As soon as a unit has been determined a total loss, the person responsible for salvage handling must be called and given all pertinent information in order to avoid excessive storage charges. A comment to the completion of this requirement must be entered on the Appraiser’s Report- Total Loss Evaluation. The comment is to include the date the call was made and the name of the person spoken to. Follow the total loss procedures accurately and pay special attention to individual client instructions. n. Photographs: Adequate photographs, of high resolution, taken close up, clearly showing a description of all damages and points of impact must be provided with the appraisal as requested. Do not send hazy, very dark, very light, or low clarity photographs. When using print type film the negatives are to be sent to the client. All photographs are to be mounted and charged according to the current Rate Schedule. Every attempt should be made to clearly depict all damage being indicated on the appraisal. o. Driving Time/Mileage Both driving time and mileage are strictly prorated between assignments. The only variation will be if specific mileage arrangements are part of a flat rate appraisal agreement between a client and Doss and Assoiciates. All heavy equipment, driving time and mileage will be handled on a Time and Expense basis. p. Fee: Appraisal fee is to be charged strictly by the current Material Damage Rate Schedule, unless a specific Flat Rate Vehicle Damage Appraisal Agreement has been made between the client and Doss and Assoiciates. Very specific client instructions. q. Disputes with Repairer/Owner Over Appraisal Items: Any honest element of doubt concerning an appraisal item should be indicated on the appraisal showing amount and explanation of circumstances. When dispute cannot be reasonably resolved, it may be necessary to identify several reputable shops that will repair the vehicle at the appraised price and relate this information to the adjuster. All problems of this type should be fully explained in the comment section of the Appraiser’s Report. r. Leased or Rental Vehicle Damage Appraisals: Damage appraisals will be completed as previously outlined unless specific client instructions request otherwise. s. Conditions Inspections: A condition appraisal will identify any condition abnormal to a vehicle being delivered new. These inspections will include all damaged or missing parts. A mechanical inspection including a road test may be a part of this inspection. t. Heavy Equipment Certification Requirements: In order to be certified as a Heavy Equipment Appraiser, an employee must complete the following requirements: Have 5 years or more experience in the vehicle material damage appraisal industry. Successfully complete an accredited heavy equipment-training program. Maintain a quality heavy equipment product, which will be determined by file review. Any heavy equipment appraiser not maintaining an acceptable level of quality will lose his/her certification. IV. Ethics a. Statement of Principles: The procedures set forth herein should serve to standardize Doss and Assoiciates appraisal program insure quality control and reflect the desire of Doss and Assoiciates to promptly and impartially service its clients. b. Appraisal Ethics Each associate shall (1) conduct oneself personally and professionally in such a manner as to inspire confidence by fair and honorable dealings; (2) approach the appraisal of damaged motor vehicles without prejudice against or favoritism toward any party involved; (3) disregard any efforts on the part of owners, garage personnel, insurance personnel, attorneys, or others to influence his appraisals in any way in the interest of parties involved; (4) uphold the integrity of Doss and Assoiciates and seek in every way consistency with honest policy to enhance its position with the public, the insurance industry, and the automotive repair business; (5) in every case, an appraisal is to be prepared without the assistance of a pre- written shop estimate; (6) at no time is an appraiser to become financially involved with a repair facility within their area of responsibility; (7) at no time will an appraiser be involved in the purchase of salvage and/or become financially involved with a salvage facility. c. Doss and Assoiciates personnel are pledged to honest, fair and prompt claim disposition. No employee will knowingly engage in unfair claim practices. In 1971, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners proclaimed a model Unfair Trade practices Act. Most states have considered the recommendations of the Model Act, and many have either adopted revised versions or passed separate statues adopting some of all of the recommendations in the Model Act. It is the responsibility of each claims person and branch manager to make certain that he/she is aware of all statutes which govern their functioning as a claims person and also to be aware of any written orders or regulations by which the state’s Commissioners interpret such statues and abide by them.
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