I walk around at conventions and conferences trying to learn and pick up ideas I can use. At the first celebration of FAPIA’s 25th Anniversary two weeks ago, I stopped at the SIMSOL vendor booth. I asked a rather simple question: Why do you guys think you are better than Xactimate?
To be fair and balanced—as my readers know I am—I would have asked the same question to the Xactimate guys, but they did not show up! I am not certain why they do not show up at many public adjuster conferences, but I bet you can speculate.
The SIMSOL guys may shoot me next time they see me, but they seem like Avis and not quite getting the market share of Hertz. Avis says they have to try harder and from what I can tell, SIMSOL is trying harder. But, I still walk on down to Hertz and so do a lot of others.
So, I asked the SIMSOL representatives to explain why they are better and to send me something my readers can analyze. They sent me this white-paper, which I highlight below as to why they claim they are better:
The Reasons Why…SIMSOL Estimating and Insurance Claim Documentation Software is the Best Technology Platform in [Property] Insurance…Marketplace
1. EASE OF USE
2. SIMSOL REPAIR REGISTRY IS ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED COST DATABASES IN THE INSURANCE AND RESTORATION INDUSTRIES
3. SIMSOL’S ESTIMATE ACCURACY IS NOT PREDICATED ON THE ESTIMATOR’S ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING OR DRAWING ABILITY
4. SIMSOL PLATFORM INCLUDES ADDITIONAL ESTIMATING TOOLS
5. SIMSOL PHOTO MODULE IS DESIGNED FOR THE CLAIMS PROCESS
6. SIMSOL IS A COMPLETE CLAIM DOCUMENTATION APPLICATION
7. SIMSOL’S ESTIMATES AND REPORTS ARE READER AND EXAMINER FRIENDLY
8. SIMSOL’S BUILT-IN PDF GENERATOR ALLOWS EASY TRANSMITTING OF ALL SIMSOL ESTIMATES AND REPORTS
9. SIMSOL’S BUILT-IN ESTIMATE AND CLAIM REPORT AUDITING TOOLS REDUCE COMMON ESTIMATOR ERRORS WHICH COULD HOLD UP CLAIM PAYMENTS
10. SIMSOL’S LEARNING ‘CURVE’ IS MORE LIKE A SHORT STRAIGHT LINE
11. SIMSOL TECHINCAL SUPPORT IS UNEQUALLED IN THE INDUSTRY AND IT’S FREE
12. SIMSOL PROGRAM UPDATES ARE AUTOMATIC AND AVAILABLE AT NO COST
13. SIMSOL’S DATA WAREHOUSE AND ANALYTICS PROVIDE CARRIERS WITH VALUABLE ESTIMATE AND CLAIM TRENDING DATA
14. SIMSOL PLATFORM COST IS FAIR AND CANCELLABLE AT ANY TIME
15. TO USE A METAPHOR, DO YOU JUST WANT TO OWN A HARLEY OR DO YOU WANT TO RIDE A REAL MOTORCYCLE?
The reasons stated above are obviously “puffing” of a product as all advertisers do. The real question is whether the software more fully and accurately estimates the cost of replacement or repair and at a price that is “affordable” for insurance companies.
I bold “affordable” because it is code for insurers to mean “reduce what is owed.” Xactimate has long been a topic of my criticism as a tool that underestimates damage, but let’s read item 13 above from SIMSOL:
For those adjusters and companies who just love DATA, the SIMSOL Data Warehouse is a repository of every claim written using SIMSOL for over the past decade. Users subscribing to the warehouse can see how their adjusters compare to other SIMSOL users in the same areas.
Companies may also utilize the power of the SIMSOL Data Warehouse to compare their adjusters to each other. Managers can spot training issues with individual adjusters before they become problems for the whole company.
The warehouse also serves as a back-up site for all SIMSOL claims. Should a claim ever be lost on an adjuster’s laptop, once it is uploaded to the warehouse it only takes a few steps to retrieve the lost data and the adjuster is back in business. (Emphasis added)
Maybe by the bolded lines above SIMSOL means to help insurance companies prevent adjusters who are underpaying claims to make certain that the customer is not getting short changed. In all my years, I have rarely, if almost ever, found that to be the reason to compare adjusters. Instead, I have found that claims managers give Gold Stars to claims adjusters that pay less and who find ways to have policyholders take less on claims.
The bottom line is for Xactimate to explain why it is better. This may give rise to a free for all because my perception is that Xactimate is thought to provide inaccurately low estimates of losses because it is supported by insurance companies.