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Old 06-11-2018, 09:48 PM   #1  
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Default Catastrophe Insurance Adjuster

Just tossing this into the ring in case anyone is interested.

From 2002 to 2005 i was an instructor, flew part 121 2005 - 2009 and decided that the decade long upgrade and the sub 30K a year salary in the mean time wasnt for me.

In 2011 i was between full time jobs and i was flight instructing when one of my students who was a catastrophe insurance adjuster suggested i give it a shot.

I took an online course that took about a month, applied for a state casualty and property adjuster's license, and applied for a job with an independent catastrophe services firm. I got hired and did about 60 days of on the job training

What these firms do is carry contracts with major insurance companies like Geico, Allstate, Farmers and State Farm etc.

Basically, all of those insurance companies have their own staff adjusters, but when a major hail storm sweeps through Memphis, TN and damages 5,000 homes... they just dont have the personnel on site to inspect all the damaged homes in a timely manner.

At this point, they call one (or more) of their contracted firms and request supplemental personnel that have been trained on their policies and procedures. The insurance company may need 50 adjusters. In turn the independent firm would call me, and several other guys from our firm and "deploy" us to the affected city.

once there, hotel or RV park stay is out of pocket and we have to provide our own transportation and ladder and equipment but the insurance company lends us laptops, printers, cameras etc.

we would receive a list of perhaps 100 customers with insured homes who had filed claims of storm damage, call and schedule them for inspection, drive out to the home and inspect the damage, write an estimate and issue a check for the covered amount and drive to the next house and repeat.

I did this for 7 years, the money is great, but it is a lot of time on the road and is handy to have a travel trailer or fifth wheel

basically the pay is set up on a component / commission basis

you bill every "component" of your inspection, or if the damage total exceeds $20,000 you receive a 3.8% commission - you keep 65% of the total billed amount

for example

Base charge.............. $140
Interior damage........ $100
Exterior damage....... $85
2 story roof.............. $50
outbuilding............... $50 (each)

total........................ $425

inspect 5 homes a day as outlined above you brought home $1,381 for the day. average is about $1000 a day for a six day work week for an organized experienced adjuster... probably closer to $500-700 for a newbie

assume its a big house with a total roof loss and the claim total is $35,000, your commission would be $864 on that one home.

average inspection time is 2 hours paperwork and all

My average year would ramp up in about early March, and i would just deploy from city to city until things got slow in October or November.

average income is around $180,000 - 210,000 per year.

during the off season (November - March) you pretty much can do whatever you want

some of the more experienced guys just hit two or three towns between March and June, knock about $100,000 out of the park in that span of time and mark themselves unavailable the rest of the year to work on motorcycles or flip houses etc.

anyhow. if anyone is interested, feel free to PM me any time
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:06 PM   #2  
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Default Leaving the career

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azorian View Post
Just tossing this into the ring in case anyone is interested.

From 2002 to 2005 i was an instructor, flew part 121 2005 - 2009 and decided that the decade long upgrade and the sub 30K a year salary in the mean time wasnt for me.

In 2011 i was between full time jobs and i was flight instructing when one of my students who was a catastrophe insurance adjuster suggested i give it a shot.

I took an online course that took about a month, applied for a state casualty and property adjuster's license, and applied for a job with an independent catastrophe services firm. I got hired and did about 60 days of on the job training

What these firms do is carry contracts with major insurance companies like Geico, Allstate, Farmers and State Farm etc.

Basically, all of those insurance companies have their own staff adjusters, but when a major hail storm sweeps through Memphis, TN and damages 5,000 homes... they just dont have the personnel on site to inspect all the damaged homes in a timely manner.

At this point, they call one (or more) of their contracted firms and request supplemental personnel that have been trained on their policies and procedures. The insurance company may need 50 adjusters. In turn the independent firm would call me, and several other guys from our firm and "deploy" us to the affected city.

once there, hotel or RV park stay is out of pocket and we have to provide our own transportation and ladder and equipment but the insurance company lends us laptops, printers, cameras etc.

we would receive a list of perhaps 100 customers with insured homes who had filed claims of storm damage, call and schedule them for inspection, drive out to the home and inspect the damage, write an estimate and issue a check for the covered amount and drive to the next house and repeat.

I did this for 7 years, the money is great, but it is a lot of time on the road and is handy to have a travel trailer or fifth wheel

basically the pay is set up on a component / commission basis

you bill every "component" of your inspection, or if the damage total exceeds $20,000 you receive a 3.8% commission - you keep 65% of the total billed amount

for example

Base charge.............. $140
Interior damage........ $100
Exterior damage....... $85
2 story roof.............. $50
outbuilding............... $50 (each)

total........................ $425

inspect 5 homes a day as outlined above you brought home $1,381 for the day. average is about $1000 a day for a six day work week for an organized experienced adjuster... probably closer to $500-700 for a newbie

assume its a big house with a total roof loss and the claim total is $35,000, your commission would be $864 on that one home.

average inspection time is 2 hours paperwork and all

My average year would ramp up in about early March, and i would just deploy from city to city until things got slow in October or November.

average income is around $180,000 - 210,000 per year.

during the off season (November - March) you pretty much can do whatever you want

some of the more experienced guys just hit two or three towns between March and June, knock about $100,000 out of the park in that span of time and mark themselves unavailable the rest of the year to work on motorcycles or flip houses etc.

anyhow. if anyone is interested, feel free to PM me any time
Good evening,

I’m in my late 20’s and looking to explore ideas outside of aviation. I currently fly for a supplemental/flag 121 carrier. If you have any insight or recommendations it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:07 AM   #3  
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@Azorian,

You forgot to mention show up 3 months late and estimate $5k out of $27k worth of damages.
Oh..and telling me my roof was ok...while it wasn’t.
My ‘hired gun’ was from Michigan.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:10 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredSoul View Post
@Azorian,

You forgot to mention show up 3 months late and estimate $5k out of $27k worth of damages.
Oh..and telling me my roof was ok...while it wasn’t.
My ‘hired gun’ was from Michigan.
Like with any industry, yes including believe it or not, aviation has its share, by the grace of the Sky Gods, a minimal percentage, of unscrupulous, lazy, and inept players. .
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:57 AM   #5  
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Next time you come to inspect my house I’ll be there.
With a cheap shotgun and a shovel.
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:39 PM   #6  
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I meant “you” plural as in Insurance adjusters plural and not the OP personally.
Just to make that clear.
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:02 AM   #7  
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I wonder what the commission or kickback is to undercut the insured and leave them high and dry?
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Old 02-22-2019, 11:26 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredSoul View Post
@Azorian,

You forgot to mention show up 3 months late and estimate $5k out of $27k worth of damages.
Oh..and telling me my roof was ok...while it wasn’t.
My ‘hired gun’ was from Michigan.
@TiredSoul

Where it comes to adjusters you have three basic varieties. Staff Adjusters, Public Adjusters and independent adjusters.

Staff Adjusters work directly for the insurance company on a salary basis, they get the company car, 401K, medical, dental, laundry and equipment cost reimbursement etc.

Public Adjusters who are licensed by the department of insurance of one or more states to handle claims on an individual basis and are hired directly by you like a "private investigator", their wages are based on a percentage of your total claim and you owe them that based on your final collection.

Independent adjusters work for a firm and are contracted to the insurance company based on personnel needs, IAs answer directly to an independent firm and are paid as i have outlined in the OP.

Now... just like there are quack doctors... there are bad insurance adjusters. go figure

I can tell you right now that with the level of scrutiny under which my firm placed its adjusters (must log an attempt to reach a claimant once every 24 hours until contacted, must have an appointment scheduled within 7 days or 30 days depending on work load, must have the claim settled and closed before leaving the driveway dependent on circumstances, on site and corporate file reviewers checking up on our log notes for each file daily etc) it would have not been possible for one of "my guys" to show up 90 days late for the appointment, and if he had, he would have had his comat taken away, and would have been terminated and placed on the Do Not Rehire list immediately. i have seen it.

as for the $5K estimate for $27K worth of damage, it would not behoove me (or benefit my commission check) to write you a $5K estimate and move on down the road. So either (A) This was a staff adjuster who just didnt give a damn and was on salary no matter what he did (B) he just didnt know what he was doing.

I have seen first hand and can assure you that some of these firms and insurance companies alike WILL hire people who 2 weeks ago were delivering pizza in south Chicago and that has been their life's experience for work and all they have ever known. they dont know what hail damage looks like, they dont know about building codes or what the difference between roll roofing or Modified Bitumen is or how to tell the two apart. They dont know the difference between an A bend or a B bend in a gutter downspout... all they know is whats on the work flow they have in their car. and thats BS and gives the rest of us a bad name.

You cannot come and do this job well and make a great six figure living at it unless you self manage, are well organized and know construction to some extent. You dont have to be bob the builder... but if you arent familiar with how homes are built and how storm damage looks on certain materials you got no business doing this.

Yes... there have been a lot of folks i have told "it doesnt appear that you have hail damage to your roof" yes - it ****es them off because who wouldn't want a new roof on their home - which is one of the largest looming expenses for a homeowner - if someone else is going to fit the bill for it? and i am very open with customers about me having as much desire to see this roof completely obliterated as they do because frankly, the more damage they have the bigger my commission.

However - i have always always always said - give the roof a month or so to weather out and request a second opinion we will gladly come look again because any hail marks that might not be visible today will stand out clearly after several rain showers have a change to wash the marks out. in any case, i always show the customer photos of hail damaged shingles in the area along side photos of their roof that many times looked brand new.

I have been cussed out, threatened with bodily harm, i have been yelled at to get the expletive off someones property listening to profanity all the way down the driveway. one of my guys was forced at gunpoint to print a $50,000 check (which was subsequently cancelled and the customer arrested) i had a guy lay behind the truck to prevent me from leaving util i wrote him a check.

I have been sued on six separate occasions for misidentifying hail damage - and won each case based on the opinion of an independent engineer's testimony.

but yes... you had a crap adjuster, and thats unfortunate and it is a gamble every claimant takes when they call in a claim unfortunately these days
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:41 PM   #9  
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Thank you for taking the time to explain that.
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:21 AM   #10  
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My father owned Global Adjusters for over 35 years.

He tried to get me into the business and I went on a few trips with him.
Not my cup of tea - especially the owner/business side of it; but the work could be interesting and as Azorian said - the money could be very good.

Near the end of his life though, the insurance companies had started to downsize their use of independent insurance adjusters. They had decided that it was - you guessed it - cheaper to use their own people. So they pull in adjusters from all over the place who might have automobile adjusting experience for example and give them a very quick crash course and send them off to meet TiredSoul.

He said that it was just the right time to GET OUT of the business (at least on the owning the business side). He said the final few years were spent mostly cleaning up the mistakes for the big companies when they would finally relent and hire GA on a much smaller scale after running into so many problems.

So Azorian - are you saying that the big insurance companies have gone back to using contracted adjusters now?
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