A viewer from YouTube named CLOS writes:
"During Hurricane Sandy I worked as an Admin for one of the largest cat companies in the country. I sent so many new adjusters home because they couldn’t keep up with the workload, weren’t prepared for the conditions, and couldn’t handle the emotional aspects of the job."
First of all, thank you so much for watching, CLOS!
Second of all, I worked as a field support/field trainer on Sandy probably for the same company you did. You're absolutely right - easily hundreds HUNDREDS of new adjusters disappeared from that storm every week and why? Exactly what you said: they couldn't keep up with the workload, they definitely weren't prepared for the conditions, and they couldn't handle the emotional aspects of the job.
Emotional aspects? What does that even mean? I don't want to put words into CLOS's mouth, but I would call this anything to do with dealing with insureds, contractors, storm managers, AND dealing with the incredibly high levels of anxiety and stress that come with working a massive cat like Hurricane Sandy. From the VOLUME of work that's asked of you.
And you know what else? Many of those new adjusters who got sent home - note that CLOS SENT THEM HOME - they were kicked off the storm - most of those adjusters spent thousands of dollars.. and hours, weeks, months of their own time on their own dime getting ready for a storm just like Sandy.
Kicked off the storm.
Nevermind the other adjusters were crushed under the workload and decided they couldn't handle it and turned their files back in, packed up their stuff, and went home to try and figure out some other way to make an uncommon income.
Those new adjusters CLOS was talking about were most likely on their first-ever storm deployments.
And they failed.
Listen.... you can have a claims career and not do cat, right? You can do daily claims or inside claims or go be a staff adjuster at a great company.
- but you're not here watching this video because you just want a regular old claims career - you're here because you want to make the big bucks and there's really only one way to do it for most people: cat property claims
Becoming a cat property IA - a successful one - means working through the storm season, which is typically March through October, and earning upwards of 100 thousand dollars - in many cases a lot more. Let's see...
That's not even the full year.
So without a college degree - almost without a HIGH SCHOOL diploma - you can earn up to 6 figures in LESS than a year.
People spend $150,000 on a Bachelor's degree so that they can graduate from four plus years of school and make $35,000 to start. And maybe in 10 or 15 years they'll get closer to $60-70 thousand.
Maybe they become a manager - with even more responsibilities and even more hours.
Nevermind that they're working 12 months instead of our 8.
This math is real simple.
So.. what are you going to do with those other four months? Whatever the heck you want. You want to protect those cat earnings and work another easy to get/easy to quit job? Go for it.
Want to be a stay at home dad or mom? You can.
Want to pack the family up and go for a long vacation? Do it.
And what is standing in the way of YOU getting all of THIS?
YOUR FIRST STORM.
Those things ONLY exist on the OTHER SIDE of your first ever successful cat deployment.
..If you are successful on your first storm:
This establishes you as somebody who "gets it"
You can be highly trained in every possible aspect of running property claims, but if you don't GET why you're REALLY on cat, then you'll wallow around and waste time. The part that you have to "get" is all about being able to handle extremely high stress and pressure from all sides at all times.
And here's the truth: IA firms and carriers are looking for people like you. You can perform under extreme pressure - day in and day out. For weeks, many times MONTHS. And in some cases YEARS. Without your quality suffering. This is the kind of person they want handling claims for them.
If you do well on your first cat - if you "get it" - they'll give you more new claims on that cat if they have them. They might even ask you to stay after and do cleanup duty. If you get that offer, that means they trust YOU enough to help them clean up after the other adjusters who botched the job. Likely the ones they sent home.
And what does all that mean?? You'll be "known." When your IA firm knows who you are, it's because you impressed them AND the carrier - make no mistake about it, the carriers are tracking how all the IA's are doing probably more than the IA firms themselves. THEY will put you on a list of desired adjusters for future cat deployments - we call it the First Call List. And it's a nice place to be.
How does the first call list work? Acme Insurance Company has a hail storm hit an area that has a lot of the customers. They call 123 Claims IA firm and say, "hey we just had a big storm in Springfield and we need 125 adjusters - and if these 15 adjusters are available, we'd love it if you sent them as well - In other words, the CARRIER keeps the first call list.
As a first call adjuster, YOU'RE the guy or gal who is out working in March on the tiny little hail storm in Lincoln, NE that will only produce enough work for 8 adjusters. While everybody else has to wait for a big storm in Dallas - or worse, a hurricane.
Current North Atlantic Hurricane Outlook Map:
Bottom Line? Your first storm stands in the way of you getting on the first call list. You MUST be successful on your first storm if you want to be a cat property IA. There's no trying it out or do-overs.
So I talked about what’s waiting for you on the other side of your first storm..
But what if you are unsuccessful on your first storm?
You may not get another chance again because the weather may not cooperate. Many brand new cat IA's get their big break on a big hail storm or hurricane. And that might be the ONLY big hail storm of the year. You know, many IA firms will try to send out new IA's on hail and wind storms - but if they already sent you out as the newbie on a cat and you fail - that was your turn. Next storm is somebody else's turn.
So it might take another 12 months - or more - before there's another really big event where you can try again. Not saying it's not possible.. but now you've got to wait and in the mean time, your family still needs to eat.
In addition, you may not get another chance again with that same IA firm. Again the carrier will have a list of people they don't want talking to their insureds and you don't want to be on THAT list.
..The long and short of it is that your one big chance might just be that: your ONE chance to get this right.
Listen, I'm not joking around with this. Carriers take even the smallest claims very seriously and if you mess it all up and create a huge storm of angry customers - believe it or not, customers appreciate a smooth experience and if they don't get it, they can get mad - the carrier isn't going to want you around. And this reflects poorly on the IA firm who brought you in - so it's a lose all the way around if you can't make it happen on your first cat.
You've spent a LOT of money, time, and resources getting ramped up to go on your first cat deployment - I sincerely hope I've made it clear just how important this is. Why would you EVER take a chance with on not nailing your first storm?