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Last Post 10/08/2008 11:27 PM by  okclarryd
Question for more experienced adjusters
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DavidP
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10/05/2008 7:59 PM

    Hello all,

    My IA firm is concluding its losses in the midwest and moving back to handle Gulf Coast claims.  I don't really want to go to LA and TX, as I'm only 4 hours from home here so my wife can come visit me when she has time.  I think they were expecting a lot of claims but I'm pretty sure the carrier has cut the firm off because about half of the adjusters they brought up were "lolwut" quality.

    I called around and another IA firm has claims in this area and is willing to work w/ me.  The fee schedule is pretty much identical because they are working with the same carrier.  I'm thinking a lot about jumping ship.

    That said, I would like to work with this firm in the future.  I've closed 65 claims in under 14 days and should make very good money from my time here, but relocating will cost me 3 down days (huge) and about 750 in direct costs.  I have no problem with any of them personally - I've been treated fairly - and they are one of the larger carriers.

     

    Anything even remotely unethical about transfering companies when they are trying to relocate me halfway accross the country (100% at my expense)?  Are they likely to black ball me on the claims that I've closed if I transfer to another company?  Are they likely to not want to work with me in the future because I won't relocate?

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    HuskerCat
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    10/05/2008 8:26 PM

    If you have any kind of relationship with your current carrier(s) & feel comfortable with them, why don't you just ask them directly?  If you've done a good job, and they don't have anything substantial for you at the moment... see what they have to say.   Just make it known that you are going to leave yourself open to come back if something breaks loose with them.  Do you have someone that can pick up the scraps for them while you go on to the other stuff?

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    okclarryd
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    10/05/2008 10:40 PM

    I think you are really asking about the relocation.

    Yes, they will think and say bad things about you.

    For about 10 or 15 minutes.  If they have any regard for their adjusters, they should understand you wanting to stay where you are.  If you're correct and the firm has been cut off by the carrier,  you may want to move on in any event.  If you are a top producer, they might sweeten the pot to get you to go south where the claims are.

    Just remember that old adage ..............."to thine own self, be true"

    Who are these two firms, anyway?

    Larry D Hardin
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    margar1
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    10/05/2008 11:50 PM

    In this industry a lot has to do with .....What have you done for me lately. I have a good relationship with my primary vendor and they really work with me. I was in a postion where I needed to leave a Cat site while working an event this past spring in Indy. They listened to my concerns and worked with me and I was extremely grateful. Whenever the tropics got active I remembered their understanding  my situation and I committed to them. My commiting to them for this years hurricanes had more to do with our working relationship rather than fee shedules etc.

    It is refreshing in this day and time to still at times be able to handle things with a handshake and youre word.

    Mark S Garland
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    Medulus
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    10/06/2008 10:17 AM
    Each situation is different.

    One very important question to ask right now, given the market trends of the last few years, is:

    After Ike, then what? Which company is more likely to keep you working regularly over the long haul?

    Sticking with a single company most of the time, and giving their calls priority, builds your reputation and gets you more consistent work. In my case, the one company was GAB Robins. Whenever there was work available through GAB, that was the work I took. If GAB had no work for me and another company did, I would work assignments for another company. After a while I became one of the first they called out and usually the last to leave. Not only did that relationship with GAB ensure more consistent work, it also led to a sterling recommendation for the staff position I now hold.

    I don't want to minimize the importance of your marital relationship either. As a survivor of two previous divorces, I can tell you that some attention should be paid to the needs of your marriage. I would ask you to consider, however, whether Texas is more than a four hour flight from your home. It probably isn't. Your wife could fly down for rendevous rather than drive. And Houston is a much more pleasant place in the winter than Ohio. The Texas work is much more likely to go on for some time than the midwestern work from Ike. This might mean a much healthier bank account in the long run and, consequently, more free time for family after the work is done.

    There are assignments that you should leave. I only did it once, but it was the best thing I could have done. I had been working for Crawford regularly until they assigned me to the Virginia Beach office where the unbending management wouldn't even try to work with me in terms of production. They had their way of doing things and their way cut my production by about 40% and meant my wife (who was part of my team) was spending two days out of every three with nothing to do. I won't go into details, but I discussed what I needed in terms of assigned claims. When they did not provide it, I told them goodbye and went to work in another city for GAB. It was the best thing I could have done. I worked 40+ weeks/year for the GAB manager for the next three years.

    Analyze all the factors, including the long term picture, and make the decision that is right for you.
    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

    "With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
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    DavidP
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    10/06/2008 1:37 PM
    They're a solid overall firm, generally regarded highly in the industry. That said, the team lead is not really capable of handling the role and is being moved back into an adjuster position, and they brought so many people with zero claims experience to the midwest that getting cut off was practically inevitable.

    The firm I am currently with is much more likely to provide a stable long term working relationship. Plus I closed over 60 claims with them in the two and a half weeks that I've been here, and they have not proven completely onerous to deal with.

    Looks like I am headed to Texas, provided they will give me claims before I leave. I'm not dropping 3 days of productivity and a bunch of direct expense without some claims in the area first.

    Thanks for the input - I'm transitioning from staff to IA, and although I'm liking IA a ton (ton!) better, these constant relocations at my own expense are frightening for someone with less money in the bank than a good IA will make in a month.
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    StormSupport
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    10/06/2008 7:50 PM

    (David, this is not pointed directly at you, this is for anyone who thinks being an Independent Catastrophe Adjuster is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow) 

    One of the biggies is the fact, which has already been mentioned, all the costs of doing business fall on you.  All the costs.  Hotels, food, office supplies, equipment, gas, health insurance, vehicle expenses, the list can go on and on.  Not to mention that most of your waking hours are devoted to work.  When you're not working in some capacity, you're not earning any money.   You can consider that a minimum of 1/3 (or more) of what you earn will be devoted to expenses, and take into consideration your tax burden, its much more than that. 

    Anyone who deploys to an assignment spends unproductive time on the road, spends $$$ on road expenses, not to mention the wear and tear on your body.  Starting off an assignment already tired and fretting about money, work and family takes its toll on people.  Stress is a killer.  I repeat, Stress is a killer. 

    If your marriage cannot withstand extended time apart, this is not for you.  If your finances cannot withstand possibly months of nothing coming in and it all going out, this is not for you.  If you think  you're going to work "regular" work hours, this is not for you. 

    As an IA you won't be in the office as one might be if they were staff, or a 'desk adjuster' but there are still 'bosses' to answer to.  Probably more actually, because for everyone the buck stops right at you.  Since you're an IA ,the people at the office may not know you as well as they would someone who is a staff adjuster and when an insured calls and screams about how you didn't call back, or how you were rude, or some other thing they tend to call and complain about, you will certainly have to answer to that.  Until they get to know you, realize you're reliable and not an unreasonable person, they will have you under scrutiny, and you will have to prove yourself. 

    All that's gold doesn't glitter, and the "glamor" of being on the road or the lure of being a "rich cat adjuster" just isn't the reality that some will lead you to believe.  There is a lot to be said for a quiet little life with your family, a job that pays you a decent wage and being able to have a life to live that you enjoy, as opposed to being alone the bulk of the time in some strange town wondering when next you'll hold your loved ones in your arms. 

    Just my .02 worth

    Do the right thing, ALWAYS
    ~Meg~
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    LarryW
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    10/06/2008 7:55 PM
    David,
    Either dust off your crystal ball, flip a coin or trust your instincts. Welcome to the wonderful world of IA.
    No one is absolutely worthless, at the very least you can serve as a bad example.
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    okclarryd
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    10/08/2008 11:27 PM
    Take your lemon sqeezer with ya just in case you need to make some lemonade.
    Larry D Hardin
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