Is Working Close to Home Realistic for Independent Adjusters?
Is Working Close to Home Realistic for Independent Adjusters? This is a common question posed by prospective independent adjusters. It concerns the feasibility of working from home. Most folks understand that independent adjusting canrequire extensive travel, but must it? Can an adjuster enjoy the benefits of independent adjusting (good pay, autonomy)? Can they sleep in their own beds every night? Many folks get excited by the career prospects of adjusting. Also, they are apprehensive about its effect on their family life.
SO, WHAT SHOULD ONE REALISTICALLY EXPECT?
Under ordinary circumstances, independent adjusting can be from home. But, NOT until you have first paid your dues. Let’s unpack this statement fully. To work at home as an independent, you would be handling daily or non-catastrophic claims. Why? There aren’t enough catastrophes in any one geographic region to keep a cat adjuster busy for an extended period of time. This time can range from 2-3 years. Even residents of Florida can hardly expect to only work hurricane claims for a living. There may be 4+ years without a major hurricane hitting the coast. Granted, some adjusters worked in the New Orleans area for several years. But, this is the exception that proves the rule. An independent that doesn’t want to travel is going to subsist almost exclusively on daily claims.
“Daily” or non-cat claims are those everyday property and liability claims that happen “daily” across the country. Pipes burst, kitchen fires, leaky roofs, and barns burning. Also, dead trees falling on structures, auto accidents, slips and falls, and more. Also, the adjuster who works daily claims will need to be a bit of a generalist. A little residential property here, a little commercial liability there. This requires a higher level of overallproficiency. An adjuster needs a better understanding of the whole claims process. Also, many types of insurance, and many types of loss assessment. Independent adjusting firms either prefer or require 3 to 5 years of experience in their daily claims adjusters.
SO, HOW DOES ONE ACQUIRE EXPERIENCE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
How do you pay your dues? The answer is often through catastrophic claims work. What about when “the big one” hits, say a major hurricane or an earthquake? The demand for adjusters immediately exceeds the supply. Adjusting firms are willing to give anyone meeting the basic qualifications of a set of claims files. Here is the proving ground for new adjusters. It can be baptism by fire but for those that succeed and even thrive, they will find a wide-open door. Work two or three CATs and you have both the experience and the confidence to vie for a daily claims gig in your area. Also. from there, you can begin to carve out your niche in the claims industry. Someone living close to a Marina and with a passion for boats could become a full-time recreational boat adjuster.
There are many ways to break into the industry. For many, the career trajectory sketched above will mirror their own. You can work at home but expect to hit the road to earn it.