Mark, it's great to see you again on CADO. Welcome back!
In another thread you gave more details about your daily claims situation. I hope you don't mind me posting excerpts from your other thread that may help others give considered responses:
"Between Cat events I work some daily claims for a few companies. I am based out of Paducah, KY and it seems most of my volume comes from Nashville,TN with most of the claims being commercial. My commercial claims are on a T&E schedule and with mileage the trip to music city is usually a chance to earn some decent money.
I started running some daily caims about a year ago in some sparsely populated areas in West. Tennesee for a vendor that pays a flat fee schedule. My first thought on working for a flat fee schedule was not pleasant. However the claims are residential and are through Xactnet so it does cut down on the documentation and admin. work. Another advantage is that the vendor is a dynamite company with great in house support and they really care about their adjusters and strive to make my job as painless as possible. The downside is the flat fee schedule especially when the volume is light and to factor in drivetime usually over 150 miles roundtrip the money is just not there."
The most difficult part of your equation is the lack of predictability of major events. Since many of us independents have only a few catastrophes since 2004 to analyze, comparing profit-and-loss from catastrophes to profit-and-loss from daily claims experience is problematic. However, if you take your daily claims work and analyze the net income since you started, you will most likely find (a) monthly, quarterly, and/or annual growth trend(s). Assuming a conservative estimate of continuing growth, at what point in time will your annual daily claims net profit exceed an averaged annual net profit of the cat events in your past?
Since you stated that you are involved in ongoing commercial daily claims, I would counsel you not to sign on to a cat event, with at least one exception: that your main supplier of daily commercial claims asks you to work their commercial cat claims. The commercial side of claims is not easy to break into, and the more experience one accumulates doing commercial daily claims, the more desirable and credible one will be in the independent market. My guess is that a history of successful daily-claims-handling on a resume is more likely to jump out at HR personnel than any number of solely-catastrophic assignments.
On the other hand, if your profit-and-loss analyses yield daily claims net income that is clearly financially untenable, and a major event transpires with the possibility of a year or two of continuous deployment (such as the BP oil spill or Northridge earthquake), logic and self-interest may demand apologies to your current client(s) and a change of course in your career.
And Alan, I counted eight cents. I hope this is not the advent of hyperinflation.