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Ghostbuster (Ghostbuster)
Posted on Saturday, July 08, 2000 - 8:14 pm:   

Latest Poop!

State Farm called and put Eberls on stand by for Minnesota. Just got call from the dispatcher that all bets were off and that Renfroe got the assignment. In the dispatchers words, "Eberls got screwed!"

Who says this ain't a sleazy business?
older then dirt
Posted on Saturday, July 08, 2000 - 5:25 pm:   

Ghost,
I do this to escape wage slavery. I am not owned, although sometimes broke! Core is a great idea for the vendors and the newbes. But you go where they say for as long as they say. Give me my freedom and I'll take my chances.
Still baking in the Dallas sun.
Older then dirt
davidgdye
Posted on Friday, July 07, 2000 - 8:42 am:   

Ghostbuster:

You have retained most of what Laura told you. There are some additional perks, but you have the gist of it. I went Core 16 months ago, and so far, I have been extremely happy with the program, benefits and work. And no, I have not been on the road constantly.

I'd recommened Core to any professional caliber adjuster.

Want to know more? Drop me an email.
Ghostbuster (Ghostbuster)
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2000 - 11:15 pm:   

To be more specific, what I'm seeing is a trade off from a 65/35 split with no group health plan and an average of three storms a year to Crawfords 60/40 split with a genuine group health plan. They also seem to have a more aggressive marketing effort and seem to have deeper penetration into the marketplace.

My problem are certain defective concepts that I was reared on such as loyalty and seeking a home where other birds of a feather roost. It appears that my vendor is on a youth kick, and grey hair, bifocals, and a proclivity to listen to Big Band type radio stations does not jive with their concept of melding with the eternal youth of State Farm. At the grand old age of 48, I get the impression of being a buggy whip amidst a showroom of new Dodge Neons!

This is why I seek from the bretheren information about Crawford and the 'Core Group' program.
Paul Bagnato
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2000 - 3:13 pm:   

Mr/Mrs. Ghostbuster,
Jump ship and sail with another vendor. I would if the situation offered itself. (hint~hint).
From my understanding the core personal are paid on retainer, (if there is down time). That retainer is paid back to Crawford when the adjusters billing is sent in from the event he/she is sent to work. If you like to be out, this is the way.
Yet Ghostbuster, I am not really in a position to offer you advise, for I don't have any clue as to who you are?
Ghostbuster (Ghostbuster)
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2000 - 2:38 pm:   

Let's start this thread back up again.

...So the phone rings and it's a nice lady from Crawford & Co saying she's the State Farm coordinator. We exchange pleasantries and "Yes, I am" this and "Yes, I do" that. Then the topic of the 'Core Group' comes up.

She says something to the effect that the 'Core Group' are in fact employees and as such, get to chew on the group health plan, and 401K, and retirement, and first call on assignments, and the chance to work for local Crawford offices in down time, and tho the split is 60/40, a kind of retainer is paid during downtime. (If any of this is not correct, please advise me. A lot was said in a short time. I may not have heard it all correctly.)

As the vendor I have been with lacks much of this, I am tempted to jump ship. Roy, Jim, Dave, etal., could you please offer some advise and feedback on the merits and /or demerits of this program with Crawford?

Before this ol' catfish bites the worm, I'd like to know if there's a hook hidden inside. And, if so, is it a hook worth living with?
Tom Weems
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 2:27 pm:   

Dave, I know an adjuster who recently got out of the business. This adjuster had the technical skill necessary to perform the job, however as you know there is much more to this than just knowing how to measure a roof. Like any other independent businessman, cat adjusters must market themselves to stay employed, unless you are captive to one vendor, and a member of the inner circle. The easy part of this business is working the files.

You MUST continually upgrade your educational and technical abilities if you want to work outside of hurricane season. In a major storm they will run ads in the newspaper for warm bodies.

You MUST stay up on what’s happening with storms and who has files in any area.

You MUST be instantly accessible 24/7, If nobody can find you nobody can hire you.

You MUST be able to handle any file that hits your desk. Commercial, Residential, Flood, Business Interruption, Stock Loss, and Mobile Home…. These are all things you will see and better be able to handle. A true cat adjuster can handle whatever loss he (or she) is given.

You MUST have a network of friends and associates that can tell you who is getting put on standby and who to call. You can call this the “good ole boy network”.

You MUST have a working budget that is totally separate from everyday expenses to keep you going for at least 6 weeks in any situation. $5,000 at least $10,000 is better…

You MUST keep your resume circulating, and updated.

You MUST attend at least a couple of the spring/summer seminars. More is better, and don’t forget that NFIP now REQUIRES a workshop every year.

You MUST keep your license, E&O, and continuing education current and up to date.

You MUST know what you are getting into BEFORE you leave home. There are many vendors out there that will over staff a storm office, change the rules after you get there, fail to pay you for your work, cheap schedules, etc. Know before you go is not just a good idea, it’s THE good idea. IF you run out the door at the first phone call, and without knowing what the situation is, you will live to regret it.

You MUST NOT fall in love with your files. As a catastrophe adjuster, you will see a lot of human misery. Compassion is important, but never NEVER loose sight of why you are there. Most of the time, the most compassionate thing you can do for your insured’s is to investigate the claim thoroughly, pay what the company owes and CLOSE THE FILE. Be professional, listen and sympathize and show your compassion. These people are hurting and need money. Do what you can for them and move on to the next one.

You MUST devote 100% of your attention to your files when you are on a storm site. We have plenty of time between storms to take care of personal details. Sometimes too much. When you are on site, devote all of your skill, all of yourself, to your work. We are not there on vacation.

Personal integrity is very important. The carrier, the vendor and the insured are all depending on you. Your word MUST be your bond. Without your honor, you are nothing.

Calling a couple of vendor every couple of weeks to tell them you are available is a waste of your time and theirs. During hurricane season when there is a general “cattle call”, they will call you. The rest of the time you had better know what is going on, or the winter, spring and summer will be very, very long and you will end up working at Burger Doodle for minimum wage. Remember, no employer in a normal job will be thrilled when you tell them that the first time your phone rings you are gone. So you are either a cat adjuster, or you are not.

This is a competitive business just like any other. It’s a very rewarding one to those who listen and follow the advice of those who are more experienced, and it is ruthless in starving the hard headed and the ill prepared out of the business. You DO get out of this, exactly what you put into it.
R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 10:55 am:   

KUDOS RJ,

Your response was accurate, and informative to "Johnny", who like some, hesitate to publish an identity.

I'm thinking that some that visit may not, in fact, be Cat adjusters at all, but rather "feces stirrers" that wish to antagonize some .

If they would realize that we do WORK, and take the time to write and answer questions and help others for the betterment of the trade, perhaps they would reconsider their rash, uniformed and less thoughtful statements.

Just finishing a 10 1/2 month Gig of 100 hrs a week, I'm pleased to be home, and will stay here for 60 days minimum. BUT, all of the time the work was progressing the midnight or early AM oil was burning to be there.

Always "Consider the source" it is truly enlightening.
RJ
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 2:10 am:   

Johnny:

There are those of us who make this profession a career. We see CADO as a new organization in it's infancy. As such we take an interest in what is said or not said about our profession in the forums on this web site. Accordingly, those of us that are so inclined participate by posting our thoughts on varying subjects.

From time to time there are individuals that for what ever reason begin to find fault with a posting they read then begin a personal attack on that individual. Some times this attitude will spill over and target vendors and carriers as well. When this happens it is quite often brought to a halt by the powers to be.

I have read your recent posting on this thread & "KNOW BEFORE YOU GO" SCHEDULES (BAD ONES)" thread and frankly I am a little puzzled as to the objective of your posts.

Since you are curious why some of the postings are so long, well that's easy to answer. Some of us have a lot to say, some of us have a little to say & a few get their kicks out of antagonizing others. As for being out of work you have taken me totally be surprise by that statement. You see once you have been in this business for a period of time you gain experience as time goes on. You learn that there are many areas that you can specialize in and then limit your shelf accordingly. There are times when you will be working & times when you are not. Unless you know how to generate storms & earthquakes you are going to discover that we only work limited assignments as catastrophe adjusters. That's what we do. When the assignments over you head home & take care of the honey do projects until the next event occurs.

Once you have established your self in this career you will see that your statement "Must be out of work. huh??" really doesn't make any sense. So why even make a statement like that in the first place. It's only a bad reflection on you.

From your comment on the Know before you go thread about file redo's, the first thing in this business that you have to learn is to assemble your files in the manner that the vendor or carrier requires. This is called satisfying the requirements of the client. Don't get in the habit of being rigid or fixed in your ways or you will wind up redoing your files until the cows come home. One or Two storms like that and you will either quit or be dismissed.

If you have read this far I hope you realize that I have tried to provide you with a meaningful response to your postings. I hope I have demonstrated to you that we can talk to each other without resorting to personal attacks or childish behavior.

I hope you continue reading the postings & make replies when ever you are so inclined.
johnny
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 12:56 am:   

Some of you people really write a lot. Must be out of work huh??
Anonymous
Posted on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 9:42 pm:   

Thanks to Murphy, I hear you and understand!!And to you Chuck, I am a small business man and I do agree with your statement. I am taking it one day at a time......To Tom, I like the fog ( for now).and thanks for your interesting comments, and I shall proceed at my own pace.......anon
Gale Hawkins (Gale)
Posted on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 10:46 am:   

Murphy the “state of confusion” is upon me already today it seems but I just had to take a moment and let you know you put a smile on a serious face this morning with your wisdom. I really do sense that CADO is moving to a new level subject and discussion wise. Maybe it is because I am reading more and posting less :)
Chuck Deaton
Posted on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 10:42 am:   

I am going to disagree, Tom, nothing is as mentally debilitating as knowing you have the "right stuff", the desire, the intelligence, the knowledge and working your butt off and failing. Failing, not because you were inadequate, but because success just wasn't in the fate. Any small businessman knows what I am talking about.

Cat adjusting has the capacity. The risk is there.
Tom
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 10:50 pm:   

Very little changes. Sometimes the change is in our minds. Catastrophe adjusting is like any other endeavor. What you put into it, you get out of it. Mr. or Ms. anonymous, do you have a name or are you ashamed of it. Hiding behind a mask of fog does not protect you, only hurts you. If you cannot be true to yourself, who can you be true to. I see many hiding in the fog, waiting for the sun to burn the fog away. Only self can do that and only self can be successful. You read only words on this CADO site. Look at the words, but use your heart and soul to proceed toward success. If you possess desire, you will succeed.
murphy
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 5:07 pm:   

hey anon,
as you can see, on CADO, the "state of confusion" does not stop in any phase of the business. Seems like just when we think we got it figured out, there is a CHANGE. If the confusion did stop, there would be no need for CADO in the first place......
just food for thought.
Anonymous
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 10:18 am:   

Thanks anon2/3 for the opening up your true feelings. I appreciate you answering this post. Also thanks to Cecelia for her insight, another view of the same picture as it were! I have sent out 60 resume's to the companies listed with this site CADO. I have recieved one response so far (its early yet). I had a fellow adjuster that was going to mentor me thru the begining stages of "claims culture shock", but alas, he fell from a ladder and got hurt bad and now is out on permanent disability. He says "No More climbing for me".So, I have lost my ride and now I am out here trying to grope my way in the dark. I aquired my license from LEONARDS and thats the extent of my "Claims" experience so far! I am more than willing to learn and be trained, and go the extra mile, but am not willing to invest much time and money on something that everyone seems to say "Stay Away"!My ex-mentor spoke highly and was very excited about his job (was in it for 10 years) and wanted me to give it a try. So now I live in a state of confusion about this career change I am attempting. I am far enough down the road of life to know that it aint all roses and I dont expect that, But I too come from the construction side, Cecelia, and I am tired of the physical abuse I put my body thru every day. So its move on to a better/less physical job, find a state job and go for retirement and forget the "BIG BUCKS" theory, or call my local truck driving academy!haha Well I look forward to the next set of responses....anon
Cecelia
Posted on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 9:42 am:   

Sometimes one gets that "warm, mushy-mushy feeling" handling claims when the insureds are SO glad to see you and thank you over and over for what you are doing for them. No one who knows me may believe this, but I have actually been called an ANGEL!!!

Maybe a little A.D.D. is what we ALL have who like change and surprise and meeting people in different areas under different circumstances. I once (not too long ago) thought those were the DRAWBACKS of this job. I then took a temp job (in the construction arena) and realized that those were the things that I NEED to enjoy my life. So back to CAT/IA work I came!

Everything in life is give and take. You have to decide how much you're willing to give up to get what you want. If it's worth the "give" to get what you want, then give it. And don't complain about what you've given up. Because YOU were the one who made the choice. And if you change your mind and don't like it, make another choice and make another change.

This is a great job for some. For others, it is not. We're all different.
anomynous 3
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 7:41 pm:   

yep- there's some good stuff. but don't count it being the money or an easy life-style. you want money, try lawyer doctor dentist or internet start-up. the thing about adjusting- and i suspect this goes for a lot of other troopers- is the personal freedom. although that can be the personal freedom to starve or become a workaholic, at least i'm not cooped up in the same office, or even the same town, day after day after year after year. fact is, i suspect i've got a dose of a.d.d. or some such, as i can't stand the same routine in the same place too long. it starts seeming more like prison than a job. trooping gives me the chance to work a lot of different situations and locations. whatever else it is, the one thing it never is is boring. i also like the travel. when you go into these storm areas, you're not going as a tourist, won't have time to do the touristy things, and won't come away with the touristy impressions. what you will do is work with these folks in real-life situations and see how they live/work day to day. you meet a lot of real good people and it gives you a more intimate knowledge of more places than your typical tourist ever gets. contrary to what some of my friends seem to think, the travel is not glamorus or romantic. more like drive like h-ll 24-36 hours non-stop to get to your next assignment- which may involve fun things like feeling your way at 3:00 am through the flooded-out backroads of a disaster area- several guys did that little dance around n.carolina last year, and a few of them got nice suvenirs from all that floodwater. you know- those little things like hepatitus & such. another thing i like is the time i can (sometimes) take off during the fall/winter. i'm an avid outdoorsman and it's nice to be able to spend a lot of time on duck and deer seasons. finally, there is a sense of friendship when you make a storm and run into a lot of folks you've worked with before-kind of a "the gangs all here" thing- and get to catch up on what they're doing. one thing you may have noticed is that i do not mention a sense of "helping my fellow man" or "altruism". although you do often get the satisfaction of personally helping someone, you gotta treat this like the business it is if you're gonna make a go of it. you can't be in it if you have no regard for your fellow man but, if you want warm and mushy real-good feel-good, then go join your local missionary society.
Anonymous
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 5:33 pm:   

So, Anon2, you are saying there is not a good side to this profession???? You can't put it all down to dollars and cents. I am looking up the number to the local truck driving academy now!!!!!! Maybe I should try - Doctor/Lawyer/Indian Chief...ugh. I am really getting discouraged............anon
anonymous 2
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 12:05 pm:   

annoyous- anybody that thnks cat adjusting is quick & easy big-bucks must be suffering from rectal-cranial inversion. here's a true-life example on an assignment i recently completed. the main reason i took this particualr job was because it was in my home area and, i thought, would be low-expense- not be mention nice to be at home for a change. however i immediately ran into problems. the biggest problem was that claims were scattered all over heck's half-acre, could not be put into any semblance of organization, and driving time/mileage, l.d. and copy costs ate me up, in terms of both time and expense. when it was all over and done with, i billed out approx $16500 for 6 weeks work. out of that $16500, we can take off about $3000 for vehicle expense, about $1000 in phone expense, another $300 in postage and fed-ex charges, about $450 for motel bills, about $800 for 33mm photo expense, $260 for software lease, and $900 for a new combination printer/copier/scanner i had to buy to meet the client's paperwork demands for 4 copies of all files. and ?$ for things like tape measures, ink cartridges, paper, pens, and office supplies. i didn't track office supplies as such, but can tell you there was more than one day where i spent more than $40 on just ink cartridges and copy paper.

if my arithemtic is right, that works out to a net of approx $10090 for 6 weeks work. to make that, i put in a minimum of 12, usually 14, and sometimes 16 hours a day for 6 weeks. taking 14 as an average, that works out to about $17/hour.
and that doesn't include the cost of a few thousand dollars in miscellaneous equipment such as computers, ladders, & ladder-racks for the truck. nor does it include the cost of all this c.e., seminars, and certifications (and their attendant travel expense), nor the value of my 30 years experience, nor e&o, gl, or auto insurance. and to make even that $17/hour, i had no time to visit with family and friends or maintain any semblance of normal daily life- even though i was working out of my house for the most part.

sure, our paychecks sometimes look fairly decent, and when you hear some guys talking about them, it sounds impressive. but you better stop and add up all the costs before you jump in. one reason i dislike hearing, or seeing, someone brag about all that big money they raked in is because it's basically misleading, if not dishonest, to brag about what you're making if you're not also telling what it costs. another reason i don't like bragging, or braggarts, is that it/they provide more fuel to the carrier's desires to cut our schedules.

granted that type of assignment i finished is, i hope, not typical of what will come along the rest of the year. however it is not rare by any means. i know of one major operation shortly preceding that one, which was for a different carrier, where a number of the other guys barely made enough to cover expenses.

and, while i'm on my soapbox, will add in a few comments about the guys you see talking about making many thousands of dollars in a few days/weeks/whatever. one way to maximize your production is to take shortcuts. i've back-tracked enough adjusters to know that, every now and then, you'll have a guy who, either accidentally or conveniently, just hits the high spots on some claims. that way, he can turn in a bill quicker, get more claims, and get a bigger paycheck. that works fine- right up until the time the call-backs start coming in. complaints that the adjuster missed so-&-so, or failed to inspect another insured bldg on the same policy/premises, or refused to inspect insured damages may get an adjuster's name crossed off the call-list for the next storm. and some of these adjusters wonder- and complain- about paychecks getting cut.

i don't normally post anomynously but, since this has info i'd usually keep private, i'll let you guess where this came from.
Paul Bagnato
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 11:08 am:   

And you know, it takes a few minutes of explaining to some people that I am going home on vacation.
Ghostbuster
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 10:41 am:   

OK, here is some of the good stuff.

1)How about finally learning that you are among fellow birds of a feather for once in your life. That there really are other brilliant social malcontented eccentrics just like you out there.
2)How about discovering that you do have some gypsy blood in your veins and veiwing the truly majestic beauty of the country brings tears of pride to your eyes.
3)How about the realization that an assignment has an end to it and doesn't drag on forever till they give you a gold watch.
4)How about learning to appreciate and even look forward to regional differences.
5)Let's not forget that we are on GODs cleanup squad. After the Diety has a stormy snit fit, we get to come in and help the poor souls put their lives back together.
6)Then there is oppurtunity to sleep away from your wifes snoring or her from your snoring so everyone can get a nights rest.
7)The time spent alone out on storm is always an excellent time for personal reflection and a time to change old bad habits.
8)Have you also started to notice the delight in varying food styles thru out the land; Tex-Mex, Midwestern steaks, New England chowders, Southern fried delicacies, etc.
9)The real vacation you have by just sitting in your own living room when not out on the road.
10)And, last but not least, the MONEY!
Anonymous
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 9:53 am:   

you folks sure dont give much encouragement to the newbee's reading your post. Granted most of what you say is probably true...but you still do it and make a good living at it or you would be signed up at the local truck driving academy trying to break in to a long haul career..1-800-give -me a- break. I am a "newbee" so I am going to send this anon as to not wreck my career chance from vindictive "old hands" who dont seem to want anyone entering their space as new claims adjusters. I have 30 years in my present vocation and to teach the "new" guys coming along is what keeps the industry going for future generations and supplies a vital need to the consumer.Come on guys, dont paint such a bleak dark picture, tell some of the "good" stuff too!I'll be watching from the sidelines as you rip into this post........anon
Tom Weems
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 7:52 am:   

Amen...and besides most of the time we are in motels or extended stays and it sure helps to have another person to talk to. I got tired of eating every meal by myself sitting next to the computer a long time ago. Makes the files go faster, decreases the stress (well it's supposed to) and give the little lady an opportunity to see things as we do.
Vince Tabor
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 8:20 pm:   

Life on the adjusting road is better when you can take your spouse with you. This "arrangement" gives a huge insight into the workload required
on most storms, and saves on LD calls back home.
Ghostbuster
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 1:55 pm:   

Now that is THE reason we do this. That and the money...
paul bagnato
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 11:33 am:   

But what about all the claims we settle and the people we help along the way? NOT
Paulie B.
beenthere
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 11:02 am:   

Yea. And a few months down the road you get to divide up what you have tried to do for her.

Great life? You are selling it.
dbc
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 10:11 am:   

Yeah, or the night your wife goes out on her first date while you are away from home!
Ghostbuster
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 10:08 am:   

Yeah Paul, and don't forget the first day they go off to school, the night they graduate from high school, their first date...
Paul Bagnato
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 9:42 am:   

I am not complaining about the time away from home. Yet just to let the new person know, my youngest child, I have four, started walking last week. I am sitting here 850 miles from home and not there to get a hug when she crosses the room.
I am not a happy camper about this.
Paulie B.
Russ Doe
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 9:30 am:   

Another thought: Its a lonely road out there,if you cant stand to be alone for days,weeks,months,stay home.When you get home from a storm,you spend days,weeks,sometimes months worrying if you will ever work again.Roller coaster is your life.You didnt mention Beer!!
Tom Weems
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 8:21 am:   

Thanks RJ, I think I will go in the bathroom now and cut my wrists....
Concerned2
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 1:05 am:   

What a great description of the reality of this business! Good work, RJ.
Tom Joyce (Tomj)
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 12:20 am:   

Good article RJ,should we all print it and keep a copy to hand to staff adjusters when we get the normal line of ......
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 9:12 pm:   

Excellent article posting RJ!

Your comment about working 16 hour days, reminds me of the time an adjuster was called on the carpet for billing 30 hours in one day on T & E.

When he was asked how he could possibly have done it, he informed his boss, "well, I didn't take an hour for lunch."

What you said is appropriate essential reading for quiet contemplation for those on the outside looking in who entertain fantasies about cat adjusting. The reality is slightly different as many know, and as you have so beautifully and accurately described.
RJ
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 7:03 pm:   

So you want to be an Independent Catastrophe Insurance Adjuster

First of all can you adjust a loss on you own? The field is not a good place to learn on your own.

Quite often individuals get into this business without really exploring the reasons for doing so in the first place. While on the surface the gross income appears to be a very enticing carrot on the stick, those that have been in the business for a considerable amount time know otherwise. This is a business that you have to care about & dedicate your life to if you really have the desire to succeed.

As with any endeavor in life the first thing you must realize & accept is that you will have to make a lot of personal sacrifices. Get use to the idea of being away from home on assignment for months at a time. I have seen assignments last longer than a year. Unlike a company employee you are expected to stay at the assignment location until you are released. Leaving a location even for a day can result in termination of your contract.

Next thing is that you have to be able to personally finance your expenses for a period of time before realizing any income. You should expect to spend at least $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 before you receive any income from your efforts. Then depending on your vendor, payments could be fast or slow in coming. Pay close attention to this detail before accepting any assignment. Should you have to leave an assignment early due to lack of your ability to finance your own expenses this could have a serious impact on your income from that or future storm events.

Now that you have established your ability to adjust claims & have the necessary financial resources to see the assignment through to the end, get ready for an emotional roller coaster ride of your life. Between the insureds, vendors, carriers & insurance commissioners you will experience more lies, emotions, half truths and paper work requirements than you could ever imagine. Just when things appear to be under control look out because things do not usually go along real smooth for you when you lack the experience on how to handle situations. There are probably as many different situations as there are insured's, vendors & carriers. In other words if you can handle the stress of this occupation & are a good problem solver you may have a chance to succeed as an independent catastrophe adjuster. Only time will tell.

Another important aspect of this business is your income. Before embarking on this line of work sit down & lay out a budget. In this budget you have to include your on going household expenses while away on assignment. Add to this your on the road expenses. To this you will need to add all additional expenses (personal medical expenses & insurance premiums, car repairs, office supplies & equipment, etc. & of course don't forget the phone bill). If you live a conservative life style your budget may average $6,000.00 +. Keep in mind the + can run as high as an additional $3,000.00 per month & often does. So if you have done your math you will discover that just to break even without having any money to even pay your income taxes you will have to earn as least $108,000.00 a year. With income taxes make it a minimum of $120,000.00. That does not leave you with any spendable cash. Don't forget about mother nature. After all the only time you work is when she is at her worst. Most years you will probably only work Four to Six months. That will have a very negative impact on your budget & will have an adverse effect on your income as outlined in the following example.

Now to earn $120,000.00 a year a catastrophe adjuster will work 14 to 16 hours a day Seven days a week for at least 48 weeks out of the year. Take an average of 15 hours times Seven days times 48 weeks & that amounts to 5040 hours a year. Dividing $120,000.00 by 5040 equals to just $23.81 per hour. Now 2/3 thirds of this is needed just to pay on the road expenses & income taxes. That will leave you with $7.94 earnings per hour to pay for your home expenses. Now lets say you are lucky & work Five & ½ months out of the year. You have just reduced the net $7.94 per hour to $3.97 per hour. I believe that is a considerably lower per hour real income than most hourly professions make not to mention a salary employee with benefits. Is it any wonder so much complaining about the low fee schedules is currently being made by independent insurance adjusters. Is it any wonder why it really takes dedication by the independent insurance adjuster to stay in this business. Don't be misled by a few who like to boast about their income. They are not telling you the whole truth of the matter.

So I ask the question again "So you want to be an independent insurance adjuster?" Think about it and if you are so inclined please offer your views on this topic. If you should decide in favor I wish you all the luck & good fortune in your pursuit of this profession.

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