3 Reasons to Become a Cat Adjuster
Becoming an insurance adjuster is probably not on most third grader’s list of whom they want to be when they grow up. It certainly wasn’t on mine. But when reality sets in, as it has a habit of doing, and you find that age 28 you still haven’t fulfilled your third-grade destiny as zookeeper or astronaut, its time to look at some alternative career options. As I discovered, through good fortune, insurance claims adjusting happens to be a seldom considered gem of a career move. Working as a claims adjuster, specifically an independent insurance adjuster, has some extremely attractive features that may surprise you. Here are just three:
Benefit 1: Outstanding income potential
If you were told you could make $1,500 a day working as an independent claims adjuster you might reasonably assume that the person who told you this was unwell or trying to sell you something. Those numbers, when stretched over a period of several months, approach salaries of accomplished doctors, attorneys, or business execs. Unbelievable? I would think so. But the reality is this – every year independent claims adjusters make tens of thousands of dollars in very short periods of time working catastrophic insurance claims. After Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita hit in 2005, thousands of independent adjusters working the affected regions averaged $300 to $400 per claim they closed. A catastrophic adjuster with basic proficiency should close 2-3 claims per day. That equates to $800 to $1200 daily. An outstanding adjuster can close in excess of 5 claims per day. Career cat adjusters can earn well in excess of $100,000 yearly. Further, many adjusters will make all of that money in only three to six months out of the year. The rest of the time can be spent however they wish.
Be it hurricane, tornado, hail, or earthquake – when the seasons bring inclemency, independent adjusters arrive to help pick up the pieces. They are compensated extremely well for their efforts.
Benefit 2: Relative ease of adjuster certification
Most careers with earnings potential comparable to independent insurance adjusting require 4 to 8 years of college and post graduate study. You can become a certified claims adjuster in 3 days. Online and classroom pre-licensing courses, which are available especially in Texas and Florida, can help you obtain your required certification in less than a week. These courses can be intense, but just about any individual who wants to pass can do so.
Obtaining certification obviously doesn’t mean automatic employment or even that you are actually qualified to do the job. Further training is recommended to supplement deficiencies in your professional profile. A sound claims adjuster must posses strong people skills, above average computer proficiency, and some construction and insurance policy related knowledge. That said, many hiring companies, especially in catastrophic scenarios, will greatly assist their adjusters in obtaining the proper job training.
Becoming a doctor takes 8 to 12 years out of high school. You can become a licensed, trained, and mobile claims adjuster ready to begin your career in under a month.
Benefit 3: Be your own boss
Working as an independent adjuster means just that – working independently. Claims adjusting is not a 9 to 5 office job where you punch a time card. You are giving a set of claims, usually electronically, and are expected to author the claims handling procedure yourself from start to finish. This means your time, space, and resources are your own. You determine just how good you are – not your boss. You determine how long of a day you will work – not your boss. And you decide ultimately how much money you will make. This is a liberating and empowering feeling.
There is a mistaken notion that any career associated with insurance is inherently dry and uninteresting and tangled in convoluted policies and unsavory business tactics. Claims adjusting proves this false. Imagine the prospect of navigating through disaster-stricken neighborhoods in an effort to help people get their lives and homes back together. Imagine the sincere gratitude and respect with which most claimants greet you as you take on their claim. And when you consider that you are not really the strong arm of Big Insurance but the firm hand picking up those who are down, its evident that claims adjusting isn’t your typical insurance gig.
The bottom line is that you can make a fantastic living helping people put their lives back together and without your boss looking over your shoulder.
You may not have had a career as an insurance adjuster on your list of who you wanted to be when you grew up, but you probably did have something that was adventurous and helped people. It may come as a surprise but insurance claims adjusting offers just that, and the added opportunity to make an outstanding income while doing so!
- Daniel Kerr