Applied Underwriters Reviews

Updated August 21, 2014
Updated August 21, 2014
50 Reviews

2.6
50 Reviews
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Sidney R Ferenc
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Sales Representative/Underwriting Producer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Technical Analyst  in  Omaha, NE
    Current Employee - Financial Technical Analyst in Omaha, NE

    I have been working at Applied Underwriters full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very good uncapped commission structure and benefits. Professional and fun colleagues to work with.

    Cons

    Not a fan of the corporate culture. Many of the team leaders and managers have little work experience outside of the company and it shows.

    The product is now very good but has had a recent history where it had issues. Customer service can be suspect. Management doesn't seem to want to acknowledge either nor do they discuss it candidly. A company that won't/can't acknowledge it's shortcomings has issues.

    The hiring process seems arbitrary. Sales positions require one to take a couple different tests with the intention of hiring the right people for the position. However, my first-person observation has been that neither turn-over nor sales aptitude within the department is any better than other sales teams I've worked with that didn't implement similar testing. Furthermore, the tests often disqualify otherwise very capable candidates.

    Very little willingness to change or implement ideas from employees. I get the sense that it's a very "top-down" organization. They want your effort, not your ideas.

    In the years that I've worked here, to my knowledge, the CEO has never been to the Omaha office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more willing to discuss the previous iteration of the product; don't leave it up to the new guy/gal to find out from clients about past issues.

    Give customer service more attention. It needs significant improvement.

    Welcome ideas from your employees. Some Fortune 500 companies have c-level executive positions dedicated solely to encouraging, collecting, and implementing employee ideas.

    Scrap, or at least significantly change the hiring process.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Their California law office is a joke.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Attorney  in  Orange, CA
    Former Employee - Attorney in Orange, CA

    I worked at Applied Underwriters full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good benefits. Matching 401k.

    Cons

    The turnover at the office is a joke. The office isn't able to keep an attorney in the office for more than a few months. It's so bad that they stopped advertising jobs under the "Applied Underwriters" name because they know people won't apply if they knew it was for them. They are joke around the Workers Compensation Board with even the judges commenting on the number of attorneys rolling through there. The managing attorney is impossible to work for and the office staff does nothing at all. Is it necessary to have 4 office staff to 1 attorney?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Close the satellite offices. They aren't working. If you don't want to close the office, at least clean house and start over with people that know what they are doing and are willing to work hard and be good support staff to the attorneys. If any of the attorneys that left were questioned after they left, they'd probably tell you the same thing - The office staff puts on a good show when the managing attorney is there, but when she's not, the staff is rude and lazy. They would also tell you that the managing attorney is impossible to work for. The 7 or 8 attorneys that have gone through there in the last year and a half can't all be horrible attorneys.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Looking for long time career? Look elsewhere and save yourself the headache

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Account Clerk  in  Omaha, NE
    Former Employee - Senior Account Clerk in Omaha, NE

    I worked at Applied Underwriters full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good benefits (except their PTO policy), health insurance for yourself is 100% employer paid. In-house pharmacy. Cheap vendor machines ($0.25 per item). Fun co-workers (at least in my area). Decent way to gain knowledge on the payroll and workmans comp industry (but the threshold of knowledge you get will be reached fairly quick).

    Cons

    Everything else, sadly. I came out of college looking for a job and after several months could only find one at Applied. At training they push the need not to CYA but sadly that's all you will be doing.

    They put you in the payroll department and promise advancement but there is none whatsoever, new jobs posted outside the agency can not be applied to by employees, their internal job postings are 1-2 a month and are not in the area I was interested in anyway. It's impossible to switch departments (I tried very hard), promotion comes in the form of a $1 raise from Account Clerk to Senior Accont Clerk, but this is something nearly everyone gets, and you will be stuck at this spot forever - instead of promoting you further they will always hire from outside the company. Turnover is very high as a result, which matters little, they hire batches of 4-6 new employees every few weeks for payroll.

    The pay is OK but could be so much better, there are no bonuses and no performance raises, you get a very meager "Cost of living" adjustment every year regardless of how well you work (I was a top performer).
    You will be hounded for the errors you make but never praised for your accomplishements. There is mandatory overtime at least one day of the week, sometimes more (especially around holidays) something they neglected to mention in my interview or in training.

    Upper management communication is non-existant, they are in an ivory tower. There's a new policy or procedure change from them nearly every week or two, most of them are just ludicrious and only makes your job harder because they have no idea what goes on operationally - they will not ask for feedback on these changes, they simply must be implemented. You are a drone so get used to it, there is no room for suggestions or innovation.

    PTO accumulates extremely slow, you only can take it in 4 hour increments, and it's all bunched together, there is no separate vacation/sick time. You can NOT take unpaid leave, they will write you up if you take a day off with no PTO (ridiculous).

    They run an antiquated DOS based program for payroll and there's always issues/errors with it - they have been using the same program for 10+ years and still have clients fax in their payroll documents. Get with the times, it's 2014!!!

    I was there for nearly 2 years and was already looking for a new job at the end of the first year. Do yourself a favor and save yourself the headache. There are more cons but I could go on forever - I'll leave it at that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Looking on past reviews from 4+ years, all of the negative experiences are similar to mine, which means management doesn't care. The payroll department will on purposely be used as a worker drone base with high turnover, they are fine with this model, so any advice I provide won't change their minds.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Corporate culture is to destroy lives

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Claims Adjuster  in  Omaha, NE
    Current Employee - Claims Adjuster in Omaha, NE

    I have been working at Applied Underwriters full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    25 cent vending machines, quick and easy location with short commute.

    Cons

    Our guidelines is to deny as many claims as we can. We are told to look for little things, anything, that can be used to deny a claim. Many of these people have serious injuries, and families to support, and need any help they can get, but we're told to deny them for little things. The bottom line is that any payment is seen as a loss, and losses must be minimized. This is not my first job reviewing claims, but elsewhere our goal was to look for fraud, and to help those who need help, not help the corporate profit margin. It's very soul crushing to work where you know you are destroying lives.

    As for working at AU, 10 days combined sick/vacation means that no one ever calls in sick or they risk loosing valuable vacation time, which means people are always coming in to work sick and getting others sick. Moral at the company is as low as you will ever see. No one enjoys working here, except for management who are on a power trip. There are absolutely zero opportunities for advancement, if a position in management becomes available, 100% of the time they will hire from the outside.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People are people, not numbers. Most people are not out to hurt the company, but the company is out to hurt them. Put people first. Make a policy so that the customers of the company come first, and perhaps they won't be so quick to drop the company at the first chance they get.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Company is going places with the BH backing

    Current Employee - Account Manager  in  Omaha, NE
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Omaha, NE

    I have been working at Applied Underwriters full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Being backed by Berkshire Hathaway is like winning the golden ticket and owning the chocolate factory. I don't have to worry about the company being around this year, next year and beyond. If I make it that far.

    Matching 401k is great. If you don't take advantage of that you're just throwing free $$ away. Benefits are good (according to my wife who cares about that).

    Interesting work but very structured and all about the Applied way. If you want to be a Steve Jobs dreamer, it ain't going to happen here.

    Compared to my friends, I make a really good salary

    Cons

    PTO 2 weeks includes vacation and sick days. Other jobs I had it was 2 weeks vacation + 5 days sick.
    I've been here 4 years and am still waiting to be promoted.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    It was the right place for me at the right time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Omaha, NE
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Omaha, NE

    I worked at Applied Underwriters full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Challenging work. Enjoyed working with the people in the unit & experiencing the accomplishments.

    Cons

    Too bad senior management feels the need to waste so much time with incessant meetings but never providing the necessary tools to achieve or complete the goal.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eliminate all of the meetings. Find the faith again in the supervisory staff you put together & move forward.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good job if you can make it past 2 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Omaha, NE
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Omaha, NE

    I have been working at Applied Underwriters full-time

    Pros

    Very good benefits. Vending machine items are 25 cents. Pay is fair.

    Cons

    PTO for the first two years is 2 weeks/year, and PTO is used for sick days. Conservative dress policy - men are required to wear ties, except on Fridays. Everyone goes crazy for "jeans days", which happen about once per quarter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide more PTO starting out. Let employees wear jeans on Fridays.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    I felt like I stepped into some kind of time machine to the early 90's.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Payroll Clerk  in  Omaha, NE
    Former Employee - Payroll Clerk in Omaha, NE

    I worked at Applied Underwriters full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Quarter vending machines and decent benefits that only exist to try and suck you in.

    Cons

    Here was my job: the customer faxed (yes you read that right faxed) in their payroll that they filled out by hand. I then put that data in using an ancient program that had the sophistication of the Oregon Train on an Apple IIe. Someone then had to double checked that information (by hand) before the customer checks were printed and shipped out. I can only assume that upper management has less of an understanding of technology than my 80 year old grandparents. If this weren't bad enough, dead end doesn't even begin to describe this job. They will tell you that this is an entry level position with the company but they won't allow you to apply for any other positions within the company including those posted on the job site.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get with the times. The early 1990's came and went.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    AU

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Claims Adjuster  in  Omaha, NE
    Former Employee - Claims Adjuster in Omaha, NE

    I worked at Applied Underwriters full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people, average salary, great insurance benefits.

    Cons

    Workload was very high. It would have been a manageable load if the expectations for tasks to be completed on every claim were more reasonable. AU would be a fantastic long term career if the workloads were adjusted or requirements for adjusting were lessened. Unfortunately AU cannot continue to be the best in the industry at adjusting and have their adjusters carry the same claim load as other industry competitors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay connected to the workers. Provide a workload that is reasonable. Don't ask employees to do things that may be less than ethical.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    A company that does not care about their employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA

    I worked at Applied Underwriters full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There is a free pharmacy. The location of the Foster City office is nice.

    Cons

    If you want to be treated like a number and not like a human being, then you should be here. People are not treated as people at all. I was written up for being gone for surgery (with a doctors note that I had submitted mind you). Most people would not even smile (let alone say hello) at me in the hallways. People were cold, and I felt like "Big Brother" was watching every step I made. Micromanagement was out of control and heaven forbid if I wanted to actually use my PTO.

     I cannot stress enough how much they do not care about their employees and give the bare minimum of what is needed. The President of the company does not understand the purpose of having "company events", and if he could, would not have them at all. Which shows in the budget for these events.

    Keep in mind, the point of their job is to turn people into numbers and find whatever petty way they can to deny them the health insurance coverage those people actually need. And it shows in how they treat their employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change your corporate culture. If you want to hire humans, then treat them that way. Otherwise start employing robot drones.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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