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Last Post 08/23/2007 10:24 PM by  margar1
So you want to be a Cat Adjuster
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StormSupport
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07/03/2007 8:59 AM

    So you want to be a Cat Adjuster? 

     

    The first question that should be asked is “Why”?  Think very carefully about your answer.  If money is your answer, then you should rethink your career choice, because money should never be the main consideration regarding any career choice.  If you’re financially driven, then possibly you should consider another field, one which has a set career path and has a track record for a regular and reliable salary. 

     

    In any career choice, it’s mandatory to do your research, but it’s not a very good idea to go to a public forum and ask your potential colleagues if you should join their ranks.  That’s probably not the best way to research a new profession.  Why would a person rely on answers from an unknown source on a public website to make a career choice?  Why would a person allow an unknown source decide whether a particular career choice is appropriate for them? 

     

    If a person would make a career choice based upon some answers in a public forum then I’d have to question that person’s ability to make good solid decisions. 

     

    Within this website (in the current and archived posts) is enough information regarding the requirements of this industry for a person to make reasonable decisions as to whether this would be a viable career choice.  Investigate the industry by doing research on your own, reading website posts, reading articles and publications from several sources, learn what is required to become skilled at the profession.  Learn what educational requirements are needed beyond the bare minimum, and move toward those goals, should this be your choice of careers.  Become familiar with the leaders in the industry, and approach one and ask your questions of that person.  Seek out a mentor, or join the site that promotes mentoring and initial training. (The name of that site is also within these walls, which you will find if you do your research)   Take the initiative to research your questions, do your own investigative work regarding the industry.

    All that information and more is here, all the questions have already been answered, numerous times in fact.  The skill set of an adjuster includes investigation and research, so begin your career by honing those skills. 

    Do the right thing, ALWAYS
    ~Meg~
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    sberes
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    07/05/2007 12:54 PM
    I have been adjusting for 8yrs now but never have EQ certified. Every time a class has come up in my area, "ive been on storm. I've heard you can get it online. Is this true and where if so?
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    Catsvstrained
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    07/08/2007 9:16 AM

        I believe that the claims industry can be very misleading to most outsiders because it has all of the outward appearances of a blue collar job when in fact it is truly not. 

    Example:  six years ago while working a hail storm in San Antonio I overheard a home owner tell his son "that is the kind of job that you will have to take if you don't go to college"  as they watched me setting up my ladder to complete a roof inspection.

    For the record, at the time of this incident, I had a four year college degree, that was the requirement for the staff adjuster position I held. Furthermore, I had fiercely competed with other white collar professionals for at least sixteen months and went through five interviews before I was offered a twelve week (no pass / no job) training process.

       People (students) typically prepare for white collar jobs, a process that among other things involves significant amounts of education. Most blue collar workers do not become students of their profession until the actual job begins. Outsiders who have made the assumption that the claims industry is a blue collar profession are also prone to the assumption that they can learn after the opportunity to work (and when it comes to catastrophe claims it will) is offered.

    [u]Fact:[/u]  Some people ( a very gifted and well mentored few ) have been known to defy all laws of preparation by what appears to be the equivalent of grabbing ahold of their own boot straps and lifting themselves up to successful careers within the industry.

    I personally would not have been capable of doing this as in many ways I was barely ahead of the wash out curve even with all of the education and $100,000+ free training that I received.

    Once I terminated my staff adjuster position and was reborn as an independent, I looked around and noticed that the majority of other independent adjusters do not have four year degrees. Maturity, commitment, organization  and claims specific preparation are crucial components to success within this industry, however, educational demands of this job rarely exceed that of a high school diploma.

    [u]Fact:[/u]  There is an extremely large difference in the earning potential from one independent to the next.

    The independents within a high level understanding and dedication (on an average storm year ) consistantly generate income greater than that of  physicians and attorneys, there are those (even those with significant amounts of experience) who will simply make a living on the industry, those who struggle to make a living and many who are consistantly overwhelmed and eventually quit. This in a nutshell is what makes this career path so great! There is no political advantage to the independent venue when it comes to getting paid. Simply put, the greatest asset to your earning potential is the amount of dedication you deliver to this profession.

     

    << Edit - Removed by RC >>

    CatSvs Trained
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    Jud G.
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    07/08/2007 3:01 PM

    Good post Kevin.  Your thoughts are very well rounded and insightful.  I hope many will benefit from your book.

    Scott:  Pilot Catastrophe, if you are on their list and can get in their system, offers online training for Earthquakes.  Good luck.

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    jhite
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    07/08/2007 11:23 PM
     

    In any career choice, it’s mandatory to do your research, but it’s not a very good idea to go to a public forum and ask your potential colleagues if you should join their ranks.  That’s probably not the best way to research a new profession.  Why would a person rely on answers from an unknown source on a public website to make a career choice?  Why would a person allow an unknown source decide whether a particular career choice is appropriate for them? 

     

     

    Actually I found it quite beneficial, not as complete research on a new profession but as a component of that research. As for relying on answers from unknown sources I find that on forums such as this, the preponderance of posts seem to be written by sincere folks such as yourself. And where such a body of people exists the forum seems to be self policing to some extent, at least to the extent of challenging posts that are wide of the mark. I do not intend to let an unknown source decide if I should persue this field but I do want to hear their thoughts. It may give me a perspective that had not even occurred to me. Besides I am running 26K dial-up, I got a whole lot of info from just downloading a couple of topics here. ;^)



     and ask your questions of that person.  Seek out a mentor, or join the site that promotes mentoring and initial training. (The name of that site is also within these walls, which you will find if you do your research)  

     

     

     

     

    Wanted to do that but it seems that claimsmentor.com requires a license ID, so it is not for those of us who are totally uninitiated.

     

     

     

     

     

    Best Regards.

     

    john

     

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    Ray Hall
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    07/09/2007 4:08 PM
    About 17 years ago when I thought about becoming a full time catastrophe adjuster after working as a staff and IA for over thirty years before that decision I sought out the advise of the ex presidents of the National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters NACA. I knew many of them from the prior years.

    In the 90's a hurricane in the fall & winter was a bonus. The rule of thumb you had to work between 1,000 and 1,500 hail losses per year ( and average $100.00 per house). You had to work a winter storm in California if you did not have a good hail season; and the next hail season you had to be working on Easter Sunday, Memorial day, and July 4th. Seems like all the eggs are in the Hurricane basket now. I guess Steve B is the only California winter adjuster I know now.
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    Dimechimes
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    07/09/2007 4:50 PM
    The registration link for our mentoring site gives options for those exploring adjusting by other form of id:

    http://www.claimsmentor.com/register.php

    Thanks to the other adjusters who have posted above providing information to our training program.
    Visit our Adjusters Information Blog
    www.dimechimes.wordpress.com www.Linkedin.com/in/dimechimesclaimSmentor www.Twitter.com/ClaimSmentor www.ClaimSmentor.com
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    Medulus
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    07/09/2007 11:09 PM

    Meg and Kevin,

    Thank you for pointing out the reality behind the perception that many have of our industry. 

    I personally enjoy every once in a while when someone asks what training I have for what I do, and I get to tell them that the guy who just crawled off their roof has a Master of Divinity degree.  And then I get to the short list of all the training I've had to get where I am.  The surprise is almost palpable.  I don't go out of my way to tell people unless they ask.  Or, if they are talking down to me, I enjoy slipping it into the conversation that I quit grad school one year before I would have gotten a doctor's degree.  The doctor's degree would have made me completely unemployable once I left my field.  It was hard enough to get a job with the Masters degree.  The State Farm supervisors who first hired me to work claims were the only folks in over a year of looking for employment who thought they could offer enough challenge that I wouldn't be leaving in six months.  And this is the only employment I have ever had that presents something new on a regular basis -- sending me in search of an answer even 17 years into the profession.  Education isn't everything in our line of work.  Intelligence is fairly indispensable, however, for a successful catadjuster.  Add a lot of training, a great deal of dedication, and some experience to the mix and it becomes a winning formula. 

    Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

    "With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
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    dcmarlin
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    07/10/2007 1:55 AM

    When I started years ago, most carriers or IA companies would not even look at you if you did not have a degree.  Unfortunately, due to the last few years (excluding 2006), many carriers and IA's needed to hire "warm bodies" and, as we all know, many were not at all qualified.  Due to the stories from the media and the negativity within our own ranks, the industry as a whole has incurred a bad rap.

    Due to the lack of coverage issues in most cat claims, I do not feel that a degree is absolutely necessary but one who pursues this line of work must be fairly intelligent and possess good communication and analytical skills.  Along with proper training and experience, such will enable one to be successful in this job. 

    Another obstacle we must deal with is showing up to a home or business in a vehicle with a license plate from another state.  Many times the insured would question what qualifications we have to work in their state.  I just returned from conducting inspections in Florida and I cannot count how many times this question was asked. 

    Gimme a bottle of anything and a glazed donut ... to go! (DLR)
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    Jud G.
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    07/15/2007 3:22 PM

    What Steve's post is pointing toward is the stigma that hiring personell often have regarding degrees that overqualify you for the job versus those that suffice.  Once you get in the door, your previous training is no longer an issue anymore as mgt. will (or, should) be evaluating your performance from then on. 

    The first question that comes to my mind when the degree is there is why aren't they doing the thing they spent so much time working toward?  Most of the time, the answer is that they are just ready for a change and see the risk/reward in this field is a stimulating combination.  For example, one thing I've seen are those with JD's.  This degree amply qualifies anyone to be a claims adjuster, but hiring mgr's have to beware if they actually have one, were disbarred, and for what reasons, etc.

    There are many occupations out there that think twice before hiring those who are exceptionally overqualified.  Yet, plenty of carriers still require that you have a college degree (BA or BS) in order to get the staff job even today.  The last time I checked, that number is still increasing.

    The thing that got the general public worried is the group individuals who jumped into the catastrophe arena as a "fogger" after they saw a generous reward.  Katrina and large events like it (4 in 04, Isabel, Andrew, etc.) created extenuating circumstances for hiring personell and don't reflect a pattern.  These foggers overlooked the price tag you need to pay upfront.  They served to answer phone calls and as someone to go to until those with enough training were able to meet customer & claim specific needs later on.  They had very little, if any, job specific training and lacked other skills that make the long time catastrophe adjusters successful- excellent communication, good attitude, continuous improvement, hard work, multiple training courses, etc.  Sounds like the recipe for success in most anything.

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    Ray Hall
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    07/15/2007 7:07 PM

    Most of us have been to many 7AM "orientation" for all adjusters. Most of the meeting will be taken up by about 20% of the attendees asking how can they get out of doing the work the vendor requires them to do. The rules will take about 20% of the meeting and the last 30% will be consumed by "tree debris removal".

    So if you want to get out early, learn to be" a tree debris expert"

     

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    HuskerCat
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    07/15/2007 8:45 PM

    You left out the other 30% for standing in line for coffee & rolls, while waiting for late arrivals.

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    Wes
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    07/16/2007 11:28 AM
    LOL The last two posts made me fall out of my chair. I miss the groaning and moaning that takes place at 'Applebees' dinner on storm orientation day.
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    Ray Hall
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    07/16/2007 3:58 PM

    Do they still grade off on business casual dress code if male and female adjusters toe nails are exposed?

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    jsindallas
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    08/14/2007 5:37 PM
    I feel that a few of the most important skills a successful adjuster needs is communication, empathy, and ethics. Try going straight into conversation on Coverage A, ALE, as the fire dept. is puting out the Christmas tree fire that burnt thier house to the ground at 3AM Christmas Day and the only thing the insured has left is a bathrobe,wet slippers and three kids wondering what WAS that big present under the tree that Santa had left. With todays exponential growth in tech your Phd. might end up meaning "post-hole digger"

    As for the "degree required" companies, perhaps they just want assurance that you can stay in one place for at least four years???
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    Ray Hall
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    08/14/2007 9:20 PM

    Just make sure you do not make a mistake on the trees , plants and shrubs limitation on windstorm coverage and your license allows a single adjuster to handle the interior coverage for a flood through the roof.

     

    * this is satire folks*

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    margar1
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    08/23/2007 4:52 PM

    Life ain't no easy ride
    At least that's what I am told
    Sometimes a rainbow baby
    is better than a pot of gold, well
    You've got to stick it out
    whether you're wrong or right
    And you can't give in without a fight
    to make it baby

     

    Poison ~ 1986

     

    Mark S Garland
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    Ray Hall
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    08/23/2007 6:44 PM

    We should be getting some feed back soon on the millions of dollars the water restoration contractors saved the flood insurance carriers on the multi state floods. Yes I am sure they will show before and after photos and some kind remarks by the flood adjusters.

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    margar1
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    08/23/2007 10:24 PM
    Ray

    I think you are confused and off topic again!

    However since you have approached the subject I have something to add. The offer still still stands on a wager for file closings on our next large Cat event. This is one restoration contractor / Catadjuster who is still willing and able up for the challenge.

    Be Careful....
    Mark S Garland
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