We continue our look at the Ward Group property claims vendor survey BrightClaim commissioned with a description of the organizational structure we noticed in participating carriers. As we previously mentioned, this survey looked at 71 different insurance carriers, separated into benchmark groups based on size and focus. These include carriers that are small, large, personal-focused and commercial-focused, as well as the Ward's 50 group of 14 high performers designated for 2014.
Among the surveyed carriers, it was interesting to see that today, more adjusters are working form their home residence than from any other location. 38 percent of the overall benchmark group's staff adjusters work out of their home. The number was even higher for personal lines focused carriers with 43 percent working from home.
Gone are the days when staff adjusters were all located in centralized corporate office. Carriers still maintain a physical office footprint averaging 9 corporate office locations. Commercial lines companies had the fewest offices at 4, while personal lines carriers averaged 12. The use of technology, modernization of core claims processing systems and the need to reduce fixed expenses has accelerated the trend toward a remote adjusting workforce.
When it comes to staff property adjuster roles, the survey found similar points of interest in the group results. Dedicated desk examiners made up 48 percent of the total staff, for the overall group, while 42 percent were exclusive to the field. Eleven percent of adjusters had a combined role of both desk and field work.
Commercial focus carriers relied most heavily on desk adjusters, which may be related to the group's higher utilization of independent adjusting service for non-catastrophe claims. Another key observation of the survey is the fact that the adjusting staff of the highest performing companies is more heavily specialized.
The Wards 50 group almost always designated their staff as either desk or field adjusters and had less than 1 percent of their staff in combined desk/field roles, compared to 11 percent for the benchmark group.
We will continue to examine the findings of this survey, so keep following this blog for more information.