Tags - Popular | FAQ  

PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 12/22/2014 12:45 AM by  ruddy
Little bit of advice
 68 Replies
Sort:
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Page 2 of 4 << < 1234 > >>
Author Messages
Tom Toll
Moderator & Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1865


--
06/05/2009 2:13 PM
I tried to show a quote from Ol Ghost, but an error is occurring in catastrophe central,for some reason. I suggest that any new adjuster read Ol Ghosts commentary and believe it. This is not an occupation that you can jump into without the appropriate knowledge in many, many areas, inclusive of policy coverage for many different types of policies. Ray Hall and I, combined, have been adjusters for almost 96 years. Ray is an astute adjuster, and I feel I am a fairly knowledgeable adjuster. It takes at least 7 years to become a good adjuster, (all lines) and a lot of studying and knowledge seeking. Chuck Deaton, Dave Hood and several other ol timers can attest to that.
 
I get tired of seeing new faces on here wanting to make extreme amounts of money in this occupation. You can make a comfortable living, if events occur. If events do not occur, you will starve to death. I place this occupation close to farming. Some years farmers lose money due to weather conditions and other years they do well. So is this occupation. Then there are times when resolution of holdback funds occur, which has happened to us in the past 4 months. 4 months and no resolution. All of you will be smart to keep very accurate records of vendors payments and holdback, or you may get tossed into the pit.
 
Many problems arise in this occupation, and if you cannot make it to the surface, you will drown. It is, however, a challenging and heart warming occupation. You just have to gain as much knowledge as you can, as fast as you can, to be successful.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
0
ChuckDeaton
Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1110


--
06/05/2009 6:01 PM
The Arkansas Farm family of the year, no till farms 4200 acres of cotton, no crop this year, rained, more than since 1898, can't plant. Broke, foreclosed, hungry. No loan to carry over till next year.

No storm, cat adjusters go broke, foreclosed, hungry.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
0
JimGary
Member
Member
Posts:470


--
06/06/2009 11:45 AM
I think this occupation can surely be labeled "get rich quick", if you hit it at just the right time, kind of like the lottery. The problem is, it can also be labeled a "go broke quicker" with in the year following. This job is not rocket science, but it does require discipline, which most folks do not have. If you have a large credit card balances, payments out the wazoo, and cannot live without an income for months, or even possibly a year, Then this is probably not the life for you, or more importantly your family.

JWG
I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they're right!
0
ChuckDeaton
Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1110


--
06/06/2009 3:01 PM
JimGary, explain to us, other posters, how this could be "not rocket science" and at the same time a "get rich quick" situation. I will settle for just get rich over 35 years. Mr. Snappy has the same thought, this is not rocket science.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
0
Medulus
Moderator
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts:786


--
06/09/2009 10:56 AM
Wow! What I miss when I go to Mexico for a couple days! A new version of the age old question: I just got my Texas adjusting license; what do I do now?   And the man from Worms thinking he will be censored for using the "p" word!  You must have a different standard of obsene in the corn belt, Mike.

David, what you probably cannot know at this point is that the group of adjusters with whom you have been interacting have probably collectively trained more catadjusters that any other group of the same size anywhere anytime. Chuck Deaton is the author of an excellent resource for beginning catadjusters that he has given away free for more than a decade. Ray Hall has held "boot camps" to train adjusters. Several volunteer as mentors at claimsmentor.com.  I am the junior member of this group (with the possible exception of the enigmatic Mr. Snaparelli). I suspect that even the mysterious Ol' Ghost has more than a couple years on me. What you are experiencing in this forum, if I may deign to speak for some of the others, is a frustration we have all been encountering over the past few years. The four hurricanes in 2004 and the three evil sisters of 2005 (Katrina, Rita, Wilma) were very good for our wallets in the short term. However, they also flooded the market with tens of thousands (I do not exaggerate) of incompetent adjusters who left a bad taste in the mouth of those who hire us and painted all of us with the same brush (with an unpleasant shade of chartreuse, I might add). I am, like I said, a relative neophyte in this crowd with a mere 19 years of adjusting experience under my belt. Only a decade of that was as an independent catadjuster. I have trained others one at a time, but only to my own abilities. Many of the people you have been interacting with in this thread have trained far more than I.

I am not going to tell you how to become a catadjuster. That subject is dealt with over and over and over again in previous forum threads and throughout the forum archives. I will advise you to do a search and you will find that information.

I'll go in a different direction. I'll tell you some of the things that being a catadjuster is:

1. Being a catadjuster is running your own small business. It should be treated as a business. It has expenses, profit and loss, and all the other elements of a business. Contacting the local resources of the small business adminitration would be a good first step to seeing what is neccessary to start a business and keep it running. A visit to Richard Lindsey at Zevac and Lindsey, CPAs, would be a good start to setting up how to proceed with starting a catadjusting business. His office is across the street from Pilot's offices in Mobile, and he is a specialist in doing accounting for catadjusters. Those who treat this as a business have a better shot at being successful at it. And.....any business can fail. I made the decision at the end of 2007 to fold the business up and go back to working for a company again. I did this after analyzing the market for my services and projecting that analysis out over the next few years. I lucked into a position that fit my talents. Many have not been so lucky. Chuck is absolutely right in that those who do well as a catadjuster will usually be those who did well in other professions.

2. Catadjusting may not be rocket science, but it can require just as much education and knowledge as rocket science. Of course the education and training is in a different area. The top catadjusters know more than simply how to write a hail estimate. Some of us talk to attorneys and engineers as equals and read their reports regularly. Catadjusting is education and continuing education. The CPCU courses (I am working on number five of eight) are some of the hardest courses I have ever taken, including the courses for my masters degree. Some rabbinical training couldn't hurt to assist with understanding the nuances of the policy. 
I personally hate the phrase, "It's not rocket science," when used of our profession because it really does require the use of some impressive brain power on occasion. I like to respond with "Rocket science is not adjusting either."  As a side note, one of the adjusters I worked with back at State Farm in Culver City, California, was an aerospace engineer laid off from Hughes Aerospace.  Is that close enough to rocket science?  Come to think of it I have a claim or two right now that involves rocket scientists (albeit due to their asbestos exposure).

3. Catadjusting is tireless effort day after day, week after week, and often month after month to make sure that you are part of the solution in helping the victims of disasters recover. In a good year it is a 4000 hour work year. I have even worked a 5000 hour year or two. I'm not rich yet. Some years I have made a lot more than the average person, but not so much more per hour than the typical person.

4. Some may disagree, but I believe catadjusting is about more than the money. The medieval theologians used to argue about what consistuted the good (the bonnum) versus what constituted the highest good (the summum bonnum). Generally they determined, simplistically put, that the highest good was to do what was good for the best reasons and with the best attitude. I liked the money I made as a catadjuster. I liked the adventure. I loved the storm. I liked the travel, the new people I met, the new cultures I encountered (my ten months in the city of Mobile was wonderful, and I have many friends there now). But the most important part was that I was there to help people recover from a devastating experience in a very tangible way.

Catadjusting is other things, and others may wish to add to this list.

If you decide to join us, do it right. Set yourself up as a profitable business, educate yourself every chance you get (or make), work diligently and competently, and do it all for the right reason.
 
P.S.  Wish I could become an "Advanced Member" like the huskerdude.
Steve Ebner CPCU AIC AMIM

"With great power comes great responsibility." (Stanley Martin Lieber, Amazing Fantasy # 15 August 1962)
0
ChuckDeaton
Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1110


--
06/09/2009 2:42 PM
By the way Cat 101 remains free, it is dated, but free none the less. Just email me.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
0
Ray Hall
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:2443


--
06/09/2009 3:49 PM
I have probably said all of the following in my post over the years, but I remember this from my Pilot start in 1989 on the catstrophe trail after 30 years of staff and IA work in the Houston area." If you do not start working hail in West Texas in the early spring and are not working on Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, July 4th and labor day you will have a bad hail season." You will need to catch a winter storm in California or elseware to make a good year. (hurricanes were not brought you, it was a bonus)
 
With this start on a composite short list in no particular order , I request your input from any person with 4 years catastrophe adjusting experience.
 
people trained by an insurance carrier(staff) think it takes a person 5 years to get the first large promotion. NFIP thinks it takes a catastrophe adjuster 4 years to be eligable to write a flood estimate on a dwelling. All carriers and vendors think a person has to have seperate and differant training for HomeOwner and Commercial Loss.Debra Monroy, an expert published a list of 127 essay questions that a competant adjuster should be able to answer. I agree and this will be the test given to the witness in the chair. It takes 4000 hours in a good year and 5000 in an excellant year to make a good living.
 
Now this is my opine only. No independant contractor should EVER sign a hold harmless and indemnity agreement with a vendor, The vendor or carrier should agree to defend and indemnify the adjuster from policyholder lawsuits. Claims against the adjuster by the carrier/vendor is another matter and should be pursued to the full extent of the law.Adjusters SHOULD never work for a carrier/vendor that does not pay bi-monthly on approved turned in files.
The carrier has a duty to only use adjusters that are not qualified at their own peril.
 
0
trishj12
Guest
Guest
Posts:2


--
06/10/2009 8:01 AM
Hello,
 
I just passed the Texas test and have sent my application to the State.  I would like to know if a professional experienced adjuster would be interested in letting me ride with them, I could be their gopher, on an assignment, so I could learn.  I live in Dallas. Thank you in advance.  Trish Jones
0
JimGary
Member
Member
Posts:470


--
06/10/2009 8:35 AM
Posted By ChuckDeaton on 06 Jun 2009 03:01 PM
JimGary, explain to us, other posters, how this could be "not rocket science" and at the same time a "get rich quick" situation. I will settle for just get rich over 35 years. Mr. Snappy has the same thought, this is not rocket science.

Sorry for the delay Chuck, I have been indisposed for the last few days. But its quite simple, the calculations used in this job are simple, jr high level geometry, which my 15 year old daughter can do. We use point and click software that figures the claims for us. As far as the "get rich quick" statement, you can make an enormous amount of money in a short period of time, and as I posted, you can also "go broke quick" waiting on the next storm. (you left that part of my post out).
 
I'm sure you are a knowledgeable adjuster, who can teach us all a few things. But lets not put ourselves on the level rocket scientist. 
 
Hope That Helps
JWG
I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they're right!
0
ChuckDeaton
Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1110


--
06/10/2009 9:20 AM
Please name one verifiable adjuster who has gotten "rich quick". I want to make that "enormous amount" of money in a short period of time.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
0
Tom Toll
Moderator & Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1865


--
06/10/2009 4:51 PM
I agree with Chuck. I would like for an adjuster to come forward and explain how he GOT RICH in this business. The best year I ever had in cat adjusting was Hurricane Andrew. I will not discuss the amount of money I made, but it was substantial. It was a once in a life time catastrophe, with vendors and carriers who were desperate to find qualified personnel to handle claims. Of course it required 16 hours of work per day, 7 days a week, for a solid 15 months. It has not occurred since then and probably will never occur again. A decent wage can be earned in this business, if an event occurs. Remember a few years ago when there were very few events for two years? Scary to say the least.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
0
ChuckDeaton
Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1110


--
06/10/2009 10:23 PM
Tom, my quest is for a consultant, I am willing to pay to find out how to get rich. I don't care if the consultant is a 15 year old girl teaching geometry. If she is getting rich can I use the same theorems.

I figure this must be "rocket science" because I have been at it 35 years and I have not gotten "rich".

My experience is about the same as yours, while everybody else was in Florida working Andrew claims, I was in Mississippi working hail, I made money, but did not get "rich".

The same thing with the Dupont job, the Exxon Valdez, the Texas mold and I haven't been home but three times since Charlie in 2004, I've made money, but "rich" I don't think so.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
0
ChuckDeaton
Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1110


--
06/10/2009 10:26 PM
Herb and Marge, may have gotten "rich", Herb and Marge worked the Exxon Valdez job and the Dupont job for Crawford and then invested the money and rode the dot com boom up.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
0
StormSupport
Gold Member
Member
Member
Posts:203


--
06/11/2009 1:12 PM
Steve, that was a good write! 
 
 
 
This 'job' isn't  'rocket science'; its a lot harder than that! 
 
To be a professional adjuster takes the stamina of Superman, the patience of Job as well as the knowledge of engineering, construction, building materials, local costs (labor and materials), weather, intimate policy knowledge and how it applies to any given situation, the ability to manage time, manage people, manage money, the ability to come up with a solution for any particular problem on a moment's notice, to be able to stop what you're doing and go off in a completely different direction to solve the problem at hand, to be able to talk with anyone; attorneys, engineers and  homeowners from every walk of life, meet them at their level and maintain a professional demeanor, to be able to climb numerous roofs in the heat of the day, meet with an attorney later to discuss a file and go back to your hotel and work until the wee hours of the night writing files and get up at dawn to do it again.  Not only does it take knowledge and intelligence but kindness, patience, compassion, empathy, tolerance and stamina. 
(This is only the tip of the iceberg, I'm not even trying to encompass all that it takes!)
 
I personally don't know any rocket scientists, but I can't imagine that it could be this challenging and difficult and require as many facets of knowledge and personality traits as this! 
 
 
 
Someone once said to me, you can fill your tank with water, but that doesn't make the car go. 
Likewise, You can send someone out to look at damages to property, but that doesn't make them an adjuster. 
 
 
  
And to those of you who have dedicated themselves to this profession, I just want you to know how much I admire you! 
~M~
Do the right thing, ALWAYS
~Meg~
0
LarryW
Member
Member
Posts:114


--
06/11/2009 7:15 PM
It is not rocket science, it is rocket surgery.

Chuck and Tom,

I got rich quick in this business. It took 38 years to do it but that is pretty quick in the grand scheme of things. The riches are all different kinds of treasured memories and friends accumulated in that 38 year blink of an eye. Or were you talking about monetary riches. Well I am still looking for that get monetary rich quick assignment. Maybe next year?
No one is absolutely worthless, at the very least you can serve as a bad example.
0
JimGary
Member
Member
Posts:470


--
06/11/2009 7:26 PM
Ok Ok Ok... I concede, I'm sure that the folks who developed the space shuttle could never do what we do. We do after all use sidewalk chalk, and a tape measure.

JWG
I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they're right!
0
LindyMon
Guest
Guest
Posts:6


--
06/14/2009 8:43 PM
 
   What is your e-mail address?
0
Jud G.
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
Posts:509


--
06/14/2009 10:37 PM
Posted By okclarryd on 03 Jun 2009 09:48 PM

Pilot is in your home town and you're asking who to go to? You don't want to start with Pilot because they have standards?
 

Actually, you have your work cut out for you if you want to get started in Mobile because you have to contend with the masses of adjusters who live here.  When I moved here in 2005, I was shocked to discover that just about everyone has a connection with one of the three (3) Pilot sons or their late father and have been promised a job if they need one.  It seems like everyone's brother, uncle, cousin, etc. have all had their toes dipped in the 'Pilot'-pool or are at least contemplating it.  Every time I meet a stranger and tell them I'm an Insurance Adjuster, they always ask if I work for Pilot.

 

Many adjusting companies based in Mobile (yes there are several) have some semblance of a 'Pilot' connection.  I can think of four (4) such companies off hand: Integrity Adjusters, LLC, Integrity Solutions, LLC, Claims Consultants, LLC, and Integrity Consultants, LLC.  I believe the CNC Resource family may even have some experience working with Pilot.

 

With all that said, even for seasoned adjusters, its just plain hard to get your resume to stand out amongst the masses.  For this reason, I would venture to guess that Alabama is the third (3rd) most difficult state to get started in- Texas and Florida being the top two.

 

How did I get in this business?  I started in one of those cubicle farm sweat shops with Liberty Mutual straight out of college.  Now, I mainly handle daily multi-line claims, large loss, and overflow with a 4.5 hour radius.  I will occasionally handle a local mini-cat if the daily work is slow, but I've been fortunate to stay, on average, steady as a 1099 for the past 1.5 yrs.  It'll be at least 18 years before I go on another lengthy cat assignment. 

 

I have lots of windshield time, astronomical expenses, no help when gas prices rise, no benefits, no mercy if I'm sick or if the weather is poor, no vacation, etc.  I guess you could say I'm just a glutton for punishment.  Actually, I get a nice enough diversity of claims (prop. and cas.) that makes my work interesting and I truly enjoy what I do.  I could not say this three (3) years ago, however.

 

The hardest thing I had to cope with in this job is that Johnny Q. Public hates Insurance companies and you deal with this issue on a sliding scale every time you get a new claim.

 

I don't have a single carrier certification, I'm not EQ certified, I used to have all levels of the NFIP cert. except RCBAP, but am no longer NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) certified.  As a previous manager, I saw so many resumes with just about every certification and license under the sun.  While that kind of resume looks a little desperate, I suggest that you go ahead and get those certifications and training until you are blue in the face.  Just pay careful attention to when you can settle down and focus in on a niche that suits you. 

 

A buddy of mine just has one state License and his NFIP certification.  Since the claims are federally regulated, he ignores "Certification" hype and stays busy with one firm several months out of the year and earns a 75% fee split.

 

With fee splits, you'll probably start out at around 55% or 60% if you work on a 1099 basis.  At 50% or lower, the company either has some novel idea on how to handle claims or they're flat out screwing you (that's putting it politely).  Ideal splits for experienced adjusters start at 65% or better.  With my first Independent gig, I earned a 40% split, but had full benefits and a co. car.  A good firm that likes your work will make concessions to help you out if you have to travel extensively and may pay 85% or 100% if the proportion of your work demands it.  One of the firms I work for offers these increases on the front end so I don't have to ask for them. 

I cannot quantify the blood, sweat, and tears that I endured to get to where I am now and I still have such a long way to go.  On a whim, my work can just dry up for no good reason.  Just know that there are forces pushing against this industry at all times and you will never understand the full rhyme or reason for each and every given change.

 

Good luck..

0
Jud G.
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
Posts:509


--
06/16/2009 11:01 AM
As adjusters, we are responsible for knowing just a little bit about a lot of things.  This translates to our role in determining when its necessary to hire an expert.  In the past, I have acquired the assistance of one or more of the following experts in my claims: medical, law, forensic accounting, fire cause and origin, structural, construction, water, mechanical, electrical, security, private investigative, surveyor, etc. That's just to name a few.
 
None of these people, except perhaps an arrogant doctor or a blowhard attorney would contend that even their skills rival that of a Rocket Scientist.
 
I took Chemistry 101 and 102 in college to meet my science requirements and had a difficult time getting my A and C for just those two.  In order to major in Chemistry, you've got to get past Organic chemistry, biochemistry, Physical chem, and several others that escape my immediate recollection.  The math I use in adjusting has yet to rival what I learned in High School.  It doesn't come near to what I learned in my Freshman level Physics, Calculus, Accounting, Statistics, and Chemistry. 
 
Just so we're clear, Rocket Scientists will get their bachelor's degree, then their Master's and then a Ph D. with one or all of these schools coming from Ivy League stock (This industry is a little backwards as recruiters seem favor those with an associate's degree in insurance over anyone with a bachelor's degree in business or finance).
 
English- even then, the english I learned in High School was all I needed, but it was certainly helpful.  My college level english helped get my writing to a point where I could communicate effectively in my full captioned reports.
 
Reasoning and rhetoric would be the most difficult, I suppose, since the policy can have some very gray substance from time to time.  That's just reading comprehension.  The policy was written with seventh grade vocabulary in mind as is the Wall Street Journal.  Yet, don't take offense because there's plenty of legal experts that are getting stumped over the true intents and benefits of policies across the country. 
 
Guys, come on.  Now I admire the pride many of you take in your role as an adjuster, but Rocket science to Adjusting.  That's one embarrassing bit of a stretch.
0
Ray Hall
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:2443


--
06/16/2009 4:44 PM
I have talked to several adjusters today who are working for the large vendors and the large carriers. I was kinda taken back that they are expected to table top settle 80% of their roof and other damage losses. This is a throw back to how it was done 50 years ago. None of the people who just have  a license and 3 days on estimatics can settle a claim this way. The only advise I can give to new people is to take as many xmate hours as you can and learn how to do this job in the car while the "real adjuster" is doing the "real" work with his adjusting skills.... @ an apprentice wage. Allstate still uses Integra. This will become the template, just like a roof diagram that is required today. This will only apply to Homeowners, but 85% of all cat. losses are probably Homeowners.
0
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Page 2 of 4 << < 1234 > >>


These Forums are dedicated to discussion of Claims Adjusting.

For the benefit of the community and to protect the integrity of the ecosystem, please observe the following posting guidelines: 
  • No Advertising. 
  • No vendor trolling / poaching. If someone posts about a vendor issue, allow the vendor or others to respond. Any post that looks like trolling / poaching will be removed.
  • No Flaming or Trolling.
  • No Profanity, Racism, or Prejudice.
  • Terms of Use Apply

    Site Moderators have the final word on approving / removing a thread or post or comment.