Cat Adjusting as a Profession (Is It For Me?)
Roy
/ Categories: CADO Blog, On The Job

Cat Adjusting as a Profession (Is It For Me?)

Article Archive

Article ID: 2
Title: Cat Adjusting as a Profession (Is It For Me?)
Posted: Friday, November 26, 2004
Author: Gary White

My son is now ready to go to college away from home and excluding approximately 21 months in an attempt to try something different in my life as a "financial planner", I have been adjusting, supervising or investigating claims for almost 27 years. By the way, I have worked my share of hail, wind, tornado and hurricane cats for other carriers so I know from whence I speak. Even during the time while I was trying to become a "financial planner", I supplemented my income with adjusting temp jobs and contract adjusting work.

Well, here I am at age 50 and have gone back to work for another insurance Company making $14,000 less than when I left my previous employer whose name will go unknown, but which is rapidly becoming defunct due to acquiring another major carrier which did go defunct.

I have asked myself whether or not I would really want to become a Cat Adjuster, which I understand to be politically correct is considered a Catastrophe Specialist. This has come about from talking to a local roofer who commented about this independent adjusting company which solely worked Cats. I was advised that this company had a certain number of claims they wanted you to work daily and the pay seemed astronomical. I contacted this company, after they had sent out some information, and one of the owners commented (in an non-too-excited fashion) that there were no promises about the quantity of work, length of time on the job, etc. He did advise that I would be required to go to a particular school for certification, become licensed in a number of states, provide all my own equipment and be ready to go anytime and anywhere demanded. I recall this was once called indentured servitude. However, in my own way of thinking and using the "glass is half full" mentality, I quipped that this must be somewhat lucrative or no one would work cats as an independent contractor. The response was a surly, "yeah you are probably right. Some of our adjusters who are dedicated solely to us make six figures a year gross. Some adjusters work for us and anyone else who will hire them."

Another independent adjusting company was contacted by an on-line resume (which I felt was not too shabby-not to brag); and, when nothing was heard in a week, a follow up by e-mail was sent commenting on other attributes I had which might be beneficial to their operation. This particular operation had related how they wanted professional adjusters commenting on how they wanted their adjusters to dress and conduct themselves. They remarked at how different they were from the other Cat Adjusting operations. Although this level of professionalism was addressed, I am wondering how professional this company is since it has not provided any type of response to my inquiries?

Lastly, I have viewed your Web Site and note that I cannot locate much, if anything about what the rigors of the job are really like, what type of equipment do you really need, how long Cat adjusters are away from their families and what is a realistic income to be derived from this work. Are these items deep dark secrets? Please note that I am not trying to be sarcastic, but all my impressions over the last two weeks in trying to gain information about how to enter the world of Cat adjusting as a profession has been less than educational and somewhat mysterious.

Now you all probably won't publish this article for what I have said and am about to say, but maybe the impression of the Cat Adjuster by the general adjusting populace (i.e.) persons actually employed by GAB, Crawford, etc. and staff adjusters (like myself) have about this profession. First, the Cat adjuster is not overly well trained and is not a professional. They do the work on an overload basis which we are not able to get to (making them a necessary evil) and then go back to some other employment (I was aware of teachers who did this type of work as a summer job). Secondly, although there were some Cat adjusters who appeared to be neat and well kept, the general impression I had of most were people who had just gotten out of prison or off the farm because of their course mannerisms, speech, and dress. Thirdly, the inexperience factor regarding the application of insurance caused a lot of headaches for the employed independent or staff adjuster as claims were overpaid and damages which did not result from a peril but were caused by deterioration or other non-covered causes (especially hail storms) were paid. Cat adjusters were renown for coming in and paying anything and everything causing major "neighboritis".

Now, why do I want to become a Cat adjuster after making all these apparent disparaging remarks? First, I am tired of working for the "man", being second guessed by supervisors with minimal experience, completing meaningless reports, bean counting for some actuary and making a pittance for my hard work. (Has anyone of you felt the same way? Secondly, I actually believe I could have more time to spend with my family doing this type of work on a full time basis. Lastly, I believe that my professionalism (and the professionalism as noted in your organization) might help "raise the bar" in this line of endeavor.

It is hoped that my comments "from an outsider" and an interested party, might be interesting. If not, I tried. Best luck to all of you!

Sincerely, Gary W. White, SCLA, CFE

CREDENTIALS: 

  • IIA (Certificate in General Insurance)

  • SCLA (Senior Claim Law Associate) Property, Liability, WC & Fraud Law

  • CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) 

  • B.S. Language Arts minor in Business (University of Kansas)

  • Major Catastrophe Loss Team (two companies)

  • Boiler and Machinery School

  • GAB Schools (Various)

  • Claim Supervisor (Multi-Line with three major stock carriers)

  • SIU (Special Claim Investigator) 4 years.

  • Currently enrolled in AIC (yeah, I know nobody really wants to do this however they finally made the tests (multiple guess)!! They tell me this designation is "really important"!?

  • April 1973--Adjuster Trainee with GAB May 2000--Staff Field Adjuster for a well known carrier


Note: Since CADO first went online in 1995 we have had many visitors contribute to the site with articles and forum post.  But over the years many of the articles and forum post were lost however, we have recently been able to recover some of the articles and forum post and will be re-posting them as time allows.    RC
(photo from the CADO Gallery)

Print
25667
Please login or register to post comments.

Theme picker


Forum Topics

I Thought I Had Heard It All

Greetings to everyone from Oaxaca, Mexico, where Jennifer and I are taking a break from our last assignment and staying far away from the demonstrations taking place across town. I guess I'm reviving

Posted: 11/14/2006 10:29 PM Replies: 43

Internet on a Storm

Hey guys when Im not working for an insurance company I also work for a internet company. We now offer a product that everyone can use and can use anywhere with great speeds and an awsome price. My em

Posted: 07/23/2009 12:15 PM Replies: 5

GPS tracking devices

Recently a vendor I know of promised the company that all the adjusters working the storm (on a day rate) would have GPS tracking devices so the company could tell where the adjusters were at any time

Posted: 09/06/2010 8:20 AM Replies: 19

Your Scope Notes....I want a copy please

I have learned many different ways to take scope notes over my years adjusting.  Everyone seems to have their own method.  I am asking if you good folks would send me via email, scanned

Posted: 07/30/2009 3:09 PM Replies: 4

T-lock question?

Tell me what ya'll think. I went on an inspection today for a claim with a 2008 date of loss.  There are no coverage issues.  There are twenty-five buildings, partial two-st

Posted: 08/12/2009 4:43 PM Replies: 34

Gotta love these late season moneymakers

What a pleasant suprise here late in the cane season. Issac turned out to be a great gig following the Dericho in Virginia. This is going to shape up to be a good year after a busy spring and summer w

Posted: 10/29/2012 10:25 AM Replies: 10

Need help finding a way to adjust in local area.

My family (Dad, brothers, sister) has been cat adjusting since 2003 working with mostly one vendor. Prior to that we were on the agent side of things. We are interested in slowing down on the tra

Posted: 07/27/2009 1:18 AM Replies: 1

What Is The Definition Of Replacement Cost Coverage?

I have another thread about a 2 layer Tear Off and 2 layers of illegaly installed plywood decking completeley broken through the rafters from wind damage from a very large tree falling on the house an

Posted: 12/06/2007 8:20 AM Replies: 45

TD13 (LEE?) big soak for big easy.

This should be Lee shorlly, 94L will not likely get named so we will have to wait for Maria.  This is very slow moving and looks like it is for LA. Not much wind but 10 to 20 inches of rain or mo

Posted: 09/02/2011 7:46 AM Replies: 0

Sample Completed Claim

Does anyone out there have a sample completed claim that a new adjuster could look over, maybe get an Idea of what a well put together claim looks like. You could black out the names, just something t

Posted: 10/21/2013 3:41 PM Replies: 2