Know your interests. It seems simple enough, but plenty of people are miserable in the claims adjusting field, when all they need is to handle different claims. Read on to learn how to find your fit.
Choosing the right field
Not every adjuster has to handle auto and property claims. There are an abundance of smaller, specialized claims, such as kidnap and ransom or professional liability claims. If you've always been interested in farming – but not enough to actually farm – maybe crops claims are more your thing.
When evaluating a claim specialization, consider the physical and mental demands of the job. Contents claim adjusting, for instance, is known for being hard and tedious at times. These claims require you to be incredibly observant and detail-oriented. It can also be a physically taxing job, from inhaling chemicals and soot to being on your feet all day. You'll need to climb around closets and repeatedly squat down to sift through drawers or piles of items. If you’re thinking, "Hey, this actually sounds interesting to me," check out Enservio.com. They provide services that help claims professionals quantify and value what’s inside a policyholder’s home.
Can you handle steep roof climbing? Image credit: Gary Danton
Catastrophe, or cat, adjusting is another one that can take a toll on you. It's a way of life, not just a job. It worked for me, but I don’t have kids, just fur babies I could easily take with me. If being away from your family for long periods of time doesn’t work for you, steer clear of catastrophe claims. You can find more info on this field at Catadjuster.org.
I once heard an adjuster say his girlfriend left him during a storm and called him a "white-collar gypsy.” I thought about that many times and realized that what we do isn't for everyone. We travel from storm to storm, looking for opportunities to help people. We hold hands, reassure the scared, give hugs, and aid our fellow Americans in desperate times of chaos. Check out this I Love CAT Adjusting article that interviews five cat adjusters on the job's challenges and rewards.
Fitting in down time
Are planned family vacations really important to you? Summer is supposed to be a time to rest and relax, but with hail and tornado season starting in the spring and then hurricane season in June, it can be hard to get a break. Winter is another busy season for claims adjusters, when you can have 200-300 claims on your desk. There will be slow periods and plenty of time for vacation, it just might not be exactly when you want it.
For insurance adjusters, finding the right niche can go a long way toward preserving your sanity on the job. Another great strategy? Connecting with others who get it. In Part 3 of How Stressful Is It Being An Insurance Claims Adjuster, we go in-depth on Building a Network.
See ya on the storm!