Are you a rookie Catastrophe Claims Adjuster? Read this.
If you’re a veteran adjuster, then this will be a refresher for what to expect when you’re en-route. We’ve already helped you learn about becoming a catastrophe adjuster and we’ve assisted with creating your very own ‘CAT Kit,’ but what should you do after you get THE call?
Step one: Locate housing
After a catastrophe hits, the people forced out of their homes will be looking for housing, as will other independent adjusters, so it’s important to lock down a place ASAP. You may have to expand your search to include nearby cities or towns – to find housing that is both affordable and available. Having trouble finding housing? Many adjusters have been known to sleep in their vehicles.
Step two: Pack
Don’t be the catastrophe adjuster who shows up unprepared. While we’ve created a ‘CAT Kit’ that lists everything you need to adjust claims, this list will help you survive your assignment.
- Flashlight: After a catastrophe hits, power will be off – which means many homes, stores and streets will be pitch black. A flashlight will be a necessity in both doing your job and surviving your assignment.
- Batteries: Definitely pack extra batteries for your flashlight(s).
- Chargers: Pack both a car charger and a wall charger for your phone and laptop. An independent adjuster works long hours, so you’ll need to be able to remain charged to get your claims done.
- Bottled water: After a disaster, many times the water supply can become contaminated. Pack plenty of bottles of water for your assignment.
- Food: With the power out, convenience stores and restaurants won’t be functioning like normal. Be prepared by packing plenty of snacks and food to get you by until the power is up and running.
- Pillow/blanket/blow up mattress: If you end up having to sleep in your car, you’ll want to have a pillow, blanket and even possibly a small mattress or pool floaty on hand to make a more comfortable bed.
- Gas: This might be needed if the power is out and you can’t purchase gas from a convenience store.
- Portable generator: This would be necessary to have your WIFI and laptop working through the night. Charging from your truck battery won’t work for a catastrophe adjuster 24/7. Additionally, if you’re in a hurricane affected area and don’t leave within the allotted time frame, you’ll have to stay throughout the night, which means a generator would be handy.
- Extension cord: If you’re going to use a fan or TV, pack extension cords. They will make your situation and life during your time adjusting claims that much better.
Step three: Hit the road
After you have located housing and packed for your assignment, it’s time to hit the road. Most adjusters get to their assignment location within 24 – 48 hours so you’ll want to move quickly.
Step four: Stay calm & get to work
After a catastrophe hits, tensions are high for everyone: claimants, insurance companies, other independent adjusters, but not you. You know what you’re there to do and you have a game plan. You’ve already found housing and packed all the essentials to be successful as an adjuster.
By following these steps, you’ll be prepared for your assignment as an independent adjuster. Veteran adjusters, what other items should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below.