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Last Post 04/20/2020 4:21 AM by  Ben
Is it as good as it sounds?
 4 Replies
  • : No
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AmyC
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05/19/2017 12:13 PM

    I have been considering becoming a damage estimator and have done some research but I would like to speak to some estimators that are not affiliated with any training schools. For those who are estimators - if you could do it all over again, would you become an estimator? Do you enjoy your job? Do you really make $100k+/year?

    I come from a sales background and have a good paying job with great benefits...I just hate my job and sitting at a desk all day. I am looking for a job where it's something new everyday, I can set my own schedule and make great money. Ideally, I want to stay around the city I live currently and am fine driving for claims up to 4 hours away. I am also fine with traveling for claims when a disaster happens but I don't want that to be a regular thing.

    So, given all that information, do you think I should go thru the training and make this big career shift?

    Thank you in advance for the feedback!

    Tags: Getting Started, opinion; recommendation; damage estimator
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    Chris Stanley
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    06/24/2017 5:57 AM

    Amy, I am 9-year auto adjusting veteran and I am associated with a training school (I help people get started in auto), but I would say 'No' it isn't as great as it sounds. It's hard and you have to approach a career here as building a business. If you approach this career with anything, but that mindset you will be let down.

    As far as income there are adjusters who make over $100k a year, but this is not something you can achieve overnight. I have over the last 3 years personally as an adjuster made over $100k, but many years working local daily auto claims and catastrophic claims I've made $60-$80,000 and that isn't taking out for expenses.

    It's a hard job, hard to get started, but do I enjoy my job? Yes, I do. I think many more people could have a successful career, but it is a massive career shift and there are NO GUARANTEES. 

    If you do decide to pursue it I recommend you start it as a side project/hustle that you are slowly working towards a goal instead of jumping off your current job. 

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    Seamus
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    06/11/2018 3:12 PM
    Newbie here... wondering how things are looking for you now that you have a year under your belt? While I am technically a newbie my dad took me on claims almost every weekend while I was a kid so a lot of this stuff is not *new* to me. I never went on CAT claims for obvious reasons but my dad did on occasion (my recollection was the money was too good to pass up)

    I am waiting for my Florida License number and have already started reaching out to IA firms to get on their rosters. I think this business is one where you have to hussle hussle hussle if you want to do well.
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    brighton
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    Posts:139


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    06/18/2018 6:57 PM
    IAPATH pretty much summed it up in "there are NO GUARANTEES".

    How are your people skills? You will be dealing with people face to face not over the phone in property estimating. Some will be nice, some extremely anxious and some will be flat mean and you are expected to deal with them all. Some will have no problem calling the carrier and complain on you in hopes of getting the company to pay more to resolve a complaint even though you did nothing wrong, improper or illegal. In the world of being an IA you are guilty until proven innocent. That is how it works in the IA world. You are only as good as your last claim submitted. Do you have the basic knowledge to determine damage. What are your overall insurance skills. Can you take directions? Do you take good notes? Pretty important to make sure you do the job you have been hired to do.

    The nice thing about being a appraiser vs an adjuster is that you to out inspect the damage, write the estimate and send it in.

    In 2004 - 2006 many people got there license and made good money. Some bought large travel trailers, diesel trucks and went large only to be selling everything off as there were no storms for 4 years (no storms/no money/sell off everything cheap). Don't go hog wild buying everything just this minuet. A lot of assignments today are from a week to maybe 4 weeks even for ol' timers. There are so many out there you really have to rise to the top to be kept on an assignment.

    Good luck.

    Rocke Baker
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    Ben
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    04/20/2020 4:21 AM
    I know this is an old thread, but the questions are still relevant.

    So I'll jump in and give you a couple of thoughts.

    There is something now called a virtual adjuster. It doesn't pay much. In fact the pay sucks ($20-$100 per claim) and most qualified adjusters won't do it. It also is not steady. You might get 1-4 claims a month. You might get no claims. This is hardly enough to make a living on. You go to the property and take pictures with your smartphone and upload them to a real desk adjuster.

    However it might be a good place for a beginner to start and get their feet wet. You can see if you actually like this type of business without giving up your day job. Many states do not currently require you to have an insurance adjusters license in order to be a virtual adjuster. (I expect this will change as they start to figure it out.)

    There are two companies that I know that are looking to sign up virtual adjusters.

    1. We Go Look (Owned by Crawford) Pays about $20 a claim. Takes about 45 minutes once you get on site. They do not pay for travel. They have some State Farm, USAA, eBay car inspections and some mortgage property verification stuff.

    2. Pilot on Demand (Owned by Pilot Cat Services) Pays about $100 a claim. All of them are Allstate Claims. Takes about 45 minutes once you get on site. They do not pay for travel.

    You do meet and greet the policyholder much like a regular adjuster does. The difference is that you aren't adjusting the claim, you are simply taking pictures. Most of these claims are small (less than $5000)

    If you decide you like this business and you want to pursue it further then you will need to get your home state insurance adjuster license. If your home state does not have an insurance adjuster license then you will need to get one from either Florida or Texas. The independent insurance companies will not even talk to you if you don't have a license.
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