CADO Knowledge Base

16 July 2015

Ride Along

Greetings to all.

I am looking to see if there are any adjusters (daily or otherwise) in the Dallas/Ft. Worth who would be interested in letting me ride long with them for a short period of time. I have looked at some older posts and realize this is an area of contention for many, so I apologize in advance.

My brief background: Been licensed (catastrophe) for a couple of years, been on standby numerous time, but have yet to be called out. I was licensed though AdjusterPro, I have completed Amcat's Basic Adjuster program, and I completed Pilot's Inside Adjusting program. I have taken Symbility and Xactimate courses (Level 1 Certified in Xactimate).

What I'm seeking is someone to allow me to observe them scope actual losses, watch them  work, and learn from their experience. I am well aware that many adjusters consider new people following them to be a waste of their time, and if that is you, I appreciate your position and wish you well.

I obviously do not expect to get paid for this, as I will be gaining in knowledge. And due to the lack of hurricanes recently (damn global warming ...or whatever...) my funds are limited. But if you are sincerely interested in helping a newbie, then please contact me and perhaps we can work something out.

Thanks in advance,


08 April 2015

Staff Adjuster Looking to go Independent

Hello Everyone,

I have viewed these forums for years and am finally writing my first post. I have read through questions about staff adjusters vs. I/A's, and have found both to be informative. I realize that many of you have questions about becoming a staff adjuster - so please don't be afraid to ask me any questions you may have. I have 10 years of experience with 3 different major insurance companies. I have worked auto and property, but for the majority of my career I have focused on property. I've handled everything from fires to wind and hail to hurricanes and collapse claims. I definitely have received my fair share of experience as a staff adjuster and I get paid fairly well. I am not complaining - I started at $26k a year and am now making $65k before a non-guaranteed bonus of up to 10%. This of course is all gross and before health care and retirement benefits come out.

As far as pay goes, I am content. I am doing well, I feel, but understand that I/A's have the possibility of making quite a bit more, just not guaranteed. Also, I understand the expenses related to being independent, so I realize the I/A's potential for earnings is diminished after subtracting vehicle, lodging, license, Xactimate, etc. expenses from what they bring home. Ultimately, I am looking for the freedom that I hear about all the time. I literally have worked 80+ hours a week several times this year - I'm burnt out a bit, and it has been slow! It's just all the admin stuff, supplements, PA's, holding the insured's hand - which I am okay with, but it wears you down after so long. I'm looking at having an incentive to put in as many hours as I do. 

What I really want to know is this: Is it plausible to make a bit more take home pay (net) than I make now? Does it make sense to focus on State Farm or USAA certification? Anything else I should be considering?

I've read through these posts several times and have found there is a perceived animosity from staff guys for independents, but I have never seen that. I think that might be a sentiment from 20-30 years ago, because there are some old timers, especially higher ups in management, who tend to have those ideas. Most staff I know wish they could be independent, it is just such a risk to step out and take the leap.

Thanks you all - be safe out there!

11 April 2014

Calling any Erie auto field adjuters

So I have been working as senior field auto adjuster for a large carrier for a little over three years now and am considering a switch to Erie Insurance. I like where am at now but i'm also interested to see if there is anything better out there. I have read page after page of online reviews but there are very few from the auto field staff. is there anyone who is or was recently employed with them out there who can give me any real insight to the daily grind there as far as cliam load, pay and benifits, and travel amt.


06 April 2014

Thinking about a career change into claims

Hi Everyone,

I am a 26 year old that has a strong background in construction. I have years of experience in residential remodeling and repairs. I graduated from college in 2009 with a degree in Technology Education (Bachelor of Science) k-12 looking to be a Technology teacher. When I graduated college I choose not to actually become a teacher and opened a construction company due to the lack of decent paying jobs. I have ran the company since 2009, this will be my 5th year. I've grown tired of the fight to stay busy with decent project with new companies opening daily. I would say on a good year I have to struggle to make a gross paycheck of 40k. To do this I usually end up working 6 days or more a week and the business consumes 60+ hours of my week. It's daunting and I feel that it kind of is not paying off. I don't want to ride it too long to just find myself in the same position, with a dampened future in life. It's brought me to thinking about a career change before it's too late.

I have a college friend that right out of college started with Liberty Mutual as a customer service rep, and has worked his way up the ladder quite well in 5 years. He is now in bodily injury or something down those lines. He has talked to me over the past few years telling me to apply for a job with LM. He raves about how the job is easy if you are a hard worker (which he is).

He suggested to me to check out jobs to become a field property loss specialist. I've checked into it a few times and am now considering it. They pay and benefits are exceptional compared to what I have now.  I figured this would be a great place to ask a few questions from professionals in the industry.

Does anyone here have real life work experience with Liberty Mutual? If so, are they a good company to start a long lasting career with? Is there a high turn over rate?

I don't have experience with Xactimate, which seems to be the software of choice in the adjuster industry. I am considering paying for training to be a qualified applicant before I even apply to the position. If I was to do this could anyone suggest a good legitimate company to acquire training from? If so, what level of training should I have to start off on my feet with a  decent chance to succeed in property claims?

Is there another position I should be applying for and then move up to the grade of field property loss specialist?

I have great customer service skills (I've ran a business for 5 years). I have decent estimation skills since I have ran a profitable business this long. I have real life construction experience. I have no issue scaling roofs, since roof replacements is the bread and butter of my business currently. I meet most all of their experience requirements except working knowledge of Xactimate. I have experience back from college with AutoCAD. I figure the software must use somewhat the same basics of operation.

Anyways, I am looking for some pro's/con's of the adjuster life along with any advice you may have to lead me to a successful career. I understand it is a heavy work load at times, and stressful but I believe the career I currently have to be heavy on the work load and extremely stressful most of the time. I thought about maybe the best way to get in with a company such as Liberty is to start as a Cat adjuster since the requirements are a bit less, but the travel might get to me over time since I feel there may be little work/life balance going down that route.

I don't have an interest in being self employed or anything like that, it's time for me to go work for "the man".

I appreciate any information and all the responses!


08 March 2014

Criminal Background and Insurance adjusting in Texas

I am embarking on a new career path after years of alcoholism. I have a domestic violence conviction (Being drunk at home) and a deferred felony for injury to a child (spanking my 12 year old while drinking). I want to know if there is a chance in hell of becoming certified. I have the class ordered, a family member who is a CAT adjuster to hold my hand and walk me through getting started, but do not know if I am wasting my time. Anyone who has overcome this barrier or knows of someone who has, I would love to hear your story. Thanks
11 November 2013

Wanting to get into CAT adjusting

When I first got my License back in 2008. The whole reason I got my license was to one day work as a IA. Little bit about me I have worked for a couple of Carriers including Geico, Crawford & CO. and a few others and have worked as a Daily claim adjuster for about 4 years now. I am currently licensed in all states requiring a license. and also have been trained on xactimate. Before getting my license I worked at an architect firm sketching rooms and roofs. My questions is for someone like me wanting to take a nose dive into it what should I expect and what should my next step be? Any tips?

05 August 2013

Ray's Book

Hi All,

I am a new adjuster and after having read through numerous posts for beginners, I noticed Ray Hall kept making an offer that no one took him up on and also mentioned he was writing a book about adjusting. As he passed away before I got into this industry and had an opportunity to take him up on his offer, I was curious if anyone knows if he actually finished his book and how I might be able to get a copy of it.


02 June 2013

Question: OJT

Question received from a visitor via;


I have been trying to get into the CAT adjuster industry for a while. My concern was to pay for all the training and then come home and no work.Is it at all possible to go OJT with all these storms then get license later?

19 March 2013

Bad Credit Disqualify New Adjuster?

My credit was perfect until 2009, Then I was out of work for a while, and my credit record tanked bad.  I was 60,90, even 180 days late reported for a long time (years) before I caught up. Never defaulted on my mortgage or car loans but the payment history is bad until about 2 years ago. Two collection accounts I was unaware of are on my credit report.  They did not have my contact information so I was never notified.   When I found out and contacted me, they had offered a 50% payment settlement offer.  I declined but paid 100% of what I owed.  Now my negative record shows two small credit cards that were closed and sold as a charge off to collection companies.  Only one collection company is on my record.  I paid the collection companies in full, will this type of negative record disqualify me from being an adjuster?  I already have a TX License, but Pilot's website said those with record of financial irresponsibility need not apply. 

28 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy

What's your action plan?

I haven't seen anybody posting who they're on stand-by with.  I'm looking for 1st time deployment, anybody care to share any insight?

Thanks, and stay safe.

07 August 2012

Have license...How do I get hired?

I took and passed the exam for becoming an adjuster last year. I do not have any experience in the insurance industry however and I am finding it hard to even get into it. Any advice?
18 April 2010

Seven Newbie Questions

Subject: Seven Newbie Questions

 OK. Here I am. Just got my Georgia license (god, what a drag that was!) and ready to make millions   I've been in construcion for a few years (roofing estimator)  and dealt a lot with claim based construction work.  So, I just wanted to hear some advise from you guys, hardened in battles veterans....

So, here we go.
  1. How do I get in? What should my strategy be? Should I try to get hired by a large insurance company to gain some experience? State Farm? Allstate? Or should I just get on the rosters of as many independents as possible and wait for a lucky day?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a staff adjuster vs independent?
  3. Is there enough work right now? I hear a lot of older guys are leaving the field. Does that mean, it would be easier for me to find work?
  4. How much you all guys make? Honestly, is it worth doing what you are doing?  How much a typical staff adjuster makes? Independent? In storm situation? In  a slow year?  In an average year?
  5. What is better residential or commercial claims? How can I get to work commercial claims?
  6. Flood and earthquake certifications?  Do I need them? Are they beneficial to me at this stage?
  7. How many licenses should I get? In which states?

Source: Forum Past By Alex
18 April 2010

The Facts About Your First/Next Storm Claims Assignment

Subject: The Facts About Your First/Next Storm Claims Assignment


 THE PRIMARY QUESTION: “ I have received my Adjuster’s license and completed the application process for several Independent firms but no one has any work for me! How do I get my storm claims career started?”

The Good News: Once you have reached this point your first assignment becomes less a question of if and more of a question of when. Your first assignment will most likely be a large catastrophic occurrence or as I like to call it, a jumping on event. Large events such as this happen about once a year. MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY FOR IT BECAUSE MOST NEW ADJUSTERS ARE NOT!

“Spring 2009 has produced a lot of hail storm assignment, why haven’t I been asked to work any of them?”

Nobody likes to take a risk on the unknown. This fact applies to the Independent companies as well. Remember that they too are in the industry for profit. Fact is, they do not have to gamble on hiring someone new as long as they have a pool of proven adjusters to draw from.

“But my resume lists 60 hours of claim specific training and 10 years of construction experience!”

Most independent firms have very little interest in what you have listed on your resume. Actions speak louder than words and truth be told, resumes do not provide much insight with respect to professional integrity or raw ability. A resume cannot answer many of the most important questions such as: Is this person willing to work 16hr days, 7 days a week? Will this person ask for time off during the first month of the assignment? Is this person afraid of heights or crawlspaces? Can this person effectively deal with difficult policyholders? Can this person work effectively with a micro-managing or uninvolved claims manager? CAN THIS PERSON BRING TOGETHER ALL OF THE SKILLS NEEDED FOR ONE OF THE MOST STRESSFULL JOBS ON THE PLANET? (just to name a few)


Source: Forum Post by Catsvstrained CCS LLC
17 April 2010

Newbie Adjuster Advice

Subject: Newbie Adjuster Advice

Greetings! My name is Zach and I recently got my GA adjusters license in August and I'm looking for a little advice on how to get started and get more involved in the industry. I know a couple of independent adjusters here in Athens and they are assigned a couple of claims here and there but I'm thinking I want to start out working for a company for the first couple of years until I get some experience under my belt. I know that Crawford looks for experienced adjusters but unfortunately I don't have it at this point.

Is there anything I can do to connect with other adjusters that are willing to train me and show me the ropes? I have scoping pretty much down.My next step is to take a class and master Xactimate. Have a great day everyone and I look forward to your responses!

Best Regards,

Source: Active Forum Post by Zack - 40 Replies (so far)
17 April 2010

Becoming an Adjuster

Subject: Becoming an Adjuster

Came across something the other day that maybe has some relevance in this thread.
"10 habits of Highly Effective Adjusters", it is on the web version of Claims Mag (August 2001), but I'll summarize the points.

(1) Reading - An effective adjuster can actually read and comprehend a policy. That is, they know the coverage, they what the policy says. Also, an effective adjuster must be able to read and comprehend the technical correspondence related to the claims they handle. For property adjusters that would include engineers and fire investigators reports. A liability adjuster to be effective must be able to read and comprehend court documents and medical reports. To be effective, you must be able to understand and convey to others the technical details of a claim.

(2) Writing - "Check-off" and short forms reports as well as email have eroded this skill. The effective adjuster has the ability to prepare professional correspondence.

(3) Keeping a diary - a suspense diary is just about the most basic tool one can use in handling claims. When our peers review an open file that shows no activity for two months, one of three things is happening; (a) the adjuster is not using a diary, (b) the adjuster is not keeping notes, (c) the adjuster is doing nothing. What's the alternative to a diary? You must wait for something to happen and react to it. An effective adjuster does not do that.

(4) Keeping activity notes - One of your greatest challenges will be the first day you sit for a discovery / deposition, or find yourself in the witness stand of a court room; and try and remember with clarity what you did on a file four years ago. Adjusters notes are the only way to tell what is happening on a file. Activity notes provide the history of how a claim was handled and effective adjusters always make an entry each time they "touch" a file.

(5) Keeping others informed - Communication is key to an effective adjuster. Consider being a DAPIST - detailed as possible, in simpliest terms. Communicating regularly with all concerned parties is critical to success.

(6) Learning - A great deal of adjuster training is task oriented. That sort of training taught you how to fill out forms, how to measure a building, how to estimate damage, how to photograph and how to take a statement. If all you learn are "tasks", then you will only be capable of doing tasks. An effective adjuster never stops learning. An effective adjuster will learn about human relations and how the claim adjustment process fits into the insurance "big picture".

(7) Don't beat a dead horse - or "dog files" by another name; those files that just seem to linger on and don't get closed. There comes a time in every claim where an effective adjuster must be an "adjuster", and use the skills of an adjuster to negotiate and bring the file to a resolution. The effective adjuster knows when to fight a battle, and when to concede.

(8) Don't burn your bridges - An effective adjuster is reasonable and fair in dealing with others, not stubborn and unyeilding. An effective adjuster knows that being reasonable and fair will make the job easier, but they also know that that behavior will allow them to build a network of contacts for future use.

(9) Massage a/o manipulate - Adjusting is far from an exacting science. An effective adjuster knows that part of adju

17 April 2010

Resumes: The Harsh Truth

Subject: Resumes: The Harsh Truth

I generally lurk in the shadows on this site. I am posting without my name or company name as I am a principal with a nationwide cat company and prefer the security of anonymity for this particular posting. Not one of the biggest vendors but, in my opinion, one of the best. I am writing to hopefully shed some light on this subject of resumes and how to break into the "bidness".

We receive a lot (A LOT) of unsolicited resumes. I am the one who sifts through them and files them accordingly. To streamline the process I have three doors for these resumes.

Door Number One: Former contractors, former auto sales/body repair people, former real estate appraisers, former insurance agents, and former anything that is not related to insurance adjusting. This door is for the folks who have no experience in adjusting a claim and who prefer to explain to me how their unrelated skills can quickly be converted to the claims field. This door is for them folks that couldn't make it in their chosen field. Sorry, but that's reality.

Door Number Two: High school and college graduates with a limited understanding of the King's English or basic grammar structure. "I looking for a position with you company." Also, the ones who hide their lack of communication skills with $67 words that I have to go look up in the dictionary. I'm not wasting my time doing that. Believe me, I know why you're sending me a resume. If you prefer to waste your time with unsolicited resumes, at least keep it simple, to the point, and with Standard English construction.

Door Number Three: These are the folks who enjoy listing all the other vendors they've worked with since 1957. Of course, they fail to realize that all these vendors are also my competitors. Let's say that ABC Adjusting is my biggest competition in the Texas market and I know in my heart that the adjusters they use put out an inferior product. How do I know this? Because I know we put out a superior product. When I get a resume from an adjuster who has plenty of experience in the claim industry but 80% of that experience is with ABC Adjusting then, in my mind, this is an ABC adjuster and will always be an ABC adjuster. I'm also suspicious. Why is he coming to me now? Did he have a falling out with ABC? Did they run him off or did this adjuster become dissatisfied with them? These are questions you do not want raised in my mind if you are serious about getting on our list.

Here are the lessons you need to learn from my experiences.

First, if you are serious about getting out on a storm then get out to the storm. If you have claims experience, then find where the vendor has his storm office and go talk to someone face to face. Bring a copy of some estimates you have written in the past (oh, and that resume, if you insist). When all of our regular adjusters are working and I'm casting about for extra help, if you are standing there, ready to go to work, then chances are good that are I'll give you a shot rather than looking up someone in the resume file. Don't count on unsolicited resumes, unless you just enjoy typing up your accomplishments. They are not productive in this industry and, in my personal opinion, are a waste of time. In other industries (sales, marketing, manufacturing, etc.) they are the way to go, but not for this business that we have chosen. I cannot remember the last time I called someone to work a storm just from a resume. It doesn't happen.

Second, if you have no claims experience then the best way to get out on a storm is to get out to the storm. Find an adjuster who will be working and make some type of arrangement for assistance services.

06 April 2010

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition

Subject: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition

 for Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators

Provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections. 

The following is a TOC to the information provided in this online handbook.


06 April 2010

How to write a

Subject: How to write a

Comments from the site:

"Site offers free cover letter, thank you letter, and resume writing tips. Research how to write a resume, distribute your resume to hiring managers, and tips for how to get an interview."

06 April 2010

RESUME WRITING | How to write a masterpiece of a resume

Subject: RESUME WRITING | How to write a masterpiece of a resume

Comments from the site;

"Resume writing: How to write a resume that generates results. Free award-winning online guide to resume writing. Resume examples - resume format choices - samples of good writing. You can write a resume as well as a top-level professional writer."

03 April 2010

Resume / Training tips?

Subject: Resume / Training tips?

 A forum discussion that provides some Resume tips.


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