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Last Post 10/06/2008 8:19 PM by  LarryW
Stress
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stanley
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09/30/2008 8:44 AM

    I like my job.  Im good at it.

    But big storms like Ike and Katrina bring a whole different kind of stress animal.  Smaller hurricanes and hail deployments are stressful, but nowhere near a large one like Ike.

    So what do you all do to deal with this?  Workout? Drink? Hard drugs?

    I find running first thing in the morning really helps me.  And if I can clear my mind a little, I am definitely a lot more productive all day.

    ...then I have all afternoon/evening to drink

    okclarryd
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    09/30/2008 10:14 PM

    I'm with you, Stan.

    I'll follow in the car while you run and then later, we can have a drink.

    Good plan!!

    Larry D Hardin
    BobH
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    10/01/2008 11:24 PM

     

    Posted By stan famb

    ...But big storms like Ike and Katrina bring a whole different kind of stress animal.

    So what do you all do to deal with this?

    I focus on the OPPORTUNITY that exists, and the stress dissipates.  Stress is kind of a "force vs. counterforce" = problem.  If I keep my cup 1/2 full and focus on the opportunity, and the ability to make better $$, that is the juice that overcomes the negatives.

     

    I also find it very helpful to get at least 7 hours sleep, and take something to help shut down (not alcohol) like Melatonin, Cal-Mag, etc.  or the nagging phone calls and pressure will just give you a non-restful sleep and you can't kick it it gear as well the next day,

    Bob H
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    10/01/2008 11:58 PM

    Not the best stress reliever, but the best stress preventer is......answer your phone every time if possible.  Even if you see on the caller ID that it's that "so & so" you are having a difficulties with.  We've all been guilty of that at some point, but  you have to accept the fact that you are responsible and need to deal with it.  The simple act of answering the phone & giving the insured reasonable expectations, and then living up to those promises will go along way toward preventing future stress.  This is particularly important for those insureds who have unreasonable demands.  Do as much as you can for them, all the while advising them in the most polite way that you are on their side but it will be up the the carrier to review your recommendations. 

    Stray away from this practice, and you will not only have the insured calling you constantly......the agent will be calling, the carrier will be calling, your boss will be calling, your boss' boss will be calling, and eventually your creditors will be calling.

    Stray toward this practice, and you might find time for an extra run or an extra drink or a massage at Larry's Place.

    StormSupport
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    10/02/2008 8:42 AM

    Mike, I completely agree with that!  I've found that if I take the extra few minutes in the beginning listen to the insured, give them realistic time frames and let them know we do care even if it will be a week or more to get out there, they are much more reasonable and patient.  It seems to me that when they make that original call to place the claim, the people who are taking those calls are telling them they will hear from their adjuster within 24-48 hours, which sets up an unrealistic expectation.  People hear what they want to hear, and all they do hear is the 24-48 hours and then they expect that the adjuster will be out in that time frame.  When its possibly 3-5 days before the adjuster even gets the claim, they are already angry and upset.  I take the time to explain that given the sheer volume of claims placed there is no way that the 'regular' adjusters could handle that volume and explain to them that adjusters have been called in from out of state to assist with the claim volume, and I ask them to be patient with "us", and we will get their property inspected as soon as possible.  If I'm not able to set an appointment at that time I tell them I will call back in a few days, and I DO call back.  They seem to appreciate that, at least they know they aren't falling through the cracks.  Most of the people I talk to are very understanding once I explain that and just let them know they are not forgotten. 

    I know that I don't appreciate being neglected and I figure neither do they.  Its much more pleasant to talk to an insured who's reasonably happy than to talk to one who's furious because they feel neglected.  Its worth that extra few minutes in the long run! 

    But then, there's always the one who's the problem, like the man I talked to the other day who was mad because he had rotting food in his refrigerator.......I told him to throw out the food but he was adamant that he was going to leave it there until the adjuster got there so he could prove that he had $$ that he wanted to be reimbursed for.  He said he had blood on the floor from the meat that had drained out of the refrigerator....absolutely refused to listen to me that we would believe him regarding the food in the 'fridge.  He said he'd heard 'stories about Katrina" and wasn't going to risk not being paid for his food!!  Was not going to clean up the blood on the floor either!!  Can you imagine what his house smelled like???  I was just glad I wasn't going to be the adjuster going out on that inspection!  UUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHhhhhhhhh!!!!!  (Just had to share that story!)

    Do the right thing, ALWAYS
    ~Meg~
    Tom Toll
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    10/02/2008 11:53 AM

    Meg, excellent write and so very true. Telling an insured they will be contacted within 24 to 48 hours is unrealistic and, as you pointed out, creates animosty between you and the insured. Calling the insured as soon as possible and explaining to them that you have many, many claims to work will get them off your back, temporarily.  An adjuster should find out when talking to the insured, how much damage they have and then make appointments with the ones who have the most damage, in my opinion. Explaining that to the insured should help you and help them. Explaining to them to take pictures of their damaged food stuffs will allow them to discard the spoiled food and have evidence of possession. Of course your going to run into some, as you explained, that are hard headed and will not listen to you. They should be seen as soon as possible, as they potentially can cause you heartache and the vendor you work with.

    Answering the phone calls is absolutely imperitive to being successful. Place yourself in the shoes of that insured. Would you like to not receive a call back if you left word with someone. I have, and find it most frustrating. Communication is necesssry in this business.

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
    okclarryd
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    10/02/2008 6:50 PM

    I still like the part about following in the car and then going for a drink.

    Happy Trails

    Larry D Hardin
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    10/02/2008 8:39 PM

    Let's have Stan run 3x as far as usual and meet us there.  Then he can drive us home afterward....everybody's goal met, plus safe, sound & happy!  

    dcmarlin
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    10/05/2008 1:33 AM

    Talking about stress... I went to my doctor and let him know that lately I have been dreaming of wigwams and teepees.

    He replied "Dave, you're just too tense". 

    Gimme a bottle of anything and a glazed donut ... to go! (DLR)
    okclarryd
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    10/05/2008 7:02 PM
    I can hear the drums from hear
    Larry D Hardin
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    10/05/2008 7:42 PM

    And eye can see it coming soon....but where's our ride?

    okclarryd
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    10/05/2008 10:45 PM

    Mike,

    I was thinking about you running and then me running and I got all tired from all the running thoughts and sat down and had 4 or 3 drinks.

    I'm feeling much better, thank you.

    Larry D Hardin
    LarryW
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    10/06/2008 8:19 PM
    Stress management tip: When scheduling always leave at least one hole in your daily schedule to be filled for the problem children. My first claim mgr. told me as a rookie adjuster: "you have to take your bite out of the sh-- sandwich every day. If you deal with your least pleasant tasks first thing in your day, you will finish the day with a good taste in your mouth." Point is, identify the problem claims and deal with them first and get them out of the way. Then the rest of your claims for the day or week will be more routine and much more enjoyable which cuts stress level exponentially. Use the holes in your schedule to fill in with the problem ones as they arise. The problem ones are fairly easily identifiable on the first contact calls, those who are combative, won't listen to reason and are overly demanding. Put them ahead of anyone else and get them behind you. Makes for much more restful nights.

    One other tip Dave Houtz (another member here) taught me: Don't stay up late to do your paperwork. You can do twice as much paperwork between 4:00 AM and 7:00 AM as you can between 9:00 PM and midnight. Because your brain works so much better when you are rested than when you are tired. You will eliminate 2/3 of your mental errors and have a whole lot less reworks and kickbacks. Thanks again Dave.
    No one is absolutely worthless, at the very least you can serve as a bad example.
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