With hail season in full swing, many independent adjusters are driving to storm sites for the first time. As a former independent adjuster, I worked thousands of claims during cat events. Some of the new adjusters I met along the way were able to make a great living, but others burned out quickly.
If you’re ready to be a top catastrophe adjuster, here are three ways to make your first deployment smoother – and more profitable.
- 1. Start with two claims a day.
Two claims a day might not sound like a lot, but all the mapping, contacting, scheduling, inspecting and writing reports can be overwhelming for new adjusters.
“Take your time on inspections to make sure you complete everything professionally,” says Scott Murphy, an independent adjuster and Schedule It customer.
Tell your IA firm this is your first deployment, and don’t be afraid to start small. Beginning with just a few claims will make it easier to provide prompt service to policyholders, which is a top priority for IA firms, says Pamela Dicks, marketing director for Brush Country Claims.
“Being punctual is extremely important,” she adds. “Make sure to communicate if you’re not going to be on time for an inspection.”
Struggling to find time to contact and schedule all your claims? Our adjusters say Schedule It’s personal scheduling is their secret weapon.
“This service alleviates the most stressful part of any deployment,” independent adjuster Wade Sale says. “It is so nice to pull into town, open my email, and know where I need to be the next day … all without lifting a finger. It has made me more productive and allowed me to make more money!”
Photo Credit: Laura Eakins
- 2. Know your point person.
Find someone who can answer your questions, whether it’s the IA firm’s storm manager or a more experienced independent adjuster. That said, don’t call them unless you have to.
Do your homework so you can answer as many questions on your own as possible. That includes reading the insurance carrier’s claim guidelines, like how to estimate replacement if a fence is down. Save your questions for one call. Pay attention and learn from your mistakes: Imagine how your file reviewer feels when your headings aren’t done right for the third time.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
- 3. Take more photos than you think you need.
You don’t have to use every photo you take, but make sure you have all the ones you need. Follow a routine: I always started with the interiors, then went outside, did my elevations and, finally, checked the roof. By seeing the inside of the property first, I knew where to check for damage outside.
Another tip: Take your exterior photos horizontally, and stand far back enough that you can see the entire elevation. For interior photos, position the camera vertically so you see the ceiling, walls and floor in the every photo.
Not sure what tools you need or where to get them? Check out our free downloadable Ultimate Tools of the Trade Checklist.
Stay safe out there,