DORIAN UPDATE #5 | Max Olson and Chris Stanley Reporting

The latest on Hurricane Dorian from AdjusterTV:

AdjusterTV has two guys on scene in the Carolinas keeping an eye on this storm for you.

Also in this report, Chris gives tips on inspecting flood damaged vehicles - iapath.com/flood

Donate $10 to the Red Cross for Hurricane Dorian Relief. Text DORIAN to 90999

Learn more about what an IA is and how to become one at adjustertv.com

How does DEPLOYMENT work? DORIAN Q&A

 

Please consider donating to the charity of your choice for disaster relief.

 

In this long-form, webinar rebroadcast, I answer questions about how storm deployments work, what you can expect to happen when you show up on site, when you'll get your claims, what Nextgen is, and so many more.


Want to know how to get started as an independent adjuster? Watch the video below..

 

HUGE Schedule It Announcement!

Just in time for Hurricane Dorian, our good friends over at Schedule It have changed the way they charge for contacts.

And it’s a GOOD thing!

Instead of charging $9.99 per contact, they’ve moved over to a subscription model instead.

If you pay by the month, it’s $60 a month (still an insane bargain).

However, if you pay the full year up front, $480, it comes out to $40 a month.

 
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I mean, come on. Either way it’s a steal.

Why did Schedule It do this? They wanted their amazing service to be available to you year round as you do other kinds of claims work - dailies, etc.

Being able to schedule unlimited contacts for such a low price is truly a gamechanger.

Does Selling Roofs Pay Better Than Being a Cat IA?

 
 

A viewer from YouTube named Julius Jones writes:

"Selling roofs pays way more than adjusting."

Thanks for watching, Julius.

Let's compare the jobs.

(Before we get started - a little disclaimer here: IA's and roof salespeople get paid in more than one way. I sold roofs for a brief time and have chatted with hundreds of roofers about this and so this is my understanding of how it works - I recognize that there are exceptions and I invite you to share them in the comments!)

Let's compare the actual work you have to do for each job.

cat property IA

  1. Get assigned a claim

  2. Call the insured to set the appointment

  3. Do the inspection

  4. Write the estimate (or not - but still get paid if there's no damage)

  5. Settle up with the insured

  6. Get paid on the next paycheck - anywhere from $200 to several thousand depending on the claim.

All in probably about 1.5 to maybe 3 or 4 hours worth of work.

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Roof Salesperson

  1. Get leads. This can be done in a number of ways, but the main way for a roofer working a hail storm is to put on his walking shoes and start canvassing. You'll be giving the same schpeil that the last 5 canvassers gave. You're going to see a lot of doors closed in your face if you were the FIRST canvasser in the neighborhood.

  2. Convert as high a percentage as possible of those door knocks into an adjuster meeting. 5 out of a hundred. 10 out of a hundred. 30 or 40 out of a hundred, maybe for a superstar?

  3. Meet with the adjuster and, whether there is damage or not, try to convince the adjuster that the roof needs to be replaced. Do this either in a gentle and friendly way or in an aggressive and pushy way.

  4. If the adjuster agrees that the roof needs replacement, NOW you have to get a signed contract from the insured. So you gotta sell it!

  5. Wait for the insured to get the first check from the insurance company because they might not have the $2500 deductible sitting around (this could be a week or three).

  6. THEN wait for the check to come back from the mortgage company - which could take more weeks.

  7. if all goes well and the insured doesn't change their mind and decide to pay off some bills or go to Hawaii instead of replace their roof, you get a check in your hand that you will hand straight over to your boss. If he's cool he might cut you back a check for a third of your commission for bringing in a deposit.

  8. THEN, because the way a lot of roofing companies do this, you may be required to be the Project Manager. What does this mean? It means that you have to coordinate the construction date with the customer AND the crew AND the building supply joint. Could be weeks from now.

  9. You order supplies and make sure that the delivery date is before the install date.

  10. When the supplies are delivered, you might get another third of your commission.

  11. On the date of the install, as the project manager you have to be there first thing to make sure that the crew shows up and has everything they need. THEN you have to babysit that jobsite until it's done. What happens if they're 2 vents short? Or run out of flashing or felt or nails? You're driving to Home Depot or ABC Supply to get some more.

  12. The job goes smoothly. All the nails are picked up and nobody's kid will need a tetanus shot on this one. What's next? Give the customer a certificate of completion and instruct them to send it to their insurance company. Hopefully it doesn't sit on their dining table under a pile of other mail, purses, and bookbags until the cleaning lady comes again.

  13. Wait for the insurance company to issue the final check. You'll be making a number of gentle reminder calls to the customer that they need to pay you what's owed.

  14. If that all goes well, THEN your boss will pay you the last bit of your commission.

You might make 2 or 3 thousand bucks on that job on your commission, but you're going to WORK for it and not only that, you're going to WAIT for it. It might be two months before you get paid and it could be a lot longer than that.

So here on the one hand..

Sure, a cat IA gets paid a little bit less on the same size ROOF job, maybe, but there's only SIX steps and there's no doubt that when an IA completes that claim in a day or two, that money will be in his or her checking account on the next payday.

Even worst case scenario - If an IA averages only $200 take home per claim, he only has to close 500 claims in a year to hit $100,000. A good IA can do 6-9 claims in a day on a typical hail storm. At 6 a day, the IA will get up to 500 closed claims in about 80-90 actual days of work. A good IA can do that even in a slower year.

How many roofs does a guy have to sell to take home $100k? If you are that good then you're definitely not watching this video because you're BUSY.

And as the roof salesman, you likely also do gutters and possibly siding and windows. But what if there's damage to the inside of the house? What if the house is gone from fire or tornado?

Are you canvassing THAT neighborhood? Probably not.

If there's cat work available, it's likely that I'm there. As a salesperson, you can only go where your boss wants you to go and if he decides it's not worth it to load up and go from Dallas to Fargo, then you're not going. I'll be there though.. ..getting paid..

Conclusion?

So Julius from YouTube, I'm certain that plenty of people who sell roofs can absolutely kill it and earn "way more" than an IA. But I'll tell you right now, most IA's get paid more than most roof salespeople.

While ya’ll are bellyaching about how all the adjusters aren't paying for starter and ridge, you might think to yourself, "maybe I could do better as an IA?"

"Hey, Matt, how can I do what you do?"

Just a thought.

Question of the day:

How do you get started as an independent adjuster? Check it out:

Everything you need to know about getting started as an Independent Adjuster, in one 40 minute video. Check it out!

 

DORIAN UPDATE #1 | Max Olson Reporting

Watch the full report from Max Olsen:

IA Firms are putting many adjusters on standby to prepare for a worst-case scenario. Remember that being on STANDBY doesn't imply you will actually be deployed. Just a heads up that it could happen. This standby has likely gone out to thousands of adjusters so be ready, but don't do anything rash.

It is OK to be on standby for multiple IA Firms (remember they are putting lots of adjusters on standby... not just you). If an IA Firm calls to "stage" or "deploy" you then only do this for ONE COMPANY and be loyal to them.

Once we see if this hurricane makes landfall don't be shy on calling the IA Firms, although they'll say "don't call" I've typically gotten work when I called and didn't when I didn't.... coincidence? I think not!

If you are nervous about knowing how to handle auto or property claims IA PAth and AdjusterTV put together special offers of emergency training to help you survive your first storm.

The truth is only 50% of IA's who get deployed actually make it... many fail. If you aren't certain you are trained and ready for deployment then grab these training options to prepare you and to be a quick reference on the storm!

#IAlife*

What is it like to be an independent adjuster who works all the cat deployments they want every year, and maybe has a fun hobby side hustle they do in their downtime?

What does it look like on the other side of all of the chaos, dead-ends, false-starts, expensive gear, and even more expensive training that has no guarantee of getting you anywhere? 

All of the headaches you encounter getting started are just a bootcamp for what's to come.  Because if you can navigate your way through all of this getting-started stuff, if you can pick yourself up and dust yourself off when you get knocked on your rear (and you WILL get knocked on your rear), if you can set your jaw and grit your teeth and really put your shoulder into this - and just not take no for an answer - then you'll be the kind of person who will do very well as an Independent Adjuster.

I've been a field adjuster for 20 years. 

19 of those years it was as an IA and one as a staff adjuster.  I didn't start out as a staffer, like so many folks do.  But instead, in late 2016, my wife and I decided to plant ourselves in one place so that we could have better access to our fertility doc.  

But after some frustration getting pregnant, we moved on and I left my staff position after a year.  Very soon after that, I founded AdjusterTV.

And AdjusterTV was something that I had been thinking about and dreaming about for a long time.  It's just one of those things - nothing will happen until you take the some action, right?

So I've been not taking no with ATV for going on 2 years now.  And you know where that NO comes from?  It comes from me.

In the form of:  

  • Procrastination

  • Not believing that AdjusterTV will help anybody or that anybody will even watch

  • Not believing that I can truly add value to our industry

  • Wondering if all of the long hours and late nights will ever add up to anything 

Ironically, it's my career as a cat property adjuster that has actually made AdjusterTV possible.  If I had a regular 9 to 5 job that I had to show up to year round, I would never have had the downtime between cat deployments that I really needed to get the foundation for AdjusterTV built.

Everything I’ve had to do building AdjusterTV I also had to do in building my career as an adjuster.

You know, video is a passion of mine.  I love the gear, the storytelling, the technical side of it, and the people side of it.

It’s what also draws me to claims.

So for me, one of the greatest things about being a cat IA is that I can explore my personal passions - in depth and with extra money if I need it - on the side.  In the off-season, I can travel and shoot video and hone my craft so that I can actually make money with it on the side if I want to.

And I can live wherever in the country I want to.


Everything you need to know about getting started as an Independent Adjuster, in one 40 minute video. Check it out!

 
 

It wasn't always like this though.  When I got started I made some pretty serious mistakes that held me back from getting on first call lists for years longer than it should have.

  • I didn't network. This alone would have made a massive difference in the number of deployments I received early in my career. I didn't go to my first adjuster conference until 2012 and that was the Xactware Elevate user conference. I didn't do a ridealong with any adjusters when I got started, which would have been invaluable for me to see how a good adjuster gets things done AND to make friends with more experienced adjusters who could give me the inside track on deployments and other opportunities. Which is the heart of networking.

    • For AdjusterTV AND as an independent adjuster, I'm attending at least one good conference a year going forward.

  • I didn't get deeper training in damage ID and construction. The quality of my early files wasn't the best. I was getting dinged for missing damage, for paying for stuff that WASN'T damaged, and for writing incomplete estimates because I just didn't know what drip edge was or if drywall texture can be spot repaired or not.

  • I didn't get MORE licenses. Yes, I complain about working in New York state. But every IA firm I've spoken to calls NY the Golden Ticket license. And why? Is it because NY deployments are better? Not necessarily.. The reason they call it that is because if you apply to their roster and you have a NY license on your resume, they'll fast-track you to the front of the line of people applying to be on their roster - of all the things you can do to demonstrate to an IA firm that you're serious about being an IA, there's really nothing better than the cumbersome and time-consuming licensing process for NY. It's THAT important. I don't have a NY license because I prefer to not to work in New York. But an adjuster with my level of experience can walk on to pretty much any roster they want to. However, when I was getting started? If I had known that the NY license would be so valuable to IA firms, I would have definitely gotten the NY license AND would have dropped everything to run up there and work doing whatever they asked me to for as long as they needed me to.

  • I didn't get advanced Xactimate training. Let me just humblebrag for a second: I'm fast in Xactimate. But it took me YEARS to get that way and it was all trial and error and sudden A HA moments when I figured out a hack, workaround, or a new keyboard shortcut.

    • Being fast in Xactimate is more than just using macros and knowing the category code for countertops. You MUST learn the quirks of the software if you want to be able to close claims quickly.

  • Finally, early on, I would have sought out daily assignments in the downtime instead of going to the beach for months on end. Preserving that cat income with quality off-season work that I could start and stop easily, even from the start, would have set me up for an early retirement. In addition to that, building relationships with other daily IA firms (who mostly also do cat), would have provided me with greater deployment opportunities as well (which brings us back to networking).

The rewards of this career are great.  Its not for everybody though.  It's risky, yes.  But it's far riskier for people who don't have the courage and perseverance to keep pushing through when big challenges get in their way.  It's not for the faint of heart. 

But if you've got some grit and you're not afraid to take a leap into a risky, but very much worth world where you get to decide how you want to work, then becoming an Independent Adjuster is for you.

Thank you so much for watching and have a great storm!

In this video, I share some insights into why I love being a cat IA. I also show a bunch of the best footage from some of my side-hustle video projects I’ve done for clients over the years.

Enjoy!

*I almost used #CATlife buuuuttt…..

 
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Getting Started as an IA with Eberl Claims Service

In this video, I visited Eberl’s Dallas Training Center and met the team, including Taylor Jones, VP of Shared Services.

I interviewed Taylor and she explained what Eberl is looking for when they add adjusters to their roster, what training opportunities Eberl has for new adjusters, and I even learned how to say EBERL.

For more information about Eberl Claims Service and getting on their roster, click the big yellow button..

Watch the full video!


Looking to get started as an Independent Adjuster? Have no clue where to start? Sign up to watch the free training, “Getting Started as an Independent Adjuster.”

 
 

Get Ready for NACA 2020!

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It’s never too early to start thinking about convention season!

Conferences and conventions are an essential part of networking and career-building for independent adjusters.

Whether you’re just getting started - or have been in the game for a long time - attending events where you can talk to people face-to-face is not only a great way to build and maintain your network, but it’s also really fun!

What other way is there to meet and hang out with people who are in the same industry as you? You can share war stories, talk about next-steps, and learn about new opportunities from other IA’s as well as all of the recruiters and hiring managers that attend these events.


Need a financial tracker for your claims business? Check out Mark’s Storm Tracker:

 
 

There are several large conferences just for our industry, but none is more specific to catastrophe work than the National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters (NACA) annual convention, job fair, and expo.

At the NACA convention you can:

  • get training including things like Xactimate and water mitigation

  • earn continuing education credits (CE) so that you can keep your licenses current

  • interview with dozens and dozens of IA firms so that they can meet you and see if you’re a good fit for them AND so that you can assess them and see if you’ll fit into their company culture and way of doing things

  • attend fun, organized events in the evenings to let your hair down and get to know your fellow attendees a bit better

  • win amazing door prizes

  • and most of all, be surrounded by hundreds of people who are deeply invested in this crazy, mostly unknown career we call Cat Claims


In this exclusive, extended video, I talk with folks from several IA firms, a gear maker, and a drone developer about new tools for ia’s, getting into the industry, and making a big impact on your first storm deployments.

Want to improve cycle time, customer service metrics, and get more claims closed every week on cat? Check out Schedule It..

36 inspected and closed claims in ONE DAY? - Part Two

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In last week's video, I explained how experienced adjusters are able easily and consistently close 6 or more hail claims in day - day after day.

In this video, I'm going to break down how I was able to inspect, write, and CLOSE 36 claims in ONE DAY

Yes, I said THIRTY SIX

So this is a pretty bold statement, right?

36 closed claims in a day.  I mean, if nothing else, that's 36 full invoices I turned in.  I honestly can't remember how much they were for, but if I do the math with an average of $350 that's $12,600 earned in ONE DAY. 

I knew there was a reason I liked being an IA..

Okay, so let me break this down:

The stars really had to align in a big way in order for me to be able to scope, write, close INCLUDING SETTLE 36 claims in one day.

Number One

These were commercial claims for one insured.  They were rental properties in St. Charles, MO.  So that by itself was a HUGE help in doing this because I only had to talk to one guy.  I called him once to set the appointment, I met him briefly first thing in the morning on the day of the inspections - I got there at 6, and then we sat down at Arby's that afternoon and went over the claims.  Only having ONE point of contact for multiple claims is one of the best things about commercial property claims.

The way the carrier paid the IA's for claims like this is that even though the claims were all on one policy, because they were all distinct and separate buildings at different loss locations, they were billed by us as individual claims.

Number Two

The houses were all small one story rental properties.  Little houses with easy access to the roof helped the scopes to go really fast.

Number Three

Because these were rentals, I didn't have to scope any contents damaged by the hail since the tenants should have all had their own renter's insurance.  Also, all I had to do when I got to each house was knock on the door and let the tenant know I would be walking around the property and looking at the roof.  And most weren't home because it was a workday.

Number Four

Only one construction element was damaged - that is, only the roof was damaged.  None of the houses had gutters.  All of the houses were brick.  They had 2' overhangs so there was no screen damage, wraps damage, or window frame paint chips.  And fence and outbuildings weren't covered under these policies.

But it gets better....

Number Five

Each house was identical.  The roofs were a simple straight gable.  No eyebrows, no hips, no bay windows, nothing sticking out anywhere.  The shingles were all 3 tab and the roofs were all 3/12.   A couple of vents.  All the same.

AND..  the hail fell straight down and the damage was so obvious that it took mere seconds to complete my test squares.

So even though I took photos of the damage on each house (I did NOT copy photos from one to another), I only had to draw ONE roof diagram and add that to the estimate.  I definitely double checked the measurements on every house just to be sure.  And it was faster to take a pic of the diagram for each one instead of trying to reuse the same single diagram photo (I wasn't required to use Sketch for these).

So to sum up these five stars..  they ended up all having exactly the same damage, the same material (3 tab, no laminate), and the same dimensions.  All of them!

Number Six

And if THAT wasn't good enough..  they were all right next to each other.  So I just walked my ladder up and down the street and then over to the next block etc.

Number Seven

Because they were all identical, I was able to create the first estimate and then just copy and paste that estimate into each one.  I created one activity diary entry and had that open in a text doc.  Copy and paste.

So after I scoped them all, I sat in my truck and wrote them up.  Then I called the property manager back (he left me alone after looking at the first 2 or 3) and we went over the totals and next steps at a nearby Arby's.

I basically said, "like you saw this morning when we looked at a few together, only the roofs were damaged, and they're all X dollars each.  Depreciation is X and the deductible will be applied to THIS one"

Did I go into detail on each one?  No.  Why would I do that if they're all the same.  

So there you have it:  36 inspected AND completely closed hail claims DONE in one day - before dinner even! 

Question of the Day 

Do you like Arby's Sauce or Horsey Sauce?  Let us know in the comments!  (No, not sponsored by Arby's)