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Last Post 11/15/2009 10:26 AM by  brunsbeck
What happened to the CAT adjusting?
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quoin4
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10/18/2009 2:53 PM

    I have worked as a property adjuster since 1990.  I started with Aetna and worked as a regular territory based staff adjuster (5) years, then independent staff (10) years and in between contract CAT appx (4) years.  I have worked all the big events and have consistently made a decent living working claims  for the past 19 years.

    I never post and I guess maybe occasionally I should but this year seemed a bit like 1997 to me, would I be correct there or am I missing something?

    I guess my next question is why?  Does this have anything at all to do with these new CAT adjuster schools popping up on every corner... ?!   I noticed under classified (50) entries for classes?  Is it the satellite imagery (eagleview)?  Do "All" carriers have mammoth staff CAT teams these days?... or were there just no storms? 

    Does the industry have the means to support all the adjuster schools pumping new adjusters into the system?  (whom still don't know their elbow from a pitch gauge).

    How many "professional adjusters" worked this year? 

     

     

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    Ol' Ghost
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    10/18/2009 5:27 PM
    Feast or famine, my friend. Such is the nature of our business. All your other queries fade into the woodwork compared to the abiding spark of a large damaging event that ignites the need for our services. So we wait, and wait, and wait. We watch how the Weather Channel has changed, we watch how the desperate 3-day adjuster schools scream their virtues, we watch contractors crawl into the sunlight to seek the Big Buck$ like their cousins all told them. We watch, we wait.

    For me 1997 was a decent year, the last half of 2001 thru 2003 was very bad. 1986 was a disaster for my newly hatched one horse shop adjusting service. 1987 saw me start new years eve in San Francisco and wind up with a good hail storm in Gonzales, Texas. The cold truth we all know in our hearts is each day of nice calm weather is one day closer to the next nasty damaging event. In the meantime, do all the projects around the house, keep your storm kit packed and ready, and make sure the truck is tuned and gassed for immediate service to some exotic locale, like say ice dams in South Detroit.

    Ol' Ghost
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    okclarryd
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    10/18/2009 6:34 PM
    Been to Detroit 3 times working ice dam claims.

    Really wonderful assignment..........Detroit in the winter.

    Really wonderful billing.............no matter what the weather was.
    Larry D Hardin
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    quoin4
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    10/18/2009 6:40 PM
    I understand... I'm just spouting off... or my favorite memory..(storm) of all time is the nor-easter... Westchester, White Plains, Yonkers, Bronx New York, Newark, Jersey shore, 1993 and again in 1995.. easy to get around and the accomodations are almost free. Four foot of snow almost overnight. Ice dams, trees down, roofs blown off.... brings a tear to my eye. or Portland the same year with the Pacific Northwest wind pushing those trees over... It'll happen and in an el nino year we will have a better chance... I'm smiling, it's all good.
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    Ol' Ghost
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    10/18/2009 6:59 PM

    There's a good boy! Now go get a pizza for supper and save a slice for that nice Mr Hardin.

    Ol' Ghost

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    quoin4
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    10/18/2009 10:16 PM

    Hmmm.... Mr. Hardin?  Do I know you?

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    tejasjayb
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    10/19/2009 10:56 AM
    '09 has been a very profitable year for me..... started in Detroit working winter stom claims in January (15 below zero temps in my 5th wheel)..... spent Feb/Mar working the KY ice storm; working hail in TX in April and moved on to flood claims in Houston in May. Spent June-September working wind/hail claims in KS. Back in Texas now working flood losses. Looking next for the Pacific storms in OR & WA for the next assignment. Other than the week spent on the cruise down to Panama and Costa Rica earlier this past spring, I haven't been able to fiind time to fish or do those things around the house.

    What happened to the CAT adjusting? It's all good! It comes down to how well you market yourself and distinguish yourself from others.
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    quoin4
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    10/19/2009 12:09 PM

    I guess we all take our turn.. that sounded like every year since 97' for me. What company or companies were you working for?

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    rbryanhines
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    10/19/2009 10:08 PM
    are you giiving out autographs later
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    okclarryd
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    10/20/2009 8:37 PM
    Some years ago, I figured out that it's not what you know, it's WHO.


    Now,............some years after that, I've concluded that it's not who you know,..........it's who knows you!!
    Larry D Hardin
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    stormcrow
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    10/20/2009 11:27 PM
    Cat adjusting is dying of greed, ( like so many industries in this era of no profit is too great).
    I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
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    HuskerCat
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    10/21/2009 12:26 AM
    Posted By okclarryd on 20 Oct 2009 08:37 PM
    Some years ago, I figured out that it's not what you know, it's WHO.


    Now,............some years after that, I've concluded that it's not who you know,..........it's who knows you!!

    It pays when both happen.  I just had a "be ready" call today.   Can that little squall near Jamaica be for real??   Or, are they just telling me not to apply for the bucket & bell-ringing job yet? 

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    brighton
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    10/21/2009 7:17 AM
    Stormcrow is correct on the comment that greed is causing the death of cat adjusting.

    Just look at the number of "Cat Adjusting" firms out there. After the 4 in '04 so many small firms started up it became a frenzy to solicit business. Carriers got wise and began to reduce the fee bills as they knew the number of firms out there had grown expotentially. After the '05 storms dried up, then these firms went to attemtping to be "day claims" firms and fees reduced even more to where today, the only person making money is the one who owns the firm and banks on volume to stay alive. Carriers are not dumb. They are aware that there are more firms than ever and like anything else, they know that a lot of the marketing people will do anything to get on the list. Even if it means cutting an already low fee schedule.

    You still have firms who have continually stiffed the schmuck who goes out there and does the work and are still doing it today. Firms who have been pretty stand up in the past are now beginning to avoid answering questions about where is the money owed to the person doing the work. This I know personally as one firm who I have done work with over the last three years is now delaying payment, reducing invoices that they prepared and do not notify me or change fee schedules after the job is complete to a lower schedule. All in the name of keeping a carrier and the h**l with the schmuck out there who is making money for them.

    The days of making a pretty decent living is comming to an end in this business. With more licensed bodies out there than can ever be used unless we see another Katrina striking s florida, New York or Houston or a combination of these it will be slim pickens for this profession. Again, supply and demand. Way over supplied and little demand.

    You will always have those who rise to the top because they produce quality work product , know who to call and are known by those who do the calling. They will be able to stay employed and deserve the riches as they have paid their dues and have personal standards to do the job right.
    Rocke Baker
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    jdacree
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    10/21/2009 8:36 AM
    The ratio of new bodies entering this profession to the number of experienced adjusters is very high. All of the senior posts above reflect on that ratio in a manner that gives an impression that OUR industry is being degraded. Many of the posts indicate a dis-satification with many of the questions by the newbees that indicate a lack of desire to do some research on thier own. Many of the newbee posts have been questions that could have been answered, if the person asking the question, had taken the time to read the wealth of information already on this site. If we were in fact in a very busy season, I could understand some of the non-researched questions being asked due to not having time to research. WE are NOT in a busy season, every adjuster has the time to get on-line and get a ton of information, and questions answered.

    One of the questions being asked was the best licenses to get. I took the time to research the web on wind/hail and know the most probable states, by month and number of events, for the last 10 years. Why did I research Wind/Hail? My reading of the posts on this site has indicated these types of claims to be both the most prevelant, and spans a greater portion of the year than any other event other than flood. My license applications started a research of each of the selected states Department of Insurance web sites for thier requirements. My application process and accumalation of licenses is almost complete. The above is an example of why many of the newbees will fail before they even get started, they do not want to do the groundwork, without being paid, to get ready to be paid.

    Training and certification is another issue. IT AIN"T CHEAP. Again if we were in a busy time us newbees would get those certifications for free. IT AIN"T a busy season. I have spent a ton of cash on study guides, and certification. I have spent cash on going to training, and taking certification testing. The cost of getting the proper "merit badges" during this slow time is expensive, but if a newbee does not want to INVEST in his future his chance of getting his foot in the door will be impacted.

    Tools and equipment to do the job once the "call" is received is not for free either. Many of us that started taking the training kind of figured that a tape measure, ladder and a "big chief tablet" was all that was going to be needed. On this web site is a wealth of information on the "tools of the trade". Some of this information is the bare necessities, a lot of it is on the equipment that will make you more productive (read Profitible). All of the information that I have read says that if you want your name to be "good" in the industry, you have to be productive. As with any field, those that can produce stay, those that CANNOT leave.

    What is happening to the CAT industry is a good comment. As a newbee I want to be in a field that is respected, not a joke. I am working to make my debut as non-embarrising as possible, for both the insured and the industry. I am willing to put in the time and money to be as well prepared as possible when the "call" comes. For all of the other newbees on this site, I suggest you do the same. Show your willingness to spend your time in learning and preparing, if you can show that in your questions, then the senior people on this site will help.
    Jim Acree Stupidity is the art of not trying to learn Ignorance is the lack of opportunity to learn I am ignorant
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    quoin4
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    10/21/2009 8:50 PM
    Maybe I will keep my opinions to myself.. and continue to make a respectable living off of cat adjusting for another 19 years... adios.
    Wingnuts.

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/frankleeevans
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    brunsbeck
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    11/15/2009 10:26 AM

    I'm a newbie to the CAT game but have 18 years of adjusting  experience to include all lines of coverage. Those 18 years were spent as an independent. I left the industry 10 years ago. I recently obtained my multi license resident and FL license .  I have read all info on this site and other industry related sites. I immersed myself in xact and am on the roster with my prior employer,. I began this preparation at the begining of this storm season. I have accepted and rejected standby and will continue my day job and my preparation for deployment. This process was an investmant in the future. Was your wingnut comment about yourself or the prior comment ? This is my first post . I have yet to see a dime out of my efforts but I know I will. The only smart money is patient money.

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