How Aerial Technology can increase your income: Adjustments in Life Podcast (E 10)

In this episode, Alan and co-Host Jason Dyson sit with Sean Rogers of Advanced Claims Technology to discuss the benefits of what modern technology has done for the claims industry. Sean Rogers explains who ACT is and how adjusters can benefit from using their products.

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Alan: Alright welcome back, folks. You are at another episode of Adjustments in Life, and I have my co-host here again with me today, Jason Dyson. How are you doing? 

Jason: Doing great, Alan. 

Alan: I am glad to be here.  We got a real special guest here; you and I both have had an opportunity to work with him in the past. Super good guy and has advanced on in his career and is working for another company now—those of you listening may wanna pay attention to and may want to get involved and see what he has to offer and utilize it in your daily claims and what you’re doing out there. 

So I wanna welcome on Sean Rogers with Advanced Claim Technologies.

Sean: Thanks guys! Happy to be here. Looking forward to chatting with you guys. Jason and I go back a long way—like you said—you and I have worked together. So I’m looking forward to this experience.

Alan: Yeah, I’m excited to have you on in and get to know what you got going on now. So before we move in to what you’re doing now, give us a little history on you—tell us what you’ve done in this industry. 

Sean: Yeah, for sure. So how I kinda stumbled in this industry—honestly because I think that’s what most people do is stumble into this industry usually by accident because I don’t know anybody that when they were a child deciding what they want to be when they grew up and say I want to be a claims adjuster. I’ve yet to meet that person that’s childhood dream was to be claims adjuster.

Jason: Absolutely.

Sean: I actually started as a partner in a roofing company here in the Kansas City, Missouri area. I made some contacts on the adjusting side of things. Once roofing got a little bit slow during the economic downturn in the 2007 to 2010—somewhere in there—that’s when I transitioned to doing catastrophe work on the adjusting side of things. 

Spent three or four years doing nothing but catastrophe work all over the country for a plethora of different carriers and IA firms. After a few years of that, that’s when I transitioned a little bit to more of the daily side of things—once kind of family and kids and all that good stuff. 

I didn’t want to be gone on the road as much as I had been, so that’s when I transitioned to handling daily claims here in the Kansas City area. I would also still during that time frame though take on select CAT assignments—if that makes sense.

And then was handling the daily claims and I got hooked up with an outfit that handled a lot of commercial and complex losses, did some GA and EGA work for them as well as some appraisals and things like that. From there, wI decided as I started pushing 40 that I don’t bounce of roofs like I used to in my 20s when I fell, so that’s when it was time to transition into management.

Then I went to work for Worley—working as a client manager for them on a couple of different carriers. And I enjoyed that experience. I enjoyed working at Worley lotta good people over there, lotta good folks that I still consider some of my very good friends to this day—obviously Jason being one of them and I think that’s where you and I met Alan was when I was doing all the managing work for Worley. 

Alan: Correct.

Sean: From there, I ended up leaving Worley due to the opportunity that presented itself here at ACT; and I’ve been here in ACT right now about a year and a half two years—somewhere in there I want to say don’t hold me to that—we’ll just call it a year and a half-ish. And I enjoyed every second of it. 

I always understood adjusting if that make sense—how to work Xactimate and all the other platforms we work in—but I did not have a good understanding of some of the technology things behind the scenes. That’s what I’ve really enjoyed hearing at ACT are some of those projects, developing new technology. 

Obviously I am not a technical person. I don’t have the vocabulary to write code or anything like that, but due to my past experience the folks who write the code and develop these new programs they get input from me on what the end product should be. So it is a very fun thing for me to be a part of just because it’s something different.

So yeah, that’s kinda a quick synopsis of how Sean started in Kansas City working as a roofer and then transitioned to the field doing adjusting work and then into the office so to speak after that. 

Alan: OK so a lot of the people that are going to be listening or that are avid listeners of the podcast are relatively new or are brand new. OK, so for those that don’t know what ACT—what is ACT?

Sean: OK, what ACT is is we are an aerial satellite imagery and data company basically. So what we do, for the adjusters are listening today, when you show up at a loss and lets say you’ve got a roof that is super steep and it’s got a bunch of different facets and slopes and things of that nature. 

What ACT does is, when you place an order with us, we can get you all the measurements for that roof and whatever estimating platform you want—meaning if you’re an adjuster working in Xactimate, we will get you an Xactimate Roof Sketch in ESX format that you can use to complete your estimate from there. 

We also offer some other services to help adjusters backup kinda their decision either way. We also offer some storm reports. So if you’re working a storm, but maybe your on kind of the outskirts of where the really bad damage depending on your perspective is, the storm reports can also help you decide on what your decision may be and all.

Meaning “I’ve seen a couple of decent hail hits here, but this is kind of outside the hail swath is kinda what was reported. Our storm reports can help you make that decision, because it’ll show the size of the hail, the intensity of the hail, and it’ll map it out where the sightings were as it pertains to the structure that you’re there to inspect.

Jason: I know I have used that too—that information for my benefit you know when trying to determine and get a random hail claim in an area and I’m thinking “man I don’t remember when it hailed out there.” 

And I’ll go out there looking and yeah there’s some hail damage here, but how old is this and start looking at policy inception dates and having those reports can kind of be invaluable.

Sean: That’s right Jason. You kinda hit the nail on the head there my friend. It’s you know, we all know what hail looks like, but we also know what 1-plus-year-old hail looks like.

So when you’re looking at the policy inception dates and exclusions or anything like that, it just helps you make more than educated decision with more facts that you would’ve had initially. 

Now one thing that we take pride in at ACT obviously what were well aware that we’re not the only company in town that provides roof measurements to folks. We get that. But one thing that sets us apart—and Jason, you’ve been customer long enough that hopefully you’ll second this—is our customer service. If you have a problem with one of our orders—in the realistic world we all live in guys stuff does go wrong every once in a while.

And, heaven-forbid, we have an issue on an order, you’ll get a person on the phone at ACT—one of our support folks—and they will get your problem fixed within the hour. Meaning “you left off this section of roof. I see that it was blocked by a section trees, can we get that added in?” 

We’ll say “yes, send us your inspection photos and then will get that thing polished off for you and back out to you usually within the hour. And one feather in out cap last year obviously was, you fellas are aware we had a pretty epic hurricane season last year. 

I mean, Jason would you say probably the most active hurricane season realistically since ‘04-ish or ‘05 somewhere in there?

Jason: Yeah, yeah that definitely back to that ‘04-‘05 time for sure.

Sean: Yeah, for sure. So when all of our competitors realistically at a 72+ hour sometimes up to 5+ days to give orders returned to the customers, the most we ever went was, we went to 72 hour turnaround time for one day and then we were back down to 48 hours. 

So we stay well ahead of the curve of our competition as far as cycle times. And for all you guys in the field out there, we understand and appreciate that you guys a lot of the times are graded on your cycle time so for you good adjusters out there, to have a third party vendor basically wreaking havoc on your cycle times, that’s not good for anybody. That’s a lose-lose situation. 

So we take pride in more or less partnering with you so that you can keep your times where they need to be as well. 

Jason: Absolutely! I know from my management experience, it was always so nerve-racking when I see in a file you know what’s holding up uploading the file and paying the customers is that I’m waiting on a roof cad for days and days and days. 

Alan: Yeah, yeah. Especially when you know it’s a different story when the carrier you’re working with is asking you to get that but when the individuals getting it on their own you know you spoke of during the management days, there were times I didn’t care you need to sketch it and get your claim close we’re not waiting on it any longer. So that time cycle means a lot! 

Sean: It does! And going back to that, we have all—I would say the most of this song is called right now are all the old dogs in the industry, but something that we have to be cognizant of is there good adjusters out there, that say came into the industry in in 2012 or after that don’t have this skillset—and its no fault of their own.

But they don’t have this skill set  to go out there and hand sketch a roof and then measure it and then get it into Xactimate. They just don’t because of us and other companies that provide these type of services. It is kind of a lost skill.

So that can affect their cycle times if they don’t have those skills. Partnering with a company that’s running 5 to 7 days out unfortunately us as managers are just sitting there pulling out and “going Lord get this thing turned in man!”

But we have to be cognizant of the fact that were asking them to do something—a skillset—that they just don’t have. 

Alan: Yeah.

Jason: Absolutely. I always love it when I am on the roof claim and then I’m up there on the roof with the roofing contractor and I pull out a tape measure and they’re like what are you doing? I’m measuring the roof. What do you mean you’re measuring the roof?

Alan: You’re right. It has become and it’s really you know we blame it on companies like ACT and those that provide these, but more so the carriers. The carriers are the the ones that have said “we want you to use this regardless—this is a requirement.” 

So unfortunately the adjusters have learned they don’t have to sketch. They don’t think that it a need a tool. And some of the carriers as well. So you know we’ve lost that ability to do that first and then utilize the technology as a gift to us.

Jason: You know I also think so. It becomes a business decision as well when you’re that adjuster. I can measure pretty well any roof. I mean I’ve been doing it long enough, I know how to do it, I’ve got the skills; but at some point in time even if the clients aren’t paying for it, I’ll pay for it out of my own pocket and get the report because it’s not worth my time to spend that much time out there measuring it on site as well as in putting that data into Xactimate.

What is my time worth? 

Sean: That’s right Jason. That’s kinda one of our founding principles at ACT and this was before I was even here. I mean it’s created to save adjuster time. An average sketch from us which we do crush our competition on price point, but an average sketch 1 to 19 slope from us is $19..

Let’s say you’re a CAT adjuster  that out there at it you know I don’t know how fast all of our listeners are. But  you know an average CAT adjuster is going to look at anywhere from 3 to 10 claims a day. 

If you can see an extra few claims a day, then ACT or whatever—whichever provider you’re using more than pays for itself because of the added money you make seeing an extra one or two claims that you wouldn’t be able to if you have—like Jason said—hand sketching each roof them then pulling every single measurement then go back in and resketch the roof in Xactimate.

It’s not only a time saver, but more than that it’s also a money maker for you if you utilize the technology properly.

Alan: Yeah I agree, I agree with that. Especially regional locations or wherever you get deployed makes it makes a big impact on that. You go to Frisco, Texas, or Northeast Dallas anywhere; and I mean again I’m like you Jason and I’m sure you’re the same Sean—I’ve been sketching roofs for a long time. 

I am not afraid to sketch any one of them, but that hour it may take me on a steep and tall, i’ll, cut up you know, 50-60 square roof for $19.95 or $19.99–whichever you said it was—I’ll take the sketch and move onto the next claim. For sure!

Alan: That’s right. And you’ll close more claims that day and the insurance carrier is happy with you because they’re getting more insurance seen and handled in a shorter amount of time. So it’s a win-win for everybody.

Being an adjuster out there in the field that looks like an absolute rock star. Insurance carriers are happy because in the eyes of their insured, they look like rockstars. So it’s a win-win for everybody all the way around. 

It really cracks me up; I kinda had to chuckle there when you said throughout Frisco, Texas, because that’s kind of a running joke with some of the ACT personnel. Is Frisco and Richardson all those areas, those are some tough sketches even for us a good bit of the time. 

With certain cities, kinda getting—make everybody’s mind go in the same place as far as the complexity of roofs.

Alan: You know there’s that, and I still I’m kind of old-school in the way that you know if I’m paying for the sketches on my own and I deployed to you know not to keep everything in Texas but Wichita Falls, Texas, where everything‘s 40 squares and it’s a straight gable and you know you pull two tapes and you’re good to go I’m probably not gonna order sketches on all those.

But there’s so many places now. You go to the northeast. You still got to get on there and mark them up, but you’re going to save a ton of time and then again make more at the end of the day by joining and getting some type of measurement for you.

And then you know we haven’t even got into the legal aspect of it, if that claim ever goes to court for one reason or another, you’ve got more solid information on your roof to go to court with other than just a hand drawn sketch that you did yourself.

Sean: That’s exactly right. And another thing that we kinda have going for us and don’t quote me on these numbers—I know I’m in the ballpark, but I know I’m not spot on—there’s roughly and Jason probably knows this too. There’s probably what 500-ish level Xactimate level three certified people in the entire planet. 

Twenty-two of them work for ACT. Going to that court thing, we found that when you have those credentials within that platform that holds up in court much better  then like “well here’s my hand drawn sketch and a few measurements that you can’t really read because on top of I had  bad handwriting because I was dangling off the side of 14/12 pitch two stories up, I was also sweating on my sketch and that’s smearing the sketch a little bit.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all been in the field and know how stuff goes wrong. 

Alan: Well and I mean you get a roofer and an adjuster that disagree on roof measurement, what’s the first thing you’re gonna do? We pulled a sketch, you know. We’ve gotta pull some type of a geometrical measurement that’s going to give us you know the accurate.

I can measure that thing and my tape is going to be dead on and his tape may be dead on and the geometrical measurement might be different; but it’s solid documentation to support the file.

Sean: That’s right, that’s right.  And it’s not just ACT, we’re kinda broad stroking the industry. I’m in Jason 2008-ish would you have ever dreamed of all the stuff that’s out there to ease adjusters and they’re supporting documentation and helping them write estimates everything down from the ACT type products to the settle assist type products. 

I mean the amount of stuff that’s out there to help make the adjusters life a little bit easier than it was 15 years ago, it’s just absolutely mind blowing to me.

Jason: You’re absolutely right. I mean I remember when this all started to come about. I mean I don’t think I really even utilized aerial sketch until probably 2014.

Alan: I was thinking the same thing.

Sean: It was ‘14 for me, my friend.

Jason: I was utilizing another one of the big companies in the industry and my wife called me one day and said “hey you got a figure something else out because you’re into them for $3,500 on this one storm and that’s why that’s when I went out searching and found some other options as far as where to go with that.

But you know I’ve had the pleasure of helping Pilot—a couple of those programs—and see their growth, from where they started to where they’re at. And it’s truly amazing as far as the ability and what’s out there and available. 

And you know I’m just an old dog in this industry, but I don’t even know what all is out there. But I know I see the different online stuff and ads coming up on the different forms. And it’s amazing what is available out there.

I’m still a pencil and paper and tape measure guy; but you know, I do utilize ACT, absolutely and as well as some of the other technology pieces just because I recognize the value in it you know.

Sean: It’s the time saving portion of it more than anything—just to keep broken record that. I mean it’s just it saves time even before I was working here. I would much like Jason, I was a customer because of the amount of time it saved me.

Alan: Hey Sean, I’m curious do you know one of the things that when we start dealing with geometrical measuring and technology, some of your competitors in certain areas of the country, they struggle with finding property and what not. Is there any, when you speak coverage area, it is there anything more that ACT has to offer in that department or are we all running off of the same equipment? 

Sean: So I’m glad you brought that up. There’s a couple of things there. I’ve worked in many places throughout the country where postal service goes through and just completely decides to redo that entire ZIP Code as far as the streets and numbering systems. 

Our system is not only address specific, but it’s also coordinates specific. So when you place an order with us, you basically put a cursor on the structure you want sketched. When you move the cursor within our system, it brings back the GPS coordinates.

So no matter what it says the address may be, you know you’re going to get the right sketch from us because it’s the GPS coordinates and you placed the cursor on the structure you wanted and it gave us those coordinates back.

And to that point, say if you place an order through one of our competitors and then they can complete the order and you get the message to more or less says “sorry unable to complete order due to tree coverage” or whatever it may be. You will never get those responses from us. 

What you would get from us in a situation is more or less “we’re sorry but due to the tree cover, we need you to send us your inspection elevation overview photos from those elevation overview photos, as long as we got a few things on there to set the scale if you will—we’ll still be able to complete your order. I mean over 200,000 orders processed last year, and I want to say I can literally count on one hand how many we were not able to complete for our customers.

Jason: And I can tell you from experience, I’ve been on a loss location and pulled out my app and the nice thing is with that app it pulls up where you’re at. And I’ve pulled up on the app and a new neighborhood—it shows me standing in a field. And I’m like “well heck that ain’t gonna work.” 

But I looked down and I’m like hey the house five doors down is the same. I’ve pulled my truck down in front of their house and there’s that house and hit order. 

Alan: Wow, so that works out great.

Sean: And a quick sidebar here, just the state of the industry gentlemen. I know this is kinda a Segway into what we already were as far as all the tools that are available to people now, fee schedules have gone down some what.

Okay, that’s fine; but what the adjuster has to do now is find  out with all the new technology they have Jason we don’t have the same effort we did in closing a file now as we did in 2008. It requires a lot less effort usually on our behalf.

Jason: Yeah, I mean I think that kind of depends on the client’s specific guidelines. You know, I still work for some of small ones that are pretty much old school as well, but there’s definitely some of the other ones that are utilizing a lot of the technology the settle assist and all the other aspects of it.

Yeah, it makes it easier and I think those are the clients that are looking into that and saying “hey we’re providing, we’re paying for the services” and they’re lowering their fee schedules.

Alan: So pricewise can we—for those that are wanting to get involved or want to try out ACT—what are we looking at or what could we tell them that this is going to cost the average adjuster?

Sean: The average adjuster on 1 to 18 slopes you know that’s $19.99. What you get with that is the ESX or the simbility file returned to you with the sketch in it for $19.99. Nineteen to 37 slopes jumps up to $26.99 and then 38 to 68 goes up to $38.99 from there. 

But it’s 99.9% of residential roofs fall in those first two categories that I named off—the 1 to 18 or the 19 to 37. So on the 1 to 18 we’re $19.99–most of our competitors are going to be more in that $35 plus range.

So let’s say I’m out in you know whatever Jonestown and I get a house. It’s got three sheds in the backyard. Is that sketch going to pick up all those structures on the property?

Sean: Absolutely, absolutely! Especially if you request those, so when you go into our user interface you can put it in there “I want the large shed, but I don’t want to smaller of the two sheds in conjunction with the main house.” 

So we do have that ability. We will get you as many or as little of the structures on the property as you want. Because some people—like Jason for example who knows how to work a tape a sketch a roof as quick as anybody—he may not want that simple gable shed, because say the house is 1 to 8 has 17 slopes and you have that one shed in the back.

Jason’s just going to measure that shed as opposed to have us sketch it for him because then he goes from 1 to 18 to 19 to 37. But yes, we have the ability to get as many or as little of the structures on the property as you want. Another thing we have and this is nationwide—and I forgot to kinda touch on this-is we offer drone services nationwide—both standard and premium thermal reports as well.

The thermal reports, those are kinda used most of the time after a claim unfortunately is in the appraisal process, but those premium thermal reports are absolutely outstanding because you can get all the regular photos and things of that nature but then with the thermal you can see water intrusion points, things of that nature.

So that’s where we usually see the premium thermal reports utilized, but yeah nationwide for 300 bucks we’ll do a drone report on a house for you—especially those houses that are 16/12 pitches and 3 and a half stories. Our photos are good enough that you can zoom in on the shingles and see any defect or hail hits, anything of that nature. 

So that is another service that we provide.

Jason: Nice.

Alan: So are there opportunities coming in the future for more of a property style report where we can get elevations or anything like that?

Sean: Yes, absolutely. We’re working on that, but just like anything with technology it doesn’t always go at the speed particularly that Sean wants to go. We are testing that right now and developing those features as well as with the same technology that we’re testing. We’re also looking at automating a good portion of our roof reports as well. 

So we are talking what are used to be may be a 3 to 6 hour cycle time is now down to literally minutes for those roof reports once we get some more testing done. But be patient with us. I thought we were going to have the realistically done quarter four of last year, but you know here we are starting a quarter two of this year. 

We’re getting a lot closer, we’re just not quite there yet; but those, to answer your question, those products are coming down the pipe eventually we just have to get it dialed in first. Reputations everything, and we don’t wanna roll out of product before it’s ready and deliver to our customers. 

Because that’s the worst case scenario. We are here for the long-haul, we’re not trying to make a few dollars quick; so we’re gonna do this the right way. 

Jason: Absolutely. Question for you, I know you’re obviously y’all are probably building a database based on orders you know per address; and that can make it extremely quick when you know you’re pulling a second report for the same location. 

Are y’all doing any pre-diagramming—hitting the major metropolitan major hail affected areas and going ahead and sketching them and having that database just ready to go? Or are y’all still working on

Sean: Great question Jason. That’s kinda a two part answer. We have what we call our depot which is obviously every order we ever completed for a customer and when you order one that’s already in our depot, we don’t automatically just blindly ship it out to you. One of our level three technicians pulls the old order into Xactimate and gives it a once over just to make sure there’s no additions to the house since we had the order placed last.

It can happen. People will add on or chop off all the time, so we do give it a quick once over. Then in years past, we have done exactly what you said. We’ve gone through like you know Richardson, Texas or all those places that we know are gonna have some events and we’ll kinda go through and we use this as almost a training tool for some of our new draftsmen when they come on.

We’ll have them work those areas for training experience for them, and then one of our level threes reviews everything that they’ve done within those areas.

So it’s great training for us and it also helps us like you said—get ahead on the curve of some areas where we know they’re prone to getting hit “Hey, they’re probably going to get something. Let’s get a jump start on this thing. Get the database going prior to the storm so to speak.” 

Alan: Perfect! Good deal. Well how do the listeners find you? Where do they go?

Sean: They go to, create your profile from there, and start ordering roofs. It’s as easy as that. Just go to, create a profile, and you’re off and running.

Alan: Alright, sounds good. Well we’re gonna have to wrap this up and get out of here, but man I really appreciate you coming on. I’m really excited to see what I can use ACT in the coming up seasons. 

Anything else you want to add to that Jason?

Jason: No, I currently use ACT, got the app on my phone, and I’m using it in my work products and will continue to. And just want to say thank you, Sean.

Sean: Hey, gentleman, thank you for the opportunity. Always good to catch up and shoot the breeze with other like minded professionals, so I really appreciate the opportunity and it was good to talk to both you guys. You guys need anything at all, please let me know.

I enjoy it. If you ever want to have me back, I would love to come back and talk claims and talk with you guys.

Alan: For sure! Let’s stay connected so we can keep everybody up-to-date on anything new that’s going on with the ACT.

Sean: Perfect! Gentlemen, I appreciate it.

Alan: You bet, Sean. Alright folks, that’s it for this episode. Get on there and check it out, go order you a roof sketch. Try them out! Thanks again folks!

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